These days, making the family budget work is an art form in itself. Let’s be honest, times are getting hard and we are all starting to feel it. There are times when it seems that no matter how much money you save, there is nothing left from your paycheck at the end of the month. This mainly due to extraneous and unforeseen expenses such as medical bills.
Slashing the family budget is a daunting task where the end product is frustrating. Some have tried bundling their services, cutting back on extras such as movies and eating out, and some are beginning to see the wisdom in clipping coupons. As much as the above mentioned can help the family budget, some of us are going a step further in our endeavors to save a buck.
7 Ways to Help a Person Save a Buck
Remove the phantom charges. Did you know that when you leave your appliances (computer included) plugged into the electrical socket, they still consume electricity? You can reduce your electricity charges by 10%, simply by unplugging the kitchen appliances, tv, and computer.
Buy food staples in bulk. Learn from businesses, they save more money buying in bulk than they would buy individual products. Use what you can and store the rest for another day. Due to the increasing food prices, it’s a positive way to buy your food staples at the most economical price. This is a great time to start an emergency food supply . Foods such as flour, sugar, oatmeal, and popcorn can be bought in bulk quantities at discounted prices. Alternatively, consider expanding the garden and growing some of your food staples .
Create a rotating refrigerator – Just like rotating your stored preps  every 6 months, rotate perishable food items in the refrigerator. Foods such as produce, eggs, and meat every week. If no one has eaten the fresh fruit or vegetables you bought last week, dehydrate it and store it for another time. Each household wastes close to $600 a year on spoiled food. Start making an effort to cut down on this.
Go Vegetarian a few nights a week. Who said that you have to have meat with every meal? Buying meat for every meal is expensive. Making a few vegetarian dinners will save you money. For instance, make a vegetarian pizza. It’s filling and healthy. Or make use of those beans and make a vegetarian chili!
When you do buy meat, make sure it’s on sale: When you see deals for meat, buy them and do one of these tricks to and save it for a rainy day:
- Freezing meat in a marinade can be enjoyed at a later time, as well as be a lifesaver on those days that get away from you.
- On weekends, my family enjoys eating buttermilk pancakes. I always make an extra batch and freeze them for weekday breakfasts when we are running late.
- Another way of saving time is to freeze a crockpot meal. Adding some vegetables, meat, rice or potatoes and spices and freezing it will save 20 minutes in preparation time. Just take it out of the freezer and put it into the crockpot and voila!
- Another easy solution to free up time is to take frozen vegetables and add a cheese sauce or a herbed butter sauce and freeze it for another time.
Homemade is better tasting and cheaper. Let’s be honest, a lot of the products we buy are to make our lives easier but can be costly. Find ways to make it yourself. For instance, make your own granola mix to make for healthy snacks. This can later be made into granola bars, cereal or yogurt toppers. Another easy snack to make is homemade fruit leathers. The kids love them and they are healthy. It’s a win-win situation!
Do-it-yourself. Start simplifying  your finances by doing things yourself. Mow the lawn yourself, fix the plumbing and wash the car by yourself. There are great how-to articles, as well as helping neighbors who would be more than willing to help you out if you need some pointers.
Go solar! Some of us can’t afford all the solar gadgets, but that shouldn’t stop you from harnessing the power of the sun. Dry your laundry outside on lines to save money on the electricity bill. Furthermore, doing your dishes by hand will cut down on the electricity used by the dishwasher.