Finding ways to cut back on your spending can help you during a difficult economic period. Saving money is always good, but it’s a skill that becomes especially important during a recession.

“How is it even possible to save money during a downturn?” you might ask. It’s all about planning, cutting out the really frivolous costs, and changing the way you think about spending money. You can use these tips both at home with your family or in your business.

Here are some handy tips you can use to help you save money:

  1. Pay important bills first. Decide what is most important to you and your family, or your business and your partners and agree to pay those bills first.
  2. Save money on meals. Groceries and business meals are a huge, yet necessary, expense.
  • Buy generic rather than name brands. They usually taste just as good but cost less.
  • Order a tall cup of tea instead of a vente latte. In addition to being more wallet friendly, this could be more waist-friendly too!
  • Buy non-perishable foods in bulk. Many items can be bought in bulk such as rice, canned foods, and frozen foods.
  • Schedule business meetings in between meals and at coffee shops instead of restaurants. Brownbag your lunch and eat with your co-workers or employees instead and build up your relationship with them.
  • Never shop on an empty stomach. Eat before grocery shopping; otherwise, you’ll wind up buying more junk and convenience foods because you’re hungry.
  • Keep snacks in your office. If you absolutely have to run out in the afternoon if you get hungry between meals, you will have little choice but to spend the money. Keep snacks with you at work just in case.
  • Make a list of what you need at the grocery store and stick to it. It really is that simple
  1. Rent movies instead of going out. Have a movie night once a week. Sit down with some popcorn and watch a movie. This is a great way to spend quality family time, without much expense.
  2. Only buy things that you have the money for right now. As much as you can, pay cash or debit instead of using a credit card.
  3. Cook at home. If you go out to eat two or three times a week, cut back to once every two weeks or once a month. Instead, learn to cook at home. If you plan ahead and cook in quantities, you’ll save time and money by popping the extra portions into the freezer.
  4. Unplug. If there are things in your house plugged into the wall and you aren’t using them, unplug them. Many items, like computers and phone chargers, draw electricity whether they’re on or not. Plug it in when you need it, then unplug it when you’re done.
  5. Check your thermostat. Setting your thermostat just a few degrees higher or lower than normal can help save a chunk of money on your energy bill. If you take the weekend off, turn the thermostat off at the office.

These are just some of the many ways to save money and stretch your dollar a bit.