In today’s tough economy many people are having to change their spending habits. Many households just don’t have the money to spend. This has created the need for many to learn how to live cheaply. So, how does one live cheaply?
Living cheap is easy if you’re a frugal person. However, many people don’t know how to be frugal. So here’s tips on how to live cheap that can be broken down to each of your different living expenses.
When shopping for groceries you can reduce your bill greatly by doing a little planning and smart shopping. First, you should plan your meals for the whole week or month. For example, you can plan hamburgers for one day and meatloaf for another. You can plan BBQ chicken for a day and homemade chicken and dumplings for another etc. Once you have all your meals planned and a grocery list of what you will need then the key is to shop where the items are on sale and buy in bulk. Buying a large family pack of ground beef on sale for a buy one get one free deal will allow you to make your hamburger and meatloaf cheaper. When you make one meal you can zip lock or prepare and freeze the meat for the other. One great way to save on your food bill is to grow your own garden and save on vegetables year round. If you don’t have a yard to grow a garden in you can grow vegetable pots in your windows, on your balcony, or make hanging baskets outside your home.
Utilities is usually one of the highest cost of living. Going green, saving energy and conserving water are not the only reason to watch the consumption of our resources. Saving money is the big deal for most folks to save on their utilities these days.
First, turning of all lights, appliances, and accessories when they are not in use will cut down on the power bill. In addition, what many don’t know is that certain items draw power even when they are turned off such as computers and stereos with lights. Therefore, it is best if you unplug any thing in your house that you are not using. Second, turning down your water heater a few degrees will cut down on your electric bill. Solar panels will cost in the beginning, but will save you in the long run. Additionally, if you upgrade to energy efficient appliances your electric bill will be reduced month after month.
Phone, Internet and Satellite
Many phone and satellite bills are tied together. Either way you can reduce both. If you have satellite or cable you can by reducing your packaging to the most economical and cheapest deal. If you have been a long time customer you can speak to a customer service representative and tell them you may be changing to another provider or dropping service all together and they me able to offer you a loyal customer deal to keep your business.
For your home phone service you can inquire about a local and long distance package or drop your long distance all together. If you have internet you can set your phone up through the internet doing away with a phone bill all together with a service such as magic jack. If you don’t need DSL or Satellite internet service you can reduce your internet bill by at least half just by going to dial up. Dial up is a lot slower, but more than half the price.
MORTGAGE and RENT
If you own your own home you can call your mortgage company and ask for a loan modification agreement. You must be able to show a need and that your bills are too high for your income, so this should be one of the first bills you try to reduce. If you can get a modification, then you should see if it is worth refinancing for a lower interest rate. If you rent talk to your landlord to see if there is anything you can do such as the lawn maintenance yourself to reduce your rent payment.
CLOTHING and HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
When nit comes to buying clothing and household items such as glasses and dishes you can save by shopping at a thrift store such as good will. You can often find top of the line clothing and house hold goods in great used and even new condition at a fraction of the price in retail stores. Often times people will even donate their furniture where you can pick up some good deals also. When it comes to household cleaning supplies such s toilet cleaners, kitchen, and carpet cleaners the dollars stores are the way to go. This will save you half on your cleaning supplies if not more.
When it comes to home and auto insurance there are a couple of options. First, you should get a price comparison from other companies. Then you should look over your policy and see if you need everything on your policy. For example, you may have flood insurance, but not be in a flood danger zone. You can reduce your premium by dropping that portion of the insurance.
Overall, today’s economy has hit almost everyone hard. If we go back to the old ways and start growing some of our own food, reduce our bills by getting rid of things that aren’t necessary and equip ourselves to be more energy efficient on can live cheaply.