Every family is looking to save a few extra dollars these days. With the rising cost of gas, food and utility bills, being frugal is at the top of many families’ list. However, it doesn’t have to be so hard! There are many ways to save money on everyday items and reduce your monthly expenditures.
The following 8 simple tips will become routine over time and help you save money, so read on and start saving soon!
1. Clip Coupons
Coupons are an excellent way to save money on groceries, health and beauty items. If you receive the Sunday paper, browse through the ads and take note of the coupons. If you use the product, simply clip the coupon and redeem it at the checkout stand the next time you make a purchase. If you don’t get the Sunday paper, there is no need to worry. There are many online sites that offer coupons which be printed directly from your computer. Many retailers also offer coupons directly on their website (and my many, I mean almost any store in your local mall).
2. Shop Sales
Everyone gets store flyers in the mail advertising sales and the dates the prices are effective. Carefully read which items will go on sale and purchase them during this time. Furthermore, never underestimate the power of a clearance sale. If you’re in the mall and you see a 75% off sale, check it out! Obviously, don’t go out and buy something you have no need or use for, but if you can find something you would have bought eventually down the road anyway (a new pair of shoes, for example), then don’t hesitate!
3. Store Brands
Brand loyalty is something many of us fall into the routine of. Whenever we go to the store, we choose the familiar brand we have used for years, but it not always cheaper. In fact, buying brand name items is much more expensive. When you are grocery shopping, choose the store brand of sugar, flour or bread. Read the ingredients and you will notice they contain exactly or close to the same ingredients. Also, you’d be surprised how many cute clothes can be found at stores like Target or Wal-Mart. You might not want to buy your whole wardrobe there, but if you can find a shirt or two for half the price you would have paid at the mall, you won’t be regret it.
4. Buy Used
When it’s time to buy new clothes or shoes, many people rush to department stores. However, there are many good deals on lightly used items at garage sales and thrift stores. This is especially true if you are shopping for a baby or young child. Shopping thrift stores or garage sales can save you a bundle of money. Auction sites like Ebay are an excellent source for finding cute clothing that has been lightly worn at bargain prices.
5. Turn Offs
This is a great habit to start, especially if you have young children. Whenever you leave a room, turn off the light. Set a good example and your children will soon follow. This can reduce the amount of electricity you use and help lower your power bill. To save additional money, look at which small appliances are plugged in when they are not in use. Unplug toasters, coffee pots and radios to save even more money.
6. Conserve Water
Conserving water is an easy way to reduce your water bill. Start by turning off the water when you brush your teeth or shave in the shower. Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load of dishes in it and adjust the dial on your washing machine to match the size of the load.
7. Plan Meals
Planning your meals each day can help you prepare a food budget, decrease impulse buys and reduce the urge to eat out. Visiting fast food restaurants can add up quickly and eating out at restaurants is not cheap. The cost of dinner for a family of four at a restaurant could have been better spent on groceries for two or three nights of dinner at home.
If you have a lengthy commute, consider carpooling with other coworkers in your area, if possible. This can reduce wear and tear on your car and save money on maintenance costs. It will also reduce the amount spent on gas to drive to and from work.
Special Thanks to My Guest Writer
Tyler Jones likes to write about shopping, couponing & saving money at www.boatinsurance.org.