Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ways to Reduce Family Expenses

Ways to Reduce Family Expenses

Bring your own lunch. If you buy lunch at work, and you spend N400 (approximately $4)per lunch, bringing your own lunch four days a week (treat yourself on the fifth, if you want) saves you N1600(approximately $16 a week, or about $64 a month.

Bring your own coffee/tea/butter/jam. This will yet cut down on expenses buying these at work, just make sure you have a water dispenser at work or insist they make one

Reduce the no of Drinks at Lunch Time. Cut down on drinking at work, on top of cutting costs for you it will keep you health

Cook an extra dinner on the weekend. buy fruits and stash it in the freezer. You’re your own home made bread and cakes, stews, boiled corn, fried chicken, fired beef, pork chops oranges, bananas, etc — that take practically no extra effort to double up. Later in the week, save the N1,600 you were going to spend on a snacking and pull that extra meal out of the freezer instead.

Cut Down Electricity Bills -stop using the electric plates, disconnect the cable, put off all electricals when not in use light bulbs at home, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and even the TV

What about bottle feeding? Bottle feeding costs over N100,000 a year(Approximately $840): and that's not including all the sterilising equipment you have to buy and the bottles themselves. Breastfeeding is virtually free.

Should I use cloth nappies or disposables?

Washing reusable nappies at home can save up to N75,000(Approximately $600) for baby number one and more for subsequent children, because you will use the same nappies for both babies. If you do choose to use disposables, then buy the cheapest supermarket own-brand value ones. If you want only to use the premium brands, get them when they're on a Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) special.

Buy one plastic bib rather than a mountain of cloth ones that you have to wash.
Only use baby wipes when you're out and about, you can use plain water at home.

Should I buy second-hand?

So few parents consider stocking their nursery with second-hand goods that there are some fantastic bargains to be had.

I prefer to buy new. How can I save money?
If you must buy new then shop around and search for bargains

What are the rules of buying on a budget?
• Question every purchase. Is it really essential?

• Ask experienced parents what they found really useful and read our buying guides to help you decide on a purchase.

• Prepare a wish list of nice but non-essential items to give to friends and relatives when they ask you what you would like (as they will).

• Borrow items wherever possible

• Make do. For example, an unused face cloth or cut-down worn towel that would double as a baby sponge

• Buy second-hand

• Plan ahead so you can take advantage of sales

• Buy up large whenever you see Buy One Get One Free or Three for Two offers

• Use your local library

Shop once a week without the children
they always have something to pick thats not on your budget at that time.

Buy in bulk
There's a reason why thrifty people shop at cash-and-carry shops or buy in bulk; the prices really are better. But if you're not careful, you can also spend a lot on items you don't need or that go bad before you can eat them. Here are a few tips:
• Make a list beforehand of things you use a lot of, such as boxes of fruit juice or baby wipes. These are the perfect items to buy in bulk.
• Concentrate on non-perishable items. Toilet paper can be stored in the cupboard under the stairs - fresh chicken breast can't.
• When you get home, repackage perishables into smaller quantities. Big packages of chicken for example, can be divided into daily portions and frozen until you're ready to use them.
• Share with another family. Buy big and then split up the food and the costs with friends or family. You can swap trips to the shops too, and that will save you time.
Put leftovers in the freezer, not the fridge
How many times have you put leftovers into the fridge and left them to languish because you either forget about them or didn't want to eat chicken two days in a row? Instead of throwing out good food that's turned into a science experiment in your fridge, get in the habit of putting leftovers in the freezer. That way you'll know they'll be fresh, whether you want them again tomorrow or in two weeks.

Cook once, eat twice or more

Next time you make some biscuits or cakes, double the batch, then freeze half of it. It's cheaper to buy ingredients in bulk, so you'll save money and time! If you don't have a big freezer to store all your extra food, share a doubled recipe with friends. Run the dish over to their house one night a week, and have them do the same for you one night. An added perk: you can take a night off from cooking.

Hope this helps to save here and there.

You can add more by way of your comments to help us all.

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