We always hear tip-based stories about clever ways to cut your spending, but many of them come with a lifestyle change to which you might not be ready to commit. Such as: Growing your own vegetables, cutting your own hair and nixing the occasional latte that makes you feel more human during a difficult workweek. However, there are a bunch of painless changes you can make that can help you save more. If you're up the creek without a paddle, these won't help you too much. (Instead, get thee to Suze Orman and the Frugal and Personal Finance subreddits.) But if you've ever looked at your bank statement and thought "I could do better," then this is for you.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Unless you get hit with a polar vortex, you probably won't notice a change of a few degrees. You should also lower your thermostat a few degrees before you leave the house and before you go to bed.
Turn Everything Off When You Leave Your House
If you're convinced that a TV blasting "The People's Court" and having a light in front of a window is what keeps you robbery-free, use a power strip with a timer.
Run Your Appliances At The Right Time
If your utility company defines "peak" and "off-peak" hours, you're probably spending more to run appliances during the former. Instead, shift your usage to "off-peak" hours. Don't know what's what? Ask your utility company.
Plan Your Meals Ahead Of Time
If you head into a grocery store with no real idea of what you're looking for, you'll end up with a cart full of novelty ice cream products and frozen pizzas. At least that's what we assume when we see our college-age neighbors out shopping. Have a hard time getting organized? Try this printable grocery planners from Design*Sponge, that kind of forces you to plan the week's meals before you list groceries.
Compare The Right Prices
At the grocery store, you should always look at the unit price sticker when trying to decide between two items. The price of the best option might be higher, but gives you more for your money.
Use The Crock-Pot Your Mom Gave To You
At the end of a long day, takeout just feels necessary. But if you get into the habit of occasionally throwing a few chicken breasts into a Crock Pot, along with a little bit of stock (from a box) before you go to work...dinner is just about ready once you come home. Clueless about where to start? Here are 77 slow cooker recipes to get you started.
Buy The Right Things In Bulk
Eventually, trash bags will go on sale -- that's when you stock up. Same for things like deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. You spend a little bit more now, but save in the long run.
Check Your Air Pressure Once In A While
You'd be surprised at how many people don't do this. Making sure your tires are properly inflated helps with gas mileage. The inside of your door usually has the ideal PSI (that's pounds per square inch), which will guide you as you're filling your tires at any gas station. Urbanites and/or public transportation devotees: Take advantage of any pre-tax commuter discount your job may offer you.
Know What's In Your Closet
Going through your clothing is a minor time investment, but it pays off when you realize that you keep buying plain black t-shirts when you already have enough of them to keep Ricky Gervais clothed for months. Knowing what you already have not only keeps you from spending more, but it gives you an opportunity to weed out the stuff that you're not wearing, so you can donate, consign or eBay.
Cancel Memberships You're Not Using
Magazines, online subscriptions and gym memberships, we're looking at you.
Repair Instead Of Automatically Replacing
No, you don't need to trash a shirt once a button goes missing.