If you’re hoping to save money in the New Year, start at home! Taking a closer look at your monthly expenses can yield plenty of extra dollars, without any drastic cost cutting. Here are some easy ways to save extra money around your home.
Slash your bills
Bundling services like the telephone, internet and cable TV can save you a ton, but be sure you aren’t signing up for unnecessary extra services. You might not need that discounted landline telephone if you primarily use a mobile.
Where you can’t bundle or eliminate services, do a little comparison shopping. Billshrink.com can help you compare your cell phone plan to find out if you’re getting the best deal. It’s worth periodically comparing the costs for your internet service, phone service, and other monthly services to see if your provider is giving you the best deal.
Rethink the food budget
One of the biggest home expenditures? The food budget. Amazingly, packing lunches from home rather than spending on lunches out can save you a couple of thousand dollars each year!
Cooking at home can save tons over restaurant fare, and buying in bulk is just another way to slash this part of the budget. Buying bulk packages and then placing a portion in the freezer for later use can stretch your dollars farther. It’s also usually cheaper to buy snack items in bulk and portion them out rather than buying prepackaged “snack packs”.
Use the internet
Sites like Retail Me Not offer coupon codes for just about every shopping site you can imagine, from groceries to pet care to home goods and clothing. Before you make a purchase, do a quick internet search to be sure you aren’t missing out on a deal like free shipping. You can also comparison shop for an item at multiple stores before making a large purchase.
Put it on the calendar
Late fees can pile up quickly, so write down the due dates for all bills and services on the calendar as soon as you get them. If you’re a fan of clipping coupons, put them in an envelope by the calendar and go through them once a week to make sure you don’t let any good ones expire by accident.
Adjust the temperature
This applies to both the thermostat and the water heater. Kicking it down a notch can save you a bundle on your energy bill, so readjust the thermostat and either adjust the water heater or take shorter, cooler showers.
Beware of sneaky power usage
Rather than leaving the porch lights on all night, use motion lights or timers. You can use the timer function on many devices around your home, like lamps, the TV, or your stereo, so they’ll automatically power off at a certain point rather than run all night.
Some devices suck up a ton of power if left plugged in, even if they’re just in a “standby” mode. The solution: plug them into a power strip and turn them off when not in use. Microwaves are one of the worst offenders, but computers can pull a lot of power too, so avoid leaving them on standby and shut them off when not in use.