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Money is tight, there is no denying that, and more than 70% of Americans have admitted to feeling the pressure financially in recent months. With more people than ever living paycheck to paycheck and falling below the poverty line, it makes sense that more people are looking for the best ways to budget and make their dollars go further.

Sadly, there is only so much you can do to ease the pressure on your income before increasing what you bring home, but these tips can be great places to start to help you get more for your money and make those dollars work in your favor.

Meal Plan

Meal planning can be as extensive or minimal as you want, but it is an effective way to hope you get more of your money when grocery shopping. It doesn’t mean planning your meals a week in advance and prepping and storing them in the freezer until you are ready to eat them unless you want to; it simply means knowing what you will be eating this week to help you only buy what you need from the store.

Write a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and any snacks you need. Then look at what you have already to make these meals and write a shopping list for when you top up on bits you need. Stick to the plan when shopping and only buy what you will need for that week. Eating the same things might get boring, but it is effective for reducing shopping bills and using up everything in your cupboards.

Cancel Subscriptions

Nowadays, there is a subscription for almost everything; did you know bottled water also comes with a subscription? If you are guilty of living the “subbed life”, you need to look at what you really don’t need and cancel any subscriptions you aren’t getting value from or don’t use as much as you should be.

This can be anything from steaming services, meal prep, flowers, baked goods, or even the previously mentioned water subscription. Cancel it, and don’t look back.


You don’t need to go as crazy as the people on TV, but you can get some bargains by compiling coupons and putting them to use strategically to get the best deals. How much you can save depends on your area, the stores you shop at, and your experience and financial skills. But you can find plenty of couponing resources online to help you get started. Even if you start out only saving a few bucks, it’s better than nothing and gives you a place to work from.

Loyalty Cards

If you can use a loyalty card, do so. While you might not get instant cashback, you will be gaining some benefits in the form of points, offers, or discounts for members. You basically get rewarded for your custom, so it’s always worth seeing if the stores you use the most have one or if the online stores you use have this built into opening an account. While it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, it can allow you to build up points or gain more significant and better offers, which you can cash in when needed.

Green Transportation Option

To save a little bit more money each month, try to walk or cycle as much as possible. Whether this means leaving the car at home one day a week and working to work if you can or not taking the car to the store, do so. You will be saving on gas by not driving as much, plus you will be reducing your impact on the environment and improving your health at the same time. While things might take longer to do by foot or bicycle, it can be a great way to save money and stretch those dollars a little bit further.

Head To The Library

Did you know most libraries offer way more than checking out books? And many are digital these days, meaning you can access options like audiobooks via a library card online. Buying books and listening to audiobooks can be costly, especially if you like reading or listening to books. This allows you a free way to still get your fix without splashing the cash.

Libraries also run things like workshops, community classes, TV shows you can watch and even language learning resources. There’s even a new phenomenon in some places where you can access a “library of things” meaning you can rent items like sewing machines, musical instruments, and supplies for various activities using your membership. It’s definitely worth checking out to see if you have this in your local area.

Swapping Providers

Yes, it’s so much easier to sit with what you know and not have to arrange to swap your details to a new provider, but it’s likely more expensive, too. It doesn’t matter what services you are after; most companies have offers for new customers to entice them in. Whether you’re in the market for new tv sports packages, energy suppliers, insurance providers, or credit cards, shop around and look for the best deals. You can find better offers, interest rates, documents, incentives, and more by simply looking for what you need and comparing prices with your existing provider to see how much you can save come renewal time.

If you want to learnĀ how to lower your verizon bill, check out this guide from BillSmart – a bill negotiation company.

Don’t Buy Disposable

Buying items that are designed for one use only will be eating into your income. You want to be spending a little bit more on objects you can reuse time and time again. Plus, many stores offer discounts for those who bring their own cup for coffee to take out or bags to carry goods home. Avoid buying plastic or one-use items and invest in renewable products that you can reuse to help you make the most of your money and not waste it on off-the-cuff purchases.

Granted, your money will only go so far, but you don’t know how far until you test the limits of what you can save and how to get the best deals. Being savvy about how you spend your money and live your life will allow you to stretch your budget further without cutting too many things out of your life.