81. Plan Menus
Although it will take some time initially after you have planned a week’s menu once, it will become much easier and best of all, it will save you money.
Knowing exactly what you will be making helps you to shop for foods that can be used more than once. As an example, if you are going to have spaghetti on Tuesday, you could buy bulk ground beef at a better price and then use the other half for tacos on Saturday.
Another option would be buying round steak where one night you fix Salisbury steak and then a few days later, you use the leftovers for breakfast hash.
This will help you stretch meals and avoid last minute or impulse buying.
82. Coordinate Efforts
If you are married, make sure you and your spouse are working on the same agenda. If one is trying to save money while the other is busy spending, what is the point? When you work as a team, you can encourage each other to keep on track with your saving.
83. Computer Software
In order to keep on track with your debts and credits, you need to use some type of software such as Quicken or Quick Books. This will keep you focused on your goals and tasks while you strive to achieve them.
Additionally, rather than buy software programs to download, first check Download.com or Freeware.com to see if there are free versions to download.
84. Life Satisfaction
Learn how to enjoy life and nature rather than possessions. The next time you feel like spending money, head to your local park where you can enjoy the warm sun, green grass, and towering trees without spending a dime.
Being happy in life is far better than buying item after item. Having an inner peace is better than having a house filled with “things.”
That does not mean you cannot enjoy some of the finer things in life it just means learning how to be happy with yourself and not “things.”
85. Live Within your Means
The quickest way to get in debt is to live beyond your means. Sure, most people want more than they have but life is not all about spending money.
Be thankful for what you do have and learn how to enjoy the financial position you are in. This is where your budget will help identify the amount of money coming in against the amount of debt going out.
86. Appropriate Deductions
Rather than spending money just for the sake of spending, change a number of deductions you have taken from your paycheck for your 401K or stock options.
This is especially great if your company offers a competitive matching program. Increasing the amount you have deducted can quickly add up to nice savings and is especially nice for retirement.
87. Christmas Fund
Many banks and financial institutions offer a Christmas Fund program. This is an excellent way to put aside some money for your holiday shopping so you do not end up with a ton of spending.
With these programs, you do not even miss the money and better yet, less stress around the holidays.
88. Previously Viewed
Home videos and DVDs are hot items and perfect for any family entertainment. Now you can visit the major video chains and purchase previously viewed videos and DVDs for about half the cost.
For example, at Blockbuster, you can purchase either one and get a 30-day warranty. This is still a wonderful way to have quality entertainment for terrific savings.
Another great option is to record your own movies either from TV or any of the popular cable channels such as HBO, Showtime or Disney.
Rather than hitting the theater every weekend, make it a special occasion. Instead, pop your popcorn, grab a soda, spread out a blanket, and create your own theater-type atmosphere.
89. Dinner Guests
Invite friends over for dinner as a potluck. People love sharing their favorite recipe and by splitting dinner, everyone enjoys variety while saving money. In fact, make this a tradition amongst your friends.
90. Instant Messaging / Microphone
Rather than spend a small fortune in long distance, contact friends and family via instant messaging on the Internet. In addition, you can download a program that will allow you to connect a microphone and actually have a voice conversation free.
All you pay for is the normal price of your Internet connection, which generally runs from $9.95 to $21.95 a month. Either option allows you to have real-time conversations for no extra money.
91. Long Distance Calling
If you do plan to use long-distance calling, shop around for the right carrier and be sure to read the small print. Even if you like your current carrier, you might be able to find an equally liked carrier for less money.
Long distance is a very competitive market so deals are easy to find. The same would be true for your wireless carrier. The plans range vastly from one carrier to another so check out all your options for the best one.
Do not forget to look at the coverage area. If you choose a carrier that does not have the right coverage for your area, even if the price is better, there are no savings if you cannot send or receive calls.
92. Freeze Foods
When you grocery shop, look for bargains on items that can be frozen. Most people do not even think about shredding block cheese and freezing it.
Did you know that you could even freeze eggs?
You can as long as you give them a little room to expand. When ready to use, simply set them out at room temperature. If you find apples on sale, make your own apple pies and freeze them or make applesauce.
Many food items can be frozen with no problem. Therefore, the next time you see a great bargain think about freezing. (Dairy products other than cheese do not generally freeze well).
93. Ball Games
Instead of spending your money on overpriced items at the ballgame, take your own cooler of food. Some professional stadiums no longer allow this so check before going. If you have a son or daughter that plays little league or soccer, this is a great way to save money over paying high concession stand prices.
94. Discount Books
Purchase a discount coupon book, which generally costs around $25. As long as you use it faithfully and base your choices on options featured in the book, you can save hundreds of dollars. These books are great for restaurants, hotels, car rentals, and tons of entertainment and provide great variety and even better discounts.
95. Baby Food
Instead of buying expensive baby food, make your own. You can use fresh vegetables such as peas, green beans, or corn, run it through the blender, and then freeze individual servings in ice cube trays.
When it comes time to feed the baby, simply pop out a cube of food, defrost, and you have instant food. This is a real time and money saver.
Most foods can be frozen. In fact, if you make family foods like spaghetti or soups simply make a smaller portion with less salt and spice, puree, freeze just like the vegetables.
96. Squelch the Smoking
This is probably the hardest habit to break but in addition to saving your health, you will also save money. Cigarettes have become quite expensive and if you can quit smoking, you will enjoy breathing easier and having more to put away for a rainy day.
97. Rebate Programs
When you shop, always keep your eyes open for rebate programs. Although filling out the forms and clipping the UPC codes from a box is a hassle, the money you save is worth it.
Some rebate items are not listed as offering a rebate. Check out AsmartShop.com or Rebateplace.com to see if any of your recent purchases offer a rebate.
98. Seasonal Buys
One to three days after a holiday, stores mark their holiday items from 50% to 75% off. This is an ideal way to stock up on next year’s Christmas or Halloween decorations. This is true for stores that sell seasonal clothing as well. Shopping for jackets or sweaters in the summer will provide you with great deals.
99. Pocket Change
Keep a jar or some type of container handy and each time you come home, drop in your change. Every time you break a bill, put the change in your container. You will be amazed how quickly your money will build.
Check out freebie sites such as TotallyFreebies.com or SassySue.com where you will find all types of sample items ranging from cosmetics to books to clothing.
Most have no shipping charges and the ones that do are minimal. By filling out a few forms, you will receive sample size soaps, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners, etc., which are ideal for the traveler.
101. See your Successes
It is important to have an understanding of money. Keep a journal where you can see your successes when it comes to saving money.
This is a difficult task and takes the time to learn but worth it. By keeping a list of the situations or ways you have saved money in front of you, you will be encouraged to keep going.
These successes can be small or large.
For example, if you normally buy your lunch, costing you from $5.00 to $7.00 per day and one week straight you packed your own lunch for $3.00 per day that is a success.
If you wanted to buy a new dress but held off until it went on sale, saving 50%, that is another success.
Saving money requires some investigative skills, desire, determination, and creativity. Once you get in the habit of saving money, you will feel better about yourself and enjoy life much more without debt hanging over your head!
Hopefully, these tips will help you plug some of those big money leaks and I’m sure just by thinking about it, you will think of many more ways to save money in your own life.