12 Budget Cuts Your Family Will Barely Notice 

12 Budget Cuts Your Family Will Barely Notice 

budget cutsBetter Life

If the phrase budget cuts, conjure up visions of your family eating beans and rice for the next month, think again. Simple budget cuts can create significant savings. It takes a bit of planning and creativity, but you can make budget cuts without your family even noticing… too much.

12 Budget Cuts That Your Family Will Not Mind

1. Use energy-efficient light bulbs

Who would have thought you could save money by simpling changing your light bulbs? It’s true! Using an incandescent light bulb for five hours a day for one year costs you approximately $16 depending upon where you live in the U.S.  But if you use an LED light bulb for the same length of time, it costs you only $6 a year. Energy-efficient LED bulbs’ initial cost will be more, but your overall savings using them will be significant. It’s a simple way to cut your budget, and your family will be none the wiser for it.

budget cuts

2. Online grocery shopping

Online grocery shopping has become famous for its convenience, but you can also save money using these services. Buying your groceries online helps you to see exactly what you’re paying for each so you can stick within your budget. Grocery stores place items strategically at the end of aisles, so shoppers will pick up things when they walk by. Your impulse buying will go down when you buy your groceries online. Choose online grocery services that off coupons or free delivery, if possible.

Another option is to use your grocery store’s delivery service or pick up service. These services are free. All you do is order the things you want and arrange a delivery time. Or your store will do the shopping for you and all you need to do is pick them up. Most grocery stores have specially marked parking spots where you park, and someone brings your groceries out to your car.

3. Thrift store shopping

Thrift stores are packed with budget-saving items. Buying gently-used clothing is an easy way to save a bundle on clothing for your growing kids.  Choose a store that is clean and well maintained. Charity organizations often run these stores, so you’re helping your community while saving money at the same time.

  • Clothing-Used clothing is excellent for growing kids. You can find slightly worn teeshirts, skirts, dresses, shorts, and jeans at thrift stores. Be picky though, don’t buy your kids used shoes-it’s not good for their feet. Kids grow so quickly. It’s great to find functional used clothing for a fraction of the cost of new.
  • Sporting equipment-Many thrift stores sell gently used sporting equipment. Avoid buying hats or helmets for hygienic reasons.
  • Household items- Dishes, glasses, wine goblets, and serving bowls are sold cheaply at a thrift store. Sometimes you can find a set of brand new dishes that have been donated from a large store.
  • Other things-Gently used toys, pictures, candle holders, jewelry, and books.

4. Limit eating out

Eating out with a family is expensive; it can quickly trash your budget. Try taking your family out to eat once a month instead of once a week. Or you can order a take-out pizza from your favorite pizza place, using coupons if they offer them, instead of taking the whole family to the restaurant where you’re sure to spend more money. Find restaurants that offer kids-eat-free night or two dollar tacos once a week. Be strategic, most restaurants have coupons or exclusive deals, but you will need to shop around for them.

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5. Purchase flawed fruits and vegetables

Several online companies are selling imperfect fruits and vegetables. This produce often comes straight from local groceries but was rejected because it wasn’t perfect looking. You may get some misshapen carrots, but the produce is fresh and tastes great. These companies usually charge you a fee depending upon how much produce you want, so you won waste what you buy. The produce is conveniently delivered to your door, so you’ll save time as well as money.

6. Kids take their lunches

Another simple way to cut your budget is to have your kids take their lunches to school.  Purchase good lunch containers,so the food stays hot or cold. There are many well-made boxes with convenient compartments. If your kids really want to buy lunch at school, arrange for them to buy once or twice a week. The school sends out the monthly menu so you and your kids can plan ahead what meals they want to buy.

7. Shop around for good cell phone prices

Your cell phone company may cut you a deal if they think you’ve decided to go with a switch cell phone carriers. You can also save a lot of money by switching to one of the smaller cell phone companies that use the same towers as the four bigger companies.

8. Keep a well-stocked pantry & create a weekly menu

Meal planning is a great way to save money. When you plan your meals, you won’t impulse buy or waste food. Plan your meals, then make a shopping list. Go to the store with your list in hand and only buy what is on the list.

Another great way to save is to have a stocked pantry at all times. This is helpful for last-minute cooking, baking, or when guests drop in. A stocked pantry should include:

  • Baking goods-flour, sugar, baking flour, baking soda, vanilla, chocolate chips, yeast, and corn starch.
  • Oils and vinegars-Olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil. Balsamic, apple cider, and white vinegar.
  • Spices-Salt, pepper, kosher salt or sea salt, basic spices you typically use.
  • Rice, Beans & Grains-Oatmeal, brown rice, white rice, quinoa, black and pinto beans, chili beans, pasta (assorted types your family likes.)
  • Potatoes and onions
  • Canned goods-Tomato sauce and tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, beef or chicken stock, canned chilis, salsa, canned corn or green beans.

Go through your pantry once a month to see what you need so you can keep it stocked up at all times.

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9. Use those leftovers

Using leftovers will stretch your food budget. You’ll need to plan ahead so you can make use of your leftovers in the best way possible. See what proteins you plan to use that week,  then think of various ways you could use the leftovers for other meals.

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