Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinancePersonal Finance · 1 month ago

Where else do I cut back $$?

I need to save money but I don’t know where to cut back. I make my own coffee and breakfast. I bring lunch to work, cook dinner. My bills are car payment (5 left!), kids braces, deposit on braces (had to put $1k on cc). With 4 teens I spend @ $800-$1000 on groceries monthly. Meat and fresh produce is expensive, more expensive than processed crap that I rarely buy. So where else can I cut back so I can save? 

10 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Less processed and frozen foods

    I cut food budget by 1/3 by not buying chips, crackers, frozen processed foods....and junk in general.

    Do you know how fast you can shop just doing product, meat, dairy...

    I too cook all meals, snacks etc, pack lunches and watch my DAILY BURN RATE....meaning no coffee out...or fast food for kids...no daily spending...

    Weekends with kids more free things...the park, a hike, kite flying, library...seeking free kid things in community..

    Food waste...i plan a menu, shop from a list, never take kids to store...we rarely waste food

    I bake oatmeal raisin cookies for snacks,,no processed granola...

    A big bowl of spaghetti for an after school snack..

    Meals that go the distance..meatloaf, spaghetti, enchiladas 

    Its a tough do but you got this...

    I took in a side hussle at night..by doing commuters child care..in central valley for all bay area workers..$25 child care..2am to 8am..child sleeping and school morning prep and drop off all from my house with my kids...my kids thought it was a party on a school night new friends to wake up to..

    Good luck

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  • 1 month ago

    See the car. Take the bus. Or walk. Or bike.

    • my4
      Lv 5
      1 month agoReport

      Not everyone lives in areas where that is available. No bus, work is 25 miles away by highway, longer if I take back roads. Need to transport sporting gear to my section that won’t fit in a backpack 

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  • n2mama
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    4 teenagers, how many cell phones in your household? How big is your data plan? Cut back on smart phones and move to prepaid phones and data. How about your home internet, cable, other streaming services? Review all your monthly bank and credit card statements to ensure you don’t have any memberships you don’t use but are still paying for hanging out there. 

    In regards to groceries, yes, feeding teens is expensive. Make sure you are encouraging them to drink water and milk, nothing else. Even fruit juice or pre-made teas are pretty costly per serving, especially with four children drinking them. Meat is expensive, but buying in bulk and freezing portions can help with that. Also, do meat free meals a night or two a week. Pay attention to grocery sale ads and build your menus around what is on special this week. Shop at multiple stores to get the best deals, and don’t overlook stores like Aldi and store brands or generics. Many of them are identical to name brands except for the label.

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  • Judith
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Since your kids are teenagers they should be working.  I started working when I was 15 and my earnings paid for my own incidentals meaning that my parents didn't have to give me money for lunches or other small personal items; e.g. cologne, nail polish, lipstick, etc.

    Can you cut down on the internet?  Call your internet/cable provider and see if they can sign you up for a special offer (which they offer frequently; I call whenever my bill goes up). Can you use public transportation which would save a bundle on gasoline & car maintenance.  Some insurances charge less considering your mileage.  When insurances come up for renewal, call around and find something cheaper.

    Cancel magazine subscriptions if you have any.  If you read, get books from the library - not those expensive paperbacks you can pick up at the grocery store.  Cook casseroles, soups and stews.  I have a slew of little cookbooks for those.  Meat goes a long way plus many of those recipes I use call for canned beans, diced tomatoes and other canned goods - and yet they are still healthy.

    75% of Americans cannot save money; they earn just enough to make it from one payday to the next.  Until your kids are out on their own, I don't see how you can save money unless you find a way to increase your income.  Having your kids bring in an income to meet their own needs will help and maybe in the summer when they are out of school they can work more and buy their own clothing and footwear - like my sisters and I did when we were old enough.  They aren't too young to learn responsibility and that life doesn't hand things to them on a platter.

    • my4
      Lv 5
      1 month agoReport

      Not old enough, only 13 & 14 and there aren’t any jobs around here for that age (and everyone hires landscapers) 

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  • Ann
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    First, review your utility bills: can you  be more careful with electricty?  keep lights off in vacant rooms, be sure all bulbs are LED.   Next cell phones, internet, tv packages, can you cut back or bundle, call your provider and ask if there is a way to reduce the bill.  Shop around for your car insurance, can you do better?  Same with renters or Home owners insurance.    You are overspending on food,  meat and fresh produce are not cheap but make the meals with less meat per person,  4 oz is a normal portion, use a cheaper startch:potatoes, rice, pasta 5 days a week and go with something nicer like couscous or quinoa on the other 2, Root veggies are less expensive as well,  cheaper cuts of meat and go meatless 1 or 2 days per week,   small changes could save you  50-100 per week.

    Things that can be eliminated are sodas, bottled water ( get a zero pitcher if needed) junk foods like chips, etc

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  • Erik
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    just don't have any more kids, please

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  • 1 month ago

    Car payments, braces and food...you mention nothing else.  If you want help with your expenses, it helps to start with a comprehensive budget...so post your expenses and we'll help you trim the fat.  

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  • DEBS
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Sometimes it's not an expense issue but an income issue. 4 teens and how many work, even just a few hours on weekends?

    • my4
      Lv 5
      1 month agoReport

      They are 13 & 14, not old enough for any jobs locally and the people in my community hire landscapers and plowing companies. 

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  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You are overspending on groceries even with 4 teens and focus on fresh food. Overall, frozen vegetables are OK if fresh is out of season. You are saying $30 a day in groceries.  Eventually, if you ever get there, cars are better to buy cash instead of credit. Check cell phone bills and cable TV services as usually overpriced. Make a list of all expenses to see where the money is going, but braces like medical expense nail you in the USA.

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  • NONAME
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    those kids...too many of them...trying to save...ha

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