When it comes to our personal finances, we’re understandably deeply invested (get it?) in our future. Money makes the world go ‘round, so you won’t want to be left twisting in the wind. However, the world we live in seems to have been design from the ground up to rob us of our hard earned, cold hard cash, and that’s because it is. With all of the parties vying for your attention and, more importantly, your money, it can be a real uphill battle trying to save for your future. It’s like some sort of monetary vampire is sucking our wallets and bank accounts dry, and we just really need some garlic. Luckily, I have the garlic you need in the form of some good news and some help. The good news is that you can eliminate a lot of spending fairly easily, because you’ve been spending too much for years. Again, this is by design. However, there are some simple and easy ways to save some money they don’t want you to know. You won’t have to pawn your favorite piece from Kay Jewelers anytime soon.

First and foremost, most of our spending occurs in the grocery store, so what better place to start? Ways to save here are many. For example, you can save a ton of money by simply looking to lower shelves. You read that right. Big brands have exclusive rights, for which I’m sure they paid top dollar, to have their products displayed on eye level shelves in grocery stores. Therefore, simply looking to lower shelves will allow you to find big savings in the form of off brand products. Despite the stigma attached to them, these products are almost always just as good as the name brand variety, so there’s no reason not to save money where you can.

Another way to save in the grocery store is to avoid buying convenience food items. These tend to take the form of frozen pizzas and the like, and, while delicious, they’re costing you way more than making it yourself. You’re really just paying for labor here. That, and having the food be worse for you, I’m sure. Therefore, spend less on pizza ingredients and make yourself a healthier, possibly better tasting, pizza without breaking the bank. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Processed foods are generally cheaper than their whole counterparts. An example of this is ground beef. Buying whole beef and grinding it is way more expensive than buying pre ground. The reason for this is that the ground variety is processed and, thus, inflated with fillers, so there’s substantially less beef. However, it is cheap, and you shouldn’t eat enough burgers for the health concerns to manifest.