Saving money can seem really hard, but in reality, it just takes a bit of creative thinking. There are a ton of ways that you can save and chances are good that you’re overlooking them. While these aren’t all of the ways that you can find, these 16 ways to save today are ones that are easily overlooked, but ones that can really help you cut your expenses.
1. Ditch the expensive cleaners – Instead of paying for expensive cleaners, clean your house using nothing but vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice or oil and salt. Your home will be healthier and so will your budget.
2. Turn down your fridge thermostat – Believe it or not, your fridge can be set at or below 40 degrees fahrenheit. By setting your fridge at lower temperatures, you’re only costing yourself money in both electric use and in frozen foods that may not do so well being frozen.
3. Reuse your tea bags – Did you know that tea bags and coffee grounds can be used more than once? For tea bags, dry them out and reuse a second time. For coffee grounds, you can typically get a second pot out of the grounds. They both can be used more than twice, however the strength and flavor of your drinks won’t be as good.
4. Skip boneless, skinless chicken breast – Did you realize that you’re paying at least $0.20 more per pound for the convenience of not having to debone that piece of chicken yourself? Instead of buying the convenience, buy the cheaper bone in option and spend the three minutes it takes to do it yourself.
5. Reuse Ziploc Bags – Know all of those Ziploc baggies that you’re throwing away? Stop it! They can be washed out, dried and reused. The only time you should NOT reuse them is if they have held meat. The possible illnesses is not worth the little bit you would save.
6. Skip the ATM – If your ATM charges you fees? Skip it and head to the bank instead to get your cash. You save every single ATM fee and at an average of $2 each time? You can really rack up some savings.
7. Drink water when you’re eating out – Instead of paying for an expensive beverage when you eat out? Order water with a lemon instead. You will save an average of $2 each time.
8. Speaking of eating out? Split the Meal – Adult sized portions in most restaurants are usually much more food than what one adult can eat in one sitting. Instead of paying for 2 dishes, split it with your partner (or child) and only pay for one entrée.
9. Stop buying paper towels – Even with a coupon, you will still save more money by not using them all together. Instead, use old towels and clothing to make rags.
10. Use every last drop – Most of the items we use in our daily lives comes in bottles that sometimes leave more than you might expect in the bottom of the bottle when it seems “empty.” Instead of tossing that bottle when it gets hard to pull it from, add a little bit of water (as long as water won’t ruin it) or turn the bottle or tube upside down and let it sit. You would be surprised at just how many more uses you’ll get.
11. Cover your windows – Most people know that if you have older windows covering them in plastic can save you during the winter, but not everyone makes the connection that it can during the warmer months too. Not only that? Buying blackout or thermal curtains can help keep you warm (or cool) too.
12. Tighten your gas cap – If you’re looking to cut your gasoline costs, make sure your gas cap is tightened. If it’s not, you can actually lose pressure in your tank through any leaks causing your car to have to work a bit harder to run. Plus, you run the risk of having your check engine light come on.
13. Change your Oil – Speaking of your car? If your oil needs changed? Your engine won’t run at its best which not only cost you in gas costs, but can can also cost you in repair.
14. Use store gift card promotions – Does your local grocery store offer promos of gift cards every so often? If so, use those promos to help you save on things you buy. Buy gift cards to stores or gas stations that you shop on a regular basis and use the points or promo that you receive to save in another area.
15. Shop Once a Month – Ready for something you may already know but are overlooking big time? The more you shop, the more money you spend. Instead of shopping weekly, shop once a month. Take it one stop further and cook once a month and you’ll save even more.
16. Use your bank's bill pay – If your bank has bill pay, use it to pay instead of your debit card online. You will save yourself any debit card fees that your utility companies charge. Plus, if you schedule your bills as soon as you receive them, you won't have to worry about paying any late fees.
What about you? How do you save money?