photo credit: Matt McGee
Let’s face it times are tough economically, and we could all use ways to save a little green, giving us a little wiggle room in our budgets. As a long time keeper of the budget, I have always looked for ways to tweak my budget and use it to my advantage. The following are just a few of those ways, hopefully you too can make them them work for you as well.
1. Clip Coupons. Clipping coupons truly can save you cash, especially when matched with the weekly sales.
2. Don’t be brand loyal. When you are willing to buy store brands or other brands you may not prefer because it is on sale and you have a coupon you’re more likely to save money.
3. Turn off your land phone line. Ridding yourself of this added expense can be positive on your budget as most of us are mobile these days and use our cellular phones much more frequently.
4. Have an errand day. Making multiple trips to the grocery store, post office and to pay bills can eat up gas in your vehicle quickly, not to mention that the more you go, the more money that you spend.
5. Use your real plates. Paper plates may be more convenient, but they are also more costly. You can wash the real thing for much cheaper.
6. Eat leftovers. Whether you take them for lunch the next day or serve them in a bit of a variation the next night leftovers are a money saving idea for sure.
7. Be a one car family. While this may not be possible for every family, it can truly save you money, just think, less spent on insurance, gas, and other auto maintenance.
8. Stay home. it is just a fact that the more on the go you are the more you tend to spend as a result. Staying home can save you money day after day.
9. Comparison shop. Don’t always assume the sale you find is the very best deal to be found. Comparison shop online or through store fliers to truly find the best deals out there.
10. Cook from scratch. It is just a fact that cooking from scratch can save you a load of money. Those boxed meals may be convenient, but they definitely cost you more green. Plus scratch cooking is oh so goo.
11. Be a do it yourselfer. From cutting the grass to fixing the sink those who do it themselves whether than getting hired labor can save themselves a great deal of money.
12. Don’t buy dry clean only. Though the dry clean only clothes may look nice and appeal to your sense of style they will begin to put a dent in your wallet as you have to have them professionally cleaned so look for wash and wear styles that are similar to save you this expense.
13. Use vinegar. Vinegar has so many uses that many people are not aware of, from cleaning floors to placing in your dishwasher as a rinse agent it can be an inexpensive alternative to many things.
14. Just use cash. It just seems inevitable that if you shop with cash you spend less. After all once it is gone, it’s gone and we know that so we act accordingly.
15. Pack your lunch. Maybe the leftovers mentioned earlier or a sandwich or other favorite meal. Packing a lunch saves big bucks after you think about the money you’ve spent eating out day in and day out.
16. Find free entertainment. We all like to be entertained, but it can often be pricey. So, as an alternative find free entertainment that the whole family can enjoy, whether you rent movies from your local library for free, or go out in the great outdoors for a cost-less outing it’s a great way to save.
17. Take advantage of store discount cards. Many drug and grocery stores now offer discount cards that will help you to save a little extra when shopping with them. They are free to apply for and can get your some great store deals.
18. Keep a spending spreadsheet. Keeping up with your spending on a spreadsheet for example can help you to realize what you spend money on month after month and as a result of your awareness you will most likely see where you can begin to cut back.
19. Use a programmable thermostat. It gives you the ability to bump up the heat so that it doesn’t run all day when you’re not at home or the air doesn’t cool an empty house in the summer, it can save you more than you might expect over time.
20. Pay on time. Being late on bills can often result in a late fee that you could avoid by simply paying on time or ahead of time.
21. Buy used. We all like to get new things, whether it be a new car, new furniture or new clothes, but with almost everything you buy there is the option to buy used and it can be a great one.
22. Use energy efficient appliances, light bulbs and the like. Saving energy saves you money, it is as simple as that.
23. Replace your air filters often. A dirty filter can cause your air conditioner to have work harder, which makes it more costly to operate. Changing the filter often can deter that.
24. Stay on budget. Why create a budget if you’re not going to try and stick to it. Budgeting can save money if it is stuck to. It may take some time to get a budget that works for you but don’t give up.
25. Always be aware of your spending. Spending is one thing that you must stay up on and never let it slip your mind, alwasy being aware of where your dollars are going can help you to be ready and willing ot do what you can to save.