Here is a top 10 list of easy ways to save money. Remember this is just a start. Once you’ve got the easy ones under your belt spend some time and investigate other strategies to save money.
Here’s a tip for you. Seemingly small expenses add up big time over the years. So look at the long term and work out what you are spending over a period of 25 years.
The sums involved should motivate you to make these simple changes!
Cook All Of Your Food At Home
Eating out just once a week or ordering take out soon adds up. A $30 a week spend on food that you didn’t cook yourself totals $1,560 per year. Or $39,000 over 25 years. A tasty meal can be cooked at home for $5 saving you $1,300 per year or $32,500 over 25 years.
It isn’t difficult to switch to eating at home. Take 10 minutes to make a menu covering all of the lunches and dinners for the week. List your ingredients and you will know exactly what you need when you go to the store or shop online.
Try and choose some meals that can be prepared in bulk so that you can save some meals in the freezer.
Check out these easy, delicious, cheap recipes for some ideas. This is the top of the easy ways to save money.
Use Coupons to Save Money on Your Groceries
This is one of the easiest ways to save money. The stores own brand isn’t always the cheapest option. By using coupons and following a couponing strategy you can walk away with some totally free items. Sometimes you will even get money back!
It is certainly possible to save $10 per week at the very minimum by using coupons. This saves you $520 per year or $13,000 over 25 years.
Join coupon mom.com and let Stephanie Nelson aka The Coupon Mom help you start saving today. It’s free to join!
Here are some other coupon listings for you to check out.
Coupon Mountain No registration required. Offers free coupon codes, bargains and sales from more than 2,000 online stores.
Users can browse and print current grocery coupons from Coupons.com
A great place to check for discount codes when you are shopping on line is currentcodes.com. On the check out page of most online stores you will see a box where you can enter a code for a discount coupon. A quick check on currentcodes.com might turn up a nice discount for you.
At Delio.com you can compare prices on over 30 million products, find online store coupon codes and get the hottest daily online deals.
Switch to Pay As You Go Mobile Phone Service
Do you really need that high price call plan?
Don’t you think your finances will be more secure if you break the cell phone addiction? One cell phone in the family is probably costing $40 per month. That’s $480 a year or $12,000 over 25 years.
Switch to pay as you go, you can find a plan that will cost you $7 a month or thereabouts. Only use it for emergencies!
Save your calls and texts for when you get home and use a free service like Skype.
You can save $396 per year for each phone. That’s $8,400 over 25 years.
Change Your Light Bulbs
This must be one simplest easy ways to save money, and it only takes a few minutes to put in place.
If you are still using the old style incandescent light bulbs you are burning money!
Replace a 100 watt bulb with a 25 watt CFL (compact florescent lightbulb) bulb and you will soon see the savings stack up.
Assuming an electricity cost of 10 cents per kw/h and a run time of 4 hours per day. One incandescent bulb will cost you $14.60 to run for 1 year. That’s $365 over 25 years. Add in replacement bulbs and your total cost is $415.
For one lightbulb without figuring in any electricity price hikes!
A 25 watt CFL will cost only $3.65 per year. Saving you $273.75 per bulb in your home over 25 years. A cfl costs $2 and has a life of 8000 hours.
Let’s figure in 3 bulbs in your home running for 4 hours per day. Your annual savings will be $33. Saving you $810 over 25 years.
Now there are even better options available. I love the LED lights! They last up to 15 times longer than the old incandescent bulbs – yet cost about one tenth of the electricity cost to run.
Stop Using a Clothes Dryer
You can save 100% of the cost of drying your clothes if you line dry instead of using a clothes dryer.
If you dry 7 loads per week your dryer is costing you $130 per year if you pay 10c per kw/h for your power.
Or how about using a spin dryer? These nifty appliances leave clothes almost dry after a 2 minute spin. You can hang your clothes on the line to finish drying or hang them up indoors if clothes lines are forbidden where you live. Which incidentally is one of the stupidest laws humanity has ever come up with!
A spin dryer consumes around 300 watts to get your clothes almost dry. Compare that to 5000 watts used by a dryer.
