Susan Hansen, Extension Educator, Colfax County
Save Money A Dollar At A Time
We all like to save money. Sometimes it is easy to do but other times it can be a challenge. While saving $50 or $100 on a purchase or lack of a purchase is great, donít overlook the small things we can do that can add up to savings.
Consider the trade and barter system with friends and family. Trade clothes, furniture, dishes, books, magazines, whatever. In my family, we do this often. Consider the exchange of services such as babysitting, pet sitting, housecleaning, yard work or carpooling children to and from school.
Go to the local library for books and DVDs rather than purchasing those items. While there, find out what free or inexpensive services or opportunities are available. These could be internet use, story hour or classes.
Check out community celebrations for inexpensive yet unique entertainment. Not only are you supporting local communities but your family is saving a lot of money on entertainment.
Eat more meals at home. Not only will this save money but the amount of sodium, fat and sugar eaten will probably be reduced. Learn or improve your cooking skills to add variety to meals.
When dining out, save money by ordering tap water rather than a beverage. Plus, water is so much better for your health. Take home part of your meal for lunch the next day but only if the food can be refrigerated within two hours.
When shopping for groceries, check out what is on sale or in season. However, donít buy food just because it is on sale. If your family doesnít like a food or wonít eat it, that food on sale is not much of a bargain. However, if an on-sale food is a family favorite and has a long shelf life either in the cupboard, freezer or refrigerator, stock up. Use coupons.
Learn a new skill to save money around the house. Paint a room. Fix a faucet leak. Refinish furniture. Sew curtains.
Look around the house. Does everything that is plugged in need to be? This answer will vary from household to household.
Finally, identify your needs and wants. Discuss those needs and wants as a family to make a spending plan (also known as a budget). Remember that we donít need to buy everything we want.
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