The little things can add up big-time when you’re trying to save money. How do you find extra cash for a family trip, new car or whatever your family really wants when it seems like your money is flying out the window? Try just a few of these ten simple money saving tips and see how a small change can help you save large.
- Get creative with meals. Instead of eating out, plan dinner theme nights. Think Mexican Fiesta, Italian Buffet Night, Sushi Extravaganza and so on.
- Shop the sales. Plan meals around what’s on sale at the grocery store. If lean ground turkey is on sale, buy a double quantity and make two meals out of it; lean turkey burgers and a turkey Bolognese sauce.
- Pack-up the leftovers. All family members should pass on lunch at the deli around the corner and opt for a packed lunch made with leftovers from the night before instead.
- Skip a visit to the grocery store. You’ll be amazed at what you can find in your freezer or pantry. Take time to make an inventory of what items need to be eaten up before you head to the store – again.
- Pool your resources. Use your local buy and sell, school, or community swap to buy, sell or trade your used sporting equipment, clothing, books, and more. Better yet, organize your own swap with friends and neighbours. Donate what’s left to a local charity and everybody wins.
- Say no to unnecessary expenses. It can be hard to say no to your little bookworm when she wants to hit the bookstore all the time. Visit the library instead and save the book purchases for birthdays and holidays. Instead of catching the new movie at the theatre, wait a couple of months and watch it on Netflix or via your cable provider (homemade popcorn is so much cheaper and better for you anyways)!
- Use reward cards when you shop. Take the extra time to sign-up for frequent shopper cards and travel rewards. It takes a few seconds to pull the card out of your wallet, but it’s always a pleasant surprise when you save cash on your next purchase or cover travel expenses for your family vacation.
- Save energy. Some household electronics use standby power even when turned off. Try unplugging these units when not in use and especially when you are away for longer periods of time. The biggest offenders are televisions, computers, printers, DVRs, and power tools.
- Invest in a thermostat. Playing with the heat or air-conditioning all day long can wreak havoc on your utility bill. Program it and leave it, then watch the temperature of your home regulate and your next bill become more predictable.
- Carpool or ride share. Even if your schedule only allows for a couple of days, you’ll save on gas and feel better about your carbon footprint.
By Kristen Wint