You may be under the impression that you are surrounded with temptations and money-spending occasions. Why not take things the other way?
Your daily life is packed with dozens of money saving opportunities.
Grab 10 easy tips that will help you put a halt on overspending:
1. Plan in Advance And Go Grocery Shopping Only Once a Week
You might not realize it just yet, but all those little extra things you buy everyday for your meals represent a whole lot of money. Not to mention that a half-empty fridge may lead you to go out to a restaurant for lunch or dinner, which is costly. So try to organize yourself: Plan your week in advance and go buy everything you need in just one trip to the grocery store or the market. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save by doing this.
2. Get a Reusable Coffee Mug
Instead of buying your coffee at the coffee shop every morning, prepare it at home and drink it on the go, in a reusable coffee mug!
3. Avoid Using Your Drying Machine
Your clothes dryer comes second after your refrigerator on the list of the most energy-hungry household appliances. Try to avoid using it, at least once in a while. Instead, hang your clothes to dry them – preferably outside if you can, but inside will do too. It will help you save money… and it will also make your clothes last longer.
4. Use Rags Instead of Paper Towels for Cleaning
Not only is this trick good for your wallet, it is also good for the environment. Lose the habit of using paper towels for cleaning, and start using rags. They are just as effective as paper towels, plus they are reusable. Wanna go extra thrifty? Use old towels or clothes to cut your rags from!
5. Learn All The Different – And Surprising! – Uses of Some Everyday Products
You might not know it yet, but some of the products you use everyday are surprisingly versatile. Olive oil, for example, can be used as a skin moisturizer, shoe polisher, eye makeup remover or as bath oil. White vinegar, when mixed with water, makes a great and cheap multi-surface cleaner. It can also be used as a dishwasher cleaner, brass and copper shiner and much, much more.
6. Walk or Ride a Bike
A car is convenient… too convenient. Cars have become such a huge part of our lives that we use them to go everywhere and to do everything without thinking twice. If you live in an urban area, try to use your car as less as possible! Trade it for a bike, or even walk: It won’t cost you a dime plus it’ll help you stay in shape. What are you waiting for?
7. Subscribe to a Public Library
Instead of buying the books and magazines your like, subscribe to a public library and rent them there. Granted, you might have to wait a couple of weeks before being able to read a new trendy best-seller, but the savings you’ll make in the end will make it worth it!
8. Make Your Home Energy-Efficient
A lot of our money is spent on energy bills. To help cut on costs, make your home energy efficient! Before winter, seal your windows with heat shrinkable plastic covers to avoid cold drafts from sneaking in. Buy programmable electronic thermostats: Program them to lower the temperature when you are at work or during the night. During summer heat waves, close all windows and curtains during the day so that no hot air and no sunlight is coming in: This will help keeping your house cool without having to crank up the AC. Also, take the habit of turning the lights off as soon as you exit a room. On a yearly basis, such simple gestures can reduce your energy bill of as much as 30%.
9. Buy Second Hand
A product does not have to be brand new in order to be perfectly satisfying. By buying your things used, you can save tremendous amounts of money. Granted, some products are better bought new, like electronics, for instance, or household electrical appliances. But you can find some pretty decent furniture, clothes, tools and even vehicles if you look in specialized second hand shops or on websites such as Craigslist or Freecycle.
10. Make You Own Beauty Products
Not only will making your own beauty products save you dozens of dollars, it will also spare you from being exposed to all the harmful chemicals found in commercial creams, lotions, shampoos… It’s quite amazing to see how many products can easily be made at home, and, often, with ingredients that we already have in our fridge, our food closet or our cupboards. You’ll find plenty of ideas and tutorials on the internet: For starters, check out the Daily Green’s homemade beauty products ideas, or Colleen Vanderlinden’s Top 50 list of products you can make yourself.
Mireille is a travel, music and theater enthusiast. She wrote for the stage and television, and is now working as a freelance blogger for Standard Life, a leading long-term savings and investment company, providing Canadians with advices on Quebec retirement planning.