By thinking smart and acting smart you will be able to save hundreds of dollars throughout the year. With the money that you are saving you can establish your emergency fund, grow your savings, and add it to your budget for vacation or a wish list purchase.ex
Little Ways to Save Hundreds of Dollars
Turn everything off when you are not home.
There is no need for the television to blare, the lights to be on, and the music to be playing. Your computer uses quite a bit of energy. Turn it off-off (not just to sleep) when you leave the house.
To save the most money, ditch cable altogether. If this is too hard, consider going down to the most basic cable package available.
Ditch the landline.
Save $20 to $25 each month by giving up your landline and using a cell phone instead. If you have high speed internet consider a Voice Over IP phone (that’s what we have). You can choose between Ooma, Nettalk, Obi, and a few others.
Use a prepaid cellular phone service.
Prepaid cell plans have come a long way over the years. I love my prepaid cell phone. We pay $35 (no taxes or fees) a month for my Cricket Wireless plan and I have an iPhone. It is such a great deal. You can build your own plan and pay for what you use instead of getting stuck with a plan that consists of many things you don’t use (text, data, or talking).
Install a programmable thermostat.
With a programmable thermostat you can control the temperature while everyone is out of the house. Work around your family’s schedules and schedule the thermostat as needed for appropriate cooling and heating. The Nest is a device that my husband purchased on sale, and we have really come to love it.
Drink coffee instead of fancy cappuccinos.
The $2 savings per cup could fun your emergency fund within a year.
Bring lunch to work.
Prepack your lunch before work and brown bag it. There are some awesome lunch containers that make packing a lunch incredibly easy!
Drink water instead of soda pop.
Water is free, healthy, and essential. Ditch those expensive (less healthy) beverages and stick with water.
Eat out fewer times per month.
You do not have to give up totally on eating out. Limit your restaurant excursions to once or twice a month.
One of the best things you can do is to plan a meal menu so you know what you need to buy at the store. Then you can shop the sales flyers and determine where you can get the required items at the best price.
Stick to your grocery list.
Make a grocery list, check it twice, and stick to it while you are shopping. Avoid impulse buys and things you don’t really need.
Buy produce in season.
Being seasonal means you will save money on produce. It is always a good idea to buy what is in season because it will be priced the most competitively with other stores. Watermelons in the winter are expensive, but it is a good time to buy apples!
Print coupons from Coupons.com, Redplum, Smartsource, and more!
Use cash back apps and sites.
I cannot say enough good things about money saving phone apps. You can use coupons with these offers and you can even double dip between the cash back apps (when applicable).
Shop at more stores.
Determine what you need for the week and shop the sales. You could shop at Walmart and have them price match all the competitor’s ads.
Use what you buy.
Don’t let food go to waste! Use what you buy. Sometimes that means a creative soup or a funky fruit salad or smoothie. When you throw food away you essentially throw money away.
Freeze what you don’t use.
If you are not going to use something, freeze it. Pizza sauce can be frozen in ice cube trays and put on snack size pizzas. Bread and cheese can be tossed it the freezer too. It’s like having a little stockpile in the freezer when you freeze what you don’t use.
Visit the library.
Borrow books and DVD’s from your library. See if you library has a digital borrowing service. If you can’t find what you are looking for there is a chance you could receive the item from an inter-library loan.
Download free books at Amazon.
Amazon has a huge selection of free Kindle books. You do not need to have a Kindle to read these books! There are free apps that will allow you to read them on your computer, phone, and more.
Check your community calendar for free events.
Community centers often have calendars of local, free events in the community. From movie night to BINGO there may be something you can do for free or a very reduced rate in your town.
Sit higher up.
If going to a sporting event is in your future, opt for tickets that are in the upper tiers. Despite being called “nose bleed” seats you will have a great view if you take binoculars. 🙂
Watch the big game from home.
Instead of heading to the sports bar or arena, watch your favorite game from home or from a friend’s house.
Stop going to the movie theater…..or at least stop eating there!
Waiting until a movie is released onto DVD will save you a ton of money. Morning matinees are the best bet for saving money if you are going to see a movie. You can purchase discount tickets from Costco if you are a member. For the love of your health and your wallet……..stop eating at the movie theater! If you happen to eat there….share those giant sized portions with a friend.
Your favorite song comes on the radio and you want to listen to it over and over. So do it, but buy that single song instead of the entire album.
Eat appetizers at home.
If you are headed out to eat, eat some appetizers at home. Appetizers can cost as much as $10. Think about how quickly that adds up!
Don’t pay online ticket surcharges
Avoid online ticket surcharges by purchasing tickets at the venue itself.
Switch to Free Checking
Search for a credit union or bank that offers free checking. Credit unions tend to have lower rates than giant banking corporations.
Avoid bank fees.
Stop bouncing checks so you can avoid those pesky bank fees. It may seem impossible, but using these methods to save money you will be able to create an emergency fund and start digging yourself out of debt.
Reduce your credit card rates.
Call your credit card company and request a lower interest rate. If that credit card refuses to budge, call another and ask about balance transfers with a lower rate. Be sure to pay attention to the balance transfer free. Sometimes it just isn’t worth it to transfer!
Pay your bills on time to avoid late fees.
Create a calendar of Bill Due Dates. Get into the habit of paying your bills a few days early. This will help your credit score as well as your finances.
Use your bank’s ATM to avoid fees.
Stop getting money out of ATM’s that charge you a fee! ATM fees range from $1.25 to $7.00. It’s silly to pay that money when you can take money out of your own bank’s ATM or get cash back at the grocery store.
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Julie Cohn says
These are great tips, and even just doing a few of these will save a lot of money. Thank you!
Allie D. says
I really like these tips. My husband and I do our best to stick to all you have listed above. I think the hardest for us stopping for that drink or coffee on the go. Definitely something to always remain conscious of as we save money.
Tammi @ My Organized Chaos says
These are awesome tips, there are many things that I should be doing – I feel like I’m throwing money away right now!
I try hard to lead a very ‘green’ life and I have found that things that reduce our carbon footprint quite often help us save money, too! Cutting utilities, buying second hand, cooking from scratch, etc!