Save Big Money on Small Items


You can save big money on the small items that are purchased on a frequent basis by accumulating the savings. Check out the following tips below for ideas:

Groceries

  • Try to plan in advance. By knowing what you need, you will be able to buy in larger quantities (almost always less expensive) and cut down on convenience food purchases (always more expensive). Once you get into the habit, you can quickly plan 1-2 weeks of meals including making your shopping list;
  • If you use national brands, spend a little time clipping and using coupons. Organize the coupons by type, so as you develop a shopping list you can make a notation if you have a coupon;
  • Consider purchasing store brands or generics. You may find the quality is equal to (and sometimes better than) the national brands, and store brands/generics are generally considerably less expensive.
  • When a favorite product is on sale, stock up.
  • Shop at the store that is the cheapest overall. Surveys have shown that there is sometimes as much as 10-15% difference on identical grocery orders at 2 different stores in the same area. If you spend $500 a month on groceries, that can equate to $600 to $900 a year in savings. Don’t throw away your money just because it is your habit to shop at a certain store.
  • Eat out less, eat in more. The savings you can put in your pocket here can be extraordinary. Instead of eating out 6 times per month, as an example (at a cost of $50 per meal) cut it back to 3 times monthly. Your savings (before you add even a penny of interest): $1800 per year!
  • Try cooking in greater quantities and freezingOpens in a new tab.! Make this a more enjoyable activity by organizing a friend or 2 for a “big cooking nite”. After you make 2 -3 dinners for freezing, treat yourself to a stay-home movie with popcorn (and REAL butter);
  • Consider vegetarian dinner two nites a week! You can save money, and have fun creating a different (but tasty) dinner with your children. (Plus, it’s healthy for you and your family to eat a variety of veggies and fruits).

Maximizing Interest Gained / Minimizing Interest Lost – Chequing and Savings Account

  • Pay your debt each month if possible, to avoid unnecessary money wasted in interest.
  • Deposit the minimum in your chequing account. These monies don’t earn any interest. You may even want to have a regular, minimum deposit from your savings account to your chequing account to ensure maximum interest is earned on the monies sitting in your savings account.
  • Select a high-yielding savings account. Compare the interest you are earning at your financial institution with others, whether they have a physical location or are virtual.
  • Speak with financial advisors about where to place unneeded money. Keeping all your unneeded money in a savings account may not be wisest financial option. For example, if the $10,000 you’ve been saving to fix the roof is not needed for 6 months, consider an appropriate investment vehicle, which will allow you earn maximum interest while allowing you to withdraw it in the necessary time frame.

Entertainment

Budgeting doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. It does mean being more conscientious with the aspects of your life, including entertainment.

  • Try a cheap theatre where the tickets are up to 75% cheaper than the usual movie theatre you frequent.
  • Instead of going out for an expensive dinner out, have dinner in, then head out with a friend for a decadent cake and coffee.
  • Plan a night at the theatre several month’s in advance. It will give you something to look forward to. In the interim, have get-togethers with friends at coffee shops.
  • Have a potluck dinner at your house with an ethnic theme to liven up the party.
  • Join a book club with a friend and split the cost of the books or borrow them from a library. Or, throw on a hat and scarf, and go for a walk around a ravine! It’s free, and fun! It’s even better if you can bring along a friend to chat with (or a happy dog).

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