In an effort to help you get out of debt I have come up with some ideas to help you do just this. I am sure there are many more and I would love for you to comment on what you have done to save money so you can pay down your debt.
- Cook at home often: If both the husband and wife work, this is likely to be very difficult. Try once and week and move to more days from there. I have found if I sit down with my wife on Sunday evening before we go to bed and plan out what to cook for the week it is easier to cook at home. This reiterates the need to have some food storage. Having food available makes it easier to plan out meals. Knowing the meals in advance and posting them will allow whomever comes home first to start making dinner knowing the food is already available.
- Brown bag lunch at least a few days a week: We can use lunch to engage and network but it comes at a cost. Try bringing your lunch with the leftovers from dinner to help save money. Lunches can easily exceed $10 a day. Twice a week is $1000.
- Make a list before going shopping: Without a list you will buy items that you simply do not need. Even worse is when your forget to purchase the actual item you came to the store for in the first place. If you plan on cooking at home, pre-plan a rough menu and make a list before you go grocery shopping. Even better is to continue to store food then when you go to the store you are only getting what is on sale and what you need, thus avoiding impulse buys.
- Buy in bulk whenever possible: When it comes to non-perishable items, buy in bulk whenever you find something on sale. For such items, shopping at warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club etc can save you quite a bit of money, provided you stick strictly to your shopping list when you shop at these places. My wife uses coupons and shops when the item we need is on sale. Thus she is double dipping.
- Pay off debt: Like beating a dead horse around here. Having some extra money will allow you to pay off this behemoth. Never to look back.
- Borrow instead of buy, use thrift stores: This can be for books, rental tools, neighbors tools, holiday clothing. Thrift stores are great for finding those costumes you use once. Don’t be ashamed, many people throw out good jeans and shirt at thrift stores. Often they can be bought at $1.
- Think before you buy: Many of the things you want to buy do not seem all that necessary. Wait at least 48 before you buy. Check prices. Decide if something else can take its place. Is it really needed or do you just want it.
- Keep your car as long as possible: Pay cash for your car and keep it 10 years. Continue to make a car payment to your savings account. When you have repairs you can use this account. When you feel you need a new car you will have enough cash to buy it. Along with this is do regularly scheduled maintenance. Do not skimp on or forget to do regular oil changes. Remember to check the air in your tires often. These small acts can significantly lengthen the life of your car, giving you years of use. I have a diesel truck with 250,000 miles on it and it runs like a champ. Maintenance is key
- Toss spare change into a glass jar . I save about $200-300 a year by putting spare change in a glass. We use it for Christmas presents every year. This is a great way to save for things without actually having to do much of anything.
- Use sales and coupons. Using sales and coupons along with copy canning will save tons. Buying only what you need of things which are on sale is the way we shop. We go to the store only to buy fresh items we do not store. We will spend about $600 a month for a family of 5
- Plant a garden. Here is a freebie. Having a garden is like printing food. It costs almost nothing for seeds and provides a summers worth of food. It is fresh and oh so good for you. It is also part of your preps.
What are some other things you have done to save money?
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother