Saving Money While Living Alone
1. Clip grocery coupons from weekly flyers religiously. But only for what you will use. It is easy to get carried away with bargain prices that are no bargain if items are not used.
2. Find online websites that offer printable coupons.
3. Buy brand names at Big Lots or Dollar General for cheaper prices.
Of the two, Dollar General has well stocked shelves of cleaners, detergents, paper plates, napkins, paper towels, and bath tissue. Big Lots has everything from imported foods to outdoor furniture and each local store has different products.
4. Buy family size meat packages and freeze pieces separately. I price meals by how many single suppers I can get from them, as in an $8.52 package of 4 oz. steaks, seven boneless little steaks cost me $1.22 each meal. A McDonald's hamburger costs more than that!
5. If over 55 eat out at restaurants offering a senior discount. Locally, our Dennys and Long John Silver have a discounted price for seniors on certain days of the week.
6. Buy "ugly" organic fruits and vegetables online at Misfits Market.
This website offers produce that is misshapen or just doesn't look like its normally beautiful self. It is by subscription and provides you with a size selected box every month of healthy organically raised food.
7. Get Netflix or Hulu, both for less than $10 monthly instead of pricey cable. My Comcast bill went up to $85 several years ago while I watched only two channels, the GemShow and Rizzoli And Ailes. An unnecessary extravagance. So I subscribed to Netflix and have been very happy with all the movies and TV shows they offer.
8. Install LED lightbulbs and dimmer switches to reduce your electric bill. This is just common sense and should lower the utility bite out of your budget. A recent issue of the AARP Bulletin said that replacing five of your most frequently used bulbs with LEDs can save about $45 per year in electricity costs. And reminds us that use of LEDs can improve the environment over time.
9. Turn off underground sprinklers in a rainy summer season if you have them. I did this and the city water department called to say they were sending out a repairman to check my meter since it didn't show my sprinkler usage. So I explained they were turned off when the ground was already soaking with rain. The city clerk laughed and said "most people haven't figured that out yet." All that water & money wasted!
10. Visit your local library for books rather than buy them. Or if you have to own books then visit online discount bookstores like Amazon's used book section, ThriftBooks for under $4.00 each, and Alibris where many are .99. Worth looking for older books you want or if you are a collector of a specific author. Personally, I have to own my books but just recently pared down a library of over 1000 trying to reform. But I love 'em. Books are my weakness and the stable center of my life.
11 If you're just looking in general for books, you can't beat your local GoodWill for shelves of a variety, both hardback and paperback. I especially like paperbacks for .25 rather than the retail prices now of $8.00 up to $12.99 for a book read in a day. My book budget goes into hardbacks to keep.
12. Watch your online purchases so no scam monthly subscription is "auto-renewed" on your credit card. The explanation of your one-time purchase authorizing them to charge your card every month is usually at the bottom of the page in tiny print. Unless shown clearly close to the check-out information, these sites are scamming you. If you get caught with a monthly charge for something like "product monitoring," then call your credit card company and they will be happy to change your account number and issue you a new card. They have heard all of this before.
13. Buy non-perishables in bulk, especially if on sale. Things like laundry detergent, disposable face masks, paper towels, bath tissue, softsoap refills, hair spray, bath soap, etc. Don't be afraid to stock up. My sister, Marlene, at last count, had 17 1 lb. cans of coffee stored on her garage shelves. It doesn't hurt to be frugal.
14. Make a Monthly Budget and STICK TO IT!