With so many homes falling to foreclosure in this current economic turbulence, many homeowners are struggling to keep on top of their mortgage payments so keep a hold on their homes. One of the best ways to help stretch out your funds to keep abreast of your monthly payments is by cutting down your monthly costs as much as possible in those areas that you can be flexible about. Two of the biggest areas that your family can cut back on their expenses are with your grocery and transportation costs each month.
One of the biggest expenditures that families have is that of the monthly grocery bill; while it is important to keep your family well fed, there are many extras that you can easily cut back on to keep your costs down. Take the time to look through store flyers to find the best deals on pricier purchases; don’t drive all over town to save a few cents on items, but instead shop for your deals when convenient during the week. Stock up on items that have a long shelf life like canned goods; there are often good deals to be had at case lot sales on items that you will use regularly. Many fresh foods can be stocked up on as well; if you know someone with fruit trees or you can get a good deal on in-season fruit, it is easy to prep and freeze it for later use.
Try to shop around the outside edges of your grocery store where the milk, eggs, meat, and produce are. You may have to dip into the middle of the store to pick up items like basic baking supplies, cereal, canned goods, and the all-important coffee and tea; the key is resisting all the non-essential items.
For non-grocery items, like cleaners and paper products, it is most cost effective to shop at discount stores or watch for sales. Discount stores are also good for items like shampoo, razors, and sometimes prescriptions too.
Another big area that you and your family can cut back on expenses is with transportation; many families have two or more cars that they maintain and buy gas and insurance for. If you can manage it, cut back to one vehicle for the family. It’s likely that not everyone in the family needs their own car. Look into car pooling or public transit; one monthly bus pass is far cheaper than driving for a month but may be somewhat of a sacrifice in convenience.
While many money saving strategies may not be very popular in your family at first, it’s important to keep an eye on the goal here; sometimes it’s necessary to take on a temporary sacrifice in order to keep control of your finances in these turbulent economic times. Try to get your family behind the endeavour for best results and less resistance from them.