You probably already know some of the basics—like how making your own coffee or bringing your lunch to work can save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you are doing that, definitely keep it up!
But let’s look at a few other ways you can save on everyday expenses, and how some simple decisions that you make every day can help you save money.
The supermarket is a great place to start because there are a lot of easy ways to cut down on your shopping bill. You may already be doing things like: making a list to cut back on impulse buying, clipping coupons or using apps to find deals, and even looking at the price-per-unit to help you get the most for your money…
But there are even more ways you can save.
For example, when you see a sale or discount, be strategic.
Sales and discounts can be great opportunities to save on things you need but stores often offer incentives for items that a lot of people wouldn’t normally get. So, it can pay to be selective when considering any discounts you might be offered.
And while you’re considering priorities– spend on what’s important, save on what’s not:
For example, for some people, things like organic foods or your favorite brands might be important to you, for others what’s important may be different. The point is that it might be worthwhile to spend a bit more on the items you care about.
But look for ways to save on the things that are less important to you to keep you on budget.
Finally, before you even make a shopping list, consider your actual eating and cooking habits. A good idea is to plan your meals ahead of time or challenge yourself to eat at least one more meal at home each week. This may help prevent you from tossing out spoiled groceries that you didn’t eat, or ordering take-out because you didn’t buy enough food for the week. This can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Keeping with household expenses and bills… You probably already turn off the lights when you leave a room and unplug gadgets when you aren’t using them, right?
But there are some other small changes you can make that can help you save even more around the house.
For example, did you know that most utility companies charge more for electricity during different parts of the day? Peak hours—like the middle of the day when more people are using electricity—often have substantially higher rates compared to early mornings or late at night.
Doing your laundry or running your dishwasher off-peak can likely help you save on your utility bill. You can check out your utility company’s website to see if they list their peak hours or contact them directly.
Let’s move on to transportation. Gas prices can be unpredictable, but technology could be a way to help you save. There are plenty of websites and apps that can help you locate which gas station in your area might be offering the cheapest prices.
And depending on how often you drive and where you live, you may consider ditching your car altogether.
Public transportation might be one option and there are a number of car-sharing programs that allow you to affordably rent vehicles short-term. And for the truly dedicated- how about biking? It’s certainly a cost-effective and healthy alternative to both driving and public transportation.
It can be easy to follow others into overspending. But try getting creative and occasionally plan activities with your friends and family ahead of time that can help you avoid temptations like a spontaneous meal out.
Saving money doesn’t have to mean sacrificing fun.
It pays to take some time to figure out where you’re spending and what you’re willing to cut back on. You don’t necessarily have to do the math on every single decision you make—but being mindful of where your money is going and how simple trade-offs here or there can add up over the long run can help you get creative and find your own ways to trim costs every day.