Many of us have faced a moment in our lives when we need to tighten up our belts and live on a budget. Unfortunately, sometimes all it takes is one emergency expense to put a huge strain on your finances. On the bright side, there are a few easy tips that you can follow to make a living on a budget a little easier. Everyone can plan a budget, but sometimes the hardest part is actually to follow it. Here are 4 great tips to help you not just plan your budget but actually thrive on it!
Shop with coupon codes
Shopping with a coupon code may seem old school, but it’s an amazing way to avoid paying full price on your purchases. There are two types of coupon codes: online and in print. Both can help you save a lot of money!
Find a coupon & deals website for online coupon codes that provides many different promo codes for all your favorite stores. BravoDeal has some great offers and discount coupons for all the best brands and department stores. The coupons are super easy to use. Just click on the one you like, and it will allow you to unlock an exclusive discount on all your purchases!
Another great way to reduce your budget is to use paper coupons to save on purchases, especially on groceries. You can find many of these in-print coupons in two places: in the Sunday insert of a newspaper or print them directly from the website of your favorite brands. Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Kellog’s are just some online brand websites that offer printable coupons!
Slash your grocery bill
Some of your expenses are fixed, like a mortgage payment, where you won’t be able to reduce the amount you pay. Other bills are variable, like your grocery expenses, meaning that you can reduce the amount you spend months with a bit of planning and helpful advice. Here are some budget-friendly tips to help you slash your grocery bill:
- Buy generic products instead of name brands. You can save up to $2 to $3 for a similar product. Those small savings add up over time!
- Join free grocery store loyalty programs since they’ll often give you rewards points or coupon codes.
- Stock up during sales and freeze what you don’t eat right away.
- Shop for produce while it’s in season since it’s far less expensive.
- Check to make sure you’re buying the cheaper cuts of meat. The price of meat varies from location to location, and sometimes something unexpected like ground chicken might actually be cheaper than beef!
Stop paying for cable
Cable can be expensive! With prices averaging $100 a month, you’ll save a lot of money by switching to a streaming service. These days Netflix isn’t your only choice for entertainment. HBO, Starz, and Showtime are all inexpensive streaming options starting at less than $10. If you’re not big on TV, you can probably get by on just free streaming! Check your local library to see what free movie and TV options they have available. You’ll find many of your favorite programs uploaded for free on YouTube. Lastly, remember that many cable network channels are already available for free online!
Find cheap or free events for entertainment
Another variable expense where you can save a lot of money is your entertainment budget. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a good time if you get a little creative! Here are some great tips to get you started on cheap or completely free entertainment options:
- Head back to nature and visit your local park or wildlife trails! Most are free, and getting outdoors is a great way to relieve stress!
- Check out smaller festivals and fairs, which often have free admission.
- Local libraries often host a number of family-friendly free or cheap events.
- Find out if your local museum or zoo offers any free admittance or discount admission days.
- Check local community theaters as they often hold inexpensive theater productions.