The amount of money Americans waste each year is staggering, but even worse is the fact that a huge portion of that money is basically being thrown straight in the trash along with all of the other waste and garbage we produce. In fact, by taking a few easy steps, Americans could save billions of dollars each year with very little effort.
Most people probably don't think that their waste is "that bad", and this article doesn't apply to them. In fact, by looking at the list below, even the most frugal among us should be able to find at least a few more ways to save more of our hard earned cash.
Most Common Ways We Throw Away Money
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that food is one of the biggest areas of waste. Americans throw away more than $165 billion worth of food each year,equaling approximately $550 per person. These numbers show just how much we waste and how big the savings could potentially be for an entire family if instead of throwing away food, they tried to eat all of what they purchased.
Wasted energy comes in a close second to food waste. It's costing Americans nearly $150 billion each year. By simply following Energy Star recommendations and sealing up your home against leaks, you may be able to cut back your energy costs by as much as 1/3 or more.
Cans and Bottles
Connecticut residents waste thousands of dollars a year by simply being too lazy to return their cans and bottles. When you buy carbonated beverages, including cans of soda and beer, you pay five cents per can as a deposit. That deposit is returned to you when you bring back the cans to a redemption center. Some wine bottles even have a fifteen cent deposit per bottle! These amounts seem very small but can quickly add up. Basically, when you don't return your bottles and can, you end up donating the deposit money back to big time corporations instead of putting that money back into your pockets.
We all end up getting gift cards as presents, but how many of us don’t remember to use them? Well, it turns out that a lot of us don't! The total value of unused gift cards in the country usually surpasses $6 million each year. So go buy something nice for yourself or a friend instead of throwing that money down the drain.
Another way that we're throwing away our money is tossing all of those coupons we get in the mail. Simply looking through the coupons each week could end up saving you hundreds of dollars per year on groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies and all sorts of other products. Be sure to make time to check them out before you recycle them!
Many of us simply throw away our old cartridges whenever the printer runs out of ink and then head to the store to buy an expensive replacement. If you're still doing this, stop! You are paying way more than you need to! You can quickly and easily replace the ink inside of most cartridges without purchasing a completely new one. All you need to do is search for a refill, open up your old cartridge, pour in the new ink, and you'll be ready to start printing again for a fraction of the price it takes to buy a brand new ink cartridge.