As I stated previously, I am a GTA and I only get paid during the school year. Hence, I need to really watch how I spend my money. Most of my bills I can’t change—i.e. rent, car payments, etc. I know I can keep my electric bill and water bill down by making sure I turn of the lights when I leave the room, turning the AC off while I’m gone, taking quicker showers, blah blah blah. And I already stated that I suspended my internet for the summer. So where else can I save money? Food.
Eating out: I try not to eat out so much. It is so much healthier and cheaper to cook my own food. But sometimes I get tired of my food. So, if I eat out, I make sure to have some sort of discount. I use Enjoy the City coupons for great deals, or I check out Groupon to see if they have any deals with restaurants in town. Another way to save money is to see if the restaurant has a deal of the day. One place my friends and I like to go to is a Gyro joint. They have college nights—5 bucks for a gyro!! Such a sweet deal!
Grocery Shopping: This one is tough. I can easily go to the store and buy $100 worth of food. Recently, I have learned a few money saving tips. I’ve been trying to spend about $30 a week at the store, and it’s really been working for me.
Before going to the store, there are a few places to look.
- What do you already have? Check your fridge and cabinets to see what you have and base recipes off of this. For instance, I had chicken, rice, taco shells, and homemade taco seasoning, so I could easily make tacos. All I needed was salsa! And then I made too much rice for the meal, so then I looked and I had all the ingredients for Shrimp fried rice. I made two meals right there and all I needed to buy was salsa!
- Grocery store ads. It’s great to know what is on sale. Living in the South, we have Publix stores and they are the best! Publix always have a ton of BOGO sales, but you only need to buy one, so it’s really just 50% off! I like to check these ads to see what is on sale and base what I need off of this. I try to only buy items that are on sale.
- Do you have any coupons? I wish I could be an extreme couponer, but it’s tough. I have a friend whose sister is an extreme couponer. Her sister mails her coupons to use to maximize savings. If she ever has extras, she’ll throw some my way. The key is to wait until the item is on sale (preferably BOGO) and use a store coupon and/or a manufacturer coupon to get the most savings.
Make sure that you are only buying things that you need! So create a list before you go and try to stick with the list. I really struggle with this. I always have a nice short list, but then I walk down the candy aisle and the M&M’s are BOGO, so I HAVE to buy a bag or two!
Do you have any other money saving tips that I could learn?