I’ve decided while I was brushing my teeth this morning it was time for a new post. A lot of my friends ask how we save money, and after sitting down and making lists I feel like I can actually pass it on how we manage to do it.
So how have we managed to get by on one income?
1. We Cloth Diaper. At one time I had two babies in diapers. The thought of throwing diapers (money) into the garbage irked me. Solution? cloth diapers often sell for just under what you bought them for, or if you luck out you can find a hard to find print that’s going to sell for way more after you are finished with diapers. I stick to what brands work for us, but do know instead of throwing money away, this is a great way to actually save. I feel bad for people that spend that much on disposables, and don’t worry I’ve done the math, one or two extra loads of laundry doesn’t really effect my water OR electric bill. My dad watched the kids not to long ago, he can’t see so I had to get a box of disposables. I took a cloth break for the month. My bills were the same except I was out the $30.00 for the box of diapers.
2. I Coupon. You may already do this, an if you do great, how I do it, is I adore shopping at Publix, I worked customer service there for years, I know their food is quality, I know they check expiration dates, I know their employees are proud owners of the market, so shopping there is a no brainier, I know a lot of you do not live where you have the pleasure to shop at a Publix. I suggest you search Facebook (yes Facebook) for what ever grocery store you shop at couponing group. Most of the women and men do the work for you. After you clip your coupons on Sunday (or Monday if you’re like me.) Check the local groups, they will break down whats best paired with your coupons.
3. We Don’t Eat Out. Period. If we do its once in awhile. Last time we went out to eat it was $75.00 for 5 of us. That’s my grocery bill for an entire week, and a hard pill to swallow handing over our debit card to pay for it.
4. I Grow Our Herbs & Some Veggies. Typically where I spend the bulk of our grocery bill is produce and meat and dairy. I try to stay away from the frozen section. By growing most of our own herbs and veggies it has cut our bill down tremendously.
5. Meal Planning. This one sorta takes after number 2 on the list. I meal plan around whats on sale. By meal planning I’m able to make one trip to the store a week and get everything I need, and I also am able to check my pantry inventory before leaving the house so I know what I have. I downloaded a handy dandy Publix app that allows me to view their weekly ad right from my phone before I even leave the house.
6. I Don’t Pay For What We Can Do. Thankfully my husband is pretty handy. He remodels homes and builds stuff for a living. He is also pretty good under the hood of a car. He does our own oil changes, break changes, AC checks, ect. If he doesn’t know exactly what the issue is he’s able to research it enough to figure out what it is and how to fix it. Typically his first stop is an auto part store, they will help him if he gets lost in a project.
7. We Recycle Leftovers. I have become extremely talented at recycling meals. Left over spaghetti becomes, chili or even meat ball subs. Left over chicken? can become soup or shredded chicken tacos. The options are endless I use Pinterest a lot to help me if I get stuck, but typically if we don’t eat whats left over for lunch the next day, it becomes a recycled meal at some point during the week.
8. I Recycle Anything, Really. I’m not a hoarder. I swear, but I do find new purposes for old things, example? My garden is currently planted in old plastic tubs, so when we move, I can take them with us. I start most of my seeds and plan on putting more herbs into old tin cans or old egg cartons. I use glass jars from dressings to make dressing at home, and I put it back in the old glass containers or I use them for left overs. You can really find anything to make into something new. Just look around.
9. I Thrift Shop. Yes, there is no shame in my game here. I go every Saturday after I take Miss A to dance class, its our one on one time and we browse. I find goodies for the house, or clothes or toys for the kids. I take my time and look through everything. I have found some pretty amazing stuff this way. The kids grow out of clothes way to fast, and my husband is always in the business for new work shorts or shirts. I find some pretty amazing deals. Also check out your local Swip Swap Pages on Facebook. This is a good way to find local deals!
10. I Don’t Buy Name Brand. Yes. I said it. I won’t say I do this all the time, but while I’m out grocery shopping I will buy the generic brand over a name brand. There are some things I will buy name brand. Food- is one item I cannot tell the difference nine times out of ten, and either can my family. Except Tide, I really like Tide.
11. Become One With The Clearance Section. Before I start any shopping trip, I hit the clearance area first. Especially at the Market because they still allow for coupons for clearance items. Typically these are items like beauty care, or holiday items that they will no longer carry and will mark them for at least half off if not more.
12. Find FREE Local Kids Activities. If you are lucky you might live near a splash pad, or a nice park, but there are other ways to find free events in the area that kids will enjoy. Google. I Google everything. Find some cool things in your area. I recently started a EVENTS tab on my page, I simply follow pages on Facebook that I know post about kids events or events in general and I add them to my blog. Also- the library offers free classes for adults and children.
13. I Don’t Buy Stuff I Can Make. Recently my newest frugal moment was I stopped buying paper towels. We’d go through a pack of 8 in a week! That’s roughly $30.00 a month I am now saving. We use Microfiber hand towels now instead and I wash them with our bath towels. I also recently started making my own toothpaste. I’m convinced Crest uses sugar as an ingredient. It was killing my teeth every time I brushed so, a house hold staple has now become baking soda. I mix it with a little salt. BAM tooth paste. I keep it wet in a small up-cycled baby food jar.
14. I Make My Own Cleaning Products. This one can sorta be grouped with number 13. Household staples; bleach, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice. You’d be surprised on how much you can make using these four items. Check out Pinterest for some recipes. I don’t recommend you go mixing bleach with anything. I typically keep each item alone in its own spray bottle labeled bleach, vinegar, ect. I buy all my spray bottles from the $1.00 store.
15. Pre-Shop For The Holidays. This is one I struggle a bit with, but has saved us money. I have cabinets in my garage and if we find something at an unbeatable deal we store it for birthdays and holidays. After this past Christmas/Hanukkah we decided the kids are no longer getting electronics for holidays, we will save those items for birthdays. We also decided 5 limit gifts for Christmas/Hanukkah. The kids hardly play with anything they get anyway. They are more into out door activities so it ends up sitting on a shelf, or pieces become missing, and I end up cleaning up small pieces, or it goes in the trash by the time February rolls around because its broken. Look in the clearance section. Craft items are always timeless, I feel like even if you get some crafting kits on sale prior to Christmas its not something they will likely grow out of and its something you can pull out on a rainy day. Also- their grandparents end up buying them tons of stuff, so its best if we limit our own household to about 15 items total for the all the kids. I’m not in Christmas/Hanukkah competition with no one. (They don’t have to clean my house.)What are some ways you save at home? I’m always looking for new frugal ways. Don’t worry, I don’t judge! (: