How to Save Money Without Sacrificing a Lot

Who can’t use a few extra dollars in this economy? Many have seen the Extreme Coupon shows that have recently aired, or may have noticed retailers advertising big sales more often. Some television series show you how to cook for your family for just a few dollars, while others will show you how to buy and sell items you no longer use. Everywhere you look, people are doing things to save or make money. It seems to be the topic of interest in the last few years. What many people don’t know is how easy it is to save the money they already earn by doing just a few simple things. Let’s focus on your groceries, auto expenses and household bills.

1. Groceries & Coupons
Can you save some real money by using coupons? The answer is yes, but if you are looking to not spend any money, like the people you see on these extreme couponing shows, then you are in for a real awakening. You may be able to walk out the store with 100 free tubes of toothpaste, but you will not always have a coupon for the meat loaf you want to serve your family that night. Coupons are great and worth the time it takes to cut up from the paper or print something from the internet. Become a member (for free) at any of the websites dedicated to coupons and saving money. Be sure to go to the stores that offer double or triple coupons to maximize their value. Many stores will do this for up to $1, so it’s not realistic to expect something that costs $4 to be free, but real money can still be saved. Many people may think of cutting and organizing coupons as a waste of time, but if you cut out, organize and use $20 worth of coupons, you can most certainly figure that into an hourly wage and see if it’s worth the effort.

2. Auto Expenses

The following tips will really help you out with your car bills.
Catalina Coupons
Consider using the catalina coupons generated on the back of your grocery receipt that offer discounts on oil changes, tire rotations and other auto services. Sometimes, the cost of an oil change is even cheaper than doing it yourself.

– Gas Prices
If you drive a few extra miles to find the gas station that is 5 cents per gallon cheaper, odds are that you burned all of that savings, and maybe then some, on driving out of your way to get there and back. Do the math first and see if it’s worth the cost and your time. Better yet, plan your errands where you can get the cheaper gas when you are in the area.

– Insurance
There is no rule that says you cannot call your insurance company and ask for a better rate. Make them compete for your business. Many times, your premium will be less if you agree to pay a higher deductible when it’s necessary. If you are an accident-free driver, this could be a winning situation for you.

3. Household Bills
There are a few ways to cut corners with your household bills.
–       Drop the premium cable package
–       Set your thermostat a few degrees hotter or cooler
–       Turn out some of the lights when you aren’t home.
–       Cut the home phone service and use your cell phone as the primary number

There are hundreds of ways you can be frugal without sacrificing too much. All you have to do is trim back a little bit and you will be able to save hundreds.

Gemma Ruzer likes to write about personal finance, great deals home insurance & cheap auto insurance.

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