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If you’re looking for more cash to save up for home essentials, cutting costs is one of the best ways to do more with the money you have.
There are a ton of options for trimming expenses without feeling like you’re missing out on so much. This isn’t the point anyway. It’s all about spending your cash in a way that will get you the most out of life.
With that in mind, how do you go about saving up for home essentials?
Saving a few bucks for household essentials is not as complicated as it seems. To begin with, you should be open-minded on the amount of money you spend on items.
Cut the fat down to whatever is comfortable for you and spend less guiltlessly on whatever household essentials that brings you so much happiness.
Here are a few tips practical tips to get you well on the right path towards saving for household essentials.
Coupons are thought to be for individuals who are going through a rough patch financially and are looking for ways of saving up every dime. Did you know that even millionaires use coupons as a saving strategy of sorts? As a matter of fact, they’re more likely to coupon as compared to low-class families.
Rich people are aware of the fact that saving money where possible can accumulate over time. They, therefore, grab this opportunity with both hands to save whatever they can – be it a few hundreds or thousands. We could learn a lesson or two from them.
If perhaps, you’ve always had a negative mindset about couponing, then it’s about time that you shook off that mentality. Whenever you can, take advantage of a good deal. Once your savings accumulate to something substantial, it will all be worth it and you’ll thank yourself in the end.
2. Cut back on Entertainment, Internet and Phone Services
In this modern age, apart from the three basic human needs, there are three things we cannot do without; fast internet, TV, and phone. You could buy them bundled or separately. The costs are bound to vary wildly from service to service.
One thing that most people can agree upon is that it takes time and effort to stumble upon the best deals.
Cutting back on these three things is a no-brainer. All you need to do is identify what you need, and not want, in terms of data capacity and TV channels. You could even decide to get rid of cable TV altogether. Just get an old antenna to enjoy cost-free broadcasts.
As for internet and phone services, find a low-cost internet rate and shop around for an affordable cell phone service. By doing this, you can save approximately $1,000 every year. When you include the cheap phone service, you save an extra $25-$50 every month.
3. Make Impulse Shopping a Thing of the Past
Impulse buying – it’s in every one of us, no matter how frugal you may think you are. It is described as ‘the unplanned decision to purchase a product that is made right before purchase.’
There are times when we step into a store with a few items in mind, but we find ourselves coming out with a cartload. Usually, we don’t need 90% of these items.
Being conscious of your impulse shopping tendencies coupled with practical steps to tackle the problem will assist you in making better financial decisions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t treat yourself to a few goodies once in a while.
It is crucial for you to be aware of your budget and have a clear distinction between your needs versus your wants. To make things simpler, draft a shopping list each time you plan on going shopping and you’ll be safer this way.
4. Plan Your Everyday Meals
Eating out has become a very costly habit for most families. Cooking dinner each night has become a time-consuming and frustrating process that most people are not ready to embrace any time soon. Without you knowing it, eating out is killing your budget in more ways than one.
So, how do you beat this budget-consuming pattern? Meal planning is the way to go. It’s all about purchasing the required groceries for a particular meal. If you keep in mind that you have all that is needed to prepare multiple meals at home, it will be harder for your to justify eating out.
To be on the safe side, do grocery shopping and meal planning once a week. Figure out the meals you can prepare with little effort and buy all the groceries you need all at once. If you’re all set with a menu of what you should eat on a specific day or night, eating out will be a thing of the past.
5. Keep a Record of All Your Expenses
Fortunately enough, most people nowadays understand the significance of tracking their finances and taming their spending habits. Sadly though, there are some who don’t mind wasting their money on grocery shopping.
Even if keeping a record of each one of your expenses may seem tedious and overwhelming at times, it’s always worth it in the end. To do this, all you need is a pocket-sized notebook or a smartphone with an app for taking notes. Keep original receipts from all your purchases and record them with every passing day.
Even the little things like a latte can significantly add up! With a daily record, you can add them up at the end of the month. This will enable you to stay on top of your daily spending.
To make things easier, you can divide your expenses into three categories: periodic, fixed and variable expenses.
6. Pick Out Something You’d Want to Save For
Setting a goal for a product or item you want to buy is by far one of the best ways to save money. First, begin by thinking of that perfect food, product or clothing that you wish to save for. Alternatively, you may also save for other important goals such as retirement, a vacation, or a new home.
