Tips on how to save money come a dime a dozen. You already know that you should be skipping that morning latte and packing your own lunch to save a few hundred dollars a year. But what about when you feel like you’ve pinched your last penny and still don’t have room in the budget? These tips are for you.
Invest in a Freezer: Many individuals miss out on the opportunity to stock up on meat and cheese sales because they don’t have the freezer room. A nice sized, energy efficient freezer will set you back about $200-300. However, the savings will be immediate. Many stores will mark down their meats 50% or more when it is close to the sell by date. With an extra freezer, you can take advantage of these sales. With the extra meat available, you can then skip a month or two of buying meat, which will reflect a huge savings in your grocery bill. Don’t just stop at clearance meats, though. You can freeze just about anything.
Install Dual-Flush Toilet System: Do you realize how much water you are wasting every day just by doing your business? It takes about 3.5 gallons of water per flush. I don’t know about your bathroom habits, but for me , that is a lot of flushing. Most home repair stores and even Costco sells a dual-flush conversion set. The cost is less than $20 (note- they sell special dual-flush toilets too, which will run for more). This flushing system has a half flush for pee and a full flush for business number two. The money saved is quite a lot if you use your toilet a lot. For example, for me, a stay at home mom who cloth diapers and drinks a lot of water – the money saved is evident within a month or two. For others who work away from home for majority of their day, it may take a year to see the savings.
Homemade Cleaners and Detergent: It may not seem like that $3 glass cleaner is ruining your budget, but think again. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average family spends over $600 on cleaning items annually. To save big, you have to start small to change your family’s cleaning budget. Start with reusable mops heads or dusters. Just throw them into the wash when you are done.
Next, look up homemade cleaner recipes; there are a lot of great ones out there. While many of the recipes rely on vinegar, you can also search for vodka-based cleaners. The upfront cost to buy the ingredients and reusable spray bottles may be more at first, but it will come out to less than .25 a bottle of cleaner, and the ingredients should last you a year or more.
Finally, homemade laundry detergent is another simple way to save money. There are many recipes out there, but my favorite is 1 part Washing Soda, 1 part Borax, and 1/4 part Oxiclean. The total cost of all three ingredients is about $18, but it will last a year or two, since you only use a tablespoon of the mixed product. Can you imagine paying $9 a year for laundry detergent?
There are so many unexpected places to save money. Don’t underestimate how much things cost. Even decreasing your monthly bills by $20 a month will add up in the long run. Why pay more when you don’t have to?