4 Quick Ways to Cut Costs

Posted July 1st, 2015

Save up to $200 a month

Author: Lisa Novak

Maybe it’s because you are saving up for a big purchase. Or maybe you are tired of watching your paycheck leave your hands as soon as you get it. If you are looking to cut costs, here are four quick ways to get started that may save you over $200 or more a month! Note: We didn’t necessarily say easy….but we did say quick.

Cable

Have you become a cable cutter yet? Giving up cable or dish programs is not necessarily an easy choice to make. However, with more and more streaming options becoming available, it certainly isn’t as hard as it used to be.

With streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast or even Xbox One, you can use your internet to stream movies and shows from pay subscription services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus or Netflix or other free independent channels. Usually even a combination of these subscription services are quite a bit less than paying for cable or dish.

If sports is your thing, new subscription services are being developed every day to feed your need. SlingTV is now live streaming ESPN, while the MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA all have subscription networks, too.

A digital antenna usually does a good job picking up local major networks for free and in crisp color.

Average monthly savings: $70.00

Landline Phone

Do you still have a landline? That’s the old fashioned phone line in your house that an actual phone with cables are plugged into. Usually the only people who may call you on that line are sales people.

With the age of internet and smart phones, it’s easier to stay connected. Most people now use the technology they are already paying for to communicate. Not only does this include cellphone calls and texting, but also using internet services such as Skype or Google Talk to make calls over the internet.

Many times people get stuck with the landline because they are tied to a package through their phone company or cable company. These packages often only keep you from cutting anything out because you think it is a better deal to have all of them.

Average monthly savings: $35.00

Eating Out

It’s so easy to drive through and grab a burger or stop in somewhere and pick up a salad. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks, eating out adds up quickly. In our minds, the convenience often outweighs the cost.

It’s time to come to terms of what eating out really costs you. Write down for one month the expenses of every time you eat out. You will see that those $5 value meals add up to bigger amounts monthly. It’s important to see that number.

But what about the convenience factor?You can make eating in much more convenient by simply planning ahead. Here are some tips:

  • Plan a menu for what you will eat each week.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Have something in the morning so you aren’t hungrier and tempted to binge at lunch time or on vending machine snacks.
  • Prepare lunches and snacks the night before. Have them bagged and ready to go so that all you have to do is grab it on your way out the door.
  • Prepare meals in larger quantities and enjoy easy leftovers later in the week. Another option is to freeze extras for easy meals on other nights later in the month.

Average monthly savings: $94.00 per person

Coffee, Soda and Bottled Water

Each of the items listed above seem like small luxury purchases. However, if you are buying just one of them each day (not including Sundays) at a cost of $1.00 - $2.00, you’re spending $26.00-$52.00 a month.

Imagine how much those costs go up if you are buying more than one a day, or spending more money on specialty coffees or teas.

The good news is, you can still have your daily luxury, but at a fraction of the cost by simply brewing your own coffee at home, buying liter bottles of soda, or drinking filtered tap water. Maybe that’s not as attractive as going to your favorite coffee house or driving through your favorite fast food place, but imagine what you could do with an extra $300-$600 per year!

Average monthly savings: $39.00 per month