Ways To Save Money! ‘The Smart Mommy Guide’
Tips On How To Save Money
4 months, 2 weeks, & 4 days old
Ok, since I often have a terrible time saving money, I thought it would do myself good, as well as others, to write a special blog post on ways to save money, and to try and put the information written, to good use. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?
Ok, now I think in all honestly, since I have kicked the massive Ebay addiction anyhow, our #1 big $$ fupa, that causes a tremendous amount of loss, is eating out. Ah it’s too late to cook, what can we just go and buy? We have nothing for lunch, let’s grab a hero and soda. I’ll bring you home Dunkin Donuts in the morning. Dollar by dollar, cent by cent, the fast food world, is gobbling up our purse change, adding up to big bucks.
What can we do about this? Make excuses less, and eat more, AT HOME. Cook meals at home, coming home a bit earlier then usual, so there is no fast rush to simply ‘grab’ something, as well I know. Hubby is laughing at me, if he’s reading this, right now. On nice summer days, I loathe coming home until the sun is setting, I like to suck up as many hours as possible, leaving little cooking time, so hence we eat a lot more outside of the home, during the warmer months. I’ll admit that to be true.
My husband always says to me though, when I ask for grocery money. I don’t have money right now, then spends $30 on Chinese, what is wrong with that picture? So I am not all to blame here folks:) A couple nights of Chinese and Italian = a week and 1/2 of home cooked meals….Do the math honey, you will see I am right!
Go to your grocery store and buy food for healthy, less expensive meals, and let some dust form, on the take out menus socked away in your utensil drawer.
(You’ll definitely lose more weight cooking at home to, so there are multiple benefits).
When you do shop for groceries, make sure you have a list with you, and try and stick to the list, grabbing the stuff on it, as quickly as possible. Too much time fumbling down isles, equals many dollars spent on things you did not intend to buy, but did because you had too much time to wander about. When you rush, you save, so stick to your lists, and try and be quick, to avoid further temptations. Oh and stay out of aisles, where you are certain, nothing on your list is needed.
Bring your coupons to the store with you. Some stores even double them, My brother in law saves a fortune doing this. There are some really good manufacturer’s coupons in your local paper. Usually store coupons are automatic nowadays, so no cutting required, but will be listed in your circular so be sure and check them, to know WHEN to shop, and bring you store card with you, to get the extra $$ off the retail price. I forget mine sometimes, they will usually scan their register card.
This is still one thing that has been recommended to me, but not done yet, but will be. Buying in bulk, via places like B. J Wholesale, and Cosco Price Club, & others of that nature, where you get more and save money. Your overall bill upon checkout, will most definately be higher, but your savings much greater, and products will last you much longer, if you got the space for it. (still gotto free up some room over here!).
Use a filter for your water instead of buying expensive bottle water. We used to use the bottled water, but truth be told, it’s just as good to use one of those empty bottles, and fill it up, with some Brita filtered tap water. Unlike when buying it already packaged, I KNOW where my water is coming from, and I know it’s being filtered. I always thought to myself, how do we know, bottled water, isn’t all a big scam? HMMMMM……Whelp, either way, using a little screw on contraption for your faucet, or using a Brita filter pitcher in your fridge, is just as good and by far less expensive. I always fill a couple up when going to the park, or any place outdoors and hot, because you know those pricey machines will get you, if you forget!
Go to the matinee viewing at the movies. Soon no families will be able to afford a movie, period without doing so. My husband said theatres in Manhattan are asking a ridiculous $14.50 per ticket? Say it isn’t so Manhattnites, because I just cannot imagine that!
The prices have just gotten out of control, so if you are with one other person, bad enough, but say you have 3, or 4 kids, you are talking ALOT of money, and that is even with putting the goodies in your over-sized purse before entering (OPPS, did I just admit to that? Well, hey that is one time I feel like people are allowed to be dishonest, at those prices!)
