By Nicole Hess, Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – In times of economic down turn people often wonder how to make the most of their income.
This can be extremely difficult, especially if you don’t track your spending.
The most important thing to know when saving money is where your money goes.
Sites such as www.budgettracker.com can get you started.
Once you know where your money is going, experts say, it is easier to cut unnecessary expenses.
Times of economic downturn are the perfect time to cut costs at the grocery store.
Eliminating unnecessary snack food can help both your budget and your waistline.
Chips, cookies, ice cream, and cakes can really add up on a shopping trip.
Your bank account and wardrobe will thank you.
Jamie McLaughlin has also eliminated junk foods from his diet in this time of economic hardship.
Instead of buying snacks from vending machines, he makes sure to pack something from home when he goes to work or school.
“I try not to eat at McDonalds because I know I have food at home. I also bring a water bottle when I go somewhere so I’m not tempted to buy one for two dollars at the store,” he explained.
Julia DeRosso keeps her refrigerator filled with bargains.
“I shop around at different grocery stores to get the better deal on my favorite foods. I also look in advertisements for stores about what’s on sale. I never go to the store without my coupons, either,” she said.
Instead of spending more than hundred dollars a month on cable television, try going to basic cable.
There are thousands of internet sites that allow you to watch your favorite shows online.
When getting take-out be sure to save any extra napkins and condiment packages.
If you were to save five or six napkins a week, you could save on buying them.
Ketchup packets add up as well.
National Grid provides some great energy saving tips on its website.
Some include keeping the lid on your pans when boiling water to save three times the amount of energy, holding back from peaking at cooking food in the oven which releases a ton of heat extending the cooking process, using the smallest pan and burner, and waiting until you have a full load to run the dish washer.
Oswego resident Andrew Haeffner has been cutting back by keeping it cool.
“I keep my thermostat in my house at 55 degrees.”
In case he gets chilly, he stays warm with sweatshirts; but his favorite cold weather accessory is his snuggie.
Switching just five light bulbs at home to Energy Star brand will save you $9 a month on your electrical bill.
Also, remember to unplug appliances when not in use; unplugging cell phone chargers, laptops, space heaters and anything else with a remote control feature to save $4 a month.