How to Save Money on Necessities

Everything seems to cost a little more each year, which can make paying for the necessities a little more difficult each year.

Use these techniques to acquire necessities for less money, leaving more for the other things you enjoy:

1. Food. Since food can be one of your larger necessary expenses, it makes a lot of sense to spend some time on trying to minimize it.

* Grow your own. Kids love gardens and will help enthusiastically. Seeds are extremely inexpensive, and it’s much healthier than eating the stuff in the grocery store that’s been exposed to herbicides and pesticides.

* Use coupons. Some people seem to be able to buy $300 worth of groceries for $1.52, but that takes a lot of time. Just sift through the paper every Sunday for 2 minutes and pick out the coupons for products you already use. It’s good money for such a small amount of work.

* Make a list. Make a shopping list and stick to it. If you only buy what you need, you won’t spend more than you need to spend.

2. Gasoline. If you own a car, truck, or motorcycle then you probably need to purchase gas on a regular basis. Follow these tips to cut down on the cost:

* Take turns shopping. Odds are there is someone that lives nearby that needs groceries or an errand done. Have one person shop for several families for the week.  Split the cost of gas and save.

* Maintain your vehicle. Having the proper air pressure in your tires can make a huge difference, not to mention your tires will last longer. Change your motor oil, transmission oil/fluid, and differential oil on schedule. Get a tune-up every year.  Even if you’re using your car less these days, it pays to maintain your car rather than face an expensive repair, which will not only cost in parts and labor, but also in lost time and time off work.

* Make one trip. Driving back and forth from your house to the shopping areas multiple times each week wastes gas. Get it all done at once to save time and money.

3. Utilities. Unless you have a very simple life, electricity, water, cable, internet, and your phone are expenses that you have to deal with every month.

* Only use what you need. If you’re not watching the TV then turn it off. Turn off lights when no one is in the room. Don’t let the water run. These are simple things.

* Only buy what you use. Do you need the cell phone plan that you have now? Or could you do with something less? Examine all your current plans and determine if you really need the level of service that you’re paying for.

* Set the thermostat wisely. Turn down the heat at night. Minimize the air conditioning if you’re gone all day. Do you really need it to be 68 degrees in the summer and 78 degrees in the winter? Dress appropriately and save some money.

4. Insurance. When you add it all up, it’s a lot of money every year.

* Raise your deductible. Doubling your auto insurance deductible reduces your premium by almost 30%. Multiply that over a couple of years and you’ll be surprised.

* Only get what you really need. If you live on a mountain, flood insurance might not be necessary. If your health is spectacular, raise your deductible and co-pays on your health insurance to save money on premiums. If you drive a clunker, you probably don’t need every car insurance option available.

Necessities are those things that everyone needs. Finding ways to spend less on these things is as simple as spending a little bit of time contemplating how you can pay less. Don’t buy more than you need and avoid being wasteful. Big savings are just around the corner with a little planning and work.

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