When I first started out on my own I was going to Walmart and the local grocery store to buy all my food items and cleaning and toiletry items. It began to add up and get quite expensive as I work at a job that doesn’t pay all that much. I was buying frozen meals and expensive meat to try and feed myself and spending a ton of money on cleaning supplies, shampoo, face wash, soap, toilet paper, all the things you need to get by. Then I began to realize that I could get a lot of these things, not all of them, but quite a few at The Dollar Tree or Dollar General and other value stores of that nature. I began to look at what I needed to get by and realized I could get at least half of the things I bought every week at these stores. So my advice to you is when you are planning out your shopping list for the week make a list of everything needed and then go peruse The Dollar Tree and see what there is that you can get there. Everything is ONE DOLLAR, sometimes less depending on what it is, and it will definitely put a nice cut in your spending. For example you can get toilet paper, laundry detergent, almost any cleaning supply you could need including mops and brooms, paper towels, dishes, cat and dog supplies but not always food. You can find cereal, canned goods, spices and condiments, spaghetti noodles, rice, juice, soda, snacks. It may not be top brand name stuff and some of the cleaning items might be cheap but when you are living on a budget you can’t always go for the best of the best. They don’t have meat or milk or bread and things like that but if you do a little looking around at Walmart you can find cheaper bread and meat products. I cut my biweekly spending on food and supplies from about 50 to 25 dollars give or take a few dollars here and there simply by getting half the things I needed at The Dollar Tree. I highly recommend this path if you are looking to cut some corners and save money.
Another way to save money when cooking meals, especially if you are single or just a couple without children, is to make one meal and eat off of it for a few days. For some people this may seem kind of gross. I know people that don’t like to eat leftovers but as long as it is cooked fresh with fresh ingredients and kept refrigerated and reheated properly everything should keep for a few days and that way no food will go to waste and you have saved yourself time because you aren’t having to cook a meal every single night, all you have to do is reheat it and also you have saved yourself money because it takes quite a bit of money to buy meat and ingredients to make a meal for every single night of the week. This way you will only have to cook maybe two meals a week.
3Finally, we just need to all watch our spending. I had a friend tell me that as a single person it is cheaper to eat your meals out everyday. I can’t see how that is possible. If you get a coffee and bagel every morning that is at least 6 dollars right there, if you eat lunch with a beverage at a fast food restaurant that is almost 8 dollars, and dinner would be at least 10-15 dollars if you ate cheaply. Right there that is 25-30 dollars a day worth of food and as I told you above I was able to spend 25 dollars give or take a dollar here and there on food every two weeks just by buying my food at the Dollar Tree and Walmart and preparing it and eating it at home, taking my lunch to work and making one or two meals a week and eating off of that. Also all that eating out is just not good for you. I’m not going to say you should never go out. We would all go crazy if we didn’t get out once in a while I’m just saying budget yourself and watch where and how you spend your money and you will be able to afford those little treats more often. I hope these tips have helped you and shown you how you can live off a little less than you thought you could and save yourself some money.