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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,603
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

[ Edited ]

You’re only spending $25 a day on food for 2 people. That does NOT seem extravagant to me.

 

Only you know your spending and where you can cut corners. Good luck 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,043
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

I agree $800 a month is a lot for two people. Are you including Deli items, precut veggies, cleaning,paper and laundry supplies in that figure? Any time you have quick fix items that are pre done or easy you pay dearly for the  labor. Some items like muffins are easy  to make from scratch and cheap. One can even make your own mixes for bisquits and cookies. Shop only once a week as running into a store continually ads up as one picks up more items Make a list and stick to it unless a really good deal.Buying in bulk may or may not save money it depends?  Know your prices per unit and how often you use, like the item if it will pay?

 

I plan my meals around the Ads and seasonal items. I know a lot when stores will feature foods. Right now is Cinco  De Mayo so one finds items for  tacos etc on sale including ground beef.  If you have a freezer make use of those sales and Food Saver bags as one poster suggested. Make ahead and freeze extra meals. My store has a freezer where they put meat about to expire. Half price steaks. yum.. all half price Tomatoes that are not the bestsize or if a bruise go to the Ugly fruit bin. I bought a bag of tiny lemons last week just right for tea. $1.00 a bag and I check when I stop in .Farmers Markets will be around mid summer and help with fresh produce and cheaper.

 

I make soups alot which is great for one or two people. They are nutricious easy to heat up, filling and stretch a whole chicken or ham bone and leftover scraps.  I made a Caulflower soup with cheese I  grated this week with a cauliflower on sale from last week. It will last me for six lunches at least. You have the time now which is a plus time to plan and do more from scratch. Check on line for ideas for meals and receipes. You have more time to do  this and it is actuallly fun. I have even found some receipes here on the Blogs that were good and tested. Look up a budget for food plans low, moderate and high to  see what is to  your needs  for your family size to get an idea of what is normal. 

 

Have fun and look at it all as a game to see how much you can and do save!  I am lucky to be financially secure but dont want to throw away my money either.

Super Contributor
Posts: 439
Registered: ‎04-03-2013

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

Bring cash to the grocery store

Visit garage sales

Shop at Aldi if there is one in your area, although I don't prefer to buy meat there

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,732
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

Chicken.  Buy on sale and boil (simmer), roast or grill.  Take the meat off the bones and use that, then simmer the bones and skin along with a carrot and a stalk of celery and some onion for broth for soup.  Save ends of celery and carrots and onion scraps for the broth.

 

Eggs!  Great and cheap.  Fold in potatoes and leftover veggies and it is a frittata!  Or an omelet.

 

Save any veggies left over (a few peas, beans left over) and use them in the chicken soup. 

 

Have soup several times a week.  Black bean, pinto, taco, veggie, etc.  Pasta is also good too--especially the whole wheat or bean flour ones with more protein. 

 

Buy roasts on sale if you have a kitchen aid mixer, get the attachment and make your own ground beef.  It should taste as good as steak and be lean enough to be healthy.

 

I have started to wonder if a less expensive bread machine is economical beause good bread is expensive now.    But you'd have to enjoy it as a hobby.   If you are interested, I'll bet you could pick one up at a garage sale or resale shop.  Cuisinart makes good ones I know.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,325
Registered: ‎03-08-2014

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

[ Edited ]
 
 
When I retired I took a great community ed class that proved very helpful.  There were tips & tricks on budgeting, using coupons, using up all that stuff in the pantry & freezer and getting down to buying only the items you really use on a frequent basis.  There were all kinds of handy little suggestions given out.  The three I  found most beneficial for me are: 
 
Pay EVERYTHING you possibly can in CASH.  When you see & feel the money go out you want to know you got your money's worth. You also have a better sense of where your money is going and that helps you know how/where you can cut things.  It was a really eye opener for me and saved me lots of money over time.  When you write a check, swipe a debit card or credit card, or use automatic pay you just don't have the same sense of loss of that money as you do when you actually count it out and hand it to some else to keep.  Psychologically the physical and visual loss of that money really makes you more aware of every penny.  There are always a few things that need to be sent far away, but drive to anything you can to pay all your bills in CASH in addition to cash at the store.  ALWAYS get a receipt for cash!
 
Another thing was to be sure to take care of yourself - even if it is just in small ways.  This class suggested that any and all $5.00 bills that came to you in change should go to your "Fives for Fun Fund".  Those are gifts from the universe meant just for you, but you should never ask for  $5 - just let them come to you then keep then and start a fund.  It may buy a movie, a dinner out, a splurge at the grocery store, a piece of clothing, gas for a car trip, etc.  Just save those $5s for a treat you want but isn't in the budget.  It adds up faster than I ever thought it would.
 
