How to Save Money (Tips From Our Readers)
Save on Your Electric Bill
Many of you had great advice on how to save on your electric and utility bills. Below, you’ll find some that we think you’ll find as useful as we did:
- Get a smart meter installed to track what you’re using and how much. Life gets busy, so we tend to always lose track of how wasteful we might be being. In addition to unplugging appliances that are not in use (these can be the big money suckers on your bill), a smart meter will help you see how much you’re using so you can be much more mindful of shutting down. Just know the common concerns of using such a tool before you officially install it.
- Insulate and seal leaks around windows and doors. Especially if you have central air, this can help to keep heat out in the summer (reducing your need to use central air all day long) and heat in during the winter months. User Joan.of.the.Arch. added that multilayer curtains and also sealing the leaks around the pipes and wiring that penetrate the outer walls may also help in saving even more in energy costs.
- Don’t let your computer “sleep” all day. Instead, just shut it down completely when not in use. This includes other electronics you may leave plugged in or on sleep mode all day but do not actually use, like your television.
Save on Food
We need food to survive, and it is a regular expense in our lives. But, you all came up with some great ways to save on one of our basic needs, such as the following:
- Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk helps you save when done correctly. Make sure to not buy perishables in bulk unless you go through them quickly enough, like eggs. However, you can also call the distributor for items you buy a lot and see what the minimum order is. From there, you can team up with friends and family and make the purchase at wholesale without worrying about the price markup.
- Make food ahead of time…then freeze it. Saving Advice reader msarro suggested making large batches of breakfast and snack foods over the weekend and freezing them. Then, when you are in a rush for work, you can just heat them up in the microwave instead of stopping somewhere and spending more money on something like fast food. A little tweak like this can go a long way for your wallet.
- Shop smart. Using coupons and always looking out for sales are tried and true tips that do help you save over time. Check out this past post from the Saving Advice crew on how to save while grocery shopping.
- Stop buying lunch at work. Make an effort to always pack your lunch. Use leftovers from dinner if you must, but user 7Figures states he realized he was spending about $10-12 per week on food at work, which comes up to $2,880 per year. Imagine putting that extra $2,000 in savings throughout the course of the year instead!
Other Ways to Save:
There were so many good suggestions in our forum, it was hard to pick just a few. But, here are some suggestions you all gave on how to save money in other areas of our lives:
- Purchase a cheaper car for cheaper car insurance. Jadet brings up a good point that low profile cars tend to have cheaper car insurance policies. Don’t waste money where it doesn’t need to be wasted.
- Do a subscription audit. It’s easy to forget how many monthly subscriptions or memberships we’re paying for and not using. Check your bank account and email list and cancel anything you have not used in months or no longer need. Even if it is only $20 here and there, that is an extra $20 you can add toward debt or put in your savings.
- Be leery of false deals. Just because a company calls you claiming you can save money by switching to their service does not mean you should. Do your research, ask whether or not it is promotion, and compare the long-term numbers. You could accidentally end up switching to something that ends up actually costing you more.
Saving money takes dedication, some sacrifice, and due diligence, but with consistent efforts, you’ll be saving more in no time. Thanks for all your contributions, and if you have anything to add on how to save money, be sure to start your own thread in our forums!