Finding ways to save money around the house

Millions of Americans are always on the lookout for ways to cut the various costs they face in different parts of their lives, and one place they may be able to do so is actually on what they think of as being necessities. Taking a hard look at how money is devoted to things like food and clothing might allow consumers to save significantly over the course of a week, month, or year.

For instance, consumers may spend far more on food than they think, or really need to, according to a report from Baby Center. Perhaps the best way to determine this is to go through all the food stores a family might have on hand and determine whether they have something they bought quite a while ago, and just haven't used. If so, they might not need to buy it very often or at all any more. Likewise, they might want to also think about the benefits of seeking out coupons for the things they do buy regularly, because this can end up saving them hundreds of dollars per year if they're particularly diligent about it. Further, it might be smart to start planning meals based around coupons and sales, and buying those items once a week; that, too, can save a lot of money in a relatively short period of time.

Cutting back on clothes
In addition, many people buy more clothes than they need, the report said. Many Americans may go through their closets and think to themselves, "I haven't worn that in a while." For this reason it might be wise to be a little more discretionary about how a family spends money on clothes. Further, it might be possible for families to get a little smarter about what they do with their old ones that they've outgrown or simply don't want any more. Those clothes ought not be thrown out, but rather given away to charity, or either sold to resellers or put on eBay as a means of getting some money out of them. Many consumers might be surprised at the return they can get for their old clothes.

Freeing up a few hundred dollars might not sound like much, but it can go a long way toward putting a household on better financial footing. That's because it can be used to pay down outstanding balances, such as credit card debt, and potentially free individuals from having to pay larger bills every month.

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