Frugal Living

Simple Budget Tips That Really Work

Springtime 2020 has been tough on a lot of families, and we’ve been seeing too many people having to tighten their proverbial belts. The cost of some goods online has risen with pandemic-era demand, even though companies like Amazon have tried to fight price-gouging practices. Grocery store shelves have been laid to waste. Workers have been laid off, some temporarily and others permanently.  Even households whose income has not changed have begun to practice frugality, as though waiting for the other shoe to drop. In short, the coronavirus is requiring more frugality than ever. In times like these, frugal moms are pouring over their budgets, looking for ways to save. Try these budget tips to help you get started.

Streamline Your Streaming Situation

Do you know how many streaming subscriptions you have? How many free trials of sub-channels have you signed up for and let continue? Let’s see, there’s the one with all of your British shows, the Disney+ subscription, Dad’s sports package, and maybe a couple of movie packages because all of the good stuff seems to be spread across multiple platforms.  Or are you in the other boat: Are you canceling streaming subscriptions left and right to save money? Or are you in a third boat: You pay an astronomical amount of money each month with a top-of-the-line cable package and streaming services and you haven’t even realized it? Any way you look at it, it might help if you were able to switch to a service that provides streaming bundles. Check it out; it doesn’t hurt to compare the costs.

Library Books When the Library Is Closed

Depending on how much your family likes to read, you can save a bundle by utilizing your local library. “But my library is closed because of COVID-19,” you say. Chances are, your library has made some heavy modifications to their website in the last month or so to promote ebooks and audiobooks that you can check out for free. “But I don’t have a Kindle,” you say. You don’t need one! First, there is a free Kindle app that you can download on most smartphones and tablets. Second, most ebooks are readable in a few different formats, which are also available for smartphones and tablets. If you prefer to read on your actual computer, you can do that, too.

Dabble in Scratch Cooking

This is going to be cutting it close to home for a lot of moms. With everything you have to do all day, spending extra time in the kitchen probably doesn’t sound appealing. That’s okay, though; you might not have to. 

What’s that? You can cook with basic ingredients like dried beans and rice and still save time? Look into investing in a slow cooker or an electric programmable pressure cooker, and you just may be able to kill two birds with one stone. With either option, you can prepare meals from scratch ingredients, which are typically less expensive than buying prepared or partially prepared food at the supermarket, and you can save on cook time. In fact, much of your actual time in the kitchen with either a slow cooker or a programmable pressure cooker–and keep in mind that slow cookers operate under an entirely different principle than pressure cookers–is simply doing a little prep work. The rest of the time you can be off doing something else. You won’t believe the time savings. Look for a larger model of both so that you’ll have enough capacity to make food for the whole family. Even if your family is on the smaller size, leftovers will be like a cherry on top of this ice cream sundae of convenience and frugality.

In closing, remember that it is easy to become discouraged in times like these. However, by examining your budget–from learning to save money by reducing subscription fees to focusing on preparing meals from scratch–you may be able to eliminate some of the stress and worry.

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