There are a lot of ways that you can save significant amounts of money by prudently marshalling your resources and spending wisely. Many of our topics suggest ways that savvy consumers can save tremendous amounts of money over time, whether by going without certain products or services, or by cutting back on certain purchases. Although we always like to save large amounts of money, it is important to remember that small savings add up, too.
For example, I just took out our trash. We had one trash barrel – our first in over a week. To be truthful, the barrel was only about 2/3 full, but it was getting a bit too “fragrant” so I had to bring it to the curb. Every barrel of trash costs us about $0.33 because the barrel liners that we use cost that much. We have to use the barrel liners because we live in a very hot climate and our barrels would give our garage a rather horrible smell if we just threw our trash into unlined barrels and allowed residue to build up over time.
Up until about a year ago, we usually had between six and eight trash barrels full of trash every week. That cost us about $3 or $4 per week, or $150 to $200 per year in trash barrel liners. After my company was sold, and I had some free time to consider all of the things that I could do better in my life, I realized that a lot of what we were throwing away was actually recyclable. Accordingly, I called our local solid waste department and requested recycling bins.
The change in our trash patterns was dramatic. I soon realized that just about everything we threw away was recyclable. This immediately cut our weekly trash by more than 80% because just about everything went out in our recycling bins (which are unlined and easy to rinse each week). Accordingly, by simply making an environmentally correct decision, I was able to greatly reduce the solid waste that I sent to landfills and save a few dollars per week by avoiding the need for trash barrel liners.
If you look around your house, you will find that there are several baby steps that you can take towards saving money. You might leave appliances, electronics and computers unplugged when they are not in use and thus cut a few dollars off of your electric bill each month. You might examine your cable TV bill and move to a less expensive package that excludes channels you rarely watch. Perhaps you will explore your brand loyalty and try out generic products that are a few cents cheaper than name brands. Whatever you do, every dollar you save, is one less dollar that you need to spend and they all add up.
What small steps have you taken to avoid costs? Do you think about savings if they amount only to a few cents here or there or a few dollars per week? Do you have a threshold below which you do not believe that savings are worth the effort? Or do you value every penny or dollar that you save?