When inflation is high, it often seems difficult to continue paying for everyday expenses like grocery shopping, trips to the gas station, and monthly utility bills. The good news is that there are ways you can stretch your dollars further in all these areas.
Save Money on Gas
1. Follow the Speed Limit
Following the speed limit can help you save money on gas. In general, gas mileage decreases rapidly as you accelerate above 50 mph. Driving 55 mph rather than 65 mph can improve your gas mileage by 15%, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
2. Avoid Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving, including speeding and rapid acceleration, can lower your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and by 5% on city roadways. Motorists who avoid aggressive driving can save money by burning less fuel.
3. Remove Unnecessary Weight
Removing unnecessary weight from your vehicle can save money on gas, according to the US Department of Energy.
4. Use Cruise Control on Highways
Using cruise control on highways can help you save up to 14% on gas by maintaining a continuous speed. Constantly accelerating and decelerating burns more fuel.
5. Keep Tires Properly Inflated
Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage, too. Conversely, driving with underinflated tires can decrease your gas mileage.
6. Clean or Replace Air Filter as Necessary
Cleaning or replacing your vehicle’s air filter as necessary can save gas money, particularly if you’re driving an older vehicle.
7. Don’t Idle When Parked
Allowing your car engine to run while idle uses gas. If you’re going to be idling for more than 30 seconds, save gas money by turning off your car.
8. Get Engine Tune-Ups as Needed
Getting engine tune-ups as needed can improve gas mileage by an average of 4%, according to the US Department of Energy.
9. Reduce Wind Resistance
Your vehicle has to overcome wind resistance whenever you drive. Reducing drag can save money on gas, so keep windows closed on the freeway, and remove roof racks and rooftop storage.
10. Minimize A/C Usage
Minimizing your vehicle’s air conditioner usage can save gas money. Using the air conditioner in some cases can reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%, according to the US Department of Energy.
Save Money on Utilities
1. Adjust Your Thermostat
Save money on your home heating bills by setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (or by lowering your heating by 1 degree or raising your air conditioning by 1 degree). You can save up to 5% on your home energy bill by making just 1 degree of change.
2. Check Your Toilet for Leaks
Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that may be wasting more than 100 gallons of water a day.
3. Take Shorter Showers
A typical shower uses five to ten gallons of water a minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash and rise off.
4. Turn Off the Water While Brushing Your Teeth
Before brushing, wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth.
5. Turn Off the Water While Shaving
Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water in which to rinse your razor.
6. Use Your Washing Machine Only for Full Loads
Your automatic washer uses 30 to 35 gallons per cycle.
7. Keep a Bottle of Drinking Water in the Refrigerator
This puts a stop to the wasteful practice of running tap water to cool it for drinking.
8. Save Water While Hand Washing Dishes
If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing. Instead, fill a second sink (or a tub) with rinse water. Gather all your washed dishes, then rinse them at the same time.
9. Water During the Cool Parts of the Day
Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus.
10. Use a Broom to Clean Outdoor Areas
Driveways, sidewalks and steps are better cleaned with a broom than with a hose. Using a hose wastes hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water.
Save Money on Groceries
1. Make a Grocery List and Stick to It
When you have a list and stick to it, you only buy what you need.
2. Use Coupons Wisely
Coupons can help you save money only if they are for items you and your household actually eat.
3. Bring a Calculator
As you shop, add up your total grocery cost to help you stay on budget. This way you don’t end up surprised at the checkout.
4. Get to Know the Food Prices
Write down the regular prices of foods you buy often. This will help you figure out which stores have the best prices and whether you’re getting a good deal on sale items.
5. Avoid Shopping When You’re Hungry
When you shop on an empty stomach, everything suddenly looks delicious! You may be more tempted to buy foods you don’t need.
6. Choose Your Aisles
Skip the aisles with candy (or whatever foods aren’t on your grocery list). Stick to the aisles that have the items on your list.
7. Pick your Fruits and Veggies Carefully
Avoid waste by buying fresh fruit at different stages of ripeness. Choose some fruit that is ripe and ready to eat, and some that will ripen in a few days. That way you’ll have enough time to eat all your purchases.
8. Buy in Season
Fruits and vegetables are cheaper when they are in season. When fresh is out of season or too expensive, buy frozen or canned vegetables and fruit.
9. Look High and Low – Not in the Middle
The most expensive items are usually put on the shelves where you can easily see and reach them. Some of the less expensive items may be on the higher or lower shelves.
10. Look at the Expiry Dates
Choose foods with an expiry date that will give your household enough time to eat it all and prevent waste.
11. Choose Store Brands
Store brand items are nutritious and are usually cheaper than name brands.
12. Compare the unit price for similar items
The unit price tells you how much something costs per “unit” (such as per ounce). Most stories list the unit price in small print under the main price. This price can help you compare the real cost of various brands and package sizes.