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7 Painless Ways to Cut Essential Costs

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One of the common approaches to combat inflation and rising cost-of-living expenses is to use smart techniques that help reduce costs.

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Some expenses can be negotiated or removed from budgets entirely, while savvy shoppers can use budgeting techniques to find additional savings and deals. In the GOBankingRates infographic below, you’ll find examples of simple ways to cut the cost of essentials, then keep reading for more details.

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Infographics

Infographics

Cancel underutilized monthly subscriptions

You may subscribe to more subscription services, including movies and TV, music, and games, than you think.

Jacqui Kearns, head of brand and strategy at Affinity Federal Credit Union, said many people have signed up for an extraordinary amount of streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kearns said that in many cases, streaming households are now paying more for streaming services than they did when they cut the cord from their cable provider. Take a moment to review your existing subscriptions, see which services you use the most, and determine which services can be kept or canceled in your streaming plan.

Make a weekly meal plan

The grocery store is a place where inflation has hit hard. Savvy shoppers use several budgeting strategies to optimize their grocery budget and ensure everyone in the family enjoys a delicious meal.

Some of these popular strategies are included in our infographic, such as meal planning for the week, shopping sales, and bulk buying at warehouse clubs. There are even more grocery secrets shoppers have already shared with GOBankingRates. Keep more money in your wallet by arriving at the store armed with a checklist to limit impulse purchases, shopping for store brands, buying seasonal products, and using any credit cards that offer points or rewards. cash back on grocery purchases.

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Price comparison

Compare the prices! You can do this by scanning advertisements in store dispensers, checking coupons, and downloading apps that allow you to find additional coupons and offers from stores in your area. Compare prices by comparing the prices of similar items at different stores to determine which store has the best deals.

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Program your thermostat

If you don’t yet have a programmable thermostat, now is the time to invest in a thermostat for your home or apartment. Scheduling your thermostat allows you to control the times of day you preheat or precool your home and ensures that you don’t have the heating or air conditioning running at all hours of the day or during peak hours. of the day. You can adjust the thermostat before you leave home or use your smartphone to control temperatures accordingly.

Change mobile plan (or operator)

There are several bad habits that can drive up a phone bill, including going over your data limit and constantly investing in smartphone upgrades. A simple way to reduce phone charges is to periodically review your mobile service. If you find your billing statement too expensive, it might be time for a change. Consider switching to another plan offered by the same provider or even exploring other affordable carriers.

Lower the temperature of the water heater

According to the US Department of Energy, most people can tinker with the temperature of their water heater themselves. While some manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you can set the temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes.

Reducing your water heater’s temperature settings means saving $36 to $61 per year in stand-by heat loss. Lower water temperatures for drinking, including showers, dishes and washing clothes, can also result in additional savings, some amounting to over $400!

Seal air leaks at home

There are obvious and less than obvious gaps in your home that can lead to air leaks. Perform a regular visual inspection inside and outside your home for cracks or gaps that could lead to air leaks by following the advice of the US Department of Energy’s Energy Saver Program.

You can also learn how to perform a basic building pressurization test. This can help increase infiltration through cracks and leaks and make them easier to find. Once you know where the gaps in your home are that lead to air leaks, you will be able to properly seal your home against air leaks and save more money.

While many homeowners know that heating and cooling expenses are on the rise, most may not fully understand what else they can do to reduce these expenses. Kearns recommends contacting your electricity or energy providers to review a declaration of domicile. These new documents give homeowners insight into where they can make their home more energy efficient and regulate overall energy consumption.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 7 Simple Ways to Cut Essential Costs