Easy Ways to Save Every Day

February 2023

<p>Easy Ways to Save Every Day</p>

Inflation hit a 40-year high in 2022 – and we’re still feeling the pinch of high costs on popular goods. Thankfully, there are saving strategies that can help create breathing room in your finances when you need it.

One of the simplest and quickest ways to see a big impact is by starting with major staples, like groceries and gasoline. Learn new ways to trim these everyday expenses and keep your budget intact.

Saving on Groceries

Keep your grocery bill in check and get the most out of your purchases by planning ahead and shopping strategically.

  • Before the store

    The secret to saving money at the store is deciding beforehand exactly how much you want to spend.

    • Grocery game plan. What’s your budgeting baseline? Start by looking at what you’ve spent on food for the past few weeks. Key’s Budget Worksheet makes it easy.

      Every month or so, check in to see if you’re staying on track – and don’t be afraid to adjust depending on changing conditions.

    • Stick to lists, with a little wiggle room. It’s realistic to have a bit of padding in your food budget. An impulse buy can even be smart if it’s a good deal.

    • Give other stores a shot. Compare prices where you usually shop with other stores in the area. You may be surprised. In many cases, you can easily research prices online.

  • Shopping strategically

    Take control of your shopping approach to save smart at the register.

    • Stock up. Look for sales to accumulate certain items you know you’ll use later. Buying in bulk can help you save a bundle – especially on nonperishable items, such as paper towels, dry pantry ingredients, cleaning supplies and others.

    • Spot shrinkage. Sometimes food items stay the same price but get smaller in size. Focus on each item’s unit price, usually printed on the store shelf, especially when comparing similar items.

    • Sign up for savings. Store loyalty cards and apps can help you unlock savings and often include exclusive digital coupons and promotions. And don’t forget to see if your credit card offers special cash back options for shopping at certain stores.

      EasyUp® by KeyBank can help you set aside small amounts of savings with each debit card use.

  • Make the most of meals

    • Use what you have. Chances are your pantry and fridge already contain the base ingredients for planning a range of meals.

    • Be your own chef. Making food at home – and exactly how you want – can help you spend less per meal and adhere to nutritional and wellness goals.

    • Love for leftovers. Many types of meals can be safely stored in your freezer for later enjoyment.

    • Avoid food delivery. On a per-meal basis, food delivery – with its many fees – can provide far less value than what you can prepare in your own kitchen.

Saving on Gas

Small changes can go a long way toward keeping your tank – and wallet – full. These tips can help you make fewer trips to the pump – and spend less once you’re there.

  • At the pump

    • Shop around. Even in the same town, there can be significant price disparities in gas. Keep an eye out for the best deal.

      Smartphone apps, including GasBuddy, Gas Guru, Upside and AAA, can be a convenient (and free) way to check prices at stations near and far while on the go.

      Navigation-based apps, such as Waze and Google Maps, offer gas price information, in addition to directions and traffic alerts.

      Gas prices over state lines can also vary significantly. But make sure you’re not going too far out of the way to save a few cents per gallon.

    • Consider cash. At some stations, lower prices come with using cash instead of a credit card.

  • Reducing fuel use

    • Fuel-efficient driving. Generally, sticking to speed limits – and using cruise control – helps your vehicle make optimal use of gas.

      Reduce your rate of acceleration. And staying below 75 miles per hour can increase fuel efficiency by reducing wind resistance.

    • One-stop shopping. Look for opportunities to combine trips. Planning efficient routes with errands – look for stores clustered together – can help you save gas (and time).

    • Automobile attentiveness. Basic maintenance, including switching out old spark plugs, maintaining proper tire pressure and removing a roof rack, can help stretch each gallon of gas.

      Changing out old and dirty filters (including cabin, oil and engine air filters) can reduce fuel use.

      Check your check engine light. Some malfunctions triggering this warning can significantly reduce fuel efficiency – up to 40%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Start Saving Today

You can see that small adjustments in spending make a big difference. Who knows, maybe once you’ve tackled groceries and gas, you’ll be inspired to take on another item in your budget next. Before long, you can have the skills and confidence to flex your spending as needed and make your budget work for you.

This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.

By selecting any external link on key.com, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third-party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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Call Us

1-800-KEY2YOU® (539-2968)

Clients using a TDD/TTY device:

Clients using a relay service:

Schedule and Appointment

Schedule an Appointment

Talk to a Branch Manager in your neighborhood.

Schedule an appointment now