There is no doubt about it, a recession is a difficult time for everyone, and it can be tough to find ways to scrape buy. However, there are many ways that individuals can cut back during a recession to make ends meet. By cutting back on a few non-essential expenses, or renegotiating the terms of some of your bills, you can save yourself hundreds if not thousands of dollars during this financially troubling time.

1) Stop Buying Bottled Water

Bottled water is an extravagance, but not a necessity. If you are hurting for money during a recession, then consider eliminating bottled water from your home. Instead, look into purchasing an inexpensive water filter for your kitchen faucet that will make your tap water taste just as good.

2) Walk or Take the Bus

Walking or taking the bus whenever you can, could save you hundreds of dollars in gas a year. If you live close to the store or your office, consider getting some exercise instead of burning gas. If you have to drive to work, the store, or your children’s school, try to set up a carpool with others who need to go as well.

3) Utilize Coupons and Store Discounts

Most people do not use coupons on a regular basis. However, you can shave 50% or more off of your weekly food bill, by learning how to use coupons and store discounts to your advantage. There are many forums online dedicated to the use of coupons, where you can learn the in’s and out’s, of becoming a coupon pro.

4) Eat Out Less

The costs of eating out are rising, and it is becoming more of a luxury than a weekly treat. Skip a trip or two to the restaurant, and splurge on a slightly more expensive meal that you can make from home. The food will taste just as good, but will not be marked up to restaurant prices.

5) Buy Clothing From Outlet Stores

There are outlet stores available for almost every name brand of clothing that exists, and many of the outlet stores even have websites for convenient shopping at home. These outlet stores have the same name brand clothing of the regular stores, but without the high price tag. Locate an outlet store and shop there instead, to save even more money during a recession.

6) Read Newspapers and Magazines Online

Magazine and newspaper subscriptions can be pricey, but if you investigate, many of those same publications have online websites. On these websites all or part of a newspaper or magazine can usually be viewed for free, or at a fraction of the cost of home delivery.

7) Renegotiate With Creditors or Lenders

Many consumers have no idea that you are able to negotiate with lenders and creditors. During a recession, the bargaining usually works to your favor, as companies would rather have someone pay less then not at all. Call your credit card companies, car and mortgage loan institutions, and any other creditors you may have, and ask them for a lower percentage rate, or a settlement amount for current debts.

8) Do it Yourself

From laundry to car repair, there are many services that you may currently outsource, that could be done by yourself to save money. For instance, instead of paying a company to paint the inside of your home, you could buy the necessary materials and do it yourself. Skipping that $5 drive thru car wash, and detailing your own car, could add up to big savings in a year’s time too.

9) Go For Cheap Entertainment

Even during a recession, it is possible to have fun and still save money. Look into dollar movie locations near you, or ask if a movie theater has special rates for movies on a Saturday morning. Often theaters offer specials, and even free concessions on certain days and times.

Museums and state parks are usually free or cost only a few dollars, and can provide your family with hours of fun on each visit. Take advantage of free community events, and your family can have a good time while supporting the community.

10) Switch Your Insurance

Call your car, home, and life insurance companies, and try to negotiate a lower policy price. This works especially well if your rate has recently gone up during a renewal. Get free quotes from other insurance companies, and if they offer you a lower rate for the same benefits, switch your insurance to save hundreds.

A recession doesn’t have to be a devastating time. If you do your research, and make wise financial decisions, then you can come through a recession unscathed. Cutting costs on just a few expenses can help keep money in your pocket when you need it most.

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