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20 Ways To Save Money Without Really Trying

Who isn’t looking for ways to save some money these days? When every penny matters, it’s important to know where all the nickels and dimes are going. There are excellent financial advisors who can help their clients plan how to pay off a large debt or set a budget. The ideas I share may not save you enough money to pay for an entire house, but if you implement them, the rewards will start to add up.

1. Reduce trips to Starbucks. Do the exercise of adding up the cost of coffee drinks for a month. It may surprise you!

2. If French fries and soda are a regular part of your family’s diet, reduce it to 2-3 days a week. If that’s hard, ask the kids to buy any extra snacks they want. Drink more water for health and savings.

3. Combine errands instead of making separate trips, especially if you live in a rural area. It’s a long day, but if planned well, it cuts down on transportation costs.

4. Use long distance calling cards instead of a long distance provider. Although it takes more time to dial the access number, it is worth it. Phone cards available at Costco and other big box stores.

5. Make use of thrift stores for clothing and housing needs. People throw away things that are in excellent condition. You just have to look for the diamonds in the rough. It can be quite rewarding.

6. Request quotes from other insurance agencies. If they know you’re interested in switching companies, they’ll work hard to give you a better price.

7. Shop yesterday’s bakeries. Store and freeze what you won’t use right away.

8. Freezers are a good investment. Being able to buy food in bulk and store it safely can lower your grocery bill. But make sure that buying in bulk from your club store is something you’ll ultimately eat.

9. Stay away from prepared foods. Compare a snack box of crackers and meat for your child versus buying the individual items and having many more servings.

10. Walk instead of driving. It’s not easy in many situations, but try when possible.

11. Extracurricular school activities can be fun, but they also mean money. Talk about playing just one sport a year instead of two. Dinners away from home, snacks, equipment, and travel costs add up quickly.

12. Instead of getting the newest book straight off the press, check out the library and place your order.

CDs from your favorite music artists add up fast. Multiply each jewelry box by $10, at least. If movies are a frequent purchase, try a movie library club like Netflix.

13. Make a menu plan and shop accordingly. Go to the supermarket with the list in hand and promise to stick to it. This will reduce impulse buying.

14. Make natural cleaners instead of buying expensive brands. There are many websites that show you how to make cleansers with natural ingredients.

15. Do not run the washer for one or two items. Hang clothes to dry or on shelves in your house.

16. Sew your own clothes. (Okay, it’s not easy, but it can be cheaper) Do price comparisons.

17. Teach your kids early that thrift is not a bad thing. Young children quickly run out of shoes and other clothing without wearing them out.

18. Turn down the temperature and put on a sweater. Keep screens on exterior doors and place towels around door cracks.

19. Pay bills online. Even the savings on stamps will help a bit.

20. Grow your own food. Again, not easy, but a huge cost saver if you have a green thumb. Many products can be grown in very small places. Check out books like Square Foot Gardening.

Small changes made consistently can add up to big changes and rewards. Take a few steps at a time, if all this information is new. There are many ways to cut expenses and save some money. Sometimes you just have to drive to Starbucks to get started.

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