Do you want to save money at home without spending the money? If YES, here are 50 ways to cut cost at home from groceries, food, car insurance, gas, electricity.
Cutting cost and saving more usually involves sacrifice, but in the long run, the rewards are immense. With just a little creativity and planning, you can be able to make a little go a long way. In no particular order, here are 50 unique ways to cut cost and save money without spending the money saved:
50 Ways to Cut Cost and Save Money at Home Without Spending the Money
1. Buy Reusable Products
We live in a society where we have come to believe and accept that even the simplest thing is inconvenient. However “convenience” comes at a high price. Instead of buying that paper towel for $8, why not buy a reusable towel? Instead of buying bottled water every time, buy a water filter for your faucet and refill old bottles. Go for reusable items instead of one-use items.
2. Budget and Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
Create a detailed monthly budget every month and try as much as possible to stick to it. Review your finances and expenses from time to time and cut out every unnecessary expense. Try to get receipts for all the purchases you make in a month. This will help to inform your decision when making a budget.
3. Pay Cash for Gas
Paying for gas with a credit, debit or a gas card now seems to be the norm, mainly because it is convenient and easy. Yet, we tend to forget that most gas stations offer a discount off a gallon when you pay for your gas with cash. They are able to sell to cash payers at a cheaper rate because the card companies charge them a certain amount in fees on each transaction that is carried out via a card. Therefore, when you pay by cash, the gas company passes part of the money they would save to you.
4. Get Bids from Vendors When You are Getting Work Done on your House
So many people are used to the habit of calling just one general contractor when they want to get work done in their house. They contact one person and that is that. To conserve money however, it is more advisable to bid for jobs from multiple vendors so as to get the most value for the least price.
So, if you need to have hardwood floor laid in your house and you can’t handle it yourself, you will need to hire someone, but don’t just call one person. Call multiple vendors, ask them to come and look at your place and then give you a quote or an estimate. Then from those you can select the best option. This also includes if you are selling or buying a house and you want a real estate agent; contact multiple real estate agents.
5. Make your Products Yourself
Bug repellents, cleaners, beauty products, laundry detergents among other things can be quite expensive. You can reduce this cost by making them yourself. Search the internet for how to make these products and save a ton of money you would have given to a company. Creating your own home made products can be healthier for you and the environment compared to company produced alternatives.
6. Grow a Garden: Owning a garden is not only therapeutic but it also provides you with fresh and healthy free food produce. It also saves you from constant trips to the grocery store for fresh crops. With a few plant stands or seeds, you can have a bountiful and steady supply of your favorite crops.
7. Get Things Repaired Instead of Getting Rid of Them-: When cloths, jewelry, purses, shoes get broken or worn out, you can easily repair them instead of throwing them out for a new one. Take shoes to a shoe repair shop to put new soles, replace buckles etc.
8. Get your Cloths Altered Down: If you lose weight and you have some expensive items of clothing you love, don’t just get rid of them, instead, get a good seamstress/tailor to alter it to you current size rather than going for a new wardrobe.
9. Quit dangerous habits: smoking, excessive intake of alcohol and use of hard drugs are deadly habits that are not only detrimental to the health but they also leave a gaping hole in your finances. Join an AA meeting, visit a psychiatrist or check into rehab to get rid of those bad habits once and for all.
10. Turn off lights when not in use: leaving one light bulb on will not do much to your electricity bill but constant use of all the bulbs in your house will definitely leave more than a chink in your light bill. Try to cultivate the habit of switching off a bulb whenever you leave a room or when natural sunlight is sufficient enough.
11. Go for quality appliances: in a bid to save money, going for cheaper, low quality appliances and electronics may look like a good idea. However, the reverse is usually the case. A dishwasher of reliable quality that is energy efficient may cost more now, but it will last longer and save energy in the long run. Before you buy an appliance, read the user reviews to gauge how well the appliance has been able to perform for people who had used it previously.
12. Find a cheaper grocery store: human beings are creatures of habit and as such it is not surprising that most people will keep going to a particular grocery store not because it a cheaper alternative but because it is the grocery store they have always gone to. Try to buy the 10 to 15 things you buy all the time at two to three different grocery stores. This will give you an idea of which of them is cheaper thus providing you with more cash to save in your future shopping.
13. Cook more: buying lunch at wok or ordering takeout may be convenient but that $5 to $15 quickly adds up. Cook your meals yourself as this is a cheaper and healthier alternative.
14. Get a surge protector: a power surge can easily damage your entertainment centre or your computer equipment making you to spend more on repairs. This is where a surge protector comes in. Spending more to get a surge protector will ultimately result in spending less in the future.
