We hear the words ‘economy’ and ‘economics’ a lot; we’re especially hearing a lot about our nation’s economy on the news. I believe in order to fix the nation’s economy, we need to fix our household economy? What do I mean by household economy? I mean that we have to closely monitor what resources we have available, and use extreme care in how we consume those resources.
We can each make our own household economy a bit better than it has been if we try to be creative in how we use our resources. There are so many ways to trim the fat off our expenditures if we actually think about what we are doing. For instance, rather than making special trips for items that you need, why not get these items when you have to go out anyway, and kill two or three birds with one stone?
Ways to cut back on household expenses number 1.
How about cutting back on electricity usage. We recently had earth day, in which everyone was asked to turn off all their electricity for one hour. What if you did something like this every day? How about a candle light dinner every night? After you get dinner cooked and on the table, turn off all the lights in the house. Turn off all the TV’s, radios, and video games. I’ve done something a little more drastic than that to save money. I pulled the master switch on my breaker box to turn off ALL the electricity in the house during the evening meal. If you don’t want to burn a candle, you don’t have to. It’s still light enough out where you don’t need a candle, but candles do make dinner much more pleasant.
Ways to cut back on household expenses number 2.
So much food gets wasted each day in so many homes, mine included. Someone gave me the idea to save all the bits left over from meals. If you have rice and veggies left over, put it in a plastic container and freeze it, so that at a later time you can put the ingredients into a soup.
Ways to cut back on household expenses number 3.
If you have roast beef, lamb, chicken or fish left from dinner, rather than throwing it out, use them for sandwiches, or hot meals for the next day. Instead of buying cold cuts to take to work with you, use your left over meats to make sandwiches with, or take a meal that you can heat up in the microwave.
Ways to cut back on household expenses number 4.
Economize, economize, economize! Saving a nickel and dime here and there adds up after a while. When you go shopping for food look at the unit price on the package. Is your purchase really going to be a good buy after all? How many meals will you get out of the item? Is it worth the cost?
I like steak, but I can’t afford to buy it. What I sometimes do is buy a whole rib eye and cut it down into 20 or more slices. My son-in-law, Sean, is an experienced meat cutter, so when I find a buy on a large piece of meat I will ask him to slice them up for me, so I can freeze them. I do the same thing with a whole pork loin. We have an electric meat slicer, so rather than buying packs of deli cut meats, I buy the meat and slice it myself, or ask Sean to do it for me. When you consider the price of deli-meats for sandwiches you can pay around $4 or $5 a pound. I can buy a round roast on sale for a fraction of what it costs to buy cold cuts and deli-meats and slice it myself. I can buy a canned ham and slice that for a fraction of the cost.
Ways to cut back on household expenses number 5.
When you go shopping for food don’t go shopping hungry. You do buy more impulse items when you are hungry. Use a list and stick to the list. Don’t go down the isles that you don’t need to go down. In fact, it is better to just go down the perimeter of the store and shop from there. Most of the convenience foods are on the isles. If you buy less convenience foods and cook from scratch you will save lots on money.
Remember not to throw away your leftovers. Each day just add whatever leftovers you have into a big plastic container and freeze them. When the container is full you can then make a soup from your leftovers.
Ask your friends and extended family members how they cut back on their household expenses. They may have ideas that you haven’t ever thought of. Share your experiences; you may have ideas that other folks wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. You may have some really good ideas. We are here together on this planet for a certain amount of time. Things that we do to save money can help someone else.