20 Tips to Save Money and Reduce Bills

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Posted on : 10-04-2011 | By : Trish | In : Activities and Entertainment, Daily Deals, Free Stuff

There are a number of ways to cut costs and lower your bills without making huge sacrifices. Start out by making small adjustments to your everyday habits and watch the savings pile up!

  1. Ditch Cable! I know, I know…I said no huge sacrifices. 🙂 But cutting the cable doesn’t have to be a huge sacrifice. With a digital converter box, most of us can get all of the major networks and PBS channels. For cable shows, check out Hulu, a service that lets you stream shows to your computer for free! For movies, try Netflix. For less than $10 a month, you can get DVD’s delivered and stream movies to your computer or gaming system! Check into a Roku player to stream all of your Netflix movies and more to your TV. Roku starts at $59. Check it out here:
  2. The Affordable On Demand Player! Click here! The box comes with 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

  3. Dump the Movie Channels. Okay, so you just can’t bring yourself to cancel the cable. If you subscribe to premium movie channels, you can at least dump those. Again, Hulu has your series for free. Even if you don’t plan to actually get rid of them, call the cable or satellite company and tell them that you don’t want the premium channels anymore. You’re highly likely to get offered a pretty deep discount to keep them! If not, just get the Roku & a Netflix subscription. The Roku will pay for itself in 2 months!
  4. Trim your home phone bill. If you still have a home phone (I just feel better with a landline!), cut it down to the bare minimum. Ditch voicemail for a $15 digital answering machine. Use the machine to screen calls and ditch caller ID while you’re at it. Do you really need call waiting? If you’re on the line when a friend or family member calls, they’ll most likely try your cell next anyway 🙂  See what services you can live without and call your phone company to dump them.
  5. Bundle Your Services. Most phone or cable companies offer bundles of phone, internet, cable, and even wireless service. And those bundles are usually cheaper than paying for each separately. Check into it and see how much you can save by combining services!
  6. Turn off the Lights! This one is obvious, but important. If you’re not using it, turn it off. There are lots of ways to cut your electric bill, but the easiest is to just turn off the lights when you’re not in the room.
  7. Change the Lights. Compact flourescent bulbs can actually make a pretty big difference in your electric bill. Replace all of your regular bulbs with CFL’s or LED’s to save a couple of dollars a month. It adds up!
  8. Wash in cold water. Wash clothes in cold water. I was never big on this one until I got a washer with a faulty hot inlet. I couldn’t wash in hot because it would’ve taken 3 hours for the washer to fill. There was no difference. My clothes still came out just as clean using cold water as they did with hot.
  9. Open the windows! Ahh, I love spring! One of my favorite parts about this time of year is opening the windows. If it’s a bit too hot, turn on ceiling or floor fans. You’ll save a ton just by turning off the a/c and letting the fresh air in. And if you’ve come across this post when it’s not spring, adjust your thermostat when you’re not home and when you’re sleeping. When you are home, go for 72 in the summer and 68 in the winter.
  10. Use your Crock Pot. Crock pot cooking saves time and money. It’s not only easier on you, but it uses less electricity. Throw in a roast or chicken and some veggies in the morning, and have a delicious dinner in the evening. Yum!
  11. Cook out. Using your grill is a great way to cut your electric bill! You’re not only eliminating electricity for the cooking, but you’re cutting down on the clean up as well. You can wrap veggies in foil and throw them on the grill with your main course!
  12. Cut Down on Eating Out. This one can be hard, but can probably save more money than anything. Write down everything you spend eating out for one month. The cost is incredible and largely unnecessary. Pack your lunch and make dinner at home. Use dinner leftovers for lunch. Take healthy snacks to work with you to avoid the dreaded snack machine. Make coffee at home. That’s a hard one for those of you addicted to your fru-fru coffee drinks, but give it a try. If you like flavored coffees, try a flavored creamer. There are a ton of them available now in just about every flavor you can imagine! You’ll be amazed at how much you can save in a month. Save eating out & expensive coffees for a special treat.
  13. Check out the clearance section. I am a clearance junkie! I don’t think I have a single piece of clothing that I’ve paid full price for. The “end of the season” starts right in the middle of the season! You can find clearance swimsuits in July and clearance coats in January! There is more than just clothing on clearance, as well. I always walk the perimeter of Target. They do have clearance items in the aisles, but the biggest clearance sections are on the endcaps closest to the wall.
  14. Go to a thrift store. If you’re not a thrift store shopper, you may be surprised at some of the high quality items you’ll find there. Thrift stores usually have clothes, books, housewares, and more. Find one (or a few) locally and just check it out.
  15. Shop at “junk stores.”  That’s probably not the official name of them, but find stores in your area that carry returns and discontinued items.  We have a “Sundry Store” locally that carries discontinued items as well as items in damaged packaging. Diapers, feminine products, toilet paper, medicines, makeup, shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, etc., etc. I love that place!
  16. Try a garage sale. Garage sales are awesome! You really never know what you’ll find! People sell tons of stuff at (usually) rock bottom prices. You can also have your own garage sale to make a little money! I had one last year with what I thought was a bunch of junk and made over $400 in 2 days. It was fabulous!
  17. Go to the library. I love to read and I own enough books to open my own bookstore. But, I live in a town with a truly pathetic excuse for a library. It’s a musty old room in the basement of the old courthouse that stinks to high heaven and probably doesn’t have a book that was published after 1968. Most towns in this country have a library with a large collection of books and DVD’s that you can check out for free! If we ever get a real one, I will most likely live there!
  18. Borrow CD’s. If you’re a music lover, check with your friends before you go out and buy or download a CD. I’m all for artists being paid for their work, but I’m also big on saving money. Borrow a friend’s CD’s and burn a copy or ask them to burn your favorite songs from their digital music collection. But, be sure to return the favor!
  19. Try it before you buy it! If you’re thinking about making a purchase, especially a big one, try it first! If it’s just the latest lotion, look for a trial or travel size. Otherwise, check with your friends and borrow the item, look for rentals, or read product reviews. I have a nasty back injury and really wanted an inversion table. Luckily, I was able to borrow one from a friend first. I absolutely hate that thing! And I was ready to go lay down $200 because I was just so sure it would make me feel better!
  20. Do your own taxes! It drives me crazy when my friends go to a tax prep service and pay a couple hundred dollars. Check out the IRS website for Free-file services. Most people qualify, you do it online through a reputable company, and you get your entire refund in your account in less than 2 weeks! The software asks you the same questions that the preparer would. You just put the info in yourself instead of paying someone to do it for you.
  21. Try free activities. We spend a lot of money on activities and entertainment. Check into other options to cut that expense. One of my favorites is Geocaching. It’s outside, it’s active, and it’s FUN! Kids and adults love it. You can also turn off the TV & lights and go for a walk or visit a local park.  Check out The Home Depot’s Kids’ Workshop on the first Saturday of every month. Lowe’s also has one and it’s on a different weekend! These are great for kids. They get to build something with wood and best of all, spend time with you! There are always special projects for Mother’s and Father’s day so the kids can give you a special gift that they made and it doesn’t cost a thing!

This is a small list, but making just a couple of changes can lead to savings that will eventually add up. If you have any tips or ideas to save money or cut bills, please leave a comment so others can take advantage of them!

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