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Lower Family Living Costs

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Lower Living Costs:

Cutting Grocery and Food Costs

Your family food budget is one of the easiest expenses to reduce. Start by changing your shopping habits, mainly:

Set your food budget for the week

Your goal will be to reduce your food bill by 5% each week until you reach a level that fits your family health needs and budget.

 

Start your own personal price book

Note and compare prices among brands and stores as you shop. The book will be helpful when planning your weekly list.

More information about the price book

 

Plan to shop food and groceries weekly

Be sure to list the groceries you need as set by your weekly food budget.

Never shop on a empty stomach. Those "expensive" goodies are too tempting to resist.

 

Always go shopping with a hand calculator

Begin with your weekly budget and count down as you place items in the basket.

 

Eliminate the snacks

Replace them with more healthy selections such as vegetable and fruits (less expensive and more healthy).

 

Review online guides

Next, review a brief online guide on stretching your food dollars:

 

Buy in bulk

If storage allows, shop in bulk quantities for non-food items such as paper products, cleansers, bathroom supplies and the like. Many member warehouses offer significant reductions for these items.

Find a member warehouse near you:
SamsClub
CostCo
BJs

Note that member warehouses don't necessarily have the best prices. Be sure to shop around.

 

Shop multiple stores with your price book handy

Find the store that offers the overall best price and incentive bargains such as double coupons, bulk sales, and the like.

 

Consider joining a food co-op —

member based co-op where an aggregate number buys from wholesalers directly.

More information about co-ops

 

Shop wisely with coupons,

especially on days when coupons will be doubled. Use coupons for items that you need. Compare the coupon-reduced price with store brand prices. The store brand may be cheaper.

Find coupons online:
www.coolsavings.com
www.couponclearing

Select coupons from your local store — enter zip code:
valupage.com

 

Check out this sites for additional ideas on reducing food costs


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Lower Living Costs:

Getting Discounts on Paper Products

Paper products include disposal bags, bathroom tissue, paper towels, paper dinnerware, and more.

Paper products can makeup a sizeable portion of the family food budget. Your best savings is to buy in bulk from discount warehouses and online delivery shop:

BagsForLess.com,save BIG on BAGS

Click now to save on paper products.


Discount Warehouses:
SamsClub
CostCo
BJs

 

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Lower Living Costs:

Driving Down Clothing Costs

Buying out-of-season can save clothing costs by 1/2 or more. Shop for bargains

If you are an online shopper, stop at our "bargain basement" center for discounts on everyday purchases: http://www.nBuy.com

 

Shop the discount stores throughout town

Many of these stores offer brand name clothing at half price.

Sample stores:
tjmaxx
burlington coat factory
wal-mart
k-mart
sears

 

Get to know every clearance rack in town

Keep a calendar of clearance sales throughout the year. Retailers generally have the same clearances every year.

 

Buy out of season

Pick up your warm weather clothes in August and September; cool weather clothes in January and February.

 

Sell your good used clothing to consignment shops

Turn around and use the money to shop designer clothes at consignment. Consignments often sell quality clothing at a fraction of the retail price.

Find local consignment shops: shop yellow pages

 

Start your shopping with clothing coupons

Many of these coupons are from designer stores, but bargains can be found:
clothes-coupons.com
couponmountain.com

 

Try your shopping skills with these top discount online retailers


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Lower Living Costs:

Keeping the Lid on Baby Costs

Convenience is an expensive baby-cost component. Up-front planning can reduce baby costs.

Baby supplies and baby food can cut into the family budget. Keeping track of sale prices and online shopping sites.

Sample items:
wholesale baby diapers
generic brand wholesale diapers

baby formula: free samples and coupons
baby food: free samples and coupons


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Lower Living Costs:

Reducing or Eliminating Vices

$1 spent daily for lotteries, coffee, smoking and a soda equals $1460 a year

How about some interesting facts for reasons to cut your vice expense:

 

State Lotteries:

  • Lotteries depend most on those least able to afford them
  • The average player spends $313 per year on the lottery
  • Those with incomes of less than $10,000 spend $597
  • African-Americans spend $998 compared to $210 for whites 
  • High school dropouts spend four times as much on the lottery as do college graduates
  • More than half of all lottery tickets are bought by just 5 percent of those who play,
  • The National Opinion Research Center estimates that problem gamblers (those addicted to gambling and whose families often suffer as a result) account for 14 percent of total lottery revenues. 

 

Gambling:

  • It is estimated by the National Academy of Science that there are 15.4 million addicted gamblers in the U.S.
  • Gambling threatens youth, just like smoking, and too many elderly loose all or part of their savings. 
  • The American Psychiatric Association describes pathological gambling as a compulsive disorder.  Addicts even sell gold teeth. Addiction can come on quickly and does not go away. 
  • Gambling has hidden negative economic impacts. These include bankruptcies, treatment for addiction, and penal system  costs. 
  • Over 6 billion dollars is already spent to cover costs of addictive gambling. 

    Are you a compulsive gambler: 20 questions

    Seek help:
    Compulsive Gambling

 

Smoking:

  • What can we say that you don't already know? Smoking costs you and society plenty.

    Estimate your smoking costs:
    www.healthstatus.com

  • Your next stop: the Stop Smoking Center
    for information related to stop smoking campaigns

 

Alcohol Consumption:

Let us link you to some interesting facts:


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