It is really surprising how small changes in behavior patterns can net some quick results in your pocket. Here are my 7 money-saving tips for individuals and families.
1. Prepare meals and snacks at home. Make your morning coffee and lunch at home instead of buying it at work. I you are like me and are not a morning person, get a coffee machine that you can set the night before and wake up to a fresh brew. Lunch and snacks at work can add up to about $10 per day which is a startling $2500 per year. This is one of the quickest hits.
2. Eat vegetarian a couple of times a week. Even if you can’t go full vegetarian, a couple of dinners a week will save you big cash. You would be surprised at how many chick peas and how much polenta you can buy for the price of one steak. There are tons of recipes online for those that want to be creative. Your colon will thank you too.
3. Read the flyers before you make your grocery list. I know it is clich but really, produce have seasons as you know and prices fluctuate. Don’t just buy fruit to have it, buy what is in season and you get a better variety and cheaper prices.
4. Buy a used car. If you are in the market for a car, even a 1 year old car can save you a bundle. Up to 30%. Use your savings to buy an extended warranty if you have concerns about the car running out of coverage after a short time. You will end up a lot further ahead.
5. Use your public library. My kids go through books like crazy. And kids outgrow books really quickly. Get a fresh supply every 3 weeks at the library and they will never be bored. And you won’t end up with boxes full of expensive books that you can’t sell for 10 cents a piece at a garage sale. It is also a great source for CD-Roms.
6. Use your public library…for DVD movies. Friday is usually move night at our place. One for us and one for the kids is about $11 at the local rental place. The library is um, free. I figure this saves me about $500 a year as I borrow at least 100 in that time. The library is also a great source for Sesame Street videos and other kids stuff that they outgrow so fast. Another bonus saver for movie night is ditch the microwave popcorn in favor of the real stuff. A bag of popping corn is about $1 and makes about 15 big bowls. Add your own butter and salt and you will find the microwave stuff quite disgusting after you go real. My kids will not touch the processed stuff anymore. Savings; about a buck a bowl.
7. Use coupons. I am not talking about 30 cents off toothpaste here. Go for buy one get one coupons and vouchers. The “Entertainment” book is a great source of these. Also, if you are planning a trip to an attraction, look at online sources like ebay for discount vouchers and such. You can save a bundle as long as you plan ahead.
That is my list, there should be something for everyone there. I hope that I gave you some ideas that you had not thought of before. Happy savings.