Most US citizens are feeling the effects of the adverse economy. Slow job growth, high interest rates, and rising inflation are contributing to instability. Many folks are seeking clever ways to control spending, including cutting back at the grocery store. Here are three money-saving ideas:
- Create DIY Cleaning Products – Do-it-yourself (DIY) all-purpose cleaning products and disinfectants are easy to make at home. Rather than buy prepared products, DIY cleaners can save you money. Always use common sense when mixing ingredients to avoid potential hazards. For example, NEVER mix ammonia-based cleaners with chlorine bleach. Be sure to label your products and keep them out of the reach of children and pets. Per Good Housekeeping, you can create your own scented all-purpose cleaner by mixing one-part white vinegar, one-part water, lemon rind, and Rosemary sprigs. Simply combine the ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Shake and let infuse for one week before using. This product is excellent for cleaning trash cans and removing hard water stains. A DIY glass cleaner can be made by mixing 2 cups water with ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration) and 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil. Pour into a spray bottle and use. Always test your homemade products. Never spray directly onto surfaces. Rather, spray the solution on a paper towel and use. Also, do not spray homemade cleaners directly on windows on hot days as it may cause streaking.
- Consider Buying Canned Goods – Like everything else, prices on fresh foods such as meat and produce have recently risen. Additionally, folks who buy fresh food and don’t use it right away, risk having to discard products that have turned bad. Unless there is a good sale on produce, you may want to consider buying canned goods to save money. While canned food might also be negatively affected by inflation, it is generally less expensive to start and it is long-lasting. With canned goods, much of the fruits and vegetables are already chopped and ready to use, so it can also save time and energy in the kitchen. For health reasons, watch for added sugar and salt as some canned goods are loaded with them, and opt for wholesome reduced salt and sugar free choices.
- Make Use of Edible Food Scraps – We often tend to discard less than perfect foods and items like rotisserie chicken bones and skin, excess garlic and onion bits, cheese rinds, and carrot and celery tops. Rather than toss them, why not collect and freeze them to make your own homemade chicken stock later? When you have enough, simply put the chicken bones and skin and the vegetables in a large pot. Add water to cover them. Throw in some whole peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves, and about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Add the cheese rind. Partially cover and simmer for 3 to 5 hours. Turn off the heat, let cool, and strain the broth. Discard the bones, skin, rind, and vegetable bits. Use or freeze the broth until needed.
Making DIY all-purpose cleaning products, substituting economical canned foods for fresh, and saving and using food scraps that might otherwise be discarded are three inventive ways to save money on groceries. Today’s tough economic times call for consumers to be creative, make smart decisions, and use resources wisely. Though pinching pennies is never fun, it does encourage consumers to examine spending habits and think outside the box, which can ultimately lead to big savings.
Please share your favorite way(s) to save money in the comments below.