I am always looking for ways to increase my savings. I know that I am no different than you, looking for ways to have more money for what I want most
All the articles I come across always cover areas to cut spending. Those areas included:
- services and utility bills,
- household expenses,
- transportation, and
- many more.
I’m highlighting 3 of your largest spending categories.
1. Save on groceries and food.
One of the best places to start is to have a grocery budget. At my house, this is the most difficult to control. I go to the store for milk and come out having spent $50 on impulse items. I know I am not alone on this.
Plan menus. Having meals planned out allows you to know exactly what you are going to the store for. Then make a grocery list and stick with it. I recommend having at least a two-week meal plan as this gives you the ability to buy foodstuffs in larger quantities.
There are many stores that carry bulk items, which can help you save. When you are shopping for bulk items, check unit prices compared to the unit price of your normal choices. Most of the time the bulk unit cost is cheaper. Also, when buying bulk items, do not buy just because it is a good price. Buy only what you will need!
Another chance to save is by taking inventory of the food already on hand to prevent spoilage. Look in the refrigerator, pantry, freezer, and/or storage area. Most of us do not know what we have so we end up purchasing duplicates.
If you use name brand products, consider changing to the generic brands. A good example, my wife and I shop at a store that carries Kroger products. Because this store is a Kroger affiliate, we discovered many Kroger products are as good as the name brand at lower prices. To make this worthwhile, be willing to investigate. Try buying a product, and see how it tastes. If the generic brand is as good as the name brand but it is cheaper, buy the generic and make the transition.
2. Save on services and utility bills.
Services and utilities include electricity, natural gas, and water.
To save on electricity, turn off the lights when not in the room or replace bulbs using energy efficient lights. Make your home energy friendly? Make sure your house is prepared for the cold and warm weather. Examples of actions to take:
- make sure good windows are in place,
- beef up the insulation to prevent heat loss, and
- close doors and windows when the air conditioning is on.
Heating and cooling costs can be lowered by having an electronic programmable thermostat. Adjusting temperature settings during evenings and when away from home can save on both natural gas and electricity. Remember in the winter, you can always put on clothes cheaper than paying for heating.
Another place to save is with services such as cable TV and internet. One of the things to consider is discontinuing cable TV. We use Roku and do not miss cable. Providers such as Netflix, Amazon, YouTube Red, Hulu and others can replace cable TV at a much lower price. Another item to consider is HD antennas. The one time cost of an antenna will allow you to get free public content.
3. Save on transportation and travel costs
Transportation can be expensive. Gas spending is something not always controlled. With the high cost of gas, it is worth the effort to plan out trips around town as well as vacations. Do the best you can to eliminate or shorten trips.
Only go to the store once or twice a month. Whenever possible use public transportation or walk. Walking is good for health.
The next tip is a tough one because most families want to have more than one car. If possible have only one car. You will save on gas, maintenance, tires, insurance, and unexpected repairs
You do not need a new vehicle. My accounting experience taught me as soon as you drive a new car off the lot, you lose thousands of dollars (new car premium). A good used car that has not been abused with 25,000 to 30,000 miles on it can save you that new car premium.
Make sure your vehicle has regular oil changes, rotate tires, change out filters, check belts and fix problems promptly. When you do the regular maintenance, you will save money and feel like you have a new car.
I have given you only a sneak peek at ways to pay less for what you want and need. By adding these 3 money saving habits into your life, you will free-up money for what you want.
Don’t Stew over Money!