However even on the tightest budget you can live within your means and not get yourself into heaps of debt. This is increasingly important with the so called Mega-recession hitting all the countries in the world. We don’t know the exact figures as some people will struggle without declaring themselves below the poverty line.
That said, we in the developed world don’t know even now how good we have it. (Poverty line to us means going a day or so without food, electric or gas.) True poverty lines, should be kept for places where you don’t eat for a week or more like Africa etc.
Getting back to the topic of this blog, “Living within your means” I have a few tips to help you through.
1.Make use of the so called Oops/Reduced/near sell by date sections of supermarkets.
Every day in supermarkets all over the world items that aren’t quite fresh get reduced to sell. If you speak to staff at the store, you can learn when they start reductions, second reductions etc. This is common sense really, but just before the store closes thousands of items that will eventually be thrown away get dropped to ridiculously low prices.
This section, though you’ll struggle to get past all the grannies and students who seem to linger here. Is a wealth of cheap filler food.
2. Ask about the possibility of getting freebies.
I haven’t seen anywhere this has worked, though if something can’t be sold it usually ends up in dumpsters round the back of stores. The Frugal community have said some stores, or store managers look the other way to Dumpster divers. It’s worth a chance and if you don’t ask you never know.
3. NEVER impulse buy.
This will be the hardest part of the post. Layouts in supermarkets have been designed to entice you into impulse buying, and trust me even I have difficulty and sometimes fail miserably. Those sweet treats placed near tills, the chocolates etc that you think won’t add up to much. WELL IT ADDS UP! Don’t do your shopping when you’re hungry.
4. Have an idea of the meals you’ll cook.
If you shop without a list, the chances are you’ll blow a lot of money on random shit you weren’t expecting to buy. Hey, we’ve all done it gone in for one item and come out with bags of stuff. If you are planning to cook Pasta on Friday, buy the ingredients for that meal and the other meals you’re planning on.
5. SET A BUDGET.
Actually set yourself a shopping budget, either for that day or that week. There’s nothing wrong with wandering round with the calculator app on your phone and totting everything up as you go. You may get some looks, but it doesn’t matter does it?
I will intentionally only go out with an idea for the next few days of meals, and in my head I will say, “OK £5’s worth of stuff”. If you keep that attitude, you’ll be amazed when you get to the tills, how close you are to the budget.
Living on a budget, means living smart and thinking smart. If any of you have trepidations about stepping foot in the Oops/Reduced sections of your supermarket, get it out of your head. Does it really matter if Molly from number 10 sees you with reduced items? you will find people that will try to continue their lifestyles, even if they are penniless.
Your budget is (Precious)!