5 Ways to Stretch your Budget

Learning to stretch your budget may come easily or it may be difficult. Learning to save money doesn't always come easily. It's a skill that can be learned, without feeling deprived!

5 Ways to Stretch your Budget

There are painless ways to reduce your expenses, some you might not have thought of.

I've got something for you at the end that can help you reduce your expenses.

1. Review what you are spending your money on

Do you have subscriptions that renew each month? It can be so easy to sign up for a service and forget we have it.

It's not uncommon to use a new service for the first few months and then forget about it. This happens in our personal life and our business.

Do you use all the services you pay for?

Here are a few ways to eliminate or reduce service costs:

  • Eliminate TV channels like HBO, Showtime or NFL Network
  • Cancel music streaming services
  • Cancel Audible and check out audiobooks from your library

2. Clean Out Your Fridge/Freezer/Pantry

Pantries and freezers are notorious for hiding the food we bought and forgot about. Has that happened to you?

If you can't see into the back of the pantry, it can be so easy to forget what's there. One way to solve that problem is by using pantry organizers like *these which are a lifesaver! All I have to do is pull out the bin and I can see exactly what is in it.

The worst thing you can do in your pantry is stack food on top of each other. Who wants to sort through a pile of bags and boxes of food when you want to quickly grab something?

Organize your *pantry and *freezer so you can easily see what you have.

  • Pull out everything you have in your pantry and freezer
  • Make a list of what you actually have on hand so you don't buy it again
  • Make a list of what is in your freezer and quantity, like "2lbs ground beef"
  • Make a list before you grocery shop and double-check your stock before you add something to the list 

Start cooking from your pantry and freezer! You can probably make numerous meals from the food you already have. Not sure what to do with an ingredient, Google it!

3. Meal Prep & Batch Cook

This is hands down one of the biggest ways we save money. I meal prep on Sat and shop that day or Sunday. I do as much meal prep as I can on Sunday so making meals during the week is faster.

I also plan for leftovers for lunch or another dinner later in the week.

When I make a dish that I know is a family favorite, (or that I won't mind eating over and over for lunch), I double it (or sometimes triple it). Between my husband and two boys, making enough food is key.

Many premade meals can quickly be reheated on the stove or in the *Instant Pot (a lifesaver).

  • Keep *jars, *containers, and *trays on hand to freeze in
  • Love lasagna, make two and freeze one
  • Double batch ground beef or turkey for Taco Tuesday and freeze one

Knowing you have a meal ready to go in the freezer means not getting take out or another trip to the grocery store.

4. Ask Service Providers About Reducing Costs and Conserving

This is a big one that can be uncomfortable to do. You can save quite a bit of money with a few phone calls and asking nicely.

You may not even realize that with a phone call you can reduce your costs, often without sacrificing service. It's always worth a try!

  • If you carry a credit card balance, call and ask to have your interest rate reduced
  • Ask your cell phone carrier about lower-priced plans or if they can save you money on your current plan
  • If you bundle cable and internet, call and ask about any specials or if they can save you money on your current plan
  • Conserve electricity and water - this we can do every day

5. Clean Out Your Makeup and Haircare Products

Ok ladies, teenagers and sometimes men. How many haircare and makeup products are you hoarding? Hotel shampoo and conditioners?

Empty out under your sink, drawers, and shower. Group like products together and see how many you really have. If a product is just too old, toss it. Otherwise, use it up!

Put away (in an organized fashion) your newest products. Keep out the older ones and use them up first. I use a leave-in conditioner and while reviewing my haircare products, I have three so I'm using the oldest up first. I will use it every day until it is gone.

You can do the same thing with makeup (as long as it's not years old, they have a shelf life). Do you have makeup you bought recently that you aren't using?

Change up your routine and start using what you have.

  • Do you collect hotel shampoo and conditioners? Use them before buying more!
  • Organize your products by type and use up the oldest first
  • Use up skincare products and makeup (unless expired or just too old)

Stretching your budget by saving money doesn't need to be hard. A little mindset change in how you use and buy products can really help your personal budget. And meal planning really can help you save money, especially with kids!

Don't be afraid to call your credit card companies and ask for a reduction in the interest rate or to cancel a service. 

It's your money, after all, make it work for YOU and you'll have more of it!

Want some help figuring out where you can save money? Download my free Monthly Expense Review spreadsheet to see where and how much you can save each month.




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