Most of us have no shame in admitting that times have been tough lately and with news that the US economy still has a long way to go before it can reclaim its former glory, many of us could benefit from saving some extra money in our everyday lives to help tide us over in the meantime. Luckily, there are a number of different ways in which this can be achieved.
Americans throw out 25% of all the food they prepare on Thanksgiving alone, so imagine how much food is wasted across a whole year. Preparing meal plans allows you to write out a list of only the ingredients you will need, stopping you from buying food that will just end up being wasted. Other methods include comparing prices from all your local stores to see which offers the best value for money; using smaller plates to help you cut back by tricking your brain into thinking you are eating more and avoiding well known brands in favour of a store’s cheaper, own brand alternative.
It’s not just where you shop that can save you money, as it’s how you shop that makes a real difference. Certain items don’t go out of date and can be bought in bulk while they are on sale and stored for when you need them later. Heading to the grocery store at night is also a great way to save money, as fresh ingredients like bread, eggs and meat will often be reduced in price since they need to be sold quickly. You can also keep an eye out for vouchers, coupons and discounts to make your money go further.
Setting up your own fruit and vegetable garden can be a great way to reduce your food budget but there are other ways to provide for yourself and lower your spending: get chickens as they can lay up to 320 eggs per year; make your own lunch to take to work to save you buying an expensive pre-made sandwich and take a flask of coffee to help you steer clear of pricey cafes. The same principle of going it alone can apply for entertainment as well; stay in with a DVD rather than go to the cinema and go for a jog around your block instead of paying an expensive gym membership.
Almost everywhere we go these days people try to sell us something and hit us with extra charges for things we don’t even want. Learn to say no to so-called ‘perks’ and you could save yourself a lot of money and stress. In some cases, it’s not too late, as you can claim back what companies have taken from you; a classic example being Payment Protection Insurance; the policy often added without your knowledge when you borrow money from the bank. If possible, such ‘extras’ are best left avoided in the first place by simply learning to politely decline an offer.
Get a Price Cut
Calling up your phone, internet or cable provider and threatening to cancel your contract can be a great way of enticing them to offer you a reduced price. After all, they’d rather have you paying them something than nothing.