Dealing with the high cost of living
Shop Cheaply for Groceries
Groceries Take A Big Bite Of Your Income
Tips for Living Better While Saving for the Future
Today's economy has more people than ever struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads, as well as the necessities of life. Many are despairing of things ever getting better and their lives ever improving. And as unbelievable as it may seem, there are people in America who do not even have these essentials, so feel blessed if you are lucky enough to have a job, home and food on your table. If you are blessed with a steady source of income, it is important to make that income stretch as far as possible.
Following are some tips for keeping more money in your own pocket.
First, it is important to distinguish between things you would like to have and the things you actually do need. Things you need include food, water, shelter, plumbing, clothing and utilities. These are the basic things you need to survive. The new car, furniture, and electronics fall in the "Things I want" category. Once you have secured the necessary things, then you can think about spending money on the items that you desire.
Now, let's take a look at some of those tips that can help you to save some of your hard earned money.
Saving On The Grocery Bill
Groceries prices have been rising for some time now and will most likely continue to climb so it is important that you budget and do everything you can to save money at the grocery store. Here are some tips to save you money when shopping for groceries.
- Start by planning your meals for the week or the month
- Check out the store's sales flyer You may want to make some changes to your menu in order to take advantage of sale items
- Plan to buy large cuts of meat that will make several meals
- Buy bulk items that have a long shelf life or bulk meats that can be frozen
- Clip and use coupons but only if they bring a name brand down to the store brand price unless there is a big difference in the quality
- Cut out expensive sweets, chips, snacks which will help improve your health also
- If you have room for a garden, consider growing your own fresh vegetables and also consider canning or freezing extra vegetables
A Home Vegetable Garden Can Save You Money
Growing Your Vegetables Can Save You Money
Gas Prices At An All Time High
Save On Transportation Costs
Transportation is another big slice of the budget so look here for some money saving possibilities. First, when possible let your car sit and find alternative methods of getting to where you need to go. Taking the bus, walking, riding a bike and car pooling will all save you gallons of that expensive gas as well as making your car last longer and less trips to the auto repair shop for expensive repairs.
Then call your insurance company and have them review your policy to see if they can save you some money. I know someone who did this and saved $500 a year. If they can't offer you a better and cheaper policy, then check with other insurance companies. Maintaining a good clean driving record will also save you lots of money.
Anyone who can do minor repairs and maintenance on their own vehicles has an advantage of saving quite a bit of money by not having to take their vehicle to a garage which can be quite expensive. Keeping your car clean and well taken of will pay huge benefits.
Cheap fun ideas
Cheap Old Fashioned Fun
Years ago, before the electronic age, people did things that cost little but were fun and helped to keep them fit and entertained. Here are some ideas:
- Visit the library for free books and movies
- Go to the park and take the kids
- Visit more with family and friends
- Walk or ride bikes with the family
- Play cards or board games at home with the family and friends
- Watch for free plays or concerts in your area
- Take up a creative hobby such as gardening, crafts or arts
- Get involved with a neighborhood project
These are but a few suggestions but if you notice, many of these suggestions involve family fun which is a very valuable side benefit.
Cable TV Is Not A Necessity
No doubt about it, cable television is expensive and so are the satellite dishes. For some people, television is no longer worth what we are being charged. One way of beating the cost of cable is with a ROKU player, which streams through you DSL modem. If you have one of the newer televisions it hooks right up to your television so you don't need to watch on your computer. With this little box , which costs between $50 and $100 dollars you can get many free stations and movies. Netflix is available as well as Huluplus, but these channels are pay channels. Each of these channels cost $7.99 a month. There are other pay channels as well and news channels are available. I bought one of these ROKU players and I am well pleased with it. Another way of saving on cable is by reducing your package and having less channels available.
Other ways to save money is on utilities which are a necessary part of life. We can't even imagine what life would be like without water, electric, phones or cable television but we can cut their high costs.
Cell phones are here to stay and most people rely heavily on those phones, but do you also need the land line then? You can certainly do without the smart phone and the costly data plan. Do you really need the text feature? Check out some of the prepaid phones also. Some of those are giving some really good plans that are quite a bit cheaper than a contract phone.
Electric costs can be lowered by setting the thermostat lower for the winter and wearing heavier clothing and keeping the thermostat higher for air conditioning. Use lower wattage, energy saving light bulbs and turn off lights in rooms not being used. Instead of using the clothes dryer, invest in some clotheslines and hang your clothes outside. They will smell good when you bring them in also. Run the washer and the dishwasher with full loads. Washing clothes in cold water only will save on hot water.
Extra Income Can Really Help
You may want to consider trying to earn some extra income to pay off some bills or to manage to save for some of those wants on your list. This is a short list of some ideas for earning some extra income.
- Try finding a second part time job
- Clean out closets, attic, basement of unwanted and unused items you no longer use and have a yard sale
- Maybe find some babysitting or elderly care jobs. There are usually cleaning jobs available also
- Can you sew or do crafts that other people may be interested in buying
- Encourage children who are old enough to start earning some money of their own
This is only a small list of ideas for making some extra money. I am sure there are many other ideas of ways to add to the family income. After you have found a way to make some extra money, think about ways to make that hard earned extra money work for you. If you have credit cards bill, it would be in your best interest to pay those off with the extra income. Or you may think about investing the extra money so that it earns more money for you.
A Few Last Thoughts
There are many other ways of reducing expenses in your budget. Shopping yard sales, flea markets, and thrift shops can save you tons of money on clothes, household items and furniture.
Cutting your expenses while adding extra income to your budget can make your dollars go so much further. The money you are saving can then be spent on the items from your " Just because I want it list." Over time these savings can add up and help you to reach goals you may otherwise never be able to reach.
Ideas For Making Extra Income
- Opportunities and Ideas To Earn Additional Income
Earning extra income to help make it from payday to payday and have some left over for savings and fun. Have a yard, use your cooking skills and other great ideas.
Extra Cash For Tough Times
- Profit And Put Money In Your Pocket With A Successful Garage Sale
Steps For Planning, Organizing and Implementing a Profitable Garage or Yard Sale. Just one way to raise some extra revenue
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