Bills, bills, bills. It’s like no matter how many you pay, there’s another one in route to your mailbox. Unfortunately for us, there is no effective solution to getting rid of bills altogether (Though it would be nice). That means you’ll need to come up with a few suitable solutions to minimize the amount of money you have to shell out on the monthly basis. Check out the five most common bills and efficient solutions for lower the cost:

1.  Mortgage/Rent

Likely one of the largest expenses you have is the cost of your mortgage or rent each month. Coming in at several hundred or thousand dollars per month, it can really take a huge chunk out of your income. While you can’t simply skip the bill altogether, there are some ways that you can cut your housing costs:

  • Refinance your mortgage for a lower interest rate or extended loan terms
  • Upgrade security features in the home to save on homeowner’s insurance (often tied to mortgage payments)
  • Rent space to someone else to cut your costs in half
  • Negotiate lower monthly rental rate with the landlord (for instance, ask your landlord for $100 a month off the rent in exchange for you paying for any repairs that cost $100 or less)

2.  Home Entertainment

Whether it’s watching your favorite television show on the flat screen or chatting on social media with internet services, having home entertainment services proves beneficial for many. Here are a few pointers on how to save:

  • Check frequently for great deals. Home entertainment service providers want your business and will often offer great signup rates for new customers. For instance, if you were in the market for Georgia Direct TV deals, you could check the sites of authorized dealers for great bonuses and packages.
  • Bundle home phone, internet, and television services for a lower monthly rate
  • Downgrade your package if you have additional channels that are costing you a lot. (for instance, premium channels could cost anywhere from $5-$20 a month more)

3.  Utilities

Gas, electric, and water bills are certain unavoidable but can also get pretty costly. To keep the costs to a minimum, you want to focus your attention on reducing the amount you use on the monthly basis. Some tips would include:

  • Take shorter showers
  • Invest in water conserving faucets
  • Turn off lights when not in use
  • Switch to LED lights
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances if yours are old
  • Schedule an energy audit
  • Seal windows and doors with weather stripping, caulk, or plastic to keep air from entering or exiting your home

4.  Groceries

The grocery bill is another expense that can be taxing on your income. Depending on how many people are in your household the grocery bill could set you back several hundred bucks a month. While you have to eat, it doesn’t have to cost as much. Here are some tips to bringing down grocery costs:

  • Use coupons
  • Check for sales
  • Build a stockpile so that you only have to purchase staple items each week
  • Buy food in bulk
  • Switch to less common name brand products
  • Compare weekly circulars to see where you can get the best deal
  • Shop at locations that will match their competitor’s rates
  • Sign up for grocery store rewards cards for additional savings

5.  Insurance Policies

Last but not least, the cost of insurance policies can eat away at your pocket. While homeowner’s and car insurance are the only legally required insurance policies, it is beneficial to also have renter’s insurance, and life insurance policies. To keep insurance costs to a minimum try the following:

  • Comparison shop
  • Bundle insurance policies. Many insurance providers offer several types of policies. Packaging them together allows you to get a better rate and one monthly payment.
  • Increase your deductible if you can afford to do so

So while I haven’t yet come up with a way to live bill free forever, this should hopefully give you a breakdown of how to minimize the amount you’re shelling out for bills each month. Some of these tips will warrant a huge savings on the monthly basis while others may only provide a small savings (but every penny counts). Start incorporating these into your budget and savings plans and put the money you save aside in a rainy day fund for safe keeping.