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Household Budgeting: How to Reduce Spending during a Slow Economy


It's always important to find ways to reduce spending and make ends meet. But sticking to a budget doesn't mean you have to stop having fun. Here are some ways to cut back without sacrificing your quality of life.

Eat Less Meat

If you're trying to save money on your grocery bill, try eating a few vegetarian meals each week. Meat is expensive and meat production is one of the most detrimental processes to the environment. By replacing meat with another type of protein like tofu, you'll cutting your grocery bill and your carbon footprint.

Grow Your Own Vegetables

Another great way to cut back on your grocery bill is to grow your own vegetable garden. You'll only need a small stretch of land in order to grow beautiful tomatoes, onions and carrots. Your family will love the taste of your homegrown vegetables and you love the savings.

Stay In

When money is tight, you have to cut back on discretionary spending. You may not have the money to go out to restaurants or take the whole family to the movies. So think of ways to have fun within the confines of your own home. Have a game night and do activities that the whole family can enjoy. Mail-in movie services like Netflix or Blockbuster online offer an affordable way to watch the newest releases. Get outside and throw a football around the backyard. You don't need a lot of money to have fun with your family.

Shop Secondhand

Your kids need clothes and shoes and other necessities. In order to get more for money, shop at a secondhand store. You can find some great deals on brand names for only a few dollars.

Turn Off the Lights

You can cut your energy bill in half just by making a few simple adjustments. Be sure to turn off the lights when you leave the room. Unplug cellphone chargers, microwaves and other appliances that suck up energy even when they're not being used. Replace incandescents with CFLs. Wash your clothes using cold water and hang them out to dry. If you monitor your energy usage, you'll be surprised by how much money you can spend.

Walk More

Gas prices can really put a dent in your wallet. In order to cut down on transportation costs, you may want to try to walk more. Instead of hopping in the car to get a gallon of milk from the convenience store, put on your walking shoes and get the kids in the stroller. Find ways to minimize your driving time. You'll not only be saving on gas, but you'll be spending more time in the fresh air. If walking is not your thing, try biking to places close by.

Use Coupons

Coupons can save you a bundle if you know how to use them properly. You'll be surprised at how many manufacturers offer valuable coupons on their products. To take advantage of the savings, get a Sunday paper, a pair of scissors and start clipping.

Remember, you can spend wisely and still live well. Small changes can add up to big savings and can help you get through even the toughest economic times.

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