Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Every Penny Counts

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned During a troubled economy, such as the one we are facing today, people sometimes start scrambling for ways to save money. They start looking at their budget, or lack of one, and trying to figure out how they can make ends meet. The new goal is to figure out what expenses are a priority and what ones can be cut in order to afford more sensible and important things. Setting up a budget is easily done. Simply figure out your total expenses and compare that number to your total income. This will help you see where you need to cut back. Once you have that figured out, set up budgets for each of your expenses. If it seems like a daunting task, try to view your budgets as goals of where you want to be and start working towards that. After you have your grocery 'goal' set up, it’s time to figure ways to cut back in order to give you more leeway in your finances. Most people are overspending on their grocery bill in enormous amounts and don’t even realize it. The first things to lose are the drive-thru and take-out menus. Fast food can account for large portions of a family’s grocery budget, not to mention its’ negative impact on your health. Once you come down from the fast-food high, it’s time to change your actual shopping habits. There is one small trick that can help shoppers of any skill level save money on a consistent basis. An added bonus is that it takes little to no effort to complete. Couponing is a trend that is taking the world by storm. There are blogs devoted to finding the very best coupons or vouchers, T.V. shows that depict the shopping antics of extreme shoppers, and all kinds of different groups of like-minded people. Once you learn the basics, you will be couponing like a professional. There are two aspects to couponing; where to get them and when to use them. Coupons can be found from a variety of sources. They are typically in your local newspaper once a week, and this is the easiest ways to get them. Other ways to get coupons are through online sources and magazines. You can also ask a company directly for some ways to save money. This may not always result in a freebie or coupon, but is still worthwhile. Coupons are also readily available if you join a coupon trading group or sign up for a coupon train. In groups like these, people are able to get rid of the coupons that they won’t use, and gain ones that are more valuable to them. Like most activities, timing is important to couponing. In order to save the most money, you should match coupons with active store sales. This will allow you to get items when they are at their lowest price, which in turn lets you stock up on items so you won’t have to pay full price for them later. There are places to get advice on how to follow store sale cycles and know when a particular item is at it’s rock bottom price, but once you start doing it on your own it will come naturally after a few weeks of practice. Now that you know some beginner tips on how to save money on your grocery bill, it’s time to put them into action. Try starting off slowly, that way you don't get overwhelmed. As long as you make a small effort each week, the savings will start showing up time after time. Eventually, you will be teaching others your secrets.

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