The experts say that the economy is no longer in a recession, but these experts should take a look at the typical family’s bank account. Surviving during these difficult times can be challenging, but there are ways to make it a bit easier on your budget. Stretching your budget through frugal living will help make sure your family has what it needs.
Knowing how to shop frugally is a great way to start saving money for your family. One easy way to start this is couponing. Once upon a time you had to wait until the Sunday paper and clip the coupon inserts to take to grocery store but with the use of store savings cards and electronic coupons, clipping is out of style. You can still clip to add to your savings, but there easier ways to save at the checkout.
First, sign up for savings cards at your local stores, these cards provide with you with in-store savings, coupons, free gas rewards, and more. Second, go to the business’s website and collect e-coupons. This is a pretty easy process. You just choose what you need and want and add them to your card. When you go shopping, you just swipe your card and save. Finally, scour the web for coupon websites like Coupons.com for extra savings. These websites will allow you to find more electronic coupons that you can use with your savings card. Another way to save with coupons is to friend, like, and tweet about your favorite products on Facebook and Twitter. Companies love loyal customers and often offer big savings.
Menu Planning & Cooking
Frugal living also applies to how you plan the products you have. When you go shopping, plan out your trip. Start with a list of the staples you need. There are phone and tablet apps that will make this easier. You know your families staples; the bread, milk, sugar, condiments, and so on. Then make a menu for your meals for the week. Do you need cereals, breakfast bars, or waffles? What is your lunch? Do you need soups and sandwich meats? Most importantly plan out the menu for your big meal of the day, this will help you know the meats, vegetables, starches, species and specialty items that you need for the week. Try these tips to save a bit more:
- Never shop when you are hungry. Have a sandwich before you go to save on impulse buys.
- Plan to make extra. If you are making lasagna or casserole or spaghetti sauce, make a double batch. Freeze the extra. You will have easy meals on those busy nights when it would be tempting to order food. Also cooking the double batch is cheaper than cooking two separately.
- Make your own broth and stocks. When you buy a roast, save the bone to make a stock with later.
- Shop at your local fresh farm stand. They usually offer vegetables and fruits at lower prices and better quality than your grocery store.
- As your produce manager about bruised or damaged produce to feed your bunny, gerbils, or veggie loving animals.
There is a grassroots movement called Freecycle that is saving people money and keeping useable items out of landfills. It is an amazing global project that works locally. You sign up for your local Freecycle group and start to interact with other members. While during your spring cleaning, you find 10 items you can no longer use but still have life in them, then you can post to freecycle that you have items to offer. Then when you are reviewing the daily posts you might find something that you need from someone elses posts. This is all shared for free. You might find items for the kitchen, your home, crafts, clothing, and so much more.
There are only few ideas. There are many more available. Get online and do your research. Talk to your friends, you might find some more ideas that you had not thought of before. Don’t fret, it is possible to survive.