The cost of feeding and clothing a family continues to rise and the same is true for entertainment expenses. Many moms today are familiar working with a paycheck to paycheck outline. Preparing a budget can help ease the stress of trying to stretch each dollar and planning is a key element in living a frugal lifestyle. If your family is looking for a way to spend less and stick to a budget, use these tips to give yourself a head-start for living within your means.
When preparing a budget, the largest portion is typically dedicated to groceries. There are several things you can do to make this money go farther. Using coupons, especially when you find double coupon offers, can save you some money and keep the bills under what you want. Just be sure the coupons you use are for items you already have on the list, not for purchasing extra ones.
Prepare a weekly meal plan based on the grocery specials for the week. See if you can buy certain items in bulk that won’t go bad as quickly. Learn the sale item rotation for the store you shop at most frequently, and always shop with a list and stick to it. Shop alone, if possible, to avoid distractions, and resist impulse buys. It might seem like the front of the store sales are a steal, but remember to stay within your list and don’t go overboard with the extra expenses.
Take advantage of seasonal sales on clothing, shoes, and accessories and keep an open mind when seasonal items are put on sale. You might be able to purchase summer clothing cheap then use it as part of your winter wardrobe layering plan. Check the family clothing situation as each season ends. If it’s obvious, you’ll need to purchase coats or boots for next winter, buying them at the end of winter and storing them through the summer is a frugal way to shop for outerwear. Keep tabs on what the kids might outgrow, and see if you can set up a neighborhood swap to get hand-me-downs free.
Cleaning products can take a big bite out of the household budget. You can save a considerable amount of money on these items when you seek out coupons such as those offered by Target. Online coupons like those at discountrue can give you a leg up and keep you under budget on the good cleaners you really need. Stock up on cleaning products when they’re on sale, and to assure you never miss a deal, whether on groceries, clothing, or cleaning products, arrange to receive coupon alerts or check the online site carefully before you shop.
Large purchases such as a television or various other electronics may require some pre-planning in order to keep the budget in check. Always check sales and special promotional offers before you purchase electronic items. It might pay to go to a second-hand store and get a gently used, outdated item until you can afford the things you really want. Save on movies by renting when films come out of theaters, and limit date or family nights to once a week or month so you don’t end up going over a budget you set up.
The time it takes to search online for coupons and special sales is time well spent. Finding ways to save money can ease the stress of shopping on a tight budget and keep your family from living paycheck to paycheck. Looking ahead is one of the best ways to stay within your budget borders and still get the things you need.