Looking to save? 7 ways to trim your budget

(BPT) – Paid Content by Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.

Saving money is a popular year-round topic, and it’s only become more relevant with the rising cost of living. According to recent studies, inflation in the U.S. continues to rise at a brisk pace, making it difficult for American families to afford food, fuel and other necessities.

If you’re looking to tighten your belt and save, check out these seven tips provided by Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance to start trimming your budget.

1. Budget tracker

Budget tracking apps help you spend more consciously. There are plenty of free and paid budget tracking apps that allow you to link your accounts and automatically update and categorize your bills and purchases. When you can visualize how much you’re spending and how, you’ll pay more attention to your finances, make smarter purchases and spend more mindfully. Vanderbilt Mortgage also provides a budgeting tool for free.

2. Reduce energy consumption

It can get pricey to heat, cool and light your home. Reducing your energy consumption overall can lower your monthly bills. Installing smart thermostats helps you monitor energy use, and consider closing blinds, using LED bulbs and cleaning or replacing your air filters regularly for even more energy savings. You can also set up programs that automatically shut off your air conditioning or heater while you’re away or when it reaches a certain temperature.

3. Buy in bulk

If you live near a wholesale club, buying in bulk is another possible strategy to save money. It does require more money upfront than spacing out your purchases as you need them, but for items like toilet paper, paper towels and other regularly used household products, you’ll spend less in the long run and have fewer trips to the store.

4. Meal plan

Meal planning saves you time and money. By planning out your meals, you’re more likely to buy only the food you need when going to the grocery store. And by having a list of all the items you need for your weekly meals, you’re less likely to stop at the store multiple times a week and give in to impulse purchases.

5. Automated delivery

Automated deliveries are a convenient and easy way to save money. Many websites offer discounts for signing up for auto-delivery, and just like buying in bulk, you’ll spend less per item. Set up auto deliveries for items you run out of regularly, like dog food and toiletries, so you can take items off your shopping list, take advantage of discounts and take fewer trips to the store.

6. Join a Community Supported Agriculture Program

Farm shares or community supported agriculture (CSA) programs are a great way to save money while enjoying fresh, local produce. When you subscribe to a farm’s season, you’ll receive a weekly share of produce, meats, cheeses or other items the farm offers. Not only do you get high-quality food at a bargain, but you’ll also support local farms and have a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables to try.

7. Off-site built housing

Buying a home is one of the largest expenses you’re likely to make in your life. It’s important to find a home that is built with quality, energy efficiency and affordability in mind. Manufactured homes are a great option! Manufactured homes are built in climate-controlled facilities and inspected during the build, and many are ENERGY STAR® certified. This can help you get the most out of your home budget.

Purchasing an off-site built home isn’t difficult, and you don’t have to do it alone. Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance can walk you through the process of financing a new home.

“We believe homeownership makes lives better,” said Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance President Eric Hamilton, “and your dream home should be within reach. If you want to stretch your dollar and get the most value from your home, off-site built housing is an excellent choice.”

To learn more about manufactured homes and the process of purchasing one, visit VMF.com.

Using these seven tips, you can spend less, save for bigger purchases and spend more time and money on the things that matter most.

ENERGY STAR® and the ENERGY STAR® mark are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

All loans are subject to credit approval.

Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc., and its dba Silverton Mortgage, 500 Alcoa Trail, Maryville, TN 37804, 865-380-3000, NMLS #1561, (http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), AZ Lic. #BK-0902616, Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law License and Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, GA Residential Mortgage (Lic. #6911), MT Lic. #1561, Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance, Licensed by PA Dept. of Banking, Rhode Island Licensed Lender. Equal Housing Opportunity.