Let’s assume that you line dry your laundry and use an indoor clothes airer when the weather is wet. Annual savings $130. Savings over 25 years$3,250.
Cut Your Cable TV
Sitting in front of a TV wastes your time and your money. Money may be hard to come by, but extra time is impossible to acquire. Do you realize that the average person spends over 13 years of their life sitting boggle eyed in front of a TV? That is insane! What a waste of precious lifetime.
How much does that cost you? Well let’s forget for the moment that those 13 years sat on your butt will cost you dearly in terms of your health and the associated costs in medical care. Lets just focus on the direct cost of cable or satellite TV. We’ll factor in the average price for a starter pack which is around $50 per month. Your particular package could easily be double that if you are subscribing to sports and movies.
So $50 per month, that’s an easy $600 per year.
Lets assume that you have Internet at home. You can watch just about any TV show or movie online for free. Why pay to be advertised to? The entertainment is a secondary feature of TV. It’s prime purpose is to make you consume more.
Ditching your cable will save you $15,000 over 25 years.
Cut Your Hair Yourself
This is one of the more creative ways to save money. For guys, invest in a pair of hair clippers and just choose the length you want the hair to be and clip on the corresponding hair guide. 5 minutes and the haircut is done and you’re $10 richer.
Ladies grow your hair to at least shoulder length and then do a layer cut. Just bend forward at the waist and brush your hair down toward the floor. Gather your hair into a pony tail and cut with a sharp pair of scissors for a great looking hairstyle.
You can find great hair cutting tutorials on YouTube.
Save $40 or more every 3 months. A family of 4 can save around $400 per year. Or $10,000 over 25 years.
Here is another way to save a little on hair care. Switch to shampooing once a week. Your hair will still look good and you won’t be damaging it with a hefty dose of chemicals each day either. And you know how that one goes, the more damage you do, the more money you spend trying to correct the damage. So do your hair and your pocket a favor and don’t damage it in the first place.
If your family gets through 1 bottle of shampoo and 1 bottle of hair conditioner per week you are spending around $520 per year. Switch to once a week shampoos and you will only spend $70 per year. Saving you $450 per year or $11,250 over 25 years.
Find Free Stuff
The web is full of offers for free samples and free subscriptions. The problem is it takes time to find them. This is where sites like AbsurdlyCool Freebie Finder — Automatically find the best freebies online! come in.
Every day the site is updated with the latest free offers. A quick look at the site today (Aug 2010) has a free movie, free earrings, free pedometer, free lunch tote to name just a few of the listings.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Clothing
Clothes are a fairly big expense for most families. Even a modest spend of $50 per month adds up to $600 per year. $15,000 over 25 years.
Have a go and see if you can cut this bill down to size. Buy underwear when it’s on sale and pick up value packs.
Ask friends and family for any clothes that they are throwing out. Young kids won’t even care if they are getting hand downs and if older kids object, just don’t tell them. Hang the clothes in the closet, they will probably wear them.
Encourage kids to customize clothes to create their own unique style instead of being a clone of everyone else.
If lighter colored clothes are looking a little shabby, pick up a packet of washing machine dye and a bag of salt. You will get a lot more mileage out of your clothes this way.
Look in charity shops, such as Goodwill.
Make a big effort and try to spend no more than $10 per month for the whole family.
Save $480 per year which is $12,000 over 25 years.
Cancel Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions
Spending $5 per week on papers and magazines costs you $260 per year. $6500 over 25 years.
Save that expense by reading news online.
How The Savings Add Up
Let’s add these savings up and see how you have done. OK, annually you have saved $4560. And that’s a 25 year saving of $114,000. That is a pretty nice amount of cash.
As you can see the easiest ways to save money involve making slight adjustments to your lifestyle, but none of them are drastic or painful. These tips just scratch the surface of saving money, there are hundreds of ways to be frugal.
For some more smart ways to save money take a look at these ideas for cheap living.
These money saving tips will help you to balance your budget and you may even have some money left over to pay down a credit card debt or squirrel away into a rainy day fund.
Let me know about your favorite easy ways to save money, drop me a comment below!.