5 Smart Tips to Save Money on your Grocery Costs

In the list of significant expenses, grocery shopping always holds a place for most households and families. However, with some clever tactics and minor changes, you can remarkably lower your grocery bills. You can use the savings you make on more important investments, to pay your debt more efficiently, or to increase your retirement savings.

Following are some smart tips to save on your grocery expenses:

1. Use a List

Having a shopping list can help you save a significant amount of money on your groceries. Make it a point to stick to your shopping list and buy only things that are in the list. Additionally, you should not miss buying anything listed in it. In this way, you can avoid impulse purchases and also will not need to return to the shop because of forgetting an item.

2. Plan your Menus

Planning your menus a month or a week in advance will help you take advantage of bulk buying and sales opportunities. Such planning will also help you avoid eating out. You will be able to cook similar main food items on one day, while freezing the other foods for later. This would prove to be helpful for you on the days when you don’t want to cook. You may also plan the menus according to the weekly circular of your grocery store, which would help you take advantage of the sale prices of the store. In case planning your own menu is difficult for you because of time constraints or other factors, you may buy menu plans online. Such plans usually come at about $5.00 per month, but would help you save way more at a grocery store.

3. Go for Generic Brands

In a majority of cases, generic brands equal the name brands. In some cases, generic brands even surpass the popular brands. Note if the name brand item offers you a significantly better quality than a generic store brand. If not, it’s worth switching to generic brands, which would let you save a good amount of money.

4. Buy in Season

Keep in mind to shop only vegetables and fruits which are in season. Shopping food items that are not in season are likely to cost you far more, and they may not even have a very good taste. So, stick to shopping fresh produce that are actually in season.

5. Shop at Different Grocery Stores

Why do you buy from your current grocery shop? Is it the most convenient in terms of location? Is it very friendly? Well, to be honest, most people usually shop at a store out of habit.

However, do not allow a comfortable routine to increase your expenses. If you don’t know about grocery stores that can help you save more money, ask people. Those who get the best deals at grocery stores would surely tell you about them!

Additionally, check out your area’s weekly ads to know the things on sale at the competing grocery shops. You may find out that shopping at your current store costs you more over time. It might be frustrating initially to determine a new plan for shopping; however, the effort is worth it to save some extra money.

Summing Up

So, keep these tips in mind and try following them. These are simple yet effective ways to save money on your grocery expenses while making sure that you buy all grocery items that are necessary. Start applying these tips and see the difference in your savings for yourself!

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How To Save On Your Monthly Electricity Bill

High energy bills every month are annoying. Most people like you will agree that you could do something better to reduce your energy bills every month. After all, energy costs are always on the rise and the demands of modern life makes the use of devices and gadgets necessary. It is possible for you to make some good saving without making a lifestyle sacrifice.

Here are the top 10 tips to lower your utility bills the easy way:

Monitoring the heating cooling device pays:

Run a check on your HVAC system and see if all the vents are open. This will ensure that the room is evenly cooled or heated. Very often we are ill-advised to close vents with the idea to save on electricity. On the contrary, when cool or warm air flows in evenly through all the vents, there is less consumption of energy. Change the filters to keep the airflow clean and also at an ideal rate.

For those of you that live in larger homes, make sure that the zones not is use do not waste energy and the systems are turned off when not in use there.

Adjust and readjust the thermostat:

It does not make sense to maintain the same temperature in your fridge all year round! Increase the temperature by two degrees in winter and lower it by two notches in summer. Using your refrigerator with care, opening it less often is a great way of lowering your electricity bill. In fact, in most homes, heating systems and refrigerators account for maximum energy waste and inflated bills.

Switch to energy-efficient LED:

Changing the lighting system of your home to LED each time you need a bulb replacement will ensure that you are making long-term savings. Not only will you make savings on your energy consumption but also will not have to worry about changing the bulb for at least 10 years.

Bank on solar options:

If you have the means, go solar. Some states have special schemes help citizens install solar panels. Even if you cannot change the entire household energy system to solar power, you can at least install a solar-powered water heater. Water heaters are also among the highest consumers of energy and switching to solar will bring your investment back in 2 years’ time.

The laundry load saves:

Run your washing machine to full capacity with clothes loaded in it. Each time that you run your machine, it consumes a good amount of electricity despite the newer models being energy-efficient. Avoid running it everyday only with a couple of clothes or lingerie in it. Stack clothes for the week or run it bi-weekly depending on the number of members living in your home.

Load the dishwasher efficiently:

Running dishwashers is similar to that of running the washing machine. Not only packing it to capacity saves on energy, but also the way that you place the dishes matter. Reserve the bottom rack for plates facing inward toward the center. All utensils with handles can be placed at the bottom of the racks. While cups should have their faces down, bowls should be placed at an angle that is slanted downward. Other items can be placed in their designated slots with the cups and glasses placed on the top.

