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5 Thrifty Tips to Lower Your Expenses

Written by: Kaleido

April 2, 2020

In this time of financial uncertainty, when many are facing temporary layoffs or reduced income due to the COVID-19 economic slowdown, we thought we would share some tips to help you save and optimize your budget.

1. Review your memberships and subscriptions

It might be time to review your various memberships and subscriptions to cancel or suspend the unessential during this period. If you have a gym membership, a subscription to a streaming service (Spotify, Netflix, etc.), or a monthly subscription box; you can suspend those that aren’t necessary.

2. Save on Groceries

There are several ways to shrink your grocery bill, especially with more time to plan and cook.  Preparing your own meals using basic ingredients is very cost efficient. Why not take this opportunity to learn how to bake your own bread or make homemade pizza dough?

It can also be the occasion to reduce your meat consumption and discover alternative sources of protein, such as legumes. They are much less expensive than meat and quite healthy!

Before you go shopping, make sure you plan your meals well and take stock of what’s left in your pantry. This will avoid impulsive or unnecessary purchases. Your freezer might also be filled with fruits and vegetables, prepared meals or meat. You’d be surprised to see what you can cook up with the forgotten treasures buried in your freezer.

Try not to buy in bulk too much, this will avoid straining your budget and wasting food.

3. General Tasks and Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Take advantage of this time to do some work around the house yourself. Save money and turn this activity into quality time with your eldest while leaning some useful skills together! The Internet is full of tutorials on countless subjects: painting, car maintenance, filing your tax return, mending clothes, etc.

4. Negotiate with your service providers

When was the last time your had a serious look at your cell phone plan or home insurance policy? Now might be the perfect time to have a closer look at your bill to see if you’re paying for unnecessary features and switch to a cheaper plan. You can also check out at what the competition has to offer or negotiate with your current service provider. We rarely take the time to this, but this simple task can save you a lot of money.

5. Enjoy some free entertainment

You’ve chosen to give up Netflix and are now wondering how you’re going to spend your days. Don’t panic! There are many ways to have fun for free without leaving your home:  

  • Digital library: Do you have a tablet or an electronic reader? Libraries offer a lot of e-books and magazines for free download.
  • Virtual tours: Many museums or national parks offer virtual tours. The museums of Quebec, the Lascaux cave or the Grand Canyon are just of a few of the places you can explore from the comfort of your home.
  • Revisit your personal library: Why not go through your own library at home? Surely there are a few reads you put aside for lack of time? It can also be very pleasant to read an old favourite again.
  • Board games: Dust off your board games and rediscover how much fun it is to have a family game night!
  • Discover podcasts: There are more and more high quality podcasts on a host of subjects. It's the perfect opportunity to have fun or learn more about a topic of interest. Not familiar with podcasts? Just download an application (Apple Podcast, Google Podcast) and search the app to find free podcasts!

The current situation can be daunting and cause insecurities, but it can also be an opportunity to smarten your personal finances, learn new things, have fun differently and perhaps, to slow down and remember what really matters.

Do you have any other tips? We invite you to share them with our community in the comments section of this article!

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