Article | 3:42 min read

3 Tips to Save on Your Essentials

Budget and Save

If you’re tired of seeing those consistent costs take a huge chunk out of your budget, keep these three savings tips in mind to bring down your overall spending on the essentials.

A person holding a grocery list

1. Grocery Savings

Food and toiletries are an unescapable expense, but despite that fact, there are still ways to save on trips to the grocery store. One of the age old methods of saving is to make a list, track only your needs on your grocery list, and stay focused on the items that are listed when you're in-store. This will keep you from making those impulse purchases, which were originally found to make up 30 to 50% of in-store purchases [1]. You should also limit the number of times you visit the store. Try to plan out your meals for the week in advance and buy accordingly.

Pepperplate is an app used to help coordinate a meal calendar and grocery list when trying to plan for the week. The app allows you to catalog your own recipes, as well as upload them from the app's database, and list the ingredients required for the meal. This way you only buy the items necessary for your meals through the week, and it limits your visits to the store to a weekly basis. There are many apps out there that are similar and can help you stay on track.

Cut down on your grocery costs even more by utilizing the classic method of couponing. Couponing is now made easy with the SnipSnap coupon app. All you have to do is simply take a picture of the coupon with your phone's camera, then the app converts the picture to a digital version which is redeemable from your phone. With the app's location setting on, you will receive a reminder from SnipSnap telling you what coupons you have to a store as soon as you enter their building.

2. Gas Savings

With gas prices constantly fluctuating and other expenses weighing you down, filling up that empty tank can aggravate your financial situation. But worry not, there are ways to make your wallet more financially fuel efficient. By using a Hy-Vee Fuel Saver Card when purchasing items from certain vendors in-store, you can reduce your cost of gas. It works like a point system: when you buy a particular item you earn change that is then recorded on your fuel saver card. Then when getting gas, you use the fuel saver card which reduces the amount you pay per gallon by the same amount of change you have logged on the card.

Another useful tool that can help decrease your gas spending is GasBuddy. GasBuddy is an app that shows you the cheapest gas prices in your immediate area. Rather than just going with the first gas station you see, this app will help your decision based on price and location.

3. Household Savings

Monthly utility bills can be a major expense on your budget. By investing in saving strategies, you can cut down on your overall cost. Programmable thermostats are an excellent way to save money on heating or cooling your home. You can program it to adjust to a temperature that requires less use when you are asleep or at work. Then when you wake up, or get home the thermostat will automatically adjust to a comfortable temperature on a timed setting.

Another method to save that will be an easy fix is unplugging those appliances that aren't in use. This may seem like common sense, but leaving something plugged in is a common habit of homeowners. For instance, your toaster is most likely only used in the morning, so unplugging it after you're done using it will stop it from drawing on electricity by just simply being plugged in. Most electronic devices constantly draw a small amount of electricity, a phantom charge, which can add up quickly when you consider just how many devices and small appliances you own [2]. So unplug those devices that you don't constantly use to cut down on that electricity bill!

Keeping these three areas in mind can help you lead a financially efficient life. If you need help tracking the money going in and out, as well create a budget to help you stay on track, Money Manager is a great tool to help take out the manual tracking of a traditional budget. Found in your Central Bank App, your transactions will automatically be organized by spending category.


[1] A multi-method investigation of consumer motivations in impulse buying behavior, Journal of Consumer Marketing
[2] 40 Ways to Save Money on Monthly Expenses, The Simple Dollar


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