It’s the middle of the week, payday is 3 long days away but there are a few things around the house that are going to need replenishing before that day comes. You have been so good on your budget all month long and you don’t want to mess it up now!
I have been there so so SO many times! Although we are slowly getting better, it seems so often our bank account shows a very consistent reflection of us stretching every last dollar when it comes down to the end of our paycheck.
We have been diligent in doing our very best to stick to a budget and have since figured out some tricks on how to pinch a penny and make those last couple dollars last a little longer. Here is what we have learned.
5 Tips to Pinch a Penny
1. Don’t throw away your leftovers
Just because your family didn’t eat that entire platter full of grilled chicken means you need to throw it away! There is a time at least once a week I reserve for leftovers night. It is awesome! The reason it is so fabulous is because I don’t have to cook and dinner is ready in just a few short microwavable minutes. No need to go out and buy more groceries, just use what you already have.
Your family won’t eat leftovers? Maybe you don’t quiet have enough of one dish for a full serving. Try thinking of creative ways to combine leftover dishes to create a new meal. One of my most favorite leftover meals I threw together recently was Mexican lasagna. I had some left over steak, leftover grilled chicken, tortillas, some black beans, cheese, and enchilada sauce. I started layering all the leftovers in a casserole dish, plopped it in the over for 20 minutes and it was done!
2. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
This is a big one that can apply to so many different areas of your house. The main idea behind it is if you are thinking about throwing something away, take a second and think. Can I make this last a little bit longer? Can I add or alter this somehow to get a little more life out of this?
Super simple and inexpensive fixes and improvements to items you already have around your house can help you stretch out your pennies a little longer.
3. Walk more
Think about what stores are near your house. Is it close enough to walk there? I personally say that if my destination is less than 1 – 1 ½ miles from my house then I will walk. What is your distance? Maybe it’s even longer. You are awesome!
Once you set this rule, you will be surprised at how much longer your tank of gas will last you.
Not to mention, you will be getting some great cardio in! Double win! Even if you live pretty far from your destination, maybe there is a central location you can drive to. Park your car in the middle of your errands and walk to each place rather then drive.
4. Make it from scratch
Resist the urge to eat out! This has to be one of the biggest topics that people talk about when it comes to budgeting. Stop eating out so much! The reason it is a topic that has been around for so long is because it is way easier said then done.
After a long day of chasing kids around or working at the office, the last thing on peoples mind is putting together a meal. If you don’t have a bunch of disposable income then this is a luxury you can’t afford. To put it bluntly.
Just don’t do it! An idea to help fight the feeling to zip through the drive through might be to prepare make-ahead meals. Things like crockpot meals or casseroles can be prepared in the morning that way all the hard work will be finished when you are tired at the end of the day. Meal planning is another way to fight the fast food urge. If you have on paper what you are planning for that weeks meals, it makes the preparation process a lot faster and easier.
5. Date night at home
You are supposed to nourish your marriage and work on it to help strengthen it. Right? So dates nights are a very important factor to reconnect at the end of the week with your hubby. But a date night can get pricey really quick, especially if you have kids!
A simple dinner out can rack up a bill around $40 easily and then add on another $20 for the babysitter. Thinking about a movie after dinner? Before you know it and you are inching your way to the $100 mark! For a single night out!
While it is fun to go out occasionally, you can also have a romantic night in. Schedule the date for a little later once the kids are in bed and enjoy a fun date night in. Here are some fun ideas on how to kick up your at home movie night a notch!
Do you have any tips on how to pinch a penny? How do you stretch out your paycheck? Leave your great ideas in the comments below. Lets chat!