Want to save money? Everyone does.
Small steps over the course of the year add up to big savings when you look back on them. Much like the anti-smoking line “Imagine how much you’d save in a year if you quit smoking.” And if you do smoke, quit now, please. If not for you health, then for your finances
Here are 16 ways to pinch that add up to big savings over the course of a year.
1. Compare store prices for the basics in your pantry. This will help you decide which store offers the most competitive price for those products. Stock up in bulk, when larger saving opportunities present themselves.
2. Never shop when you are hungry. Everything looks good.
3. Make a list before you go and stick to it. Impulse purchases are budget killers.
4. When you buy meat or packages of poultry buy the family sized cuts. You can repackage them to the size your family needs on your meals before putting them in the fridge or freezer.
5. Know your vehicle’s fuel preferences. Ethanol gasoline is usually cheeper than regular 87 octane, but the higher combustion point usually shaves a couple miles off each gallon. Run a couple tanks of each and track your mileage per tank to determine the best option for your vehicle.
6. Going shopping? Shop with cash rather than your debit card. You are more likely to overspend with plastic – even if it is a debit card – than you will with cash in your pocket.
7. Have magazine subscriptions? Cancel them. Most pubs are running the same articles for free on their websites a couple weeks after the print issue comes out.
8. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle. Used clothes can be reused into washing sponge or cleaning clothes. Some garbage companies are also partnering up with recycling reward programs.
9. Shop off-season. Sure, your kids may feel the social pressure to be up to date with their stylings, but you don’t.
10. Gardening. Not only can you save money on produce in the late summer, but you are also taking a step toward self-sustainability which is also a hip skill in this day and age. So forego your style and be a hipster.
11. Buying items in packages costs less than purchasing individual wraps.
12. Breast milk is still best for babies so feed them with your own milk instead of milk formula.
13. Set up a babysitting coop with other parents in your neighborhood. Returning the favors with neighbors sure beats the $20-$50 that usually goes in to a babysitter’s hand after a night out.
14. Homemade products such as pastries and cookies are good gifts to give on occasions. Try doing some for gifts rather than buying from stores.
15. Be an usher to concerts or plays in order to get free special pass on these events, not to mention a nice part-time job.
16. How old is your vehicle and are you still carrying comprehensive insurance? Generally speaking, as your vehicle’s value drops to around the $2-3000 range it doesn’t make financial sense to carry anything other than liability. Take that difference and stick it in the bank in case your vehicle does meet with an accident (that is your fault).