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20+ Ways to Save on Everyday Expenses

20+ Ways to Save on Everyday Expenses

After writing so many articles on how to save money over the past few months, I felt like it was time to go out and see what others had to say about saving money on their everyday expenses.  I started searching around and noticed that most everyone thinks of the same ways that I did.  After all, most of these are just common sense.  Of course they do take some creativity to think of them on your own.  But still, whether or not you actually thought of them doesn’t matter as long as you can use them to save money.

Saving money on everyday living costs is something that everyone could do a better job at.  Here are 20+ ideas that you can hopefully take advantage of.  Thanks to all the other websites out there for sharing this information.

To start with, Kyle on Hubpages had the following five money saving ideas about how to save money on your water and power expenses:

Turn off the light when you are not using it. Even if you are gone from the room for only 5 minutes, turning off the light will save you some money.

Switch to a water saving shower head. You would be surprised on how much water you will save from that.

If you are planning on replacing your toilet, buy a water saving one.

Hand wash and dry your dishes. A dishwasher uses a lot of energy and water.

Dry your clothes outside if it is good weather. Cutting down on using your dryer will save you loads of money.

You can read the full article at Little Ways to Save Big Money.  These are all good ideas, especially the switching to low flow or even ultra low flow for toilets and showerheads.  We found a showerhead that incorporated air into the stream so that it felt more substantial than the ultralow flow that it is.  It still feels pretty good.  You can tell the difference, but knowing that your saving makes up for that.

Forgive My Student Loans also posted some good ideas:

Local Library One great way to save money is to get to know your library. Movies and books are not cheap, but at your local library, you can borrow books and check out tons of movies—and amost are free. Play it right, and your library card can be your ticket to unlimited information and entertainment!

Clip Those Coupons! This may sound trite, but clipping coupons is a really great way to save money. You can cut between 10 to 20 percent of your grocery bill by simply clipping coupons, which can be found in your local newspaper, magazines and your grocery store. Some stores also double coupons and that can add up to great savings.

Tidbits We all like to eat out, but eating out too often can really add up. So, instead of eating out five to six times a month, eat out two or three times and be judicious about where you dine. Still another way to save money is to pay your bills online! This will save you the cost of a stamp AND you can pay your bills directly. Perhaps you can set up an automatic bill pay with your local bank! In addition, you can lower your gas bills by putting various errands together and only driving when there is a need to. If the distance is not too far, try walking instead of driving. You will not only save on gas, but also keep your body in good shape.

Cleaning Products Instead of buying cleaning products from the store, try making them yourself. For instance, vinegar and baking soda can clean many areas in the kitchen and bathroom. White vinegar, mixed with some water, can lessen carpet stains, while a vinegar and water combination also cleans coffee makers. Baking soda, used is small amounts, can also take off counter top stains!

Water You can significantly lower your electric bill by washing your clothes in cold water. Clothes will come out just as clean, and by washing clothes in cold water, you will take the strain off of your water heater.

You can read the rest of their ideas here.  I totally agree with these ideas.  The coupon idea is not really new to anyone, and I haven’t had much success saving much money with coupons around here, mostly because grocery stores use a savings card and so everything is the same price for anyone that swipes a card.  I guess in a way its still using coupons.

We recently wrote articles about ways to save by making your own laundry detergent and about repurposing and reusing items.  Cyndi on hubpages also wrote about these everyday ways to save.  Here is what she had to say.

Make Your Own Products: Cleaners, Toothpaste, Shampoo

I love making my own non-toxic cleaners. All I need is some distilled white vinegar, baking soda, water, and maybe some essential oil – like tea tree or lavender.

I also like to use baking soda mixed with a little crushed mint for toothpaste. I do still like to buy fluoride-free natural toothpaste, but baking soda and a little mint always work in a pinch.

If I really want to get that fresh, clean, non-greasy feeling in my hair, I make my own shampoo and conditioner. All you need for the shampoo is one part baking soda to five parts of water. Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil if you like. Work into hair and rinse. For conditioner, I use one part apple cider vinegar to five parts of water. Work into hair and rinse. It leaves your hair incredibly smooth and shiny.  Don’t worry, the vinegar scent evaporates as soon as you rinse.  Baking soda and vinegar help your hair to dry faster.

