If you’ve read any money-saving blogs already, you know to cut out that daily Starbucks and any magazine subscriptions. However, you may now be so careful on spending that you are only left with the major must-haves in life. But don’t worry, there are tricks to saving on those, too.
Here are easy ways to save money on necessities.
Evaluate What’s Necessary
There may be purchases you consider necessary, but you could do without, like cable TV or a monthly gym membership. Figure out what are “needs” and “wants” by doing the following exercise.
- Put together an outline with all your monthly expenses. Include everything – from your grocery bills and mortgage payments to the membership to your local yoga studio.
- Group the expenses into categories, from most to least needed.
- From there, evaluate the different expenses. Ideally, you should cut out the least needed products and services. Next, examine the remaining expenses and find ways to save on those. Read on for ideas on how to do just that.
Negotiate for Lower Prices
Most people take the first price quotes they are handed. Instead, try to negotiate. Let’s use your cell phone or cable company as an example.
First, call competitors to get a variety of rates.
Then, call the company you currently use or want to use. Let them know the other price quotes you received and let them know you may move your business to one of these other companies. Very often, the provider will offer a new, lower rate to keep you as a customer.
Examine Your Heating Bill and Home’s Insulation
If it gets cold in winter, don’t simply crank up your heating.
- First, put on warm clothes and layer up with extra blankets.
- Then, if you still need to turn on the heat, take note of how effectively it’s working. You may be paying large sums of money to heat your home, only to have it drifting away. It may cost money to have insulation installed, but it will cost far less in the long run as you’ll be paying less in heating bills. Call a local home repair and insulation consultant; most will come out for free to do an inspection.
Buy in Bulk
Whenever possible, whether it’s nonperishable food items, toilet paper or socks, purchase items in bulk. It may seem crazy to buy 30 paper towel rolls at once, but if you’re going to use them eventually, you’re saving money in the long run.
Many of us see a coupon for 75 cents off and think that it’s too much trouble to use. Think about it this way. If you use eight coupons per week that are worth 75 cents savings each, that’s over $300 saved per year!
Learn Budget Tricks to Grocery Saving
Grocery stores are a marketing mind trap. From the placement of items on shelves to the positioning of expensive candy, find out how to hack the grocery store by reading our blog: 6 Ways to Save Big on Groceries (#3 Doubles Savings!)
Cut Down on Shower Times
Bathing is a necessity, but showering for 30 minutes isn’t required to get clean. Cut down on showers to save easy money on your utility bills.
Take Care of Yourself
Staying healthy doesn’t just feel good; being healthy saves you money. Getting sick can get expensive because of the doctor visits, medicine and time missed from work or school. Reduce your risk of getting sick and the costs that come with it by:
- Washing your hands as often as possible, especially before handling food
- Exercising regularly
- Eating healthy and well-balanced meals
- Taking a daily vitamin
Look into Corporate and Member Discounts
Many companies offer discounts to their employees or members. Your employer may offer you discounts on cell phone plans and gym memberships, things you’re spending on anyway.
Another example is AAA. Being a member of AAA gets you discounts on everything from weekend trips to Disneyland tickets. Everyone needs vacation and get away time; make sure to get yours at a discount.
Select a Credit Card and Bank That Maximizes Your Money
You have to spend money on necessities no matter what, so it’s important to select a bank and credit card that maximizes that money. Learn more about rewards credit cards in our blog: 3 Ways to Travel for Free (or Almost Free!)
**Featured Image Credit Goes to: Startup Stock Photos**