Another tip was to try to build in raises in your retirement funds if you can.  The unfortunate part of retirement (unless you are rich) is that the cost of everything goes up, but your income will basically stay the same with no hope for a dramatic change the rest of your life.  You will need more just to stay the same.  For instance I still owe on my mortgage, but once that is paid off I will, in essence, get a "raise" in income when that money frees up for living costs.  I also delayed drawing from an annuity - allowing it to grow - so that money can also be a raise when I start to draw on those funds.  If you take everything all at once you learn to live on that amount and have nothing additional to help you when your costs go up over the years.
 
Not looking for judgement here - I know not everyone will agree with these suggestions, but I put them put there for your consideration because they have truly helped me.  You can decide if you think any will work for you.
 
Enjoy your retirement...I am having the time of my life!
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Contributor
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎03-22-2010

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

I agree with the poster on getting a foodsaver.   I retired in December, but found something part-time for extra money.   I also suggest, if you can afford it, buy a freezer.   I am single and have had a freezer for years.   Like a previous poster stated buy in bulk and freeze.   When chicken goes on sale I stock up and put in extra in foodsaver bags. During the holidays when they have turkey breasts on sale, I buy an extra one and put it in the freezer.  I also do this in the summer, especially when blueberries are lower priced.   They are really easy to freeze and then I have them all during the winter.   

 

This year I plan on planting a few tomato and green bean plants.   Then I will freeze the extra tomatoes and green beans.   I also have a Sam's Club membership and buy cleaning and paper products in bulk.

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,670
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

[ Edited ]

Aldi for most grocery items

Dollar General for paper products, including greeting cards

Make a grocery list weekly. Plan your menu and shopping around what is on sale.

Limit spending on clothing. Plan trips and errands in advance to save on gas.

 

Drink more water and limit soda and booze purchases.

Eat less. Maybe two meals a day and a light lunch or dinner.

Cut back on cable, premium TV channels., etc to just basic needs.

 

It's spring. Shop yard sales and thrift stores.

Limit/ eliminate newspapers and magazines.

Sell stuff you don't need.

Do not buy expensive, premium brands of most things. Try generic and bargain brands.

 

Give up memberships, including Prime, etc. unless you use them daily or at least weekly.

 

See if you can find homeowners and auto insurance that's just as good as what you have for less. I do this every year.

 

Pay bills online. Save on postage.

Find a cheaper cell phone plan and lose your land line.

 

Have as much fun saving as spending! Good Luck. Consider every little bit saved a victory. Try to save $25.00/week on groceries- that $100.00/ month and over $1000.00 a year!

I respectfully disagree about using cash at the grocery store. Use a no annual fee credit card with at least 1.5% cash back on purchases. That's my Christmas $ every year. 

 

Spend time and less money on the young grands. Read, garden, bake, craft, etc. Let their parents do the spending on them. No guilt.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 870
Registered: ‎02-19-2014

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

Are there specialty things that you are buying at the grocery store?  I ask because $800/month for two people seems like a lot, to me.  If there are sundry type things, like personal care items, buy them elsewhere.  They will be less expensive.  Use coupons.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,331
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

@Buyornot7As a long-time retiree, I'd suggest that if you and DH haven't done a thorough survey of your total spending, you should do that ASAP.  Your bank, credit union, your broken, or one of the online services like Quicken or Mint offers spreadsheets that remind you what to include.

 

Once you see right in front of you what your financial reality is, you can more easily see where you personally could cut a little or a lot and you also can see what's most important to you to try to keep in retirement.

 

Once I had my own picture, I worked first on the larger recurring expenses that bothered me.  I was able to cut $250 from my cellphone bill and %170 from my auto insurance.  I did that just by asking for a review and in neither case did I lose any service with the lower price.

 

As for discretionary spending -  I stopped buying new jewelry almost completely over 6 years ago.  That's been my best path to diverting money where I really want or need it, but it was seeing on my spreadsheet what I had been spending that got me to change.  Follow the money isn't just for the crime shows!  

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,096
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: Help Me With Tips TO Save Money-Please????

As others have said, hard to give any suggestions without knowing more about you.  I agree with others who have pointed out that $800/month on grocerites for 2 people is high.  DH and I spend less than half of that although we do eat out a couple of times a month.

 

One thing I didn't see mentioned is if you have 2 cars, get rid of one.  That will save a lot of money.