None of us need to be reminded that a penny saved is a penny earned.   My goal isn’t to tell you what you already know to be true in some elegant way that triggers you to change old habits.  I’m no Tony Robbins, so I won’t pretend to be the motivational writer that will forever change your life.  What I will attempt to do is give you an idea or two that can save you some money towards something you would rather be buying or doing.

Food is often our second largest budget item after paying for the roof over our heads.  I admit that this is an area I struggle with the most.  I know this to be true for many others from countless conversations around budgeting.  Even fast food can be pricey these days, but I still struggle with costs when cooking a meal at home.  I have found that using the website is very helpful in cooking great meals at affordable prices.  Their focus is on simple, quick, and satisfying meals with an emphasis on low cost.  They break the cost of all their recipes down to the per serving level.  They even show you the perfect pantry list to make many different recipes with the same staple items.

Another simple way that I save money, is with my home and auto insurance.  As an independent advisory company, we are free to choose the investments we feel are most valuable to our clients.  In that same spirit, there are independent insurance agencies that can shop your insurance policy among multiple insurance carriers.  I personally saved several hundred dollars on both my home and auto insurance by working with an independent agent.  You can contact us if you would like information on independent insurance agents we trust.

There are a number of smartphone applications coming out now which are aimed at helping us save money.  In a recent column, we talked about the needs and benefits of an emergency fund.  There is a smartphone application called Digit that will analyze your income and spending while trying to find money it can safely set aside into your savings or emergency fund.  Their slogan is ‘Save money, without thinking about it.’  They even have a no-overdraft guarantee.  Nothing beats forming a habit without any effort!

You may have heard of the website Mint.  This is a site where you can bring all your different financial information into one convenient place making it a very easy way to get a full view of your financial picture.  You can track all of your retirement accounts, bank accounts, credit cards, etc. and even breakdown your spending habits into different categories. You can also set different goals for yourself and the site will monitor your progress and give updates.

There are very few of us that couldn’t benefit from incorporating different money-saving ideas. What are some ways that you save money? I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas that can be shared with others. Just contact us through our website  Until then, I will keep looking for wise financial solutions to share with you in the future.

(Advice is intended to be general in nature. Stewardship Capital is not affiliated with or Mint)