If finances are tight you need to look everywhere in order to save a buck. You can cancel your cable TV service, quit eating out at restaurants and start driving less. But what else can do you do to stretch your dollar even further?
You’re going to need to be creative to scrounge up any more savings from your monthly budget. So let’s look at these 10 ways to save money you might not have thought about.
Hack Your Toilet
Toilets waste a lot of water. A couple of gallons per flush, about 5 times per day really adds up. When flushed, most toilets use more water than they really need to. Well, rather than spending money on buying a more efficient toilet, you can monitor how much water your toilet uses with a flow meter, or you can make your toilet use less water per flush. Here’s how:
Fill a plastic 1 liter bottle with water and put a rock or two in it and drop it in the toilet tank. When this is done, less water is needed to fill up the tank and flush. By doing this little trick you can save a thousand gallons of water every year.
Don’t Shop Hungry
Let’s start off the list with some psychology. To keep from overspending at the grocery store, never, ever shop on empty stomach! Almost anything will look good, especially sugary fattening items. I know I buy cookies and potato chips when I’m hungry and skip those items when I’m not.
When shopping hungry, everything will feel necessary and you will simply spend more money. So have yourself a snack, or plan to shop after a good meal – your wallet and your stomach will thank you for it.
Bulk Food In Bulk
Check out sales and find good deals on bulk buys of non-perishable food like cans of soup. Look out for buy 2 get 1 free deals or those 10 for $10 package deals.
When buying items you always consume, you’ll find that more often than not, the larger package costs less per ounce than a smaller one. It makes no sense to buy the smaller package once a week. Why not go for the larger one once every two weeks.
To truly save money when buying in bulk, get a membership to Sams Club or Costco. Then you can really take advantage of buying in bulk by purchasing items like toilet paper, paper towels, soda or corn flakes in bulk.
Share WiFi With A Neighbor
If you get on well with your neighbors then don’t pay out for expensive Wi-Fi. Simply have one service for both houses and split the bill 50-50. One neighbor will have the router in their home while the other can have another router that extends the connection further.
Make sure you test out the internet strength first, but if it works well then both you and your neighbor will save several hundred dollars per year.
Change Your Lightbulbs
You’ve heard this tip for years now, but may have put off making the change. Well lights nowadays are much better than they were years ago. They have instant-on lights that are white and bright.
If you replace all of your incandescent bulbs with LED ones you stand to save a few bucks a month on your electricity bill. Although LED bulbs are an expensive upfront cost, they last up to 50 times longer making them 10 times cheaper to use.
Shop Around – For Everything
We live in a world with a huge amount of variety which makes businesses very competitive. I see this on Amazon all the time. Sellers compete with each other and keep lowering their prices, even by just a penny lower than their competitor.
This means you have opportunities to shop around for everything that you buy. Don’t compromise on price when you don’t have to. No matter what you want to buy, no matter where you are, first look for the product on Google Shopping to compare prices.
Ditch The Store Cards
Store cards are full of false promises. At checkout, the clerk will offer you a credit card and tell you about how you can save 15% off your order if you just sign up. Well then 5 or 10 bucks you save simply isn’t worth it.
Store credit cards rarely – if ever – give better deals than usual bank cards, and you can regularly pay between 25 – 30 percent interest. Using store cards is like volunteering to pay higher taxes for no return – why do it?
Quit Those Horrible Unhealthy Vices
I know this is not a health article; however the fact remains that the average smoker spends $77,000 every 10 years on the habit. That’s half of a Ferrari or the downpayment for a city view New York apartment. The same goes for liquid death, aka alcohol.
Thrift Shop In Expensive Districts
Thrift shopping is always a good idea, however you can be limited for choice. Big brands and high-quality items are often in short supply. Try taking a trip to an expensive district or high-class shopping street. Thrift shops in these areas often have better brands and higher quality merchandise for the same low prices. You might even get to do some celebrity spotting while you’re there.
Use Cash When Shopping
Coming full circle, we end on another psychological note: When shopping, use cash rather than cards, even if this means using the ATM machine at the mall.
Studies have shown that we’re far less conscientious about what we spend when using plastic. Cash feels finite, so we are far more careful when paying with it.