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Ways to Save Money with Small Lifestyle Changes

Updated on February 19, 2015

Change Your Cell Service

Switching your cell phone service to a prepaid service like Straight Talk can save you money every month. After the initial cost of purchasing a phone, or buying a new SIM card for your existing phone, the cost is as little as $30 a month (limited plan). The unlimited minutes, text, and web usage plan is $45 a month, and the unlimited international plan is $60 a month. There is a service area map on their website which claims 99.6% coverage on America's largest, most dependable networks. My husband and I have Straight Talk and have been pleased with their service so far.

Service cards can be purchased at Walmart, or there is an auto-refill option you can sign up for. The beauty of it all is that there is no contract involved.

Get Rid of Cable

Cable bills can be close to $100 a month, with rates increasing all the time. If you work all day and only watch the news, a few t.v. shows and an occasional movie, consider getting some rabbit ears for your local programs and purchasing Netflix or RedBox, which both cost less than $10 a month.

Netflix has great kid's movies and programs if you find that your t.v. is stuck on Nick Jr and Disney all the time. If you are missing ESPN, go to your local restaurant or a friend's house and watch for free. Other cable channels have program episodes available on their websites, such as the History Channel, MTV, and A&E.

You can watch movies on your PS3, Wii, Xbox, PC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet, or home computer with either Netflix or RedBox. The main difference between the two is that RedBox offers new releases, while Netflix does not. However, Netflix appears to offer more t.v. shows and children's shows than RedBox, which offers mostly movies. RedBox is also different in that there are kiosk rental booths. Unlimited streaming and 4 rentals from the kiosks are included in the RedBox monthly price. Both services offer a one month free trial. Once again, there are no contracts like some cable companies require.

Eat Leftovers

Unless you are eating McDonald's all the time, eating out every meal can cost you some serious money. The worst part is that there are usually little, if any, leftovers. Consider cooking more and don't throw out the leftovers. You can get two or three meals out of something you prepare for way less than the cost of several restaurant meals. An added bonus is that a home cooked meal is usually better for you than restaurant food, especially if it's fast food.

Make Your Own Coffee

Instead of stopping at Starbucks or whatever your favorite Java spot is, consider making your own coffee in the morning. Some coffee, cappuccino, latte, and espresso makers have timers so your brew can be ready whenever you want it. If you pay $1.50 every day for a cup of coffee, the cost of a coffee machine will pay for itself in no time.

Shop Thrift Stores

Great bargains on gently used clothing can be found at Goodwill, Plato's Closet, and similar thrift stores. Some of these stores offer baby and children's clothes, and even furniture.

Do Things For Yourself

If you have a service that you pay for every month, such as a grass cutting crew or maid service, and you are able to do it yourself, consider dropping such a service to save some money.

Do A Price Check On Necessary Services

For those services that you must have, check around. If there are more than one garbage pickup services in your area, go with the one with the better deal. You can also compare price quotes with car insurance, home insurance, home phone and internet services.

Read The News Online

If you have a newspaper or magazine subscription that you pay for and you have internet service, check to see if your favorite read offers a freely accessible web version of their articles and drop the delivery service.

Grow A Garden

If you like to grow things, planting a garden will shave a little off of your grocery bill. Cucumber and green beans are examples of fast growing, high yield plants. You can pickle or freeze any excess and enjoy your harvest throughout the year. If you have little yard space, there are some varieties of veggies that are specifically container friendly.

Adjust Your Thermostat

If you can stand it, put the thermostat on 78 in the summer, and 68 in the winter. This will save on your monthly electricity and/or gas payments.

Freeze Your Food

Cook a big batch of breakfast casserole, muffins, waffles, pancakes, or even sausage and freeze the majority of it. You will have to cook less during the week and have the benefit of a quick breakfast in the morning that is healthier than fast food. Very ripe or excess bananas, peaches, and other fruits can be frozen for use in cooking when the need arises. Bread can also be refrigerated or frozen to extend its shelf life.

Try Couponing and Bargain Shopping

I have tried this and found the effort not worth the savings, but many people are successful and you might be too!

If you have some tips to share, I would love hearing from you! Please leave a comment sharing what you do to save a little money.

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    • MyHumbleOpinions profile image
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      Angela Flanders 3 years ago

      Thanks. I agree!

    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 3 years ago from United States

      Great Hub. These are all very helpful, awesome ways to save money. Taking time and looking for ways to cut back in every area of our lives saves a ton of money.