Friday, September 12, 2008

A Money Stretching Idea or Two

Many of us are truly noticing that budget tightening is not a rumor anymore. That makes me think that a money stretching idea would prove to be helpful.

As you work toward stretching your buying power in non-foods, consider evaluating your closets as well as your pantry. One money-stretching trend that is gaining momentum is houses brands in clothing. A recent purchase of house brand support hose proved to be a $2.00 per pair savings compared to the same brand name item, and almost a $4.00 per pair savings to what would be considered the same designer label item.

Take time to check out basic clothing items such as socks, underwear, etc. … in house brands. However, shirts, tops, blouses, pants and more are also appearing in house brand labels. What if personal preference dictates that for you … or a teenager in your household … a label that shows has to cost more? Maybe you can begin saving a significant amount on those items that won’t show. (And of course we won’t mention those individuals who purposely allow underwear to show. Ah yes, we are talking budget here, not fashion. Fashion? No you didn’t read that here:)

You might consider house brands for your preparedness program when it comes to blankets, sleeping bags, and other such items. Such savings gives you more buying power … more for the same amount of money.

Another money-saving idea is to make your calculator a power tool when stocking up or shopping sales. Use your calculator when you are reading the ads and planning to stock up on an item or two. This is especially true when you are trying to stretch a limited budget among several tweens for clothing purchases. The extra ten or fifteen minutes could mean added buying power. It could make the difference in saving money that you might spend “thinking” an item is sale priced, but not knowing if it really is or is not a bargain. For example, a recent ad extolled a “Bargain” on toilet tissue. A six-roll pack for .99 cents. At first glance it looked good. Further reading showed that it was 1-ply sheets, and would equate out to a 4-roll costing .66cents. A better value bargain would be to wait for a 2-ply sheet, 4-roll pack on sale at .69 cents or .79 cents. And of course these prices were factored a month or so ago, because the prices have already gone up. But unless you take the time to figure it out, you don’t know! I even carry a small calculator with me when I do major shopping, so that if I find a promoted bargain or better yet an unadvertised bargain, I will take the time to punch in numbers.

If it’s cool to carry a cell phone, we can make it cool to carry a calculator and use it! How cool is it to stretch your budget!

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