Eat at home as much as possible
Studies have shown that the average American family eats out four to five times per week. Restaurant food is generally less healthy than the meals that one can cook at home. Eating out can also be quite costly. That is why people should try to cook at home as much as possible. Eating out should be limited to twice per week. A family of four can save up to $100.00 dollars per week by choosing to eat at home.
Use coupons whenever possible
Healthy food is more expensive than regular food, but people can save money by using coupons. There are many coupons that offer discounts up to 20 percent or more. Grocery coupons can be found in newspapers, natural health magazines and online.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper than buying a couple of items at a time. Many grocery stores offer discounts to people who buy a certain amount of items. The cost of gas is skyrocketing and frequent trips to the grocery store can also cause one to spend more money on transportation. Additionally, people can also save time when they choose to buy in bulk.
Do not buy junk food
This might seem like a given, but many people do not realize how quickly those cheap treats can add. One should try to avoid items such as chips, cookies, ice cream and packaged foods as much as possible. Those types of foods are usually very high in sugar and saturated fat. One should also avoid buying sodas and other sugary beverages because they have almost no nutritional value. Water is the best choice drink. A person will be healthier and save more money if he avoids buying junk food.
Do not shop when you are hungry
Studies have shown that people who shop when they are hungry more money. They also have a tendency to buy more junk food. That is why people should make sure that they eat a well-balanced meal before they go shopping.
People may also want to consider shopping around and comparing prices at several grocery stores before they pick a place to buy their groceries. This will not only help people save money, but they will also be able to burn more calories by walking the grocery aisles.
Cook large portions
Many people choose not to cook at home because they think that they do not have time. However, one can save time and money by cooking in large portions. People should cook a large meal at the beginning of the week. This will allow them to eat for a few days without cooking or eating out.
Eating healthy and frugally is not as hard as many people may think. Comparing the prices of several grocery stores, using coupons, buying in bulk, not buying junk food and cooking large meals at home instead of eating out will help people eat healthy and save money.
Most of us have fond memories of the trips we took and the activities we participated in when we were in school. But when it comes time for our children to do these things, we may balk. It’s not that we don’t want them to have fun and educational experiences in school, it’s that they’re just so expensive.
Today’s school trips are often much different from those we went on during our school days. They often involve traveling out of state and staying one or more nights, even for elementary and junior high students. Even day trips have become more expensive, requiring parents to pay bus and admission fees. This is generally a result of reduced education budgets.
Handling requests to go on field trips and participate in activities can be difficult. Here are some ways you can work these things into your budget.
* Pick and choose. If your child’s class goes on multiple trips during the year, you may not be able to afford them all. Consider saying “no” to some of them. Talk to your child about which ones he wants to attend the most, and look at the educational value they provide. Then make a decision and stick with it.
* Be honest with your child. She may feel that it’s not fair that she doesn’t get to go on a trip that “everyone else” gets to go on. Explain that you would pay for the trip if you could, but it’s just not an option.
* Talk to your child about raising the money on his own. Older kids could get a part-time job to earn the needed funds. Younger kids might do a fundraiser such as a car wash or bake sale to get the money they need. If your child gets an allowance, perhaps he could pay the fees out of that.
* For big, expensive trips, find out if you can make payments. Coordinators often let parents know about such trips well in advance, and they may even set up a payment schedule for everyone. If you don’t feel that you can pay on that schedule, meet with the coordinator and ask if you can set up an alternate one.
* Consider asking relatives for help. Perhaps each grandparent, aunt or uncle could contribute a small amount to help fund the trip. If you can get several people to give a small amount, it won’t put a burden on anyone.
Field trips and other activities usually have educational value, and they foster a love for learning. But if you can’t make room in the budget for them, there’s no need to feel guilty. If you explain why you can’t afford to pay your child’s way, there’s a good chance that she will understand. She might even take it upon herself to raise the money, and that in itself will be a valuable learning experience.