A Simple Solution to Saving Pennies

Posted on: May 8th, 2010 by

Financial Plan - Budgeting - Rockville, MDWhen reading about ways to cut costs, we often read about turning off the lights when we leave the room, buying in bulk, using energy saving light bulbs, or even putting tap water in our reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water.  And then when we follow through with these tips, we feel better about ourselves.  Then we hear about clipping coupons and spending hours reading the ads to find stores with the best deals, but a lot of us don’t have the time, can’t be bothered, or even forget to use those pesky coupons at the store and we feel bad.  There are other ways, that require small changes in lifestyle that can help you save and are not as difficult though.  The biggest thing is to eat out less.  45% of the average family’s food budget is spent on meals prepared outside of the home.  Imagine how much money you can save just by eating the food you already own at home.

A lot of people go out to eat for lunch at work.  One of the main reasons is the social gathering of the meal.  Instead of going to a restaurant with your friends, suggest going to a grocery store, if there is one nearby, and having lunch outside.  Yeah, a prepared meal from a grocery store may cost you $4, but that is a lot less than you would spend at a restaurant.  If you are not near a grocery store, pack your lunch and arrange for your friends at work to do so and make it exciting by coming up with a fun place to eat and socialize.

While entirely cutting out the dining out experience isn’t for everyone, just remember that when  you do, do so in moderation.  There is no need to go to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and then order the most expensive dishes on the menu.  Scale it back a bit and keep in mind your budget.  We meet with financial planners about our retirement for a reason.  Spending all your extra money on eating is money you could have put into your 401(k) or paid off debt with.  Think about more important things you could be doing with that money before you go out.



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