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15 Practical Ways To Reduce Business Costs

15 Practical Ways To Reduce Business Costs

As a business owner you can’t stop for searching new ways to reduce business costs and gain more profits. Otherwise, your business will never thrive. By implementing these 15 simple strategies within a year, you’d be able to save thousands of dollars in net profit!

1. Take advantage of the freelance workforce

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    A recent study predicts 40% of the U.S.’s workforce will go freelance by 2020. Why not start taking advantage of a temporary team from day one and avoid paying huge overheads and adding up costs like sick leaves, training, vacations, insurance, and so on? Having a flexible team working on a per-project/task basis will significantly reduce your business operating costs, improve overall key performance indicators, and will allow you to focus on more important tasks while minor things are getting solved by your dedicated virtual assistant. Nowadays, you can basically outsource anything, from handling emails and managing your FB business page to complete website design and full-cycle development projects. Besides, hiring a specialist abroad may cost you less than hiring someone with the same skill set back at home.

    Most popular freelance marketplaces:

    All types of projects

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    Micro jobs and small, simple tasks

    Design

    Coding and web development

    2. Start an internship program

    Sometimes, having a remote worker is not an option as you need help onsite—say, sorting out that huge pile of papers on your desk. Get in touch with a local college and offer to establish mutually beneficial relationships—you get a free workforce; they get a cool company to send students to. Win-win. Alternatively, you can post an advert online at sites like Urban Interns and check out all the rising stars eager to work with you for a shining resume credential and real hands-on experience. Moreover, there are high chances of discovering true talents to hire afterwards as part-time or full-time assistants who already know how to things get done at your company.

    3. Use energy-efficient appliances

    Utility bills eating up a huge chunk of your income? First of all, opt for compact fluorescent light bulbs. They cost more than the usual bulbs, however they function longer, thus saving you a pretty penny in the long run. Secondly, consider switching to energy-efficient appliances, particularly those with the Energy Star label. Again, they do cost more, but you can cut down the expenses with numerous government-sponsored rebates, along with making your biz eligible for green energy tax credits. If you need professional advice on making your company more energy efficient, just ring up your power company and request a free energy audit. An inspector should come to analyze your workplace and suggest further ways to reduce energy consumption.

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    4. Keep a virtual office

    If most of your team works remote and you don’t have an ongoing need to gather at one place, why should you bother to pay huge rent for the office space? Business meetings can be held at any venue, co-working space, or conference hall. However, you still like to keep things looking professional and earn your credits, right? And occasionally you do need to fax something or print a bunch of promotional materials. If that is it, most virtual offices provide you with temporary printing solutions at a flat rate; VoIP phones with a personal voice message box; corporate mailing address; a dedicated receptionist handling your calls and a bunch of other cool perks that tend to cost a tiny fortune when implemented at a regular office.

    5. Barter

    So you run a small writing business. Have you ever though of offering your professional editing services to have a marketing campaign developed for you in return? Bartering is no longer difficult with a number of B2B barter sites like U-Exchange and TradeBank gaining huge popularity among small and middle sized business owners. Set up an account and start exchanging services you need! Besides, it’s an excellent way to grow your business connections and score potential customers or partners.

    6. Go paperless

    Do you really think you need those copies printed for everyone? Now look at your monthly printing costs and think again. Still opting for paper bills and invoices? That’s stone age with so many online payment and invoices systems available at reduced costs. Retain your clients with email marketing and ditch mailing coupons and advertorials by snail mail to cut down the costs even more!

    7. Re-examine your phone plan and ditch your land line

    Are you sure you have the best cellphone plan currently available on the market? How long has it been since you last checked the prices? If you signed up for your plan more than two years ago, it’s definitely not the best option available on the market today. If you need to make international phone calls frequently, use Skype or Line, an app that has lower prices. Moreover, swapping your land line for VoIP or a virtual phone line will save you a big bucks at the end of the day.

    8. Don’t be shy to ask for a discount

    Take the nerve and ask the retailers directly whether they can give you a discount as a small business owner. Surprisingly, most will say yes if you are shopping for big ticket items. Alternatively, sneak around for coupons and special deals, sign up to retailers’ newsletters to be the first to know when certain items come on sale, plus get a few money-saving apps installed on your phone to receive instant alerts.

