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12 Money Saving Tips from Northway

 

1. Determine the right deductibles.

Many families overpay on insurance. Insurance premiums can change dramatically based on the level of the deductible. Raising these levels can save real cash. However, be sure to have at least the amount of the higher deductible in savings so you don’t get caught in a bind.

2. Break your family of brand names.

Many generic brand food items are actually made by the same manufacturers who offer the more popular (and more expensive!) name brand products. Create a blind “taste test” with your family to determine which of your favorite items can be swapped for the generics for some real savings.

3. Create a two-week menu.

By knowing what will be on the menu every night, shopping trips can focus on only what you need – not what catches your eye. Stick to the grocery list based on your menu and watch your monthly food bills drop.

4. Buy in bulk.

This is a no-brainer to those of us who have more than one shopping trip under our belts. But a lesser known way to buy bulk meat is to contract with a butcher to purchase half of a cow or pig. Not only do you know exactly where and how these meat products are processed, you’ll also have the opportunity to determine the cuts that you prefer.

5. Join a farm co-op.

Not only will you get the freshest produce grown locally, you can also select organic farms if this is important to you. Farm co-ops often request some light labor from their partners which can be a fun and educational outing for the whole family. Costs per servings are significantly lower and the pleasure of eating locally grown produce just can’t be beat.

6. Go for the dollar deals.

This is not your mother’s Dollar Store. Today’s Dollar Stores are offering everything from school supplies, to DIY project supplies, to pantry stock items like soup and popcorn, to pet care supplies – and just like the name says, everything is just $1. Comparing these prices to regular or even bargain store prices can be a real wallet saver.

7. Use alternate transportation.

With gas prices soaring once again, it may be a great time to explore other transportation options. Carpooling can cut weekly gas usage by half.

8. Make a night at home a night to remember.


For far less than the cost of a night at the movies, making a “big production” in front of the small screen can have a great impact. Kids love the special time with Mom and Dad, and even adults enjoy a night in if the red carpet is laid out! Lay in a supply of snacks and treats, plump up the pillows and hit “play” for a night at your own theater.

9. "Zero Dollar Days."

Challenge family members to find “zero dollar days” in the week. Can one day a week be set aside where no money is spent? How about two days? Finding alternate ways to fill needs without automatically resorting to a purchase is a great habit to build for everyone in the family.

10. Pack a lunch.

By avoiding the costs of eating out every day of the week, an average working adult can save around $50 and an average student can save around $15. Over the course of the year, a family of four could save roughly $5,000.

11. Don't pay for entertainment.

Nearly every city offers free events like concerts-in-the-park, fireworks, parades, parks and recreation opportunities. Find out what’s available in your local area and take part in the lower cost of free fun. In addition, plan ahead by packing a picnic lunch, or putting together goodie bags with inexpensive trinkets (like glow necklaces) to avoid the inevitable barrage of venue items for sale.

12. Learn to say “No.”

One of the most difficult things we have to do is deny ourselves or our families the immediate gratification of making a purchase… yet, it’s one of the healthiest things for both our mental development and our pocketbooks. By limiting ourselves to buying only what we can reasonably afford and denying the extras that would break the bank, we create a higher appreciation for what we DO have.

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