Tips on being frugal: How to save money on family expenses : Augusta Free Press

Christel Deskins

Published Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, 5:28 am Front Page » Business » Tips on being frugal: How to save money on family expenses Join AFP’s 100,000+ followers on Facebook Purchase a subscription to AFP | Subscribe to AFP podcasts on iTunes News, press releases, letters to the editor: [email protected] Advertising […]

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Rent, utilities, WiFi, groceries — the cost of living has skyrocketed over the years. For low-income families, dental care, or a trip to the convenience store can put a dent in savings. If you think this is a threat to your financial security, you’re not alone. Since nearly half of the United States has the same opinion, your best option is to live within your means.

It’s the best time to practice some frugal living, but it doesn’t mean giving up all your worldly comforts. If you’re wise about it, you can save a lot of money without sacrificing too much in the process. Small tweaks to your lifestyle and better shopping habits are often all you need. Read on to see how to start saving money on family expenses.

Buy used goods

Sure, hand-me-downs and thrift shop clothing can help you save money. However, you can save money without sacrificing on all new products. An excellent way to start is to buy used goods. From estate sales to goodwill stores, you can find unique vintage products at a low price. If you like brands, this is the best way to buy branded items without hefty price tags. You will find everything from crystal glasses and porcelain china to designer clothing.

If you’re not sure about the quality of electronics and technology — opt for refurbished items. Make sure you buy refurbished items from trusted brands like The Store. It will help you get the best prices as well as avoid any fraudulent scams. You can even get refurbished home appliances complete with warranty and return options. And, the free shipping that most online shopping retailers offer is a bonus.

Make smart food choices

Smart food choices can help you save a lot of money. When you’re at the convenience store, pick cheaper cuts of meat. And, don’t shy away from the frozen aisle. Frozen vegetables and meat have just as many nutrients as fresh ones. They’re cheaper, easy to store, and you can save what you don’t use for a longer time.

Cook more than you eat out. It can be tempting to get takeout when you have other chores to sort through at home. However, home-cooked meals are more nutritious and help save money. Also consider freezing leftovers, making your own coffee, and shopping in advance.

Avoid big bills

A little frugal living can help you save a lot of money. Save on your utilities by cutting costs in small ways. Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Also, check all your payment plan options. Check whether you can lower your interest rate on things like car insurance. Try to get a low price on your WiFi and cable plans.

Also, learn to limit the amount you use your appliances. Turn the air conditioner off when you don’t need it. Only turn on lights that you need, and turn them off whenever you leave a room. A few smart tweaks will help you save money without sacrificing too much of your lifestyle.

Cut your healthcare costs

Even with the best medical insurance, you can end up paying more than you can afford for healthcare. And, if you require an orthodontic treatment — you’re out of luck. Most health insurance plans don’t cover orthodontics. While some do offer dental insurance, the cost of braces is not always part of the plan. Check your medical insurance to avoid any surprise out-of-pocket health costs. Things like vision and dental plans are most important to double-check. Find out about the inclusions and exclusions. And, check the average cost of the treatments that are not part of your health insurance.

Consider a children’s health insurance program that offers an excellent dental plan. If the dental plan covers a dentist appointment but won’t cover braces, don’t worry. Instead of living with crooked teeth, search for other avenues. There are several different options for affordable braces and orthodontist treatments. Don’t get tricked into a high-cost payment plan even if it promises low interest.

Several independent companies offer low cost braces. These will give you more options than a traditional dental plan. You will have the luxury to pick between traditional braces and metal braces. Or, choose ceramic braces and clear aligners. With payment plan options, you can get orthodontic treatment at an affordable cost. The same applies to other health and medical issues as well.

Consider DIY options

Everything from a plumbing issue to a birthday party can cut into your monthly budget. Avoid surprise expenses by considering DIY options. Learn how to repair things around the house, so you don’t have to call a professional when something breaks. Give people homemade gifts — they’re fun to make and more meaningful for the receiver.

Learn about your router and cable connections, so you don’t have to call customer service for every issue. And, if you’re a terrible handyman, look for third-party repair options. Also, do your research before you hire someone. It will help you find the services you need at a more affordable cost.


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