In the current economic climate, many people are still looking for ways to trim their every day expenses. What you spend money on every day can make a big difference in your financial situation over time. Here are 5 ways to save money on common purchases:

1. Create Your Own Cleaning Supplies

One of the ways you can save money over time is to make your own cleaning products. Not only will you save money when you take care of household chores, but you will also be creating environmentally friendly supplies. Many of us forget that cleaning supplies can have harsh chemicals. You can create a healthier environment in your home with DIY cleaners, as well as live more sustainably financially and ecologically.

2. Save on Gas

This doesn’t have to be just about carpooling, riding your bike, or taking public transportation. You could, in fact, save by telecommuting. If your job allows for it, consider working from home a day or two each week. You’ll save money on transportation costs.

Also, you can save on gas by taking proper care of your car, and not driving like a maniac. Finally, consider signing up for a card that will give you rewards on gas. I have a grocery store loyalty card that gives me a gas discount when I buy groceries. This is a local grocery store, so that’s a bonus. Additionally, there are rewards credit cards that offer increased cash back on gas purchases. Consider these cards, since you can get some of your money back.

3. Consignment Shop

You can get decent deals on clothing when you shop at a consignment shop. Often, these shops feature clothing in good condition. You can find gently worn clothing at low prices — including designer clothing. On top of that, buying used is a greener clothing option, as well as one that can save you money. You can save a lot by making a stop at the consignment store for your clothes. You can also find other gently used items at some consignment and thrift stores. Buying used can be a great way to save on every day purchases.

4. Be Smart about Food

Save money on food by being smart about it. A meal plan can help you ensure that most of your meals are made from scratch, at home, at a lower cost than eating out, or buying already-prepared meals at the store. You can also improve your cost-efficiency when it comes to food by growing some of your own. Store excess food by bottling it or freezing it. I preserve some of my produce, but one of the ways I really save is by growing my own herbs. I have fresh herbs during the summer, and I dry them for use throughout the winter. It’s a huge savings over what it costs to purchase dried herbs at the store.

If you do eat out, consider eating lunch instead of dinner. You’ll save money on the food, as well as what you pay in tips. Go while the kids are in school (what my husband and I do), and you can have a date without paying a babysitter.

5. Negotiate

Finally, consider negotiation. You can save money if you negotiate on some of your purchases. Whether you are looking for a break on a display model item, or trying to save on a car, negotiation can be a key way to save money on purchases.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.