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Easy ways to save some cash


Last updated 1/10/2008 at Noon

As costs for everything from property to education continue to escalate, many families are scrambling for ways to save money.

Oftentimes, families feel large-scale sacrifices are necessary to save the big bucks. However, with a handful of smaller changes, the savings can add up quickly and not force families to compromise some of the luxuries they’ve grown accustomed to.

• Downsize the family vehicle

While a sport utility vehicle (SUV) can be handy, most families simply don’t use their most attractive features (extra storage and towing capacity, for instance) enough to justify their expense.

Small families could consider a less expensive sedan, which will feature a lower monthly payment and take lots off of their monthly gas bill as well.

• Examine one’s insurance situation

People who have been with an insurance company for an extended period of time tend to stop shopping around to look for a deal, but they should examine their insurance situation on a yearly basis.

They can shop around for a provider who might be able to offer them lower rates. Companies are happy to provide free quotes, and thanks to the Internet, these quotes are now easier than ever to obtain.

They might also want to consider raising their deductible. According to the Insurance Information Institute, increasing the homeowner’s insurance deductible can save more than 10 percent, while doing so on automobile insurance can save up to 30 percent annually.

Other ways to trim a monthly insurance bill include installing a security system at home or in the vehicle, taking driver’s education courses and using the same provider for both homeowners and auto insurance.

• Examine the grocery bill

One of the best ways to save significant amounts of money each month is to keep a close eye on the grocery bill.

While many people don’t have the time to sit and clip coupons, all stores offer savings clubs that can equate to huge savings, especially for families.

These bonus or savings clubs are free and take only a few minutes to join, and shoppers simply swipe their cards (which can be attached to their key chains) at checkout.

Another way to save money on the grocery bill is to buy items in bulk. Necessities such as tissues, toilet paper and soap can be bought in bulk and save shoppers lots of money. These items never expire and are always neccessary.

• Consider combining amenities

Whereas each utility within a household used to mean a separate bill each month, nowadays many companies are offering packages that combine common utilities at a greatly discounted rate.

For example, many cable television providers offer reduced rates to customers who combine their cable, telephone and Internet packages into one service.

This not only reduces stress when it comes time to pay the bills, but it can also greatly reduce what one pays for these services each month.


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