A new study indicates that depending on what state you live in, $100 might not go very far at all.
Recently we reported on a new study from the Tax Foundation that depending on where you are in the country, $100 may get you vastly different quantities of goods. This study found that $100 gets you the least in the District of Columbia, buying you $84.96 worth of goods, and the most in Mississippi, where you can get $115.21 worth of stuff.
The trends were actually not terribly surprising: the states with the lowest cost of living tended to be in more economically depressed areas, like the Deep South, the Midwest, and the Rust Belt. The highest-priced areas tended to be up in the Northeast and the West Coast.
So what if you live in those higher-priced areas? What can you do to make that $100 you have go farther?
Groceries tend to be the best way to immediately save money for the average American. Most other bills are set, but people can easily waste a lot of money buying too much groceries or too expensive food items.
One way to save money is simply to eat less, which can be good for your wallet as well as your waistline. Most Americans admit to eating more than they know they should, so why not save that money and look better in the process?
Another way is to avoid expensive brand names and get generic, value foods that give you the most nutrition per dollar. That can require some planning, but it can save you big in the long term.
Then there’s the possibility of buying in bulk. Instead of getting a half pound of hamburger meat at the grocery store, get 5 lbs at Costco and freeze the rest, using it a little at a time.
Or, make your own foods. Bake your own bread rather than buy it at the store. Making your own entrees rather than ordering Chinese takeout.
With just a few simple steps, that $100 can go a long way.