Today I am going to share some things that I have found save our larger family money each month. My husband works full time, and I work at home part time with Project Dream Intl. We live on a tight budget because we are working on paying off debt and also putting back money for savings. It can be hard this day in age to make ends meet and that is why I want to share with you some things that have worked for me and my family.
Saving at the Grocery Store:
I am very careful about how I shop for groceries. Making a weekly grocery list keeps me on track. I meal plan weekly and write everything down that I will need.
I usually shop at Food Lion or Kroger and I use my rewards card. I buy what is on sale and I only buy fresh. I shop the outer perimeter of the store only and we save a lot of money by not eating processed foods. If you don't make a list, you may find yourself going to the store multiple times a week and becoming sidetracked and buying more than you need. I also set a budget for how much I am able to spend for the week. My budget for 5 people is $100 a week.
I do a series every Monday on what I buy with my menu plans. If you want a copy of my Menu Planner, you can to to the top of my blog and subscribe.
Buying Concentrated Cleaners:
About three years ago, I stumbled across these wonderful cleaners that are concentrated and also happen to be green/non toxic. I decided to buy the $99 kit because it was the best value for my money. It was a win win for my family because I was looking for something to save me money and to also be better for Ryan since he has respiratory problems.
This is a terrible picture, but this bottle of concentrated cleaner lasts me about two years. I use it for EVERYTHING too! Yes, I even use it to wash my kids. :)
It gets permanent marker off of stuff and your kids skin too!
If you want to know where I get my concentrated cleaners, you can go HERE.
I do not buy new things, but rather spruce up things that I already have.
The dresser above was given to me and all I had to pay for was the spray paint that I used to paint it.
We have re-done our Kitchen, Bathroom, and Living Room on a very small budget. My husband and I also save money by doing the project ourselves. If you pay someone to do the work, it is very costly!
Putting back a little money each week.
We put back a little bit of money each week into a savings account. The big reason is for emergencies. You never know when you might have an emergency and need some extra cash. The second reason why we do this is for Christmas.
We are almost done paying off our Debt and we do not want to constantly be going back in Debt for Christmas. (We have a strict budget that we spend on each child.) If you put back $5 or $10 a week it can add up very fast and save you in the long run! We also used the saved money for Vacations too!
No one wants to go in Debt for those things.
Supplement to stay healthy:
My husband and I decided about a year ago that we wanted to supplement and have the kids supplement as well. I will have to tell you that the last year we have been healthier than ever! We have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars in medical bills. Co-pays can add up very fast! If you want to know what we take, we shopped around and found the best quality of vitamins for Joe and I HERE, and for the kids HERE.
Joe and I and all three kids take supplements daily, and I have to say I have never felt so good! I have more energy than I did before supplementing.
I actually get our supplements for free and if you would like to know more about that, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Other Mom Groups Online:
I have several groups online that help me stay on track with my budget and with my health that I thought I would share with you.
One of my favorites is called Simple Health Swaps. Erin, who is also a Mom of three, shares ways we can save money and stay healthy not only for ourselves but for our whole family.
You can join that HERE. She has FREE weekly webinars that you can get on too! I love FREE! :)
Another one that I use is called War On Debt Meal Ideas. This group has amazing ideas on how to save money on your food and groceries. You can join that group HERE.
I have also joined some Freezer Cooking/Exchange groups, and some other groups in my community that have great ideas on saving money. You can do a search in Facebook to find what is available in your area.
Make Your Own Baby Wipes/Disinfecting Wipes.
I use my concentrated cleaners and paper towel to make baby wipes for my son. I used to go through a $4 box of wipes once a week, and now I pay $1 for a roll of paper towel a week. That $4 adds up over time! I also make disinfecting wipes for the counters and bathrooms. It saves me a ton of money! I don't go down the cleaning isle so I don't know how much the Clorox wipes are, but all I know is that these are so much cheaper, safe for my family because I know they are non toxic, and they work.
Saving on Kids Toys:
Any time we have a big box, we give it to the kids. It will entertain them for hours! Ha! :)
I also make them playdough all the time!
It is very easy and cheap to make playdough and it is also an opportunity for your kids to help you in the kitchen!
We also re-purpose old things into new. I was going to throw this rug away, but instead, we used it and some other things we had around the house to make a play mat...
You can find the post on how we did that HERE.
Only Go Out To Eat Once A Week (if even that):
Going out to eat with a family of 5 or more can be very expensive! We try to use the weekends to eat up the leftover food that we have in the fridge or it just goes to waste.
Then I am throwing our hard earned money in the garbage and that does not make me happy. Going out to eat for us, even to fast food, can be at least $20 and that $20 two or three times can add up quick! Try to eat at home as much as possible because it is cheaper to make a meal at home (even if it is just sandwiches) than it is to feed 5+ people at a restaurant. I try to make bigger dishes that will leave leftovers for weekend meals. These are a few of my favorites:
Never Pay Full Price for Kids Clothes.
If you have kids, you know how expensive clothing can be! This is another thing that I do not like going in Debt for. I always shop around to find good deals for my kids clothes. My favorites are:
You can also join yardsale groups on Facebook in your area, and sometimes you can find good deals on Ebay. We do not have as many consignment stores as we used to, but you can also find great deals there by trading clothes that you have and they will give you a credit to buy more. I also ask friends if they have hand-me-downs in good shape, and I always donate our kids clothes to families in need in this area. If you shop in the above stores I mentioned, always shop in off season. Shop for winter clothes for the next year in the spring when they are on sale. I also buy solid color long sleeved shirts to go under my kids short sleeved shirts in the winter.
Those are 10 things that I do to save money! What do you do to save money? I would love to know!
Thanks for stopping by and if you can follow me HERE for daily pictures and updates of our day to day life!