There is no shortage of theories online for how to cut down on the monthly costs of living. The catch, typically, is some kind of hassle or big upfront investment. Fair enough – that’s the way things are! However, to think every method for reducing month by month expenses is a pain in some way would be a mistake. There are, in fact, simple ways to start saving right away. These relatively easy options often involve little more than a phone call or two, as the following examples show:
While switching to a lower cost cable or mobile phone package is always a good idea, think bigger. We’re talking about the energy itself powering your TVs and computers. Depending on which state or province you’re in, services such as Electricity Match can help find the cheapest electricity or gas provider in your area. It doesn’t get more complicated than a phone call with this money saving technique.
Make fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability your car buying priorities
Next time the family makes a car purchase, the final selection can mean the difference between thousands saved or spent, depending on what’s driven off the lot. It boils down to whether or not the vehicle is a gas guzzler, whether it drives up the cost of insurance premiums, or whether it will function with minimal repairs over time. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask the dealer questions about a specific car’s history. With thousands on the line, a few extra minutes of Googling is a small price to pay.
Buy frozen fruits and vegetables
How many times have you gone to the store, stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies, then watch them rot on the counter and in the crisper? It’s a waste of food, no doubt, but ultimately a waste of money. Many families opt to stop stocking the kitchen with these items, yet this denies the household of nutritious options. Strike a compromise by buying frozen fruits and veggies instead. Not only will they last indefinitely if properly stored, they’re actually proven to maintain their freshness better than “fresh” produce.
Try basic “pro tips”
Individual “tricks” for cutting down on electricity usage around the home are typically not enough to matter. Yet added up, they can equate to significant savings. We’re talking easy maneuvers, such as keeping the refrigerator packed with groceries to resist the temperature fluctuations of opening the door (or jugs of water if grocery shopping is days away.) There’s also savings potential in bundling up during the winter and/or keeping clothes to a minimum during summer, rather than depend on heating and cooling, plus many more ways to reduce energy usage at home.
Okay, this one might not be a simple matter of picking up the phone and talking to a service rep for 15 minutes. Yet refinancing, on average, doesn’t take much longer than a month – and that’s just the time it takes to process. With recent world events leading to prolonged low interest rates, now would be the time to get the process rolling. The result could be thousands shaved off payments in the years to come.
Type “ways to save” in your preferred search engine and watch the results pour onto your screen. Read the specifics and roll your eyes at the high cost and/or hours of labor needed to turn these tips into real savings strategies. Yet this doesn’t mean all ways to save are a pain. Several are super simple, giving families few excuses for not giving them a try.
Becky Wilcox is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about beauty, fashion, technology and more. She writes for Life with Lisa as well as several other blogs and websites. Check back soon for more from Becky.