There is a simple way to save money that does not require any sacrifice. Simply stop buying stuff you do not use. By reducing the amount of stuff you waste, you will save money without depriving yourself.
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You might be thinking that you don’t buy stuff that you don’t use, but if you’re like a typical American, then you probably do. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 25 percent of the edible food in the United States goes to waste. Of food that is bought for home use, about 12 percent goes to waste. By being more careful, you can reduce your food budget by 10 percent or more.
Food is not the only waste in the home, though. Many people have a ritual of cleaning out their closets every year and selling or donating the stuff they no longer use. This stuff might consist of clothes they bought but only wore once or twice before banishing them to the back of the closet. Or it might consist of an electronic gadget that seemed cool at the time but the novelty soon wore out. By being more mindful when making buying decisions, waste of this kind can be significantly reduced.
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Another example of waste in the home is electricity. If you have a habit of leaving the lights on in unoccupied rooms, then you are paying for electricity you are not using. Many items such as televisions use electricity even when they are not on. You can eliminate this waste by unplugging these electricity vampires or plugging them into a power strip with an on/off switch. It is estimated that vampire appliances account for 5 percent to 10 percent of electricity used so you should be able to reduce your electric bill by a similar amount.
Those are just a few examples of waste that can be reduced or eliminated. By being conscious of your use and purchase of resources you will likely discover more things that are going to waste. By reducing or eliminating this waste you can save money without having to give up anything.
Andy Hough writes about frugality and living well on a small income at TightFistedMiser.com.