Retirement can be expensive. Transitioning from a steady income to living on a fixed one can be difficult. If you are nearing or currently in retirement there are some ways to stay within budget and reduce your spending.  Here are some tips to help reduce your retirement expenses:

Have a Budget

The most important and crucial first step is to create and stay within a budget. Over the course of a few months track and review all of your spending habits. Track things like food, housing, utilities, entertainment, etc. and create categories of spending. Analyze how you are spending money and if needed make adjustments to stay within budget.

Manage Your Costs

If you need to reduce your spending there are some easy ways to accomplish that. Try using coupons, shopping for store brands and even buying in bulk. If you have too much of a bulk item try splitting with a friend. Look for free entertainment in your area  at the local library or senior center. Take advantage of shopping senior discounts. Many stores have certain days or hours when seniors receive a special shopping discount.

It may also be possible to lower household costs such as electricity, and water by negotiating with your utility company. They may even offer a senior citizens or income discount. Talk to family members about family cell phone plan to help reduce costs too.

Manage Your Medication

Health care costs are a big concern for seniors.  Talk with your health care provider about any generic medications available. Generic medications are often much less expensive. Don’t be afraid to shop around, prescription and medicine prices are not the same at every store.

Most of all continuously review your budget and spending to make sure you are staying on track.

imagesPlanting Currant Bushes In The Home Garden

Native to the United States, currants are a flavorful and versatile berry used in jellies, jams, wine, puddings, and pies. Currants, no matter whether they are black, red, pink, or white establish readily in the home garden where they will provide an annual abundance of sweet and succulent berries for decades to come.

Current bushes are an attractive addition to the home garden, taking up scant space against walls, trellis and foundations. Each plant matures into a small tree with a decided trunk and short, sturdy side branches on which fruit forms.

Current buses are available for purchase online or from local nurseries and home and garden supply centers. Choose healthy, bare root plants that will establish quickly once planted. Experience gardeners and growers suggest planting several different varieties of current bushes to provide a steady, tasty crop all summer. Current bushes produce fruit within 18 to 24 months from the time they are planted.

Current bushes attract bees, birds and butterflies to the home garden, so plant plenty for everyone.

Current Bush Varieties

Rovada

Presenting large, luscious fruits in profusion from early July through early September, Rovada gifts the gardener with six to eight pounds of berries per plant. The bright red currents are exhibited on long stems, making them easy to harvest. Red currents are excellent for canning or freezing; perfect for pies, jams and jellies to compliment the table through the winter. A fast grower, expect your first crop within six months of planting.

Ben Connan

A heavy cropping, small and compact plant, the “Ben Connan” variety of current bush produces a wealth of big black berries with an exceptionally rich flavor. The Ben Connan variety is early cropping, producing an abundance of berries beginning in July and continuing until the first frost in the fall. Although the bush will produce fruit the first year, it shines by the second year and will produce as much as eight to ten pounds of fruit per bush at maturity. The hardy plant is mildew and frost resistant and quickly establishes to grace the garden for many decades.

Big Ben

Large and lush, the black “Big Ben” variety of current bush stands head and shoulders above the rest bearing huge, stong-skinned, shiny berries that are almost twice the size of other common current varieties. Big Ben is a heavy producer bearing several pounds of fruit per bush at maturity. The flavorful berries are born on naturally arching heavy stems for easy picking. The Big Ben variety of current bush is packed full of flavor and can be enjoyed fresh or used in jams, jellies, cobblers, cakes and crumbles.

Resistant to mildew, the plants are quick to establish and produce significant growth the first year and an abundant crop within the 18 to 24 months.

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