Every price tag seems to be on a steady climb upward, but these coupon-free ways to save money will help you fill hungry bellies without emptying your wallet. These tips from Cara Harrington, Author of ‘Confessions of a Couponer: Real Ways to Save Money‘ you can trim your bills and put money back in your pocket.
Stretch a Meal and Your Grocery Budget With Inexpensive Foods
There are so many healthy, delicious, and cheap foods that complete a meal and stretch a buck. Vegetables can be a prime candidate for make a meal more filling. “You can save a ton of funds by going lighter on meat and investing in vegetables, legumes, leafy greens, and even some starches. For example, if you normally use a full pound of ground meat in, say, your lasagna, cut the pound in half and supplement the dish with diced squash, peppers, and/or onions. It will amp up the flavor, be healthier, and you can use that other half pound of ground meat to have a taco night. Add beans or rice, both are cheap eats, and you have made two meals with one pound of meat instead of two! The switch will save so much money.” Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, lentils, spinach, tofu, quinoa, and oatmeal are just a few of the budget-friendly options you can use in various ways to create entire meals or simply stretch out a feast.
Shop Smart Section-By-Section
Most people hunt for the best prices in a store-versus-store manner. Harrington explains how that is just part of the money-saving tactic. “What aisle or section you shop in matters more than the store in most cases. Take carrots – a one pound bag of baby carrots tends to run around $1.50, if you’re lucky – you can pick them up on sale for a buck. But, if you go to the bulk section and find carrots for around .50 cents a pound! That’s half of the sale price. The bulk section for nuts, wheat, flour, rice, spinach, fresh leafy greens, herbs, and even candy is another great place to save yourself from overpaying. Avoid buying per-packaged meals or sides whenever you can. You’ll be amazed at the price difference.“
Just like you wouldn’t leave a light on in an unoccupied room, don’t waste energy (and your money) on electricity draining gadgets. Cara confessed, “I am terrible at remembering to unplug my cell phone charger. Even when your phone isn’t charging, the cord and adapter are still sucking energy – and cash – if you don’t unplug it completely.” Mobile phone chargers are just one of the many culprits. Appliances of all natures can use electricity whether it is off, on passive or active standby. TVs, video game consoles, VCRs, DVD players, computers, laptops, and printers tend to be the biggest financial drain.
For more money-saving tricks and couponing tips, pick up ‘Confessions of a Couponer: Real Ways to Save Money‘ for your tablet or get it on paperback.