12 Easy Ways to Start Saving Money
Today, many families live on strict budgets and some people even live paycheck-to-paycheck. With money tight, it's understandable that one would want to start saving money right away.
Knowing this and recognizing that others may benefit from some of the tricks that I personally use to save dollars, I decided to write this article.
Not only are these twelve ways simple, but they're easy to implement and will immediately start saving money.
#1. Use Less Laundry Detergent or an Alternative.
When I first moved out on my own, I didn't have a lot of money. In fact, I only made slightly more than minimum wage at the time; so if there was a way for me to save money I was up for it.
I discovered by using slightly less of the detergent that was recommended for washing that I still got my clothes clean and smelling nice.
(For heavily soiled clothes, I would suggest sticking to the amount recommended by the manufacturer.)
Also, if you don't have a High Efficiency (HE) washer, you can use Dawn Dishwashing Liquid to wash your clothes. You only need a few squirts of this to get them clean.
#2. Skip the Fabric Softener.
Not much to say about this one, except that we don't need fabric softener. I haven't used it in years. Some fabric softeners have even stained my clothes in the past, which is the main reason I stopped using them.
#3. Hang Clothes and Towels out on the Line to Dry.
During the spring and summer months, the sun can act as a natural dryer. Now, I wouldn't recommend hanging your undies on the line, but anything else – go for it!
#4. Optimize Dryer Heat.
During the summer, run your dryer at night when it's cooler. It'll take longer to heat up your house which means your air conditioning kicks on less. During the winter, run it at night when it's colder and let it help heat up your home.
#5. Adjust the Thermostat When You Leave for Long Periods of Time.
I have pets, so I have to leave my air and heat on a comfortable range for them. When I leave the house, I set the air on 74 degrees and the heat on 68 degrees.
Even if you don't have pets, keeping the air and heat on while you're gone may also cost less than turning it off. If you turn the air off during a hot summer day, you'll only cause your A/C to work harder to bring the temperature back down when you return home. This makes your bill go up. Leaving your thermostat at a comfortable range throughout the day can actually save you money.
#6. Lock It Down.
While you're at home, set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature and leave it. It's imperative that everyone in your household understands not to touch the thermostat. This may seem extreme, but if you find the air or heat mysteriously moving from your set temperature, buy one of those and lock it down. clear lock boxes
#7. Invest in Energy Efficient Bulbs.
Replace all your light bulbs with energy-efficient ones and keep the UPC labels from the boxes. A lot of companies guarantee that an energy efficient bulb will last 5-7 years. If it goes out before then, you can contact them for a free replacement only if you have the UPC label. So again, be sure to keep it.
#8 Turn Things Off.
Make sure to turn off lights and electronics that you aren't using, like TV's, radios, or game consoles.
#9. Install In-Door Motion Sensors for Lights.
Install motion sensors for lights in kitchens, hallways, and stairwells. This way when someone isn't in a room, the lights will shut off by themselves.
Note: I don't recommend installing them in rooms where you might be sitting for long periods of time such as living rooms, offices, and bathrooms; or you just may find yourself continually sitting in the dark.
#10. Purchase Off-Brand Products.
A lot of times off-brand items are half the price of name brand ones and taste similar or the same.
#11. Put Curtains on Your Windows.
You have blinds on your windows, great; but you need curtains too.
In the summer curtains will aid in keeping some of the heat out, and in the winter they will stop cold drafts from making their way in.
If you'd like to take it a step further, invest in thermal curtains. Thermal curtains contain a layer of acrylic foam between the fabric. Not only do they keep out the heat and cold, they can also dampen outside sounds.
#12. Clip Coupons and Use Coupon Apps.
I can't stress how important that it is to clip coupons. It's easy to find them just about anywhere.
There are coupons in your Sunday paper and weekly mailings. Also, you can print coupons from online sites such as Coupons.com.
In addition to paper coupons, there are two mobile apps that I use almost every time that I go shopping.
The first is Ibotta. Ibotta rewards you for purchasing products listed in their app. So, if you see a product that you buy regularly (like Heinz ketchup), then you can buy the product at your local store, scan the receipt, and get a rebate. After you accumulate $20 in your account, you can cash out via Paypal.
The second app that I use is Shopkick. Shopkick is a tool that companies use for market research. They want to know what stores that people visit, what's in stock in the store, and what you're buying. In turn for sharing this info with them, they give you points which you can use for gift cards or on a prize from their rewards store.
Share Your Ideas!
Well, there you have it. Twelve easy ways to start saving money quickly. I'm confident that you'll be able to implement some of these tips to help put dollars back into your pocket. Also, if you have any additional money saving ideas that you'd like to share, please post them in the comment section below.
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