Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 painless ways to save money

Are you looking for a few ways to cut back but don’t want to feel the pinch? Here are a few simple easy ways to save money each month with little to no effort.


1. Turn off those lights- It is easy to just leave all your lights on when walking through your home. Each time you leave a room, turn off that light!

To run a light bulb for 3 hours a day for one month is roughly $1, depending on your kwh/hour rate. That might not sound like a lot but consider having 10 lights on for 3 hours a day for one month. That is $10 just because you didn’t flip the switch as you walked past it when leaving the room. I consider that a large amount of money to waste just because I didn’t feel like turning it off.


2. Learn to love your crockpot- By slow cooking a cheap piece of meat, which is often cheaper, it will make them fall apart and be delicious. Beef, chicken, pork etc. it works on all cuts of meat. Rather than buying a roast for $15+ dollars buy a cheap roast for $5 and cook it on low for 8-10 hours and tell me it’s not delicious.

As far as energy consumption goes, in my area it costs around $.15 to run the crockpot for 8 hours. If you have a gas range it might often be cheaper to run the oven, however if you’re like me and have an electric range it is a very large savings. Now that $.15 figure is for my area in Idaho, we have pretty cheap electricity. If you are back East it will probably run you about $.30-$.40 to run the crockpot for 8 hours. This is simply my guesstimate on usage and wattage of my crockpot. All crockpots are different.

There are many great resources to obtain crockpot recipes. Year of crockpot is one of my favorite. She introduced to me that you don’t have to use it just for roast and soup. Dessert, baked potatoes, cake, bread all made in the crockpot! How neat!


3. Waste not, want not- Another great way to save a ton of money for little effort is to use what you have. Instead of throwing away the last serving of mash potatoes that are leftover from dinner last night, put them in the freezer container. Each time you have a little bit leftover of anything, veggies, soup, put it in that container. When it is full place it in your crockpot and you will have one of the best soups you will ever make.

Same goes for health and beauty products. You can cut open the end of the toothpaste tube and get at least 10 more uses out of an “empty” tube. When done using your razor, dip it into rubbing alcohol and let it air dry. This will save your blades for many more uses.

By wasting less of what you buy you won’t need to buy more, saving money. Tiny tasks each day can save big money in the long run.


4. Pay your bills on time- Each time you let bills go and you receive a late fee it could cost you $5-$30. Each month you pay 10 bills late at an average of $15 per late fee that is $150 a month, or $1800 a year. $1800 you could have in a savings account. $1800 you could have went on a very nice vacation. So why do you let business have that $1800 go in there pocket? It is ridiculous!

There are many easy ways you can pay those bills on time and not even have to think about it. Use auto pay, most banks offer this for free. The company that you are paying might offer it as well. It is worth setting up to have it automatically taken out of your bank account to save that $1800 a year.


5. Brown bag it- Back when I had a 9-5 job I had a serious addiction, it was a little piece of heaven at a local gas station. A little breakfast bread bundle filled with yummy ham and cheese. Each morning on my way to work I’d stop and purchase one and a pop. That ran me about $5 each morning. Then lunch would roll around and my boyfriend and I would head to the closest fast food joint and spend $15. That is $20 a day, Monday through Friday. Hello $400 of wasted money each month! The sad thing is we used to eat out for dinner each Friday at a nice restaurant, all money down the drain.

If I went back to work now, I would fry and egg (.11) and put it on an English muffin (.25) for breakfast for a total of .36. For lunch I would bring leftovers from dinner or even a sandwich on homemade bread, which would be $.40-.50 a sandwich. Total for the day= 1.72 for both of us versus $20. Total for the month $34.40. That is $365.60 in savings. Not to mention the health benefits of not eating all that processed feed each day.

Some of these things only save a dollar here or a dollar there but every cent adds up when trying to save money. You don’t need to give up all luxuries in life to save a dollar. It is all about deciding what things are important to you. If you have to have that $5 coffee each morning, maybe you can take your lunch to work. Or if eating out once a week is something you don’t want to sacrifice, perhaps cooking with your crockpot a few times a week can fund that luxury. It is all just a matter of choice.


4 comments:

  1. good tips - I'm always harping about turning off those lights! And like you, I used to eat out for lunch every day when I worked a 9-5 job. Can't even begin to imagine how much money I've wasted over the years. :(

    new follower via blog hop!

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  2. Great ideas! I'm a new follower! Please follow back if you get the chance! :)

    -Jessica
    And Then There Were 4...
    http://www.giveawaysandlife.blogspot.com/

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  3. New follower from the blog hop. Love your blog!

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  4. I truly love my crockpot. It's the best invention ever. You can make EVERYTHING in there.
    I love your blog, totally love your signature. I'm a lover of fonts!
    Thanks for coming and linking up at Frugal Friday Blog Hop I host at November Sunflower!

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