Do You Have Any Money Saving Tips?

Updated on June 10, 2008
M.L. asks from Cottage Grove, MN
10 answers

I work full-time and my DH stays home with our daughter who has Cystic Fibrosis. He works about 15-25 hours a week at night, but would like to work less, but we need the money.

I am looking for ways to spend less on our NEEDS while working to pay off our debt. Any suggestions are welcome.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you all for the advice you provided. I will definately be trying them!

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Marla
The thing that helped us save money was to keep a tab of EVERTHING we spent. so you right it all down for a week and then go back and find ways to cut back, me and my husband both learned I bought way to much fancy coffee and he liked to stop for ice cream so we have cut them out and started using coupons and shopping at Aldi's. Hope this helps :)T.

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

We also struggle to make ends meet each month. The one thing I found is a food program called fare for all. I will try to attach a link to there web page. It is from the food shelf but you pay for the food and it helps them fund the other programs. They have packaged food and single items for sale and all the free bread you want to take. I went last week and got the reg package it came with chicken(skin less/boneless), hambuger, fish, bag of potatos/carrots/onions/apples, 2 green peppers, head of lettuce, and some oranges. All for $17
If the link doesn't work you can e-mail me and I will send it to you.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I have been working on lowering our spending as a means for me not working, so I have many suggestions. First though I want to encourage you about raising a child with CF. My nephew is 3 1/2 and has CF. He is so normal people have trouble imagining that he has the disease. The enzyme therapy and his "vest" have really worked, but that said we still need to find the cure! I hope your daughter is doing well.

Now for saving money:

1. If you don't have the money in your hand budgeted for that item it is NIB-Not in budget. Don't buy it. This goes for everything!!! The only thing you should use credit for is a mortgage.

2. Since you have debt, getting it paid off has to be your #1 money priority. After that, you need to build up an emergency fund. There are a lot of books, articles online about getting out from under debt. Read a few. If you have credit card debt, stop using the cards and call to get your interest rate reduced. Pay off you highest interest debt first. Reduce your spending and pay your debt. I've been debt free for 14 years. The freedom and sense of accomplishment from getting out from under debt is amazing. You'll never get into debt again once you live debt free.

3. Cut-Cut-Cut Look at every place your money goes and figure how to reduce the price. You can get rid of cable, cut your electric and gas bills,shop for less expensive insurance combine trips to save gas etc.

4. Eat at home. Restaurants and even packaged foods are really expensive. Find inexpensive recipes and cook. Cut back on your meat consumption and buy inexpensive cuts when you eat it. Pork is really inexpensive now. Sometimes Cub has value packs of meat 10 pds for $10. Clip coupons. Sign up free at It makes couponing easy. I decide what we're eating during the week based on what is on sale at the grocery store. You can look at the ads online. Save your grocery receipts to get an idea of what you have been paying for your staples. Watch the ads and stock up when your favorite items are at a good price. I've even started baking my own bread, because I had a bread machine collecting dust, and it is really cheap and easy to use a bread machine.

5.Get help from others. Talk to some older people and get some ideas from them about how people endured the depression. Ask someone with a girl older than your daughter for hand-me-downs. Often people are thrilled to get rid of clothes and toys that are cluttering up their closets and basements.

6. Make your own free entertainment. Play instruments,read aloud, have a neighborhood potluck. Summer is great for finding free events like free concert in parks etc.

7. If you have a piece of earth or some pots, plant some vegetables.

8. Shop at garage sales, but be careful. If you don't need it, it's really not a bargain. As always, before handing over money to anyone, ask, "Do I really need it?"

That's what I can think of off the top of my head. Be creative and you'll think of many more ways to save.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Hmmm, its tough in this economony to save any money. I know I shop at 2nd hand stores alot, its fun and an adventure to me, that saves me alot of money! Esp the child 2nd hand stores. They are the best!



answers from Minneapolis on

Here are a few that we've used when trying to live cheap!

•Put a bottle filled with water in your toilet tanks. You'll use less water and lower your bill. (I also have a friend who has taken on the "if it's yellow, let it mellow" method and she swears it's lowered her water bill $20 a month in a one person household- but not sure if you want to go there :)

•Unplug anything in your house that you aren't using. For example, if you aren't using the computer, unplug. Just leaving it plugged in used electric you are paying for.

