Tips For Saving Money On A Budget

Food is a necessity. We all need it, but the costs get higher every year. And with today’s modern, busy lifestyle it can be a challenge to keep yourself well fed on a tight budget.

To help keep grocery costs low, browse food blogs and recipe websites for ideas, and read Sunday Times Food. Get invested in making delicious meals without breaking the bank; you’ll get results you can enjoy!

Affordable Protein.

Here in South Africa, we love our meat, but the costs are soaring. Meat is expensive but there are a wealth of wholesome alternatives – pulses, vegetables, pasta, rice and so on. Why not give it a try?

In colder weather, we enjoy soups, stews, and casseroles. Choose affordable meat cuts like stewing beef; perfect for stews, and they’ll come out more tender, too. Wholesome, versatile vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, and carrots get you the nutrition you need without wearing holes in your wallet!

 

Don’t buy “extras” if you can make it yourself.

Some stores will sell you a can of tomatoes with added herbs at double the price of plain tomatoes. Why not buy the herbs and add them yourself? The same applies to most products. If the label says “specially prepared,” ask yourself if you can make the preparations yourself. Many “special” preparations are easy and inexpensive to do.

 

Shop with a list.

It won’t let you down. Plan your shopping trips in advance, draw up weekly meal plans and stick to them. Browse prices on your local grocery store’s website and make notes so that you don’t overspend.

Remember: grocery stores put their most tempting products right next to the checkouts so customers will see them as they wait to pay for their shopping. Resist the urge. If you think you’ll be tempted, select your one indulgent snack in advance and put it in your cart as soon as you enter the store… that way you know it’s there and you won’t be tempted to splurge.

 

Shop alone.

When you go shopping with your family it’ll quickly turn into a free-for-all. Everyone will want to add their favorites to the trolley! Save yourself the stress and go alone.

 

Resist the urge to bulk buy.

Stores are always offering specials: Buy One Get One Free, Half Price, and so on. But do they save you money? It’s not a saving if you’re not going to use it. It won’t help you at all if it just ends up in the trash!

Bigger doesn’t always mean better value. Check the weights and do the math. And remember: you can often find frozen items at half the price of their fresh counterparts.

Check competitor brands against the store’s own brands. A “bargain” price brand name product might cost more than its identical store brand counterpart. Remember: most stores place their most expensive items on the shelf at eye level to encourage shoppers to buy them. Value products are usually stacked closer to the floor.

Check sell-by dates on fresh produce. Will you use it before the time’s up? Can you freeze it?

 

End of day specials.

Some supermarkets offer special prices on fresh and deli counter products near closing time. You can pick up some fantastic deals then.

The Student Loan Guide in South Africa You Need to Read

Any deserving or underprivileged student can always apply for financial aid to finish their studies without any issues. Financial aid serves as a bridge for bright students who don’t have to leave their studies due to their economic background.

Government, Universities, private companies, as well as banks reward deserving students with bursaries or loans. These scholarships are meant to encourage students in a specific field or are provided to them for their academic, sports or leadership achievements. A bursary doesn’t need to be repaid unless you drop out before you finish your studies. Some bursary donors also ask you to work for their company to pay off the loan after graduation. However, you can also get a student loan if you’re not eligible for a bursary. But the loans need to be repaid post the completion of your studies.

 

The types of loans that you can apply for your studies are as follows.

 

Government Funding

The government funding is provided to students with strong academic potential, and zero access to any other loans or bursaries. The financial aid is known as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and works in a similar way as the loan does.

That means that one has to repay the loan after completing their graduation, but it can skipped given on how good your marks are. Most student have huge chunks of their payment cut down due to scoring well. Funded by the South African government, the NSFAS is available to the students of the public universities and the TVET colleges.

The NSFAS isn’t just for students and is an administrator of other government bursaries like Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme for prospective public school teachers. The Department of Social Development also provides bursaries for social work students.

 

University Financial Aid

The universities have their own financial aid department that help the students with their loan and bursary applications. Any funding like the NSFAS, university funding, as well as the external bursaries and its information comes in from this office.

 

How do you find it if you’re eligible?

Wondering if you’re eligible for the program you’re trying for? You need to check the financial page website of the university website you want to attend. You can also try calling them o check if they’re are currently accepting applications. All well known South African universities, whether it be the Rhodes University, the Northwest University or the University of Venda, have their own programs in this regard.

You can also see the websites of these universities for other general information which can include the coding date of the applications or just the account of funds. For instance, when it comes to the Rhodes University, there is no closing date for first year students but you do have limited funds available so you do need to apply early.

Applying for a student loan can be a challenging but a rewarding experience. Don’t worry about it. Just know the options at your hand and start early – you’re sure to be rewarded!

 

Top Tips For Money Saving

Probably you have been on a tight budget and wanted to accomplish something but you could not. Maybe you are struggling to clear your debts, or your spouse is unemployed. In some cases, you are not making enough to keep you afloat. There are a million reasons you might be looking to save that extra coin.

Sometimes life serves you a daunting challenge and you have to find means to walk through the tribulations. With the economy changing and life getting costlier, you could feel mentally overwhelmed, especially if you have to put more hours into work to earn more.

However, if you are thinking about tightening your budget, there are many ways you can sail through regardless of the many hurdles you might be facing. Here are some tips that will help you save your money while reducing your expenses, especially during tough financial times.

 

Car insurance

One of the things you could do is talk to your insurer so they can review your plan and give you a better price on the premiums. If this fails, it’s advisable to shop around to get a better deal, and this should not trouble you as it’s possible to switch insurers.

 

Change to public transport

You understand how frustrating it can be to fuel and maintain a car when you are facing financial hardships. In this case one of the best solutions you could embrace is to turn to the use of public transport. It is cheaper and you don’t have to worry about buying parts. You can even negotiate with friends on a carpooling deal if there are no trains or buses in your area.

 

Cut eating out and takeaways

Takeaways and eating out will generally cost more than buying groceries and preparing at your home. To save money, be sure to avoid these as it costs you more to eat out.

 

Use up leftovers and plan your meals

If you are not used to cooking, you probably need to learn some things so you can get started. Have a plan and look for simple recipes you can start preparing. While you will have some food left after each meal, this food can be taken in the next dinner session, so never throw leftovers away unless the food is no longer edible.

 

Go meatless or reduce intake

Meat will cost you a bit more than eating foods like vegetables. If you take meat often, you might want to consider reducing intake or foregoing it altogether.

 

Stock up your garden

You can create a garden at home using pots. Plant herbs and veggies that you can use instead of having to buy everything. This will save you another amount that goes into vegetables.

 

Always shop around and compare deals

Don’t just buy items before you have compared prices. Make sure to look for that opportunity to save an extra coin.

 

Buy second hand

New items are fine, but that’s not to mean you cannot get good second hand items that will serve the same purpose. Whenever you need anything, visit second hand shops to see if there are items that can fit your needs. This will save you a lot of money.

 

Avoid the temptation

Hanging around places where you are likely to buy things could get you to spend. Make fewer visits to the mall and only go there when you need something. Also while shopping, carry only money enough for the things you need.

 

Make your own gifts

Holiday celebrations are an exciting way to connect with friends and family, and one of the things you are likely to do is get gifts. Instead, make your own gifts. Google some ideas for homemade gifts and you will be surprised what you can do.

 

Use less electricity and water

Also limit the amount of water and electricity you use at home. Leaving