How to Save Money
Money, the thing I never seem to have enough of. Even in the worst economic times there are still simple, daily things you can do to help save.
- Wash clothes in cold water and avoid the dryer. Washing anything in cold water can help reduce your energy bill. Avoiding the dryer, either line drying or on a drying rack, will also help.
- Use rags instead of paper towels. It's estimated that regular paper towel users go through 1-2 rolls per week, up to 8 per month. Think of the savings by using reusable rags instead.
- Use coupons. This may seem like a no-brainer but studies show not even half of people use coupons before shopping. Coupons is a great site for printing off grocery and household coupons that you would normally see in your weekly newspaper. Also, Retail Me Not is a great site to check out for valuable promo codes prior to an online purchase. Just be careful to only print the coupons you know for sure you will use, printer ink is equally expensive.
- Grow a garden. If your surroundings allow, planting your own flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables will greatly cut down your grocery bills.
- Avoid Groupon or other bargain sites. Yep, you heard me right. I used to think these sites were so great--look you can get a set of 4 yoga pants for 32% off! Unfortunately, sites like this can often lure us into purchasing items that we really don't need or even want. Only look on these sites when you are looking for a specific product that you know you will purchase anyway.
- Carpool or Public Transit. Even a couple time a week will save on gas.
- Attempt repairs yourself. Obviously, some things require a professional But, try to do some simpler tasks around the house yourself. There are plenty how-tos scattered online. Do some googling, most of the time there is even a video tutorial.
- Get rid of cable. This was a scary thing for me to ever think about. There are certain shows I felt like I just couldn't do without. Luckily, most programs are put on the station's website. Also, there are low cost movie and television subscription services such as Netflix and Hulu for as little as $8/month that offer hundreds of tv shows and movies that can be streamed from computer or Smart TV. Best part, no commercials!
- Update your doors and windows. This is especially important for those that live in colder climates. Air leaking through doors and windows will force you to pump the thermostat up, hello heat bills! The cost may initially be expensive but will be an overall saver.
- Review your cell phone plan often. Many times we are paying way too much for our cell plan, paying for unlimited data or text packages we never use. Also shop around other providers at the end of your contract to determine what carrier is right for you.
- Start a change jar. Sounds menial, but try putting all your change into one jar instead of at the bottom of your purse or in your car. You'll be surprised how fast the change will accumulate After it's full take it all straight to your bank for deposit!
- Stay away from junk food. Junk foods tend to be the most expensive and obviously the worst for you. Try to munch on fruits and veggies instead. You'll notice the less you eat junk, the less you'll crave it.
- Have two leftover nights a week. Often time delicious leftovers get wasted in my fridge because, well, I just didn't feel like eating the same thing again. Having at least two leftover nights a week, that are scheduled, will help you get into the groove of gobbling them up instead of throwing them out.
- Track your finances. I can't possibly be as old school as my father and write every single debit transaction in my checkbook (I'm not even sure where my checkbook is??) But, keeping on eye on your transactions can save you money. Have access to your checking account online in order to see what you are spending money on a daily basis. Consider signing up for a free money management site such as Mint to monitor all your accounts together.
- Check your memberships. Do you really go to the gym often enough to account for the outrageous monthly charge? Are you reading all those magazines you pay for? Are you still getting deducted $15/month from the free credit report site? If you are not using the service--cancel, cancel, cancel!
- Don't buy bottled water. Sure, buying generic bottled water can end up only being a few dollars for a whole case. But, is estimated that the United States consumers spend over 15 million per year on bottled water alone. Buy several durable reusable water bottles and a water filter and fill them up and keep them in the fridge ready to go!
- Quit Smoking. So much money can be saved by simply quitting. I know, easier said than done. But seek help from a friend or doctor. Or motivate yourself by reading websites such as Why Quit.
- Un-save your credit card numbers. If you have quick finger at ordering things online, consider deleting your credit card information from all your common websites. The act of finding your debit or credit card and having to actually type the info in may make you think twice before purchasing.
- Pick up instead of delivery. No one is going to nix the hassle free of no cooking occasionally, so when you want to order in opt to drive to pick up your order instead. Most places charge a $2-$3 delivery fee, which doesn't even include the tip!
- Shop outlets. Outlets malls are nearly as attractive to the eye as normal, cushy indoor malls, but you would be surprised one how much you can save. Also, try discount stores such as Marshalls, Gordmans, Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx for your yearly clothing staples.
What do you spend the most money on monthly?
What is your favorite thing to do to save money?