During these tough times we have to trim our spending habits. We are spending less in areas that we never thought we would have to spend less in. Maybe if we can just spend a little less in each area, we won’t have such a big chunk of money taken out of one area.
One of the first areas we have to budget cut in is in the grocery isle. If we do this correctly you won’t notice the difference while sitting at your dinner table. Coupons, Coupons, Coupons are your best friend. Read through each and every flier that you receive from your local grocery stores. Catch some of your favorite and most often used food on sale and hopefully your local store is one to double coupons. Buy food in bulk. This is especially good for meat. When you get home separate it into your serving quantities that you normally use and freeze. You can also buy bulk snacks then single them up in serving sizes into baggies for your children for school and for yourself for work. This helps you skip the vending machine urge in the afternoon. Leftover meals should become your best friend. You don’t need to have them made the same way you ate them the first time. Become creative with it. Go on line looking for recipes for leftovers. Also some leftovers can safely be frozen then thawed and reused at a later date. Just remember to put the date that you froze it on the container. When grocery shopping, watch your pricing. A name brand may be on sale but the generic may still be cheaper. Check your unit prices. This is usually the best way to tell the better bargain. Whatever you do, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. This is a big mistake many people make and this leads to alot of impulse shopping. Try and make a menu for the week before going shopping. Make your grocery list and try sticking to the list as closely as possible.
Let’s see if we can get more bang for your buck when it comes to your monthly bills. Are you paying your phone, internet, and cable in a separate bill? Now they have what they call bundle services. You can get all three of these services from the same provider for a lower cost than you would be paying for all of them separately. The internet also offers a couple of options for cable. A couple free internet based cable services are www.hulu.com and www.fancast.com .These are free but they are ad supported. You can also get internet based phone services such as www.majicjack.com or www.skype.com . Credit card debts are really soaring. Look for offers to switch your current credit card debt to another card to a lower interest rate. Combining your home and car insurance usually saves you money. There is an internet service that will let you check for better rates on alot of your bills such as insurance, credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, and even utilities. This site is www.lowermybills.com .
Everyone gets ill. The price of health care in this country has skyrocketed. When you do get ill you hate to visit the doctor or emergency room because you knew the bill will be outrageous. When you visit your doctor, ask if there is a discount if you pay the bill 100% that day instead of in payments. When you have a prescription to get filled, ask for a generic. It has the same ingredients and dosage as the name brand drug. Do the same thing with over the counter medications. Buy the generic or the store name brand. When you get to a certain age there are certain tests that your doctor requests you get done. For women, there is usually a local clinic that gives free mammograms and pap smears. Ask your doctor or your local family planning clinic for more information on this.
The word budget may not have been in your vocabulary before now. With today’s money market budget should be a daily word in our household. Let’s learn how to budget. Let’s start by writing down your net income. This is what you bring home after your taxes are taken out. Next let’s write down your need to pay bills such as your mortgage, credit cards, car payments, and car and house insurance. Anything that needs to be paid on a monthly basis. Next write down your variable expenses such as gas you put in your car, groceries, clothing, and misc items. Now let’s list your not so important expenses. These are your can live without expenses. Going to the movies, baseball games, bowling, golf, fast food, and any other extras you may have to list. The next step is to add up ALL your expenses. Now subtract this amount from your net income. If you come out in the negative you need to start looking where you can cut out expenses. This would be in your nonessential expenses such as eating out and those golf games. Do you really need that new outfit right now? Maybe you don’t need to go see that movie and can wait until it comes out in the store. There is budget help on line. You can get some free budget help by going to www.mint.com or www.sabe.com or www.bankrate.com .
Hopefully this recession isn’t going to last much longer. I hope all or parts of this article have helped you in some way to save some money without the real hurt of noticing. If you need further help go to your local search engine on the internet and type in budgeting or budget help. This should bring up an array of responses in which to help you. Best of luck.