Save money with these little changes (you’ll hardly notice, I promise)

by Karen on November 3, 2008

Photo by photo-clips.com

With the holidays fast approaching, everyone is looking for ways to pick up a little extra money. What if I told you that you could save an extra $50-$100 a month with just a few little changes that you’ll hardly notice? You’d be crazy not to try it, right?

Here are the little ways that I save money every month.

Use just a little less.

Toothpaste, laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, shampoo and conditioner. The instructions on all of these items often suggest using more than you actually need. Try cutting the amount you use. You most likely won’t notice a difference except in the amount of time the items last.

Wear it once more.

I wear pants a couple times before I wash them, and I sometimes wear tops twice. We also hang towels to dry in the morning and reuse them throughout the week. If you or your spouse works in a labor-intensive or outdoor job that causes your clothes to get pretty dirty, this probably isn’t for you. But if you work in the home or in an office job, your clothes probably don’t require washing after every single wear.

If you throw them into a basket they’ll get wrinkled and smelly, of course. Rehang them in your closet. When it’s time to rewear an item, I often throw it into the dryer for 5 or 10 minutes on fluff to refresh it a bit. It’s usually good as new.

Eat a little less.

Do you find yourself throwing out leftovers at the end of the week? Are you snacking throughout the day out of boredom rather than hunger? If you cook only what you’ll eat, and eat only when you’re hungry, you’ll reduce your grocery costs and maybe your waistline, too.

Even better: designate one or two nights a week as “leftovers night.” You can clear out your fridge, and you won’t have to buy food to cook that night.

Buy generics.

Most of them are exactly the same as the name brands. I promise.

Stop paying for what you don’t need.

Are you watching all the channels included in your cable package? Do you lose unused cell phone minutes at the end of the month? Are you overinsured? Check into all of these services and policies to make sure your paying for only what you use and only what you need.

Use the library.

We used to waste a ton of money buying books and renting movies. Now we use the local and university library instead for free. Even if they don’t have the book or movie we want, we can usually borrow it from another library with the interlibrary loan program.

What about you? What little changes have you made to save money?

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