Only Buy What You Need and Try to Reuse

Think about this. Really think about this. Do you really need that new Mp3 player, or is that old one still plugging along? If you absolutely have to have another one, at least try to get it refurbished. That way, you’re helping to keep another one out of the landfill and they are significantly cheaper than the original.

Do you need another shirt to add to that already overstuffed closet? If you must, try going to a consignment shop or a Goodwill.

Do you really need to replace that computer? Or can you fix your old one? If you do need a new one, you can get them refurbished at a significantly reduced cost. They look and feel new, too!

You can read her entire article about ways to save energy and go green here.  Although only buying what you need is probably the best way to save, almost no one does it.  I guess everyone defines their “needs” differently.

Ali at Things to Cherish also had some great ideas:

Use automatic bill pay through your checking account to pay routine bills (cable, internet, phone, association fees, electricity, gas, etc.) Many banks waive checking fees (account minimums, etc.) if you have a few bill-pays set-up, plus you won’t have to spend time writing checks and you’ll save on postage. Or you can set this up with a credit card and earn points or cash back.

Get your prescriptions through the mail. Many insurance companies will discount prescriptions up to 50% if you buy them through the mail. Added bonus: one phone call get you three months worth of  your prescription so you don’t have to wait in line with the sick people or be tempted to shop while you wait at the pharmacy. For additional savings buy generic.

Subscribe to all your favorite brands’ email lists, but use a separate email account so you won’t waste time reading them or be tempted to shop. Then when you need something the exclusive coupons will be waiting for you.

Use the Amazon price check app when you shop. You just scan the bar code and the app will tell you if you can get a better price elsewhere. No more driving around from store to store or spending timing doing online research.

Her full article can be found at 10 easy ways to save money and time on everyday things.  I like the Amazon price check app too.  You can use it in any store to negotiate a better price, or at least to make sure you’re getting the best price.  And regarding her online banking comments, I agree.  I must pay about 40 bills per month, so using the online banking would save over $18 just in postage each month.

Sarah at Many True Words has a nice blog and wrote an article covering some of the household basics that include the following ideas:

Get laundry detergent for free (and toothpaste, shampoo, vitamins, makeup, etc.). There are many home businesses where you can buy these items, then by recruiting other customers, you get a paycheck that pays for your items. I have been a Melaleuca customer for 8 years, and I built up a small home business the first year. Since then, I’ve gotten all my products for free (costs me $100 a month, and I get a check for $150+). I do not recommend making your own cleaners or detergents. People are employed as chemical engineers for a reason–they know how to make effective products.

Combine errands onto one day so you limit your driving. Try setting aside two days a week as “no driving” days to save on gasoline costs.

Share babysitting. Find another family with kids of similar ages or similar hobbies, and swap babysitting nights. Or, if you have older kids, have them do babysitting to swap for lessons in sewing, music, piano, etc.

Use hand-me-downs. I ask people with kids just older than my family to consider giving me their outgrown clothes. Then I save them in plastic storage tubs for the younger children to grow into in later years.

Read the rest of this post here.  Personally, I like the idea of sharing babysitting.  My wife and I almost NEVER go out because of the cost of babysitting.  Local sitters go for about $10 an hour, so a few hours out can cost more in sitting fees than dinner.  And of course the hand me down idea never goes out of style.  Especially for small kids that outgrow things so quickly.  We’ve gone through so much hand me downs that we never even got a chance to wear it all before we passed it on to the next child.

In summary, many of the everyway ideas that we have are the same as other frugal bloggers out there.  I guess it’s good to see that we all think alike.  So now that you know the ideas, the question is, can you put them to use?

And if you have any other ideas please leave us a comment below.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • wiredinsomniac May 19, 2012, 2:22 am

    One thing I did when my child was smaller was buy out of season. For instance I would buy school supplies in January as you can never have enough paper and crayons. Most office supply store have 1 cent sales often. Buy jeans in the spring and summer you can often get new clothing for the price of garage sales and second hand stores because they want to get rid of them.

    Reply
  • Patricia Coldiron May 20, 2012, 5:35 pm

    This article does an excellent job of emphasizing the point that doing the little things, such as turning off lights, using the library instead of buying books, and making your own products can add up to big savings. Practice these tips, and they’ll soon become a part of your budgeting routine.

    Reply

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