When it comes to the essentials, it can feel like your bank account is being drained by a financial vampire just so that you can get by. They’re called essentials for a reason: you have to buy them; however, you’ll be happy to hear that you’re probably overspending on these day to day expenses and can save a ton of money. That’s right, many of us spend more than we have to on the things we need most out of convenience and routine, but if you shake things up when shopping, you’ll find yourself with a fatter wallet. Here are just a few ways to cut costs today.

First and foremost, savings begin in the grocery store. Nobody wants to go grocery shopping, so finding the “path of least resistance” is the goal many of us strive for, and that leads to complacency and overspending. For example, if you buy fresh ingredients to cook your own meals instead of buying premade processed food items, you’ll save a ton of money, and it’s better for you. Likewise, simply buying off brand products can save you a surprising amount, and they’re almost always as good as the name brand variety. The trick here is simply looking away from eye level shelves. Big companies pay top dollar to keep their products at eye level for the very reason that it’s convenient to buy the first thing you see. Taking the extra time to take advantage of less costly alternatives to your go to items can save you big money.

Another way to save, that also works in the grocery store, by the way, is to simply keep your eyes peeled for alternatives and sales. For example, if you need prescription eyewear, don’t let your optometrist be your one stop shop. Services like Coastal can provide you with more cost effective options as long as you have your prescription, so make sure to ask your doctor for your prescription. There are countless “life hacks” like these to take the edge of all those essential purchases; you just have to know where to look.

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