Summer is over, which makes it a great time to talk about top ways to save money this fall. Everyone is getting into back-to-school mode, watching football and obsessing over pumpkins and Thanksgiving. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, especially for finances, because it just seems easier to be frugal during this time of year.
It’s the perfect time to get back on track with your budget since you won’t have all the spending temptations that come with summer. If you’re gearing up to start saving for the holidays or to meet another financial goal, take some time to go over your budget and see where you can cut or reduce expenses.
Then, you can focus on earning more money if necessary. Here are five of the best ways to save money this fall.
1. Finally Get Rid of Cable
I got rid of cable at least 3-4 years ago and I can honestly say I don’t miss it one bit. That’s not to say I don’t like T.V. or don’t have the time to watch it anymore either because I do. I enjoy watching quite a few shows, but I’ve found ways to watch them without having to pay a high cable bill.
Sometimes, I watch T.V. online and I’ve even found some interesting shows on YouTube. Otherwise, I use Netflix or Hulu to watch T.V. and my husband and I each pay for one of the services.
I understand it’s football season though so telling a sports fan to cut cable may be a tough pill to swallow. My husband is a huge sports fan, but like me he’s found a way to work around not having cable and still get his sports fix.
If you’re looking to catch all the games this fall, your local football team should be playing on a local channel like Fox and CBS. However, if you want access to non-local games you can get that as well. There are many ways to watch NFL games without cable if you know where to look.
Services like DirecTV Now let you get much of what you want, at a fraction of the cost. Here are the best TV streaming services you can use to finally cut the cord and save $50+ each month. If I can do it, I know you can too!
2. Lower Your Car Insurance
Lowering my car insurance is something I do consistently and it is one of the top ways to save money. Once I paid my car off and turned 25, I was able to find much better rates. There are quite a few factors that determine your auto insurance rate including the type of coverage you need, where you live, your credit, your age, your sex and what type of car your have.
Regardless what your situation is, make it a habit to shop around and compare auto insurance rates every few months to see if you can get something lower. Services like PolicyGenuis even allow you to compare rates to find the best possible rate. You may even be able to save money by bundling services and using the same provider for auto and renters or homeowner’s insurance.
Sometimes, insurance premiums can be heavily impacted by how often you drive. For example, if you don’t drive many miles each month, you might want to look into Metromile, which is pay-per-mile car insurance.
Their per mile rate is 3.2 cents so if you were to drive 500 miles in a month, that would be $16. Metromile also charges a flat base rate in addition to their per-mile rate which varies but according to their website, drivers can save anywhere from $300 – $650 on average per yer.
3. Cut Your Grocery Bill
Food can easily be one of the biggest monthly expenses. With barbecuing season slowing down and coming to an end, lowering your grocery bill is easy if you’re willing to put forth the effort and make it intentional. Start by setting a goal. What’s a realistic amount to cut off the monthly grocery bill for your household? If it’s only $40 – $50 per month, don’t worry because that still an extra $40 in your pocket each month.
There are so many options you can take when it comes to cutting your grocery bill and you only have to commit to a few at first. You can use Swagbucks to earn rebates on the items you pick up and pocket the savings.
You can look through the weekly circulars for sales before you head out to the store and shop for seasonal produce and food items to score more sales. As long as you don’t mind having your items shipped to you, you can buy groceries online to save money on your grocery bill.
You can also commit to buying fewer processed foods. This is not only one of the top ways to save money, it’s also one of the best ways you can start eating healthier! It took me several months, but processed foods only make up about five percent or less of our grocery haul each month now.
We buy most of our food whole and fresh and I even bake desserts myself for whenever my son gets a sweet tooth. Yes, I do much more cooking, but it’s worth it because it’s cheaper and we tend to meal prep or cook meals in batches for 2-3 days.
4. Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin spice lattes are all the craze every fall. I’m not too crazy about them myself but I do love fall flavors and I tried my first one last week. It was delicious. I was up early and had no time to prepare and eat breakfast because I had to take my car to the service shop.
I ordered the medium size at Starbucks along with a plain croissant and spent $8. As you would have guessed, I felt super guilty about that purchase.
If you know you’re obsessed with pumpkin spice coffees and want to enjoy them guilty-free this fall season, try making your own at home instead of running out and spending the $4-$6 at Starbucks every week.
Making your own coffee drinks happens to be one of the top ways to save money all year round. Aside from their Starbucks’ signature espresso recipe, their pumpkin spice latte is made up of real pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and steamed milk.
You can definitely make that at home or even cheat and use an all-in-one pumpkin spice flavor for your morning coffee. You can also purchase already-made pumpkin spice coffee mix from the grocery store to make your own at home.
5. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
If you feel you’re spending too much on household cleaning products each month, it may be time to start making them at home. This is not only great for your wallet, but it’s great for the environment too. Laundry detergent, dish soap, soft scrubber, oven cleaner, window cleaner, disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner can all be made at home with natural ingredients for a fraction of the price.
It’s simple to make many cleaning items at home; all you need is the right recipes – here are some simple ones to follow.
Looking for savings and being willing to take action to secure those savings is key when you’re trying to tighten up your budget. Remember, small changes can go a long way in helping you save money this fall.
If you try implementing just a few of these top ways to save money now, you’ll have a much better chance of staying on track financially and will be able to head into the expensive holiday season in good financial shape.
What are you doing to tighten up your budget this fall? What are some of your top ways to save money during this time of year? What did you splurge on this summer that you need to cut?
Source: Frugal Rules