How do you cut spending without cramping your personal style?
Saving more and spending less is actually easier than you might think.
Pre-plan and Prepare Your Meals
One of the easiest ways to live big on a small budget is to spend some time each weekend planning and preparing your meals (baby food) and snacks for the week. Little daily purchases of snacks can add up quickly and take a bite out of your grocery budget. By purchasing and portioning out things like cookies, granola, tortilla chips, and cracker ibn pack you can take to school or work can help you save a bundle.
It is super easy to make meals, snacks and baby food at home and store in the freezer – this also saves you time during the week. Sit down with your family at the beginning of the week and make a meal plan before you go to the grocery store – this will help you comparison shop and avoid impulse purchases. Finally, clip coupons, use price matching if offered and don’t make all of your purchases in one place – some buys are better in bulk, while others are costly if not used up quickly. You can eat the same fancy foodie meals for less will a little due diligence.
Save on Leisure Activities
You don’t have to stop having fun to spend less. From books, to dates, movies and family vacations you can have it all for less! Plan your vacations in well in advance: take advantage of off-season deals; check out websites and travel agents for special packaged deals and set up price alerts for the cheapest flights to your destination. Take advantage of free events. Nearly every local community offers free entertainment, concerts, movie previews, museums, tourist attraction tickets and more. Look for local and state tax credits or assistance programs to help subsidize the cost of a child’s summer camp. And skip on the extras – when you go to the movies, eat dinner beforehand and pass on the popcorn and sodas.
Shop Off-Season and On-Sale
Stock up on wardrobe staples, kid-clothing and gifts during after-Christmas sales. Buy those back to school staple items, like pens, paper, erasers, etc., just after September when stores begin promoting Halloween and the holidays. Buy next year’s boots in spring when styles go on sale. And search through bargain stores for major discounts on name brands from the previous season.
Cut Your Utility Bills
Turn off lights when you leave a room, wash all of your laundry in cold water, line dry your clothes, adjust your heater and air conditioning to no more than 10 degree difference from the outside, and turn off while you’re on vacation. And plan out your driving routes to cut down on multiple trips and excessively high gas bills.
Reassess your costs for the things you everyday, such as your cell phone plan, car insurance, cable and Internet services. Can you bundle any of your services such as your home and auto insurance or tv and cable into a single discounted plan? Decide which services you really need – unlimited texting, movie channels, wi-fi – and compare packages across service providers. Beware of the costs of leaving or initiating a new contract – sometimes there are fees involved which outweigh the need to change your plan.
You can still enjoy the finer things in life without spending a bundle. Stretch your budget and make your money go farther with a little change in spending habits.