Saving Money The Easy Way

Saving money monthly on your budget can be easy by following a few simple cost cutting ideas. Look at your monthly expenses and truly see where you spend your hard earned money.

Have you ever reached the end of the month, looked at your checkbook and wondered where all your hard earned money was spent? Don't despair. Many people feel the same way as you. Now it's time to really take a look at where all your money has been spent.

Make a list of all the money you've spent going out for fast foods. Add to this list the frequent trips to the grocery/corner market to pick up forgotten items here and there. See a pattern emerging? How many afternoons have you had to run to the market to purchase something for dinner because you forgot to take the meat out of the freezer to thaw or your child had forgotten to tell you about a boxed lunch he/she needs for a school trip? Probably more time than you'd care to admit. Following is a list of money saving ideas. Simple things that will make a positive impact on your strained budget.

Hang a clothes line and instead of using the dryer to dry the clothes. Take the few minutes to hang them out. This will save you dollars on your gas/electric bill. An added bonus is the clothes smell fresher and your also helping the environment.

Bake items instead of purchasing. That bag of cookies you buy at the grocery store can cost you three to four dollars. Baking cookies will cost you pennies on the

dollar. Go back to the basics. Our mothers, their mothers and so on didn't run to the store everytime they needed a loaf of bread or something sweet. They pulled out the

cookbook and baked fresh from scratch. Not only do you get more for your money but you also get better quality. You're not ingesting or asking your family to ingest all the



preservatives and additives the store bought foods contain.

Buy in bulk. Go to the grocery store and plan to spend a few hundred dollars versus the amount you spend on weekly shopping trips. Less trips to the store, less gas to

put in the car and less stress on you. Bulk buys are cheaper because your buying in quantity. Find or create a storage area for your non-perishables and purchase a used

freezer for your meats. Buying bulk saves you hundreds of dollars a year on the grocery bills. Hundreds of dollars a year on gas for the car because you'll have less trips to the market.

Look for off brand name items. The quality is more than likely just as good as the brand name items.

Plant a garden. Grow your own vegetables and freeze them. Most all vegetables can be stored in the freezer in ziplock bags for several months with out effecting the flavor or the texture of the item. Seeds are a few cents per package compared to the dollar or more you will pay for either canned or frozen vegetables. Not only will you have fresh vegetables and save money but the gardening will give you exercise and is a great stress

reducer.

Purchase and raise your own farm animals if you have the land and the time to do so. Depending on how you feel about animals you can raise them for meat or you can

raise them for sale. Either way you will save hundreds of dollars.

Trading with neighbors. Start a trade program. If your neighbor raises chickens and you make fresh baked bread, swap the eggs for the bread. You've gained a

dozen or so eggs and your neighbor has gained a loaf of fresh bread. This is also great with home-made soaps, scented oils and so on, whatever your craft. Bring bartering and trading back into the picture. Who says we always have to pay cash for what we need?

Make your own soap. It's a fairly easy project as well as a fun project. You can find recipes for soap on the Internet, in bookstores or at the library. The supplies can be a little expensive at start up but if you figure the cost, you are only paying pennies for each

bar you make.

These are just a few cost cutting ideas. After reading this you can probably think of many more yourself. Just remember, always be aware of each dollar your spending and try to think of ways to save, even if it's only pennies, each and every day. Soon you'll find yourself with a few extra dollars at the end of each month.

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