If you pay full price on any of the items listed below, you’re likely spending more than you need to. Today I’ll share 6 ways you can save thousands of dollars a year on everyday items that most people buy at full price.
Clothing and Accessories
The average family of four in America spends $1,881 a year on clothing and accessories. Our family of six spent, during the last three years, $1288, $1309, and $1014 respectively on clothing and accessories. That’s a savings of roughly 54% or more compared to the average family. How do we do it? Here are our tips:
- Always check the clearance racks
- Buy basic clothing staples in traditional colors that can be mixed and matched
- Shop on eBay, especially for more expensive items such as winter coats
- Get involved with a Facebook group or other network where you can buy, sell and trade clothes with others
- Buy ahead of time. Buy winter clothes for the following season via this year’s clearance rack.
By following the tips above, you’ll be sure to cut your clothing costs down to size.
According to this article, the average family of four spends $2,668 a year on meals out. It’s entirely possible to lower this amount and still enjoy quality restaurant meals. Here are some tips:
- Look online for coupons. Most all restaurants have coupons online that can shave between 15 and 50 percent off of your restaurant bill
- Learn to cook your favorite restaurant meals at home. Simply type in ‘Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce recipe‘ or a similar phrase, and learn to cook your restaurant favorites at home
- Save eating out for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries
- Gather with friends and family at home instead of out, and ask each person or family to bring a favorite dish
Taking advantage of these money-saving tips will ensure you can enjoy great meals while easing the burden on your pocket book and cutting back on restaurant expenditures.
Nearly every household item you buy can come with a reduced price tag by taking advantage of the tips below:
- Determine if you really need the item, or if you simply want it. If the item will truly bring value to your family, go ahead and buy it
- Check for online coupons before you go shopping. Most department stores and bath/bedding stores have coupons available on a regular basis
- Buy used and refurbish if necessary. Need a great-looking side table for the entryway? Pick up a used one at a garage sale and paint or stain it to complement your home decor. One time, when we needed a large extension ladder, we avoided the $300 price tag by picking up a used ladder on Craigslist for $70 from a guy who was downsizing from a single family home to a condominium.
It is entirely possible to have a beautiful home without emptying your bank account.
There are a myriad of ways to save money on grocery expenses. While the average family of four spends between $584 and $1156 a month on groceries, with a little time and planning, you can easily cut that number down by 40 percent or more. For more on how to feed your family for less, check out these posts:
- 8 Creative Ways to Save Money on Groceries
- 10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill
- How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with Erin Chase (podcast)
By utilizing efficient menu planning, limiting trips to the grocery store and staying within a cash budget, you can feed your family for less.
The average college student graduated last year with over $35,000 in student loan debt. If you’ve determined that a college degree is the best option for you, here are some tips for lowering the amount of money you need to spend while attending college.
- Live at home with your parents or find cheaper, off-campus housing and forego oft-expensive dormitory rooms
- Attend a community college or online university for the first two years of your degree
- Research the myriad of scholarships available and apply for all that fit your qualification parameters
- Avoid paying interest on student loans by saving up in advance for college costs or by working during college to pay for classes, books, and other expenses
- Choose to forego college classes until you can find a job at an employer that will pay for college classes as you work
- Create a strict budget for yourself that minimizes wasteful spending and maximizes savings as you work to get your degree
Cell Phone Plans
Cell phone plans can easily run into the hundreds of dollars per month per phone, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
By switching to a provider such as Republic Wireless, you can drastically reduce your cell phone bill and save yourself thousands of dollars a year in the process. Republic Wireless has a variety of no-contract plans to fit every lifestyle and every budget. BONUS: Republic Wireless pays you back for the data you don’t use every single month! Check out the Republic Wireless cell phone plan options today to see which one is best for you.
By challenging every expense on your budget and cutting costs where you can, it’s easy to save hundreds – and even thousands – of dollars per year to put toward your goals of becoming debt free or building wealth.
What’s your favorite money-saving tip? Have you tried a challenge everything budget?
See All of Your Accounts in One Place
Personal Capital is a FREE tool that will allow you to connect to all of your accounts like your bank, investment accounts, etc. This will not only help you see all of your accounts in one place, but it also has a budgeting component where it automatically categorizes your transactions.