How You Can Stretch Your Budget When Times are Tight

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Money is a large part of the focus of our daily lives. We work long hours for it and we try to spend it wisely. There are times we splurge with our money, and other times that we have to be frugal. Tightening the belt isn’t always easy.

Below are some ideas to help your pennies go a little further when times get tough.

Plan your Meals

We all do it. Order delivery, grab fast food on the way home, or go out to dinner. Ordering out is a luxury that we can often cut when our budget gets a little stressed. Plan quick and inexpensive meals over impulsive restaurant buys and you’ll surely save a pretty penny. A meal of spaghetti and garlic bread, for example, can feed a family of four for around $4.00. Can you say the same for your favorite fast food restaurant or pizza joint? Probably not. Prefer a meatier option? Throw a pork roast in the crock pot and add a side of potatoes for a filling meal at about $10.00, and you’re still making out better than your local pizzeria.

Buy Store Brands

Often times we end up overspending on items because of their brand name. The truth of the matter is that store brands offer similar quality at a fraction of the price. Is there really a big difference between name brand pasta and store brand pasta? If you were to buy all name brand ingredients for your spaghetti dinner you would spend about twice as much as compared to store brands.  Don’t pay for brands. Pay for food. Get the most out of your grocery budget by purchasing store brands when possible.

Shop the Sales

Sign up for online newsletters for your favorite stores. Online retailers and grocery stores will send you information about sales. You can use that knowledge to net yourself some savings. If you plan your meals, as suggested above, use the current fliers to decide what to make this week. If beef and tomatoes are on sale at your local store have a taco night, and later in the week spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce. For clothing and accessories, watch your inbox for stores that are having special sales. Some stores offer up to 40% discounts in their newsletters.

Use Loyalty Cards

Membership has its privileges, as they say. Many of these same groceries and stores have loyalty programs that offer perks. Use your loyalty cards in combination with sales and watch your savings increase. Stack as many coupons, savings and deals as you can. For members, AAA discounts can be found at many places, such as hotels, car shops, even pharmacies. Don’t forget to bring your card and ask everywhere if they offer savings to AAA members.

Research and Compare Providers

Household bills are another area of our budget that can be tightened up. Do a little online research and find out if any of your service providers are offering specials to new customers. This goes for all your services, including satellite TV. Check out the website for Satellitetv-deals.com for more information. You may find a better deal and save money by switching. It also never hurts to ask. Many companies will offer some incentive to keep you as their loyal customer.

Review the sales flier, take your loyalty card to your local market, and buy store brand products for your dinner tonight. Then check online for deals that can save you money on your utility and household bills. Tighten up your spending in these little ways and you’ll soon be back on track.

 

Brooke

I'm busy diving into motherhood stilettos-first while earning a modest living from my couch. I have an obsession with baking and a passion for handmade products. Connect with me on Google+.

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