It’s 2014, my friends! And since the new year is here, I thought I’d share some ways to save money for 2014. And with your extra funds, you can pay off debt, save up for a special purchase, or maybe take that well-deserved vacation you’ve been thinking about. 🙂
1. Become a member of the Power Police Force. Scour your home and your life for ways to use less electricity, natural gas, propane, or whatever you use to power your house with. Look for alternatives to electric appliances (such as mixing your baked goods by hand) and ways to cut down on power usage in general, such as turning down your water heater and taking shorter showers. You’d be amazed at what you can live without and do by hand if you look around and get creative.
2. Remodel your grocery budget. Use the tips here to cut your grocery bill. We cut our grocery bill nearly in half in 2013, from 2012, by following these practices. Among them? Menu planning, simple meals and less trips to the grocery store. How much can you cut your grocery bill by in 2014?
3. Rethink your family’s clothing needs. Do you really need that item of clothing in your shopping cart, or is it a want? Also, can you find a perfectly acceptable used substitute for it at a consignment shop, thrift store or garage sale? Is there someone you can buy hand-me-downs from in the family? There are lots of ways to save money on clothing purchases and still look great.
4. Analyze your transportation costs. Can you trade in your newer car for a reliable older or less expensive model, reducing or eliminating your payments? Can you take public transportation, ride your bike or walk to where you need to get? Can you stay home instead, or have guests/events at your house instead of traveling elsewhere?
5. Get creative when it comes to home improvement/repair. Learn to do it yourself. Rick just saved us hundreds of dollars on a garage heater repair by making a few phone calls to diagnose the problem, getting the $60 part himself and installing it himself instead of paying a repair guy, which would have easily cost us $200-$300. He’s also taught himself how to repair our clothes dryer and many other appliances. Whenever there’s a remodel or improvement job, he’ll likely learn as he goes. He’s installed laminate, linoleum and tile flooring, repaired sheetrock, remodeled a bathroom, learned how to put on vinyl siding (through a community ed class), how to properly landscape (by working a summer job at a landscape company), and a gazillion other things to our homes, all through different routes on DIY training.
Some other ideas to help you save money?
6. Hang dry your clothes outdoors on a line or indoors on a drying rack instead of using your clothes dryer.
7. Make homemade laundry detergent and save over 90% on detergent costs.
8. Always wash your clothes in cold water.
9. Take advantage of free or cheap vacations by utilizing rewards cards or great deals on hotels and travel costs.
10. Start a vegetable garden. If you’re limited on space, look for creative ways to garden, such as using planters and planting along the edge of your home or garage.
11. Learn how to freeze, can and dry fruits and veggies.
12. Plant a fruit tree or two in your yard.
13. Instead of going out to eat, search the Internet for a version of your favorite restaurant dish and make it at home.
14. Have a popcorn/movie rental night instead of going to the movies.
15. Take in a semi-pro baseball game instead of a major league game. Semi-pro game tickets are a fraction of the cost of MLB tickets.
16. Have a campout in your backyard, complete with s’mores and hot dogs over your portable or installed fire pit, instead of heading to a state park.
17. Don’t throw away leftovers. Compile them for a once-a-week leftover night for dinner.
18. Spend your Sunday making and freezing lunches such as soups or casseroles to bring to work instead of eating out.
19. Wash your cat/dog at home instead of at a grooming service biz and learn how to trim their nails yourself by asking your veterinarian or searching the Net.
20. Buy your spices in bulk and save 50 %- 80 % over regular store prices.
21. Stock up big-time on things like milk and butter when you find a great sale, as they can both be frozen for later use.
22. Trade your gym membership in for a treadmill, workout videos or an outdoor workout routine.
23. Make your own cleaning supplies. Vinegar and baking soda work just as well as the store-bought stuff, and you’re avoiding the harmful chemicals and ridiculous mark-ups on cost.
24. Have kids’ birthday parties at home with homemade cakes, cupcakes or cookies instead of renting a venue and spending on a store-bought cake.
25. Wash your car at home, the old-fashioned way, instead of spending your hard-earned dough at the car wash. In winter time, search the area for coupons and other special deals. Every March and September, a local gas station here sells coupon books that’ll get you 50% off of the deluxe car wash. We buy enough to get us through winter, and then wash at home in spring, summer and fall. Check gas stations for a similar type of a deal in your area.
What are your new/favorite money saving tips for this year?