Here are a few ways my family has been saving money:
1) We switched all our light bulbs to long-life environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent bulbs. By changing all the bulbs in the house we are already saving about $10 a month on our electric bills. CFLs cost more than regular bulbs up front, but they last 8 to 10 years and cut electricity usage dramatically.
2) We recently reduced our cable, internet, and telephone bills by 30% through comparison shopping and bundling our services.
3) Pay attention to mortgage rates and consider whether it makes sense to refinance. Don’t assume that you could never do better on your mortgage rate. We were surprised to find that we could!
4) Evaluate the interest rate on your checking and savings accounts. Shopping around might get you as much as 2% more in interest elsewhere, which can add up to hundreds of dollars yearly.
5) If you use credit cards, consider a card that gives cash back. We earn a significant amount of money yearly by charging all of our regular bills (such as utilities, mortgage, groceries, etc.) and then paying the card off at the end of each month. If you are not disciplined enough to pay the bill each month, consider using a cash-based system. You won’t get the cash back points, but you’ll save money in the long run by not racking up high interest payments.
6) Start drinking water in restaurants. When our family of six dines out, we save over $10 by not purchasing drinks. We also frequent restaurants like International House of Pancakes, where kids eat free on weeknight evenings.
7) Meet your husband for a lunch date instead of dinner. In nicer restaurants, prices are frequently lower at lunch than they are at dinner.