When you think about making budget cuts, you probably think about ways to slash huge amounts off your expenses. The truth is though that big cuts are hard to come by and it is the little things that really matter. A dollar here and a dollar there really add up. Take a look at our simple and easy ways to save money. Put as many of them into pay as you can and you will see the difference in the end.
- Cut Out Soda
Your body will thank you as much as your budget will. Cola can cost as much as $5 for a 12 pack and $3-$4 a drink at a restaurant. If you drink as little as 3 servings of soda a day, you can save $35 a month on canned soda by switching to water.
- Get Rid Of Your Home Phone
Do you still have one of these things. They are really only useful to the telemarketers calling you. Ditch your land line and save another $30 to $40 a month.
- Brown Bag It
If you eat fast food every day, that is an easy $6 to $10 a day you are spending when you can feed yourself from home for just $1 to $2. That is a savings of at least $4 a day and as much as $9 a day. Considering a 5 day work week, that is $80 to $180 a month.
- Switch To Prepaid Cellular Plans
Those prepaid carriers like Cricket use the same towers as the big guys. The only difference is that you pay the bill at the beginning of the month instead of the end and that there is no contract, a plus. You will no longer get subsidized phones but you can easily cut your monthly payments in half or even less.
- Cut Out Meat Once A Week
I am as much of a carnivore as anyone but I realize two things. One, we eat too much meat and that is not healthy. Two, meat is expensive. Cut out meat from your family meal one night a week and save an easy $40 a month.
- Reduce Hot Water Expense
Your hot water heater uses a ton of electricity. Change the factory 140 degree setting to a more economical 120 degrees, still plenty hot. Also reduce your hot water usage by taking shorter showers and switching to cold water laundry cycles. It costs about $60 to $70 a month to run the average electric hot water heater. Shave an easy $20 a month off your electric bill with these tips.
- Raise Your Insurance Deductibles
If your car insurance deductible is just 500 dollars, consider setting it to 1000 dollars. If your home owners insurance deductible is 1000 dollars, get an estimate for switching it to 1 percent. The savings can be huge and if you have a well stocked savings account, you are just throwing money away with low deductibles.
- Grocery Shop Loss Leaders
Every week, your local grocery store will put a few items on sale super cheap. The idea is to lure you in so that you buy more expensive items when you get there, these are known as loss leader. Shop them exclusively and stock up. If hamburger is on sale, buy as much as you can and freeze it. Skip all the other items and just by the loss leaders. Using this method for meat alone can cut an easy 30 percent off your costs.
- Go To The Dollar Movies
Dollar movies are more like $2 to $3 these days but they sure are cheaper than the $10 to $13 that you would pay for new movies. It is the same experience but you would just be a few months behind on new releases. For a family of four that goes to the movies once a week, you can save at least $28 a week or $112 a month.
- Cut Cable Or Satellite
Everyone is doing it anyway. Cable and satellite as we know it is just about dead. Cut them out and switch to a streaming service and save an easy $80 to $90 a month. If you must have cable, use a streaming channel package from a company like Sling and still save $60 a month.
- Rotate Streaming Services
If you use Netflix and are tired of it, cancel it and switch to Hulu for a bit. If you are using Hulu, why not cancel it and try Netflix for a bit. Funny thing happens when you cancel a streaming service, you start getting offers for free months to come back. Use these offers to cut your streaming costs.
- Audit Your Internet Plan
Are you paying too much for internet? Check out other providers and see if you can get a better deal. Just be cautious to read uptime reviews and if you stream, watch out for data caps. Before you switch, start up an online chat session with your current provider and see if they can make you a better offer to stay.
- Program That Thermostat
Just about every home these days comes with a programable thermostat but few people take the time to put it to use. It is a myth that it takes less energy to keep a home at a set temperature. In the summer, set your home to be warmer when you are away and do the opposite in the winter. It can knock an easy 10 percent off your HVAC electricity usage.
- Grocery Shop Online
Curbside pickup can be a huge money saver. It lets you shop for the groceries you need without distracting end caps or grocer tricks. Believe me, those grocery stores are designed to make you spend more. Shop online instead without distractions, its free.
- Sign Up For E-Clubs
If you like to dine out, this is a great way to save money at restaurants. Almost every major chain has an e-club that you can join. Do so and you should start getting monthly if not weekly coupons off meals.
This can also be a useful trick for major brands that you use like Pilsbury.
- Use The 30 Day Rule
For any purchase over 100 dollars, wait thirty days. If you still want it, get it. This eliminates our need for instant gratification and will keep you from buying a lot of useless items.
- Freeze Leftovers
Americans throw away a tremendous amount of food. Instead of throwing it away, freeze it. Once a week have leftover night where you take it all out for a smorgasbord.
- Buy Generic Brands
Most store brands are made by the major manufacturers, just without the pretty labels. Try store brands and save an easy 40 percent off of the cost of the name brands.
- Take Care Of Your Tires
This means keep them inflated and rotate them when required. Most people do not do this and it results in voided warranties and tires being replaced early. If you are replacing those 50,000 mile tires at 40,000 miles, you are giving up 20 percent of their life. That is a lot of money.
- Buy Used Cars
Buying a used car, even just one year used, can help you save that costly first year of depreciation. It can easily be 20 percent, so buy used.
If you must buy new, think base package. Those fancy tech packages cost thousands and add little to the eventual resale value of your vehicle.