Share your best advice for living on a budget and stretching your dollars.
Doing simple things like turning off water while handwashing dishes, and not rinsing them before putting them into the dishwasher (Scrap them instead), and turning it off while washing hands or brushing teeth can make big savings in your water bill. But remember, drink enough water!
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Every time you break a $5 bill or bigger, just slip the $1 bills away so you cannot spend them. Even on a tight budget this can be done. At first I felt squeezed on my budget putting those few $1's away, but I chose to follow through with my plan. Before I knew it, I had $100 to spend!
I like rotisserie chickens at my Safeway store. I buy a lot of them & save the bones when I'm done in big ziplock bags in the freezer. Every couple of months, I pull out the 'bone bag' & simmer them in a big pot with nutmeg, pepper, celery, onion & garlic to make chicken stock.
Make a menu that includes dinners, lunches, snacks and breakfast. Quick glance tells you what should provide leftovers for the next day's lunch and what to pack for a snack. Make your grocery list from your menu and eliminate extra trips to the store!
There are SO many awesome protein bars on the market but at $2 and up a clip, they get expensive! My secret has been experimenting in my own kitchen and making them myself. Not only do I save money but I get exactly what *I* want in my bars!
At the end of every day I empty my wallet, purse and pockets of all loose change. I put it in an 8oz. container.
Set a goal of how much money by when. After you set your goal and time frame , divide by amount of time and know how much you need to save each week. This amount is now a bill that needs paid like all others bills. Keep track of your progress.
Make a budget and stick to it. Using an envelope system can work by withdrawing the money you allot for buying food and pay for groceries with cash. Or if you don't trust yourself to not get a pizza delivery or something then use your check/debt card but track all spending with mint.com
Sometimes buying fresh produce can be too expensive, try looking in the frozen section for budget friendly quality fruits and veggies. A big bag of frozen berries usually costs the same or less then a small container of fresh.