Saving money doesn’t mean sacrificing creature comforts. There are ways to save without noticing that can add extra money to your budget easily. Below are just some simple ways to get you started that will help you save without feeling any pain.
1. Check Grocery Store Flyers and Take Advantage of Sales to Save Money Without Noticing
Meal planning around the sales featured in grocery store flyers helps. Stock up on sale items instead of buying at regular price can add up. Of course, you might not be able to create a meal from the sale items in one store. Instead, create a route of your local grocery stores and pick up their weekly specials as well. Buying nonperishables that you go through quickly can keep in your pantry or kitchen cabinets can come in handy for later while saving. I like to buy a few extra nonperishables like cans of coffee that we go through quickly as well to keep in my pantry. This saves when the price goes after the sale, besides being convenient.
2. Have Your Home Checked for Energy Leakage
Our homes can leak energy like crazy. Therefore, hiring a professional to do an energy audit of windows, doors, etc. can help eliminate where energy is being wasted. The findings can help you make some significant money-saving changes on your utility bills.
Something as simple as caulking your windows and placing strips to seal the bottom of your doors can help improve savings.
3. Stop Your Cable Service or Learn to Negotiate a New Rate
Ask yourself how many cable programs do you really watch? The number may surprise you. If so, those special programs that you do watch can still be viewed—only at a later date through the library most often.
A lot of libraries buy the television series and the latest movies for a patron to borrow. The only problem is that you won’t see programs like the current season of Game of Thrones until it finishes and goes to DVD. However, the libraries have a waiting list that you can add your name to. If they don’t have the program or movie that you want, then usually they have a place online where you can suggest a movie, television series or a book for them to acquire. I love the library system because you can see or read anything!
You can also call your cable provider and try to negotiate a new rate for your service plan. Ask to speak with a retention specialist or the customer solutions department.
4. Save Water Without Much Effort
Investing in a low-flow showerhead and take care of leaky faucets can really cut your water bill.
If you garden, an empty barrel that you can cover or a new, clean garbage can with a lid is great for collecting rain water for your plants. Just make sure to keep it covered to prevent mosquitos from breeding.
5. Pack Your Own Lunch and Making Coffee for Work Instead of Buying
Packing your own lunch and making a pot a coffee may be extra trouble, but it can save you money without denying anything. In fact, when you make your own lunch at home, then you know what ingredients that you are eating over some questionable less, healthy versions in some fast food restaurant.
Making a pot of coffee at work over stopping for a gourmet, calorie-laden cup at a coffee shop will save you money and your figure.
At the end of each month, you will shock yourself at the amount of extra money saved just by those two simple changes.
6. Stop Buying Paper Towels
Paper towels might not cost that much and are convenient when small messes happen, but their cost does add up over time. It is cheaper to use cloth dish towels and cut up some of your old clothes for rags for cleaning than constantly buying paper towels.
In fact, you turn some old clothes into disposable cleaning rags by cutting them up into small pieces for the type of jobs you need. You can just toss and still have that convenience of the paper towels.
7. Wrap Your Hot Water Heater
Spending a little extra for an insulated blanket for your hot water heater will make it more efficient to save you extra money on your bill.
8. Take Public Transportation If Possible
Driving to your job may be more convenient, cleaner, and faster than some bus or trolley routes, but it does cost more for gas and parking. Public transportation does have drawbacks, but it is far cheaper to ride than using the car for work.
9. Carpooling to Work Is Another Suggestion
Check at your workplace if your company has a system in place for those interested in carpooling. If so, sharing driving responsibilities with others can lower your driving costs to work.
You can also check with your city to see if they have any carpooling programs that they can connect you with.
10. Switch to Credit Cards That Offer Rewards
Some credit cards offer rewards when used even for grocery shopping. You have to eat anyway so you might as well get rewarded by using the card over cash. You just need to be careful of what else that you are tempted to use that card on.
11. Generic Brands Can Save You Money
There are good generic brands and bad ones when it comes to food items. You just need to taste test and compare for yourself. I use generic brands all the time without noticing any difference. In fact, some generic brands of food are better in my opinion than the name brands.
Drugs are basically all the same except generics may have a different filler ingredient, which does not alter the active ones in the name brand.
12. Avoid a Shopping Trip When Under Stress
Instead of hitting the mall when you are stressed, do yourself a favor and take a soothing bath instead to relax. Shopping and stress doesn’t mix. You’ll just accumulate extra bills for items that you really don’t need and probably later regret. Every time you wear that item, it could also make you remember the day and problem that caused you to buy it over and over again. Shop when you’re happier is a better solution.
13. Clean Your Closets and Occasionally Sell at a Garage Sale or Flea Market
A few times each summer or spring, it is a great idea to have a yard or garage sale or plan a trip to your local flea market to get rid of your unwanted household items, clothes, books, etc. You will come home with extra money and probably find a treasure or two and clean out clutter while having a lot of fun.
I enjoy browsing and selling at the flea market. Sadly though, I have a small car now and am unable to sell these days. However, it is a fantastic way to clean, earn some money and get your exercise in all in one day.
Another idea is taking your unwanted clothes to a clothing consignment store. You can get the items out of your home and make money when they later sell. If not, you just take your items back.
Something else that can save you money without any hassle is a clothing swap party with your friends. This is especially helpful when you having growing children needing to keep up with changing sizes. Friends help each other and feel like they get new things without the need for cash.
14. Shut Off Lights When You’re Not in the Room Or at Home
Taking a few moments to turn off lights, especially when you’re leaving to go to work can save you about 10 percent of your total energy cost for running your home and conserve resources at the same time.
15. Homemade Dishes Are Cheaper Than Prepared Foods
Another simple way to save money without noticing is homemade cooking over buying prepared foods. Peeling potatoes and mashing them is far cheaper than buying a small package of prepared mashed potatoes.
What else is easy is learning to bake your breads, pizza, pasta, pies, cookies, and cakes over buying commercially. Check out the links that I’m providing as well as my recipe category for some foolproof ways to save making them.
16. Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Red meat is expensive, especially the better cuts. It also is not particularly healthy. Therefore, learn to cook with healthier alternatives such as legumes, chicken and fish and alternate your diet with some different bean, chicken and fish dishes. I cook dry beans and keep them in the refrigerator to incorporate into casseroles, grind in the food processor for bean patties, sauces, etc. as well. You can do a lot with a bag of dried beans, which are less expensive than canned beans.
17. Use Leftovers to Invent Fresh Recipes
I never waste food unless it is hidden behind something in the refrigerator or freezer until it’s too late. Leftover meats can easily be made into something fresh just by chopping the meats, adding a sauce and vegetables for a tasty casserole, potpie, quiche, crepes, sandwich spreads, etc. I do it all the time and no one knows that they eating leftovers.
Another way not to waste food is to take smaller portions when serving for everyone’s plate. Your family can also get seconds. Piling a plate too high is not good for their health and often gets thrown out half eaten.
There are plenty of other ways that you can save money without noticing, but these 17 ways can give you a great start.