We know that times are tough. I mean, really tough. Now is the time to watch every penny that you spend, so that you can purchase more in the same budget or even better, put that money in emergency funds. How can you accomplish this, especially when the prices are rising?
Well, I can tell you a number of ways to save money on household expenses. You just need to put them in practice.
Saving on Grocery Bills
A good part of our monthly income is spent on grocery shopping, and the budget may even go higher depending on whether it’s a holiday or a birthday where you need to feed more people. Though using coupons certainly helps, there are other ways too. Scan the circulars regularly. If there is a non-perishable item on sale, pick it up if you use it often even if don’t need it right away.
Don’t be loyal to any particular brand, and do some comparison shopping. You can find so many things of similar quality at prices much lower than your favorite brand.
Are you among those who go to purchase just a few items but come back with loads of stuff? That’s impulse shopping and most of us do that. To avoid it from happening again, shop with a list. Jot down all that you need each week, then go shopping. Don’t buy anything that is not on the list unless you forgot something truly important. If you get tempted to purchase an extra item upon reaching the store, do not purchase it right away. Finish your purchasing from the list, go home, and think over it. If you really need it, add it to the next week’s shopping list.
Eating out harms you in two ways. It is always costlier than eating at home, and it makes you fat, no matter whether you are buying a quick snack at a fast food restaurant, vending machine or a convenience store. Avoid this problem by carrying snacks wherever possible.
Examine Your Entertainment Spending
Do you watch a lot movies at the theater or rent a lot of movies through a mail order service? Get them from the library where movies are free if you return them on time. Do the same for books. Many zoos, museums, art galleries offer “Discount Days” where they reduce the prices or even offer free admission. Take advantage of them.
Find out any similar places or situations where you can make cuts. Why not enjoy a free concert instead of the paid one? Why not go on a picnic instead of eating out?
Lower Your Utility Usage
Do you get a headache when you open the utility bill every month? Go negotiate a lower rate with your electric company. Hey, just kidding. You can’t do that, but there are ways you can reduce the electricity consumption.
Don’t forget to turn off the lights when they are not in use. Get a programmable thermostat. Lowering your home’s temperature by just one degree Celsius can reduce your heating bill by 5%. Wash your clothes in cold water. Purchase only Energy Star appliances. Just look around and you will find many such ways to reduce your energy bills.
Reduce Your Insurance Premiums
Insurance is costly. Believe it or not, you can shave off hundreds of dollars from your current premium by shopping around a little. You will be surprised to know how much the premiums from two different companies differ for the same coverage. If still you can’t find a better rate, ask your current insurer if they offer any discount for multiple policies.
Roll Back on Extras
By extras I mean anything that is not extremely important. Do you really need a satellite package ($55) or premium cable ($60) or call waiting ($9) or caller ID ($6)? Review the list of your monthly expenses, and find out what you can live without.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Do you enjoy the privilege of paying bills late every month? If so, you are paying extra money. Get back to normal. Pay your bills on time to avoid the late fees and rate hikes.
The key to frugal living is to take an honest look at your spending, and see if there is a possibility of spending less or eliminating an expense altogether.
Do you have other money saving tips that you would like to share?
Good tips Dominique It’s always necessary to save money on household expenses but one of the things that I’ve learned to do is to never try out products I am not sure of, simply because they are cheaper than my usual brand, because most often I end up buying two products for one household purpose since the new one I tried was not at par with my expectation.
Good point, but you try a few products until you find the ones you will use the most
Great tips, Dominique! Thanks for this. Especially appreciated the utility usage aspect.
Thanks for this, Dominique. I think we all focus so much on the money we’re bringing in, that we quickly forget how powerful saving on the little things can be. I know that my breakfast every morning is almost a $300 monthly expense. You can quickly see how these things add up.
Damn 300 on breakfast! What are you eating?
The obvious is taking your lunch to work. I have been doing it for 40 years.
You probably had some serious savings over the 40 years.
I keep snacks in my desk at work for times when I’m feeling hungry. Because I work in Times Square, a “snack” could set me back $7-8.
Those must be some amazing snacks or you might be paying an up charge due to the location.
Carrying snacks is one of the easiest and most effective money-saving tips. I keep a stash of protein bars and granola bars in my purse at all times. If the urge to buy something on-the-go hits, I just snack on a bar. It holds me over until I can get back home. I even subscribe to the bars on Amazon, so I don’t have to bother driving to the store to replenish my supplies — they just show up on my doorstep.
That’s great future planning Paula. Good work
Coupons and loyalty cards are very big help for me to save. I always carry my coupons and cards everytime I go out on a grocery.
I find that I often forget I have the coupons on me when grocery shopping. Do you ever have the same issue?
Good post Dominique; these all are easiest ways to save money on household expenses, Thanks.Bulk buying, immediately eliminate unnecessary routine purchases, Cell Phone Saving Plans that’s another way to save money.
Cellphone is definitely a good place to save money. When was the last time your changed your plan or companies?
Thanks for reply Dominique, Actually last year; I had only saved 17% of my income that’s bad for me. This Jan, I have changed my plan and created own New Year resolutions. Hope I will archive my target this year.
Save on your smartphone bill! Smartphone bills can be outrageous. We just ‘upgraded’ to Republic Wireless – just $19 a month for unlimited talking, texting and surfing. At first it sounded too good to be true so we just bought one, and have just ordered three more. We had to buy their phone and it is not subsidized, but still it is easy to see how we will save big bucks with both my husband and I and our teenagers smartphones. The phone uses both wi-fi and cellular – so Wi-Fi when you can, which we already pay for via our cable carrier, and the Sprint network when we don’t have Wi-Fi coverage. Although they recently announced the Wi-Fi+ app which automatically credentials the phone on public hotspots around the world.
Wow.. That’s a great deal. How is your service?
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