The current economic state in Ghana is a slow strangulation for every Ghanaian. Prices of food, services, transport, fuel just keeps changing every day and week with the unstable foreign exchange also doing its own dance. Ghanaians in every home and industry are feeling not the pinch but the blow of hardship.
In times like this, I believe one has to be wise in making some lifestyle changes and decisions to save money. These changes are necessary for any person looking to seriously cut back on some expenses to save the already depreciated cedi in their pockets. These are a few practical household money saving tips I hope you will find useful:
Soups are your best friend
- Palm-nut and Groundnut soups are two popular Ghanaian soups which can be eaten with a whole variety of accompaniments. Both soups can be eaten with rice, gari,yam, banku, plantain, emo tuo and all the starchy foods out there. Cook these soups as they can last two weeks of consumption instead of spending more on stews. Another cost-saving food though not a soup is Nkontonmire.
2. Walk or Car Pool
The last fuel shortage we experienced recently was a whole new episode all together, one had to experience it to understand. Every time i drove my eye was on on the gauge. And not long after that episode, prices of fuel increased to 23% and transport fares also joined the increment bandwagon. To save on fuel, park the car at home and walk to relatively short distances example when you need to get credit for your phone or go to the grocery store. Walking also is good exercise which you need anyway. Another fuel saving tip is to let your windows down when driving. Air-condition consumes much of a car’s fuel and driving without it at least twice in a week will see you saving at least a gallon of fuel for some further days. If you also have a work colleague in your neighbour, why not car pool? Kill your pride, park your 4.0 car and join his or hers to the office. I think it should be program for organisations to adopt for their employees.
3. Clothes.clothes. clothes
I noticed that many boutiques in Osu are having 20-50% sales or shutting down. Who can blame them as the dollar keeps rising every day which makes it more difficult to make sales. For the ladies, this isn’t a time to be shopping like you used to. Save up on your hard earned cash and wear your usual clothing. You can also mix a recently purchased skirt with an old blouse and everyone would think the whole attire is new, add a few accessories like a scarf and you are good to go. Thats a trick I have always adopted. Following fashion trends in this recession or whatever we choose to call it will only quicken your steps to broke-ness.
4. Eat In Not Out
Many restaurants in the city have increased the cost per plate for many of their dishes because most of their ingredients are imported. Expensive ingredients equals to expensive food. Choose to eat home-made food more and save on cost of eating out, not only is it cost effective but its also healthier. Many restaurants or chop-bars buy bulk tomatoes which are on the verge of spoilage because its cheaper than whole tomatoes and then they add a lot of tin tomatoes as well. Cholera which is becoming endemic has recently increased in the city with reported deaths which should put you on the alert with regards to buying ‘outside’ food. For the past month, whenever I close early I defrost a bowl of garden-eggs stew take a few spoonfuls and have that with about two slices of yam. Cheaper than KFC or buying check check from Epo Spot.
5. Buy bulk
Buying groceries in bulk is also one way to save money on household items. Makola is filled with distributors of household grocery items from rice, tinned foods, detergents, etc. Buy in bulk the items which are used frequently in the home to buffer against the changing prices in the market.
6. Buyer Beware
As a buyer, you have to be extra cautious when you purchase certain items on the market. Look out for expired products on shop shelves, fake and shoddy products. Many sellers will take shortcuts to get rid of old goods and will resort to any means of finding ways to sell stock. As a buyer you have to exercise your 'Caveat Emptor’ or buyer beware right where a seller can conceal defects in a good or service from you the buyer. Its up to you to check the expiry date of products, warranty dates, etc before making a purchase. Recession makes people conduct business with even less decorum.
7. Beauty & Health
Women need their beauty routines like Twitter needs tweets. Quality makeup saves having to keep buying beauty products every month. Using Mary Kay or MAC for example is a purse saver. A little dab goes a long way to cover an entire facial area. I wonder how much Brazilian hair costs now with the rising dollar. Ladies, why not braid Kinky twists or twists to save some cash instead of Brazillian hair. Or why not go natural?
You have to manage your cedi every day, recession or no recession. Changes in habits or lifestyle are tough but must be done. Hopefully these tips will prove useful and help you save towards more important projects for the future. How are you also managing to save money or are you saving at all? I would love to read what you have to share regarding this.