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    9. Invest in self-education

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      If you feel reluctant about paying yet another one-time consultants to solve the problem for you, spend less on self-education. Or pay nothing and gain lacking knowledge at one of these 25 killer educational websites. There’s no better investment than education and in the long-run, spending time and effort on learning something new will pay off later on!

      10. Buy used equipment and furniture

      Shopping in thrift shops and bargain sales is no longer shameful. It’s trendy. Loads of businesses prefer to equip their offices with shabby vintage stuff costing pennies instead of luxury designer goods (that often look pretty much the same). Businesses claim to save up to 60% costs merely buying used office equipment like computers, faxes and printers. Scroll through Craigslist, check out your local paper classified and online auctions like eBay to get everything you need at least two times cheaper.

      11. Cut back on paid software

      Nowadays there’s an open-source free alternative to nearly any product at the tech market. Unless a specific software is absolutely crucial for keeping your business running smooth, get rid of it! Microsoft Office can be replaced with Open Office or Google Drive; Basecamp has a free, similar-looking alternative Trello and you can create beautiful online and PDF designs with free photo-editing tools like Canva or Picmonkey instead of using Photoshop. Which leads as to the next point…

      12. Conduct timely technology and services audits

      How many paid apps and subscriptions do you currently have? And how many are you actually using? Bet these two numbers differ quite a bit. If you have not used a certain technology or service for the last 90 days, it’s time to cancel your subscription and stop paying for things you obviously do not need. Make it a rule to review all the paid products you have every two months. Moreover, before getting yet another piece of paid software, visit Download.com and try hundreds of software products for free through trial downloads, limited versions, and freeware to make sure that it’s indeed a product you need.

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      13. Eliminate finance charges

      A lot of businesses lose thousands dollars annually on ridiculous things like high membership fees on business credit cards, late loan payments and credit-card processing fees. By simply staying on top of bills and paying them exactly when they are due, you will save your business a great amount of money each year. Yes, keeping up with the bills can be complicated, so try to automate as many financial processes as possible by implementing online payment systems and setting up special alerts when bills are due. Also, pay a visit to your bank and ask what better credit card options they can offer you as a business owner.

      14. Opt for online advertising

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        Does your business have a Facebook page and Twitter and Pinterest accounts? Do you have a website properly optimized for mobile search? In 2015 if your business is not online, it practically does not exist! Compared to traditional marketing and advertising, promoting your biz online allows you to get faster results with less money spent. Start small by adding a blog to your website, offer expert advice, reach out to new media and bloggers with thrilling stories you can share, invest some time and money in social media marketing, and optimize your website properly to get a huge amount of targeted traffic and new customers.

        15. Use the power of co-opetition

        Team up with fellow business owners to collaborate and share expenses when buying new supplies in bulk. Moreover, you can group even further and jointly promote a sidewalk sale, share mailing lists and distribution channels with businesses offering complementary goods or services that may interest your customers. Also, you can exchange advertising spaces on your websites, share each other’s coupons and special deals (for a small fee or percentage from each sale made) and occasionally appear at each other’s business blogs to boost your rankings and attract a new audience to your websites.

        Featured photo credit: ShellyS via flickr.com

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        Elena Prokopets

        Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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        Last Updated on April 19, 2021

        40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

        40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

        Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and help you get fit! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

        1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

        Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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          2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

          We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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            3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

            Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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              4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

              Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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                5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

                Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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                  6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

                  We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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                    7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

                    This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                      8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                      One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                        9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                        If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                          10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                          Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                            11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                            Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                              12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                              Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                                13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                                You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                                  14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                                  With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                                    15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                                    Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                      16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                      If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                        17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                        The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                          18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                          If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                            19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                            Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                              20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                              I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                                21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                                Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                                  22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                                  You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                                    23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                                    Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                                    Sausage-Eggwiches

                                                      24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                      Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                        25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                        Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                          26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                          If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                            27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                            Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                              28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                              A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

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                                                                29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                                You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

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                                                                  30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                                  Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                                    31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                                    Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                      32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                      Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                        33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                        Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                          34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                          If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                            35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                            Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                              36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                              Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                                37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                                You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                                  38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                                  Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                                    39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                                    Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                      40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                      You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

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                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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