Published January 28th, 2020 by Stephanie
Living today comes with unavoidable expenses. You need to pay for a roof over your head, food on the table, furniture, clothing, medicine, and all kinds of other costs that quickly add up when you total them up. There isn’t much you can do to avoid these costs entirely, but there are many ways you can spend less money and still get what you need. Some of these techniques are about how you shop, and others are about what you shop for.
When you notice something new, or at least something new to you, you’ll often feel an urge to get it right away. Maybe it’s on sale for a limited time, maybe it looks like the store doesn’t have a large stock, or maybe you think the price looks low enough that it’s worth getting just to try it out. However, it’s a bad idea to listen to this urge if you want to be careful with your money.
Instead, you should take some time to research the product you’re interested in. Reviews can tell you whether the product is as good as it looks, and by comparison shopping you can find out that you can get it for much less at another store or online shop even if it’s “on sale” where you found it. By spending time on research, you’ll also give yourself a chance to think about whether you really want the product in the first place. Doing all this takes time, but it will keep your budget tight.
When it comes to food, there’s a balance between time spent on fixing meals, ingredient costs, and convenience. In other words, if you buy a loaf of bread from a grocery’s bakery section, it will always cost more money than if you bought just enough flour, yeast, and water to make the loaf yourself. The extra cost comes from the effort the baker put into making the loaf and the convenience of buying bread instead of making it yourself.
What this means is that if you learn how to cook and take the time to make your own meals, you’ll save money on every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cooking does demand some time, effort, and skill, but there are thousands of recipes you can find in bookstores and online that only require a little time and a few basic skills, and if you don’t have those skills you can learn them by watching online tutorials and taking some time to practice in your kitchen.
Another benefit to cooking your own meals is nutrition. A lot of processed foods are full of empty calories that fill you up without giving you any helpful vitamins or minerals. By cooking your own meals, you can avoid these processed foods and add plenty of fresh, delicious, and nutritious vegetables, healthy fats, fruits, and whole grains.
Many items like clothing and furniture can last for years or decades if you treat them well. However, people have to get rid of perfectly good furnishings and outfits for reasons like remodeling, moving house, growing children, and estate sales. That’s when people donate their belongings to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
You can take advantage of the used market and furnish your house and closet at a fraction of the cost you would pay if you bought everything new. The items you buy might not be in the best shape, but you can still get plenty of good years from a used shirt or a pre-owned couch. You should also keep an ear out in case a neighbor, friend, or family member wants to get rid of something you can use.
Prescription drugs come with an incredibly high cost in the United States. Partly this is because insurance companies are supposed to bargain these prices down, but if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover a prescription you need you can still end up paying the full cost. Fortunately, you can avoid this and get discounts for prescriptions even without insurance by getting a pharmacy discount card.
Pharmacy discount cards, such as the one offered by USA Rx, allow people to get discounts for prescriptions no matter what their insurance situation is. In fact, some discount cards can get patients a better deal than an insurance policy, and your pharmacist can choose which price to charge you for each prescription you fill. Aside from that, you should also check with the different pharmacies in your area to see which ones can offer you the best prices. The drugs are always the same, so you should always avoid paying more than you have to.
When you need to store leftovers, use plastic containers instead of disposable plastic bags. When you need jars for preservatives, wash out the glass jars that peanut butter, pasta sauce, and other products come in rather than buying a set of mason jars. If your clothes have become too worn-out to wear, you can cut them up and use them as spare rags rather than tossing them out.
The plastic bags you get from the store to hold your purchases work great as trash bag liners for the smaller trash baskets in your home.
There are a lot of perfectly good containers, clothing, and other items that we toss out after we use them once, but with a little creativity you can put them back to work. This will save you money since you won’t have to buy something else to do the job.
Living in modern-day America comes with a lot of convenience, but sometimes that convenience makes you forget about all the less expensive ways you handle things at home and at work. If you’re having budget problems or you just want to save more money every year, there are still plenty of options that will cut your spending budget without forcing you to live in an empty house on folding chairs and instant ramen.