All of us are well aware the Nasty and Ugly Recession is upon us. No one can ignore the ravaging ruins it has inflicted on many families and will continue to inflict on many more. Thus, it is a good measure for us to be careful with the use of our money,
The article posted below is taken from ‘Shine'(Yahoo). The tips are plain but are totally applicable in everyone’s life. We can adapt them…….. to suit our saving needs.
User post: Cut household expenses and SAVE big money
Just like everyone my husband and I have had our financial ups and downs. During our early years of marriage we managed to live on my husband’s humble military pay. When my husband finished college and got a good job we were very comfortable financially for a few years . When the 9/11 attacks happened, my husband lost his job just 13 days after. Being in the computer industry he had a very difficult finding a job (also because of the dot.com bust) and after 7 months he found one where he made exactly half of his previous salary. A few years later he got a job making good money again only to be laid off after two months. And so the layoff cycle would continue for him, when the economy was good we were good but when things got bad IT was usually the first to go.
How have I managed to keep everyone fed and the electricity on during lean times? With 5 children to feed I’ve learned a few things along the way. We’ve all heard of the ‘skip the coffee at Starbucks and bundle your tv, cable and internet’ and haven’t we all done that? But what else can we do?
1. Food — I have managed to feed a family of 7 on $400-$500 a month without using coupons. Coupons for me do not offer the kinds of foods that we eat. I make almost everything from scratch. Well, I don’t make my own spaghetti sauce or stew any tomatoes like my mom did but I do make cornbread and biscuits. I figure that a whole batch of cornbread is under 20 cents. The crockpot is my friend. Pinto beans and two strips of bacon is all it takes for a delicious meal. Make a batch of cornbread and you’ve fed your whole family for under $3.00. Also, cheaper cuts of beef and pork roasts can be purchased for the crockpot. Add carrots, potatoes, soy sauce and brown sugar and you’ve got a great meal that everyone will love. Big pots of chili also go a long way. Cook popcorn the old fashioned way. A big bag of popcorn is only .99 cents and makes big bowl after big bowl of perfect fresh popcorn. We only drink milk, Ice tea and water. Who really needs all that sugary juices and sodas anyway.
2. Household Cleaning Products –This is where I save big money. My mother taught me as a young girl that Ammonia will clean everything. For about 1.20 you can purchase a bottle of Ammonia. Only a small amount is needed in a sink-full of hot water. Ammonia will clean glass, floors, showers, toilets, degrease anything and works great on countertops. I always purchase oven cleaner and furniture polish at the dollar store. Both items usually sell between $4-$5 dollars at the grocery store.
3. Personal Hygiene Items-When did liquid soap become a necessity? Do you really need to use liquid body soap in the shower? What about liquid hand soap? 6 bars of regular old fashioned soap works just as well and only costs a few dollars. My hair is long so I need to use more expensive shampoo and conditioner but my husband and boys use the inexepensive brands that usually only cost a dollar each. They could care less what kind of shampoo they use.
5.Over the counter medicine-I buy all my over the counter meds from the local super store. The same liquid child pain reliever is about $6 at the drug store verses 1.97 at the local super store.
4. Entertainment and Family Time-When times are good financially our family would go out to eat, spend the weekend at a nice hotel at the beach or go to the movies on the weekends. We all missed those things at first but now we’ve found that our family can have just as much fun having a movie night at home. Sign up for Netflix. For under $10 a month we can watch the newly released movies. The kids love it. If you live near the water go to the beach. If you live in the cold climate take the kids sledding. Let your pre-teens and teens have sleepovers. My teenage boys have a ‘Halo-fest’ which is a night of playing the game Halo on the X-Box with their friends. Each friend brings soda or chips, and their own sleeping bag and camp out on the floor all night playing games and socializing. Not only do I know my sons are safe at home-they are all having a GREAT time. We have ‘Taco Tuesday’ on Tuesday nights. Tacos are only 3 for $1.00 at our local taco chain so for only about 12 dollars we can treat the kids to a night of tacos.
5. People and doggie haircuts-When our family first got a miniture Schnauzer, I used to take her to get groomed every other month for 40 bucks a pop. I quickly got tired of paying the money. I bought a pair of dog clippers(I bought the nice ones that actually cut the hair) and found a ‘how to groom a schnauzer’ video on the internet. Our dog looked a little funny the first couple of times but after I got the hang of it, I perfected the schnauzer cut and she looks professionally groomed. I also looked up a ‘how to cut hair’ and learned how to cut my husband’s and boy’s hair at home.
So try a few of these easy ideas and save save save!
All these point to the need for each of us to scrutinise our own spending habits. From the many years of good and easy living we have spent unmindfully and have acquired many wasteful ways. The hard time now upon us may have a lesson in it for us. Let us not allow the lesson to escape us.
Come visit again. Thank you.