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10 Ways To Save Money Every Month
1. Buy fluorescent light bulbs, especially in rooms where the lights are on most of the day. The kind I use claims to save you $38 in energy a year. I use the 13 watt which is equal in power to a 60 watt regular bulb. I've noticed a $20 a month difference in my bill. Extra benefits are that they are environmentally friendly and last 5 to 10 times longer than regular bulbs.
2. Buy meat in bulk ( if price per pound is indeed cheaper) and separate and store into freezer bags. You can typically save 25-50 cents a pound this way. Also, if you find a good meat sale, stock up, separate, and freeze. Make sure you use name brand freezer bags....you will waste a lot more than you save if your meat goes bad.
3. Buy enough bread to last a few weeks at the discount bread store. You can freeze it just the way it comes, and set it out to thaw when you need it. It won't affect the bread. Plus, you might just save money by not running to the store for a loaf of bread and being tempted to buy other things.
4. Replace worn weatherstripping to save energy heating and cooling your home. This will further reduce your energy bill.
5. Bundle up! If you have a home phone with all the options, a cell phone, internet, and satellite/cable, it is possible to bundle some if not all of these bills and save money.
6. Review your income tax exemptions. You may love getting that big check at tax time (and depending on your situation, you may need it to offset unpaid taxes), but generally, do you remember where the money all went a year after it's gone? When we have a bulk of money rather than a little at a time, we tend to waste more of it, or buy things we don't "need" rather than using it as we intend to to pay down debt. If you get a large return, reduce some of your exemptions and more money every month in your pocket to pay your bills.
7. Keep an organized bill book and use it to be aware of your bills and spending. When you think about what you spend, and it is more organized, you will tend to spend less. Even though this doesn't seem like a money saver on the surface, it has helped me so much in showing me where the money goes and giving me ideas of how to make it go farther. The kind I buy has pockets for holding the bills for each month, a clear plastic section for receipts (great for keeping business expenses that can later save you tax $), a calendar, and a section I use for online usernames and passwords for paying my bills online (saving $ on stamps!).
8. Ask your utility provider for "level or averaged" billing. They look at what you spent last year on energy, and "average out" your payments each month. Of course, if your usage drops, your projected average will too. The advantages are that you know within a few dollars what your bill will be each month, and you won't have that huge bill that hits you below the belt at just the wrong time. This can also help you plan your budget with more certainty each month.
9. Grow your own! Save money by growing your own produce. If you have a small yard, you can still grow lots of things in containers. This is great for fresh herbs (which are very costly in the store) but very cheap to grow yourself. You can also grow homegrown tomatoes, bell peppers (which can be chopped and frozen for future use), and more in containers. These are typically seasonal, but will save you money for a few months.
10. Invest in a good clipper set (with ceramic blades) and save! The first set we bought came with a detailed instructional video on men's hairstyles. My husband required two haircuts a month, and desired a very short easy cut. We have saved $240 a year by me cutting his hair at home (the clipper set was about $40.00 and has lasted us 4 years so far).
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