A new year is a natural fresh start. The thought of resetting the calendar gives us the opportunity to set new goals and start working towards financial freedom. Personally, I think the secret for transforming goals into reality, is creating actionable steps you can take immediately to start making progress.
A goal only works if there is action involved, so you need to get started today to make it happen. I want to share with you a handful of smart ways to save along with practical tips you can start implementing now to see a real difference in your savings this year. Your local Family Dollar makes for a great resource and partner when it comes to saving smarter in 2016!
A plan with a list
Planning comes easier to some than it does to others. If you are not already making lists of what you need before going to the store, you need to start today. And use it! Try to stick to what’s on the list.
If you already make lists, the next step is to make the lists along with a plan! If you will be shopping for groceries, make a list according to what you plan to eat for the week ahead. Calculate how much you will need for the whole week.
You don’t necessarily need to eat exactly what is on your menu, but having an idea of what your family will need on a given week will be helpful. It will help avoid mid-week runs to the grocery store as those can get expensive!
A smart way to save: Create the meal plan and shopping list according to what is on sale that week! You can find Family Dollar’s weekly deals here: http://www.familydollar.com/weekly-ads
A “lowest price” list
If you have been trying to stay on budget you might already have a system for this without realizing it. When you have a “lowest price” list, you know how much your favorite products cost at different stores and it makes it easier to remember if you see a recurring sale. That way you know the lowest price at which you can buy the products you always need and stock up when you find them. It can also mean that you have a few stores where you know you will always find the best price for a particular item. Always check out the Family Dollar website to find weekly ads, deals and coupons.
A smart way to save: Pajamas at only $6, napkins, party supplies, baking supplies, disposable cups and storage containers for only $1 are some of the items on my list. And I know I can always find them for that price at Family Dollar.
An “avoid waste” mindset
Food waste is a problem in our society and also negative for our finances. The good news is that it can be avoided. Meal planning helps but learning to be creative with leftovers is essential.
Make sure to have food storage containers available after meals to repurpose today’s dinner into tomorrow’s lunch. I always find a great assortment of containers at great prices at Family Dollar. Another tip is to hold off on grocery shopping until it is necessary, otherwise it is more likely that some foods will be left unused and end up in the trash can. Get creative with leftovers and unused ingredients so you can stretch even more time in between grocery shopping trips.
A smart way to save: Eat leftovers on days you would otherwise eat out! It avoids waste and saves you the money you would have spent going out to eat.
Planning, searching for the lowest prices, and reducing unnecessary waste are the three most important mindsets you can implement now. After four or five weeks of focusing on keeping up with these three steps, they will soon start to become a natural habit and you will see a big difference in your food budget for the year!