- Personal Finance
37 Easy Tips To Help You Save Money
Why Save Money
If your looking for easy ways to save money then your in the right place. Times are getting harder for some people with the economy being the way it is. I'll be honest, I was without work for some time but luckily, I had my savings to fall back on. I hadn't been saving money for long but it was enough to last me until I got back on my feet.
There are lots of things you can do to save money. The first thing you'll want to do is pull out your pen and paper and figure out all of your expenses. For help with this, click here.
Now that you've figured out your expenses, on to the list...
Energy Saving Items
1. Cook more often
Preparing your own meals is a much less expensive alternative to eating out. Self-made meals also tend to be larger in quantity than what you would get at a fast food restaurant. Your also not wasting precious gas just to have gas later on that evening.
2. Get rid of extra Cable channels you don't watch
If you have a cable package that you don't use to it's full extent, get rid of the extra channels your not watching. You'll find that downgrading might just save you some money on that cable bill.
3. Air seal your home
Try and find the time to air seal your home. Search for cracks, holes, broken windows, anything that lets air out of your home. This will help keep your home at your desired temperature, meaning less work for your heater and air conditioner.
4. Turn off the lights when you leave the house
This one is pretty straight forward. Turn off your lights when you leave to save on your electric bill. I understand that some people don't live in the best of neighborhoods so they leave the lights on when they leave to create the image that someone is still home. This is understandable, however, if your goal is to save money, try using timed lights or even flashlights to light your home when you leave. I do not recommend candles or lanterns if you own pets. They might knock them over when you leave, which could lead to disaster.
5. Unplug electronics
A lot of people don't know that anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet uses energy, even if it is turned off. So, instead of just turning off your TV, unplug it. This applies to most household appliances.
6. Combine your Internet, cable and telephone services
Most Internet, cable and telephone providers offer package deals where you get a discounted price if you combine all three. Look around to find the least expensive deals. You might try Insight or Direct TV.
7. Get rid of your home land-line
A lot of people are finding it cheaper to get rid of there telephone land-lines and switch to just using cell phones. To really save, look at providers such as Cricket, Samsung Straight Talk or prepaid plans.
8. Look for Energy Star appliances
Products with the Energy Star logo use much less energy which may decrease your monthly electric bill.
9. Install CFL light bulbs
Installing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) in your home will save you hundreds of dollars over the years to come. I'm sure you've seen these funny, spiral shaped light bulbs in stores. These special, energy efficient bulbs have been known to last up to 10 years. Although they don't fit on all fixtures, they will still save money if you invest in CFL bulbs.
Save on Shopping
10. If you must eat out, go for the buffet
This one should be a no-brainer. If you decide to eat out, your best option would be an “all you can eat buffet”. This saves money because, well, it's all you can eat. Chinese restaurants usually have inexpensive buffets for around $7 per person.
11. Apply for shoppers cards
Shoppers cards are a great way to save money, shopping at your favorite stores. The next time you're shopping, be sure to inquire about a shuopping card. A lot of shopping cards offer a discount on purchases or points toward a free product. Some shoppers cards even offer discounts on gas.
12. Make a grocery list before shopping
Making a grocery list before shopping and sticking to it is a great way to keep money in your pocket.
Just remember to stick to it. If you do, you'll save yourself from spending unnecessary funds.
13. Buy generic brands
Now I know that quality is the most important factor when shopping, but when if comes to certain products such as some foods and soaps, they're really no different from there generic counterparts. Whenever I buy canned goods or cereals, I usually buy the generic versions. They're less expensive and usually larger in quantity. Buy generic whenever possible and you will surely save money. However, still keep quality in mind.
14. Compare Grocery store prices
Before shopping or making your shopping list, comparing the prices of other stores is a good idea. You can usually find anything at a cheaper price if you look hard enough. I once bought a wireless computer mouse for around $30. Eventually, the mouse stopped working. I went to exchange the mouse for a new one and they said they were out of them. So, I decided to check across the street at a department store to see if they had anything at least similar to what I wanted. I came across the exact same mouse for only $19. If I would have known beforehand, I would have saved $11. The research is worth it.
15. Use coupons
Don't be ashamed to use coupons. Coupons can be found in just about anything from newspapers to phone books and magazines. You can also get free coupons to your favorite stores online.
For free coupons, check out these great sites:
16. Avoid impulse buying
You know how the checkout lines in most stores are packed with various products ranging from candy to chap-stick and magazines and such. Well, these checkout lines are actually a marketing strategy to provoke impulse shopping. An impulse shopper is someone who buys the first thing he or she sees. You know you've done it. Those random items were placed in those checkout lines for a reason. If you can fight the urge and just stick to your shopping list, you won't spend the extra money on things you don't need.
