Making Ends Meet: 10 Money-Saving Strategies for Living on a Budget

November 15, 2019 by Susan Paige

Many families nationwide live on a fixed budget each month when it comes to their spending and any bills they are responsible for. Because of this, saving any money seems impossible to them. Fortunately, there are many money-saving strategies families can incorporate into their everyday lives that will make quite a difference at the end of each month. Below is a comprehensive look at ten different ways a family can save money from month to month.

Purchasing a Vehicle

When it comes to driving a car, sure, everyone would like to be in a new vehicle with all the bells and whistles. However, that is the worse decision anyone can make, as a car depreciates significantly once it is driven off the lot. It is best and recommended that you purchase a used car and that you pay cash for your used car. This way, you will own the car and will not have a monthly payment to make on it.

Make a List When Going to The Grocery Store

Having a plan for weekly meals and making a list before going to the grocery store is highly recommended because it will cut down on the trips to the store, as well as improving the overall bill. Having a plan and a list of ingredients will lower the chances of buying unnecessary items. Not only that but planning meals will also help a family eat at home more, instead of going out to restaurants more than necessary.

Price Match

Price matching various items is a great way to get the lower price, but without having to visit different stores. This works at the big box and national retailers. A customer has to show the ad at the time of checkout, and they will get the lower price on the item. This will save the customer money, as well as time and gas because they do not have to drive to different stores to get a better deal on items.

Go Meatless

Buying meat for a family can get rather expensive, so planning a few meals out of the week to be vegetarian is beneficial. There are many options when it comes to vegetarian dishes, such as beans and rice, pasta, soup, chili, and so much more. Not only is this financially smart, but it is also healthy for the family to cut down their meat intake, especially if it is red meat.

Phone Usage

Many families can take a closer look at their utilities and eliminate some unnecessary costs. For instance, does a family need a home phone and cell phones? One can easily eliminate the need for a home phone and use their cell phones instead.

Cable and T.V.

One can easily save a lot of money by taking a closer look at their cable and internet services. Cable providers bundle various stations together to make the customer pay a lot more for the stations they want. Fortunately, with numerous streaming services, one can reduce their cable package greatly and stream the channels they want for a much more affordable price. Some people are getting rid of cable altogether and going to a streaming service for all of the channels they enjoy.

Free and Reduced Outings

Many parents lose sight of various activities that are fun to do as a family and don’t cost a dime. People think that doing something together as a family has to cost money, but it doesn’t. Packing a lunch and going to the park or on a hike are great activities to do with little kids that don’t cost parents a single dollar.

Go Out For Lunch Instead of Dinner

Let’s be real; families love to go out to eat together regularly, but that can get costly fast. Fortunately, going out to lunch or breakfast is a much more affordable option than going out for dinner. Such restaurants offer lower-priced menus that still taste amazing, but don’t have the expensive price tag. Avoid alcoholic beverages while dining out for any meal because the mark-up on such drinks is very high. For example, an average bottle of wine may cost the restaurant around $15, but they will sell it to consumers for $25 to $30 per bottle.

Use Discounts When Dining Out

If you want to eat out with your family, plan ahead, and research various restaurants that offer student discounts, free kids meal with the purchase of an adult meal, early-bird specials, and more. Paying full price for boxed mac and cheese or small portions that a child may or may not eat is not smart. Ask your server about potential discounts, or visit the restaurant’s website before going there to see what pricing they offer and the availability of money-saving tips.

Buying Clothing for the Family

Buying clothing for the family can be a money trap for a lot of people, but it does not have to be if people shop smart and avoid impulse buying. When a piece of clothing hits the sales floor, it is usually marked up very high, but a smart shopper will wait until the items start to go on sale and buys it at a later date. Many people shop online now and use cash-back programs that give them a percentage back of the amount they spent. With all the social media platforms available, more and more people are selling their gently used items (many are name brands) for a fraction of the cost. This is a great way to dress a family on a budget.

The ten items mentioned above are only a few modifications one can make to ensure they save money each money, but there are many more money-saving tips. It does take a bit of time to trim the monthly budget for a family, but if that means spending a few hundred dollars a month less, isn’t that worth the time spent? Take a look at your spending habits, and make a few phone calls to negotiate better prices on items that can change (like cable and internet), as well as groceries, dining out, and entertainment and activities for the whole family.


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