For the past few years, if you’ve been watching your budget, reducing spending and increasing savings, you’re not alone. You likely don’t need the news reports to confirm what’s going on around you. Practically everyone has taken some cost-cutting measures.
Even if you feel positive about your current spending and savings habits, there’s always room for tightening your belt just a bit more. Whether you want to put just a bit more toward retirement, your child’s education fund, or set aside money to fund a vacation this summer, those extra dollars you save can work for you in amazing ways.
Here are some ideas for ways you can further tighten your belt – without making yourself or your family feel the pinch:
Buy in bulk and stockpile: Your local club store or bulk sales store can be your best friend when it comes to saving on groceries. Items like paper products, detergent, meat and vegetables can yield big savings when purchased in bulk. Dry items and canned goods can easily be stockpiled in the pantry, garage or even a closet.
Veg out: Yes, it really can be cheaper in the long run to eat vegetarian. A meal made with grains like pasta or rice, and veggies – whether canned or frozen – can stretch further and be more cost-effective that feeding the family steaks.
Cheap out on gas: While avoiding store brands may be a point of pride or question of quality when you shop for groceries, there’s no shame at all in cheaping out on gas. Use websites like www.gasbuddy.com to find the lowest prices in your area. If the discount is several pennies per gallon, it may well be worth driving an extra mile out of your way to fill the tank. Don’t pump premium unless your vehicle’s user manual specifically calls for it. Unless your engine is high performance, regular is just fine – and less costly.
Belt tightening has become a way of life for many of us. Hopefully, these extra ideas will help you take your savings up another notch.