-Cook meals at home instead of eating out. This not only saves money per serving, but it also saves on the gas needed to reach the restaurant.
-Take your lunch to work one more day a week than you do now. Eating out at lunch is fun, so it is hard to eliminate it completely, but taking lunch just one more day a week will keep money in your pocket.
-Plan out a weekly menu. This is the best way to ensure your grocery list is complete, and that you have enough to serve your family dinner for the week.
-Have a budget when you go to the grocery store. Then try your best to stick within that limit. If you don’t know how much you can spend, you’ll certainly spend too much. Keep a running tally as you shop to ensure that you’re within your budget.
-Keep a grocery list on your refrigerator door. Whenever you use an item, write it on the list; then don’t forget to take the list to the store.
-Buy your veggies and fruits from the local farmer’s market. If you are unable to buy fresh, then frozen is the next best thing.
-Don’t waste leftovers. Keep a list on your refrigerator door of what leftovers are in there, so you don’t forget about them. Plan a leftover night or two, so you’re sure to eat them all. Pack them immediately for lunch, so they’re ready to take to work the next morning.
-Get your books from the library. I love books and read every day. While I buy some of the books I read, most come from the library, or from friends. Simply put, it is hard to beat free.
-Get DVDs from the library or rent online. Many libraries now have movies on DVD that can be check out. If you must rent DVDs, an online service like Netflix or Blockbusters will send DVDs to your home with no late return fees.
-Read magazines at the library or online. Too many magazines can cost a fortune, and how many times have you bought a magazine based on the cover and been disappointed by the lack of substance. At the library you can read magazines for free. Also, many magazines how offer their content for free online.
-Subscribe to magazines that are must-reads. If you must have a certain magazine each month, subscribe. Subscriptions offer substantial savings over the cost at the newsstand.
-Never pay checking account fees. I hate bank fees, and with so many free checking account plans available, there’s no reason to pay a fee. And if the bank happens to charge you one, ask them to reverse the fee or take your business to another bank.
-Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. They do take some getting used to, and they won’t work in every fixture, but use them where it makes sense and save energy and money.
-Buy generic over-the-counter medicines. As a retired Registered Nurse, I can tell you these are exactly the same as their branded counterparts and cost less.
These are just a few of the money saving tips for an average family. There are numerous sources on the Internet that can offer even more tips. The main thing is to do what is right for your family.
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