Switch off appliances, gadgets and entertainment units:

Most modern appliances and gadgets are energy start rated. This ensures that they do not consume too much of electricity. Televisions, gaming consoles, desktop computers and electric kettles are some items that tend to remain on all day long and consume endless amount of energy that you are actually not using. Switch them off and see the difference that you can make to your monthly power bills.

Clothe the water heater:

You can prevent your heaters from losing out on heat by giving them a good wrapping during the cold weather. Though they are built with insulation, this small extra padding can help prevent heat loss to a large extent. This will automatically bring down the power bills.

Cash in on natural energy:

Keep your rooms cool and shaded during the warm days by pulling the blinds and curtains behind closed windows. Your air-conditioner will have less load to deal with when keeping the room cool. Conversely, if there is sufficient sunlight during the day in the cold days, let in some sunshine for warm interiors!

Turn off lights and use dimmers:

Unnecessarily burning lights in the portico all night long, or in the corridors are big eaters of energy. Timing them and switching them off will ensure a small bill. Also, make it a habit to switch off everything when moving out of the room – the habit will pay you in the long run!!!

 

 

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10 Tips to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget

Leading a healthy lifestyle is often associated with high expenses in today’s modern times. However, that doesn’t have to be the case always.

Yes, it’s possible to eat nutrient-rich, fresh food, and use non-toxic, green personal care and cleaning products even when your budget is tight. All you need is some careful planning and a bit smart shopping.

Here we’ve come up with some great tips to help you live healthy and eat healthy on a budget. Read on…

1. Walk

Walking some extra steps today may help you start a lifelong journey of good health. Walk more by incorporating walking in day-to-day situations.

walk

For example, go to a back parking spot during lunch by walking. Reach the mall by walking in bad weather or walk to the beach during a vacation. Quite easy, this may set the tone of your health routine if you have just started one.

2. Drink Tea

Tea has incredible health benefits and its cost is far lower than latte.

drink tea

This makes it not only health friendly but budget friendly too. Tea is loaded with antioxidants, helps with sleep, enhances the immune system, and has several other health benefits too.

3. Eat at Home

At restaurants, you consume more calories and more food than when eating at home.

eat at home

Make eating at your home convenient and easy by planning weekly menus, and allow yourself ‘cheat’ meals about 2-3 times every month. This will not only save you money, but also help your waistline.

4. Eat Beans

Ground beef, the unhealthiest yet the cheapest choice among the meat family, comes at an average of $3 p/lb. The average cost of chicken is about $3.41 p/lb. Lentils and dried beans come at around $1 per pound. Considering that the protein you get in one cup of beans is the same as that you get in a ½ burger, beans provide you lots of protein at a way lower price, and they are way healthier too.

5. Eat Whole Grains

Taking whole grains with meals helps you stay fuller for longer. Replace your food items of refined white flour with healthy and economical whole grains such as whole wheat pasta, oats, and brown rice.

6. Buy from Ethnic Markets

Indian and Mexican use lots of ingredients that come at a low-cost, in their cuisine. Apart from native offerings, in ethnic markets you can find several items at cheaper costs.

7. Plan Ahead

If you want to eat healthy on a budget, you need to do some planning before visiting the grocery store. Here are some organizational tips that can help you have a budget-conscious and healthy lifestyle.

  • Plan meals in advance in order to avoid wasting money and time by visiting the grocery store at the last minute.
  • Create a list of items to buy from the grocery store before going there. Avoid looking at things not on your grocery list. Try sticking to the area of the store that has meats, fresh produce, and items that expire. Fresh items are good. Ignore the items that are processed and packaged.
  • Make sure you eat prior to visiting the grocery shop. Don’t go there hungry.

8Purchase produce in season

Purchasing produce in season turns out to be way more cost-effective than the alternative. So, consider making your purchase of produce in season.

9. Do Workout Outdoors

You can do an amazing workout outdoors and get some Vitamin D simultaneously. You can choose various outdoor locations for this like parks, trails, lakes, and oceans. Go for swimming, biking, walking, or running, and stay in shape inexpensively.

10. Remove the Extras

List down all the luxury items you consume or use – four-dollar coffees, fancy ingredients, bottled water and so on, and stop buying them. Simply forgoing that Starbucks Venti Mocha everyday would make a difference.

Observe your food expenditure and determine if there are any splurges that are increasing your expenses. Cut out the non-essentials altogether. Alternatively, you can find ways to prepare them at home. Get a reusable water bottle or mug of good quality and fill water in it before leaving home in the morning. Consider eating real foods instead of expensive supplements and protein powders. Avoid wasting money on things that are not essential for you.

These simple tips, if applied well, will help you lead a healthy lifestyle on budget. So, start incorporating them in your daily life and see the difference in your savings.

