How to save money? Where can I cut more on expenses? What can I do to save some money? Questions after questions hit your head every day and every night if you live on a shoe string. It is a constant worry for everybody in these days and age. For a single mother, it is even worst when you face the challenge of raising children on your own. I have to find ways to make ends meet. I have to be creative in what I do. So through trials and errors, I found 5 areas in my daily life where I can save some money.
Every week, flyers arrive in your mailbox whether you want it or not. Why not scan over the store advertising that you shop at, and make out a list of what is on sale? It will save you time remembering, keeping you on track, and be aware of what you buy. If you have coupons, use them, and these will add up to your savings. If you have internet, look for coupons online, print them out and take them to your market. Go to: Print Coupons. Shop for mark down meat, bread, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. They are generally not bad; they are just really close to expiration dates. Just make sure that your family can use these items before they are expired. You are not saving any money if you ended up throwing them out.
Organize your trip well. Mentally recall the route that you will be traveled on. What stores are you going to pass? Do you need to do some shopping in those stores? Instead of jumping in your car and take off every time you need something, have it map out before you get on the road can save you a bit of money spending on gasoline. I am very frugal in this aspect since gasoline is now cost an arm and a leg. I only stop at stores that were conveniently on my way there, and go to stores that were conveniently on my way back. I do not turn around or go in circles.
Paying for high prices in clothing and shoes are not an option in my house. I only shop in stores that have clearance sale. Yes, my kids are embarrassed when I told them to “hit the clearance rack and start digging”. However, it has quickly become a game for us to see who'll find the best bargain. I put a limit amount of money on every item that we buy. I usually shop at TJ Maxx, Marshall Mall, and Burlington Coat Factory for clothes. For shoes, I shop at Famous Footwear store with my free reward program card, they send me a $10.00 coupon every few month. These stores offer brand name designers at a low price that fits my pocket. Wal-Mart is my store for household supplies. They are a bit cheaper than Target, or K-Mart.
Electric, water, heat, and phone bills eat a chunk out of your income every month. For electricity, we only use one high efficiency light bulb at a time. We turn off lights in other rooms, unless someone is using it. My children learn at a very early age to turn off the light, the radio or the game when they leave the room. In the winter, we keep the heat at a comfortable degree, and wear an extra sweater if we get cold. We don't turn the heat up without putting on socks and an extra layer first. As we have all learned about how to conserve water, we apply that rule at home too. We don't run water while brushing our teeth or washing our hands. You have heard that having a bath takes less water than a shower, right? Well, do it. It will save gallons of water, which in turn, save on the energy, and resulting in saving you money. For my home phone bill, I cut it down to the core. I have no call waiting, no long distance, and no caller ID. I keep my phone on the lowest price possible since I had a year contract with DSL.
I allow my children one fast food meal, and go to one second-run theatre a week. These alone cut down on my entertainment bill to more than half. At second-run theatre, I pay only $2.00 per ticket compares to $8.00 at other theatres. Once a month, we go to a good restaurant with the money I put away for this purpose. I sign up with Block Buster online program at $10.00 a month. I get one movie mailed to me; I then take this mailer back to the store and pick out another one to watch, while waiting for the next mailer to come in the mail. This is unlimited. This too, has saved us lot of money. Instead of spending $6.00 on two new movies once a week. Well, as I wrote this article, Block Buster has just changed this rate, it's now limited to two in store movies per month. I guess they just want to hook you in, and then change their program to make more money somehow.
Look around to see where you can cut. Work it out on a piece of paper to see how much you can save a year. Sometimes, the small numbers of saving will not impress you, but if you take that numbers and multiply by 12, you will have a significant different feeling about it.
It is only numbers, but it can actually keep you on track with your budget. Living frugal is not hard if you look for ways to save or cut down. I am a single mother of three, and I am a living proof that it is possible to live on a shoe string in these days without missing much.