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5 ways to lower common expenses

Inflation is at a 40-year high. Sorry to start this post out on such a depressing note. But, it is what it is, thanks to the Biden administration. I’m the type of person who tends to focus on facing reality, then adapting as needed. I can’t do what I’d really like to do, which is rip the guy in the White House out of there. However, I can adapt to the reality of the rising cost of living. In times like these, it’s helpful to find ways to cut expenses and save money.

There are often ways to save money that might not be immediately apparent. In this post, you’ll gain five ideas on ways you can lower common expenses. By the time you finish reading, you might have a few more ideas to add to the list. If so, feel free to leave a comment under this post on our Facebook page.

Make use of natural lighting to lower your energy expenses

expenses, book with eyeglasses on top, lit candle next to book

How much do you pay for utilities every month? During winter, you might have a high heating bill. You also have to pay for electricity and, in some places, for water, as well. By making better use of natural lighting, you might be able to save some money. Let the sun stream in through your windows during the day. You can also consider using candle light at night. Not only does the warm glow of a candle create a cozy and comfortable ambience in a home, the light it provides enables you to use less electricity. This can be especially helpful if you’re a night owl who typically keeps the lights on pass midnight!

Lower expenses with egg-laying hens and growing your own food

expenses, hen in nesting box, one brown egg, one white egg

Planting a garden or starting a small flock of hens does require an initial financial investment. It might also cost some money to keep it going. In the long-run, however, growing food, especially herbs, which are typically expensive at a grocery store, helps save money. You can also use heirloom seeds to grow vegetables in a home garden. With heirlooms, you can save seeds from year-to-year. This means you have only the initial seed investment. Every year thereafter, it’s free seeds!

With laying hens, you get delicious, nutritious eggs. If you have enough of them, you can generate income by selling fresh eggs in your community. Allowing your hens to free range means you won’t have to purchase grain, although many people keep some on-hand to supplement their hens’ diet, if needed. There are also many types of food you can forage from the wild, although you’ll want to carefully research each item to make 100% sure you’ve correctly identified a safe-to-consume food product.

The more you grow or raise at home (I.e., vegetables, herbs, eggs, meat, etc.) the less you have to buy at the store. A bonus to keep in mind is that home-grown food is healthier than the average products you’ll find in a grocery store.

Shop discount and consignment shops, and yard sales

hand holding edge of dress on a clothing rack

Buying clothes or other items second-hand carries a negative stigma in certain circles. If your goal is to save on common expenses, you might want to consider shopping at a consignment shop or at local yard sales. Clothing, shoes and basic household items are common expenses. They’re also outrageously priced when they’re brand new, especially if they have a designer brand name. Check your area for discount shops that sell designer brand clothing for inexpensive prices. Such items often come with a tiny flaw, like crooked stitching or a pocket that’s off-center. However, most flaws are barely visible, unless you know where to look.

You can get a pair of jeans that might cost $75 or more on the rack for a mere $20 or less at a discount store. When you score a deal at a consignment shop or yard sale, you can walk away with a bag of clothing for less than what you’d pay for ONE item, brand new!

Buy local whenever possible

expenses, hand passing apple to another hand, bulk fruit in background

Shopping as close to home as possible is another way to help lower common expenses. If you live in a rural area, you might have to travel 10 miles or more, just to get to the nearest store. Regardless whether you live in a metropolis or out in the country, it’s good for your local economy to keep the money close to home. It also helps save on gas prices, which, as we all know, have skyrocketed since Joe Biden took (and I mean that in a literal sense) office. Gasoline that was $1.50 per gallon under the Trump administration is now anywhere from $5 to $7 per gallon throughout the country, under Biden.

If you have to travel 30 miles to get a product you like, is it really worth the gas money you’ll spend? You might be able to find a comparable product closer to home, and save money!

Cut your own hair

background half pink, half pale green, profile of woman, long, curly brown hair, hand holding scissors

Back in the day, I had 9 of my 10 kids living at home. The economy had crashed and our income had been cut more than 15%. We were struggling to make ends meet, like so many other families at the time. One of the most helpful things we learned to do to save on common expenses was to cut our own hair. My husband was pretty handy with the clippers and could give the boys a nice flat-top. We girls made use of YouTube to find easy ways to create attractive styles without paying $60 or more at a hair salon!

You can also apply this money-saving strategy for hair coloring and nail art, as well. There are many quality products on the market. With a little practice, you can do gel or acrylic nails, highlights in your hair or other hair-and-nail luxuries you’d normally pay someone else to do for you.

It’s a fact that inflation is causing a lot of people serious financial distress right now in America. Gas prices have more than tripled in some places. Food prices have doubled (while package sizes and portions have shrunk) and the overall cost of living is so high right now that many people can barely keep up with their monthly bills. Hopefully, these five tips will come in handy to help you lower common expenses, or, at least, will stimulate ideas in your own mind for ways that you can cut costs and save money. And, if you have a great idea, don’t be shy! Share it with us by commenting under this post on our Facebook page!

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