You may have heard the expression, “Live the life you’ve always wanted,” but it can be difficult to do so when it seems your paycheck appears to be dropping every month to pay for your rent, food, bills, and other necessary means.
Here, how to live the life you want, without relying on a nightly Ramen regimen and wishing on your lucky star to win the lottery.
- Go to the grocery store. If you spend $5 on eating out twice a week, you spend an average of $520/year on fast food alone. Based on one blogger, for a family of four that dines at the chain restaurant an average of twice a week, costs about $50, which is $2600/year. Consider the amount of food you can get from a $50 grocery trip for one week as a comparison.
By cooking meals at home, you will not only save money but can even take ownership of how skilled a chef you are (think of all the recipes you have Pinterested but never made)! Plus, there is a certain convenience that comes with knowing your groceries are healthy and fresh because You prepare it.
- Buy the items you need in bulk at the grocery store. Think BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Costco. Grocery stores normally charge a membership fee of $45-55 a year, even though BJ’s offers a free 60 day membership. If you are not willing to pay the annual fee, there’s all the time one supermarket promotion or your local dollar store. Ollie’s is another great hidden gem; Low-cost outlet stores carry overstock or out-of-production items ranging from books and toys to sporting goods, home goods, and furniture in brand names you recognize.
- Find deals. Groupon,Social LifeAnd Yipit is a terrific example of how you can save on your regular weekly or monthly social activities, from eating, health and sweetness, events, and fitness, to electronics, autos, and travel.
For the best fares on flights, CheapAir.com recommend booking 29 to 104 days before departure, which essentially means booking early, particularly considering A) if your flight is international or domestic, B) if you are traveling for leisure, D) and if the location is in high demand.
Looking for good deals is not just a money saver; it is good practice. In the end, looking out over your pride and your wallet, you will be grateful you put in the extra time.
- Sign up for prizes. Ask about gift cards at places you frequent, where you can earn points for each visit and end up free. You can even invest in sites like Swagbucks And mypoints. com, which rewards users for participating in activities they already do online, such as shopping, browsing for items, watching videos, reading e-mail, and answering surveys. “Swagbucks” or “points” are redeemable for cash or gift cards from your favourite brands like Amazon or Starbucks.
- Don’t be afraid to visit flea markets, farmers markets, and consignment stores. These places will surprise you with great deals, opportunities to experiment with your wardrobe, and a pinnacle to the past. Some examples in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area include:
Plato’s wardrobe – “a brand name gently uses a clothing store”
Buffalo exchange – “new fashion and recycling”
Columbus Farmers Market – with indoor and outdoor flea markets, Amish markets and Antiques Mall
Grand Market – with new and used home and private merchandise, antiques, collectibles, and curios.
Reading Terminal Market – historic public market with local produce, baked goods and restaurants