17. Don't grocery shop while hungry
Grocery shopping while hungry is not a good idea. If you are starving when you enter the supermarket or deli, the smell of all that food will hit you and you'll be hooked from the start. Then, when you see all of the delicious foods you'd like to eat, your probably going to buy them. Just eat a good meal before you shop so your nice and full and have no desire to eat anymore.
Saving on Gas
Carpooling is a great way to save on gas. Find someone who is heading in the same direction as you and take turns using giving each other a ride. This works great for students or for those who work together.
19. Clean you vehicle's air filter
A lot of people don't know that a dirty air filter makes your car less fuel efficient. If your car gets 30 miles per gallons, it will get about 28.6 MPG with a dirty air filter. So clean it and save yourself some money.
20. Less aggressive driving
Lots of acceleration and excessive braking wastes gas and can also cause damage to your vehicle. Drive more smooth and ease into your brakes. Drive at a steady speed and treat your car like it's your baby.
21. Park in the shade (avoid fuel evaporation)
Parking in the shade on a hot day will help to keep your fuel from evaporating.
22. Always check your gas cap
Always check and make sure your fuel cap is on tight. Gas can leak out and even evaporate. Also topping off your fuel can cause gas to leak out when you turn corners.
23. Drive less
I take public transportation at least two days out of the week. I have found that this alone saves me $40 a week is gas.
24. Eat breakfast
Eating breakfast is not only great for your body, but it can also save you money. Eating breakfast helps tame your appetite throughout the day and may result in spending less on food.
25. Stop smoking
Smoking is a very expensive habit. At around $5 a pack, 1 pack a day can cost around $35 a week. This translates to roughly around $140 a month. This money would be much better spent on something that won't kill you.
26. Pack your lunch
Packing your lunch is a much cheaper alternative to eating out. I make it a rule to pack my lunch at least twice a week.
27. Get rid of useless cell phone features
Lots of cell phone plans cost extra for extra features. If you don't use GPS or Mobile Internet, get rid of them. It might lower your monthly cell phone bill. Take a look at your plan and see what features you are not using and ditch them.
28. Don't do drugs
Doing drugs is an expensive habit that, aside from damaging your body, will usually keep you in the hole. If your going to do drugs, at least make sure you can pay your rent and bills.
29. Pay your bills on time
Pay your bills on time to avoid any late fees. That's more money out of your pocket.
30. Use a free checking account (no fees)
You should never have to pay for a checking account, especially since there are so many completely free options available. Head to your local bank and inquire about there free checking options or you can apply for a free checking account online. Online checking accounts offer a lot of the same benefits as a traditional bank.
Here is a list of good free online checking accounts:
31. Work from home
People everywhere are turning to work at home jobs in order to spend more time with there families, work there own hours and save money on gas. Many people have managed to earn a full time income from home and still have time to spend with there families. I recommend plenty of work at home jobs starting with Hubpages. This is a great site where you can write about topics you love and earn a long-term income. If this is something you would enjoy, click here to sign up with Hubpages.
Click here for freelance work at home opportunities.
32. Recycle Cans
Recycling has always been a great way to save money. Save all of your soda and beer cans and turnthem in at the end of the year. Your make back a decent percentage of what you payed for them. That is, if you have the storage to keep them.
33. Generic prescriptions
If you take expensive prescription drugs, think about switching to the generic versions. Consult your doctor to see about switching to a generic drug. They usually have the same effects but at a fraction of the price.
34. Wash your car, yourself
Why spend money at the car wash when you could do it yourself. All you need is a water hose and a bucket or just a bucket of water with some rags. It's less expensive and you can guarantee a good cleaning.
35. Find a cheaper cell phone plan
Smart phones and blackberries are all the rave now but these high-end phones usually come with a high-end monthly bill. If your goal is to save money, try switching to a cheaper plan. There are many providers that offer unlimited talk and text for only around $40 to $50 a month. Check out Cricket and Samsung Straight Talk plans.
36. Get a piggy bank
Getting a piggy bank or something like one should have been one of the first things you did when you decided that you wanted to save money. Every little bit counts. Remember that and your savings will grow. At the end of every day, I empty all my pocket change into a giant pickle jar on top of my refrigerator. It's a good habit.
37. Switch to Redbox for movie rentals
If your a movie renter, try switching to Redbox for your movie rentals. Instead of paying $15 for a rental from Blockbuster, rent movies for only $1 a night with Redbox.
These are just a few ways to save money. Utilizing these tips could save you hundreds of dollars per month. I will be adding more ways to save money throughout the life of this hub. I hope this page helps everyone to accomplish there savings goals. Please comment below if you would like to share any of your own tips on saving money.