The Art of Being Thrifty


Whether you live alone or have a large family, the cost of living is expensive. Many people today find that just in order to make ends meet at the end of each month that they need to work a second and even a third job. If this sounds like your situation, there are ways to save money and even get you some well-deserved time off without changing your lifestyle.

Examine your utility and cable bills

Many states have now deregulated your utilities, meaning that you don’t have to settle for your current gas or electric company. It’s time to pull out your bills and take a good look at the rates and fees. After you review them, get on the phone and contact other service providers in your area like Direct Energy. All companies are not alike and the rates may be less than what you are currently paying. The same goes for your cable bill. If your bill seems a bit high for the services you have, it might be time to contact other carriers in the area.

Then if their monthly service is less, you have two options. One, you can simply switch, or two you can call the company you are with and let them know of the other offer. Chances are pretty good that they will try to accommodate you and reduce your bill without losing any of the channels you presently have.

Learn how to shop

If you head off to the grocery store unprepared, you are definitely setting yourself up for a loss before you even get started. Grocery shopping is something that you should tackle in the same manner as purchasing a car; you want the best price available. If you live in the city or suburbs chances are you have several large supermarkets within a mile radius.

Take advantage of your location and shop smart. First review their flyers. If you don’t get them in your mailbox you can go online. Then make a list and comb through the pages to see who’s offering the best price. In addition to the flyers, many of these stores also have their own apps that offer additional savings not found in the weekly flyer. Also, keep in mind that you can generally find name brand coupons online. Sites like and are just a few places you can go to find and print coupons for free. And a brand name doesn’t always equal better quality, but it does mean more money. Try a few store brand items you may find that you are pleasantly surprised at the taste and the savings.

Buying used can pay big dividends in savings

A shiny new car is very appealing, but it also carries with it a hefty price tag. And once you drive it off the showroom, your car’s value also diminishes instantly. Instead, why not explore the possibility of purchasing a car off of a lease. The people who lease vehicles take excellent care of them and keep the miles low in order to prevent having to pay additional fees when the lease expires. Dealerships want to unload these vehicles quickly so most times you’ll pay a fraction of what the sticker price was just two years earlier and a lot less for the insurance. If you have a student entering college the same principal applies. By buying used books you can acquire their books at a fraction of the cost, helping to save a few dollars best spent elsewhere. Also, if you’re in the market for a table, chair or a dresser check your newspaper for an estate or yard sale first.

If you invest a little bit of time, you’ll find that you can save money on things like utilities, airfare, hotel rooms, cell phones, school supplies and diapers, to name just a few. The key is to take your time and compare prices, look for sales and always bring coupons when available.