6 Uncommon Ways to Save Money

By • Sep 19th, 2011 • Category: Budget

In difficult economic times, saving money and reducing expenses are the buzzwords of the day.  However, saving money is more than buying in bulk and cutting out a morning latte at your favorite coffee shop. There are many hidden expenses that we take for granted because they have become part of our lifestyle.

Analyzing your routines and the effect they have on your finances is a challenge facing everyone who wants to find some extra cash. Following are six tips to help you get started. Implementing these suggestions may mean a lifestyle change for you and your family, but they are not draconian measures to put into practice. Once you have tackled these changes, you will be able to identify other hidden expenses that you can undertake.

1.  Change Your Drinking Habits

Instead of buying individual bottles of water, refill your own bottles. A gallon of distilled water costs about 1 cent an ounce compared to 2 cents to 6 cents for individual bottles, depending on the brand. If you drink just one gallon a week, you could save between $33.28 and $166.40 a year.

2.  Order Vegetarian

Reducing your spending does not mean you have to give up eating out. On those occasions when you do splurge, you can cut down your expense by ordering a vegetarian dish. Vegetarian dishes generally cost less than meat-based entrees and in some entrees, such as vegetarian lasagna or meat-less spaghetti sauce, you do not even notice there is no meat.

3.  Replace Your Landline

In today’s mobile society, each family member often has his or her own cell phone, and the landline gets little or no use. If you still want to keep a separate number for the home, consider trading in your landline for a cell phone that has a limited number of calls a month. With the number of cell phone options available, fees can range from as low as $10 a month to $75 a year, depending on the number of minutes or number of calls. At $19.95 a month for a cell phone compared to $35 a month for a landline, you can save $180 a year. Keep in mind you may have to pay a one-time port fee of $20 to $25.

4.  Get Creative

Instead of buying coloring books for young children, ask your local newspaper for an end roll of newsprint. The newsprint can be recycled when they have finished coloring.

5.  Sell Before You Buy

Cutting expenses does not necessarily mean you have to cut out your shopping expeditions, although you will have to decrease the amount you spend or the number of times you visit the stores. Before hitting the mall, go through your closets and find clothing you have not worn in a while. Sell the items at a consignment shop, thrift store or yard sale, and then use that money to buy your new clothing. You will not get rich selling your old clothing, but at least you will get some of your money back and your closet will get a thorough cleaning.

6.  Donate Used Clothing

If you are looking to save money on your taxes, donating used clothing to a qualified, tax-exempt organization can lower your tax bill. Make a list of the items donated and make sure you get a signed, dated receipt from the organization in case Uncle Sam asks you to prove your deduction.

This guest post was written by Kimberly Willis, who writes about money-saving tips and is a www.coupon.org contributor.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,

Email this author | All posts by

Leave a Reply