Have you been asking yourself lately, how can I save money now that costs are on the rise? I’ve compiled a list of smart, effective ways to save money in a difficult economy. These are ways to save money in your day to day life, and bring down your monthly expenses.
1. Consider local dollar stores as your new gas station for everything but gas – How often do we go to the gas station for a bite to eat or something to drink and spend more than we should? For me, it was a lot! You’ll find that local dollar stores will have significantly lower prices on soft drinks, snacks, foods, and even beer. Consider using dollar stores for other purchases as well such as groceries, laundry detergent, health products, vitamin supplements, and many other things.
2. Get your groceries at Aldis – Expect to bring a quarter for a shopping cart and bring bags to bag your own food. By putting these simple duties in the hands of the consumer Aldis prices are generally about 50% lower than most grocery stores. The food isn’t as good, but you’ll save a lot of money. They have meats, vegetables, grains, sweets, and even some inexpensive wines. Foodshare is accepted at all locations.
3. Before purchasing something, check the prices online – The internet is a great tool for finding the best price for anything from video games to car parts. if you search a well known product on Google it will actually display the price and what website it’s available on from lowest price to highest. This is great way to get a product for 25%-75% less than store price. Expect to pay between $4.00 – $12.00 for shipping, but many websites are now offering free shipping.
4. Buy used off Craigslist – When searching for a new appliance, car, or apartment Craigslist.org can be an extremely valuable resource. There is always the risk of the product being damaged or inoperable, and you’ll have to pick it up yourself, but you can often find cheap or free products or services for a fraction of the sale value.
5. For electronics consider using Pawnshops such as Pawn America – Using local Pawn shops and bigger chains like Pawn America are a great way to get cheap electronics. You can get DVDs, CDs, and video games for $1.00 to $3.00. They have products like stereos, laptops, towers, mp3 players, cell phones, and a lot more for very low prices. With purchasing from Pawn shops you do run the risk of faulty or non-function products, but you’ll spend a lot less than retail price. Pawn shops are also good for purchasing anything from firearms to chainsaws. Their selection is usually pretty random, so think outside the box!
6. Instead of buying movies, games, and music consider using torrent services like Vuze or Bit Torrent – These services are to be used only for downloading back ups of movies and music you already own naturally. But its a good way to replace software that has been damaged by age or use. Simply search for the service, download the application, and install it. You can then begin searching for anything you’d like. Just be aware of the laws regarding these services. You can then view, play or listen to the things you’ve downloaded on your computer. If you have a CD burner or DVD burner you can create hard copies that can be used anywhere. You’ll need CD-Rs and/or DVD-Rs that you can purchase from most electronic stores for $10.00 – $20.00 for a pack of 50.
7. Ebay is another great resource for buying almost anything at a reduced price – Ebay.com functions as an online auction. You can create an account and bid on products for free. If you want to get into selling products, you’ll need to purchase an account. Simply bid on products, select a payment method (credit card, paypal, etc) and it will be shipped to you. Be sure to check the sellers rating before making a bid.
7. Purchase your next prescription for Contacts or Eye glasses online – By looking at the prescription B.C.(ex: 8.6) and strength (ex: -3.75) you’ll have all the information you need to purchase contacts or glasses online at a fraction of the price offered by local eye clinics. Expect to save between $100 and $600. You will not be able to get the power from your local eye clinic as it is illegal for them to give you such information if it’s been more than a year since your last check up. Personally I think it’s more about them forcing you to pay higher costs for a check up you don’t need, but that’s just me. The website I use is http://www.globallens.com/ and I’ve never had a problem.
8. Cancel your land line phone – Almost everyone has cell phones these days, so why do we still need our land lines? Tell everyone you know to contact you via cell phone, and then cancel your land line service. You’ll save $30.00 to $100.00 a month.
9. Switch to a track phone service – If your someone who has an expensive cell phone service with all the bells and whistles, but you don’t need all of that, consider switching to a cheaper track phone. You’ll have to buy minute cards once a month, which usually run between $20.00 – $60.00 but it’s a lot better than $100.00 + a month. Most will have basic features like call, texting, games, and voice mail.
10. Cancel your Cable TV – You’ll find that a lot of the major networks will allow for live streaming of their broadcasts via their websites. News can be found via alternative news websites. You can watch almost anything you might have missed on Youtube.com. If you’re worried about missing the football games, almost all of the games are shown on the standard free stations. The only games you’d miss would be on ESPN. By cancelling your Cable, you’ll be able to save between $80.00 and $160 a month.