Friday, January 2, 2009

Some of my favorite money saving ideas:

1. Make a budget and stick to it!
2. Do you really NEED to upgrade to a new car? Do you really need a second car? Learn how to do your own car maintenance to save labor costs. Bike or walk when you can. You’ll save gas $ and enjoy the free endorphins that come with exercising regularly.
3. Buy generic items and save the difference. So many people don’t even look to see how much they are paying for their food items. Also, take advantage of food sale items but also know when it really is a true sale.
4. When shopping, ask yourself, “Do I really need this or just want this? How many shoes does one person need? Think of the starving children in Africa who if they’re lucky have one complete outfit and one pair of shoes.
5. Have a “Change Jar” where you store extra change from the week to save up for big items or donate it to a charity at the end of the year.
6. Learn to cut your children’s hair, do you own nails, and have you spouse give you those priceless massages instead of paying $xx (and tip!) at the salon.
7. Forego the expensive vacation this year and visit local area attractions instead (no flight, rental car, or hotel fees). Go to your Visitor’s Center because sometimes they have coupons or locals-only deals.
8. Don’t buy books or rent videos; go borrow them for free at the library. Our library lets us reserve items online so I just walk in, pick up my items in the hold area and I’m out in a minute. Sure, sometimes I have to wait a few weeks for a new book but patience pays.
9. Bake your own bread and eat healthy foods from the cannery and fresh fruits and veggies from your local farmers market instead of junk food and sodas. I wonder if some great-grandmas in heaven are shocked most women don’t even know how to bake bread today.
10. Eat out less. Bag your lunch. Drinking water is free and good for you too. I only buy soda maybe once a year and the kids know that it's a special treat not a staple in our diet.
11. Coupons! Use only if you plan on buying that item anyway. Usually it’s still cheaper to try the generic brand.
12. Breastfeed your babies. You’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars, bond with your baby on a regular basis, never have to wash and prepare bottles - those diapers won’t smell so bad and the spit up stains will wash out easier.
13. Generic diapers, again I could’ve save a few hundred dollars with my first kid if I had only tried them out. My favorite is the Walmart brand Parent’s Choice. If you can, cloth diaper you’re children. It took me several times and different diapers but we love g diapers and use washable inserts and wipes with them. I wish I had started with my first child and not my fourth.
14. Get your clothes on sale or buy consignment. Most of the fun comes from finding that great bargain! Even better- you can swap clothes around with your extended family. It’s fun seeing the new babies wear my toddler’s old clothes.

Thanks to a hard-working husband and these ideas, I have been able to be able to stay at home and watch my children grow up. That’s worth more to me than all the money in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Cool. Coincidentally, I was just sitting down to make out my budget for the month/year. Reading through this post got me thinking along those lines and gave me some good reminders.