“You have to prioritize because you can’t have the best of everything,” he writes. “Buy brand-name for the stuff you care about, and cut costs mercilessly on commodities you don’t care about by buying generic.”
Areas you may be able to save money on include: toiletries, food, certain clothes, and pet supplies. What is important to you? And what are you willing to sacrifice? Establish what you want to prioritize and what you can de-prioritize.
Insulate your hot water heater to save up to 9% on utilities.
Insulating your hot water tank (and the pipes around it) is an simple way to save money on utilities, since it keeps heat from escaping and getting wasted in colder months.
Save by seeking out free clinics, which some vets host one or two times a year.
“My husband and I always schedule check-ups and vaccinations during these times,” writes Kendal Perez of Hassle-free Savings. “If your vet doesn’t offer this service, check with your local Humane Society or animal-control unit for recommendations.”
Ignore ‘Sell By’ dates to stop wasting food and save up to $500 a year.
It helps to start ignoring “sell-by” and “use-by” dates. They are not federally regulated and do not indicate safety, except on certain baby foods, the NRD says. They are simply suggestions, and a lot of foods can last for 15 days after those dates.
When in doubt, throw it in the freezer to get the most out of it.
Browse the web for coupon codes before buying anything online.
If you’re shopping online without browsing for coupon codes, you’re missing out on a lot of potential savings power.
Also, browse Freeshipping.org to find all sorts of coupon codes for free shipping online.
Implement the ‘à la carte’ method to save money on subscriptions.
This technique takes advantage of psychology to cut our costs, and could save $10 to $100 a month, Sethi explains “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.”
“Cancel all the discretionary subscriptions you can: your magazines, TiVo, cable — even your gym,” he writes. “Then, buy what you need à la carte. Instead of paying for a ton of channels you never watch on cable, buy only the episodes you watch for $1.99 each off iTunes. Buy a day pass for the gym each time you go.”
It works for three reasons, Sethi writes: You’re likely overpaying already, you’re forced to be conscious about your spending, and you value what you pay for.
Plan your shopping trips around common sales cycles.
Everyone knows the best times to find deals on summer clothing is typically in winter, and vice versa. But there are even more sales cycles to learn about and leverage.
Invest in a programmable thermostat and save about $150 per year.
If you work long hours or are away from home much of the time during the week, a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust heat and cooling settings according to a pre-set schedule is a no-brainer.
If left unchanged, air filters get clogged up with gunk that can cost you up to 7% of your gas mileage, meaning a car that normally gets 20 miles per gallon would get 18.6 miles per gallon. In the long run, that extra gas money will add up.
Change the filter yourself or drop $25 for a mechanic to do it. How often you change it depends on your road and weather conditions, but the general rule of thumb is every 10,000 to 12,500 miles.
Clean your dryer lint trap to increase efficiency by 75%.
It seems like a no-brainer but forgetting to clean the lint trap on your dryer makes a huge difference.
Depending how much lint builds up and the type of dryer you have, you could see your efficiency reduced by 75%.
And a less efficient dryer means two things: Higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your appliance.
Use the right-sized cookware and save $36 per year.
Size does matter when it comes to picking out cookware.
Using pots and pans with flat bottoms that fit the burners can mean the difference between saving or wasting a ton of energy. For example, a 6″ pot on an 8″ burner wastes over 40% of that burner’s heat.
The average savings earned by using the right pots are about $36 annually for an electric stove and $18 for a gas range.
Cut cable and save about $650 a year.
The average American household pays $64 a month for cable, the International Business Times reports, which comes out to $768 a year. That’s a large sum to pay for a service that people often don’t take full advantage over.
One such alternative, Netflix, costs only $8 per month and provides more than enough entertainment to satisfy most families. A year of Netflix would cost you about $100, meaning you’d save over $650 in cable costs.
Buy produce when it’s in season and save up to 15% on grocery bills.
If you buy produce when it’s out of its natural growing season, chances are you’ll not only get an inferior product, but you’ll pay more for it, too.
Ethnic grocery stores are an excellent source for regionally-specific produce like avocados, mangoes and limes, and buying produce that is in season could help you save 10 to 15% on average. You could also try your local farmer’s market for fresh, in-season produce.
Cook with a crock pot and save over $2,000 each year.
If a crock pot meal costs around $2 per person, trading in a crock pot meal for take-out just once per week would mean $2,135 in savings each year. Imagine how much you could save if you stop heading to restaurants two or three times a week.
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