With recent news of an economic recession, it important to make every penny count. Steve Santiago from bankrate.com suggest five ways to stretch your dollars.
1. Homeowners insurance - If you can afford to, consider raising your deductible to $500 to $1,000. You can also reduce you premium by reducing coverage on the household contents portion of your policy.
2. Auto insurance - Start by shopping and requesting multiple quotes. Again you can save money by raising your deductible, but do not skimp on liability coverage. The average cost of a crash related injury is more than $68,000 per person. If you're in a nasty accident you could lose everything.
3. Groceries - Americans spend nearly 14 percent of the household budget on food. Of that amount -- 25 percent is wasted. So -- buy only what you can use and cook only what you can eat. Use coupons and meal planning to buy only what you need.
4. Communication - Premimum cable channels and cell phone plans with thousands of minutes and options you don't use can be a big waste of money. Consider how much of these services you actually need and use.
5. Utility bills - The typical American family spends $1,600 a year on utility bills, most of which is wasted. Close the damper on your fireplace and you can save up to eight percent on your heating bill. Make sure windows are closed and caulked. Seal up any leaks and ask your utility company for a home energy assessment.