Fortunately, when it comes to savings, it’s not that hard to find money to save once you start looking for it. Frugality, like success, is a habit. The more you save, the more you’ll be inspired to continue saving until it simply becomes a habit and you’re saving well more than a $100 per month.
1. Make a Grocery List
Impulse grocery shopping can be expensive, especially if you feel like you’re saving money by using coupons or shopping the sales. Rather than buy what you think you need when you go to the grocery store, buy only the items that you need for the next week. Make a list of meals you’re making and the items you’ll need for each.
Add a few snacks to the list so you don’t feel deprived and then stick to the list as you shop. You’ll easily rack up savings of more than $25 per week, or $100 per month simply by avoiding the junk that tends to make it into your cart otherwise.
2. Shop for Groceries Every Two Weeks
You can save even more on groceries by avoiding the grocery store as much as possible. Make your shopping trips bi-weekly instead of weekly. Shopping every two weeks will give you even less excuse to add pricey splurges and make you stretch the contents of your freezer and pantry a bit more.
3. Change Energy Providers
Electricity is deregulated, so if you live in a hot state, you can save hundreds of dollars over the summer months especially by changing your electricity to a new company offering special promotions or simply a lower overall price.
4. Take Advantage of Your Library
If you’re a movie buff and addicted to Kindle downloads, you can save a bundle by taking advantage of the services offered by your public library. Most public libraries now offer ebooks for check-out, often some of the most popular titles that you’d otherwise be spending almost $10 to download. If you enjoy classic movies, you don’t need to buy them, check them out for nothing at all at the library. You’ll find plenty of movie choices for the kids as well. Making the library a choice for entertainment can save well more than $100 per month.
5. Brew Your Own Coffee
How much is a cup of coffee these days? Even McDonalds is charging almost $4 for a bit of caramel, ice and coffee. That’s $120 a month you’re spending on caffeine – if you’re only getting coffee once per day. Buy some disposable cups for $3, some caramel of your own for $2 and you’re ready to spice up the coffee you already have at home, saving you plenty.
6. Change Health Insurance
Just because your company offers health insurance doesn’t mean it’s the best arrangement for your family. Shop around with health insurance companies to see what sort of plans and programs may be available for your children, your spouse or all of you. It’s impossible to know how much you can save by finding a less expensive healthcare plan, but if you opt for a high-deductible plan with an HSA, or health savings account, you stand to save hundreds of dollars per month.
7. Combine Bills and Plans
Cell phones usually cost well over $100 per month if you’re on a data plan as most of us are. Add to that your internet bill, your cable bill and your home phone line – if you still have one. You’re likely spending well over $400 on all of your various services. Look for ways to combine services or bill plans. Adding another line to one cell phone plan rather than having two separate plans can save almost $100 alone. Combine internet, phone and cable and you’re saving even more.
8. Ditch Cable
Another tremendous opportunity for savings is to simply get rid of your cable altogether. With so many shows now available for streaming over the computer and internet-ready televisions, you can watch almost anything you want on demand and never have to pay $120 for 2,000 channels you don’t watch.
9. Stop Unused Charges
How much do you pay for your gym membership? How much do you pay for various subscriptions and for memberships on your child’s favorite gaming site? Why do you need all of these reoccurring charges? Ditch the gym and start jogging outside. Get your kids into games that you own rather than pay membership fees for and your savings can really add up.
10. Use Coupons and Online Deals
A deal is only a deal if you would have spent more to have it in the first place. It’s not really savings to save 50 percent on the tuna fish you don’t actually eat in the grocery store. That being said you can save a bunch of money per month by arranging your shopping around local sales and promotions. Use internet sales sites to find new places to eat dinner by paying only a fraction of the price. Search for coupons on items you regularly buy and your savings will definitely add up.