It seems that most young families can relate to the fact that times are tough, money is tight, and being careful with money requires some thought and strategy.
I have learned a lot from friends along the way, from ways to save on groceries to where to buy inexpensive clothes for my kids to what items are simply unnecessary.
This week, I consulted with Louise Thompson, a Bookkeeper in Guelph, on money management strategies. She discussed a few ways families can plan and strategize to save more and stretch their dollar further.
Thompson suggests meal planning as an essential way to manage your grocery expenses.
“(Meal planning) helps you to create a strategy going into the grocery store making it easier to stick to a budget,” she explained.
Planning your meals around what is on sale that week, or avoiding pricey meats and products are a great way to avoid overspending.
Thompson added that there are many ways to use coupons to save on products, from finding online coupons, clipping coupons found in the newspaper, or finding coupon apps on your phone.
Another great way to maximize savings on groceries is by price matching.
“You can price match goods from the paper flyers received each week in your local newspaper. Alternatively, you can use the Flipp app on your mobile device to search specific products to find the best price and combine them with coupons. In Guelph, the stores that offer price matching are No Frills, Freshco, Walmart and Giant Tiger,” Thompson advised.
Thompson added that focusing on nutrition and avoiding prepackaged snacks and sugary drinks are a great way to avoid buying unnecessary items. When grocery shopping try shopping along the perimeter of the grocery store and only going down the aisles for items written on your grocery list to maximize your budget.
On clothing, furniture, and housewares:
Although the above items are all necessary, there are varied price points for each. Thompson suggests trying to find the lowest prices and avoiding overspending in these areas.
She advised: “Places like Goodwill, Value Village, consignment shops and garage sales offer good second-hand options for clothing and some housewares. In addition, the internet is always a great resource. Sites like Kijiji and Facebook Buy & Sell/Auction groups offer excellent deals on clothing and other various items that are often of good quality. Private sales are of a buyer beware nature, so make sure that you always inspect goods before exchanging any cash.”
Thompson also discussed debt repayment, something that many families must consider and strategize. Thompson suggests paying for debt with the highest interest first, to reduce the amount of interest paid over time.
Leave examples of what money saving tips you use, when shopping for your family, below?