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10 Ways to Cut Your Spending

No matter where you are financially, everyone loves looking for small ways to cut their spending and save some money. Those smallest of savings can really add up. If you can cut just $6 from your daily spending, that adds up to $2190 a year!! I don’t know about you, but I can put that amount of money to some good use.

Let’s look at 10 simple ways that you can cut your spending so you can free up that extra cash for the things that are really important to you.

1. Switch to Store Brands

Did you know that making the switch to store brand labels can save you on average 25%? There are big savings to be had by making this simple change to the way that you shop. Worried about sacrificing quality? Over the counter medications and many staple food items are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so the store brand pain reliever will offer you the same benefits as the national brand. The only thing you’re not paying for are the marketing and the pretty packaging.

2. Shop with a List

Shopping with a list, and sticking to it, is an easy way to cut spending because it helps you to avoid those impulse purchases. This doesn’t just go for groceries. Next time you’re headed to the store to get the children or yourself some new clothes, be sure to inventory what you have and write a list of what you need. This will help you stay focused while shopping and save you money.

3. Meal Plan

Meal planning has been the biggest single thing I’ve done that has saved my family money. It has allowed me to cut, on average $200 a month from my grocery budget! Once a week, sit down with the store ads, see what’s on sale, and plan a week’s worth of dinners. Not only will this help to simplify your week, but it will also help you to avoid those trips through the drive-thru.

4. Carry Snacks

Speaking of trips through the drive-thru, one of my favorite ways to avoid spending money on food while we’re out and about is to carry snacks with me if we’re going to be away from home for more than a couple of hours. My stash of “car snacks” has saved many trips to the convenience store or fast food restaurant because all of a sudden one (or both) of my children are hungry.

5. Use it Up

Before you head out to buy another bottle of shampoo or another bottle of salad dressing, use up what you already have first. If you want to make sure that you are truly using it all up, be sure to cut open the end of that tube of toothpaste because even if you think it’s all gone, you will find that you have another week worth of product left in the package.

6. Talk to Your Service Providers

Call up your service providers to see if they have any promotions or special pricing that you can take advantage of. If you mention that you’re looking at shopping around, they’ll be more than happy to give you their best offer so that they can keep your business.

7. Pack your Lunch and Bring Your Coffee To Go

If you are the type of person who grabs lunch and coffee on the go, this simple change could save you $50 a week or more. It might take a few extra minutes in the evening to put together your lunch, but the savings are more than worth it. If you took that $50 a week and invested it in a fund with an average return of 6.5%, in 15 years you would have just over $61,000!!

8. Cancel Email Deals and Sales Alerts

I started doing this after Christmas and I’ve come to appreciate my less cluttered in-box. The biggest thing I don’t miss? That feeling of temptation when seeing “75% OFF!!” and “Brand New Markdowns!!”.  After all, you’re not really saving any money if you didn’t need the item in the first place.

9. Buy Things Used

Thanks to online buy and sell sites, good old thrift stores, and garage sales, it is easier than ever to buy quality items used. I’ll buy used clothing for myself and my children, books, and some furniture pieces for my home. No longer will I spend $80 for a pair of jeans when I can get the exact same pair for $15 at my local thrift shop.

10. Practice the Art of Contentment

I love this quote because it really puts into perspective just how fortunate most of us are. Rather than craving the next new item or upgrade, focus on being thankful for and appreciate what you do have.  When you spend your time appreciating what you have, you’ll find you will spend less time focused on the things that you want.  

Your Turn:

  • What are some spending cuts that you have made to reach your financial goals?

 

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