Saving money is more important than ever before as economic uncertainty prevails. The best way to start building up a savings account is to plan a budget and resist impulsive spending. You should also try as much as possible to replace regular household items with more affordable alternatives.
These 5 ways will help you trim your budget and increase savings:
- Start recycling
You can earn money and contribute to a cleaner environment at the same time by saving bottles and cans and taking them to recycle centers. You might only get five dollars for a big bag of cans but that can help pay for gas or items at a supermarket. Recycling returns about $1 billion per year to Americans, according to the Aluminum Association.
- Collect condiments
- Multi-purpose vinegar
- Unplug unused appliances
- Replace lamps with candles
Instead of buying condiments like ketchup, mustard and soy sauce at stores, collect these items for free when you visit restaurants. But don't frequently go to restaurants or you will end up spending down your savings. Another alternative is to buy condiments at dollar stores, where you can also pick up paper towels, soap and many other household items.
Vinegar is one of the most under-rated yet useful products on the market. It can be used to clean many things, including teeth, floors, dishes, toilets and even clothes. It's also great for cooking, freshening the air and is very healthy to drink, especially apple cider vinegar. Reader's Digest actually listed 150 uses of the substance.
Keep electronic devices that plug into the wall unplugged when not in use. Most people don't realize that these appliances still consume energy when they are connected to the grid. So unplug everything from computers to TVs to coffeemakers to lights when you leave your home, go to sleep or whenever you aren't using them.
Candles are very inexpensive and can provide adequate lighting while cutting energy costs. Humans used fire as a light source for centuries before the light bulb came along. Candlelight also helps to generate a warmer atmosphere among family and friends.