Money    

Easy saving tips that don't require coupons



Easy ways to shave $25 from your spending

 

Think you don’t have enough money to start saving? Think again. Here’s a list of ways to help shave $25 off your spending each week and turn it into an investment. Be vigilant – if you can’t make $25 one week, add $15, but don’t give up. Keep saving!

 

Keep a lid on food costs:

Food is probably the number one area where families can cut their spending. Limit your spending at restaurants (forgo the drinks). When you find good deals on non-perishables at the supermarket, buy as many of the item as you can. Know which of the many area supermarkets are good for which food bargains.

Make a serious effort to pack your lunch. It doesn’t have to be a sandwich every time; leftover pasta is probably the cheapest and easiest lunch to pack. Try putting leftovers directly into lunch containers as you’re cleaning up after dinner.

At work, watch the morning coffee and afternoon snacks as well. Which makes more sense: buying a granola bar for $1.25 from the vending machine, or buying a box of eight granola bars for $2.50 on sale at the supermarket? Get in the habit of purchasing snacks and supplies from the grocery store to keep at work. It doesn’t matter if your office desk starts to look like a pantry; know that you are saving money and probably eating healthier food!   


Do more, drive less: 

With gas prices expected to climb near $4 per gallon this summer, plan your errands carefully to conserve gas. Don’t drive ten miles to save a dollar on a particular item.

High car payments can be huge drain on the budget. Buy the best-rated vehicle you can afford, the smallest that will fit your family’s needs (bigger isn’t always better or safer), and keep it running. If you’re in the habit of a new car every three years, it may be time to reconsider.


Check your minutes: 

Examine your cell phone usage. Find out how many minutes you’re actually using to see if you can switch to a lower-cost plan. The same goes for your cable package. Is it cheaper to slash your premium cable package and just rent movies? How many are you actually watching?

Many providers are now bundling cable, phone and Internet into one bill. Consider these plans, but just be aware that you’re often looking at a special “introductory” rate. Find out how much the plan will increase next year.


Know when to quit:

If you’re a smoker, no doubt you’ve heard it before – quitting is good for the wallet as well as the body. With cigarettes at almost $6 per pack, pack-a-day smokers can easily spend $168 per month. Half-a-pack per day? That’s still upwards of $1,000 per year that you could be investing.


Carolyn Quoma is a freelance writer living in Dutchess County. Her work also appears in Hudson Valley Life magazine.