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How To Save Big Money Each Month by Making These Simple Changes

A penny saved is a penny earned.  This list will help get you on the road to BIG savings.  Here,  I list practical ways that could save you big money each month!

If you follow these ten easy steps, you stand to save yourself hundreds of dollars each month! All it takes is a simple shift in perspective.


1. Get Rid of Your Satellite/Cable Bill

For many Americans, one of the BIG bills they pay each month is the satellite/cable bill. This bill, for many people, can run upwards of $200.00 per month! That's a lot of money. If you want to save yourself a nice chunk of change, consider canceling your t.v. service (if you are stuck in a contract, you'll have to plan on canceling once the contract is up).

Here are a couple of alternative options you may consider—Using an Android T.V. that has built-in SmartCast, PC, or any Android Device:
  • Free T.V. and video sites such as YouTube are easy to find on the internet with a simple Google search. All you need to do is type free tv online in your search engine to see the countless pages of sites. Many news network sites allow you to watch for free. Just visit your favorite channel online, such as Fox, NBC, PBS, ABC, etc.
  • For a small investment ($15.00 - $130.00), depending on how pimped out you want your antenna, this is a fantastic option. Antenna T.V. has come a long way. With a good multi-directional antenna, you'll be able to pick up dozens of high-quality HD local T.V. channels for zero dollars per month! The closer you are to major cities, the better range you will have. You can use your current cable wire that is already running through your home to your t.v.'s and plug it directly into the antenna, no bunny ears!

Saving Big Money Starts With A Positive Mindset

 

 10 Best Antennas


2. Change Your Home Light Bulbs To LED

LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States. Residential LEDs -- especially ENERGY STAR rated products -- use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.
Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today's electricity prices.
-Energy.gov

At our home, we outfitted all of our light fixtures (inside and out) with LED light bulbs, and I can tell you first hand, it made a huge difference in our monthly bill. We are also very conscientious when it comes to turning lights and electronics off in our home. LED's are a bit more expensive than the cheap old fashion incandescent light bulbs you can find for a dollar or two, but they are not as expensive as they use to be and over time will save you a considerable amount of money. Not to mention, they are a very green choice.

LED light bulbs have become so popular, that Walmart now offers a no-frills Great Value brand of LED's for as low as $2.17! For a LED light bulb, that is a great deal! They work as well as a more expensive brand (we have Great Value bulbs as well as the more expensive bulbs). For us, we didn't buy every bulb we needed overnight; that would cost too much at one time. However, we made sure that whenever we were at the store, we would pick up a few bulbs here and there. Before we knew it, we had every room outfitted with LED's, and it feels great, especially when we pay our electric bill each month.

One last note. If you're afraid that you pay more money for a light that isn't very bright, no worries. We have found that the LED light bulb (whether Walmart's brand or more expensive) are far brighter than your typical incandescent or CFL bulb. I made a point to purchase the "soft white" LED because the standard brightness is far too bright for us.


3. Turn the Central Air Unit Off and Open the Windows—When You Can

Of course, this tip works best when it's not during the winter season (unless you live in a more moderate climate). Depending on how often you run your air conditioning or central heat unit, that can be an added $60.00 - $120.00 to your monthly electric bill. Closer to an added $60.00 if you run your unit conservatively. That's a lot of added cost.

If you honestly want to cut some more of the fat, you might consider running your unit at night and then turn the unit off at around 5 am each morning, keeping the windows closed throughout the day. That will certainly increase your monthly savings during the colder and hotter months.
Another option is to learn to love using your windows and a couple of $40.00 window fans. These work wonderfully in the hot months. As long as the temperature is 82 degrees or below, we stick our fans in the windows (we use two for a 1400 square foot home), and we turn on our ceiling fans. Adapting to this method has saved us hundreds during our hot Alabama summer months. We are fortunate enough that we can incorporate this approach, the majority of the year.

The key is to start tuning into the ebb and flow of your local seasons and begin taking advantage of the better weather days.


4. Get a Library Card

There is a lot of money each year spent on books, ebooks, DVD's, and CDs. If you don't have to have something right when it comes out, you might consider visiting your local library and picking up a Free library card. If you haven't been to the library, you don't know what you're missing!
Not only do you conveniently have unlimited access to countless ebooks via an app you download Overdrive), you have access to Free movies (documentaries, big name movies, and more), physical books, and even music at your local library! Another thing to remember, you can also use the computers to use the internet.
onto your phone or tablet (my library uses an app called

The best part is that all of this is 100% FREE! Short on cash, but still want to get out and do something? A library is an excellent place to "shop", relax, read, or use the internet.

 

 

 

5. Use A Slow Cooker More And The Oven Less

With a typical electric oven, cooking is usually done between 325 to 450 Fahrenheit degrees. When set on a medium to high temperature, a conventional oven stands to use around 2400 watts! For an electricity monitoring geek like myself, that is A LOT of watts, which over time, equates to a lot of money. Hence why I opt to do the majority of my cooking with slow cookers.

6. Stop Overpaying for Data

There is no question, selling data for phones is Big Business. Many big-name companies charge the consumer by the GB(s). That can get pretty pricey. There are alternatives, depending on your needs. For example, I spend the majority of my time working and living from my home; I already have internet service here, and don't need it when I am away from home. So, to purchase a data package to me seems to be a waste of our money. I opted to use an up and coming company out of Atlanta, GA called PureTalk USA. With them, I'm able to have Unlimited Talk & Text for $22.00 per month (and NO contract and you can bring your phone). When I'm home, my phone automatically hooks up to our wifi. If I'm visiting friends, I connect to their wifi.

