It’s no secret that stretching your family budget can go a long way.
Yet, when you think about cutting expenses, you may dread the thought of giving up lattes, foregoing dining out to eat at home, and negotiating lower rates for your Internet service. More importantly, cutting out your favorite things may not work long-term.
So, we’ve come up with other ways to save money. Check out these 6 ways to stretch your household budget.
Buying groceries online is convenient and can also save you money.
For starters, when you shop for food online, you won’t have to deal with the temptation of walking through the store and picking up items that weren’t on your list. Plus, as you add food items to your virtual cart, you’ll see your total charges increasing – instead of waiting to hear the damage report at the checkout counter. This way, you can always remove items if you know you’re spending too much.
Online grocery delivery services like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, and Google Express all have garnered great reviews, but they come with monthly fees. So, if you shop at a local Walmart, Meijer, Kroger or other regional supermarket chain, find out if your store offers a free grocery pick-up service. This way, you can order and pay for your items online. From there, you can schedule a time to go to the store and pick up your groceries curbside.
Switch Your Cell Phone Provider
If your phone bill is outrageously high each month, you don’t have to ditch your phone entirely to get it under control. It may be time to look into switching to a prepaid phone service, which is often cheaper than a contract service provider.
Republic Wireless is a prepaid company that I’ve been using for three years. Their plans start at $15 per month and come with unlimited talk and text. You can also choose how much you want to pay based on the amount of data you need on a monthly basis. Plus, you can keep your smartphone if it’s compatible or use one of Republic’s Motorola or Samsung smartphones.
Other affordable prepaid phone services include Straight Talk and Boost Mobile, both of which are compatible with iPhones. As an added bonus, Boost Mobile offers affordable family plans with unlimited data, so the whole family can stay connected.
Amazon Subscribe and Save
If you shop frequently on Amazon, you may have heard about the company’s Subscribe and Save program. It allows you to choose from thousands of products and set up recurring deliveries for these items automatically within a one to six-month time frame.
This is an ideal service to use for toiletries and household items. Plus, when you sign up to receive at least five items in one month, you’ll unlock up to 15% in savings for your merchandise – on top of Amazon’s current discounts and free shipping. To make your shopping experience more convenient, Amazon sends a reminder email days before your next shipment will go out. This way you can review everything and make any necessary changes.
Baby Reward Programs
If you’re a parent, you know how expensive it is to run a household with children.
Registering with diaper and baby product companies is a sure-fire way for you to get samples, coupons, and other freebies. For example, Huggies provides coupons and discounts on diapers via its website, while Pampers has a rewards program that allows you to earn points for purchases. You can then redeem your points for free diapers and other baby products.
If you’re looking to save on other baby items, the Honest Company has subscription bundles for diapers and wipes, as well as formula and other necessities. You can automatically order product bundles every four to six weeks and cancel at any time.
Kids on the way? You can still save! If you’re expecting, consider setting up a registry with Target. This will net you more than $50 in free items, including samples of diapers and wipes, breastfeeding storage bags, diaper rash cream, and other products from top brands like Honest and Pampers.
Online Consignment Shops
Shopping for gently-used clothing is often more affordable than going to department stores and paying full price. At the same time, shopping at thrift stores can be a time suck as it can take hours to find what you’re looking for.
This is why you may want to try out online consignment shops instead. This way, you can find the used clothing you need quickly, pay a fraction of the retail price, and have the items delivered to your door.
ThredUp is one of the top online consignment shops specializing in women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories. ThredUp buys gently-used clothing and resells the merchandise on its site. So, while you’re shopping, you may also want to consider making some extra money by decluttering and selling some of your unwanted clothes.
Switch to a Bank With Lower Fees
An easy way to stretch your household budget is to check on your bank fees to see if you’re incurring any unnecessary charges.
It’s important to find a bank that offers a free checking account, free ATM withdrawals, and overdraft protection. If your current bank is costing you in fees, you can easily switch to a bank with no hidden fees and save money.
Saving Isn’t Always a Hassle
Saving money and stretching your dollars doesn’t always have to be a penny-pinching hassle.
To get a jump-start, go over your budget and identify the areas where you’re spending the most money. Then, start using some of these free tools to effortlessly cut back on your spending.