Sometimes saving money is as simple as not wasting it! How do you waste money? By buying things you do not need or use.
Here are 5 ways not to waste money and inadvertently save money! Some of these things are common sense but it's surprising how many people are guilty of wasting money. (Yes, even I used to do most of these)
The most common way is making to much for dinner and then throwing the leftovers out.
- letting your food go past the expiration date
- not using fresh produce in time and it spoils
- letting leftovers spoil
- getting foods to "try" and you do not like it, so you throw it out.
Wasting any food rather it was free or not is money or time down the drain. How do you solve these issues? First, if you are cooking too much and your family will not eat leftovers period, re-examine how you prepare your dinners. For example, if you make the full box of pasta but are wasting half, then just cook half and place the other half in an airtight container. If it is a meat then when you purchase place portions into freezer bags so you can thaw and prepare only what is needed. Now if you family will eat leftovers but not in the same week make enough to freeze an additional meal and Voilia you have not wasted any money and you have a meal ready to go for a busy weeknight (which will save you money when you're not stopping by the nearest fast food joint).
Now if you are letting food expire, come up with a labeling system or organization system that allows you to visually see when item expires. Use a rotating system like FIFO (first in, First out) so you are using products in an orderly fashion. If something is coming close to expiration try your best to use it, donate it, or give it to someone that needs it! If you're letting fresh produce spoil, learn the best way to store produce to get the longest shelf life and start buying less more often. These two tips are a money saver, My grapes were going bad ALL the TIME but I was washing them as soon as I got them and putting them back in the high humidity part of my fridge. I did a little research and found if I wash them when needed and store in the lower humidity drawer they will last longer. While it isn't as convenient as the pre-packed baggies it does same me from throwing out rotten grapes every week!
Finally, if you like to try new foods but typically end up not liking them and throw them out, here's an idea Host a new food party where everyone brings something new to them. This will allow for people to sample items at a low cost and with the variety of taste buds someone is bound to like the food!
2) Try on or Return clothes. I am amazed at how many closets have clothes that have tags on them! If you are going to buy something try it on in store and make sure it fits and you like it. It is not thrifty at all to buy an item of clothing, get it home and hate it! But, if you do Return it, Please! I know it is a hassle, but maybe this will help you remember to try clothes on next time. $10.00 here and $5.00 there add up.
3) Make your own Coffee.
Let's play a little number game!
The averaged person spends $20.00 a week on coffee that is $1040.00 a year
We make on 14 cup pot of coffee a day and use 2 bags of coffee a month that is
$16.00 a month or $192.00 a year!
A $900.00 Savings just by making your own coffee!
When you buy coffee every morning you just hand over your money. I know there is something about telling someone you want a "grande, lowfat, skim, yadyaya". But trust me it is just as rewarding setting the timer of the coffee pot at night. Hey I even think you save money when you buy the Keruig! So, go a little crazy because in the long run you will save money by making your own Coffee.
4) Not claiming point/cash back on your Credit Cards. This is a big one and I am still guilty of it. But, if you have a credit or debit card you are either earning Score points or cash back. Don't let this go unclaimed! I am in the process of getting accounts set up so I can start to use mine. This is a reward and "free" money for you. They are great for the unexpected wedding present or maybe a hotel stay. If you let them expire you are just Wasting Money!
5) Pay your bills on time. Late fees are astronomical these days and climbing. When you pay your bills late you are usually issued on the next payment. They can range from $2.00 to $25.00 or up! This is just a silly waste of money. If you are having trouble paying the bill do to income, call the company and see if you can work out an arrangement. If you are forgetting to pay your bills on time schedule them automatically or use that nice smartphone to set up reminders. $25.00 every month is $300.00 a year and simply a waste of money!
Save Money don't Waste Money!