I tend to take the path of least resistance with saving money.
I always figured it’s better to spend time finding a balance like the difference between pinching pennies vs. covering the basics. You’ve got some that’ll go hardcore and track every little detail. Then, you’ve got me, who looks for the big opportunities to spend less and save more.
Think of it like this way – Do you:
- Drive the extra miles to save $0.03/gal on gas?
- Stop yourself from grabbing something you don’t need at the gas station?
There are lots of micro saving actions completely negated from a purchase or mix up. Hence, why I focus on the big, occasional wins vs. the day-to-day micromanagement.
Let me tell you about them.
3 Low Effort Strategies to Save More than a Few Pennies…
My criteria for the following is based on a few items:
- It must take less than 10-20 minutes to do.
- It should save me at least 20-30% overall.
I’m not going to say this is ideal for everyone but hey, I’ve peaked your interest, right?
#1: Saving up to 85% on medications
I take meds for blood pressure and stomach problems. These aren’t too expensive but it adds up considering they’re something I take daily. I got a discount RX card through the LowestMed app which worked for my scripts. The benefits are:
- It’s free.
- It’s an easy app download.
- It’s available for most scripts.
I refer this out a lot since everyone I’ve known willing to use it has saved money.
#2: Discounted meat sales
I like to keep my pantry stocked to keep options open (this, already, will save you tons). But, the added benefit is being able to adjust meals on the fly which is especially handy when meats go on discount at the store.
Just the other day I found:
- $4 off a $7 pork loin.
- $2 off $6 chicken breast.
- $2 off $8 burger patties.
Most of these are a few days before the “sell by date”. Even on the sell by date you have a few days to either cook or freeze the meats. The stocked pantry and freezer lets me immediately adjust the meal to accommodate this find.
Considering people eat about 270lbs of meat each year, saving $2-$3 on top of sales adds up.
#3: Divorce your cable provider (then reconcile)
I have no qualms playing the competitive telecom market. I know they’re overcharging for services like when they wanted to double my bill and cut speeds in half because of a “new plan”. The average cable bill is about $99 across the States (as of 2016) which is way too high if you ask me.
This one fits perfectly with the criteria:
- Go straight to the customer retention of your cable provider service.
- Say you don’t think pricing is fair and you’re thinking about switching.
- Let them “talk” to their manager and pitch a lower price.
- Accept and repeat around the same time next year if it goes back up.
You can typically cut cable bills by 20-40% this way because it’s too expensive for them to lose you.
The Low Efforts are Applicable to a lot of Things
You can do this haggling, price comparison, and discounting for several other, common expenses:
- Coupons and cash back apps for better grocery deals.
- Switching from retail to thrift stores.
- Planning your outing vs. multiple trips that waste gas.
I recommend documenting it all because that’ll clue you in as to how you can save over time. That, and keeping a physical (or mental) note about the price history. If it looks too high, then maybe it is. Pass on it.
Maybe I’m just lazy with saving money. I don’t think so because I go for the big opportunities. I say give these three a try for starters. Then, check into other things that allow you to bring down costs to save.