With the countless tips, tools and hacks out there for saving money, one would think that it would be easier for everyone. Unfortunately, even though there are so many ways to save a few bucks, there are even more temptations and enticing new products that seem to scream for our money every day.
But not to worry– there are several ways you can keep more money in your wallet without depriving yourself or your family of the things you want. By utilizing the following strategies, you can easily slash hundreds from your monthly spending.
1. Maximize Savings Using Coupons
Coupons are a great way to save money on groceries and other everyday products. Start clipping them from your Sunday paper or go to a website like Coupons.com and print them out. Chances are, there is a money-saving coupon for over half of the items you are going to buy every day, and there is literally no reason not to use them.
2. Buy Generic
Most generic or store-brand household products contain the same ingredients as the more expensive name brands. You do not have to buy generic for everything (generic foods, for instance, may not always taste as good as the name brands), but items like medication, detergents, soaps and other household items are just as good and nearly identical to popular brands, aside from the label.
3. Avoid Eating Out
One of the oldest tricks in the book, eating at home more often than out at restaurants will add significant savings to any budget. It is simple and easy to eat breakfast and dinner at home, and there are even some simple ways to cut spending even when you are not at the house. For instance:
- Take leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day
- Brew your own coffee at home in the morning
- Buy groceries specifically for packed lunches (i.e., prepackaged kids’ lunches, salads, sandwich meat, etc.)
4. Plan Your Weekly Meal Plan
Creating a weekly meal plan for your family kills several birds with one stone. It takes the hassle out of last-minute dinner preparation; streamlines your grocery shopping; and helps your family eat more healthily. Additionally, planning your meals and preparing a grocery list will always help you save a lot of money from your food budget.
5. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
LED bulbs are more expensive than traditional incandescents up front, but the reduced energy utilization and a longer replacement cycle of LEDs make up the difference. LED bulbs last at least twenty times longer and use roughly 20% as much energy as incandescent bulbs. You will only have to replace your new bulbs 5% as often as before, and this upgrade helps you feel a little better about your impact on the environment.
6. Always Build Your Credit
Whether you have good credit, fair credit, or bad credit, work on building it up. Not only is credit used to decide your rate on loans, but utility and insurance companies have started using credit scores to regulate your monthly surcharge. Additionally, credit reports are often reviewed for job applications, rental applications and other similar situations.
Simple, responsible credit card use can have a significant impact on your credit. Even if you do not feel you need one, you could get a card from offers.creditcard or similar sources just for credit-building purposes.
7. No-spend Day
A weekly no-spend day can really add mega savings to your household. However a no-spend day’s real power lies in the ability to make you more conscious about your spending. For instance, if you know that tomorrow is your no-spend day, you will have to think ahead of all the things you might buy tomorrow– like lunch, gas and other necessities– so you can take care of them today.
8. Be Realistic
When planning how to save or how much money to save, be realistic with your goals. For instance, if you eat out most nights or buy a daily morning coffee, don’t plan on going cold-turkey because you are likely to fail. Unrealistic savings goals, strategies and plans can be counterproductive and cause you to give up quickly. Making gradual changes to your spending habits will make it more likely that you will stick with them.
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