$137,063 is the amount of debt the average American household carries. $59,039 was the median household income in 2016.
Being in debt is stressful for every member of a family. But there are ways to save money on bills to help you pay down your debt.
If you’re looking for money saving tips for families, keep reading. We’re sharing with you seven smart ways to increase your family budget.
- One of the Ways to Save Money on Bills is to Organize Your Grocery Shopping
One way the family budget gets burdened is by eating out too often. On average, it costs around $13 per person to eat at a restaurant.
Eating at home costs around $4 per person for the groceries. That’s a savings of 325%.
By planning your meals a week in advance, you end up doing the following:
- Never come home tired, wondering what to make
- Have time to clip coupons to save more money
- Eat healthier meals
Also, by eating healthier meals, you end up saving even more money on health costs. And the last thing anyone struggling with debt needs is additional healthcare costs.
- Cancel Unnecessary Services
While you may think you can’t do without the extra services you pay a monthly fee to, you can. And you don’t have to cut the cord on all extra services at once.
Start by eliminating something like that gym membership you never use. Next, eliminate that landline that you never use.
You may even wish to cut your cable cord and only subscribe to services such as Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu which offer much cheaper plans.
- Shop Online to Find Extra Savings
Always look online for ways to save money before you buy anything. There’s always a chance you can find the same or similar product for much less.
And if anyone in your family needs medications, you should always look online for ways to save. Sometimes the pharmaceutical manufacturer offers a rebate.
But you can also find lower cost medicines in Canada. However, make sure it’s a legitimate online pharmacy first. Click here to find legitimate Canadian online pharmacies.
Plan your shopping around big sales. You can find great savings, especially around the holidays.
- Repurpose and Reuse Household Items
If you’re looking for ways to save money at home, take a look around at what you already own. Many items such as jars can be used to store everything from dried foods to cotton swabs.
Reuse old spray bottles and make your own cleaning supplies with vinegar and water. Use old magazines and newspapers to make your own wrapping paper.
Old towels make great rags. Used dryer sheets are perfect to use as dusters. They’re excellent for picking up pet hair.
Save Your Seeds
You can even take certain fruits and veggies that have gotten to old and save the seeds. The following season, just plant the seeds in the garden and watch them grow.
Be like Maria in “The Sound of Music” and turn old drapes into attractive playwear.
Get creative with broken plates to make attractive pottery. Spruce up old furniture with some paint.
- Buy Secondhand Clothing
A frugal family shops at used or secondhand clothing stores. Not only does it help out the environment tremendously, but you can also locate some great finds at a fraction of the cost.
There are tons of sites online where you can purchase used clothing with designer names for a fraction of the cost.
Shop at Thrift Stores
Thrift stores are great for parents with kids who seem to grow like weeds. And you can still find great quality clothing if you’re willing to do some searching.
Consider shopping at lower priced stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Often they carry name brands at a much lower price.
And when one child grows out of a piece of clothing that’s still in good condition, keep it until the next child grows into it. If you’re good with a needle and thread or own a sewing machine, get creative and give old clothing an updated look.
- Lower Your Energy Consumption
Saving on energy costs is not only great for your wallet, but it’s also great for the planet as well. And there are tons of ways to save on energy costs in your home.
Replace all your lightbulbs with LED lightbulbs. Invest in a Nest or other type of programmable thermostat.
Lower the thermostat when no one is home and when everyone is asleep. Invest in newer, energy saving appliances.
Get an Energy Audit
Get an energy audit so you can find out where any drafts are located. Doors, windows, and your attic should be properly sealed with caulking or weather-stripping.
If your water heater is five years or older, get a water heater blanket. Keep drapes open in the winter during the day to let the sunlight naturally heat your home. In the summer, keep drapes closed during the day to keep your home cooler.
Do not block any of your vents. Close vents, rooms, your fireplace, and flue when not in use.
And if you’re still cold, put on a sweater and pile on more blankets.
- Look for Lower Cost Entertainment Options
There are tons of ways for you and your family to stick to your family budget and still have fun. You just need to get a little creative.
Instead of planning a vacation, have a staycation and see the sights and attractions that are close by. Have a family game night and play board games or even fun games like Charades or Hide-and-go-Seek.
Create an obstacle course or scavenger hunt around your neighborhood.
Have family picnics at a nearby park or beach. Invite friends and make it a potluck.
Quality Time With Benefits
Cook and bake together. Not only are you teaching your kids important life skills, but you’re also teaching them math and science while spending quality time with them.
Make arts and crafts together. Visit museums or the library. Get you and your kids a library card so they have unlimited books and movies at their disposal.
Teach Your Kids About Finance
While you’re finding new ways to save money on bills, turn it into an educational opportunity for your kids. Teach them how to save money and how to create and follow a budget.
The earlier your kids learn about finances, the better chance they have to make smarter decisions as adults. Click here to learn how to teach your kids about smart personal finance.