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How to Use Leftovers

How to Trim Spending

You can cut back on spending in times when money is tight, but spending less doesn’t mean you have to cut out the things you enjoy. Here are some ways you can trim the money tree, pain-free:

  • Determine which expenses you can eliminate without affecting your quality of life. For example, can you downgrade your cable and still get the channels that matter most to you?

  • Eat out less often. A family of four can easily spend $30 at a very inexpensive restaurant.

    You can make that same meal, or a much better one, at home for about one-third of the cost.

  • Plant a small vegetable and herb garden. Not only do you save on grocery bills, but you also benefit from homegrown fun and flavor.

  • Cook a giant feast on weekends and freeze the leftovers in individual containers. Now you have homemade, ready-to-heat meals for a fraction of the cost of quality processed frozen foods.

  • Sell items you don’t use or need, and purchase quality secondhand items. Check out Craigslist, an online classifieds site that offers everything from housemates to horseshoes.

  • Become a do-it-yourselfer. If you currently hire someone to mow, clean, or provide other domestic services, explore how much money you could save by doing these projects yourself.

  • Revive the dying activity of window shopping. Gather a group of friends to simply walk through stores, browsing to see what’s new and to admire the displays.

  • Shop in your own home. After years of overconsuming, many people have extra dishes, furniture, clothing, and more. When you feel a hankering to redecorate a room or set a special table for the holidays, go shopping through the items you already have.

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