In today’s tough economy, sticking to a careful budget is more important than ever before. But individuals who want to save money don’t need to worry — these 10 simple tips can help anyone cut costs on a daily basis:
Opt for snacks from home. If you work or go to school outside of your home, you’re probably tempted to buy drinks and snacks throughout the day. Unfortunately, this can get quite expensive. Try bringing snacks and drinks from home instead. You can buy snack mixes, crackers and fruits in bulk at great prices and put them in reusable containers.
Choose cheap commuting options when possible. Driving to work every day can lead to big gas and car repair costs. Skip the expense and worry of driving to work by choosing to bike, take a bus or carpool. Commuting on public transit even once or twice a week can make a big impact on your pocketbook.
Make smart entertainment decisions. Almost everyone loves going out the movie theater or seeing a show. Instead of going to a high-priced nighttime movie, head out to a matinee. Check your community calendar for fun, free events that the whole family can attend. Remember to pack your own snacks if you’re headed to outdoor shows and festivals.
Learn how to rotate food in your refrigerator. Food represents one of the highest overall costs for most families. To keep your food budget in line, be sure to cut down on waste. Go through your refrigerator and shelves once a week to look for any items that are about to expire or spoil. Rotate these items to the front of the shelf or fridge so that you can cook them quickly.
Skip meat one day a week. Many individuals now laud the health benefits of a meat-free life. In addition to its health benefits, skipping meat can also be a great money-saving measure. You don’t need to become a vegetarian or vegan to save money with this tip. Simply choose to skip meat one day a week. You might be surprised at how much you can save.
Carefully review your insurance policies to be sure you’re not paying for services you don’t need. Before renewing your car, home or life insurance, be sure to carefully read all policy terms. Carefully evaluate if you need all the services for which you are paying. If you need roadside assistance coverage, check into a specialty company such as AAA. They may provide this coverage at a lower cost than your insurance company. You can also go online to compare cheap auto insurance rates.
Always make a grocery list. Impulse purchases in the grocery store can put a big dent in anyone’s food budget. Even if you’re just going to the grocery store to buy a few items, make a list. Make a commitment to yourself to stick to the list.
Shop alone. In addition to making a shopping list, you should head to the grocery store alone if at all possible. This will help you to avoid impulse buys. Also be sure to eat before heading to the grocery store. A full stomach can help you to avoid a wide range of food temptations.
Consider homemade cleaning products. Ditch expensive glass and tile cleaners. You can make great home care products with basic ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda. You’ll enjoy the benefits of cleaning without dangerous chemicals too.
Pass on disposable items. Skip disposable kitchen wipes, paper plates and plastic flatware. These items come at a high fiscal and environmental cost. Choose sturdy, long-lasting items instead.
Photo Credit: Nurse Carla