Cutting Down Costs by Homer Livez
Even if you believe you're fiscally responsible and you're simply unable to cut costs down any further, ask yourself –
How often do you grab a quick coffee on our way to work? How many times do you eat out a week? How often do you buy snacks, magazines, or little personal items each week? While it might not seem to matter much when you're only spending a couple of dollars here and there, add it up over the course of a month and you'll be surprised at just how much more money you are able to save.
Budgeting does require some sacrifice, but if you're willing to make the commitment to saving for your family's future, even small changes will go a long way. Consider packing lunches for work, brewing your own coffee and subscribing to online versions of your favorite magazines. Not only will you get the information faster, but it's often far more affordable!
One of the greatest expenses every family has is the grocery bill. Depending on your family size, this could range anywhere between $150 - $300 a week, but even with having to make sure your family has what it needs, there are still ways you can cut down on your grocery bill.
For starters, you should consider planning out a week of meals at once.
Doing this will make it easier on you to get everything you need in one grocery trip, but it will also get your family involved in making decisions based on different meals of the week.
Better yet, planning out meals will cut down the costs of "last minute lunches" such as through take out restaurants or over-buying. You should also consider lower cost meals every other week. Write down 10 different meals that you can make for under $20. This could include pasta dishes, and lunches that are not only easy to prepare but feed everyone - with leftovers to spare!
You'd be surprised at just how much you can decrease your grocery bill with just a bit of meal planning and preparation.
To save more money, you should get a copy of the weekly flyers in your area, paying attention to special coupons and deals that are available at your local grocer. Many supermarkets offer "buy one, get one free" days or "double coupon days", where you can stock up on supplies and adjusting your meal plan based on current specials.
You should also look for store brand products, rather than major brands, as they are almost always cheaper, while still offering the same quality!
Shop in season. Fruits and vegetables are far more affordable in season than when buying out of season so keep this in mind when planning your family meals. You should also consider shopping in the evenings as many stores will reduce the cost of perishable items before closing as well as on weekends.
Think about your buying habits. Do you visit the supermarket several times a week? Do you buy more than you plan to? Planning meals and thinking ahead will reduce unnecessary spending, and help your family get into a healthy routine where you not only eat better - but it costs less!
Apart from your family's grocery bill, consider other ways that you can save money, such as by shopping at bargain shops, dollar stores and farmers markets. Not only will you be doing your part to recycle, and contribute to local businesses, but you'll be able to save money in areas that you never even thought about!
If you have school age children, consider buying school supplies off-season. You'll find that school supplies are much more affordable in summer months than in the fall. Consider shopping at outlet malls. Not only are they are more affordable but they often carry the same styles and fashions as the larger malls!
Take a good look at all of your household expenses. Is your power bill higher than usual? Turn off appliances when not in use, and pay more attention to what is running throughout the day. Consider replacing your lights with fluorescent lamps as they consume less energy while providing the same amount of lighting. Take inventory of your appliances and plumbing. Are there pipes leaking that are causing your water bill to soar? Are you losing heat due to poor insulation? Your goal to save should begin by surveying your household.
You'd be surprised at just how many small changes you can make that yield big results!