Written By: Guest Blogger, Nicky Elkins
In today’s economy, people are always trying to find ways to save money. Some people think the only way to do that is to coupon or find sales deals. However, there are ways to save money without having to cut coupons. These few things will help you save money on a day to day basis, which adds up pretty fast.
Eat In More
Eating out can get very expensive very fast. By eating at home more often, or making your own lunch for work, you can not only cut the cost of eating out but you can also eat a little healthier. You can find many different recipes online for your favorite dish at a restaurant but costs less. When you make your own meals you can them out throughout the week. If you have left overs from dinner one night, you can have it for lunch the next day or day after. You can also plan your dinners and lunches out in advance and then take advantage of buy one get one free deals when you go to the store. If you don’t think you will have time to make dinner every night, you can pre-make some meals over the weekend, so all you have to do is pop it in the oven. Another great option for time constraints is using different crock pot recipes.
A lot of people prefer not to buy generic products because they don’t think it’s the same product as the name brand. However, because of FDA regulations, there are many products that you can buy the generic version of and get the same product. Some products that you can buy the generic versions of are medicine, chips, bread, flour, sugar, and even soap. The FDA requires medicine to have the same chemical makeup and amount as the name brand. There are some products though that you shouldn’t buy generic. Things like diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags won’t be made with the same quality and will be more likely to rip and tear. The brand name products are made with more fibers and are higher quality. Another option you have instead of buy brand name products is to make your own. You can make things like dish soap or laundry detergent at home with no harsh chemicals for a lot cheaper.
Reduce Your Utility Bills.
One of the biggest costs on an electric bill is the air conditioner. You can easily reduce over using your AC by getting a programmable thermostat. This will help prevent you from cooling or heating an empty house. You can also cut some costs on your electric bill by getting in the habit of turning lights off and unplugging electronics when you leave a room. Even if your electronics are turned off, they can still use phantom power which is why it is important to unplug them from the wall.
Lowering your water bill is also simple and easy. One way you can reduce your water usage is by installing a sprinkler system. This doesn’t have to be an extensive system; it could be just a couple of hoses, sprinklers, and some timers. A timed water system will prevent you from over watering your yard and from accidentally leaving the water on for hours. Another way to reduce your water usage is by turning off the water while brushing your teeth or even showering. You can lather your hair and body and only using the water to rinse. While this may not seem like you are saving a lot of money, but these small changes will add up over the months.
The best way to save money is to create a budget and try your best to stick to it. When you create a budget using something like QuickBooks software for accounting, or even just using Excel, you can easily see where you major expenses are and where you can cut down on spending. To help you stay within your budget, you should track your purchases. This will make you more aware of how much money you are spending. Another thing you can do when creating a budget is coming up with a savings plan and a goal. This goal could be anything from “I want to save an extra $100 a month” to “I want to have a down payment on a car/house.” Having a goal will give you a reason to stick to your budget.
Although a lot of people think that they need to cut coupons, bargain hunt, or even get two jobs in order to save money; it’s a lot easier than that. These few changes can help you save money on a daily basis and will add up throughout the year. If you wonder if there is an easier, cheaper way to do something, do some research online and you will probably find a DIY or “hack” to help you save some money.
America Saves Week is February 25 through March 2nd, 2013. Visit their official website to learn more about tools and information that can help you save money.