All of us are going to experience a period of financial difficulty sometime in our life, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
However, if you want to ensure that you navigate these troubled times wisely, and come out of them more robust and wiser, then it’s beneficial to know a few things about saving money.
This article will help you do just that. It lists the top 14 most useful ways through which you can save money on your food and other essential expenses so that your financially burdensome situation doesn’t become even more difficult than it already is.
- Opt For Club Stores
Club stores are another great way of saving money on your food expenses. Most clubs charge a $50-60 fee for an annual membership, and even though it may sound stupid to pay this amount to be able to enter the store, it pays off massively in the long run.
This is because club stores contain products at much cheaper rates, sometimes even at half the price. Therefore, if you can buy all your cooking essentials from these club stores, you’ll save a lot of money, and these savings will increase over time with additional purchases.
Additionally, many stores also offer numerous free ways of availing discounts and gift cards, which you can use in your purchases. Being aware of these schemes and methods will help you to cut down on your expenses even further.
For example: if you’re a frequent target customer, you should be well informed on all the different ways to get free target discounts so that you can make purchasing your groceries as economical as possible.
Lastly, buying your food essentials from these stores in bulk will save even extra money, and since they’re essentials, they’ll get used up quickly and won’t be a waste of space.
- Skip Meat Every Once A While
One of the most expensive food items is meat. Hence, if you can manage to cut down on it now and then, you’ll be spending a substantially lesser amount of money.
Avoiding meat also enables you to diversify your cooking skills, which will help you in the future. Not only that, but it’s also beneficial for the environment, which means that you’re helping both yourself and the planet when you abstain from consuming a meat-filled diet.
So, cutting down on meat is one of the best steps to take to make yourself more financially independent.
- Write Down Your Expenses
Writing down your daily expenses can help you in determining what items are constituting a significant portion of your costs.
For example, you may just be spending a couple of dollars on an item, thinking it’s not much. But doing this regularly for an extended period can add up to some severe costs. Hence, it’s always smart to write down the expenses you’re incurring so that you know where you can cut back.
- Use Optum Perks For Prescriptions
Buying pills is often than not a necessity for most people, but you can still save on your refills by using Optum Perks. There are various benefits with the use of Perks, the most important being that you can save as much as 80% on your refills!
Additionally, these perks can be used at the majority of pharmaceutical stores, so you don’t have to drive around searching for the right one.
What’s even better, all you have to do is decide on a coupon and buy it, after which it can be presented to your pharmacist either through your phone or in-person, whichever way is more convenient for you.
- Avoid prepackaged salads
When it comes to veggies, the first thing you want to do is remove packaged salads from your purchase list. Even though buying them can be very convenient and time-saving, they’re still not worth it because they lose their freshness very rapidly and you may end up throwing them out before you use them.
Instead, try to create your own salads from now on. If you’re not sure what vegetables to include, an easy recipe for you to start with is a mix of head lettuce, red leaf, escarole, romaine, and radicchio.
Furthermore, making your salads also means that they’ll stay fresh and edible for a much more extended period, provided you make sure that they’re dry before storing them in your fridge.
- Purchase Glasses Online
Another way you can save money is by purchasing your glasses online, instead of going to a physical store. The benefit of this is that online stores offer frames at a much cheaper rate. You also get to save up on the petrol costs associated with traveling there.
Additionally, buying from a virtual store is more convenient because you can choose the right pair of spectacles from the comfort of your home. Many stores even offer remote trying-on services where you can upload a picture of yourself and then test different types of frames.
- Buy Organic Products
Although organic products may cost more money, they’re pesticide-free, which is a significant advantage. Therefore, if you’re looking to buy pesticide-resistant food, but at a lower price, then checking a product’s contamination level can help you decide whether or not to purchase it.
Strawberries, spinach, and kale are some of the regular culprits, whereas pineapple, avocados, and sweet corn are almost always on the least contaminated list. Knowing the contamination levels of different foods can help you to save money while buying quality produce.
- Save On Gas
Gasoline costs can take up a significant portion of your monthly expenses. To counteract this, download an app such as GasBuddy. It tracks and locates petrol stations that are closest to you which offer the lowest prices.
Additionally, the GasBuddy app also informs you on the quickest route to take while considering the existing traffic. As a result, you even get to conserve petrol while driving to a station.
- Cut Down On Spices
Spices are popular because they add taste and zest to your food. The problem, however, is their high price and short shelf life. Most spices are costly to purchase, and after a year or so of staying on your shelf, some begin to lose their flavor.
Therefore, one smart tip to employ is to bulk-purchase spices that you use very frequently. The reason for this is that their price-per ounce isn’t that high, and hence you get to purchase as much as you want.
- Make Your Coffee
One of the best ways to save up on money is by cutting down expenses that you incur daily. This also applies to costs as trivial as the price of coffee. Even though saving a couple of bucks everyday by brewing your coffee doesn’t sound very impressive, when you add these savings up over months or years, the results can be significant.
- Go For Unbranded Products
In today’s age, there isn’t a significant difference in the quality of a well-reputed brand and a relatively unknown one. Therefore, a great piece of financial wisdom is to purchase products that belong to less famous brands.
Doing so will help you save a few bucks and pennies every time you purchase something, and these savings will slowly start to accumulate. Furthermore, since the quality difference isn’t that noticeable anyway, you’re getting yourself an excellent deal.
- Re-evaluate Your Insurance
Take some time to compare prices for the insurance packages you’re getting, to ensure that you’re receiving the best deal for your individual needs.
One great way you can find a good bargain is by asking your friends and your colleagues. If they aren’t able to help you, it still pays to visit different stores and learn about the prices they are offering.
Although buying a cheaper insurance package sometimes means compromising on quality, it’s one of the most effective ways to save money when experiencing financial hardship. In this process, you may even discover you’re paying for cover you don’t need.
- Store Food Smartly
Buying the correct quantity of foods from the grocery store is only half the battle. The next half is keeping the food fresh for as long as possible. To make sure you’re able to do this effectively, knowledge of the ripening dates of some common fruits helps.
For example, ripening apples emit ethylene gas, which causes the neighboring fruits to decay faster. So, if you’re more vigilant in separating such apples from the rest of your basket, your fruit will last longer.
- Consider Your Phone Deal
Changing your phone package can also do wonders for your budget. Since most people purchase deals that offer unnecessarily large hours of talking time or internet data, it’s smart to look at your package and check whether you need that much coverage or if you’re paying for services you don’t use.
If you find that you’re not making the most of your deal, then it’s a good idea to switch to a different, cheaper one.
If you’re going through a financial rough patch, then it’s crucial that you control your emotions and avoid feeling excessively anxious or sad, as this can add to your problems.
Furthermore, make sure that you follow all of these tips, as they will make a significant difference in the amount of money you get to save, which will help you escape your financial crisis sooner.