I read an article this morning and am appalled but not surprised. I understand that the economy is in trouble, and we're all doing what we can to save money. That's one reason why this bothers me. It becomes very difficult to keep your costs down and keep tabs on what you're spending when the companies are using underhanded techniques to keep their bottom line up! During the depression era there was a lot of this going on and now we're seeing it again. But the moms of those days found a way to make things work and I'm going to share a few tips new and old on how you can make it too.
Here's a link to the article and here's the bottom line: Many more companies are now using a deceiving technique to get your money, and more of it, while giving you less in return. That's right LESS. Basically they have reduced the size or amount of what you're getting while keeping the prices the same. This allows them to deceive you by letting you think you're getting the same good deal you've always gotten, but in reality you're paying more for your items. They know that if you see a price jump you might divert your money elsewhere and they'll loose profits. So their resolve is... you guessed it... to deceive you into spending more on their products by making you think you're spending less. So a word to the wise... check your package sizes as well as prices when shopping for the best deal.
Here are some brief tips on my money saving techniques. I'll give an overview today and in the coming days I'll give you more detailed information on each one.
1. One way I save money is to check price per ounce or per pound, this is probably the best way to save on items you already buy and the price per oz is usually listed right on the tag.
2. Another tip on saving money is to (almost) skip the coupons. Generally the stores and manufacturers use coupons to direct and control your spending and to lure you in for items so they can get you to buy other stuff that has been increased in price to make up for it. (You don't really think they're going to give you great deals for nothing do you?)
3. I do read store adds to find the best price on what I already need. But I do this with my price list handy. This helps me figure out if they're really offering a good deal or just using tricky marketing.
4. Loyalty belongs only to the Lord and to your family. I have no brand or store loyalty. I aim for the best price and quality where ever I can find it. I have no qualms about saving money on milk at one store while buying my bulk items at another store.
5. One more thing is to buy and quality fruits and veggies in their natural form when they're available. While a store or company can change the size on a ketchup bottle to hide a price hike, you can't do that with a tomato!
6. I also cook from scratch and buy ingredients and bulk goods whenever I can. You know what you're getting, what's in it and how much per pound you're paying.
7. Buy items that have added value. Whether in the form of items with multiple uses like an all purpose cleaner vs a cleaner for every job, or in the form of packaging like glass storage jars that can be saved and used again.
8. Use and re-use everything! One of the heralding terms of the depression was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!". That adage is as valuable today as it was back then. Anything that doesn't need to be bought is money in your pocket and you want to keep it there. So use it and re-use it.
9. Grow it or make it yourself, then "eat what you can and can what you can't". Believe it or not even the smallest efforts put into growing or making your own goods can save you a substantial amount of money. Don't overlook this very important way that many families not only survived, but thrived during the depression era.
10. What about Organics? As wives and mothers we should be doing the best we can for our own families. If that means non organic but from scratch, that's a better option than processed foods. More importantly don't cut costs on your food budget, by buying lower quality, so you can use the money for yourself. My purpose for cutting costs is so I can buy the best quality available to me, and improve or protect the health of my family. My best advice is to familiarize yourself with a couple lists. One is called the "dirty dozen" and the other is called the "clean fifteen". In my next post I'll give you the actual lists and some pointers on how I purchase and use these foods for my own family.
15"She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard." Proverbs 31:15-16
PS: before you go I wanted to tell you that a great way to save money is to spend less money on water. WHAT??? ok, sounds funny, but if you click on my "green company" button you can find out about a green company that sells their safe and natural products in concentrate form to save you and them money on water and packaging. I love this company and I love their products because they're safe, natural, and cost effective. I've been accused of being a greeny, but when it comes to the health of my family, that's ok.