Does it feel like, no matter how accurate you think your family budget is, that you just don’t have enough?
Do you feel like you’re constantly living paycheck to paycheck?
I understand how you feel. Though we do manage just fine and make ends meet, there were times that I just had to wonder how we were going to get through the month. Of course, the priority was making sure that the kids had enough to eat and that we had other household essentials taken care of.
It’s a stressful way of life but one that many of us are used to.
But what can we do about it? Sure, we can make a budget and then hope that everything works itself out. We could start couponing or growing our own food in our garden. We can also look for other ways to save money on household essentials.
It is a good idea to be aware of the amount of money that we spend on items that are needed on a regular basis.
When times are tough, it is this knowledge that can help us to survive on less income than usual, which can help in a big way if we do it consistently. Here are some tips on ways you can cut the cost of your food and household goods bill.
Create a Budget
If you don’t keep track of what is coming in and out of your home, it will be very difficult to understand what is a reasonable amount to spend on your groceries and household goods. Keep a budget and know what you are able to put towards these items each month. Stick within your budget as best as you can.
Write Down Everything You Spend
Keep track of every penny that leaves your home and wallet. Keep a list on a piece of paper that stays in your wallet, or one on your smartphone. Don’t forget to use it each and every time you shop. This goes hand in hand, I think, with creating a budget. But it could be a good idea to do a “live track” of sorts when you’re out and about.
Don’t just throw away the flyers that you find in your mailbox. Sometimes you can find some great deals. Flyers are also an easy way to shop in several stores and to compare prices without much effort. Make a game plan of where you will shop and when, according to who has the best deals on each week.
Don’t overlook those coupons.
They may seem more bother than they are worth, but some individuals become quite skilled in their coupon planning and learn to save large amounts of money. Even if you never end up with the reputation of an “extreme” coupon shopper, you can save money on both food and household goods with just a little bit of planning.
Buy in Bulk
When grocery shopping, check the bulk bins to see if you can get merchandise at a lower price. Check out wholesale clubs, because you can often save money when purchasing both groceries and other items there. Sometimes these clubs also have coupons for big ticket items, which makes the savings multiply.
Have a “Buy It Next Time” Rule
Unless you are buying something that is a necessity, make a rule that you will never purchase an item the first time you see it. This can cut down on the kind of impulse buying that is tempting for almost everyone to indulge in. When you see something you like, make a choice to wait until the next time you come back to buy it. You may find that most things you are supposedly desperate to have are completely forgotten by the next shopping trip.
Do Not Shop Unless Necessary
If you don’t want to be tempted to spend money, don’t put yourself in the line of fire. This means not going to the shopping mall when you are trying to save money. Avoid any place that you are regularly tempted to spend the cash you are trying to save.
Saving money is a sacrifice and difficult at times, but you can make it more manageable and even fun by putting together a strategy and sticking to it. By implementing some new rules in your shopping, you can save your hard-earned money.
Do a little or a lot, and you will reap reward from your efforts.