Not preparing in advance can be the hardest part of being broke. It happens to everyone, but the easiest way to cope with not having any money to use is knowing how to prepare yourself for it before it happens. Two methods can be crucial to ensuring some comfort while experiencing a lack of funds.
First, have a relief fund for any emergencies that may arise. Emergencies meaning any unexpected medical expenses or having to fund a necessary grocery run. Realizing what is a necessity is crucial in not spending any money that you do happen to have from being wasted. Tap water is your friend; there is no need to spend money on bottled water. Going out for dinner or drinks with your friends is out of the question. Try going out for free events instead, bonus if there’s free food. Spending time at home in order to not spend money may be necessary if you are tempted to spend when with others. Invite friends over for a night and hope that they bring a bottle of wine for a cheaper alternative.
The second method of best preparing yourself for when you’re broke is buying non-perishable items when they are on sale, and buying a lot. Canned beans and vegetables, as well as noodles will bring you some kind of nutrition security until your next paycheck comes in. These items are already inexpensive, but when bought on sale, can be purchased for as low as for 50 cents each. Stocking up on these products will ensure that you’ll have some source of nutrients in your life when you don't have any money to splurge on Whole Food purchases.
You know those flyers that get deposited in your mailbox each week that you throw out? Don’t! Look at them and you’d be surprised at the sales grocery stores have. Like all sales, prices fluctuate and if you wait another week you might be able to get something at an even more reduced price, so wait to purchase if you can. But, take this advice with caution; prices may jump up depending on what’s happening on what’s happening worldwide (California’s drought impacts prices on a lot of items).
Couponing is also a viable option. At the front of some grocery stores they have a board of coupons, so take a look and there may be something worthwhile! You can also find coupons beside certain products in the aisles, or even on the Internet. Speaking of the Internet, if you don’t get flyers delivered to your home, grocery stores (the bigger chains, at least do) post their weekly flyers online.
Knowing how to bargain hunt for food is crucial in preparing for times that you lack the funds to spend on anything. While the items you’re buying may not be the best, knowing that you have them in your cupboards will be reassuring. Knowing you’ll be able to eat when you otherwise may not have been able to will make being broke a whole lot easier.