- Shop Seasonal Sales
You know that you have certain expenses that come up every year, especially around the holidays. Holiday and seasonal expenses can really eat into your budget but there is a way to save 75% on these expenses. The trick is to get a year ahead. Instead of shopping for holiday supplies for holidays that are coming, shop for supplies for those that have past.
Retailers heavily discount seasonal items once the season has passed. So, buy your Christmas supplies in January, buy your Summer clothes in the Fall, etc, etc. This takes some planning ahead and you will have to store your purchases a whole year but you will save big.
- Cut the Cord
Join the revolution and cut your cable or satellite service. Switching to a service such as Hulu can save you an easy hundred dollars a month, maybe more. You will have to have a good and reliable internet provider and you will probably need to purchase an antenna to get local channels, but it is well worth it.
Still need a few cable channels? Services like Sling can give you the most popular channels without all of the niche stations that cable companies force on you. Monthly payments will be about a third of what you are probably paying for cable.
- Buy Food in Bulk
A discount club membership can save you big time. Buying in bulk lets you leverage more buying power and thus get better discounts. You can buy multiple months worth of meat and freeze it for future use. You can also get frozen vegetables, toiletries and just about every other consumable that you buy for cheap in bulk form.
In addition to the discount stores, you should also shop the sales at regular grocery stores and buy in bulk. Stores like to use the concept of the “loss leader”. This is a product that they often sell cheap or even below cost. The idea is that it gets you into the store where you will buy additional more profitable items. Don’t fall for that, just buy the discounted item in bulk and save.
- Eat Leftovers
Instead of throwing away food, save it for the next day or freeze it for a few days away. That extra chicken breast that you have today can become chicken tacos tomorrow. It not only saves you money but also time when you can just reheat instead of cooking a whole new meal.
- Take Advantage of Free Entertainment
Instead of paying big bucks for concerts, movies and other entertainment, check out the free options. Most cities host free events. These can be concerts, movies in the park, plays, etc. You might be surprised at just how much fun you can have without spending a dime.
- Ditch The Soda
`It is a known fact. Soda is bad for your health, bad for your teeth and bad for your budget. Switch to water, it is cheaper and much better for you. Even if you go with bottled water, you will save a ton versus canned soda. Want to save more? Get a water bottle and a reusable filter such as Brita.
- Use Less Juice
Electricity is expensive but there are so many ways to cut down on your usage. The biggest is to turn down the heat or air conditioning. Just changing the thermostat a few degrees can make a huge difference. A couple degrees cooler in the winter and a couple degrees warmer in the winter. Another big one is to turn down the temperature of your water heater. No need to keep it blasting full power when the water is not being used most of the time. Lastly, turn off your lights when not in use and unplug appliances or electronics that you do not use much. You might be surprised at just how much you can save.
- Have Company Over To Your House
Instead of a night out, invite people to your home. Make it pot luck and enjoy a cheap meal with people that you like. Chances are that you will have just as good of a time and the food and especially the drinks will be far cheaper.
- Get A Cheaper Cell Phone Plan
Cellular phones can be extremely expensive on the major carriers. Switch to a prepaid plan from services like Cricket. They use the same network as the bigger names and can save you a fortune. The only real difference is that you pay before you get the service instead of after.
- Grow Your Own Food
Even if you do not have a “green thumb” you can truly grow your own food. A little patch of earth and a some time and you can save money and probably get more nutritious food. There is also something zen about growing food. It makes you feel independent and powerful. In addition to food, do not forget herbs. Everything you spend big money on to season your food can be grown fresh and the kicker is, it makes your food taste better. Fresh herbs are far superior to dried ones.
- Use Your Discounts
Stores offer a number of discounts that you might not be aware of. Student discounts, Senior Citizen discounts, AAA member discounts, Police & Fire discounts and more. If you belong to any special group be sure to check if stores you frequent offer any discounts.
- Cut your Hair Yourself
This is mainly a tip for men. I will be the first to admit that women have it a bit tougher and usually have to shell out the cash for a professional haircut. Men get out a little easier if you are okay with a basic cut. I myself cut my own hair with a $20 hair trimmer. I like the short cut and there is no reason to pay $20 a cur for it. Do it yourself and save big each month. As a side benefit, you can cut your hair whenever you want, at any time.
- Buy Used
This can mean a lot of things. You can buy used clothing, used cars, used furniture, used electronics. Whatever you need to buy, you can probably buy it much cheaper when it is just a few months old. Shop at thrift marts, Craigslist, used clothing stores, etc. Remember, when you buy something, it is only new for one day and then it will be used for the rest of its life. Why not just get it used and save a fortune.
- Threaten To Cancel
If you take advantage of services like Hulu and Netflix, threaten to quit. If you start the cancellation process online, chances are you will get a money saving offer to stay before you can complete the cancellation. This is also very effective for cable and satellite and you might not even have to call. Visit the services website and see if they have online chat. If they do, inquire about cancellation and see what kind of offer they give you to stay.
- Make Shopping Lists
If you want to spend way too much money at the grocery store, go there without a list. No matter how good your memory is, you will buy things that you do not need if you do not have a list. Plan out your monthly meals and then write out what you need to cook them. Stick to your list and buy in bulk where possible. Want to save even more grocery shopping? Go there on a full stomach. It really works to cut down on impulse buys
- Stop Smoking
If you are still among the Americans who smoke, QUIT. I myself was a smoker so I understand the struggle. There are a lot of options out there for you to help you quit. You have patches, gum and new electronic cigarettes that can help you wean yourself off of nicotine. Need extra incentive? Think about the money that you spend every month on cigarettes. Not enough? Think about the time you spend on your addiction. Having to always stop at the store on the way home to pick some up. Having to go outside in the winter to light one up. There are just so many reasons to quit, so get on it.
- Take Advantage of Apps & Extensions
There are a ton of phone apps and browser extensions that can save you money. One of my favorites is Honey. Honey is a browser extension that automatically looks for savings when you buy something online. When you are at checkout, it looks for coupon codes and automatically applies them.
It also searches for the best price for you when shopping at places like Amazon. It will even go as far as to show you the recent price changes, cluing you in on what day of the week might be best to make a purchase on Amazon. I estimate I have saved a good 500 dollars over the lat year with Honey.
- Play Your Credit Card Companies
Use credit card companies against each other. If your credit is good, look for an interest free transfer offer. This can save you a ton of money in interest and may even allow you to pay down your credit card debt a lot faster. If you do not want to open more accounts, pretend to. Call your credit card company and say that you are considering transferring your balance away and see if they could lower your interest, eliminate any annual fees or both.
- Drive a Fuel Efficient Car
Gas is expensive and only gets more so. If you drive an average amount, switching to a more fuel efficient vehicle can pay huge dividends. Drive a big truck? If you never tow or haul, why not get a fuel efficient car or SUV instead.
- Have A Staycation
No reason to always travel Sometimes staying home can be just as rewarding. Look up your city attractions on the internet and see what there is. You might be surprised at all of the tourist attractions available to you that you do not know about or have forgotten about. Visit your city as a tourist but stay at home and save money.