Just because it’s the lower price, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best deal. When you’re factoring in what is and what isn’t a good deal, keep in mind what you’d be saving overall as well. Here are some examples of items that may cost more upfront but will save you money later on.
Replacing your appliances with energy efficient ones can reduce your utility bills plus earn you tax credits and rebates. But even if you don’t want to go that extreme, you can still opt for other energy efficient items. Energy.gov estimates a $50 per year savings on your electric bill with upgrading 15 light bulbs to energy efficient ones. Plus these bulbs give off 75% less heat than the regular ones, which can keep the costs of cooling your home down as well.
Being able to choose the temperature all the time can lower your bill by avoiding heating or cooling your home when you’re not there or when it’s not needed. In the winter months, set your heat a little lower while you’re sleeping since you have your blankets on anyways. Then, you can have it warm just before your alarm goes off.
A National Household Transportation Survey says half of Americans live only five minutes away from their work, which means biking to work is a viable option for many. Each time you’re able to ride your bike to work, school, an errand, or anything else, you’re saving money on gas, parking costs, and general car wear and tear. It costs $10,000 per year to own a car not even counting the actual car payment, according to AAA. A reduction in car usage will not only lower gas, reduce your parking costs, and lower car maintenance, but it can also lower your insurance premium. As an added savings bonus, a study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics says those who regularly bike, decreased fatigue by 65 percent. Women who ride at a moderate intensity for three times a week just 30 minutes lowered their blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. These results can lead to lower health care costs, while a bike can also offer free entertainment.
Fans can be your first defense against heat. It keeps the air cooler so you can hold off on your turning on your air conditioning. It also circulates the air better so your heater or air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard.
Keep the cheaper quality clothes for those trendy items that you won’t wear next season anyway. But as far as classic items you’ll wear for years, opt for better quality ones. They’ll last much longer and look better as well. For women, opt for a good pair of black pumps, a nice dress pant, and a classic bag, like this Michael Kors Harper Pebbled Leather Tote. I bought an attractive yet cheap purse a few years back and after the lining and zipper broke starting failing apart after two weeks, I vowed to not follow that trap again. Men can invest in a good pair of khaki pants, dark jeans, a tailored blazer, and a nice polo, like these Allen Edmonds Polos reduced from $78 to $29.97.
If you spend $5 per day on coffee out of the house, you’ll wind up spending $1,825 per year. Invest in a coffee maker, like this Keurig K10 from QVC, and store bought coffee to save.
A slow cooker winds up saving you with a few different aspects. First, it uses less electricity than a stove or oven. It also doesn’t generate as much heat as an oven or frying so you can avoid having to turn that air conditioning up higher. My personal favorite money saving benefit is you’re able to buy cheaper cuts of meat when you’re using the crock pot that tenderize while cooking. Since it cooks so low and slow, I save several dollars per pound by opting for a pork shoulder instead of something pricier. If you're in the market, select slow cooker bundles are currently 20% off directly from Crock-Pot.
A trendy end table is one thing, but when it comes to classic furniture, it’s best not to skimp. You’ll wind up having to buy a new one every few years, while a good quality couch and kitchen table can last for a decade or more.
Pots and pans and cooking utensils can fall under the category of you get what you pay for. A cheaper pan I bought in the past lead to the non-stick coating quickly coming off and eventually, the handle detaching mid-cooking session. Higher-quality items, like this Martha Stewart 14 piece cookware set, won’t need to be replaced nearly as often. Having good tools and being able to cook at home will save you a plethora of money as well. A study by Visa showed the average American goes out twice a week to lunch, spending $936 annually. And that’s just lunch twice a week so you can imagine what that figure would by after throwing on a dinner or two a week along with some quick breakfasts on the way to work. Plus, cooking at home lets you control the fat, salt, and quality of ingredients leading to a reduction in health issues, and inevitably lowering your health care costs and insurance premiums.
Organic foods aren’t treated with harmful pesticides and don’t contain food additives and synthetic ingredients, such as preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavorings, and MSG. An apple, for example, can contains 36 different pesticides, according to the Food and Drug Administration, cantaloupe often contains toxic and carcinogenic insecticides, and milk contains growth hormones. The nonprofit NationofChange and other sources have linked these pesticides and additives to autism, cancers, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, and infertility along with a variety of issues in mood and behavior, especially in children. Studies also show many organic produce is higher in antioxidants and flavonoids. These unsettling results prove that while initially costing more, organic food can save you money down the road. Eating organic can lead to lower health costs including co-pays or doctor visits, medications, pricey hospital visits, and health insurance premiums.