Stretching your dollar... not your budget

Monday, February 13, 2012 AnnMarie Brown 20 Comments

Week One of a series that I am going to post every Monday until complete...

With the cost of gas, food, and other necessities going up, people are looking for ways to save money.

You see it every where... gas prices are higher than ever, rising food prices, even our electricity, and heating costs for our homes is up. Interesting though that wages don't seem to be rising like the prices of necessities are rising.

I know my family has been feeling the crunch for 3 years now with no end in sight. Instead of getting upset about it or down in the dumps it is time to take the reigns and make changes in our own lives to make the situation better.

A few things I have been doing to save money is not driving as much... I like to pair up all my errands as to not make needless trips to stores for things, making my own cleaning products and being wise about my spending.

Over the years we have been inundated with many different chemical cleaners that are supposed to all these wonderful things. I don't know about you but I know I just want a cleaner that is going to clean. Really clean my home and not leave a chemical residue or smell.

When I venture out on an errand day I usually have my daughter with me. Part of my routine before I go out is to fill a water bottle for everyone going and make myself a tea in my thermos so I can drink it while we are out. Equally important is to bring a snack for my little one because the hunger usually hit the minute we leave our house. This saves stopping and buying a snack for her. Win/win on both accounts.

One of the first things cut from our budget was fast food. It is really expensive... full of sugar, fat, and salt. Planning ahead really helps curb the trips to restaurants for convenience. Compare your sales flyers with what you already have on hand and make your purchases accordingly. Make a list of everything you need to purchase to make your menu plan for the week. Post your menu plan somewhere you will see it every morning. Having the list posted so you can see it helps with staying on track with your food plan.Every week I will do a post on setting a food budget and how to go about setting one.