Whether you believe that the economy is recovering beautifully or gasping for breath, you know that when times are tight you have to be creative when it comes to saving money. And there are many ways other than extreme couponing to do it if you know a few tricks.
Entertain at Home
Going out to dinner or the movies sounds like fun, but the costs add up ridiculously. A house full of antsy kids may not seem like fertile ground for alternative entertaining, but it can be! Be creative: board games are making a big comeback, so hit some garage sales and pick up a few; let the kids help you make the pizzas with homemade dough and a lot of different toppings. Pop the popcorn and settle in for a movie (you can splurge on a pay-per-view first run for as little as a few dollars).
It’s time to be fully conscious about what energy costs us and the planet. It’s never too early to teach your family to take shorter showers, turn off the lights when they leave a room or remember to close the windows when either the heat or the air conditioning is running. These are simple tricks, but they will help lower your bills while instilling a sense of the importance of conservation in the kids.
If You Don’t Need It…Sell It!
It’s very easy to just toss things—clothes, books, costume jewelry—or donate them. But think about selling these items instead. You can try local consignment shops, but be aware that it may take them much longer to sell your item than it might if you decide to sell it yourself on a site like eBay or Etsy. For fine jewelry you’ll want to take some time getting the pieces cleaned and appraised before attempting to sell. Experienced appraisers, like those at Fortuna Auction, can help you understand what you can expect to sell your jewelry for, taking the risk and guesswork out of selling jewelry. Make sure you know what you can expect to get out of every piece you intend to sell. For most costume pieces, however, the online sales and auction sites are bustling with buyers for just about everything.
At first it can be time-consuming to plan a week’s worth of meals for the family, but once you get into it, both the savings and the health benefits will more than make up for the time you spend in the plan-ahead stage. If you’ve planned, you can stock up on ingredients when they are on sale and not ever have to scramble for an idea for dinner. What a pressure reliever this can be!
There are many more suggestions for how to live comfortably on a tight budget, and perhaps reading about these will spur you on to even bigger savings.