In an effort to continue to pass along frugal tips that will help you save money, I have comprised this list of 10 easy things you can institute right now:
1. Lower Your Satellite/Cable Bill Now
Do you have expensive cable or satellite TV? Or perhaps a DSL subscription you would like to lower? Here is an easy tip to lower all of these bills in 15 minutes. Just call up their customer service department and say you want to cancel because it is just too expensive. They don’t want to lose your business and will do darn near anything to keep you as a loyal customer.
I have personally done this and received $15 off my Dish Network bill for 1 year, and the introductory DSL rate of $19.99 per month for 2 years. It took all of 10 minutes to do both and I saved $25 per month and $300 for the year. Easy money.
2. Order Water Only
One of the healthiest (and cheapest) things you can do is drink a lot of water. So at restaurants skip the $2 soda and order water only. You can save a lot of money and do something good for your body. I have been doing this for over a year and I also ask for a lemon wedge, I actually prefer this drink now. Very refreshing and over the course of a year it has saved me several hundred dollars.
3. Buy Only What You Will Reasonably Use In 6 Months
Just because it is on sale does not mean you should buy 10 of them. If it went on sale once, it will go on sale again. Besides, if you stock up because it’s a great deal you run the risk of spoilage. Example, the 1 gallon vat of mayo from Costco is not a good purchase, unless you eat the stuff by the spoonful.
4. Sell Stuff On Etsy.com
Sometimes the best way to live frugally is to find extra income and selling on Etsy.com is an excellent way to do just that. Etsy lets you sell handmade items made by you, vintage items that are at least 20 years old, as well as commercial and handmade craft supplies. When your items sell, you pay Etsy a reasonable 3.5% commission.
This is a great way to earn some extra money, especially if you make your own Christmas decorations, ornaments, stockings, and other seasonal decor. Believe me when I say people will snatch it up very quickly. Etsy is the real deal and my wife has ordered stuff from them several times. I would define it as the anti-China, as products are very well made and have a lot of character.
5. Ask your Electric Company for an Inspection
My neighbor did this and had his home inspected, they found his home’s air conditioning ducts had a bunch of leaks in them and they actually fixed them. He had to pay for the repairs up front, but PG&E (our electric company) gave him a big rebate to pay for the fix. Pretty cool, literally.
6. Use Both Sides of Computer Paper
If you are like me, you print out a lot of blogs and other articles for reading. Don’t recycle the paper when done, instead use the other side for further printing, then recycle it.
7. Learn to Do-It-Yourself
A few years ago I picked up the Reader’s Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual and it is great. Easy to follow directions with clear pictures for dummies like me. Covers everything from inside your home to outside stuff. A great reference that can save you a ton of money by not having to call in outside help. You can pick it up slightly used for around $8-10 at Amazon.com.
8. Buy Used A Lot!
Buy sporting goods for you and the kids at places like ‘Play It Again Sports’ and shop yard sales for kids toys and clothing that will outgrow quickly anyways. Also, get skilled at using CraigsList.org when buying used cars, tools, bikes, large toys, firewood, and furniture. You can easily save hundreds of dollars a year by buying used.
9. Save Money on Groceries
Never grocery shop when you are hungry, you’ll buy less junk food. Also, try to go to the grocery store when you’re in a hurry and have limited time to spend, you’ll waste less time meandering the frozen dessert aisle buying junk. Always shop with a list, it will keep you on track. Buy bulk items and non-perishables when they are on sale. They last forever and can be easily stored in the pantry. Buy chicken when it’s on sale and store it in the freezer.
It does not get freezer burnt, and stores really well. Also, learn to cook more than you need and use the leftovers for lunch the next day or freeze it for another meal down the road. These tips are really easy to follow and can save you at the very least $50 a month. It saves my family over $1,000 a year.
10. Shop Smart with Coupon Codes
This tip may seem a bit biased, but saving money using online coupons and promotional codes couldn’t be easier. It still amazes me how many people I run into that don’t know about online coupon codes and fail to notice the coupon code box when checking out from online retailers. Also, be sure you are armed with a mobile coupon app for your smartphone so you always have a coupon when checking out. It is free money and you don’t want to leave it on the table.