From here, you can now determine how much you need to reach your financial goal to get those home essentials. The exact amount will help you have a standard timeline to meet your savings goals. For example, you may choose to achieve your goal of $60,000 by the time you reach age twenty-five.
The timeline goals could either be daily, monthly or annually. If you have a more significant savings goal, opt to reward yourself as soon as you attain one or two milestones mid-way. This way, you’ll stay motivated to reach your specific savings goal.
7. Whenever Possible, Go Generic
When you buy generic stuff instead of going for large brand names, you can save anywhere between $50 to $500 on a monthly basis. Because you can’t always enjoy the best of everything, it is advisable that you prioritize.
For stuff that is worth every dime and you hold dear, buy the brand-name. For items you don’t care about as much, go ahead and save that money by purchasing generic items instead. The areas you may be able to save up on include; pet supplies, various clothing, food, and toiletries.
What do you care for the most? What is that item you cherish the most that you can willingly sacrifice? If you compare your previous shopping budgets with the present ones, you’ll see how much you can save by skipping the ‘big names.’ The best thing about generic products is that they are not so different from their costly counterparts.
To be on the safe side, there are three generic items you should never buy: batteries, various toiletries, and certain food products. It’s a costly gamble that will cost you heavily in the long run.
8. Purchase Produce That’s in Season
You are more likely to save up to 10% – 15% on grocery bills when you purchase them when they are in season. Doing contrary to this will only result in getting an inferior product for a higher price.
The best source for regionally-specific fresh, in-season produce such as mangoes, limes, and avocados are ethnic grocery stores. If there are no ethnic grocery stores around your area, you could alternatively try out your local farmer’s market.
Putting this into practice will leave you surprised at how much your savings will add up. Opting for produce that’s in season could slash your overall budget by 25% in savings. Not only are they cost-effective, but also good for your health.
9. Buy Products in Bulk
Research shows that consumers who make a mid-week trip to the store purchase twice the number of items than intended. Not only will you save yourself the frustration, but also approximately $1,000 a year by hitting the supermarket aisles less than usual. Stocking up on nonperishables has many benefits – when done the right way.
Start by comparing the cost of the products you need. Doing this will make sure that you get a good buy the next time you’re stocking up. Though the exact price won’t be posted on the shelves, you can always refer to useful online apps and calculators.
Be careful, however, not to overstock. A number of products have a limited shelf life. Never waste your money buying bulk products such as bleach, diapers, vitamin supplements, and so on.
Additionally, be sure to do your shopping at warehouse stores. You can always save even when you factor the annual membership fees.
10. Make Use of Online Money-Saving Apps
One of the most common ways to spend your money is through shopping. Although TV ads will insist that you’re saving your money when you shop, this is nothing more than a marketing strategy.
If you wish to save more and more of your money for home essentials, there are also a few online money-saving apps that can help you along the way. These apps make it fairly simple to spend less.
The apps can score you discounts on online shopping or at your local grocery store. Some of these even get your money back to you in the form of gift cards or real cash.
The following are some of the best and most-used money-saving apps.
Best Online Money-Saving Apps
Ibotta is the improved version of grocery store coupons for the digital generation. Before making your trip to the store, be sure to pull app the Ibotta app.
Browse by grocery department or by popularity to get discounts on products you wish to buy. Most individuals will find it fascinating that they also have deals and discounts on wine, beer, and spirits.
After shopping, take a photo of your receipt and send it. Upon review, your account will be credited with an additional coupon value. Once you strike $20, you are eligible for withdrawal through either cash back or PayPal.
Saving money while shopping has never been easier. Swagbucks allows you to do this along with a variety of other cool every-day activities.
This money-saving app has its custom search engine that earns you extra points for searching.
It shares a close resemblance to the Google search engine but has different advertisements. Additionally, you can earn points by just shopping at partner stores and filling out online surveys.
Upon accumulation, these points have the potential to give you back your cash through Paypal. As if that’s not enough, you can earn gift cards for reputable stores such as Amazon and Walmart.
For Chrome, Opera and Firefox users, this browser plugin is a must-have. What it does is to help you save money at the checkout stage of online shopping by applying coupon codes automatically.
Once you install Honey, a popup will appear in the checkout stage at all available online stores.
All you have to do is click on the popup, and this app will apply the best coupon code automatically after trying out every other one.
Honey has a rewards program for a variety of stores. It also offers you ‘Honey Gold’ points which are redeemable for gift cards.
