Nearly everyone is feeling the pinch in today’s tight economy. With rising inflation and a drastic increase in consumer goods, it is more important than ever to budget wisely. Here are eight tips to start using today to help you to save money on everyday purchases.
Join Loyalty Programs
Signing up for a customer loyalty card or program for your preferred vendors is a smart consumer move. Businesses are always gunning to win over and retain loyal customers. Make the most of this by smartly using these programs to your advantage. For instance, some grocery stores will offer fuel rewards for every dollar that you spend. You are going to need to purchase fuel for your vehicle anyway. You might as well combine it with your grocery loyalty program and double dip on the savings.
Sign Up for an Rx Card
Prescription drug costs have been spiraling out of control in recent years. You can mitigate these costs by signing up for a free Rx card. These cards boast substantial savings over what you may be paying for all of those important prescription medications. Discover savings on both brand-name and generic drugs by registering for one of these prescription cards.
Shop the Sales
Food prices can vary dramatically from week to week and from store to store. Savvy consumers get in the habit of shopping the sales each week and building a meal plan around where they will find the best deals. It only takes a few minutes each week to check the online circulars at your local stores so that you can identify where you will find the best prices and for what products.
DIY if You are Able
While it may be convenient to contract out certain household tasks to others, this practice can also be a significant money sink. You will save loads of money on an annual basis if you are willing to perform these duties on your own. This includes taking care of your yard work, house cleaning, vehicle maintenance, dog walking, basic household repairs, and more. There is also a certain level of inherent satisfaction that comes with handling these responsibilities yourself.
Bring Your Lunch to Work
There is no doubt that eating out at lunch can wreck your waistline as well as your budget. Most people are shocked to learn how much money they are spending each year on eating out during the workday. Unlike the occasional night out with the family on the weekends, an everyday lunch is not a special occasion nor should it be treated as such.
Make Your Coffee at Home
While you are at it, consider skipping that morning coffee run. Making your coffee at home can save you hundreds of dollars a year depending on your java habits. You will also save time by performing this daily task at home while you are getting ready in the morning rather than waiting in a long drive-through line.
There are scores of deals out there waiting for you if you are willing to shop secondhand for some of your goods. Secondhand shops are particularly good deals when it comes to clothing. Why pay full price for an item when you can get it gently used at a fraction of the cost? As a bonus, you will also feel good about what you are doing for the environment by getting in the habit of reusing and recycling.
Price and Compare Your Contracts
It is a good idea to get in the habit of pricing out your contracts once per year. This includes calling and getting quotes for insurance, cell phone coverage, and internet and cable. You never know how you will score a better deal simply by being persistent about asking around for new quotes. Some companies will jump at the chance to secure a new customer by offering you a discounted rate. These savings can really add up over time.
These eight tips are proven ways to cut costs on all of your most basic everyday expenses. A little research and planning now can go a long way in putting more money back into your bank account at the end of every month.