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Friday, August 24, 2012

Ways to Save Money

Just the other day, I was trying to figure out other ways our family could save money.  I've been tracking our spending using an app the past two months (AceBudget2) and it's been very intersting where our money is actually going. 

So I wanted to write out a list of the things we do to save money:

1.  Use cloth diapers
  • I know what you're thinking.  Probably something along the lines of "eww", "gross", "I don't wanna 'deal' with poop", etc.  Do you know anyone who cloth diapers?  Because before I started, I knew several - and not one person didn't like doing it. Plus, honestly, poop doesn't scare me.  But if it's scary to you, there are liners and sprayers to help you out with that.
  • It really does save money - here's a breakdown (even if your child is out of diapers before estimated, the cost is a big difference!).  Plus, when subsequent children use the same diapers, savings increases!  AND, you can resell them when you're finished.  Cloth diapers hold their value pretty well if you take care of them!
2.  Use cloth wipes for diaper changes (baby wash cloths work great)
  • I use these for my babies when they're exclusively breastfed for every diaper change and then once solids are started, I use them only for wet diapers
3.  Use cloth wipes for toilet paper - WAIT let me explain!
  • We only use them for, well, #1.  I'm not that dedicated, I suppose.  But this cuts down on A LOT of toilet paper since there are TWO, soon to be THREE, girls using the potty. Plus, it's only a few drops anyway.
4.  Use prefold diapers (or more commonly referred to as a burp cloth by Gerber) for tissues
  • If you wash and dry your "burp cloths", they come out so fluffy and soft.  It feels great on your nose and there's no chance of it tearing and you getting snot all over your hand.
5.  Use wash cloths for paper towels
  • As much as I have to wipe hands and mouths and tables after eating with my girls, this saves tons!
6.  Hang clothes to dry in the sun (as much as the weather will allow and my schedule)
7.  Buy clearance meat
  • I'm sure you've noticed grocery prices have sort of increased.  I usually go to two different stores to browse marked-down meat that has a sell by date of a day or so.  If I won't use it right away, it goes into our chest freezer
8.  Use baking soda and vinegar to clean
  • It's pretty effective. And very cheap.  Oh yeah, and a lot safer than chemicals ;)  I dare you to try.
9.  Went down to basic TV package
  • We got rid of our satellite service (but replaced the cost of that with Internet - although we're now paying about $15 less a month for both Internet and basic cable than we were for a bunch of satellite channels and no Internet). 
  • We'd been without Internet at our house for almost 7 years until this past year.  Turns out, basic cable and Internet combined was the same price as just the Internet.  So we basically only get local channels.  But we also have a Roku player.  There's also PlayOn.  And there's plenty online to watch. 
10.  Eating at home
  • I've recently joined an online meal planning website and it's really helped me with my stress level, not wasting food, as well as not going out to eat last minute because nothing is planned for dinner.
So there ya have it.  There's probably a few I'm forgetting.  What are some of your money-saving ways???


Joy@WhenDoesDaddyComeHome said...

You know what meat is great and not very costly? Ground turkey! You can get it for a fraction of the cost. I've found 1-lb packages of ground turkey for as low as $1.50 each (that was on sale; it is normally around $2-$2.50 for a pound).

Jay, Gina, & Ruthie said...

These are some great suggestions!

Dana Wilkins said...

Okay, #1...I read that if you just hang 2 loads of laundry in the sun to dry, per week, you could save $10 per month on your electric bill. And #2...I LOVE Emeals. I mean, truly love it! I haven't had a "bad" meal, yet and they are so easy to make. I feel like a REAL cook! :-) Thanks for sharing, Susan~


Kaiser Krew said...

Good ideas!!
A huge one for us is thrift stores and yard sales for clothes and anything the house needs...I don't ever shop at department stores. Kids go through things too fast to spend loads of money on things.
Keeping clothes from older kids to pass on to younger ones. Keep a plastic bin for each size.
I know you know this, but has REALLY cut our food budget down. Plus, its loads of fun to be outside in the garden with the kids...we get to talk about how the whole plants grow from such a tiny little seed and only GOD could make that happen.
Raising your own backyard chickens for meat/eggs. That too has really cut our food budget down.
Not eating so much meat is also a good one for the food category...we eat a lot of beans for protein.
LOVE hanging clothes on line...I just fluff them in the dryer to soften them.
couponing is probably a big one but I've never been organized enough to make that work for us!
Cut your kids/husbands hair...that saves a lot of money believe it or not!!
Use leftovers for a new meal, like this morning I put leftover baked sweet potatoes into pancakes!
Thanks for sharing susan ;)