Three Simple Ways to Cut Your Monthly Expenses

I am always looking for ways to cut down my expenses and save some money. While it is not easy at times and I have fallen off the wagon a time or two, I can tell you that it is entirely worth it, and making small changes really can make a big difference. Each and every month, I am seeing my bank account gain a little bit of money, and I am thoroughly enjoying watching my monthly expenses shrink.

While there are thousands of little ways to begin cutting your monthly expenses and trimming your budget, here are three simple tips that anyone can easily incorporate into their life and begin saving money today.

Money-Saving Tip #1: Food Savings – Shopping for Generic Brands

This was the very first thing I reviewed when I decided to start saving money. It was amazing the things I noticed when I looked at my grocery bills. I learned a lot about my spending habits even at a grocery store.

The first thing I noticed was that I was buying primarily name brand products. Big mistake! One of the easiest ways to cut your monthly expenses at the grocery store is to purchase food products and supplies that are generic – or store brand – and on sale. I learned that many of the major brand companies make their own generic brands as well at a lower cost to the consumer.

Also, I wanted to save as much money as I could so I learned the craft of cutting coupons. I purchase a newspaper every week, and I place the coupons in a binder. The binder allows me to easily access the coupons, and I can combine them with the sales flyers from each grocery store.

By doing these simple things at the grocery store, I have been able to save $150 a month on food bills alone. Definitely add this to your ways to cut your monthly expenses.

Money Saving Tip #2: Entertainment Savings – Attending Free Community Events

When I first started trying to save money, I did not want to cut back too much on entertainment, since we believe that it is good to relax and have fun after working hard all week. We wanted to be able to go out to the movies or to play mini-golf as a way of release from the work week. However, it was not long until I realized there were some things I could do to save money, while still having a great time.

I opened my local savers flyer and noticed there was a free concert going on in the park that weekend. So, instead of going to the movies, we went to the concert. It did not cost us anything, and we were there enjoying the music and having a great time for almost four hours.

I was so excited that we had been able to attend an enjoyable event that was free that I started looking in the local paper and online each week for something free or cheap to attend. We have gone to a cheap or free event every week since I started looking into saving money with free community events.

If you get a flyer with weekly or monthly events printed in it, you can save yourself a lot of money with the cheap events in your area. Some publications will even print family-oriented events suitable for children under the age of 12. Also look on your city's government website or check out the local Chambers of Commerce site for a local event calendar.

Money Saving Tip #3: Make It Yourself Savings – Household Supplies

Most households purchase commercial cleaning products that come with high price tags and lots of chemicals. What most people do not realize is that you can get your home sparkling clean with just a few inexpensive, natural products, such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. You can also make your own dish detergent, laundry detergent with surfactant and toothpaste from simple, easy-to-acquire ingredients. Once you begin making some of your own cleaning or personal care products, you will quickly begin to wonder why you ever spent so much money buying commercial products at the store.

To get you started, here is one easy way to make your own liquid laundry detergent for about $0.20 per load:

What you need:
2 quarts and 4 cups water
2 cups bar soap
2 cups Borax
2 cups washing soda

What you do:
1. In a large pot, bring four cups of water to a rapid boil.
2. In the meantime, use a grater to finely grate the bar soap.
3. Reduce heat to medium once the water has started to boil.
4. Add the grated soap and mix until it is well-blended.
5. Next, add the Borax and washing soda.
6. Stir well.
7. Add another 2 quarts of water to the mixture. If you do not have a pot that is large enough for all of this, you can use a plastic bucket.
8. Pour the liquid into a container for storage.

Making your own laundry soap, shopping for generic brands and attending free community events are just three of the many ways you can easily lower your monthly expenses and save money. Once you incorporate these three tips into your life, go a step further by exploring additional ways to save money and start living well on less.