There’s lost of ways to trim your budget that most of us already know. Cook more and eat out less, shut of lights and turn down the heat (or A/C), shop at thrift stores, and so on. There are also ways to save some pennies (and dollars) that aren’t so obvious. Here’s our top 6 picks.
1) Freeze your batteries: This is really most effective with rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH or Ni–MH) batteries as it can extend their life by 90%!
2) Paint your roof white: Dark coloured roofs absorb the sun, increasing your need to use air conditioning in the summer. A 1000 square foot home could save up to 15% of their annual A/C costs and decrease your carbon footprint too.
3) Reuse calendars: There’s only 7 versions of a standard Gregorian calendar, so one from 2009 can be used for 2015. You could go for kitschy fun and use a vintage 70’s version, or find a beautiful antique calendar online. Just take into consideration that daylight savings time varies and more recent holidays (like Family Day) won’t be there. Check here for compatible years.
4) Potty train your cat: Seriously. Litter isn’t free, and over a year that can add up to a couple hundred dollars depending on brand and how often you change it. Over the lifetime of a cat, that adds up to a few thousand bucks! Getting rid of a litter box also frees up a little space. Less clutter is always a good thing.
5) Don’t coupon: unless you’re very disciplined, cashing in on coupons probably won’t save money. Coupons are usually for name brands, and even after the discount, store brands are often cheaper. Also, coupons can sway you into buying something you normally wouldn’t (which is the whole point). $5 off a water filter is great… unless you were content drinking plain tap water before. And those deeply discounted sites like Groupon? Well, they count on impulse shopping. It may be tempting to save 60% on a meal at that trendy new restaurant, but if you’re on a tight budget, skipping the meal altogether is a better alternative.
6) Wash your hands: Washing hands is the most effective way to keep from getting sick. If you stay healthy, you save money on medicine, prevent unpaid sick days, or spreading illness that might keep your kids at home (requiring time off work or paying a sitter).
Granted, these money-saving methods won’t pay for college, but every penny counts. What’s the weirdest way you save your hard-earned dollars?