My husband and I are both employed full-time, have manageable bills, limited debt, and are generally very careful with our expenses. However, we find ourself stretched each month financially and I can only imagine what it would be like to have a disability where you are unable to work, or working multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. Our economy has been declining so much and with the costs rising - life is tough to say the least.
I am pretty good about bargain shopping, clipping coupons and getting our groceries for less than what I budget for, and finding resources for others that are in serious need. With that, I would like to share my knowledge with you and hope that it helps you where you need it.
1. In several articles I have read about families struggling to make ends meet and how they were able to put food on their tables I have seen mentioned Angel Food Ministries http://www.angelfoodministries.com/. This organization will provide you with several staple items for $30.00. You can add items to their basic list for about $20.00. Visit their website to see where you can locate this service in your area. The items they provide will help feed a family of 4 for about a week.
2. Coupons......oh how I love finding the best deal on everyday items that I use. Last week I bought Dawn dish detergent for $0.33 and Tide for $3.97.....both of these items are considered luxury items to me because I tend to use more inexpensive brands, however with sales and coupons combined I "treated" myself. I will begin posting a blog this week with coupons you can get out of the Sunday newspaper or online and compare them with items that are on sale locally. It helps to be organized and if I can do a lot of the foot work for you - I'm happy to!
3. Freebies.....I love, love, love getting freebies! I have two freebie websites that I look at atleast once a week - http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppfreebies and http://www.startsampling.com/index.iphtml. I get free samples of hair stuff, snack foods, etc. and these samples have helped between shopping trips for things like shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
And I've received full size products for FREE......like last night - I had received a coupon for a free box of Uncle Ben's Rice which I "bought" this weekend. I made a meal out of the cajun rice, sausage, green pepper, onion, can of diced tomatoes, and I made cheesy garlic biscuits and the cost of the meal broke down like this....
1/2 green pepper $0.25
1/2 onion $0.25
Diced Tomatoes $0.44
Bisquick Biscuits $0.50
For our family it cost me $2.44 for this meal and there was a little left over for Randy to take for lunch today and I must say....it was really good!!!
4. Freecycle http://www.freecycle.org. This is a great little site I have found where people post things that they're getting rid of or a wish list of things that they need and everything is free. We had a computer desk, an old lawn mower, some patio furniture, and other big items that we wanted to get rid of and I posted them out there and within seconds they were all taken and within days they were out of our hands and into someone else's that could use them.
These are just a few of the many tips I am going to share with you. I hope that my savvy in saving money will help you during these tough times with our economy.
Have a wonderful day!