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Frugality

Financial Freedom And The Grocery Store

One of the biggest expenses that we all face is food.  While it isn’t a good idea to stop eating to save money, there certainly are some great tactics that you can use at the grocery to make sure you don’t spend too much.

Watch for Sales

Some items, especially canned and long lasting products, can be purchased in bulk when on sale.  This can save you from spending a fortune on product by buying them at full price.  Additionally, it is always a good idea to glance over your grocery store ad to see what is on sale.  It can even help when making a plan for the week to have the ad nearby.  Remember that if you buy sale items that you won’t use, you aren’t getting a good deal no matter how low the prices are.

Don’t Fall Prey to Tricks

Grocery stores have a few tricks up their sleeve to make you spend more.  If your store uses these tactics, it doesn’t mean that items aren’t a good price.  You really just need to pay attention and determine what you need.  One common trick is to list items as 2 for $5 or 3 for $12.  Most of the time, you can buy just one and still get the same sale price.  Just because they say 10 for $10 doesn’t mean you need to buy 10.  Decide what you can use and then buy that amount.  Also it is wise to calculate the price per item to make sure you really are getting a good deal.

Store Cards

Many stores require you to sign up for their store card to get their advertised prices.  It only takes a few minutes and can really save a lot of money.  Sign up for these cards.  If you really don’t want  a card, many states will require the stores to honor the lower prices without a card upon request.  Talk with your grocery store and see what they can do.

Figure Out What You Actually Need

Sadly, if you don’t plan, you can end up throwing your grocery budget into the trash.  Food is perishable and if you buy things you aren’t going to eat, you are wasting money.  Honestly consider how much produce, fresh meat and other perishable products you will use before they expire.  It is usually best to buy less than you think you will need, since inevitably things come up.  You will probably end up eating out or going to dinner at a friend’s so buy a little less than you might need to reduce waste.  Use perishable items first to keep them from spoiling.

These few tips will help keep your budget in line at the grocery store.  Often, by just buying what you need and not wasting, you save quite a bit on groceries without even having to change your eating habits.

How do you save money at the grocery store?

 

Frugality

Save Money On Your Cellphone Bill

student rate

Sometimes all you have to do for a deal is ask. But a lot of companies are cutting back on deals and sprint is no exception. I called them up several different times a just asked “Is there any deal I can get on my plan” and they always told me no.

So what I did is look around the net for any site that could get me a percentage of my bill cut off. I then stumbled onto Student Rate. They can get you a bunch of discounts at different places. For instance, with sprint it will give you 15% off your monthly bill, for AT&T and T-mobile it’s 10%. They have many other discounts available.

The only catch is you must have an email address from a school. You don’t actually have to be going to the school but you have to be able to access the account.

I use it to save the 15% off my sprint bill and it adds up. Try it today.

What site do you use to get discounts?

 

Frugality

Start Saving Money Around the House with These Techniques

Organizing your general household expenses is usually the first step to creating healthier finances. Whether you need to rein in your spending, pay off debts or save for a vacation, you need to examine what you currently spend in order to change it. While you might spend money on going out and treating yourself, the majority of your money will go on household expenses. If you track everything you spend, you can identify places where you can cut back and create more to either save or spend on other things. Start getting your finances in order with these tips for household spending.

Create a Budget

In order to find the places where you can reduce your costs, you first need to find out how much you spend and what you spend it on. To create a list of your expenses, it’s a good idea to use a spreadsheet, or perhaps some accounting software. Have a look at your bank statements and receipts so you can itemize everything you spend. Try to do it for more than one month so that you can get a better idea for expenses that might not occur regularly. When you know what you spend and where, you can start looking at the places where you want to cut back.

Saving money

GotCredit

Go Green

One of the best ways of saving money at home is by being more environmentally friendly. Your bills for heating, water and electricity can be extremely high if you don’t watch what you use. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can reduce the amount that goes on your bills every month. For example, you can take measures so that you don’t have to turn on your heating or air conditioning so soon or put them on as high a setting. They range from large things like insulating your home to smaller ones like putting on a sweater before you turn the thermostat up. You can save electricity by switching to energy-saving light bulbs and low-energy appliances. Water is easy to save too, by cutting back on dishwasher and washing machine use, and watching your habits in the bathroom.

Reduce Your Rent or Mortgage Payments

If you want to try to find a more substantial way to save, you can look at the amount you spend on your home. It’s very likely that your rent or mortgage payments are your largest expense, so reducing them could save you a substantial amount each year. If you rent, try looking around for cheaper rental homes. If you’re paying off a mortgage, negotiating with your lender could lead to reduced payments in some situations.