If you know of any other ideas to living a healthy lifestyle on a budget, share them with us in the comments!

 

 

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10 Money Saving Tips 2018

You may be earning pots of money but unless you are making at least a handful of savings, you are less likely to live in peace. There is no end to how much a person may want to spend as there is no limit to expenses.

True you are earning to have a good life, educate your kids and travel. But what about the future, unforeseen medical emergencies or post retirement times? Savings money is a must and you can do that without any drastic changes to the way that you are living.

Making small efforts in a smart way can help you save a lot of money each month that will ultimately add up to large sums annually. We have for you the top 10 money saving tip 2018 that are big hacks to gain substantial saving for you.

Read on:

Track your expenses

Begin with taking a hard look at what you spend for each day and per week that totals up to your total expenses at the end of the month. Go through it in details and you are sure to come across those cents or the odd dollar that you are spending each day that you do not need.

Apart from the large monthly budget that you have set aside, you should try also chalk out an action plan that will help you hold back any extra expenditure amount that you may have set aside. It is not to say that you start being austere, but just keep tick off that unnecessary expenditure that you made last week of picking up some stuff at the sale.

Carry your lunch

Independent studies made in the country shows that on an average an American spends about $3000 annually for buying lunch when at work.

Those few dollars spent for that savory lunch each day surely cuts a heavy dent in your pocket depriving you of your savings. Take some time off and make your own lunch that is sure to healthier than what you eat outside. In fact, eating homemade food is less likely to make you obese and sick. This way you will also eliminate the possibilities of falling ill and saving on unnecessary medical bills!

Plan your weekly meals

Groceries are surely among the largest expenditure that any family or even an individual incurs in the month. The best way to deal with the expense part is to plan your meal for the whole week. This will help you buy your provisions so that you have them in the right measure all through the week. This will also help you make use of any leftover on any given day and reuse it for the next meal. You will eliminate the possibility of any food wastage and also remain on budget making a good saving each week

Cut down on subscriptions

Take a hard look at the expenditure that you make on your entertainment subscriptions. Cut out those Netflix and other allied television cable subscriptions that usually come to about $200 per month.

With your internet providing you so much already, there is barely the need for this extra entertainment given that you are at work the whole day. Install a digital antenna instead and get access to the local channels for free allowing you to see that you want to. Else, choose a plan that allows you access to only a few selected channel at low costs.

Spend less on shopping

Digital marketing stresses a lot on initiating impulsive buying. You are probably being bombarded every day with mails, texts, messages and tweets about the biggest sale in town from every company that is in business! Understand that the marketers are creating a need within you for things that you really do not need.

Go shopping in moderation only when there is a real need to buy something. Once you stop spending those small amounts on that extra tie or that ‘oh so lovely’ nail-polish you will end up saving a couple of hundred dollars each month!

Maintain no-banking fee transactions

Watch out for the amount that is being deducted by your banks. Switch over to smaller fee-free bank services that have lower minimum balance fee or no fee at all. Also, check out for the number of free ATM transactions that you are allowed and limit withdrawals accordingly.

Try out online banking services from a host of banking names that offer free online accounting services. Most importantly, even if you have account with a large names, do not pay to know your credit score, you get them free either twice or thrice a year. Ask them for it!

Spend less at theatres

Limit your spending by going to the theatres. Movies will come on your favorite channel sooner or later. Theatre tickets don’t come cheap and you are most likely to add to the expenses by buying those overpriced snacks before entering.

Do away with all such splurging and you will see what a big difference it makes at the end of the month to the total amount debited from your account. Simple living never hurts but only enhances your peace of mind while being soft on your pockets too!

Travel light

When travelling make sure to carry around only what is essential. Whether travelling on business or pleasure, make sure that you never pay those outrageous charges for the extra luggage. It will go a long way in making good savings that you can spend for other purposes.

Save energy

Energy consumes a large part of your earning irrespective of the weather conditions. Make maximum use of alternative sources like natural heat and light during winter and in summer try natural cooling processes to reduce stress on the HAVAC. You will be surprised at how much you can bring down your energy bills by using the resources prudently. Switching off lights when not in use is another big way that you can contribute to your money saving.

Arrange a backyard/online marketplace sale

Clear your stuff regularly and arrange for a backyard sale and see how much space opens ups while you get some good money in hand too. Accumulations of things and items that you own and not using them is always counterproductive. While cluttering your living space they also block your resources.

If a backyard sale is not possible, look up one of the online marketplaces like Craigslist or Renting Street and sell them without any commission. This way too you can be assured of making good saving all through the year.

Go ahead, hold your purses tight and add more to them with these easy money saving tips of 2018.

Do let us know of your opinion and put in your suggestions that we can add in our next issue!

Good Luck!!!

 

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