Even with a good income, it seems as though there is very little money left after paying bills. Fortunately, the economy has started to recover. Still, some people struggle financially. If that sounds familiar, how about some great news? You have multiple ways to save money, including the five discussed below.
Remember, these are just five out of hundreds of options. If you want to sock more money away in the bank or put it aside for a vacation, school tuition, home project, or another special expense, making these changes is an excellent place to start.
1. Lower Food Costs
The reality is that people spend far more money on food than necessary. Of all the different categories where you can reduce spending, this ranks at the top of the list. Learning how to make the right changes benefits everyone, but it is especially helpful to those with larger families.
If you do not currently maintain a budget, at least begin to track what you fork out each month on food. More than likely, the numbers will shock you. Following are some great tips to save money on food purchases.
Cut Back on Dining Out
Sure, it is nice to go out to eat, but if you do this often, you spend a significant amount of money, probably far more than you realize. Remember, eating out includes all eateries from fine dining to fast-food restaurants. Choose a reasonable number of times to dine out and then stick with it.
Whether you do this on a weekly or monthly basis, creating meal plans is another excellent way to save money. As part of that, be sure to include meals that you can make using leftovers.
Shop at a Discount Grocery Store
Most people have a favorite place to shop, but sometimes, that means paying too much for food items. So, consider buying groceries at a place with lower prices. Another option is to do the majority of your shopping at a discount store and then go to the grocers you prefer for certain items.
Look for Sale Items
As much as possible, buy food on sale. That will dramatically reduce what comes out of your wallet. You can find ads online or pick one up at the stores where you like to stop.
Make Bulk Purchases
If feeding more than just yourself, buying food in bulk is yet another viable solution. However, if you live alone or have a small family, you can always go with a friend or family member and then split the bulk food purchases.
2. Take Advantage of Discounts
A common misconception is that discounts are only offered to people over the age of 65. While these individuals do have some outstanding ways to save, so do others. Today, as companies compete for consumers’ business, finding discounts is much easier than you might think.
Now, if you are 65 or older, you can spend less at the grocery store by taking advantage of senior discounts. The same goes for retail stores, mechanic shops, restaurants, and more. However, you do not have to be older to save money. There are two excellent ways to spend less. That includes doing an online search for the various types of discounts available and never feel nervous to ask.
Amazingly, many businesses offer discounts, but it is up to the customer to ask for them. So, if you go somewhere, perhaps to take clothes to the dry cleaners, it never hurts to see if the company has anything to offer. The answer might surprise you.
If possible, find someone who lives relatively close to carpool with to and from work. That alone will make a significant difference in what you pay for gas. Now, if only one of you has a vehicle, the other individual might also kick in a nominal monthly fee to help with maintenance.
4. Auto Maintenance and Repairs
You can also save money by taking your car to the right mechanic or auto repair shop. Often, larger companies charge more. So, consider a locally- or family-owned business that employees a licensed mechanic. On a side note, you might think about getting an extended warranty on your vehicle. That way, if something goes wrong, you have protection that saves money.
5. Compare Car Insurance
You might have no idea that you spend too much on your policy. To avoid this, compare car insurance companies to see the available deals and offers. By using an online tool or contacting insurers individually, you can get information on policies, coverage, and rates. Whether you go with a different insurer or stay with the one that currently handles your policy, make sure you get all applicable discounts.