This usually the first place people look when they come on hard times. I am sure you have heard the stories of old folks, not eating or buying groceries so they could buy their medications instead. Times are hard.
I don’t know where you are but gas is running around $4.00 here and everything is impacted when gas goes up. Even if you ride the bus, take a train or walk, raising gas prices effect our everyday life. Many people are out of work, looking for jobs, or taking a pay cut.
Whether you would like to admit it or not, there’s a global recession going on, and it has impacted millions of families. People are being pink-slipped, companies are foundering, and even a few state governments are completely broke.
Finding ways to save money and trim down on your spending can help you during this rocky economic period. Saving money is always good, just it is a skill that becomes particularly crucial during a recession.
How can you save money during a recession? It’s all about planning, cutting off frivolous costs, and modifying the ways you spend money.
Here are few easy tips you can use to help you save on groceries:
1. Save Money on groceries. Groceries are a huge, yet necessary, expense. After the bills are paid, most of the budget will fall into the groceries category.
· Buy generic instead of name brands. They typically taste just as good but cost less.
· Buy non-perishable foods in bulk. Numerous items can be bought in bulk such as rice, canned foods, and frozen foods.
· Never shop on an empty stomach. Eat at home before grocery shopping; otherwise, you will end up buying more junk and convenience foods because you’re hungry.
· Make a list of what you need and stick to it. It really is that simple! Thousands of dollars are wasted just because we do grocery shopping on a whim. Be prepared this is a never-ending battle at the grocery store. And if you have kids it is even more important to stress to them you are getting what is on the list.
· Buy the Sunday Paper – Cut and use coupons. 10 for $10 deals and sale items are your friends. Combining coupons with sales can cut down your grocery bill even more.
· Avoid shopping at high-priced stores, even if it’s closer to home. Rather, go a couple of miles out of the way for the discount grocery stores. Almost all of the items in these store are exactly the same thing, other than the lower price tag.
· Make use of leftovers. Wasting food is never good. Plan ahead what you can make with your leftovers.
More ways to save during Hard Times
2. Pay important bills first. The mortgage, electricity, water and heat have to be paid no matter what.
3. Rent movies rather than going out. Have a movie night once a week. Sit down with some popcorn (not the $6.75 or more you pay at the theatre) and watch a movie. This is a nice way to spend quality family time, without much expense.
4. Put the credit card down. Credit purchases may get your “stuff” now, but you’ll pay double for it later. If you want something, save up and pay cash or wait.
5. Cook at home. If you go out to eat two or three times a week, cut back to once every two weeks or once a month. Instead, learn to cook at home. If you plan ahead and cook in quantities, you’ll save time and money by popping the extra portions into the freezer.
6. Unplug. If there are things in your house plugged into the wall and you aren’t using them, unplug them. Many items, like computers and phone chargers, draw electricity whether they’re on or not. Plug it in when you need it, then unplug it when you’re done.
7. Lower your thermostat. Set your thermostat at a specific temperature and leave it there. 68 to 70 is an energy-saving setting in the winter. If you get chilly, put on a sweater or grab a blanket. You’ll save more than you realize on your heating bills.
These are just some of the many ways to save money and stretch your dollar a bit further during these challenging times. These tips require a change to your habits, which can take some getting used to. In time, however, you’ll adjust and the money you save can make a big difference in your budget.
It’s important to stick with your plan to save money. Making a change for a week won’t do the trick. Committing to changing bad habits for good will reap the greatest benefits in the long run.
How do you save on groceries? Share your tips here.