Stay Organized and Save Money
Organize your life and save some major money down the road.
Clear out unwanted stuff
Ask every member of your family to pick three to five items he or she no longer uses. Post them for sale on a free local bulletin board such as the ones at craigslist.org and kijiji.com. For electronics, try gazelle.com. Sports equipment, baby clothing and accessories, furniture and gaming consoles typically sell well. (You also can donate your stuff to a charity and get a tax break; click on "Claim Your Deductions" and then "Valuation Guide for Material Donations" at goodwill.org to see how much you can deduct.)
You'll Save: $670, the value of unused items in the average household
Lighten up your car
Clear space in your garage for your bicycle racks and car-top carriers when they're not in use. Hauling unnecessary gear can decrease fuel efficiency by 5 percent.
You'll Save: $119 per year (average driver)
Manage your bills
Pay your bills at the same time every month. Call your credit card company and arrange a convenient due date. Some banks even offer due-date alerts by phone, e-mail or text.
You'll Save: $24 to $30, on average, for each late fee avoided
Create a snack basket
Buying bottled water, mints and snacks on the run can clear out your bank account. Instead, purchase such items in bulk and store them in your car or in a basket on your countertop. Family members can grab what they need on their way out the door.
You'll Save: Approximately $30 per month (average family)
Clean out your fridge
At least once a week, take inventory. Designate half a shelf as "leftover central" so food doesn't get shoved to the back and spoil. Look for perishables nearing their expiration date and incorporate them into that night's menu. Not sure what to do with that half head of broccoli? Get ideas at myrecipes.com.
You'll Save: $72 per month (the value of the food the average family throws out)