… And More on Budgeting: Tips on Saving Money

So, you have made your household budgeting plan, and now you want to know how to reduce your expenses and increase savings. Here are some great tips on saving money.

Household budgeting tips

  • Match your long distance company with your calling habits. If most of your calling is done in the evenings, get a plan that gives you unlimited evening and weekend calling.
  • Turn off lights and anything electrical behind you.
  • Cook with covered pots. It takes much less energy to cook if the pot is covered.
  • Plan meals for the weeks / month ahead prior to going to the grocery store.
  • Make a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Buy store brand foods instead of national name brands.
  • Use coupons.
  • Shop on double or triple coupon days.
  • Shop for groceries on a full stomach.
  • When replacing light fixtures, consider compact fluorescent.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
  • Check on prescription drugs to make sure using your health plan saves you money.
  • Only wash full loads.
  • Only have one extra set of sheets for each bed size in the house. This helps in terms of clutter also.
  • Sell at a kids consignment shop and buy what looks good.
  • If you have a son heading toward 13, don’t buy ahead because they can virtually skip sizes.
  • Learn to cook food that doesn’t come in frozen trays.
  • Water is not just for bathing, try some instead of that next Coke.
  • Borrow books from the library (and whatever else they offer).
  • Avail yourself of free community concerts.
  • Volunteer to usher at your local performing arts center so you see the shows for free.
  • Make frugal choices you can live with so you don’t feel deprived.
  • Learn the popular size of a product because it may be your best buy (often 18oz jars of peanut butter are loss leaders).
  • If movies are part of your life, down scale to matinees or the $1.50 theaters.

Tips on Saving Money

  • Ask yourself  “Do I need it?” “Do I need it now?”
  • Pre-allocate money so that you can take advantage of any savings offered by prompt payment. I save a significant amount on oil that way as well as property taxes.
  • Pay your bills over the Internet – many of the banks provide for online banking. There is no postage, no cheque writing fee, and all transactions and their clearance dates are clearly listed on statements and user generated reports.  Most banks software will also export and download files for use in your software.

Work tips

  • Pretend the vending machines at the office don’t exist, or never have change.
  • Sometimes I think that my best investment ever was a Thermos bottle. Take your own coffee.
  • Bring your lunch to work rather than eat out.

Car tips

  • Car pool if possible.
  • If you drive an older car, consider carrying only liability insurance if you can assume the risk of loss. Maintain your car.
  • Get the cheapest price possible on auto insurance.
  • Know your gas stations and fill up when you’re near the cheap one.
  • Use public transit. And then call your auto insurance agent.
  • Plan your trips to save gas.
  • Price shop.  Buy used cars; the original owner pays for the new car’s depreciation.

More information on budgeting and additional tips on saving money

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