Plan Your Meals

Food is another major cost, so be careful about how you buy it. You could be spending far too much by doing several small shopping trips every week. If you plan your meals and snacks at the beginning of the week, you can make a single shopping list. With your cupboards full of everything you need, you can resist spending extra on bits and bobs.

There are plenty of ways you can save money around the house. Even if you think you can’t cut back any more than you have, taking a closer look at your finances could help you.

Frugality

Making the Most of Spare Change

When you are one step away from being broke, it takes perseverance to keep your emotional spirits high, but also a little more. Once in a while, you need to treat yourself so that you do not get too down about your state of being. It might seem crazy to do so when you are struggling to make ends meet, but your emotional well-being is incredibly important. If you are feeling depressed, your decisions will not be beneficial to your long-term health.

But how can you afford to treat yourself when you are so close to the edge of financial insolvency? You need to find ways to get the same results of a big splurge with very little expense. It is going to take a little finagling, but with a little bit of research and dedication, you can treat yourself regularly while still sticking to your budget.

There are new services coming out all the time that will help you find the best deals on things you love. One such service is Groupon’s new Business Page service. In addition to being able to see a business’ basic information, like operating hours, location, and contact information, you can also preview the full menu. This goes a long way- once you step foot in a place you are less likely to leave and try somewhere else. If you only get to go out once in a great while, you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth and not feeling forced to eat somewhere just because you have already entered the building. You want to eat there because they offer exactly what you want.

What is more, Groupon’s new Business Page service helps you find the best deal on exactly what you are looking for. You are able to see coupons and discounts right on each business page whenever they are available. These coupons and discounts are updated regularly, so once you have found a place you are interested in, be sure to check back regularly to optimize your savings potential. In addition, you are shown surrounding businesses that might interest you. Those businesses might be food-related, or they could also show you complementary activities in the area. For example, you might decide that with your dinner out you would like to catch a movie, going for broke on this one splurge a month. Well, you don’t have to go broke! Groupon’s Business Pages will show you a nearby theater and all applicable discounts and coupons. If movies are not your thing, you are also shown things like nearby spas, adventure parks, bowling alleys… you get the picture. The best part is it will show you what the average cost is at each surrounding business, so no need to wonder how much a plate there would set you back.

Trying out a new service like this will save you cash in the long run. It is important to maintain your emotional well-being while going through this tough time. Even if it seems imprudent, treat yourself once in a while. You deserve it.

Frugality

Don’t Let Frugality Take Over Your Life

For many people, finding ways to cut costs is essential for surviving a recession.  Many people take frugality to heart, but it is possible to go overboard.  Some people end up making sacrifices that don’t end up helping them in the long run.  Here are some things that you should think about before you become too obsessive about saving money:

  1. You don’t want to pay more by being frugal. This sounds counterintuitive, but many people feel that they can’t pass up a sale.  They end up hoarding or wasting many items they will never use.  Sales are great, but they work against you when they trick you into buying something you would never want otherwise.
  2. You compromise your ethics. We need to do what we can to get through the recession.  However, you need to know where to draw the line.  There are more important things than saving money.  Some people try to mooch off their friends who are even worse off than they are.  Others will do anything short of shoplifting from a goodwill store to get by.  We are in the middle of recession, but we haven’t devolved back to the Dark Ages.  Things aren’t so bad that you need to lie, cheat or manipulate people to be frugal.
  3. You put your health at risk. Do you eat foods that are past their expiration dates because you can’t stomach the thought of throwing them out?  These are choices that you need to cut out of your life right now.  Saving 80 cents on a can of beans is not worth a trip to the emergency room (especially if you don’t have health insurance).
  4. You forget the value of your time. I have heard stories of people who will literally clip coupons for hours on end.  After thirty hours worth of work, they may be able to find a hundred dollars worth of coupons off of products they intend to buy.  Surely, their time is worth more than three dollars an hour.  If you’re unemployed, it makes more sense to spend those hours trying to find a job.  If you have a job, it would make more sense to work overtime, pick up shifts or even a second job than to spend that much time cutting coupons.  What about your family?  Surely, your time with them is more important than a handful of coupons.
  5. You no longer find pleasure in life. Working on small budget doesn’t mean that you have to become depressed.  Sure, you need to make major changes when you have a new budget, but your budget needs to include pleasurable activities in your life.  It isn’t healthy to give up your social life or stop indulging yourself once in a while to save a few bucks here and there.  Just know what you can afford to spend and let other people know that you can’t get carried away if you go out.

Frugality is meant to make your life better.  Ideally, you would be able to cut costs without comprising too much of your happiness.  You need to assess your lifestyle and know if you are making unhealthy decisions just to save money.  Saving is great, but don’t go overboard.

Kalen Smith writes advice on insurance, finance and similar topics for the Homeowners Insurance Blog.