Credit cards with high balances? Freeze them in ice, cut them up, or cancel them at the bank. Frozen,you have time to reconsider a purchase; cut up, they cant be used; and cancelled, you reduce yourliability should you need to talk to your bank about a loan.Determine a new budget. Utilities and rent/mortgage are fairly static (though unplugging cords, turningoff unused lights, and air-drying clothes help). What can you afford to spend on groceries, clothing, andcar expenses? $1200 a month is doable for a family of four.
$800 a month is even possible withcreativity.If you have space in your budget, add back in a few inexpensive treats.
ne bottle of low-cost wine for Friday night.
Buy frozen pizza one night, instead of take out.
Search for a kids eat free night at local restaurants.These treats make it less likely that youll blow your budget due to frustration.
Keep Family Healthy
Dont cut spending by eating fast food. It will cost you more in the long run in low energy, weight gain,and medicine.Cut out junk food it costs money and fills the family up with empty calories. If this habit is a hard oneto break, purchase good quality chocolate (the more cacao, the better) and eat a single square, slowly,as a treat.Cut out prepackaged dinners (boxed macaroni and cheese, frozen dinners, ravioli in a can, or packagedmuffins), and cook fresh and basic:
Dry noodles, cooked, with tomato sauce and spices from your cupboard
Small portions of meat, chicken or pork purchased on sale
Homemade muffins, made with whole wheat flour, fills a tummy for longer than refined flour orpurchased muffins
Cut up large carrots (not prepackaged small ones) and celery, serve with ranch dressing for dipChoose vegetables that pack a vitamin punch. Choose fresh or frozen over canned, bright colors over allone color (more variety of vitamins). Purchase in-season local versus out-of-season shipped.Cereal choose lower sodium, minimal sugar (glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup), whole wheatversus refined, fewer preservatives, no added color. Cost? Look for sales: less than one cent per gramfor value (400g box should be less than $4.00).
atmeal is one of the best cereals for cost and health.Add a cut up pear and a bit of brown sugar to cooked oatmeal.