Household expenses can be hard to manage in the best of times, and for many families, it's even more important to save money in times of economic uncertainly. There are many ways to save on household expenses that don't leave you without the things you need.
1. Limit Impulse Purchases
Impulse purchases can eat up too much of your budget if you allow them to. Industry estimates have shown that the average grocery shopper buys 14 impulse items on each shopping trip. Imagine the savings if you cut out all or most of those items. Stick to a list when you shop and don't deviate from it. You will end up with less clutter, less money spent and an easier time balancing the budget for the month. Keep track of the items that you buy in a typical shopping trip and think about which ones your family could comfortably live without.
2. Buy Items in Bulk
Buying more of any one item generally assures a lower price on each individual unit. Buying in bulk is a classic way to save money, and it's easier than ever to find bulk deals. Bulk buying deals can be found in a variety of bulk stores, such as Costco and Sam's Club, but these buys can also be found online. Amazon.com features thousands of bulk deals on household items. You can get a lower price on everything from shaving cream to toilet paper by buying it in bulk through Amazon. Not only are the prices lower than those available in stores, you can also "subscribe" to the deals and Amazon ships the item to you on a regular basis. This can be monthly, every two months, etc. And, when you subscribe to your everyday household items, shipping is free.
3. Conserve Water and Electricity
Utilities are often one of the largest expenses in a household each month. Training each member of the family to turn off the lights and electronics when not in use can help to keep the bills lower. Perhaps an even bigger help is to turn down the heat or air conditioning when no one is at home. There is no sense in keeping the home a comfortable 68 in the Winter if no one will be home for hours at a time. It takes little time to get the home back to a comfortable temperature once someone is at home, and the result is a significant power savings.
4. Shop in Thrift and Consignment Stores
Every family needs clothes and other accessories regularly. However, there is no reason to pay full price for them. Consignment stores have almost-new items that have been placed for sale by their owners. Thrift stores have clothing of every description, some of it in very good to new condition. These cost a tiny fraction of the cost of clothing at department stores. When outfitting kids who outgrow their clothes every few months, buying used is often a welcome alternative to paying retail prices. This can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.