Create a budget
If you want to be able to know how much money you have to spend on groceries and household items you are going to have to create a budget. This is will also help you understand where your money is going each month. It might also be helpful to create tacking sheets to track how much you are spending and where through out the month – similar to balancing your checkbook – only budgeting a certain amount for each category and trying to stay within that amount. Tracking these expenses as you go will ultimately help you reach your goal.
Cut down on eating out
Most people don’t realize how much money they truly spend on eating out and getting convenience foods/snacks. If your budget is really limited you need to really watch what you are spending and where. You might spend $20 eating out and that could have provided your family with three or four home cooked meals. If you don’t have much time for cooking, break out your slow cooker and take advantage of crock pot freezer meals.
Plan a menu
This is really going to save you time and money no matter how you look at it. Not only does planning a menu give you a grocery shopping list but it also cuts down on the “what are we eating tonight?” dilemma. Having a menu allows you to buy everything you will need for that week and then you can prepare it and have a great family home cooked meal. This is also a great way to get your family involved in the process. Have them help plan, shop for, and cook the meals.
Shop the sales and use coupons
This is not for everyone but it is not as daunting as it seems either. With very little effort you can easily save 50% or more on groceries and household items as opposed to what you are spending now (probably at Walmart). I vary rarely go into a Walmart and even more rare are the times I will buy food. There are simply better deals and stores with better prices on EVERYTHING, not just a few items. If you have the choice, look at other stores ads BEFORE you head to Walmart.
Cut out unnecessary expenses
A simple and effective way to cut your monthly spending is to evaluate where your money is going. Do you really NEED to spend $100 a month on cable? I will tell you a secret, we don’t even have cable. We get dozens of channels for free through our HDTV and the rest we get from Netflix. If we cant find what we want from either of those we head to our local library to rent it for FREE! We setup our phone plans so they are no contract and month to month with a $50 unlimited plan. We haven’t regretted it once. Its cheaper and has better features than what we were paying more for before. Point is that regardless of what you are paying now, call them and see if they have something better to offer. Cut down where you can and put all that money into savings or towards debt.
This is a guest post by Coralie from UtahCouponDeals