•If you have cell phones- cancel your landline (if you have one). There's really no need anymore.

•Library! Good entertainment for now cost. You can even "rent" dvd's.

•Buy dry beans and make bean and rice dishes flavored with smaller amounts of meat.



answers from Omaha on

I just went on to this website and put in all our credit cards and loan into it and it helped me figure out which bills I should pay off first. It has helped out. I have only been doing it for 3 months now but I see the difference. It is and go to the calculators.

I also round up in my register for my payments and anything I spend money one. At the end of the month there is 15-30 left over that I didnt know was there.

I dont buy all of my food name brand it is just too much money. I love to shop at Bakers. I use the card the have and all my coupons. I save at least $30 each time I go. I have also saved $63 one time in a shopping trip. The onlive coupon places are great and go to the products you use the most and see if they have any online that you can print out. I find a lot of buy one get one. Youcan google coupons also.

I hope this will help you out and good luck too.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Marla,

One thing I do is I keep a "wish list" of things that I need or want, or that will need replacing in the near future. I take the list to garage sales, thrift stores, and keep it handy when I'm on craigslist or eBay. For instance, my son is going to need some size medium diaper covers soon, and we could really use another saucepan or two. I have those things on my list, so when I see a deal on them, I snatch them up. The bottom line is: anticipate your needs. When you have to buy things in a pinch, you lose your ability to comparison shop.

If you don't already have one, get a chest freezer. Buy meat and other frozen items when they are on sale, and stock up. Another way to save money on food is to do "once a month cooking". There are many websites and books out on this concept. Basically, you do 1 full day of cooking, and then freeze everything, and it's enough food for a month.

Most hotdishes freeze well. I personally don't like cookies, muffins or bread once they are frozen, but you can freeze the dough, and then cook it. For muffins, just line a muffin pan with paper liners, fill it with the batter like you're getting ready to cook it, but then put it in the freezer. Once the dough is frozen, the muffin liners will pop out and you can put them in a freezer bag. This is handy if you only want to cook one or two muffins at a time.



answers from Minneapolis on

It really helps to plan your meals ahead of time (I work out a dinner schedule for an entire month) and then make your shopping list from there. The fewer times you go to the grocery store, the less temptation you have to get any impulse purchases. I try to do one big shopping trip at the beginning of the month to get most of what we'll need for the rest of the month. Of course, things like milk and bananas don't keep that long so a couple small trips will be necessary later, but bread freezes nicely and frozen vegetables are as healthy as fresh (I just saw a news special supporting that), so you really can get most of what you need in one trip and save a lot of money.



answers from Minneapolis on

Some of the things that my family does are little but it all adds up.
1. For a treat we choose a week that is going to have a calm Tuesday evening and choose a restaurant to go to. Tuesday night Kids eat FREE.
2. Wednesdays are double coupon days at Rainbow Foods
3. The 3rd Sunday of every month is FREE at the Childrens Museum (what a great savings...) you still have to pay for parking but it beats the $11 to get in per person!
4. We just go with the basics for cable, I call any time it goes out and ask for a compensation day for the outage.
5. If your credit card companies has seen a history with on time bill paying you can call and request a lower interest rate. (usually no lates for 6 months)
6. Depending upon income you may qualify for WIC or assistance through the county for your childs health issues.
7. The budget plan through gas company is great letting your bills for the winter be less than most.
8. SALES! I am queen of sales. You don't have to have a Sam's club membership to shop there. If you go online and print out a one day membership you can get one about every other month and not need the dues. While there keep an eye out for prices that end in a 1 (example $12.71) means that the price is the absolute lowest it can go.
9. The week of school starting target puts all the school supplies on clearance (I stock up for birthday gift) same goes for the day after holiday's (christmas/Halloween/Valentine's Day...)
10. Lastly web site a is a great site with tips on sales for that week, coupons, deals at many places and things to do!!!
Hope this helps.



answers from Omaha on

I just read some of the responds you have gotten and they all sone like good advice.
one of my ways to save money and it does add up fast is to round up in your check book. when I use my debt card or write a check I come home and write it down in my checking book, If the amount is $10.34 I round it up to $11.00 that I deduct from my checking account If it is $34.02 I round it up to $35.00 I never add in the cents in the cent collum it is always 00 you would be surprized how much it adds up in just one month.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches