Spend Smart to Save Money
|December 21, 2011||Filled under Cost Savings|
Some may call us “crazy organized”. I like to think that we are “smart spenders”.
After completing our 2012 budget we learned that our estimated expenses will exceed our estimated income. This is mostly due to increased spending on private education as more of our children are entering school coupled with a decreased annual income because my maternity leave is only partially paid. The bottom line for us is that we need to think about how we can save more money? We decided to focus on three areas for the coming year: Energy, Food and Gas.
1. Use Less Energy
According to the US Department of Energy,
You can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours.
I’ve already started to play around with our thermostat to determine if we can lower the heat without sacrificing comfort both during the day and night.
2. Compare Food Prices
We are all about convenience. And, what’s more convenient than doing all your food shopping in one store. That’s been our philosophy for years. Now we are rethinking that. After comparing the prices of our household “staples” (think milk, cheese, eggs, favorite cereals, paper products, etc), we learned that some items were less expensive at Shop Rite (our local supermarket) and others are less expensive at BJs (a wholesale club store), even when purchasing the generic Shop Rite brand item. Looks like we’ll be hitting two stores each week now, but we estimate we could save up to $500 a year just by purchases “staple” items at the lowest price.
3. Select the Lowest Price Gas
This seems obvious. But when the least expense gas in your areas in not on your way from point A to point B, it’s very easy to get in the habit of going to the most convenient gas station. We found that the least expense gas station in our area (by almost $0.10 per gallon, compared to the gas station we usually go to) is not too far from our home but is on a street that we don’t usually travel. Now, we will make a point to travel that road more often and stop there for gas. There’s another couple hundred dollars a year in savings.
These changes may not make up the full difference between our expenses and income for the coming year. Nonetheless, they are good practices to put in the place to help reduce our spending for the current year and years to come.