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What could you do with an extra $1,200 each year?
Maybe you could take a vacation with your family.
How about paying off your debt faster than you ever thought possible?
Or, maybe you could create a retirement fund for you or save money for your kids’ college.
The good news is that $1,200 per year is not only doable, it’s easy when you make little changes that save at least $100 every month.
Here’s a list of 10 ways to trim your budget and save at least $100 per month.
#1 – Pay As You Go for Cellphone Service
Still have cellphone service with one of the big guys?
If so, you probably have a big bill to go along with it.
You can save money each month by switching to one of the smaller pay as you go carriers.
In fact, you can often get unlimited calling plus data and text for only $35 per month or even less.
My husband and I did this along with dropping our landline for big savings.
#2 – Electrify Your Savings
There are lots of ways to reduce your electric bill.
Lower you the temperature on your water heater to 110° degrees and wrap a heat blanket around your water heater.
Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), which are more energy-efficient than standard light bulbs as your old bulbs burn out.
Hang clothes to dry in the summer rather than throwing them in the dryer – you can always fluff them for a few minutes to get them soft.
Wash laundry and on the coolest temperature and shortest run time you can to still get the results you want.
Raise the setting on your thermometer by 2 degrees in the summer and lower it by 2 degrees in the winter.
And, finally take a look around your house to find other ways you can cut back on your electric bill.
Are you leaving lights on too long? Leaving doors open to let the cold air escape?
#3 – Get Smart with Groceries
Groceries are a great place to cut back on expenses.
Using coupons for the groceries you know you’re going to buy is a great way to save.
Also, never, never, never, never shop without a list. You’re sure to spend more than you planned.
Set up a meal plan for each week and write down exactly what you need to make each meal.
When my husband and I started doing this not only did we save time at the grocery store, we saved gas going back and forth and between $40 and $50 each month on the groceries themselves.
Also, consider shopping at stores like Aldi if you have one near you.
Aldi offers the same great groceries at a much cheaper price than other stores.
Want more tips for saving money on groceries, check out our post 17 Tips to Grocery Shopping on a Budget.
#4 – Manage Your Movies, Music and Books
You’d be surprised how much you and your family are probably spending each month on movies, music and books alone.
When I sat down and started doing our budget, it turned out we were racking up $100 or more every month in expenses in these categories!
For books, your best choice is the library – after all, it’s free.
If that doesn’t work for you, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited is only $9.99 a month and if you’re an avid reader you can rack up the savings fast. This is what I chose and I read about $60 of books per month for the less than $10 price tag.
For music, the library, Pandora, Spotify or even Amazon Prime can all save you money.
We share Amazon Prime with my sister’s family and my parents, so we all get the benefits at a third of the cost per family.
For movies, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Redbox rentals can all help you to keep more money in your pocket each month.
#5 – Create Savings with Your Cable and Internet
Bundling or dropping it is generally the key here.
You could drop cable altogether and use Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix to get your TV fix, saving you lots of dough.
If you decide to bundle be sure to check whether you’re truly saving before locking yourself into a long-term contract.
#6 – Water Down Your Expenses
Just like with your electric bill, you can save big on your water if you stay conscious of how you’re using it.
Only run your washing machine or dishwasher when you have a full load and on the shortest time possible to get the clean you need.
Install low-flow shower heads for even more cost savings.
And, if there’s a leak, fix it right away. The cost of a plumber is far less than the long term high water bills a leak can cause.
Also, don’t forget your outside watering…
Only water in the evening when the sun is down so that the heat doesn’t cause the water to evaporate before it does your lawn any good.
And invest in a rain barrel to use for as much of your outdoor watering as possible.
#7 – Brown Bag It
The cost of fast food adds up well… fast.
Pack lunches for your whole family and skip the cost and the calories that come with eating out.
Prepare them the night before and store them in the refrigerator so you’re not tempted to run out the door without it.
#8 –Say Goodbye to the Gym
Gym memberships can easily run $75 plus per month.
Drop your membership and pick up used gym equipment from Craigslist or Facebook.
Working out at home may not sound as fun but you’ll save not only your membership fee but also your time and gas running back and forth.
#9 – Get Your Entertainment On the Cheap
Sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com offer great discounts on everything from concerts to dinner and movie packages and even escape room events.
Before going out check out what they’re offering in your area to save big.
And, if a night at the movies is your thing, try turning it into a movie afternoon.
You can generally save at least $2-3 per ticket by going earlier in the day and some theaters even offer food deals during their matinee times.
#10 – Look for Gift Card Savings
Sites like GiftCardGranny.com offer discounted gift cards to restaurants, movies and more.
Search for your favorite places and see how much you can save.
My husband and I almost always pay with a gift card from one of these sites when we go to dinner or the movies, saving ourselves an extra 20% or more.
Money in Your Pocket
If you work on all 10 of the categories above, you’re sure to save far more than just a $100 a month.
So, what will you do with all that extra money in your pocket.
And as always, I wish you a strong family, optimal health and smart incomes.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
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