As gas prices, food prices, and housing costs continue to rise, many Americans are concerned about increased living expenses. Increased living expenses can cut into our luxuries and make it difficult to make ends meet. We offer a few money managing ideas that can help your family make the most of its resources.
A Bloomberg article reports that the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables rose 6.5 percent during the first 4 months of this year. Consider starting a garden to reduce grocery costs. While fruits are more challenging to grow, vegetables and herbs are relatively easy. Gardener’s have found that the easiest to grow and maintain are beans, squash, carrots, lettuce, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and oregano. Don’t have a yard? Use pots and window boxes.
Research cheaper alternatives for home goods such as household cleaners. Vinegar kills germs, bacteria, mold, and helps with mineral deposits and stains. Use vinegar to clean most surfaces around your house. When you need to stock up on vinegar and other home goods plan ahead. Make a list of the items you need, note which store has each item, and use a GPS program to map the shortest route.
As every homeowner and renter knows, the cost of utilities adds up quickly. Making changes to everyday activities can reduce your utility expenses. Using smaller appliance, such as a toaster oven to reheat leftovers, will save on energy costs. When washing clothes and rinsing dishes use cold water. This will save energy because the water is not heated. Try adjusting your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter. Leaving town for the weekend? Adjust the temperature an additional few degrees.
Making a few small changes can add up to great savings for you and your family. We offer a few ideas, but there many more ways to reduce your living expenses. Research online for more information about the ideas here or to discover more ways to save. Want to share a trick of your own? Leave a comment!