Renting videos to watch at home, is another way to save money. Sometimes you spend all that loot, and the movie stunk to boot. You will forgive yourself more, paying $4 then you would paying $50! That Red Box, only available in some locations, but if you have them, they are pretty good. They are outdoors usually, and are like movie vending machines. They are only $1 and save you lots of cash, unless you are like my husband who has one video here from 15 days ago. That is $15 in late fees honey, should we bring it back today or what?? Travolta you are good, but no movie you or anybody is in, is worth $15 AFTER you watched the darn thing. (I actually sort of want to see how much, he’s actually willing to spend on this movie, 😀 )
Anyhow, not that I have been on any in a VERY long time, which I guess is saving my husband money, left and right, is planning vacations ahead of time. When you scurry at the last minute, everything is rushed, and thus way more expensive. Air fares, and definitely hotel rates, rise and rise, the closer you get to when you want to leave, so buying and scheduling ahead of time, is a way to save hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars. Or you can go nowhere at all and really save:) he he.
Pay with cash as much as you possibly can, leaving the credit cards for emergency use only, and I’m not talking about, ‘QUICK give me the card honey, the red dress I saw in Barney’s window is now half price’, not that kind of emergency, an honest to good one, therefore, keeping you away from high interest rates, while you are fumbling to make minimum payments on 6 cards every month. When you end up paying for the item you bought, however long after the fact, your jaw would drop, if you knew how much extra ‘Fluff’, you paid in simply interest fees. That dress wasn’t half off at all anymore was it? Nope, it was nearly double, how nice! We don’t really think too much about that stuff do we?
If you are really into reading, but once you are through, you know you will simply toss the book, or it will never be seen again, in some pile in the attic? Whelp, why waste the money & the space? Visit your local Library to get your read on. The Library is completely free, and the perk of it is, you can take them home, or stay there and enjoy some silence, while hubby dear tends to the young-ins. A mini-Vacation AND a savings, in one place. You’ll wonder why you didn’t go there sooner. Put your book money towards the red dress! (Ok, I’m rationalizing again, not good. Don’t listen to me, well listen to the smart side of me, not the occasional wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Especially if you have multiples as I do, or even if you just have two in diapers, or kids in general really, and shop a lot at Babies-r-us, they have a rewards program, where they swipe your card every time you shop, and you get back stuff along the way. We have gotten lots of coupons in the mail, but also a complete freebie worth $33, for a 6pk of Similac, thank you. 4 free days of food..YES!! It takes seconds to apply, and you are spending $ anyway, so why not earn some rewards as well right?
This is something I’m honestly thinking of doing myself. Canning the home telephone. Nobody uses it anymore around here, we have turned into a cell-community over here, and I don’t know, all in all, is it just me, or do people not spend as much time, gabbing on the phone lines anymore? Maybe cause they can throw out text messages nowadays, or even send a fast and free email to one another. That could be it. Remember the days of the beeper? LONG GONE!! Reduce your phone service to the bare minimum, for like 911 and such. It will save you loads, plus all I do is tell people to call my cell anyway. It’s always with me, and I’m much more prone to answer it. Home phones are certainly going out of style, if you ask me, so why pay a bill for it?
Bring bagged lunches to work with you, and you can pack lunches for the kids for school as well. This is a daily cost that can be cut into more then half, by being smart, and packing your own lunches instead of buying out. Those daily lunches if you figure them out, add up to more, then just a ton of extra calories, but extra money, you don’t have to waste, so unless you are Donald trump, go food shopping, make yourself a nice sandwich, pack a Gatorade, and an orange or yogurt, and get back to work!!
Make gifts on Father’s day and other occasions. Even the prices of cards are just TOO high for what you get, and in all honesty, people read them and chuck them, much like wrapping paper. Why spend a fortune on it? No one with a heart is going to throw out, a card your children made for him, from their hearts, No way, or made for her, on Mother’s Day or mom’s B-day! It just won’t happen, and it’s FREE.
Also, If you have a talent, you can make things that are more elaborate for other occasions, such as a knitted baby blanket for a shower, or a quilt for a special bride to be, you will save big, simply by utilizing your God given talents. Gifts from the heart always are a little more special, then something store bought, if you ask me.
QUIT SMOKING!! With the ever increasing rises in the cost of cigarettes, who amongst us, can continue this habit? ok, I will admit that I never picked it up to start with, very rarely did I ever have a cigarette. I could count on my hands how many times in my lifetime, so I know easier said then done, for me to say this, having never been addicted, however, I like to believe that if I were addicted these new costs would completely make me re-think things, and say is it worth keeping this cancer stick, that is potentially deadly for me, and spending over $100 a week on it? Think about all of the GOOD and POSITIVE things you can do with that money for you and your family. Tangible things, memory building things. It’s just not worth it. Grab a truckload of chewing gum & nuts, and email me. I’ll talk you through it!! Promise!! I can’t stand to see good money going up in smoke!
