It seems that the price of everything is rising and our paychecks are shrinking. It can become overwhelming. But if you take small steps every day, you can start saving money without causing a major disruption in your life.
- Save on heating bills. Put on warmer clothes or cuddle under a blanket if possible. Don’t forget to regularly change the furnace (or air conditioning) filter for highest efficiency.
- Lower your electric bill. Turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. Open the curtains for natural light. Unplug electronics when you are using them (toasters, radios, etc). Don’t leave the TV on all day and/or night.
- Borrow, don’t buy. Borrow movies, books, CDs from the library instead of buying or renting them (many libraries also have eBooks to borrow now too). Or you can borrow from friends, just make sure to return them on time.
- Save on gas. Walk whenever you can, you’d be surprised how fast you can walk 1/2 mile to pick up something from the store. If you have more than one stop, figure out the most efficient route. Also, don’t drive around looking for a close parking spot when you do have to drive. Simply find a spot quickly and walk the rest of the way.
- Save on meat. Go meatless for dinner a couple times a week. You can find great recipes online and you and your family will be healthier too.
- Use local produce for meals. Or at least buy what is in season. Some produce markets have recipes in the store or you can find the recipes online.
- Save money on your laundry. Hang your clothes on a line to finish drying. Okay, this one is not so simple, but you can run a load long enough to get the wrinkles out and then hang it up for it to finish drying to same money. Some people even do this indoors in the winter. Also make sure you have a clear spot for dirty clothes. If you don’t, you may end up washing clothes that are already clean.
- Save on water bills. Turn off water when you are not using it, such as when your brushing your teeth or hand washing dishes. Or at least run a full load of clothes or dishes when you are using your washer.
- Say no to gym fees or exercise classes. Go for a walk (enlist a walking buddy if you need to socialize) or use exercise videos at home. You can even go (walk if possible) to the library to see if they have free videos to borrow.
- Save on groceries. Clip coupons from the Sunday paper or print them from the computer. Try to only buy what’s on sale. Don’t be afraid of store brands if that’s your cheapest option. If you have a little extra money, stock up on really good sales if you know you are going to use the product later (this wastes money if you are not going to use the product later).
- Save on bottled water. Buy a water filter pitcher for your refrigerator (you get cold, filtered water this way) or install a water filter on your faucet. Use reusable water bottles for the filtered water whenever you are on the go.
- Do simple car repairs yourself. You can find information on how to change a headlight or windshield wipers in your car’s manual. You can also find information online. A car loving friend may be willing to come teach you some stuff for an evening, many times just for a home cooked meal or cookies.
- Do simple home repairs yourself. Again, you can easily go to the library or check online for how-to information. You would be surprised how easy it is to fix a clog, change a light switch, or fix a leaky faucet.
Even if you can’t do all these things, you can save money buy implementing a couple into your daily routine. You will feel a little bit empowered by doing them and you will have more money in your bank account.