Get by with less in 2009Submitted by McClarinJ on Thu, 01/01/2009 - 18:23
It is imperative that we spend now on preparations for the approaching economic, civil, and political turmoil and for many that means cutting back on other expenditures. Here are a few ideas of good thrift habits to develop:
1. Get organized. Keep a shopping/activity list and carefully weigh the need of each item you consider before adding it to the list. Ask yourself, "Will this help my preparations for hard times?"
2. Don't go out unless you need to. Many of us have a hard time remaining at home and we jump in the car and dash off someplace just as a distraction. We invariably end up spending money we didn't need to when we do. Learn to be comfortable staying home. Develop pastimes such as cooking, sewing, reading, writing, Internet site development, strategic planning or home industries just to name a few. When you do go out, combine trips and carry a list with you so you don't return home without having gotten/done everything you intended.
3. Consider what you throw away. Leftover food? Put it in the fridge and eat it later. Too many people have the habit of shoveling it out into the trash, thereby increasing their food bill. Jeans with worn-out knees? If you don't want to patch them now, consider that you might want to in the future. If you don't save them, at least save the unworn portions to use as patch material. Typos in your home print job? Save the paper so you can print on the unused side. Can you think of a second use for plastic grocery bags? I wrap my sandwiches in them and often use them for small trash bags.
4. Avoid brand-name ripoffs. Look for generic or store-brand bargains instead. I can only shake my head when I see people who complain of never being able to get ahead load up on brand-name food and merchandise that boosts their expenditure 10-50%. Often name brands are inferior as well and a store brand has better nutrition, taste, comfort, or durability. Don't be wedded to heavily advertised brands. Experiment. Shop around. You'll save a lot of money.
5. Start a bulk foods storage program and use what you buy. You can save a lot if you buy a 50-pound bag of something versus 25 two-pound containers. Spices by the pound are a very good deal indeed for instance. If you join a food co-op, you can gain ready access to these deals.
6. Once you are aware of how much you can save, make up a family budget and live by it.
7. Pack a lunch. Why spend $6.95 for a deli sandwich, chips and a drink when you could save $4.00 or more each day by brown-bagging it? Include everything, drink, sandwich, fruit, snack, etc. You may save on gas as well. If a break truck visits your workplace, stay away from it.
8. Kick those habits. If you need one or two packs of cigarettes and a six-pack or more of beer every day, you are trading your health and your survival potential for your daily fix. I know these habits are extremely tough to break but it's time to man-up, even if you're female.
9. No more takeout or ordering out. By the time you've paid for soft drinks and tipped the pizza guy your great deal on two large pizzas may not be so great after all and is certainly not as nutritious as something you could have prepared at home. Learn to cook!
10. Go for cheaper thrills. Do you have an expensive hobby? Do you *have* to travel someplace exotic every year just to keep up with your co-workers/friends/family members? If you take seriously the possibility of very grim hard times this year and next, what on earth are you spending money on a Swiss skiing vacation for? You have a window of opportunity to get prepared. You need to get to it, so rearrange your priorities fast. Instead of thinking about your friends/coworkers/family viewing you as a party-pooper, think about how they will realize you were the one aware enough to chose the right priorities. Better yet, forget what they may think; do it for yourself.
11. How about those bottled/canned beverages? Some people never drink tap water or fruit juice from frozen concentrates. Are you one of them? If you think you will get sick and die from drinking tap water then you possibly will when TSHTF and your favorite bottled water brand is unavailable. How will you cope? Are you guzzling a six-pack or more of carbonated or other beverages per day? Together with your other consumption habits they rob dollars you could be spending now to aid your survival in the coming meltdown. In fact, part of your preparations for hard times should include alternative water sources such as catching and filtering rainwater because even if your city or well water is safe now, we can't be certain it will remain that way.
12. Take charge of your health. You may not have health insurance later this year and will have to pay full price for medicines and treatments. Address your health issues and prospects with a healthy diet and cardio activity. Make sure to load up on fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors as the colors often indicate content. Replace high-sugar/high-fat foods with whole grain products. Make sure you brush and floss your teeth daily so you don't lose them. Lack of teeth bodes poorly for survival. If you are on prescriptions, research alternative medicine possibilities including dietary measures.
Remember Darwin's words, " It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those most responsive to change".
Change is coming. How will you respond?
Please add other savings tips below.