I have been a stay at home mom for nearly twenty years now, and want to share a few things I have learned along the way. Surviving and thriving on one income, particularly in today’s challenging economy, encourages one to continually find creative ways to save.
Because I’m an avid list maker, I compiled this list (in no particular order) some time ago that outlines 60 habits our suburban family strives to adhere to. None of these ideas are new, but, they may prompt additional ideas that you can adopt to save a few $$. I’d love to hear your money saving tips too! Life is best lived in community. “Iron sharpens iron.” (Proverbs 22:17)
Life is all about choices. If we do this, it = this outcome. If I trim my husband’s and son’s hair, then we’ll have more $ to go on a family outing, etc. It’s all about what’s important to you, how drastically the budget needs to change, etc.
See if there’s any that may be useful for you and your family. Enjoy!
1.) Use less/Make it last philosophy.
2.) Have fewer wants.
3.) Delay purchases or do without.
4.) Plan ahead for purchases. (prevents impulsive buying at a higher cost usually)
5.) Maintain organization to prevent duplicate purchases.
6.) Read Dave Ramsey’s books/watch his DVD’s. (Financial Peace, Total Money Makeover)
7.) Consider the cash envelope system.
8.) Implement a monthly budget.
9.) Hold regular budget meetings with spouse/Communicate! It’s a blessing to be on the same page, financially! 🙂
10.) Shop at thrift or consignment stores when possible.
11.) Mend clothes to make them last.
12.) Shop at discount grocery stores when feasible.
13.) Buy store brands.
14.) Use coupons for things you need.
15.) Stock up on sales (for things you regularly use)
16.) Buy quality when it counts & it will last longer
17.) “Do it Yourself” mentality for most services.
18.) Negotiate for everything. (I happen to be married to a “Master Negotiator”! It’s embarrassing sometimes…but I always appreciate the $aving$! Can anyone else identify?)
19.) Comparison shop for goods/services
20.) Bundle services (insurance, utilities, etc.)
21.) Conserve electricity.
22.) Maintain steady temperature on thermostat.
23.) Check for drafts around windows/doors.
24.) Install attic insulation.
25.) Install water heater blanket.
26.) Maintain furnace with regular service.
27.) Cook from scratch.
28.) Take leftovers for lunch.
29.) Take snacks/drinks when running errands to avoid the drive thru.
30.) Combine errands.
31.) No lattes/coffees to go. Brew at home & take with you!
32.) Limit sodas & junk food.
33.) Make our own iced tea. (I love sweet tea! Any others out there??) J
34.) Bake our own snacks vs. pre-packaged sweets. They taste better too!
35.) Have a meat-less dinner once a week.
36.) Eat less.
37.) Incorporate leftovers into next dinner
38.) Shop perimeter of grocery store to avoid junk (essentials are always on perimeter)
39.) Go shopping with a list & stick to it.
40.) Don’t take the kids when grocery shopping (if at all possible).
41.) Clean oven during cooler months (serves double purpose)
42.) No therapy shopping.
43.) Wash laundry after 9p.m. (cheaper rates)
44.) Wash only full loads of laundry & dishes.
45.) Wash in cold water.
46.) Make homemade laundry detergent.
47.) Hang clothes to dry when possible. (less wear & tear on clothes too)
48.) Take vitamins/supplements.
49.) Exercise. Be proactive about our health.
50.) Practice good dental hygiene to prevent disease & costly procedures.
51.) Invest in good shoes.
52.) Communicate via email vs. snail mail when possible.
53.) Print documents sparingly.
54.) Pay bills online to save a stamp.
55.) Stay with friends/family when traveling (if feasible).
56.) Rent DVD’s via Redbox or purchase movies at thrift store.
57.) Maximize your local library. (free entertainment!) Many offer free classes as well.
58.) Don’t buy “dry clean only” clothing.
59.) Home haircuts & coloring. (Any other homespun barbers out there?)
60.) Donate to charity. (tax benefit, plus it’s good for the soul.) 🙂