How To Save Money on Food, Clothing and Household Furnishings
In order to successfully save money, you must first make a commitment to yourself to do so. Planning a budget is the first step. A budget is a simple plan for spending your money and it is mandatory for success. A budget helps you see where your money is going. If you are already on a budget, and still living paycheck to paycheck, then you have two choices. You can either reduce your overall spending, or find a way to supplement your income. For most of us, cutting expenses is preferable to finding supplementary work. How can we spend less money on life’s necessities such as food, clothing, and household furnishings? There are many ways to reduce spending. Whether you are single, a single parent, or married with children, a few regular shopping habits could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year. First, we will focus on food. We all have to eat, but we could spend considerable less on groceries.
Save Money on Food
Take your lunch, drink and snacks to work every day.
Eating out for lunch for to per day will cost you between 0 and 0 a month. It is much cheaper, and probably healthier, to take sandwiches and fruit to work to eat for lunch. You could also cook large meals for dinner and have leftovers for lunch. Also, avoid soda machines at work. Instead, buy soft drinks by the case from the grocery store, or purchase a large thermos to fill with your favorite beverage. This applies to the snack machine as well. You will save at least dollars.
Clip savings coupons from newspapers and magazines.
The money you save on items that you normally purchase will far exceed the amount of time you spend clipping coupons. There is a coupon for almost every food product on the market. If you use the coupons when the product is already on sell you will double your savings. You may even end up getting the product free.
Buy staple foods in bulk.
You will get more for your money buying in bulk. Consider buying rice, pasta, dry beans, flour, sugar and long lasting food items in larger packages. Also purchase household products such as bathroom tissue, soap, and washing powder in bulk.
Use powdered milk instead of whole milk.
Powdered milk is cheaper and it will not spoil; mix it as you need it. Once you become accustomed to the taste of powdered milk you will not notice a difference. If you simply do not like the taste, then use powdered milk in recipes. You will save a little and every penny counts.
Choose a hot breakfast instead of cold cereals or doughnuts.
Oatmeal, grits, toast and fruit are healthy and reasonably priced food items. Even a bowl of hot soup makes a nutritious, inexpensive breakfast. Cereals and doughnuts are expensive and usually contain a lot of sugar. If you drink coffee, buy a coffee machine and a travel mug for coffee on the run. Why pay a cup when you could pay 25 cents a cup?
Eat more vegetables, rice and bread, and eat less red meat.
Red meat is expensive. You will save big bucks buy eating more chicken and fish, which are a much cheaper source of protein than steak. Likewise, try having a meatless dinner twice a week. Your health will benefit in addition to your wallet.
Save Money on Clothing.
Never buy clothing that you do not need just because it is on sale.
As a matter of fact, do not go to the mall if you do not need clothes. The temptation to buy something might overwhelm you. In order to save money, we simply cannot afford to spend money on things we do not need.
Consider buying good quality items from thrift stores and consignment shops.
Put your pride aside. You can get great deals for your dollar at used clothing stores. After washing or dry cleaning, used clothing could look brand new. You are helping the environment and moving closer to your goal of saving money.
Hand wash delicate items.
Washing machines add wear and tear to clothing. This is especially true for delicate items such as lingerie. Hand wash all delicate clothes so they will last longer.
Wear tights during the winter season instead of stockings or pantyhose.
A good pair of tights will last the entire season, but stockings may need to be replaced each week due to runs. Moreover, tights will keep your legs warmer in cold weather.
Get your shoes repaired.
Do not toss out a great pair of shoes because the heels are damaged. Get them repaired and avoid buying a new pair. If you take the bus or subway to work, wear jogging shoes and change into your work shoes upon arrival.
Save Money on Household Furnishings
Purchase used furniture
Garage sales and thrift stores are great places to find high quality bargains for reasonable prices. Check the newspaper for moving sales in your area. You will be surprised by the deals you will find.
Take care of the furniture you already own.
Do not use your living room sofa as a table. If you do, cover it with a blanket so that it does not get food stains.
Do not replace the dining room table just because of a few bumps and scrapes.
Give the table a makeover with a new tablecloth and center piece. See how much money you just saved.
If your bed is uncomfortable, buy a new mattress, not a bedroom set.
Purchase a comforter if your bedroom needs a new look. Even a used comforter could do the trick. Some people are not willing to purchase used comforters, but we all sleep on used comforters each time we stay at a fancy hotel.
A Few Final Tips for Saving Money
Learn to do your own manicures and pedicures
Borrow magazines from the library or get a subscription instead of buying them at the store. This applies to books and DVDs.
Do not take exercise classes or buy a fitness club membership. You can walk, run and do sit-ups free. You can even borrow an exercise DVD from the library and get a good workout in your living room.
Never pay for things you do not need and do not pay others to do things for you that you could do for yourself.
Money in the Bank
Saving money takes self-discipline. You must be willing to make a commitment to save. You only reach the destination of financial security by habitually saving money every day along the journey. Diligently saving even a few dollars a day will result in thousands of dollars in savings over a few years. The road towards wealth begins with a penny.