Today’s high cost of living demands that most of us be diligent and creative when it comes to saving money. Although housing costs are fixed, much of the remainder of your budget can be trimmed with a little imagination and discipline. Let’s look at some simple ways to save money while starting your own business.

When you are starting a business from home you may be starting out with little to no money. It starts to feel overwhelming and impossible to create and run your own business. I’ve been there, I was living off of income assistance for a few years struggling to reach my goals and in self-pity.

There were little to no job opportunities near me and if there was a job opportunity, I did not meet the requirements, or I applied and was declined. Feeling more negative about my situation, I started browsing Pinterest to find inspiration. I then found posts on how people were making money from home on the Internet and it wasn’t just from selling products from home either.

I also found more ways to save money even though I had a small budget to begin with. I found ways to save money on business tools and resources, home maintenance, and groceries and supplies.

Inexpensive tools and resources

I did a lot of research to make sure I wasn’t being scammed and learned you do not need a lot of money to start and run a business online. There are numerous free tools and resources that you can use like Evernote and Trello. 

And you also gain a lot of problem solving skills where if you do not have the popular tool to complete a task, you will find a different tool which is just as good that’s needed for said task. For example, I use Loom to create how-to tutorials and a simple headset for now and will use a paid screen recording tool and microphone when I’m further along in my business.

Home Maintenance

Other ways you can save money involve home maintenance. Home heating and cooling costs are enough to ruin your day with your monthly bill. Inspect your doors and windows for worn-out or non-existent weatherstripping. The expense of sealing those leaks is minuscule when compared with continuous, expensive heat flying out into the great outdoors. When you’re home in chilly weather, put on a sweater and turn down the heat. Good weatherstripping is just as valuable in summer, keeping the heat out. 

Even lighting can add noticeably to your power bill. The rule of thumb on lights is, if you won’t be using it in the next two or three minutes, turn it off. And use energy efficient light bulbs.

Another area in your home to check is if there is any water leaking or steadily running. I saw on the news once how a middle aged couple had a large bill to pay because the water from the toilet was steadily running, raising their water bill to over a thousand for that month.

Grocery Shopping

Food purchases offer big rewards when it comes to saving money. Rising fuel costs have made it more expensive to get food transported to the grocery store and that cost has been passed to the consumer. Most of us are taking a hard look at reinventing our menus to keep our food budgets intact. 

Here are some ideas to spark your imagination. Stir-fry dishes, along with casseroles, soups and omelettes generally require little meat, provide tasty ways to use leftover vegetables and are nutritious, yet substantial enough to satisfy your appetite. The one-dish meal often relies on a variety of color and textures from several ingredients and the addition of herbs and spices to produce a meal that is both attractive and flavorful. For maximum savings on food, design your menus around the weekly sales.

In my hometown, I learned which days when new products are coming into the stores, when they are fresh, and try to shop on those days to get them first before they’re sold out. I don’t buy all the one product I want for myself though, that’s being greedy, I get maybe 2 or 3 of the same product I want.

When I’m shopping in a city, this is where I will buy in bulk to build a small stock of groceries because the city has way more items to share and won’t go out of stock as fast. I also check the flyers and what coupons are available that I can use to save a little more on shopping for food and supplies (like cleaning products). 

I started using coupons more after watching Extreme Couponing and learning which sales are available during a certain month from Cassie Howard (formerly Mrs January) at Maple Money.

Simply following the few ideas here can make saving money painless. Your home heating and cooling costs may plummet a whopping 15%.  Smart and thoughtful food shopping can easily reduce your bill by 30%. 

Saving money can be fun! I like asking others how they are saving money or when certain stores or brands I like are having a sale. Watching your savings grow even feels a little exciting.

I’m always looking for more ways to save money in Canada (where I’m from), if you know any great websites or tips, please share them down in the comments.

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