Everyday expenses can really add up and it helps to know some ways to save money. If you have a family, it can be even more difficult to save, so knowing a few simple ways to cut costs can be a godsend.
Start off by looking over all of the money you have going out compared to what you have coming in. Write down a list of things that you need for everyday use, like food and toiletries. The write down specialty items that you only buy once in a while or certain times of the year, like school supplies and Christmas presents.
While you can take some time to save up for things like Christmas presents and school supplies, some bills and expenses can’t wait. Here are some things you can do to save and make life a little easier on your wallet.
Cut down on utility bills
Whether warm summer weather is running up your electric bill or cold winter temperatures are skyrocketing your heat bill, there are a lot of things that you can do to cut back on the utility bills. One thing to do is to make sure that you are only using your air conditioner or heater when you really need them, and that you are adjusting temperatures accordingly.
You may also want to make sure that you are unplugging things that you don’t use very often, as they may still be pulling energy through the system, and adding to your monthly bills.
You can also cut down on other bills, like your television bill, but picking a different packing and getting rid of channels you never watch, or by bundling your service with your internet and phone.
Shop smarter for groceries
Shop around when it comes to grocery buying and look for the best deals. If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has multiple grocery stores, you can easily hit all of them and save. Make sure you are looking at ads, signing up for discount cards, and using coupons. Save money on buying the Sunday paper or printing coupons by using your smartphone for them or loading them to your store card.
You can also save money on produce by shopping at the local farmer’s markets. Many areas have markets that are open all year now, but even if you don’t you’ll still get a few months of savings during the summertime.
Know when the best sales are
According to Consumer Reports there are different times of the year when you can find the best sales on almost anything, from electronics to athletic gear. Such as, there are a few times in the year when you will find the best deals on computers, like April, June, and October.
While you may not want to wait until April or May to buy a new lawnmower, and you may not want to buy your winter sports gear in March, it does help to know when the best deals are so you can save as much as possible, especially on higher ticket items.
Using credit to your advantage
For some people credit cards are simply bad news. However, if you make sure you pay your bill in a timely manner, credit cards can be a great way to save money. Some of them, including bank debits cards, offer discount deal and cash back deals that can help you make money on your purchases.
You can also find store cards that offers benefits and deals, including gas discounts. For example, according to Natalie Cooper, the Walmart credit card “offers a wealth of features that center around providing customers with card benefits that can be redeemed at Walmart.”
One more way to save is to shop thrifty. There are still some people out there that refuse to set foot in a resale shop or consignments shop, but you can often find really good deals in these places. You can also save a good deal of money on back to school clothes this way.
Just watch out for stores that have “boutique” in their name, as they tend to be higher priced and you may do better shopping at big box stores for new items at lower costs.
It’s not difficult to cut expenses, even if you have a large family. You just need to know where to look to save some money, and be willing to make some changes to your shopping and spending habits.