We can’t predict the future, which means saving money is crucial. You never know what unexpected costs may arise or if, say, a pandemic will plague the world and put you out of work. There’s no better time to learn how to stretch a dollar further. Here are five simple ways you can start saving this week:
1) Comparison shop for recurring purchases.
Before making any major or recurring purchase, do your due diligence and make sure you’ve found the best price. You’d probably comparison shop for your next car, and you should do the same thing when purchasing things like car insurance, internet, and electricity plans. Even shaving just a few dollars off those recurring bills will quickly add up.
Luckily, internet resources like Money Gains will compare plans for you and find the best price. All you need to do is enter your email address, answer a few questions, and you’ll be on your way to making smart money gains. This comparison service is independently owned, built on a foundational principle of fairness, so you can trust that they’ll find you the best deals on the market.
2) Take advantage of discount programs.
Along with comparison shopping, make sure you’re looking out for the best discounts, coupons, and savings on everyday purchases. Some of these discounts are hard to find on our own, though, like prescription drug coupons. Medication is often expensive in the U.S. — even with health insurance — and the price of prescription medication varies by the pharmacy. A prescription discount program can sort through all of that to find the best price for your medication.
You can get a discount prescription card right now, with no registration or monthly fees, that provides access to the best medication prices. This prescription discount program is accepted at over 62,000 pharmacies across the United States — including Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. With the mobile app, you don’t even have to have a physical discount card. Find your medication on the website or app and then show your pharmacist your discount card when you pick it up. You’ll even find discounts for pet medications!
3) Cut down on energy waste.
You made those smart money gains by searching out the best electricity plan, so don’t waste them by needlessly running up the bill. By cutting down on wasted electricity, you’ll be doing the planet and your wallet a favor. Here are a few tips on how you can lower your energy bill:
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
- Get a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature.
- Replace your showerhead and take shorter showers.
- Use smart power strips that stop your electronics from sucking energy while they’re not in use.
- Install dimmer switches and use energy-efficient lightbulbs.
If you can shrink your electric bill by finding the best plan and cutting down on energy waste, you’ll be saving tons of money every year that you can stash away.
4) Plan your trips to the grocery store.
Food waste is another rampant problem nowadays — which both hurts your wallet and food-insecure communities. Going into the store without a list means you’re more likely to pay full retail prices and make impulse buys. Planning out your meals will save money, be better for your health, and cut down on food waste. Study your grocery store’s weekly ad, see what’s on sale, and plan your meals accordingly. Most stores have savings apps now where you can also get personalized coupons and discounts. A fun way to cut down on food waste is to play Chopped once a week and make a meal out of whatever is in your fridge so it doesn’t go bad.
5) Try the five-dollar trick.
Here’s an easy way to save money: every time you get a five-dollar bill, stash it away. A blogger did this with her bartending tips and saved over $4,000 in one year. Of course, not everybody has a cash-heavy income, but there are other ways to accomplish this. The trick, after all, is to train yourself to put money away and form it into an almost unconscious habit. Some banking apps can automatically do this for you with built-in settings that round up your purchases and put the extra in your savings account. Whether you’re tucking away five-dollar bills or rounding up every time you swipe your card — find that good saving habit.
Learning how to save money can help you form other healthy habits, like eating better and reducing your carbon footprint. By following these tips, you can start making those smart money gains and living your best life.