A recent MoneyTalk News article shared results of a Harris poll that found 12 ways Americans are saving money this summer. Below are the 12 most popular cost-cutting methods with my tips on each.
1. Buy more generic brands – Don’t play favorites when it comes time to shopping. If you have ethnic grocery stores in your area, check them out. Just last week, I wanted avocados and found a bag of 4 for $3.99 at Trader Joe’s. I passed and headed to an ethnic store and found them for $0.33 each. To save more money don’t forget to check back every Wednesday when we share grocery coupons for different stores.
2. Brown bag lunch instead of buying it – I’ve compared the different options for midday meals and brown bagging it is definitely a winner. To save money on lunch, plan ahead. Make a big batch of beans during the weekend and during the week toss it in to a salad. Cut fruit ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Add some lemon, salt, and a pinch of cayenne for a quick and easy snack. 3. Go to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often – My dad recently decided to buy an electric razor to save money on haircuts. I’m definitely not taking the razor to my head, but I am getting my hair cut less often. Need to save money in this area? Find a beauty school near you and check out their prices.
4. Use refillable water bottles instead of buying bottled water – We have a water filter system on the kitchen faucet. If you are looking to filter water on a budget consider a Brita pitcher. We keep one in our fridge.
5. Cancel one or more magazine subscriptions – I’ve never had a magazine subscription. If I want to catch up on some reading I head to the library or browse online. The library near me has a subscription to many of my favorite magazines — love it!
6. Cut down on dry cleaning – I usually send my coats to the dry cleaner once a year after wearing them all winter long. Afterwards, I store them in breathable garment bags in my closet to keep them clean. To save money on dry cleaning, try at home dry cleaning. You can also search online to find coupons for dry cleaning products.
7. Cancel or cut back cable TV service – I’ve never had cable. If I have time for TV, I’ll watch online. I also rent movies at the nearest Redbox kiosk or the library.
8. Stop buying coffee in the morning – My coffee addiction has not subsided, but I now enjoy my cup of coffee at home for a fraction of the price. If you can’t live without coffee or smoothies, make them at home.
9. Cancel a newspaper subscription – I canceled my Los Angeles Times and New York Times subscriptions a while back and began reading online and on my iPhone. If you’re old school and like the feel of the paper in your hands, some libraries have copies of newspapers.
10. Cancel land-line phone service and only use a cell phone – To save money on phone service, compare the prices of phone alternatives to a landline and switch.
11. Change a cell phone plan or cancel it – I was considering changing my phone carrier, but stuck with them after a sales associate changed the wording of my plan and gave me unlimited talk minutes to any mobile.
12. Carpool or use mass transit – I use the bus to save money on gas. If you are in school, you can save money on public transportation.
How else are you saving money this summer? Which areas are you having trouble saving money on?