How To Save Money
With everything you here in the news about the current global crisis, is it any wonder that we are all doing our best to tighten our purse strings and spend our money sensibly? The idea of 'cutting back' or 'saving money' can give the impression that you must cut back on all your favourite things and live a life where you are too frightened to spend money. Instead, you should think differently about how to spend your cash and instead of 'cutting back' or 'saving' you should simply think rationally about your current spending habits.
The first thing you should do is calculate what your monthly income is, and add up all necessary bills and food costs for an average month. You may already think that you are sticking to a budget, but after you calculate all of your outgoings for the month, you may well be shocked at how much you actually spend! Work out a budget and stick to it.
Although most monthly utility and mobile expenses just continue to creep up with inflation there are some ways to save money and for many house holds the food and drink shopping bill can be amongst the biggest bills you spend on every month. Often there is too much food and drink purchased, and some of it thrown away every week. Why not save some money and try to avoid this by listing only what you need and not being tempted to put all those little extras in that you take your fancy.
Decide first which type of shopper you are? If you live near amenities and markets, and find shopping daily better, then choose this option. Some people prefer to do a larger food shop, and if you live some distance from food stores then it is a good idea to plan a menu and prepare a shopping list, and it will also save on transport costs too.
Keep a list and itemize everything you need, and get in the habit of adding to it when you think of anything that you run out of.
Check special offers, and scan shelves high and low for bargains. Budget ranges are usually good for general cooking purposes.
Buy seasonal products, and buy them in bulk and double up the recipes and freeze for a later date, useful on busier days.
Slow cooking can bring out the flavour of cheaper cuts of meats and a great example to try is Pork kavarma from the Quest Recipe section.
Ensure that all the food you purchase is used, check the use by dates regularly and freeze it if you think you are not going to make use of it.
Use your cooking skills, and search for recipes via books or the internet for cost effective meals, use your imagination to use leftovers up or freeze for a later date.
Read Quest Bulgaria's article that gives you a list of 16 traditional Bulgarian recipes to choose from and many are economical to make. A good example is a fast and easy dish called Mish Mash that requires eggs and any leftovers. Bulgarian's are excellent at making food go a long way and many great meals are created from very few ingredients.
Cooking your own food at home is obviously cheaper than eating out on a regular basis, but if you plan to eat out throughout the month, you should account for this on your shopping bill and buy less at the supermarket. Try to limit eating out at restaurants and take-outs to set dates during the month, this way you'll enjoy it more and feel less guilty about splashing your cash.
After a month or two of being a penny pinching pro, re-calculate how much you have spent and compare it to your months of being extravagant. You should hopefully see a huge difference, and hopefully one that puts a smile on your face! You must then ask yourself the following questions:
"Did I go without anything?"
"How did this effect me during this time of being more careful?"
"Do I want to continue being careful with how I spend my money?"