Money saved is money earned they say. How true! Every homemaker can change her role from money user/spender to money earner by doing her bit. These 15 tips do not call for any education or any great knowledge of finance. All that is needed is a little time and the eagerness to save money for the household. At first look, these may look like trivial stuff, but on hindsight, they could prove to be tips, which save 2-4 K a month for you!
1. Plan for what is to be cooked right through the day. Basic boiling of vegetables, precooking can be done together. Will save gas and precious time.
2. Don't just dump leftovers. Particularly vegetables cooked in the morning if not fully used can be kept in the fridge and slightly modified for dinner. Many a time the beans or the brinjals of the morning with a little onion, tomato and masala go quite well with the rotis in the night.
3. Keep all your spoons dry and clean. This can save your rice, wheat, dal and other stored food items from bugs and insects. Saves your groceries from wastage, apart from being hygienic.
4. Make a shopping list before going out shopping. A shopping list will help you stay focussed and in control of your purse strings. Guaranteed!
5. Leave your credit card behind. Sure shot way to ensure you don't overspend, at least never more than what you have.
6. If you are taking kids out shopping, feed them something before stepping out. Will save you a lot of money buying snacks on the way to keep them busy and a lot of embarrassment at the shopping place.
7. Understand the costs of cooking fuel. Most kitchens use a combination of cooking gas, electricity, kerosene, wood (???!!! not among readers of this column I guess). In most cities electricity costs can go completely out of control if it crosses certain threshold levels. You might have to carefully optimise use of the induction stove, microwave oven etc.
8. Those fans running and lights burning bright in unoccupied rooms / bathrooms, is money being flushed down the drain. A reminder near the door that says, "Have you switched off the light (with a winking smiley)" may do the trick.
9. LED lights, power saving equipments are god's gift to mankind, really! Use them.
10. If you have two children in the house — remember to utilize the elder one's outgrown clothes, toys, books, furniture. These are used for short periods and thrown away and will serve the purpose fine. Your child will not know the difference.
11. For older children, give them an allowance. They will learn to manage their expenses within limits and you can keep within your budgets.
12. Plan for important events in their life too — school, college, post graduation, marriage etc. If you save regularly early on, you can avoid borrowing or selling key assets later.
Personal care and grooming
13. Do whatever you can at home — like you may not be able to colour or trim your hair at home, but you can definitely shampoo it at home. Most grooming these days can be done with "Do it yourself at home" products.
14. Even the fanciest salons and spas give offers and discounts. Ask for them. Collect coupons and use them.
15. If you can time your important purchases to coincide with offer seasons like monsoons and stay clear of festival times, you may be in for a lot of luck with great deals and discounts.
Although the above may look too basic, however they are time-tested and effective means of saving that little bit of money to put into your personal piggy bank. In fact you will also be contributing your bit to the environment and betterment of our world!