Simplify your Family Budget

(ARA) – Times are tight and you’ve cut back on the luxuries your family once enjoyed but could live without. However, every family has expenses, so how do you save money on the products or services that are necessities? 
Compare and bundle 
If you’ve got phone, Internet and cable services, it pays to shop around and compare prices. Call around to find the best prices or comparison shop online. Be sure to factor in promotional pricing and find out when the promo expires or you could be surprised by a sudden uptick in your monthly bill. Another way to save is to bundle the services with the same company, which will often get you a discount. 

Go green and save green 
Utility bills are a fact of life, but you don’t have to cringe when you open the envelope each month. Make it a family challenge to save money on your water bill by installing inexpensive faucet aerators, only running the dishwasher when it’s full, switching to low-flow showerheads and taking shorter showers and only washing full loads of laundry. You can save a surprising amount on your electricity bill as well if you line dry laundry instead of using the dryer and unplug all appliances when they’re not in use. Find out when your utility company offers off-peak rates so you know when the best time is to run the dishwasher and do laundry. 

Use coupons 
Just about everyone knows to search the local newspaper and clip weekly coupons, but you can also save time and money on hundreds of items your family uses every day when you shop online and use exclusive online coupon codes. 

A site like consolidates thousands of online coupons and discounts in one easy-to-use place. You can find coupon codes for everything from kids clothing to gifts and even for hard-to-find merchandise that your local department store only stocks online. is free and even offers a free newsletter with exclusive offers and the most popular coupon codes. 

Take advantage of free and cheap entertainment 
A family night out at the movies can easily run you more than $50, but a night in with a rental and some homemade popcorn will cost less than $10. Look in local newspapers and take advantage of all your community has to offer from free concerts in the park to library story times and free how-to clinics in retail stores. 

Courtesy of ARAcontent