We’re all looking for ways to save money. No matter how much we make, we seem to find ways to spend it. And we could all stand to save a little more. Instead of looking for things that you can cut out of your budget — things that you likely actually need or that at least make your life a little nicer — just look for ways that you can save.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can save on the things you use every day. Here are some ideas to get you started:source
Internet and TV
Internet and cable are notoriously expensive, and they are often first on the chopping block when families are looking to save money. But can you really get by without Internet at home? How will your children do their homework? And can you imagine weekends without at least a little TV time? Instead of getting rid of these services, shop around to find the best deals. Search for “Internet providers in my area” to find out what specials the competitors are offering. You may be surprised at how much you could be saving if you switched services. You can save even more if you bundle your services, including TV, Internet, phone, and even home security. Once you have a sense of what’s available, you can call your current provider and try to negotiate a lower rate. If they balk, or if you aren’t satisfied, make the switch.
Electricity There are plenty of ways you can lower your energy bills, such as installing a programmable thermostat that lets you turn off the heating and cooling while you are away, keeping lights turned off when you are not in the room, sealing door and window frames, and making sure your attic and crawl space are well-insulated. But if you want to start with just one thing, consider spreading your electric bill over the course of the year so that you are paying a fixed amount each month. Many power companies offer this option. They figure your total usage from previous years and estimate what you would pay. They then break it down by month, giving you a fixed payment.
The benefit of making the fixed payment is that you don’t have to worry about huge bills during the especially hot or cold months. You can keep your costs constant. If you end up incorporating some other tips to cut back your energy usage and your bills aren’t as high as projected, the power company will give you a refund at the end of the year.
Just like with electricity, there are a lot of ways that you can cut back on your water usage by changing your habits, such as by taking shorter showers, turning off the water when you brush your teeth, or using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand. However, one thing you can do to
save a lot on your water usage right away is to set up some rain barrels. You can connect them to your gutters so that your rain water flows right into them, or you can use another funnel system.
The rain water cannot be used for drinking or cleaning your body, but it can be used for watering your garden, watering your lawn, washing your car, or cleaning outside items like your patio or your siding. You can hook your rain barrel up to a system to pressurize it, or you can put it into other containers, like a backpack sprayer. Using rain barrels can save you thousands of gallons of water, which can translate into significant savings.
To save money on your monthly food bill, you really need to eat at home for every meal. You can shop at big box stores to buy in bulk, and you can learn how to extreme coupon to save a lot on staples like paper towels and snacks. If you have the time to manage it, growing a garden can also save you significantly on produce. You can cut down your grocery bill to a fraction of what it was, depending on how much work you are willing to put in.
Saving big on the things you use every day doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to change some habits and be smart about where you shop. You can save hundreds a month, which you can put toward savings or just relieve some of the pressure of work.