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We all want to save money and stretch a dollar further. With the times changing it seems like its getting more difficult to do so. As a result, finances can be tough to control at times. With these 7 money-saving tips, you can take back some of that control.
But by using these 7 little changes in your life, you could see a big difference.
The first one is incredibly easy, and requires virtually no effort at all! Just make sure that you have already checked for leaks in your budget, so you can spot the real savings you’ll get from these 7 awesome tips!
1. Turn The Heat Down 2 Degrees This Winter
While it sounds crazy, two degrees is a noticeable difference as far as heating and cooling go.
A lot of newer model HVAC machines go into an emergency mode when you adjust the thermostat by more than 2 degrees at a time.
This causes a temporary rise in the power it uses to get to that new setting.
So, this is actually a 2 part saving hack.
1- Leave the setting 2 degrees lower, bundle up at night and dress cozy during the day.
2- Never walk your thermostat more than 2 degrees at a time. Wait for it to reach temp before adjusting again.
[Related] See how important 2 degrees can really be.
2. Use Slow Cooker More Than Oven
Slow cookers draw less energy to cook than a traditional oven.
[Related] See a report by the Sydney News Harold explaining the electricity differences.
At the cost per KWH used to heat, a slow cooker will average you 1/3rd the price.
There are great slow cooker recipes for all meals of the day plus desserts.
Not to mention, several meals can be prepared and frozen in a zipper-top bag way in advance.
Super lazy? Or super frugal? You decide.
3. Do All “In-Person Shopping” With Cash, Not Card
Scientific research proves that people who shop with cash will spend less than those who shop using a card.
[Related] Cash vs Credit Card
So if you’re on a budget and not wanting the risk of breaking it, take cash and leave your cards at home.
Need help making a budget? Check out How to Make a Budget.
4. Don’t Drive Anywhere, One Day Per Week
While this won’t work for everyone, its do-able for some.
Just pick one day a week where you stay home. If you need to go anywhere, try to walk or find a no-cost/low-cost transportation option.
By leaving your car parked, you not only save on gas
Saving you a little more time between maintenance appointments.
Plus, it’s environmentally friendly.
5. Do Home-Brewed Coffee Instead Of Store-Bought
Coffee shops are expensive and can cost you over $1,000 a year, while homemade coffees are significantly cheaper.
Arguably, they can be about 1/3rd the price as store bought, saving you about $700 a year.
That’s enough money for a new mattress, laptop, or tv!
So skip the long lines and high mark up prices. Invest in a coffee pot that can brew on a timer, letting you wake up to the great aroma.
You’ll wonder why you hadn’t tried it sooner.
Check out this coffee pot! It does hot water too!
PLUS you can set it the night before, and schedule it to brew a few minutes before your alarm goes off, giving you a hot cup of joe and NO WAIT TIME!
[Related] See how you can get a free $5 Starbucks gift card
6. Meal Plan
Seriously, meal planning. It’s one of the greatest budget savers. By planning out your meals, you can significantly reduce your grocery cost.
Meals don’t have to be incredibly fancy either, just keep a binder of your family’s favorite meals to refer to when needed. As you try new recipes, add them to the binder and soon you’ll be able to meal plan an entire month without any stress.
You can make a meal plan the traditional way or do it through reverse meal planning as I do if that’s what works best for you. Just make sure you compare store ads so you know which places offer the best prices.
Choosing to meal plan by week or by month is completely up to you and your preferences. You can take it a step further and do a no spend grocery challenge and use up odds and ends inside your home or meal plan with the leftovers so you don’t have any food waste.
7. Have Potluck Dinners At Home Instead Of Going To A Restaurant
One of the biggest expenses a lot of families have is eating out. Check out these tips to save money at restaurants.
The last time I ate out at a sit-down restaurant was the day before I gave birth to my son. But if fast food is included in “eating out” and that runs us $20 a month, which if I cut completely could feed us for an extra week.
Inviting your family, friends, or neighbors over for a potluck style dinner could be just as much fun, with the bonus of costing practically nothing.
Play a Netflix movie or break out the board games and enjoy the company.
Make it a once a week or once a month thing and not only will you be saving money, but you’ll be having fun doing it.
For added fun, give them theme nights.
Having your family (and kids) helping you with your financial journey is a great motivation to stay true to it. [Related:] Tips for explaining finances to kids.
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