Three ways that any family can make their money go farther

A little bit of planning can make a significant difference when it comes to family finances.  Buying on impulse usually leads to financial blunders.  Taking time to evaluate the needs of the family,  then mapping out the best options for meeting those needs, is key for good money management.

 Make Plans

Map out which big-ticket items are needed in the home.  Decide when would be the best time to shop for those products or services.  For example, shop for new cars near the end of the year when dealers need to make room on their lots for next year’s models.  Cars purchased at the end of a model year are still brand new.  They come with new car warranties, but are often discounted significantly.  Another example of planning that can stretch the family dollar is to purchase seasonal clothing like coats and jackets for next year at the end of the winter season when stores are likely to clearance those items.

Think ahead and be mindful of gift items that work for more than one special occasion.  For example, red gift bags, ribbons, and party items that are clearanced at the end of the Christmas season work perfectly well for Valentine’s Day parties and gifts just a few months later.  Gift items printed with hearts for Valentine’s Day are usable for anniversaries, birthdays, and even Mother’s Day.  Buy heart printed items after February 14th at extremely discounted prices.  Products printed with flowers and spring motifs for Easter work well as Mother’s Day and anytime gifts.

Shop Smart

Stock up on products that are popular in the home when they’re on sale.  Grocery shoppers with families prone to consuming large quantities of specific non-perishable food items should take advantage of BOGOs (buy one get one free sales).  Stock the pantry and cabinets with enough of the family’s favorites when they go on sale to last until they go on sale again.  The same strategy applies to household staples and items like soap, toothpaste, and laundry detergent.

Shop where it makes the most sense.  Grocery stores may offer the most competitive prices on food items, but they may not offer the best prices on other household goods.  Buy products in stores that specialize in that type of product.  Stores that specialize in a particular item or service will usually offer a better selection and better price ranges for those items.  For instance, hair care and beauty products may be less expensive at beauty supply stores than they are in grocery stores.  While grocery stores may sell hardware, cookware, and even clothing items, those items can often be purchased for better prices elsewhere.

Participate in Store Programs

Signing up to receive mailings from stores provides shopping advantages.  Stores often send out sale notices, coupons, and sometimes even free merchandise to people who sign up for in-store programs.  Rewards card members are often alerted in advance about deals and savings opportunities.  Stores will occasionally host sales events for rewards members that are not announced or open to the public.


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