Making ends meet is harder than ever.
Many people have had to make adjustments due to inflation and Local 4 is looking at new ways to save money.
We only have so much to spend and with inflation eating away at our money, we have to get serious about finding ways to find savings. It’s not easy and it’s not going to happen on its own. You have to go and get them. But there is help and brilliant advice available to you on the Dollar Stretcher.
The website’s editor and top savings expert Andrea Norris-McKnight spoke with Local 4. She believes you can easily chop $100 to $150 a month out of your home budget.
“If you start with what are the things that you have to pay for and find ways to save there, then you may not have to cut back so much on the things that you enjoy,” she said.
Your electric bill is a good example. You charge your cell phones, laptops, and gaming systems and plug in TVs and other electronics. Leaving them plugged in often draws electricity through even though you’re not using them.
Andrea Norris-McKnight suggests using power strips that come with on/off switches that you can turn off after use or simply unplug the plug when it’s not charging or running something.
“Just shutting all that power off on all those devices overnight has made a difference in our electric bill,” Andrea Norris-McKnight said.
We all have to spend at the grocery store too. Andrea Norris-McKnight said she finds that the grocery store is one of the easiest place to find savings.
It requires re-thinking your approach with pre-planning and thinking long-term.
“I automatically start with, you know, what do I have on hand? What can I use that I don’t need to buy? Then my next step is to go to the sales flyer,” Andrea Norris-McKnight said.
She said during COVID, sales weren’t all that impressive but now stores are working harder to give you reasons to shop with them and the sales are getting better.
You should be buying more of what’s on sale than you would normally buy and make re-stocking your pantry part of every trip.
“I always keep a little bit of our food budget, specifically to stock up on those things. That way you know the next week the week after when you need them they’re not on sale, hopefully has some a back up you know left in your pantry,” Andrea Norris-McKnight said.
That system takes a little time, but saves money at the grocery store.
“I have readers that save so much money because they stretch out. they, like every eight or nine days as opposed to seven days. And they essentially cut out one full shopping trip out of the month without really feeling like that you’re, you know, missing out on anything,” Andrea Norris-McKnight said.
Shopping less and more efficiently plays out in other ways too. Like buying cloth napkins instead of paper. When using things like shampoo, laundry and dish soap make sure to not squeeze out too much.
“You can end up using them, you know, a third, go twice as long that kind of thing, you just pay attention to the amounts that you are using,” Andrea Norris-McKnight said.
How about entertainment?
If you’re using a lot of streaming services, Andrea Norris-McKnight advises a re-assessment.
“We’ve cancelled a couple of them. and I’ve had to explain to the kids it’s just temporary, you know we kind of rotate through them,” Andrea Norris-McKnight said.
Some allow you to pause the service for a couple of months.
Click here to learn more on the Dollar Stretcher website.
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