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How Can I Live On Less? 22 Ways To Live On Less

So you want to live on less? Well, you’ve come to the right article… Here are 22 drastic, and some not so drastic, ways you can start living on less.

#1 Shop for cheaper energy

One really easy way to save money is to Shop for cheaper energy. Unfortunately, consumers often waste money by not shopping for a new electricity or natural gas supplier. If you live in a deregulated state that has energy choice, you can often significantly reduce you're electric or natural gas bill. For example, in the summer months air conditioning can account for as much as 60% of a homeowners electric bill. Unfortunately, summer months are typically when electricity rates are the highest due to tightened supply and high demand. By shopping for a better electric rate, homeowners can save as much as 30-40% on their energy bill which could amount to thousands of dollars in savings annually.

Contributors: Kelly Bedrich from ElectricityPlans

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#2 Move to an undeveloped country and eat natural

Everything is cheaper in an undeveloped country and to eat natural you have to look for some open air markets. Or you could even buy some food from the local farms. Move with your feets. If the country you lives in is more than half poor and they dont need a car then why you should need one. You will do and live more with less money. 

Contributors: David de Ponte Lira from FullMusculo

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#3 Become A Minimalist

Living on less can be as simple as switching your mindset regarding material possessions. Becoming a minimalist is the perfect way to do this. Really think about all of your material possessions (or potential purchases) and ask yourself, does this (or will this) bring value to my life? Is that value worth holding onto this item? This simple practice can transform your life and allow you to live on less, while feeling more fulfilled than ever! 

Contributors: Malorie Thompson from Healing Malorie 

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#4 Take Advantage of Work Perks

Does your office feed you lunch? Chances are they order up so they don't run out out of food - which means leftovers for dinner. Think of all the money and time you'll save on groceries and cooking dinner. 

Contributors: Megan Palmer from  ZeroCater

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#5 Ask for discounts

If something is about to expire soon and you know you will be able to use it or freeze it right away, ask for a discount. I have been able to get a dozen eggs for less than a quarter because they were going to expire that day. If package is damaged on a product, but the product is still good, ask for a discount. I once got a block of cheese for 50% off because there was a slight tear in a corner, even though the rest of the cheese was fine. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#6 Cancel memberships and monthly subscriptions

Instead of suffering through mornings without your favorite coffee, focus on the big recurring expenses that you could evaluate once and reduce for the long haul. Over time, you'll save a lot more money with a lot less pain by refinancing an expensive loan or paying off high-interest credit card debt than you will by giving up very small things that you really enjoy. Cancel memberships and monthly subscriptions that you don't use or love. 

Contributors: Lingke Wang from Ethos

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#7 Insurance Payments

Make sure you aren't paying too much for insurance. A simple and straightforward term life insurance policy premium is a fraction of a whole life policy premium. The process of cutting expenses is important when you are trying to live on less, but you also want to make sure that big problems don't derail your progress. Make sure you have life insurance for you and your partner if you have one. Choose a policy that isn't tied to an employer. 

Contributors: Lingke Wang from Ethos

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#8 Want or need?

I think it all comes down to being able to differentiate between want and need. Turn off 1-click ordering and instant purchasing abilities with amazon etc so you think about each purchase a little more. I also try to take a couple of days when thinking about a purchase. Most of the time it is impulsive spending and by waiting a few days and still want it a few days later, then I know if I actually want it! Try to make more foods from scratch and grow your own if you can!

Contributors: Laura Hall from Shiply

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#9 Prevent Costly Dental Bills & Live On Less

Poor dental hygiene can easily lead to painful and costly dental emergencies. Reduce how often you must go to the dentist by brushing and flossing every day. Also, try eating a couple almonds every other hour to reduce acidity in your mouth—high acidity causes dental issues. Sip on water throughout the day to prevent dry mouth and stagnant bacteria. All these little things add up. The better care you take of your teeth, the less often you’ll have to visit the dentist, therefore helping you save money and live on less. 