Your shopping experience is incomplete without this money-saving plugin.
This particular app is specifically designed for those who balance between online and offline shopping.
Shopkick earns you points in the form of ‘Kicks’ from completing a wide range of unique activities. Some of them include making your way to a brick & mortar store, purchasing eligible items and finally uploading your receipt.
Other activities involve watching online videos and shopping at all selected partner stores. You already perform a number of these tasks every day, so don’t go buying something because it is discounted on the app.
If you were seriously going shopping, you might as well save a dollar or two through gift cards to Starbucks, Target, and Amazon.
Cashback Monitor is one of the best sites to compare the rewards or cash back you can get by using a particular shopping portal. These portals are somewhat of a no-brainer if you plan on shopping with specific retailers anyway, so you should take full advantage.
Cashback Monitor is a kind of one-stop shop to find the ideal reward rate/cash back you stand to get by shopping at a particular store. If you’re, for instance, planning to buy at Macy’s, you can use Cashback Monitor to find out the shopping portal to use to earn the most points, cash, travel miles, etc.
Ebates is well-known for offering up to 40% cash back on purchases at more than 2,000 partner stores. There are zero complex points to stress about, just a simplified percentage cash back program on all eligible purchases.
Ebates also comes with a browser extension so that it doesn’t slip your mind which stores work for savings. Remember that stores let you use only one reward program or cash back per purchase.
You will, therefore, have to choose between programs such as Ebates, Honey, and others. You’re better off going with the one that you’re comfortable with. Stick with your preferred program for all your shopping escapades.
While its one-of-a-kind name may make you visualize a long ride in the scorching Arabian Desert, this online app is, in no way, associated with the humpbacked creature.
CamelCamelCamel is a money-saving app is Amazon’s price tracking tool. Through the browser extension or website, charts and details of past prices for listed Amazon products are made accessible to users.
Having a clear comparison between current and present price trends will enable you to know whether or not you are likely to get a good deal on your day of shopping. If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you stand to save a lot.
Like Honey, Wikibuy is also a browser plugin app. It is only available for Firefox and Chrome browsers. For iPhone users, an iOS version is available. The site is currently working on an Android version.
Wikibuy seeks to be more beneficial than its counterpart, Honey, in terms of coupon savings in the shopping cart. If you find Wikibuy to be a fitting shopping app for your browser, you will see that it has more saving features than ordinary coupons.
Visiting the Wikibuy website will provide you with options on whether to buy products for savings and points or to shop by store. Take note that these points can be redeemed for a long list of products or handy gift cards.
Dosh is a mobile-only app that keeps track of all your spendings and gives you cash back for all purchases at various stores. Using Dosh at different places such as breweries and restaurant earns you about 7% of the money you spend.
Once you set it up, Dosh becomes completely passive. What you need to do is link any of your credit cards to Dosh. If you spend money at a partner place or store, you get cash back to your Dosh account automatically.
Once you hit the required cashout amount, you can cash it out to your regular bank account. When you start using Dosh, you will notice that it automatically recognizes when you spend at any participating place, and your Dosh account is credited at once.
If a product’s price goes down, Earny will help you in getting refunds. Though you may not realize it, if you purchase any product or item and there is a drop in its price, most credit cards will offer you a refund on the price difference. You will need to track transactions like these.
Here is where Earny comes into play. The Earny app monitors your purchases and gets you correct refunds when there is a drop in price. For any refund they get you, they will charge 25%. Considering you’d typically not get anything in return, the 25% charge is worth it.
Setting it up is very simple. Once it’s done, you’re better off letting it run in the background.
To get the best value for your hard-earned money, you need to be aware of the situation and also to be fully alert. Retail is a booming business, and stores are keen on manipulating your shopping senses to entice you to make unexpected high-priced impulse purchases.
Many stores are structured in a way that appeals to the emotional side of your brain. The outcome of this strategic design is a 15% -20% massive expenditure among American citizens.
Unless you’re fully prepared before you visit your local store, it could be hard to overcome the urge to overspend. And even if you make five good choices, it’s easy to be hard on yourself and feel useless over one bad choice.
If you make a big mistake and own up to it, think about how you can focus on doing things right. It’s never too late to start.
The above tips and apps are sure to help you out in each of your visits to ensure that you not only make the right financial decisions but also get your money back in more ways than one. This way, you’ll be sure to save up more for home essentials than you could ever possibly imagine.