Sometimes you just need to find a little extra money in your budget, whether it be to pay off debt, take a vacation, or purchase a special gift. When you don’t have a lot of disposable income, it can be stressful to come up with extra money. Luckily there are plenty of easy ways to save money on everyday expenses in almost every area of your life.
How to save money on food.
According to Stats Canada, the average Canadian family spends just over $6,000 a year on groceries. If you want to cut that figure down a little, there are many ways to do so:
- Use coupons: They are readily available online, through phone apps like Flipp, and in newspapers and magazines. Use them when an item is on sale or with other discounts to save even more.
- Buy store brands or generic: A lot of the price difference for name brand products accounts for advertising. Store brands are often just as good.
- Cut out meat: Eat a few vegetarian or vegan meals to cut back on meat, which can be expensive.
- Avoid fast food: Dining out is expensive, especially if you have a family. It’s cheaper (and healthier) to eat at home.
How to save money on clothes
Clothing purchases are often seasonal and tend to require a large amount of money. Here are a few ways to make clothes-shopping a little more budget-friendly:
- Buy used clothing in good shape: This is especially good for kids’ clothing or special occasion clothes that you’re unlikely to wear more than a couple of times. Friends and family, garage sales, thrift stores and consignment shops are all excellent sources.
- Shop the clearance rack: Seasonal items, like winter coats or swimsuits, can often be found for huge discounts toward the end of the season. If you know you’ll need it for next year, buy it ahead of time for a much better price.
- Shop discount stores: For items that are replaced frequently, like socks, there may not be much of a quality difference if you buy them at the dollar store compared to a department store.
- Shop sales: Find out when the items you need are the cheapest and spread your purchases out a little. For example, jeans are often at their lowest prices of the year during back-to-school sales, so watch the ads and buy them then.
Other ways to save money:
- Take public transportation: It’s cheaper than buying a car and then paying for car insurance, gas and parking. It’s also an excellent temporary option if you are trying to save for a car.
- Get a bike: Faster than walking and cheaper than the bus, a bike can be a convenient solution in urban areas during warmer months. It’s also good exercise!
- Tackle a DIY project: Many essential home maintenance and repair tasks are within the average person’s capabilities with good instructions and proper tools. Start small and do your research if you are inexperienced.
- Make your décor items: Consider making curtains, pillows or a piece of decorative art. If you’re adventurous, you can even make your furniture. There are plenty of online tutorials for just about any kind of project, and most require only basic crafting or sewing skills.
There are plenty of easy ways to save money, even on a tight budget, but if you need some extra help with personal budgeting or credit counselling, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation!