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How to Reduce Everyday Living Expenses

You can save big on everyday living expenses by just giving it a little thought and doing some planning.

You can save big on everyday living expenses by just giving it a little thought and doing some planning.

Involve Your Family to Reduce Daily Living Expenses

Get your family involved in reducing everyday living expenses. It takes more than one person to get this job done. If one of you is turning lights out and the other is cooling the house with windows open you will not get very far. Be sure you and your family are on the same page.

Make a Plan to Reduce Everyday Living Expenses

Wanting to reduce your everyday living expenses is a great idea. But do you know by how much you want to reduce those expenses? 20%? 30% It is important that you have a goal of how much you are working to save so that you know when you have accomplished it. By having a clear goal, you will know when you reach it. You will also have a great sense of accomplishment in having successfully managed a plan to save money.

Your plan to reduce everyday living expenses should consider the following points:

  • How much do you want to save?
  • How will you reduce expenses for household utilities?
  • Can you reduce your cell phone expense?
  • Are there some corners you can cut on home or other entertainment?
  • Can you save money on long distance service?
  • Are there any ways that you can save on gasoline?
  • Can you trim your monthly grocery bill?
  • Can you limit dining out to save on food costs?

Easy Ways You Can Save on Everyday Living Expenses

Reduce Your Cell Phone Expenses

Opening your cell phone bill each month should not be something you dread or fear. Like all other household expenses, you should have a planned monthly budget for cell phone services, AND you should know what to expect. The cell phone service you choose to purchase should be a reflection of your true needs and not a reflection of what is popular in the market. Because this is a complex subject, I recommend that you check out my hub titled, Don't Spend a Fortune on Your Cell Phone Bills.

Treat your family to a movie matinee and save $5 or more per ticket!

Treat your family to a movie matinee and save $5 or more per ticket!

Reduce Entertainment Costs

Entertainment is a necessary part of life, but it tends to be expensive. While there are types of entertainment that cost nothing like going to the park, taking a nature walk, or playing board games, the types of entertainment that we associate with vacation (movies, amusement and water parks, and sports events) can come with a pretty hefty price tag.

There are many ways to reduce your entertainment costs and maybe even get some things free if you just know how. To learn more, click here.


Reduce Long Distance and Landline Telephone Costs

If you have a cell phone, you can eliminate a great portion of long distance expenses. Cell phones usually have no long distance charges for calling anywhere in the continental USA. This is one of the great features of cell phone service.

If you have a landline phone (I have a cell phone and a landline phone) you can save on long distance charges by opting for an unlimited package through your phone company. For a time I used our landline telephone for my business as I made many long distance calls. We were able to get a $15 monthly rate for unlimited long distance calls. This capped our monthly cost while providing a very high quality telephone for my business. When I no longer needed unlimited long distance from my landline phone for my business, we dropped our landline plan to per minute usage rates for long distance.

In case you are wondering my husband and I have chosen to have both a cell phone and a landline phone because we live in the country where cell reception can at times be very poor. Having a landline telephone limits dropped calls made at home.

What do you use for phone service? If you are using both a landline and a cell phone you may be able to save money by eliminating one or the other. This could save hundreds to thousands of dollars per year! Learn how to make the choice by reading Landline or Cell Phone?

Planning your trips can reduce gasoline costs.

Planning your trips can reduce gasoline costs.

Reduce Gasoline Expenses

The price of gasoline is always going up. Years ago it was relaxing to take a long drive in the country. That leisurely drive has become an expensive proposition. Here are some ideas to save on gasoline expenses.

  • Plan your trips and errands. By thinking about where you are going, you can plan a route that allows you to make multiple stops going in one direction. This eliminates backtracking and use of extra gasoline - not to mention time.
  • Shop for the week. Avoid multiple trips per week to the grocery store by shopping only once per week.
  • Ride in a car pool.

How to Reduce Utility Expenses

Home utility costs are a major portion of monthly bills. The key to saving here is conservation. Some simple tips include:

  • Turn lights out when not in rooms or when daylight provides enough light for your tasks.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust heating and cooling temperatures for when you are home and away
  • Heat and cool your home to a comfortable temperature in winter and summer. Be careful to keep doors and windows closed to avoid warm or cool air escape.
  • Use a clothesline to dry clothes.
  • Eliminate your monthly cable bill and either rent movies or subscribe to an online movie service.
Growing fresh vegetables and fruit in your garden is a great way to reduce your grocery costs.

Growing fresh vegetables and fruit in your garden is a great way to reduce your grocery costs.

Reduce Your Grocery Costs

Save money on both groceries and dining out by using a weekly menu plan. A menu plan will prompt you to have a shopping list for each week. By shopping once weekly, you stay out of the grocery store and avoid impulse buying.

A menu plan can also help you save money on dining out. Because you know what you are having each day/evening, there is no worry of "What will I make for dinner?" Instead, the menu plan gives you security in knowing that the plan is set, Because you did your grocery shopping from a list based on your menu plan, you know that all of the ingredients are available in your pantry.

One way to avoid dining out when you have had a crazy day is to be sure that you always have ingredients on hand for at least 1 quick and easy recipe. For us, it is whole wheat pasta and organic marinara sauce. It is done in 15 minutes from entering the kitchen to serving. It is also one of our favorites. So, when we are tempted to eat out because of a harried day, we make a dish like this that keeps us on track with our financial goals.

Other ways to reduce grocery costs are:

  • have a garden with fresh fruits and vegetables
  • clip coupons and shop market specials
  • buy the store brand when you can
  • buy only what you need and resist the urge to buy in bulk
  • have something to eat before you go grocery shopping
  • stick to your shopping list.


Tori Canonge from North Carolina on May 30, 2014:

I have been fortunate enough to save on gas because I have a company car now. I've noticed that I'm able to put that money toward other bills now (like those dreaded student loans I can't wait to get rid of). I do hope to plant a garden one day so I can grow my own vegetables.

DebWelch on August 31, 2013:

Some great and useful ideas. Up. Thanks.

Nicole A. Winter from Chicago, IL on August 27, 2013:

What a fantastic hub, thank-you so much for publishing this! We've recently begun using meal plans / grocery lists, it's really useful. There's also a ton of sites on the web, (I use both MyPoints and Inbox Dollars,) that allow you to print out coupons from online. Once they're redeemed you either get points, (MyPoints,) or cash back, (Inbox Dollars,) from your grocery purchases.

Teresa Sanderson (author) from Rural Midwest on July 02, 2013:

Great idea, jpcmc! My husband is almost fanatical about maintaining our vehicles to ensure we need no major repairs. Thx!

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on July 02, 2013:

My gasoline expense is big. Apart from your tips, i'd suggest properly maintaining your car as it will cost less in the long run.