Beating the High Cost of Living

With gas well over $3.00 a gallon most everywhere in the country and the price of other consumer goods rising quickly, there are probably many people who just want to throw their hands in the air and give a scream of exasperation. Don’t be too quick though. There are plenty of ways to save a few dollars and hopefully beat the high cost of living.

It seems that every drive past a gas station makes the throat tighten and the palms sweat with the anticipation of finding out how much the prices have risen since you drove by the hour before. Most people are not in the market for a new car, so they will need to make the car they have as fuel efficient as possible.

Removing roof racks and spoilers will make the vehicle more aerodynamically streamlined and it can also help to buy narrower tires. Also be sure to keep the car tuned up and have the oil changed every 3 months or every 3,000 miles.

As the prices of gas rise, so do the prices of groceries, after all, the goods have to be delivered to the store by trucks, which run on gasoline.

The best way to save on groceries is by clipping coupons. There are coupon inserts in the newspapers each Sunday and coupons can often be found on displays in the grocery store. Study the grocery advertisements carefully and match your coupons to what is on sale that week. Insert coupons are frequently matched up to what the stores will have on sale the following week.

Be sure to check to see if any local stores double coupons. Some stores double coupons every day and some will double and even triple coupons during special savings events. Check on each store’s individual policy regarding coupons.

Utility prices are also on the rise, so what can be done about that? Make it a point to check on the energy efficiency of your home. There should be at least six inches of insulation in your attic. Check for drafts by lighting a candle and holding it near the seals around doors and windows. If the candle flickers, there is a draft that should be caulked. Just making sure that there are no drafts could reduce energy bills by up to 30% annually.

Unplug any appliance that is not in use. Leaving coffee pots, toasters, curling irons, chargers and other small appliances plugged in could account for up to 5% of energy bills. These little guys are energy suckers, so remind everyone in the family that when they aren’t being used they should be unplugged.

An empty freezer uses more energy than a full one; so if there is an upright or chest freezer at the house that is not full, put something in it. Even if it means storing boxes of cereal or extra rolls of toilet paper or paper towels in the freezer, it will save money on energy bills.

It may take a little extra effort to implement these cost cutting measures, but in the long run it will be worth it when the savings begin to add up.

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