Ten Tips to Help Survive and Save Money in a Bad Economy

Our economy is bad…we all know that.  My family has been hit hard by it, but that does not mean that we cannot learn some new ways to save money and work together as a family.

1. Combine trips to save on gas.  It is so easy for us to jump in the car and run to the grocery store to get a few things, but with some planning, we can stop by the store on our way home from work, combine it with a grouping of errands in the same area, etc.

2. Shop the Sales.  Each week various items go on sale.  What item do I have to have now that I cannot wait for it to go on sale?  The only items we buy not on sale is certain food items we use every week such as lettuce.  Even then we stock up as much as we can when it goes on sale and continue using it until we run out making the sale savings stretch as far as possible.

Bad Economy Survival Tips3.  Wisely coordinate schedules. If I am teaching a cake decorating class in our nearby town, I will plan to leave early enough to stop by the library on my way in and then stop by the grocery store on my way home.  Now, I have not only saved the time to travel to town and back but all of that gas by combining three possible trips into one.  Also, seek to do this with your children’s sports/activities, your work, your spouse’s work, etc.

4.  Plan appointments together.  If I have a meeting with a client, I will try to plan all my appointments in town that day if at all possible.  This helps with time on the road, gas, as well as keeps me gone one day and gives me more productive uninterrupted days in the office.

5. Cut back on un-needed spending.  Look at your budget and decide what you really need.  According to Scripture we only need food and clothes.  Even shelter is an “option.”  Do you really “need” that cable television?  Do you really “need” to have that outfit dry cleaned or can you hand wash it or use a  home dry cleaning kit?  Do the children have to participate in all these paid “programs”?  Maybe spending some time home together as a family playing a board game or working together would be good.

6. Exchange items or services.  Maybe you can sew to match any designer, and you have a friend who loves to decorate cakes.  Can you possibly exchange services?  Offer to babysit for a friend when she’s needing to go to an appointment and ask her if she’d be willing to do the same for you sometime later in the month.

7. Join a local Freecycle Group.  There are groups in most cities and counties.  Simply Google “Freecycle” along with your city or county.  This group is to help you get rid of unwanted items and gain items that you can use.  All for no cost.  It is totally e-mail based.  My family has gotten canning jars, a community sized coffee pot for our congregation, wood, and more through our local Freecycle group.

8. Learn homemade alternatives to expensive items.  Vinegar is a super all purpose cleaner.  I fill a bottle about 1/5 full of vinegar, add a drop of dish soap, and fill the bottle with water the rest of the way.  This multi-purpose cleaner can be used to clean everything in the bathroom and kitchen.  Basically between this and a good window cleaner (still working on a recipe for that!), that is all I use to clean.  And in case you are wondering about the quality of the cleaning, I clean professionally part time.

9. Shop thrift stores and yard sales for items you need.  You can often find things for a low cost but in good condition there.

10. Be creative and ask the Lord for wisdom.  He is the Creator of all things and has given each of us our own skills and strengths…so add some things of your own to this list!

What are some ways you can save money during a bad economy?

About Jocelin Boutet

Jocelin Boutet is a homeschool graduate who grew up learning finances from a young age and now passionately has her own ministry – Standing in YHVH’s Hand Ministries – with a mission of training believers how to be stronger in their walk with the Messiah and free of the world in lifestyle, finances, and relationships. As well as being a Financial Coach and Trainer, previously serving with Crown Financial Ministries, and Certificate in Biblical Studies, her personal practical experience as well as involvement on a daily basis in Christian finances gives her a unique perspective. She has been blessed to speak regularly in person as well as on the radio on God’s View on Money.

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  • http://www.krantcents.com krantcents

    In these difficult times, we all need to cut back on the non essentials. If the economy were not bad enough , inflation is eating up any extra money we have. Good points

  • http://www.freemoneywisdom.com Jon | Free Money Wisdom

    Coordinating schedules definitely saves on gas in the long haul. It may not feel like much in terms of savings now, but it will add up the longer you practice this winning strategy.

  • optionsdude

    I often stop by the grocery store on the way home from work and pick up items that are needed. Kroger is right on the way. Also, by using Kroger I can save money on gas as well up to $1 per gallon.

    Thinking about gasoline usage will become increasingly important this summer as gas rises above $4 per gallon.

  • http://wealthartisan.com Wealth Artisan

    Hi Jocelin,
    Great tips for saving money. I especially appreciate your ideas since they’re easy for anyone to implement into their regular routines. With a little extra planning and obedience to the Lord, surviving, and even thriving, in this economy is completely possible.
    Thanks for the read and God Bless,
    Timothy

  • http://candacespeak.blogspot.com/ Melissa Blackson

    Great post. My church is starting financial literacy classes for its membership in a month and I will share information from your blog (with your permission, and giving you credit of course!)

    The two things I’ve done to save money, after having our 5-person household income slashed 65% in 2 years due to unemployment and disability, are:

    1) Contact utlities, including cell phone provider, every 3 months to renegotiate plans. Plans are constantly changing, and to keep you as a customer many will figure out how to help you reduce monthly charges. (I recently reduced my cell phone bill by 50.00 a month!)

    2) Use a coupon database to find coupons for regularly used items. (Sometimes I miss them in the Sunday paper). http://www.addictedtosavings.com has a very user-friendly one that let’s you know what unexpired coupons are available.

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason Price

      Melissa, thanks for sharing these very useful tips to save money! I like your idea of staying on top of cell phone plans. You’re right. They are constantly changing and it’s a good idea to review them every now and then to see what plan is best for you and can save you the most money.

      We would be honored to have you share information from One Money Design with your church!!! Thank you!

  • sandy

    These are good tips. However, what if these are things you were already doing (plus some others)? Iam really having trouble finding new places to cut. I have been trying to live frugally for over 30 years and I have run out of ideas. Any further help, no matter how odd it sounds or how little it saves, would be welcome. Even just a few cents will eventually make a dollar.

    • http://www.standinginyhvhshand.org Jocelin Boutet

      Hi Sandy,

      I would say continue to keep those areas cut as well as begin to get creative on the income side. Can you babysit a couple of nights a week to pick up some extra income? Or some yard work such as mowing, gardening, etc this spring and summer? Unfortunately, as you have learned, there is only so much you can cut down to and then you have to begin looking at the income level.

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason Price

      Sandy, Jocelin makes a good point. You can only cut so much and then you have to start gettting creative on the income side. Break it down into small projects with income goals. For example, for the next two months you will earn X amount of extra money doing X. Set that as your goal and achieve it. Then, look at what else you can accomplish.