15. Air seal your house: some houses have leaks that allow air to escape the house. This makes the job of keeping it warm or cool in the winter and summer respectively more difficult and ultimately costlier. You can make out some time and plug up those air holes in your house so as to save your energy bills.
16. Buy a used car: instead of purchasing a brand new car, go for a fairly used car. Cars have a way of quickly dropping in value and as such they don’t make for the best investments. If you go for cars that have been used for only a few years, you may be lucky to get a car that is still in its warranty period. Make sure that the car you go for is fuel efficient.
17. Don’t wait for things to break down: do some basic car and home maintenance every month. It will take you just a few hours, yet, it will improve the lifespan of your vehicle or home appliance and will prevent them from breaking down regularly. This will help your vehicle or home appliance to not only last longer but will allow you to repair any defect you notice at the early stage before they turn into a large disaster that will guzzle your money.
18. Reuse old containers: if you followed the advice on number 5 of this list and made your own homemade products, you will need somewhere to put them in. Instead of getting new containers at the grocery store, you can use old containers. You can always think outside the box for new and fun ways to use an old container. So reuse the containers you have already paid for.
19. Ditch the brand name version: when you compare the ingredients of brand name products to their generic alternatives, you will find out that they are almost the same thing. Granted, some brand name products are better than their generic versions but for many other products, it is advisable to go for their generic versions. A good example is medication. Brand name pain reliever can cost up to double or triple the price of the generic version but still end up doing the same thing.
20. Get your friends homemade gifts: be creative when getting gifts for friends and family members. You can make them a beauty product package containing some homemade sugar scrub, soap, bath salt etc as opposed to spending $10 to $15 for items you can put into a beauty product package. Put a personal touch to the gifts also. Something like a monogrammed pillow case or towel will meet such a need. Furthermore a handwritten note or card expressing your love for someone may have more sentimental value than a $50 piece of jewelry
21. Stick with your bank’s ATM: every time you go to an ATM that is not specific to your bank, you pay an additional $2 to $4 in fees. Don’t waste that money by using a different ATM when you can use an ATM that is affiliated to your bank or credit union. Also you can withdraw cash over the counter at your bank.
22. Make use of a public library: most local libraries contain tons and tons of books which you could read and return at a future date instead of buying them. Also, public libraries have a huge selection of videos. Rather than buying movies which will clutter up your home anyway, and which you will most probably watch once or twice, go to the public library and rent videos for the week that can you enjoy with your family. Keep in mind that if you return the movies late you will have to pay late fees.
23. Cancel your cable: on average, Americans spend $103.10 every month on cable. By switching over to online services which serve as alternatives for cable, you can save on your electricity bills. Alternatives to cables include Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. If you can’t do without cable, you can reduce your cable bill by downgrading your subscription because truth be told; you don’t need all those channels to begin with.
24. Do not buy on impulse: one easy way to overcome impulse buying when shopping is to make a grocery list. When you go shopping without a list, you could end up forgetting to get something or just make a last minute decision to buy something you probably don’t need. Always create a grocery list before you go shopping and stick to it.
25. Buy from the discount section: some grocery stores usually have a discount section where goods that are not so fresh and new or are nearing their expiry dates are sold. Their prices like you would expect are remarkably lower than the normal price. Buy items you use frequently at the discount section at a reduced price and consume them right away.
26. Invite friends over: if you like having fun with friends, you can consider inviting them over to your house as opposed to eating out at a restaurant. Invite your friends over, cook a nice meal, buy a bottle of wine and enjoy the time together.
27. Get a home gym: a lot of people have a gym membership that they rarely use. That is money down the drain owing to a gym you don’t even go to. If you fall into this category you should cancel your gym membership right away. A home gym may cost a bit to set up but in the long run, it will be a cheaper than a gym membership.
28. Wash your car yourself: instead of spending $20-$40 washing your car at the car wash, you can invest in some car washing material such as micro fiber rag, brush and cleaner. These materials come cheap and after the initial purchase you can was your car yourself as many times as you want at no extra cost.
29. Buy in bulk: this is especially true for staples that you use from time to time. Non-perishables like detergent, cereals, toilet paper, trash bags etc are advisable to buy in bulk as this considerably cuts down their cost per usage. Also buy items when they are at their lowest prices.
30. Don’t throw away leftovers: leftover food doesn’t equate to trash. If you find out that you cooked too much, preserve the meal in your fridge for another day. Also, look up recipes on fun things you can do with leftovers.
31. Invest in a deep freezer: having an extra freezer space allows you to buy perishables in bulk leading to paying lower prices. Also with a deep freezer, you can cook a variety of meals and store them there. You can cook on weekends and microwave the meals within the week instead of eating out.
