Frugal Living 

Top 5 Ways To Save Money Without Noticing

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What’s better than saving some money? Saving money without really noticing that you’re saving money. How do you do this? Take a look at some of the less important things in your life and see if you can cut back. Or, take a look at some of the things you take for granted and cut back. Or, just trim something you don’t even use much anymore but still pay for… all these things can be removed to save you a little bit of money without you noticing one bit.

1. Cancel that Netflix Account.

How many movies do you really watch? Cancel that Netflix account and instead go with something like Redbox where you pay $1 a night (often times free with a promotional code) and save yourself that $20-$30 a month you’re paying now. I know I’ve been at my friends’ places and seen the same Netflix envelopes month after month.

2. Drink more water.

Get a water bottle, fill it up and drink from it during the day. Get used to drinking water and you won’t drink more expensive stuff like soda and coffee. Get used to drinking water and you’ll likely eat less, cutting out those expensive snacks. Get used to drinking water and improve your health, which means less in health care costs down the road that will be difficult to quantify. As a corollary, when you go out to eat, ask for water instead of your beverage of choice. This is a directly quantifiable savings because do you really want a $2 soda?

3. Visit the library.

Books are expensive and I’ve done a scientific experiment that has definitively proven that the only reason why you would ever buy a book is so that you can put it on your bookshelf to prove how educated you are. Seriously, I have done such an experiment because I know that after I read through a book once, there is a 99.99999% chance that I will never open it again and thus the only logical reason to ever buy a book is to show off. 🙂 Okay, I’m being facetious but let the library be your bookcase and not only will you save money, you’ll save space, and even some trees. DVDs are available at the library too… so you can scratch off #1 too if you just do #3.

4. Switch to CFL.

Switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs will save you huge on your electricity bills since the bulbs use about a quarter of the electricity of their regular light bulb equivalents. Now, the bulbs will be more expensive but the lowered electricity bill plus the longer lifespan overcomes the initial price hit without minimal cost to you.

5. Reduce phone, TV, internet or just threaten to cancel.

Do you really need 23094820394238 minutes on your cell package? How about 290384029 channels? Heck no, I have like 500 channels and all I watch are ESPN, The History Channel, and maybe Oxygen (okay, not really Oxygen); but if you don’t want to give up all those options, consider just calling up your cable company and demanding a better rate. Verizon is coming into the neighborhood soon so I think I’ll be calling up Comcast and asking them to reduce my rate or I’m jumping ship. Either way, paying less for the same service is certainly an invisible way to save money!

{ 31 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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31 Responses to “Top 5 Ways To Save Money Without Noticing”

  1. Glen says:

    #1) We buy all of our movies (yep, avg price is around $10.00, most are old blockbuster previewed) but watch them all several times over, so we save vs. going to the theater, but overspend if we were using a mail order thing. The problem? We are mood movie watchers, so ordering in advance does not really work for us, and we hate to pay for the same movie more than once.

    #2) You are dead on for the water thing. The other thing about water, it takes less to keep you hydrated. Most other drinks will actually take more to hydrate your tissues because of all the junk in them. BTW, the bottled water craze is a joke. Buy a good house filter and drink your water that way, but get a toothpaste with flourine, because you will filter that out also.

    #3) I am a huge sci fi and fantasy fan, unfortunately the library does not stock many of the books in my favorite areas. So, buy used and only used when you can. Half Price book, Ebay auctions, garage sells. I have gotten books as cheap as $0.15 and rarely pay more than $4.00

    #4) 25% of your electric bill is for lighting if you are using incandesents I switched to 99% CFL a few years ago (just before the big energy price spikes). All of my friends’ electric bills went up. Not only did my bill NOT go up, it actually went down by an average of nearly 60.00 a month (I use avg billing) for my 3000 sq ft home in Texas.

    #5) It is great to make all of your phone and video services compete against each other. It is amazing how much free stuff and months they will throw at you if you are going to switch. Most will now lock you in for 2 years though. However, I have verizon FIOS at 45.00 a month, vs 68.00 for comcast. I have Directtv at 70.00 for 2 receivers, one of which is a HD dvr. All installation and equipment was free.

    BTW, want to save more money? For your energy bill adjust your thermostat by 1 degree higher in the summer and 1 degree lower in the winter. Also, get the thermostats with timers and drop set them to be 10 degrees higher (summer) and 10 degrees lower (winter) while you are out of the house. You will hardly notice the 1 degree drop and you will almost never notice the 10 degree change (unless you happen to stay home that day, then override) while you are at work. You will DEFINATELY notice the difference on you bill, however.

  2. O Parks says:

    We’ve saved probably over $1000 a year by buying generic foods, by cancelling cable (waste of time and money), and by dropping things like caller ID and call waiting on our home phone. We figure that the people we care to speak with will leave a message or can call our cell phone anyway.

  3. geoff says:

    I do not agree with going with redbox the amount of movies they have are limited and not to my liking, netflix has all the anime I could possibly want to watch without going to websites and getting a virus just so I can watch it. Next the library is a good idea but the problem there is it can take weeks to have the book you placed on hold to come to your nearest library, sometimes its easyer to just go buy the book especially if you would reread the book, I do not like having a time limit on how long I have to read a book even if it is a month its just stupid, so how about this limit yourself to one or two books per paycheck depending on the cost of the book?

  4. DDS says:

    I saved $60 a month (after taxes) a month by bundling Internet, Cable and Phone services. That’s more than my 2010 raise will be.

    I’m scraping though on how to save money on food- I don’t want to eat stuff I do not like…

  5. Rachael says:

    I entirely agree on getting away from rental stores unless it is to let a kid rent a game system for the weekend or something of that nature which you don’t want in your house 24/7.

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