Wednesday, October 9, 2013

30 ways to save money

 I know things can get tight sometimes, especially the way government is right now and I wanted to share some of the ways we save money. We are a family of six living on a single income and have managed to become debt free, praise the Lord - He receives all glory for that. Now before you start thinking my husband has some high paying job, let me assure you he does not. He is a manager at a farm and home store, a small one. We have learned how to budget our money over the years and are blessed to be able to put some in savings along the way as well.

Here are just some of the things we do or have done to save money:

1. We don’t have cable or satellite television. If you have either of these, you can just quit whining to me about not having money right now. This is most definitely a want, not a need.

2. I rarely clothes shop; kids get new jeans, shoes, etc as needed for birthdays, Christmas and such, I also get clothes at rummage sales and take hand me downs. We don't care about the latest fads, we just choose to dress modestly and in what is appropriate for our lifestyle (meaning my cowboys wear jeans and boots most of the time).

3. I don’t get my nails done and I have a very easy hairstyle. Spending money on nails is one of the most frivolous wastes of money there is in my opinion. Now, that said, the occasional manicure or pedicure as a reward for a long met goal or something might be a different story- but still not ok if you really are scraping by.

4. I cut the boys hair at home. 

5. I don’t wear makeup 

6. I can make my own laundry soap and cleaners if I need too.

7. I don’t buy a lot of convenience foods; individually wrapped snacks, frozen meals, etc. Food can be a huge money waster. You can plan ahead and save a lot of money by making snacks, breads and such from scratch. It is also healthier for you which saves in medical bills later. Don't buy pop and other unhealthy drinks, a huge money waster and again, very bad for you. Drink water, tea, diluted juices or juice spritzers with club soda.

8. I have a grocery budget and stick to it (most of the time). Set a budget, shop sales and make a menu plan. If you have your menu planned ahead and know what there is to fix for dinner or what needs done ahead of time, you can save unnecessary trips to the grocery store or going out to eat. (also pay attention to the types of food you are buying - dairy and meat are high, eat more rice and beans, learn how to fix less expensive meals)

9. I try not to make unnecessary trips to town. We live about 10-15 miles from the nearest town, depending which town we go to. That is one tank of gas for me, one way. The price of gas is high right now, so making unneeded trips to town just wastes money. We try to do all of our errands in one trip to town, again, plan ahead.

10. We don’t go a lot of places; the movies, the mall (only on certain occasions), day trips out of town, big vacations, etc. Going a lot doesn't even have to include these kind of places, what about ball games - it normally costs to get in and then most people buy concessions. What about quick trips to the local store for something you forgot? Most people buy more than the one item they ran in for. Cut down your going and you will save money.

11.Our children don't do a lot of sports, when they do play, they are limited to one activity. The gas to and from these events adds up, plus any admission costs, concessions, entry fees, etc. These things really add up and our children are no worse off for the seasons they haven't played sports. In fact, it allows for a whole lot more family time.

12. I hang clothes on the line to dry, when I can

13. I buy used home school curriculum when I can and our main curriculum can be used by all of our children 

14. We don't use credit cards unless it is a must and then it is paid in full that month.

15. Dh handles all our bills and we have a budget for groceries, gas, etc. I have a set amount that I can spend and I fit everything we need into that budget. The times I need more, dh and I discuss what for and how much to allow for it. Being accountable helps us to not make impulse buys.

16. I don’t pay a babysitter, I don’t have to buy work clothes, pay for gas to & from work, or spend money on lunch everyday – I am a stay at home mom.

17. We don’t have a big house.

18. We don’t have new furniture.

19. I do not put Christmas on a credit card.

20. I shop at bulk, discount or off brand stores for groceries. I don't use coupons because I rarely buy name brand anything.

21. Our kids do not have the latest play station, game boy or video game - unless they have saved their own money to buy it.

22. We figured out we could save money by using electric heaters in the winter in addition to our central air unit which is propane, instead of central air only.

23. We don’t turn the ac on until it is really, really hot.

24. Dh changes the oil on our vehicles and does repairs of any kind that he can (and he can fix a lot of things).

25. We don’t have brand new vehicles.

26. I have been known to rinse out ziploc bags and reuse them.

27. We use cloth napkins.

28. We use the library for books/movies, it is free.

29. Don't go to home parties - if you can't go and not buy something, then just don't go. 

30. Look at your hobbies. How much are you spending on them? It might be fun and worthwhile but if you are short on cash, your hobbies should take a back seat. Put them on hold until you get ahead financially.

The biggest thing you can do to save money is be honest with yourself and get your priorities straight. If you need to, write down every time you spend money and at the end of the month you can see where it all went. I bet you would see more spent on unnecessary items than you care to admit.

I am sure that I have stepped on some toes here and some of you with think I'm being harsh, I don't really mean to be. I am, however, tired of hearing people complain about their finances and then watching them spend money on frivolous things, it grates on my nerves. If you really want to save money, you will find a way. If you don't care enough to cut out some things, then you really aren't interested in saving money.

Do you have other ideas you could pass along to help save money? Leave us a comment and share them. I would love to hear from you.

Blessings my friends,

1 comment:

  1. My husband thinks our propane stove is too expensive to use a lot. We use a hot-plate, slow-cookers and microwave to save as much as we can. In winter, if I use the oven I fill it with food for more than one meal. Then after we are done I open the oven door to let the heat out in the house. I don't have any small children.