In January of 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a gallon of milk cost about $2.88. Just ten years later, that same gallon costs, $3.67. It’s not just your imagination – prices are on the rise. Because of this, frugal living is becoming more and more important. The following eight tips can help you live more comfortably by cutting your bills.
Cut the Cable
Have you ever said this before, “We have 800 channels and there’s nothing on!” Cable has become an increasingly unnecessary expense because of the cost-effective alternatives. You can purchase to subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon for about $8 per month per subscription. Most cable packages push $100 a month and come with costly equipment fees and taxes. A free HD antenna can provide crystal clear access to local news and sports.
Switch your Phone Service
While a phone is a necessity, a monthly bill doesn’t have to be. If you sign up for magicJack VoIP phone service to replace your current landline, you’ll pay one low yearly fee for unlimited calling. magicJack service costs $59.95 for a full year subscription, with every year thereafter being just $35, and discount plans are available for multiple-year renewals. magicJack comes with all the extras everyone expects – call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, and even 411 calls – for no extra charge. That’s a lot of savings!
Negotiate with Your Internet Provider
Internet providers usually offer deals for new subscribers, but even if you’re a current subscriber, you can usually take advantage of these introductory rates. Just tell your provider that you’re thinking about switching because your bill is too high and ask if there are any specials available in your area. You’ll be surprised how much this can reduce your high speed bill.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
You can save a little on your light bill by replacing all your common light bulbs with either an energy efficient variety or low wattage bulbs. Of course, you can further increase those savings by turning off the lights when you leave a room.
Unplug Constantly Connected Electronics
You might be surprised to learn that everything you leave plugged in is constantly using a small amount of electricity, even if you’re not using it. The TV you use once a year in the guest room, the toaster, blender, food processor – all of these are adding cents to your electric bill. Unplugging might not save you hundreds, but it’s a good place to start cutting costs.
Lower the Water Pressure on your Taps
You probably know that you should turn off the water when brushing your teeth for conservation’s sake, but you might not realize that you can use an energy efficient connector in your sinks that will give you plenty of water at a reduced speed, saving you cash when the tap must be run. You can purchase these connectors at most home improvement stores, or ask your electric company to drop off some for free when they conduct your energy survey.
Reduce your Water Bill by Collecting Free Water
If you have any free space in your back garden, purchase a large plastic barrel from a local farm store (or better yet see if you can find a free one by posting on a yard sale site or asking area businesses). Leave it open to collect water every time it rains. While you won’t want to drink or cook with this water, you can save quite a lot on your water bill by using it to water your garden and house plants.
Plan All Your Trips to Area Stores on the Same Day
Running to the local grocery for a gallon of milk or a spice you need can really add up when it comes to your gasoline bill. Try setting aside just one day a week you do all your shopping, or shop when you know you’ll be near the store for another event, such as your kids’ sports practice or a business meeting.
Saving money seems like a daunting task at first, but even starting small can result in big savings. These eight tips can help you boost your savings without completely altering your lifestyle.