With the economic recession, our budgetary and financial concerns have gotten a lot more serious. Americans are saving more money by cutting back on spending on big-ticket items, but there are also little things that you can do to save money here and there. Little things add up to big things, such as an extra house payment, gas money or even a vacation or a car over time.
As a parent in a family of four, I am always looking for ways to save money. If you want to save up, try some of these practical tips for adding some money to your bottom line.
Coupons and Sales
Shopping at discount stores is already a good way to save money. Going different places and using newspaper coupons, online coupons and price matching with advertisements are all great tips for saving money while you shop for food.
You may have to get creative with meals and rotate foods every few weeks in order to save money. If your family is used to it, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Shopping at multiple stores will also let you see what is for sale, and you can get a feel for which place is best to buy items you use regularly.
Avoid going out to eat if you can, as grocery store food is much less expensive. Even if you only go out to eat once per week instead of two, that could be an extra twenty bucks per week for your entire family that can be used for other things.
If you do eat out, try value menu items that cost a dollar. Leaving off a soft drink or two will also provide extra savings on the fast food trip. Instead of getting a large cappuccino, get a smaller one, or avoid purchasing morning coffee altogether and make your own.
Combining trips to save gas is always a way to reduce the frequency that you have to fill up the gas tank. If you are going to a store five miles away from your house, and there is another store nearby where you know you will need something soon, get both things at once.
Even something as easy as getting an item at the store after your kids’ activity, such as sports or another extra-curricular activity, can be a great habit that can save you money. If the hardware store is on the way to the baseball field, leave enough time before or after the game to grab something that you’d otherwise have to make a special trip for.
My wife and I both love secondhand stores. You can still find bargains on fashion items there at a fraction of the cost, and they always get donated items, so the stock changes frequently.
Even secondhand clothing stores have sales every now and then, so you can stock up on jeans, shirts and other clothing items. There’s nothing wrong with buying used clothing. It’s good for your budget, but it’s also good for the environment, as it saves more clothes from being made in the factory.