The way I see it, we can keep hoping our boss will give us a big raise this year, or we can work on the other side of the income-expenses equation and look for savings around our home.
After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.
Some tips are fairly painless; others require a bit of work. However, when viewed in total you could experience significant savings by implementing all of the following ideas for saving money.
- Rather than buy memo pads, use the blank backs of junk mail that you receive. Cut large pieces into quarters for more convenience.
- Reduce your cable and Internet bills by calling your service providers and asking for the customer retention department. Ask them to give you a break on the monthly fees or you’ll go with someone else.
- For long term savings on your electric bills, replace your incandescent bulbs with fluorescent or LED bulbs.
- Don’t throw away recyclable bottles, cans, and plastic containers. Exchange them at your recycling center for cash.
- Don’t buy paper napkins for the home. Instead, bring home the extras that you get at fast food restaurants and coffee houses.
- Subscribe to emails and websites run by your favorite consumer brands. They’ll frequently send you discount coupons by email or post.
- Before shopping for groceries do a Google search for the product name and the word “coupon.” Print out any that you find to take shopping.
- Forget about subscribing to magazines, buying books, or renting DVDs. You can borrow all these entertainments for free at your local library.
- For a daily dose of freebie consumer products, visit or subscribe to Hey It’s Free.
- If you shave with a razor, don’t waste water by running the faucet. Instead, fill a large bowl with warm water to use for lathering shaving cream and rinsing your razor.
- Have fresh herbs on hand by growing your own in the kitchen.
- You can save $10 or more dollars per meal by packing your own lunch for work rather than eating out each time.
- Cancel your gym membership if you’re not using it. Exercise in parks or at community center gyms where you pay by the use.
- Avoid the expense of store-bought cleaners. Use a paste of baking powder and water to cut through stains.
- Buy food in bulk and then make large quantities of meals that last, such as stews and casseroles. Freeze whatever you can’t eat.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room. If that’s a problem, buy motion sensors that automatically switch lights on when you enter a space and off when you leave.
- Put a jar in the kitchen where you can throw loose pocket change. At the end of the year, empty the jar and spend the money on a treat.
- Trade babysitting chores with the neighbors.
- Seal your home against air leaks to save energy. Your local utility company can come down and do a free energy audit so you know where you’re wasting electricity.
- Minimize tub baths to a few times a year. Rely on quick showers instead.
- If you want to landscape your garden, ask for plant contributions from family, friends and co-workers.
Saving money around the house does not have to be time-consuming or painful. Starting with small changes can eventually add up to big dollars.