Ways big and small to save some bucks!

Many of you have made a New Year’s resolution to start shopping, and living, better– here are a few things that can help you on your new path and it’s often the small and relatively painless changes that can make BIG changes in your bottom line.  

Here’s a bunch of small–and some big– changes that you can make and see an impact on your household budget– and many of them will not only improve your bank account, they’ll also improve your quality of life!

Food Shopping:
-Let the sales dictate what you’re buying and stock up on your favorite items when they’re on sale.
-Use coupon matchups to easily find fabuLESS deals (www.livefabuLESS.com/matchups)

Clothing Shopping:
-Shop with purpose, not for recreation.
-Buy clothing just slightly off season–just waiting a few weeks can save you 50-75% off of retail.
-Make no large purchase without research and comparison shopping.
-Buy fewer, higher quality items that will stand the test of time.
-Find and use a good tailor– or better yet, learn how to do simple alterations like hemming pants and skirts yourself.
-Scour thrift stores, craigslist and even eBay for statement or vintage items– brooches, handbags, and shoes can take an outfit from ordinary
to extraordinary for very little outlay.

Eating:
-Bring your own coffee or water– and your own snacks– on your way to work and when you’re out and about.
-Cook more and double your recipes so you always have cooked food ready to go in the ‘fridge or freezer.
-Always have a few convenience foods stored in your pantry or freezer so you aren’t ever tempted to order in or go out for dinner for convenience’s sake.

Household:
-Cancel the movie channels that you don’t watch.
-Consider canceling your home phone and using only cell phones.
-Adjust your cell phone plan to ensure that you don’t have too few– or too many– minutes.
-Rent movies from RedBox or Blockbuster Express or even Netflix– or better yet, borrow them for FREE from the library!
-Find out if your employer offers discounts on things that you are buying anyway– anything from cell phone service to gym memberships to cars.
-If you can afford to do so, raise the deductible on all of your insurance policies and lower your premiums.
-Shop your insurance quotes for auto, home, and life insurance– make sure you compare the *exact* same coverage to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples.
-Switch from incandescent lighting to CFLs– compact fluorescent lighting– they do cost more to purchase but cost WAY less to run and
last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs.
-Turn off lights when they’re not in use– and install dimmer switches and ceiling fans in your home.
-Set your A/C a few degrees warmer– and get a set back thermostat so you aren’t heating or cooling an empty house.
-Lower the temperature on your water heater and insulate it.
-Call FPL out for a home energy survey to find out how you can make your home more energy efficient.
-Consider hanging some of your laundry to dry instead of using the clothes dryer– it’s gentler on your clothing and on your budget, too.

Transportation:

-Walk and bike more, drive less.
-Empty your car of unnecessary items, the extra weight causes your fuel efficiency to suffer.
-Plan trips to be both time and fuel efficient.

Few, if any, of the items I’ve mentioned cost much money nor do they take much time– they’re just small, painless changes that can result in BIG savings.