However, my husband needs data for the work he does when he is not at the house. No problem. The absolute best service and deal I have found to-date, is Straight Talk, hands-down. With No contract (and you can bring your phone and number), we get him Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data for only $45.00 per month! The service is great, and the customer service is even better, why would we go anywhere else?
So, for less than what most people spend on service for one phone, we spend on two! And we've been doing this for years! Also, in case you need to know; PureTalk USA runs on the AT&T network, while Straight Talk runs on the Verizon network.

Last note, you can save even more money if you do not need internet service at home. You could watch all of your T.V. straight from your phone for $45.00 a month using Straight Talk, and that would be it! Perfect for young adults, college students, and minimalists.


7. Start Eating In

 There is no question that grocery shopping and committing to eat-in is a real money saver. Most people will spend between $20.00 - $30.00 to feed a family of four, for just one fast-food meal! By grocery shopping, I'm able to feed my family of four 3 - 5 meals for that same cost! Depending on the sales and meals, sometimes I can feed them more meals for that price. That is MAJOR savings.

Here Are Some Quick Tips:
  • Embrace the concept of slow cookers (saves you time, saves you money, and you don't have to be a world-renowned chef to make a fantastic meal).
  • Start reading your grocery stores weekly sales fliers or visit their website. Buy what's on sale and work your meals around that.
  • Do Not go food shopping on a hungry belly. You'll end up buying random junk that is useless in meal making and probably not good for you.
  • Make lists and ONLY get what is on your list, end of story. List-making is a Major tip/tool. I use a list widget on my phone. Every time I notice I'm out of something, I pick up my phone and either type it on the list or use the microphone option and speak-type it on there.
  • You can take it a step further and do what I do; I figure the cost of each item, leaving me with a general idea as to what I can expect to spend on that particular trip. I also shop using my phone as my list and calculator.
  • Search the phrase easy cooking recipes in your search engine and you will pull up a plethora of wonderful, helpful recipe websites.
One Last Big Tip:
For the family's favorite recipes, I print those out and store them in a drawer in the kitchen. I also keep a calendar on my PC of the meals I've made each day. I do not log the meals that were not a big hit. Once you get a good amount of easy favorites, then it's just swapping those around each week. It doesn't have to be complicated, find what works for you and do that. I tend to get nerdy about the things I do, so please don't feel you have to go as in-depth as I do, to be successful.


 Hang Dry Laundry

8. Hang Dry Laundry

 

How Much Energy Is Your Clothes Dryer Using?

Electric Dryer
The label on the back of the dryer should indicate the watts it uses. Electric companies charge by the kilowatt hour, so calculating how much it costs to run an electric dryer starts with finding out the kilowatts it takes to run the dryer for an hour. The formula for determining usage is watts times the hours used divided by 1,000 to get the total kilowatt hours. Average dryers use between 1,800 to 5,000 watts or 1.8 to 5 kilowatt hours -- 1,800 and 5,000 times one hour divided by 1,000. Using Northern California PG&E; rates at $.14 per kilowatt hour for an example, most electric dryers average between $.25 and $.70 to run for an hour.

Gas Dryer

Gas dryers use electricity to run the motor but gas to dry the clothes. Since gas dryers are rated in British Thermal Units, you need to convert the BTUs to therms, which is how the utility company charges for gas. A typical dryer uses between approximately 11,000 BTUs per hour because the gas cycles on and off during the drying time. One therm equals 100,000 BTUs, which means a dryer uses .11 therm per hour. The gas costs roughly $.11 for an hour. Electricity to power the drum uses .15 per kilowatt hour, resulting in a cost of $.12 per hour to run the dryer.
-http://homeguides.sfgate.com/average-cost-hour-run-dryer-68320.html


Now, these rates, of course, may vary depending on where you live and what particular type and brand of dryer you are using. But, the message is all the same. Hanging clothes (weather permitting) is Free and just plain smart.

At first glance, these numbers and the numbers for the slow cookers vs. the stoves and ovens may seem to be only pennies of savings. But when you save pennies per day, you are saving BIG dollars per month, and year!

9. Wash Laundry In Cold Water

Save Energy, Save Money
It's been said, that washing one full load of laundry in cold water can save you approximately $0.50 per load! Doesn't sound like much, until you figure two loads save $1.00. Those dollars can add up fast.
Energy Star states that almost 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine goes to heating water.


10. Embrace a Minimalist Mindset

Consider embracing a more minimalist mindset. You don't have to become an extreme minimalist like some people choose to do. Just simply, open your mind to the concept behind the minimalist movement. There is an absolute peace and freedom from clutter and objects that come from its philosophy. Once one can free themselves from the constraints of consumerism, one can see more clearly in other aspects of their life.

The idea of living more minimally is to cut out the fat to create a space to enjoy what matters most to the individual. Clearing the clutter in your physical surroundings is the first step to detoxing your life, from the outside in.

While the initial goal may be to pinch a few pennies, changing your habits and how you look at things will undoubtedly relieve much stress and allow you to enjoy your life more. Not to mention, helping you to save your hard-earned money in the process.
To get you familiar with the minimalist living concept, all you have to do is type minimalist living in your search engine and you will find pages and pages of results. One of my favorite books on the subject is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.


30 Day Minimalism Challenge/Game | VLOG  

 

  ©2017 sannwi@ BasicHowTos.com
  Images Courtesy of Pixabay.com



 

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