There are a lot of ways to save money — only spending on necessities, shopping secondhand, and utilizing travel promos when vacationing are just a few examples. But did you know that some basic, everyday habits could be putting a huge dent in your savings? Most of these habits seem almost trivial, but when added up they transform into a lot of money wasted. Here are five of them to watch out for:
1. Not bringing your own bag when you go grocery shopping
Supermarkets and other stores are starting to charge customers for using plastic bags. The price for one is usually around $0.50. While it may seem like a trivial purchase, sticking to this method of shopping can greatly compound your yearly spending.
Let’s say you go grocery shopping once a week, and each time, you purchase four plastic bags. Doing this consistently for a year would equate to $104 on just plastic bags. What makes this such a wasteful purchase is that plastic bags are often thrown in the trash right after use. That’s why it’s better to get some sturdy grocery bags. This way, you cut down on costs and play a part in saving the environment.
2. Buying from a coffee shop every day
A lot of people can’t function properly without their cup of morning coffee. And plenty of these coffee lovers get their morning cuppa from a coffee shop. But much like grocery store plastic bags, this daily ritual can prove costly in the long run.
Let’s say someone buys a coffee from Starbucks and spends around $5 for it, which is the usual price for the store’s specialty drinks. If they were to buy the same cup of coffee every day for a year, that would equate to $1,825. To cut down on your coffee spending, the best course of action is to make coffee at home. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also skip the long line at Starbucks.
3. Throwing out leftovers
Dealing with leftover food can be a bother. But simply throwing it out is wasteful, both for your stomach and your wallet. Besides, you don’t have to force yourself to eat the leftovers as they are. Delishably has a whole list of ways you can reuse them, from vegetable scraps to cold rice. You’ll find that there are tons of ways to reinvent your food from last night, making it into a completely new (and delicious) dish! And it’s definitely worth the extra work, because being mindful of the food you can repurpose will help cut down on grocery expenses.
4. Keeping electronics plugged in when they aren’t in use
It already costs a lot to keep your heater or air conditioner on for too long. So, cutting down on the time they’re in use is a great way to save electricity.
The common perception is that electronics on standby don’t use energy even when plugged in. However, a post on HomeServe claims that it’s a myth as some electrical appliances still draw energy, and this goes for your computer, too. If you want to be more mindful of your energy usage at home, it’s best to disconnect appliances and devices that aren’t being used. Of course, you can make a few exceptions with units like your refrigerator, or putting your desktop on sleep mode instead of shutting it down. But the point is you should only leave things plugged in when necessary, because it could significantly lower the cost of your energy bills. In an average home, this practice could save homeowners up to $200 annually.
5. Showering too long and too often
Nothing beats a long, hot shower after a tiring day, but this is something you should keep to a minimum. Taking unnecessarily long in the shower can ramp up your water bill. Not to mention it also takes a lot of energy to heat the water.
The medical professionals at Healthline share that the optimal shower time stands at 5 to 10 minutes. They also caution that showering too often can dry out your skin, so unless you work out multiple times a day, showering once is enough.
If you’re guilty of any of these habits, it might be time for a lifestyle change. For more tips on saving money, check out our article on 6 Ways To Cut Down On Personal Expenses Without Affecting Quality Of Life. There, you’ll find useful advice on how to keep track of your expenses and stick to your budget.