As a resident in any major city, one question that is always on people’s minds is how to save. Adding in the expenses that come with raising a family, however, that question becomes just a bit more complicated to answer. For those living in the city of Houston, the Texas heat, coupled with unexpected tropical storms and complicated public transportation can make it difficult to get around some common saving strategies but also create their own opportunities to save. Whether it’s at the stores or in the comfort of your own home, consider these five ways to save with your family in Houston.
Make A List Before Grocery List Before Shopping
As you make your way down the many aisles of your local supermarket, you’ve likely come across a wide variety of goods that you may not have been planning on purchasing, yet you somehow end up putting them into your cart. Especially when those items on sale, the deal tends to outweigh the fact that we are still buying something we likely have no need for. In order to reduce the amount of spending you do in the grocery store, put a list together ahead of time and stick to it. If you are trying to take advantage of sales, the time to look into them is when you’re putting your list together, as you can identify the things you need for lower prices.
Make Eating Out A Special Occasion
When it comes to eating out, whether at a restaurant or a fast food establishment, often families spend more per month than they are aware of. This spending adds up over time, as a simple meal out once a week that totals to $25 ends up totaling to $1,300 each year. Things can become even more expensive when it comes to restaurants, like ordering an appetizer or dessert and pitching in a tip makes for an even more expensive outing. To start cutting out this unnecessary cost, treat eating out as a special occasion. By using it as a means to celebrate an accomplishment or saving at least minimizing it to a once a month treat, you’ll be amazed by how much you’ll save.
Using The Deregulated Electricity Market
As a city, Houston is located in a part of Texas that is known as a deregulated electricity market. What this means is that the residents of Houston have the ability to pick and choose between a number of service providers instead of being locked into one. This ability presents an opportunity to save, as a number of providers offer competitive plans that work with a number of usage behaviors. One particularly advantageous plan, pay as you go electricity, allows users to offer a sum to electricity providers and receive as many services as is covered by that amount. When that happens, more money can be deposited for more service. Controlling utility costs, especially in the long stretch of humid months, is an important way to save money.
Go To The Library
When the Texas heat gets to be a bit too much and you find yourself looking for a way to entertain your kids indoors, consider a trip to your local library. Libraries are a great place to help encourage your kids to get into reading, which could supply them hours of entertainment and a lifetime hobby. Even better, a library card is all you need to take out books, meaning that a trip to the library doesn’t require any spending. And along with a wide selection of books, libraries offer free internet access and DVDs that can be watched taken home for later enjoyment. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for titles that interest you!
Get a Babysitting Group Going
A number of things become more expensive with children, but finding someone to watch them as you take a bit of “you time” and go out can be expensive. Instead of enlisting the help of a babysitter, consider starting a babysitting group. This is just a group of friends or neighbors with children who trade off babysitting duties in order to free up the other for a time. With a babysitting group, “payment” is not done through cash, but rather through the rotating duty of watching the children. And this relationship does not have to be extended, you and your friends or neighbors can agree to a simple one-time babysit and be done with it.