Everything costs more these days. Only a short while ago I could purchase 10 ears of corn for a dollar. Now they sell for .50 cents an ear. With the cost of just about everything on the rise the hum in the air is how do I get the most on a limited budget and eliminate debt. How much you save depends on how aggressive you are.
For budgeting and finances I turn to Mary Hunt. She writes the â€œSolutions your Moneyâ€ column in Womanâ€™s Day magazine and has her own website at debtproofliving.com
Some other great budgeting sites I use are flylady.net, budget101.com, cafemom.com, pioneerthinking.com. You can also find recipes, organization and other household tips.
When I started making a list of all the helpful tips I have learned over the years the list kept growing. This is a list I put together from tips I have used and those I have read from the websites listed above.
- Stop spending!!! Change your habits!!!
- Think hard before you buy. Do you really need it?
- If you have to impress your friends they are not really your friends.
- Eliminate the extras: cell phones, movies, cable, eating out.
- Walk more, drive less.
- Save postage by paying bills online.
- Shop thrift stores and yard sales for clothing, books and kitchen essentials.
- Buy clothing out of season when they are on sale.
- Borrow movies, books and music from the library.
- Shop the dollar store for cleaning supplies, party goods and snacks.
- Join a food co-op for cheaper groceries. Receive a box of fresh fruits and vegetables on your door step every month. Go to localharvest.org, coopdirectory.org/ or niany.com to find a co-op.
- Relax while getting a massage at a massage school.
- Cut your childrenâ€™s hair or take them to a Cosmetology school.
- Enjoy free local entertainment.
- Sell unused unwanted items on Craigslist.org, ebay, amazon, sell.com or have a yard sale.
- Have books in good condition? Go to cash4books.net or visit a local used books store to make a trade.
- Take your gently used and in perfect condition clothing to a Consignment Shop. Depending on the shop, some will give you money up front while others set up a store account.
- Turn off the electricity when not in use.
- Buy out of season: Can or freeze fruits and vegetables when in season.
- Abandon the pre-packaged foods.
- Use Coupons
- Create a Menu.
- Do not buy or use more than you need.
- Make a monthâ€™s worth of meals at once. savingdinner.com
USE WHAT YOU HAVE:
- Take care of purchases.
- Food: wrap it up, use it and freeze it.
Clothes: Wash stains out immediately. Hang dry, keeps clothes nicer longer.
Wash and dry comforters at a self service laundry mat instead of the dry cleaners.
- Turn old clothes into something new: Tote Bags, Kids clothes, doll clothes, dust rags, a quilt, photo album, pillow caseâ€¦
- Make your own: broth, lunchables, baking mixes, baby food, diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, snacks, bread.
- Grow your own garden.
- Cook more at home. Eat out less
- Brown bag it.
- Use over ripe fruit to make breads or muffins.
- If a recipe calls for egg yolks save the whites to make an omelet for breakfast.
- Use water, fresh fruits and veggies rather than the prepackaged snacks and juice boxes.
- Use fruits to flavor water: lemons, limes, unsweetened cranberry concentrate, cucumber slices, mint leaves or blueberries to flavor water.
- Use what you have on hand by creating budget meals from items in your freezer and pantry.
- Turn one meal into three.
- If your family is not fond of leftovers only make enough for that eveningâ€™s dinner.
- Freeze leftovers in individual portions using a vacuum sealer. Have a restaurant night complete with a menu listing the â€œleftoverâ€ entrees.
- Use fewer ingredients. If the recipe calls for two cans of beans ask your self, do I really need to use both cans. Same with meats, one chicken breast shredded or cubed goes a long way.
- Make a double batch and freeze it for another day when you do not feel like cooking.
- Make your own cleaning agents.