Long Term Ideas
Things I have done to cut down on spending long term: ~Go to the library a lot. I am a book and CD junkie, and I was spending way too much on books, even buying them second hand. Now, I force myself to go to the library instead and if there's no music I like there, I get a Spanish or German (2 languages I'm trying to become fluent in) CD and listen to it instead. ~Pre-make meals. When I get paid, I buy a huge bag of rice, frozen veggies, canned goods and pasta/sauce. Then I make a months worth of dinners out of it and freeze them. That way, a good dinner is guaranteed every night. ~Splurge on coffee creamer. Sounds dumb to save money by buying ridiculously expensive flavored cream, but it works for me. I love flavored coffee, and until I discovered the flavored cream, I'd spend 2-4$ a day on just one or 2 coffees. Now, I spend about 10$ on a can of coffee and 1 litre of cream, and it lasts at least 3 weeks. ~Look for closing out sales. For the last month, I have bought almost every canned good from Fields. They are a small SAAN-type store, and are closing out here. I've found beans, veggies, pasta, juices and more for 50 cents or less. Today, I bought a big can of bean salad, a 2 litre of RC (my addiction is cola), a juice, and a jar of strawberry jam for 3$. ~Recycle. Not only will Mother Earth love you for it, so will your pocket. As I said, pop is my weakness. All the bottles and cans I keep make me several dollars a month. If I get really good deals like I did today, its close to free for me to drink it! ~Buy really filling food. Rice, pasta, bread and beans are all very filling and really cheap. If made properly, they are also all healthy. Most of these foods are commonly found at food banks as well. ~Keep as much change as you can. I try to put all my bigger coin (Canada has 1 and 2$ coins) in a jar. It rarely gets saved, but it seems to help stretch it out. ~Round up. When I budget, I always tack on a few extra bucks (if my hydro bill is usually 23$, I'll budget for 30) This way, I'm prepared if one bill is a bit higher than anticipated.