The best ways to save money

Every day, companies battle for our attention on television, the Internet and even on the sides of buses urging us to buy, buy, buy. There are certainly no shortages of ways to spend money. Fortunately, there are also plenty of ways to save money now. Below are some simple steps to cut your spending and start socking away more dollars. And keep in mind, the more you do, the more you’ll save.

No Frills Shopping: An Irresistible Way to Save Money Now

Getting your groceries at a no-frills grocery store is a great way to save up to $5 per bag. Buy in bulk when possible and freeze meal-sized portions for future use. You’ll not only save money, you’ll save time. And don’t forget to choose store brands whenever possible.

Utility Bills: Slash to Save

One way to save money on your water bill is to never run the dishwasher or the washing machine without a full load. Install a low-flow shower head and save 3+ gallons of water per minute. Another way to save money is to install low-flush toilets. While they will cost you in initial outlay, you could see savings of up to 20% on your water bill. What’s more, you’ll be doing something good for the planet.

Ask your power company for an energy audit or assessment to help lower your electricity costs. These are usually free walk-throughs with a power company employee who will point out ways for you to save money. Often they will recommend such things as adding insulation and installing a programmable thermostat. Replacing your bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs and using power strips to shut off your small electrics that draw power when not in use. And remember to wash your clothes in cold water. You’ll save a lot by not paying to heat the water, and cold cleans just as well as hot.

Cut the Cable: Another Money-Saver

Disconnect your premium cable channels and switch to Netflix or Hulu. You’ll not only save money, you’ll get to watch what you want instead of what happens to be on.

Many cable companies also provide Internet service, so this is another way to save money. Lowering the speed of your broadband service could save you $10 to $20 a month and it’s doubtful you’ll notice the difference. Even the slowest high-speed Internet service is plenty fast to stream a movie or download a file. Don’t forget to ask if there are any discounts for bundling your services such as cable, Internet, and phone service.

Inspect Your Insurance and Save

Ask your agent or insurance company to review all your policies including home, renters and automobile. You may be duplicating coverage and spending money you don’t have to. Consider increasing your deductibles. This is a reliable way to save money; on average, 15% in premiums on any deductible you raise.

Is your health insurance with an HMO or a PPO? Perhaps you can get the care you need from an HMO which could save you a lot in premiums vs a PPO.

Review and Save on Your Cell Contract

Do you need all the minutes and data you’re currently paying for? Ask your cell phone provider for a lower priced plan. Remember to ask if they have any promotions you might qualify for. If you don’t ask about ways to save money, no one will tell you.

Money-Saving Car Maintenance

Keeping your car mechanically sound is not just essential for safety, it’s cost-effective. You’d be amazed at all the ways you can save money by properly maintaining your car. The wrong tire pressure alone can cost you lots in gas.

Don’t Pay for Money

Unless your ATM is part of your bank’s network and there are no fees involved, don’t use it to get cash. Instead, save money in service fees by getting the cash you need at no cost when you pay for your weekly groceries with your debit card.

Rely on the Library for Savings

These days, local libraries stock more than books. They offer current CDs and DVDs and they’re all absolutely free. How’s that for another way to save money?

Put Money in Your Pocket by Packing Your Lunch

Brown bagging it has a lot of advantages. Not only will you save about $5 per day, you’ll probably eat a healthier lunch. Most people choose fast food for lunch which is not only high in calories, it’s high in fat. Spending 5 to 10 minutes a night packing your own lunch will pay off with approximately $100 a month in extra savings and lower cholesterol.

Most people don’t think they’ll save much money by sweating the little stuff. But it’s the little stuff every day that can help you put away up to $5,000 a year.

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