32. Buy a programmable thermostat: a programmable thermostat proffers an easy way to cut down on your energy usage when you are not at home or at certain times of the day. You can program the thermostat to be off at a certain time of the day. Also, some programmable thermostats are smart and can be controlled remotely with a smart phone.
33. Implement a no spending day: a no spending day is a day one sets aside to spend nothing. This allows you to plan your spending better and cutout impulse spending.
34. Travel off-season: almost all travel destinations in the world have a time of the year when tourists flood it and an “off-peak” period- usually when the weather is not so good. Prices of accommodation, food, air tickets etc are usually jacked up during the peak travel periods. You can have fun at reduced cost by traveling during off-seasons.
35. Make use of the public transport system: if you live near a bus, train or metro station, using a public system may prove to be a cheaper and more reliable alternative to driving your own car while sparing you the headache of worrying about parking space. Buy a weekly or monthly pass if they are available as this is cheaper than paying for each trip individually.
36. Avoid over speeding: aside from the increased risk of a crash, over speeding consumes more gas leading you to spend more. Also, over speeding can cost you a lot in speed tickets if you get pulled over by the cops. It is advisable to always drive within the approved speed limit.
37. Rent out a room: if you have an extra room that is never in use, you can rent it out to get a source of extra income. Just make sure that you vet your prospective tenant before you give him/her the room. Also, familiarize yourself with the inconvenience involved in having a tenant and take the necessary precautions.
38. Buy a smaller house: this is an alternative to renting out a room. If you find out that you have too much space in your current house, you can always move into a smaller house. Not only is a smaller house cheaper, it is easier to maintain.
39. Don’t be fooled by cheap prices: sometimes when we go shopping, we get attracted to a really cheap price tag, a half price sticker or a buy 2 get one free tag. But before you rejoice on finding such a good deal, ask yourself “do I really need this?” asking yourself this question will help you to decide if what you are about to buy has any relevance to you.
40. Don’t buy designer items: designer clothing and accessories come at a very high price and should be avoided if you are on a budget. You can get a copy cat version of the original thing that looks just as good considering that most people will not even be able to tell the difference.
41. Declutter your home: is your house filled with clothes, jewelry, shoes etc that you hardly ever use? Then you need to get rid of them. You can do this by selling them off thereby creating more space and making cool money along the way. Open an Amazon, ebay or Craigslist account, upload pictures of items you want to sell and wait for buyers to come for them.
42. Try to fix things yourself: when something breaks down in your home, you can try to repair it yourself rather than calling a handy man. With the advent of the internet, learning how to fix home appliances is literarily just a few clicks away.
43. Eat a healthy breakfast: sometimes skipping breakfast may seem like a good idea especially when in a hurry. However it is not. Skipping breakfast could lead to over compensating with a big, expensive lunch. Eat a healthy breakfast that will keep you going till lunch every day.
44. Go for a fuel-efficient car: if you live in a place where taking public transport is not a good alternative owing to distance and other factors, then you need a car. In addition to going for fairly used car, go for reliable automobiles that are fuel-efficient. A gas guzzling car will definitely cost you more in the long run.
45. Shop right after season: this technique works for almost any holiday especially Christmas. Wait a few days after the holiday and then go buy what you need. You can get cards, decorations and presents this year and then leave then till next year.
46. Adopt a healthy lifestyle: simple lifestyle changes like adopting a healthier diet and regular washing of hands can go a long way to keep illness at bay thereby reducing the amount of money you would normally spend on medications.
47. Avoid retail therapy: while retail therapy has been known to relieve stress, it is however a very bad habit. Find healthy ways of relieving stress other than purchasing things to make you feel better about yourself.
48. Routine preventive healthcare: a routine dental checkup can help prevent nasty tooth exigencies which could end up costing more than a regular checkup.
49. Buy video games with long replay value: when purchasing a video game, go for games that can be replayed over and over again. Puzzles, sports and long quest games among others fall under this category. Once you are done playing a particular video game, you can trade it in at a game store.
50. Spend less on child entertainment: young children can be entertained at a cheap price. You don’t have to buy that overpriced toy to gain your child’s love or respect. Learn to say no to some of their requests that are not within your price range and don’t give in to tantrums. Spending quality time with your kid should be your number one priority.
These changes we have discussed may appear small but with a judicious combination of some of these, you could end up having a lot more money in your pocket. But don’t just leave it there; learn to be aggressive about saving. Don’t allow spare cash to hang around or you may end up spending it. You can either put the extra cash into a bank account or you can use it to clear out debt that you have accumulated previously.
Adhering to a frugal lifestyle can be difficult but with the right discipline it can be achieved and maintained.