If you are looking for simple ways to save money during tough economic times you may want to look at the three categories that are the easiest to overspend in. You can also look for creative ways to lower your utilities. Most people can easily save money on their food, entertainment, and transportation budgets without too much work. Trimming your spending in these three categories can make a big difference in your budget’s bottom line, and may not take as much effort as you think it will.
Trim Money on Your Food Category
Your grocery budget is one area where it is easy to trim money. If you eat out a lot, you can save two or three hundred dollars a month, by cutting back on how much you spend each month. You can also save money by cooking more from scratch each month. If you struggle with making food each night when you get home from work you have a few options available to you. You can make meals on the weekend and freeze dinner size portions to eat. If you make three meals on Saturday, with two portions for each you can rotate through a variety of meals through out the month.
Another option is to form a food co-op. This could happen in several different ways. You could gather together at each other’s homes a few nights a week, and eat dinner together. The host would cook the meal, and then eat at the other’s homes later on in the week or month. This allows you to cook larger portions, which is less expensive and gives you a good variety of food to eat each month. Another way to do this is to have a meal exchange. You cook several batches of the same meal, and exchange them with the people in your group.
Changing the way that you plan your meals and shop will make a big difference in how much you spend each month. Take time at the beginning of the month to write out a menu that you plan to follow. You can use food in your pantry, as well as look at the sales papers to do this. If you use the meat you currently have in your freezer you can take advantage of sales on the meat in the next month.
Bulk buying can save you money, and you can split the item and the cost with a friend or roommate to take advantage of the savings. You may want to look at different stores to shop at as well, so that you can Using a list, shopping the sales and using coupons are all easy ways to save money on your groceries. Just remember that spending a little extra on a mix or easy to prepare meal is still cheaper than buying ingredients for a meal you will not make and you still end up eating out.