Contributors: Jennifer Silver from Macleod Trail Dental

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#10 Make and freeze homemade food

Burgers, meatballs, chicken nuggets, cooked shredded chicken, and french fries can be made ahead of time and thrown into the freezer for quick and easy future meals. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#11 Garden

Enjoy fresh produce during growing season. Freeze or can any excess. You could also trade some of your produce for other produce. For example, I once traded some produce from my garden for pears a lady no longer wanted from her pear tree. I was able to can pears to enjoy through the year. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#12 Use the holiday/seasonal discounts to your advantage

During the holidays, certain food items can be purchased at a steep discount and used for future dates. Typically, brats are on sale around Memorial Day and Labor Day, turkeys are on sale around Thanksgiving, and ham is on sale around Christmas. Ham and turkey can be cooked, cooled, diced/shredded/cubed, bagged, and frozen for future meals. Some items can be purchased immediately after the holidays at a discount. I purchase a gingerbread house kit every year 50-75% off the normal price right after Christmas, which my daughters and I assemble on New Year's Eve each year as a tradition.

Many restaurants and stores offer special incentives if you purchase gift cards around Christmas time. If you know you will definitely use the gift card for the upcoming year, you could purchase the gift card for yourself and receive the additional bonus. For example, Culvers offers a free value basket if you purchase a $25 gift card the weeks leading up to Christmas.

I buy 4 gift cards to get four free meals and then use the gift cards throughout the year since my family enjoys eating there. I use my Discovercard cashback bonuses to pay for the gift cards. (I use my rewards credit card for most of my purchases, but it is always paid for in full when it is due. I also don't spend extra on my credit card just for the cashback bonuses because that wouldn't be worth it.) Winter coats can often be purchased at a steep discount at the end of winter. Shorts and t-shirts often go on sale towards the end of summer. You can use these sales to your advantage and purchase items (especially for children) for the next year.

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#13 Use lists

Keep an ongoing shopping list on the refrigerator. Immediately add items to it as you need them. Create a comparison shopping list from a few different nearby stores of items you purchase frequently. You can refer back to the list to see if items on sale are really a good deal. Keep a freezer list on your refrigerator. This lists all of the items and the dates they were put in the freezer. As items are taken out of the freezer, they get crossed off the list. When items are added to the freezer, they get written on the list. This helps to know which items need to be used (so they don't sit in the freezer for over a year), what needs to be included on a shopping list, and allows me to quickly see what items I have on hand without having to dig through the freezer every time when I am preparing my upcoming dinner menus. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#14 Drink water

Bring your own water bottle when out and about, so you don't have to purchase any drinks on the go. Water is also healthier than many other drinks. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#15 Pack your own lunch

Money saving ideas often include packing your own lunch for work, but lunches can also be packed when out and about running errands all day so you are not tempted to stop at a restaurant to eat throughout the day. This is great for impromptu picnics with kids. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#16 DIY as much as possible

Cooking, cleaning, cutting hair, homemade gifts, basic household repairs, basic vehicle maintenance, etc. can often be completed at a much cheaper price than hiring someone else. There are many online tutorials to watch. Obviously, know your limits, though. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#17 Use the library

Libraries offer books, dvds, cds, magazines, programs, WIFI, and so much more. Just make sure to return any borrowed items on time.

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#18 Reuse Items

Plastic peanut butter jars make great storage containers. Kitty litter bins can be used to store other items.

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#19 Swap with others

Babysitting can be swapped between other families so you don't have to pay for a babysitter.

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#20 Find inexpensive/free activities

Many cities offer free or inexpensive activities to do with the entire family. Also, game nights and movie nights at home can be inexpensive, yet fun. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#21 Research

Before purchasing large items, check for quality and price. Shop around. 

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz  

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#22 Balance checkbook

Save on overdraft fees and embarrassment by balancing your checkbook. Also, you may catch some errors that save you money. I once found an error when my bank forgot to deposit a check of over $100, but thankfully I had the receipt saying that it was deposited as proof and the problem was fixed (not sure how it happened).

Contributors: Brigitte Brulz from BrigitteBrulz 

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