In the most traditional sense, saving money usually means spending less. However, there are exceptions if what you buy will result in future savings.
Like many people, you and your family may still be working remotely or staying home more often as a result of the pandemic. With the extra use of computers, lights, and cooling systems, and the whooping amount of meals you are preparing, chances are your monthly utility bills and grocery excursions have been affected.
Whether you are a party of one or a household of five, you may be able to reduce the grocery bill and the cost of day-to-day necessities to keep your home space comfortable by spending extra money now!
Here are a few ways to lessen the financial impact of these essentials.
Warehouse Club Memberships
Memberships vary at warehouse clubs such as BJ’s and Costco. The annual membership fee usually falls somewhere around $50 a year, however, the amount that can be saved over the course of that year can be staggering by comparison. With a warehouse club membership, shoppers often have access to high-quality store brands, in-store services such as banking and eye care, and bakery and catering sections. And don’t forget the free samples - no one likes to shop hungry!
A primary advantage for many shoppers is the ability to purchase goods in bulk that can be stored away safely and readily accessible when needed. But, it's important to be prepared to properly store any goods that have been purchased in high volume. There’s no financial benefit to buying food in bulk if it’s going to spoil before it can be eaten, which is why you may need something else to preserve your membership investment.
Food Vacuum Sealing System
Storing food in freezer bags alone isn’t always the best solution to keeping food fresh. Eventually, items stored in standard freezer bags may get freezer-burn, which can make the food inedible. If you wind up having to throw this food away, it’s like tossing money in the trash. Food vacuum sealing products allow you to seal the food so tightly that it can be stored for months at a time in the freezer. Of course, the upfront cost of a food vacuum sealing system can be expensive, but the amount of money saved from being able to purchase certain foods in bulk and properly storing them will help offset the expense.
Small Freezer Chest
Making enough room for food in your refrigerator can be a challenge. Investing in a small freezer chest can be a great solution as an additional place to store food for later use. Just make sure you have space for a freezer in the garage or basement. The extra space can help you get creative with what you freeze. For instance, if it seems like you’re constantly tossing produce away before it gets eaten – freeze it! You'll have ready-to-use frozen ingredients for smoothie season - no need to hit the grocery store's freezer aisle to purchase these often expensive items.
Life can be so busy at times that we fail to think of the simplest things that can save us money – like adjusting the thermostat to an eco-friendly temperature before leaving the house or going to bed. By investing in a smart thermostat, you could save hundreds of dollars on your electric or gas bill. The best part about a smart thermostat is that it can be controlled from a mobile device using an app. Through the app, detailed schedules can be set up to manage temperature settings throughout the course of the day. Smart thermostats are not inexpensive, but the money you save in the long run makes this a “smart” purchase. Tip: contact your utility service provider to see if they are running any specials instead of buying one at a retail store.
Central air conditioning systems, as well as window ac units, can run up your electric bill. If you’re looking for an alternative to keep your home cool without racking up energy costs in the hotter months of the year, consider buying a few ceiling fans to install around the house. The good news is that a ceiling fan can also help spread the warm air in the cooler months – you just need to adjust the blade rotation. Most ceiling fans can be purchased for under $100 each and are energy-efficient.
LED Light Bulbs
Yes, these light bulbs run at a higher cost than traditional incandescent light bulbs, but they use less energy and last a lot longer. Not only will you save money on monthly electric bills, but you’ll also be replacing light bulbs less frequently which saves money too! In an average home with approximately 40 LED light bulbs, about $300 a year in energy costs could be saved. Buying these expensive light bulbs in bulk with your warehouse club membership makes financial sense!
These are just a few of the numerous ways you can spend money now to provide savings over the long run. Remember, it’s important to do the math and make sure that the product you are investing in will prove useful to you in everyday life and pay off financially down the road. For additional tips on how to approach bigger investments, read our blog Investing for Major Financial Goals.