You can easily save money by using coupons for all of your purchases, not grocery shopping when you are hungry, and comparing prices on the items you want to buy. These are the simple and conventional ways to save money.
But if you really want to save money each and every month, then you sometimes have to think outside the box. Are there things you might be overlooking and that you could do to save some money?
There are some creative ways to cut your expenses and keep more money in your pocket. Here are 9 simple tips for how you can start saving money in unusual ways.
Saving Money In Unusual Ways
#1. Roast And Brew Your Own Coffee
It has been said time and time again that brewing your own coffee will save you a lot of money. Instead of just brewing your own coffee, what about roasting it as well?
There are quite a few websites and stores where you can buy unroasted, green coffee beans. The best part is that you can roast them yourself with just a popcorn popper. After you roast your beans, then you can just grind them and enjoy.
If you don’t want to roast your own coffee, then you can still save by buying whole bean coffee and grinding them. It tastes better than already ground coffee beans.
#2. Clean With Vinegar And Bleach
Cleaning products are expensive and harsh. Did you know that most of your cleaning can be done with just white vinegar and water? It is extremely cheap and can last a long time. It also makes a wonderful glass cleaner and freshens up your washing machine.
If you have a really nasty mess, then you can also use bleach and water, but make sure you are cleaning something that cannot change color.
Here are some more great ways to make your own cleaning products to save even more money.
#3. Ask For Day-Olds At The Grocery Store
There has been debate about expiration dates on food at the grocery store. A majority of food will last well beyond the printed date. If you are comfortable with pushing expiration dates, then you can go into your grocery store and ask them for “day olds”.
This is exactly as it is. You can save around 40 – 60% on these items and they are still good to eat. Most stores have policies about their expiring foods and day olds. They would rather sell them than have to give them away or toss them.
I’ve saved a boatload buying chicken whose sell by date is that day or the next day. Usually the packs will be with the other packs, but will have a special $1 off coupon. While I don’t buy them and freeze the chicken for some day in the future, I do cook the chicken that day.
#4. Camp Instead Of Staying In A Hotel
Hotel stays are expensive. One easy and fun way to save is to go camping instead. There are many places where you can camp for $5 to $15 a night. That is far cry from what a hotel costs.
In many cases you don’t even need a tent to camp out. You could rent a cabin for less than a hotel room. Or if you really wanted to rough it, you could just sleep in your car or SUV.
#5. Get Your Prescription Glasses Online
Do you have prescription glasses or contacts? Don’t buy them from your doctor. You can get your prescription from your doctor and then buy online. Stores like Zenni Optical and Vision Direct provide you with an easy way to buy glasses and contacts. You can save over 50%.
I’ve been wearing glasses since kindergarten. I used to buy my lenses and frames at the eye doctor. But now I buy my frames online. The prices are much more competitive.
Sometimes I will take the frames to my eye doctor and buy the lenses there if they are running a special. Otherwise I get my lenses online too. It’s simple to fill out the form and get your prescription right.
#6. Stop Buying Disposables
You are paying for convenience here. Disposables are very convenient, but you pay a premium for that luxury. Instead of buying disposables, go out and buy items that will last you use after use.
You spend a little more upfront, but you will save each and every month you don’t have to rebuy disposable items.
#7. Lower Your Hot Water Heater Temperature
Did you know that lowering the temperature on your water heater by a few degrees can save you some serious cash? Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees. This temperature is really unnecessary. If you drop the temperature by 20 degrees, you will start seeing some savings. It takes a lot of energy to heat up the entire water tank.
And the best part is, you won’t notice the difference of going from 140 to 120 degrees.
#8. Switch To Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments
If you get paid on a bi-weekly basis (every two weeks), then why not pay your mortgage this way? Many banks will allow you to switch to paying every two weeks and when you do, you can save money on interest along with shrinking your mortgage faster. When you switch to bi-weekly, you are adding one more full payment per year.
If you don’t set up this plan with your bank, you can still pay bi-weekly. Just make sure you transfer the bi-weekly amount into a savings account and then make a full payment by the due date.
The reason for this is because most banks will not credit you if you make a partial payment. They will just sit on the money and earn interest while waiting for the rest of your payment.
#9. Keep Food In Your Car
The final way for saving money in unusual ways is to keep food in your car. This is a simple tip that can really save you money on your food costs. When you are hungry, you tend to overspend.
If you find yourself hungry often and stopping to get fast food or pick up food at the grocery store, then keep food in your car. Something like a granola bar or trail mix can be really good to satisfy your hunger and will help to keep you feeling fuller for a longer time.
When you can snack in your car, you don’t have to stop to get fast food, thus saving you money.
Incorporating these tips for saving money in usual ways into your daily life and routine can help you save a decent amount of money every month that can go towards paying off any consumer debt you may have or help you to boost your savings.
In either case, you can better your financial situation by simply making small changes to the way you do things and save a ton of money.