What with the recession and with no way to make easy money, everyone is looking for the best ways to cut back on spending. It is, after all, harder to make money than to spend it, and you're likely going to find it hard on you and your family later on if you don't do some serious budgeting. Some easy ways to help you spend less on living expenses are to make use of discount coupons whenever possible and to save cash on your groceries. Here are a few tips on how you can save money on groceries:
- Create a shopping list. If you make it a habit of shopping weekly, make sure that your shopping list includes everything that you need for the coming week. Tape this list on your refrigerator door so you or a family member can easily add to it whenever someone remembers about some supplies that need to be bought. That way, you can even save on gas by not having to go on a return trip for something you might have forgotten. You should also try not to buy anything on impulse, however tempting it is, but stay with what you have on your list. Buying something you don't need simply because you found it was on sale would only make shopping even more costly for you.
- Eat before you shop. If you've already eaten a good meal at home, you're not likely to get hungry while you're out shopping, and consequently you won't be forced to buy anything outside. This is also healthier than grabbing hot dogs, burgers or fries from a fast food restaurant.
- Plan a weekly menu. You can plan a series of frugal meals and liven these up with a side dish or with desserts every weekend, or you can look at sales flyers to know what's on sale in your local grocery store so you can incorporate this into your menu. Moreover, creating a menu will help you develop your organizational skills. You can avoid meals that you've already done a lot of times before and surprise your family with some new cooking. Try out some new recipes where you can use the leftovers from the night before.
- Clean your refrigerator. You should do this as often as once a month. Defrost your freezer. Get rid of moldy vegetables and anything that has reached its expiration date. Cleaning your refrigerator would also help make putting away new groceries easier, and your refrigerator wouldn't use up as much electricity if its freezer isn't clogged.
- Do most of your shopping in one shop. If you buy most of your things from one shop, signing up for a loyalty card from that shop would ensure that you are actually earning coupons just by buying what you usually buy. There are also stores where you can get a discount card for a small membership fee, after which you can use the card to get a discount on your purchases.
Money management doesn't have to be too complicated. Already, you can save a lot of money just by following these tips.