- Utilize your local food pantry. Food Pantries like our Harmony CDC Food Pantry and Resource Center offer, wholesome, nutritious food at no cost. Our Food Pantry provides rice, beans, pasta, canned vegetables and fruits, nuts, peanut butter, tomato sauce, cereal, frozen meat, canned meat and more. You can save money by visiting your food pantry and then go to the grocery store to get those items not available through a food pantry.
- If you are not accustomed to cooking at home, now is a good time to begin. Menu planning can help minimize expenses. Try planning meals around grocery sale items or foods already available in your freezer. Be sure to check expiration dates. If you have older children, involve them. Also, check sites like Pinterest for new ideas with ingredients currently in your pantry.
- Go to the grocery store with a list. No extras or wandering the aisles. Keep track of your spending to be certain you are staying on budget. No wastefulness. Too many leftovers, make another meal. Rotisserie chicken can be used several ways. Be creative. Don't go to the grocery store hungry either.
- Review your monthly expenses. What can you reduce or eliminate? For example, is it needful to have several premium cable channels along with Amazon Prime, Netflix and whatever? Determine what you watch most often. Look for duplications comparing the best bargain at the lowest cost with the most frequent use. In this lean season, we need to hold on to whatever funds we have especially due to employment uncertainty.
- Use your savings as a last resort. If you need to tap into your savings to meet monthly expenses, be very cautious. Reduce your expenses as much as humanly possible prior to this action. Savings are for true emergencies not convenience. Remember, it can be difficult to replenish those funds especially with our national economic instability.
- Focus on needs and not wants during this time. There are many influences under-girding your values toward money. Examine those values. What does money really mean to you? It may not be easily answered but it will help identify why you do what you do with money.
- For those of you with families, this is an opportunity to engage your children in understanding how finances work. Your purchases are more complex than simply swiping a card. The money being used has been generated from a source. Help your children understand money dynamics and challenges. Most of us work daily and dearly for this income and it is imperative your children understand that money just doesn't appear in the account. Talk to them.
- Call your utility providers, creditors, mortgage companies, auto financing company and others to find out any temporary changes in policy during this time. They will not be automatically instituted.
No one anticipated this present environment and it is becoming increasingly stressful. You are not alone; many of us are where you are. Only YOU know your obligations and revenue. Discuss and communicate with your family. Do what you can, asking God's guidance.
To learn more about Harmony CDC visit www.HarmonyCDC.org or get connected with us on social media...