How to Reduce Expenses at Home: 8 Tips to Create More Relief

March 20, 2024

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There’s inflation, shrinkflation, and plain old corporate greed. What’s a consumer to do? If you want to stick to a budget and meet your financial goals, it’s easy to feel defeated. But learning how to reduce expenses at home can go a long way. 

In fact, we have eight tips and tools for you to try to get back on track with your finances! 

How to Reduce Expenses at Home

Do you find yourself wondering how to reduce expenses at home? Check out these strategies to see if you can save big. Once you find ways to cut costs, make sure you capture your savings. You can either reallocate it to spending on things that really matter to you or you can increase your savings. Either way, these strategies will help you cut costs at home. 

Shop at Lower Cost Grocery Stores

Have you stopped by an Aldi yet? Aldi is consistently ranked as a top grocery store for both quality and cost savings. People are often shocked to discover how inexpensive their prices are. Plus, they back their products with a double guarantee. Let’s say you try out a new item, and it doesn’t meet your expectations. They will replace the product and refund your money. How’s that for a zero-risk way to try out a new grocery store?

If you live in an area without an Aldi, you can still save big by shopping at Walmart and other grocery stores. You can create a price list on your phone to log which store offers the most competitive prices on different items. Then, you can batch your shopping trips to minimize time and money spent. 

Once you find your favorite low-cost grocery store, you can save even more money. Before you shop, create a list based on the weekly sale ads and ingredients you already have on hand. That way, the items you purchase will be even cheaper.

But that’s not the biggest savings. By planning your shopping list based on ingredients in your fridge and pantry, you reduce food waste. Food waste is a big budget buster that often goes unnoticed. Consistently use up the ingredients you buy and you’ll be surprised how much further your grocery budget goes. 

Meal Prep Sunday

Are you still winging your meals each week? That can take a bite out of your budget. That’s because when we navigate our busy evenings without a plan it’s hard to resist the temptation of takeout or drive-thrus. 

Take time each Sunday (or whatever day fits your schedule) to plan out your meals in advance. You can use a notebook, the Notes app on your phone, or a dedicated meal-planning tool. No matter what you use, having a plan for what you’ll feed your family can save you big.

Take your meal planning even further by spending time on Sunday to meal prep. For some families, that means portioning out and even pre-cooking full meals. Then, you can store them in the fridge or freezer to reheat as needed. Other people simply take the time to chop veggies and prepare other ingredients so everything is ready to go. Either way, you will save yourself time and fight off the temptation to carry out a meal. 

Adjust Your Insurance 

When was the last time you shopped around for insurance?

If you carry car and homeowners insurance, you want to commit to exploring your options once a year. Sometimes you can switch carriers and save hundreds of dollars while keeping the same coverage. You can make your life even easier by finding a reputable insurance broker who will do the shopping for you. There are also online options like PolicyGenius that you can test out. 

Do you have a healthy emergency fund? Then you may be able to adjust your insurance to save even more. A deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance kicks in. For instance, if you are in a car accident, many insurance policies have a $500 deductible. You can adjust that deductible to $750 or $1000. In doing so, your insurance premium will likely drop.

Of course, you want to make sure that you can comfortably cover the deductible. And you also want to crunch the numbers! If adjusting your deductible only saves you $50 a year, it might not be worth it. 

Create a Budget

Reduce Expenses at Home With Grocery Shopping

Does budget sound like a bad word? Don’t worry–it’s not!

No list of how to reduce expenses at home would be complete without mentioning a budget. A budget is simply a spending plan. You and your partner take a look at how much money comes into your household each month. Then, you get really intentional about where you want that money to go. When you think of it like this, it’s hard to view a budget as anything other than empowering. 

Plus, there are so many different free and low-cost budget tools that you can explore. One option to consider is PocketGuard. They help put all of your accounts and transactions in one place. You can even track your recurring expenses and eliminate waste from your budget. This will free up more cash for your financial goals! 

Eliminate Unused Subscriptions or Memberships

Most of us know that impulse spending can drain our budget. So we take steps to avoid it. Maybe you’ve learned to leave items in your online shopping cart for 24 or 48 hours to see if you really need or want them. Perhaps you make it a point to dodge the clearance racks at Target unless you are buying something from your shopping list. 

But sometimes impulse spending is harder to spot. You sign up for a subscription on a whim or you take out a membership for a company that you don’t visit.

Those in-the-moment decisions can lead to recurring expenses that drain your budget for weeks, months, or even years. That’s why we suggest going over your budget with a fine tooth comb. You can spot spending that is no longer serving you. Then, you can move that money to something you actually value. 

Negotiate Recurring Bills

You can’t negotiate every bill. For instance, most of us are locked into our utilities. But you can double-check that you aren’t paying extra fees when you pay your water or electricity bills. Sometimes, companies tack on an added cost for using a credit card. In that case, you may want to pay directly from your bank account instead.

However, there are other bills that you can and should negotiate! Have you been with your cell phone provider for a long time? Compare the cost and coverage to other carriers. Then, contact your cell phone company to see if they would consider cutting you a deal. Sometimes, cell phone companies run promotions to attract new customers. They might extend that deal to you as an incentive to keep your business. 

You can try similar tactics with your Internet and cable providers. While you might not always be successful, a quick call or secure chat conversation can sometimes save you big bucks. 

Eliminate High-Interest Debt

One of the most important ways to reduce expenses at home is to spend less on your debt. We are big fans of debt freedom, but we also acknowledge it can be a long road to get there. Just because you have a mortgage and student loans doesn’t mean you need to carry all kinds of debt.

Instead, focus on eliminating high-interest debt. This debt can be the result of payday loans or credit cards. If your debt is costing you more than 10% in interest, tackle that first. There are different approaches to paying off debt. Some people prefer the avalanche, while others like the debt snowball method. No matter which debt payoff method you choose, it’s important to get rid of that high-interest debt. 

Find Frugal Ways to Have Fun 

What does your discretionary spending look like each month? If your family is like ours, this category can get out of hand quickly. If you’re wondering how to reduce expenses at home, start by tracking your spending. Pay close attention to how much you spend on discretionary categories like entertainment and eating out. Then, see if you can make some frugal fun swaps. 

Check out some of our favorite mother and daughter activities or our list of frugal ways to bond as a family. For more inspiration, visit your local library. Not only do you have access to books, DVDs, and other media for free. But you will also be surprised what else you can check out of your library if you haven’t visited in a while. Some of our favorite things to browse the library for include:

  • Seeds for gardening
  • Board games for family game night
  • Molds and pans for fun baking competitions
  • Puzzles to keep busy on rainy days
  • So much more!

Plus, libraries often allow you to check out museum passes and tickets for community events. If you are unsure what you have access to, check out your library’s website or stop by to inquire in person. 

Final Thoughts on How to Reduce Expenses at Home

There’s no denying that everything seems more expensive lately. While it might have seemed like our imaginations at first, there’s plenty of proof. As a result, more and more people are wondering how to reduce expenses at home. 

One of the best ways to reduce expenses at home is to find a tool to keep you on track. Check out PocketGuard to see how they can support your budget. Then, you can combine your budgeting skills with these other cost-saving measures to build a brighter financial future.  

How are you reducing expenses at home? Which of these ideas seems promising to you?

Please let us know in the comments below.

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.

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