When tough times come knocking, that is when you understand the importance of saving for a rainy day. This has often been too late in my experience. Many people go around feeling like saving is impossible, especially when there are many mouths to feed. However, I have found several ways to save and even have fun while at it. Here are a few tips I use without even thinking about it.
Shopping every time I need something, especially groceries, forces me to focus on the urgency rather than how much I am spending. This is often the quickest way to deviate from my budget. Buying in bulk has many advantages. Aside from cutting down the grocery store trips, it also allows me to enjoy discounts on cumulative items.
One will not often think much about the coins gathered as change. However, when I collect them long enough, I end up saving more than I expected. Such coins have often appeared as my saving grace, especially when I didn’t have loose cash to spend on an urgent household item.
Gone are the days when almost everyone owned a piece of land. Although urbanization has changed how people acquire food, I use small pots and planters to plant a few herbs. This cuts down my grocery expenses since most of these herbs can also be stored or dried.
Although points collected from such cards do not count for much when few, if accumulated for a long time they become quite useful. There are days I go shopping for almost a month’s grocery plus other essentials without spending a dime thanks to loyalty bonuses.
Some problems in your house do not always call for paying an expert a lot of money to solve them. Mastering DIY skills have been quite handy for as long as I can remember. I easily create new shelves, check a leaking tap, and make other storage items by watching a few online videos. On many occasions, I have saved as much as a hundred dollars I would have otherwise paid someone to do the same job.
Utility bills can deprive one of their sleep, especially when you never saw it coming. Things like electricity expenses can easily be contained by using energy-efficient items. Instead of buying the normal 75 Watts or so bulbs for lighting, I opt for energy-saving ones. They might be more expensive, but their use saves me a lot of money in the long run.
I also find solar bulbs to be quite efficient since they cut down on electricity usage and I only bank on electricity when I have no other option.
One way that I wrongfully spent my money, especially during my first days living alone, was eating out more than I should have. Looking back, I can now see how much I spent on coffee, burgers, and fries in the name of a quick bite and convenience. That money would have bought more groceries, maybe even enough to last a fortnight instead of one day’s meal. I now pack my lunch as well instead of ordering online when I’m at work. I even find it healthier than trusting foods from restaurants.
Once I started thinking about being more efficient even with healthy eating, I discovered that fruits and vegetables are often cheaper when in season. I, however, found it hard to keep them long enough to last offseason. Learning how to preserve and freeze veggies came in handy. If I cannot freeze a fruit, I look for in-season alternatives. This way, I get the same nutrients from different fruits, no matter the time of year.
With more people getting on board with ways to preserve the environment, programs such as Recyclebank are on the rise. These programs reward people for recycling. I have been a beneficiary of such, including getting restaurant coupons and free magazines for recycling. Plastic containers do not always have to go to the recycling bin. Some come in handy when you are looking for storage items.
Don’t always spend just because you want to. Think of tomorrow and find a win-win for today’s needs.