Put a limit on gift-giving amounts, ahead of time. That way there is no over-spending on your part, or vise-versa, which can, A not only SUCK, but B, create an uncomfortable situation for the person who under spent, so why bother with that? Set limits, and everybody will be happy!!
Here are a couple things I definitely do. Buy you clothing & your children’s clothing, at the end of every season (Off season). You can also do this with patio furnature, barbeque euiptment, pools etc. Clothing off season saves you tons of money, as the sales are HUGE. Granted you may not be able to predict their future size, but I have only very rarely been off on anything. If you judge them by their age, and how fast they have been growing thus far, based on when they were born, were they average size or above, what are they now? You can get it pretty right, and for you, and any adults in your home, you know you can never get sizing wrong, so you can save a TON of money, by shopping off season.
At the end of winter, buy for next winter. Towards the end of summer, buy for the next summer. A dress that was $60 is now $4.99. That is a deal. I got the girls winter coats for next year. I got 2 for each, so 4 in all, and they were marked down from $49.50 a piece at The Children’s Place, to $2.99, I kid you not. Who’s going to be very happy with me come late fall? They have some great in store sales by the way. I got a ton of summer clothes for next yr, recently, at like 80-90% off. Can’t beat that with a stick. Retail is for suckers, I always say!
Breastfeeding, if you can do it, it does save you A LOT of money in formula costs, especially if you have twins. Unfortunately, I had a tough enough time with one, so my body wasn’t taking on that amount of work, but if you CAN do it, you will see that you are saving a ton of cash in the long run, even if you just look at the 1st few months, babies go through a lot of formula. They drink a lot and waste a lot to. Breast milk is not only best, but it’s also FREE! Can’t beat that with a stick!
Take advantage of twin & higher order multiples discounts (see my Fun stuff menu, for a full listing of great discounts, and freebies). Not every place has them, but the places and items you do use, that do offer discounts, can measure up to mucho dinero in your pocketbook, so be sure and look into that, whenever you buy something for your multiples.
Staying happy, healthy, and even staying MARRIED, can also impact your finances in a positive way. What do I mean by that? Whelp, if you stay happy, you are less likely to fall into expensive, addictive behaviors, need pricey counseling, and medications, and your health will be better to boot. (Been there done that ladies..unhappy is no way to live, so turn those frown’s upside down, God will see you through anything).
And Staying healthy. Not smoking, not drinking much, exercising, keeping a healthy weight, will not only make you a happier person, who lives longer, but will save you on your life insurance immensely!! Even possibly your health insurance in some instances.
Staying married, well, no brainer there, do you know how much a divorce would cost you here in New York? And I’m sure the figures aren’t pretty in any state that you live in, so staying married, but HAPPILLY, because I don’t encourage unhappy people to stick with each other for reasons such as the kids, as my own parents did. It just screws them up more, you can believe that, and leads them to the above that I mentioned, unhappy, therapy, medication, etc.
So no, if you are miserable, don’t stay married, unless you truly find a way to work things out, just be smarter BEFORE you get married, no shot gun weddings, so you can be more certain of your choices, before tieing the knot. Granted things still can change over time, but if you think things through, and wait longer by dating longer, even living together, witch is a big no no to some, and I personally didn’t do that myself, but think it’s alright to do, I believe that would maybe help to cut the divorce rate quite a bit.
If it’s too late, and therapy doesn’t work, or you found out your husband cheated or did something you feel you can’t forgive, which personally, I cannot forgive that myself, then get out, and for sure if someone ever lays a finger on you (was there done that), but In normal marriages, with their own little ups and downs, where there is love, and happiness, you technically will do better financially. Two incomes in some households certainly does factor into the equation as well, though a mom staying at home does to, since the cost of day care is so high, if you have multiple children, unless you make double or more of what the day care costs, I don’t know how worth it, it truly is.
Anyhow sorry to go off on a tangent there, just be happy, healthy, and in love if you can, and save big, plus, you’ll smile a lot more to!!
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. This is Shelly signing off!!