There are very few of us who aren’t feeling the effects of gas prices that are rising ever higher, higher food prices and higher prices on just about everything else. Pair these with a slowing economy and we’re all looking for ways to cut corners and save some money.
As inconvenient as this is, it’s becoming a fact of life for us all, and we need to find more ways to save. If you put your mind to it, get your family to participate and use your imagination, you can find many ways to reduce costs and hopefully even put away a bit here and there.
Let’s take a look at some basic ideas for saving:
• Remember when mom and grandma cut coupons? So should you. If you pay attention to the discounts that coupons offer, you can often get name brand items for less than the generic brand.
Don’t use coupons for things that you normally don’t purchase, and don’t always assume that you are getting a bargain, because sometimes the house brand is still cheaper. You can also find coupons for services such as oil changes, new tires, haircuts and other things. These are extremely helpful in the battle to save money.
• Purchase the house brand or generic brand when you can. In many cases, the house brand is just a good as the special name-brand products. If they are, there’s no reason to keep spending more money for a label.
• Use less meat. If you can have two or three meatless dinners a week, you’ll save lots of money. Protein substitutes include beans, eggs and nuts. Or make recipes that you can cut back on the meat with, such as chili – you can add more beans and less ground beef.
• Shop the sales. Whether it’s for food, clothing or household items, buy them on sale whenever possible. If you find a really excellent deal on something you use regularly, stock up on it while it’s at a good price.
• Do your shopping errands all at one time. Make a good, comprehensive list of groceries you need. Then think about what else you can accomplish while you’re out. Do you need to run to the gift store, the post office or the hardware store? Do your errands together instead of going out several times. You’ll save on gas.
• Simply cut back on things that aren’t necessities. Do you really need to have chips and ice cream in your house every day? Maybe they need to be special treats rather than staple items.
Do you need fancy flavored coffee cream? Take stock of what your needs are vs. your wants. Wants may have to become special treats. It won’t kill you or your family. Everyone will adapt.
No matter what the state of your home economy or the greater economy is, it’s wise to work to cut costs and save money. Groceries, clothing, household items and services can all be purchased at a discount if you pay attention to sales and discount coupons.
You can save on gas, by running several errands at once. And if the store is close enough, and the weather is nice, walk there! Take time to plan ahead, use your imagination and rethink your wants vs. your needs. You’ll find yourself saving money.