More tips on keeping expenses down – as a single, as newly married, as married with kids…for pretty much anyone!
- Clip coupons. To be honest, I don’t do really well with coupons, but I know some that do. They save hundreds of dollars. Here are some ladies that seem to do it well.
- Skip a visit to the grocery store once a month. Dedicate yourself, just for a week, to eating what you already have at home. You might need to buy another gallon of milk or something, but I bet you’d be surprised at what you have on hand. I do this every so often and it’s great. Often times I have to grab 1-2 things for the week, but usually I have enough on hand to make spaghetti or pizza or chicken sandwiches or tacos. All stuff we love.
- Take your lunch to work one more day a week. Save $5/week? $8/week? If you make food knowing that you’ll be taking your lunch, it’s easy. I love (most) leftovers and since I have access to a microwave and refrigerator at work, it’s easy for me to do.
- Cook at home – but prepare wisely to maximize your food budget. You don’t want a lot of waste. If you plan your menu in advance and know that you want ground hamburger, you can brown as much as you’ll need for the week once. Then plan the meals that can use it – tacos, pizza, spaghetti, chili, whatever you want.
- Minimize shopping trips. It seems each time I go to the grocery store, I “remember” things that I need. All those “rememberances” add up. So, the fewer times I go, the less I usually spend.
- Review your service plans – do you use that many minutes a month? Do you really need a data plan on your cell phone? Do you really need a landline? Is it cheaper to do long distance phone calls via the cell phone vs. landline?
- Look at a family plan. Especially if you aren’t married. Alot of companies allow a family plan even if you’re not in the same household. I was on a plan with my sister and her husband for years.
- Downgrade your internet…did you know that there were different levels of speed? If you don’t need the fastest, then don’t order it. Jeff & I don’t have the fastest and he plays games online and we get Netflix over the internet to our TV and we don’t have any speed issues.
- Do you really need cable? Are you sure? Try going a month without it and see what impact it has. We don’t have cable and yes, there are a couple of shows I miss watching (TLC has some great house flipping fixer-upper shows that I liked), but I’m way okay without cable. We use Netflix and borrow DVDs from friends for our entertainment outlet.
- Cancel magazine subscriptions – especially if you can read them at the gym! Or get a magazine swap going with a friend. Find out if your favorite magazines have websites that have the same information on it. Bookmark the site.
- Invite friends over rather than going out. Have a potluck or trade off providing the meal. Or get together without a meal…just have friends over a little later in time to play games. I remember often that my mom & dad would have friends over on Friday nights to play Monopoly after us kids went to bed.
- Make the everyday stuff an event. Want to watch a Husker game and want to hang out with friends? Combine them into 1 event.