Myself Money Saving Tips

Updated on July 13, 2010
S.K. asks from Liberty, TX
14 answers

I am a SAHM and money is a little tight. I was wondering what you do to spend wisely. For example, I know someone who shops at Ross and Marshalls for things to decorate her home. (And it is beautiful, by the way.) I recently started doing price matching at Walmart using other stores ads as well as using coupons and that has really saved a lot. What do you do to cut costs for clothes, gifts, things to decorate your home, groceries, entertainment, diapers or anything else? If you have something to share, please read what other people have written before you respond. I think a lot of us could use some new ideas but if we all write about coupons,
we won't get any fresh ideas. Thanks so much for your help. I know there are a lot of savvy shoppers out there. I want to be one of them.

2 moms found this helpful

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

Here, Here for grocery game!! Yes, I agree it's worth it's weight in gold. Also, here's a few more tips....

Shop at CVS and use their card....I get so much free stuff from them, it's incredible. Use their ad and shop them for bath, vitamins, diapers, etc. You won't believe how much you'll save.

Also, I buy almost all of my and my children's clothes at resale stores AND I sell back to them. So, yes, I buy used clothes and then I sell them back!! But, it takes effort to take care of them and not get spots/stains. For my girls, I go to Cutie Patootie and Kid to Kid in Plano. For myself, I go to Restyle in Frisco and Clothes Circuit in Dallas (that's my little secret). Also, my real secret is that I buy high-end Italian shoes on Ebay for under $5 (mostly never worn) and I sell them to Clothes Circuit and I make money from them or use it to buy my clothes!

What a great topic! I hope other moms share their money-saving tips!

1 mom found this helpful

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

Hey Stephanie,

I use www.TheGroceryGame.com Here is some info from her site:

What is The Grocery Game?
The Grocery Game is a fun, easy way to save hundreds of dollars on groceries each month. TERI'S LIST reveals the "rock bottom" prices on hundreds of products each week and matches them up with manufacturers' coupons for the best possible savings at your local supermarket. The Grocery Game has exclusive databases that track manufacturers' coupons along with weekly sales and specials, both advertised and UN-advertised. With TERI'S LIST, the days of time consuming work required for effective coupon-ing are over. The Grocery Game does all the hard work and research, presented in a quick reference format on the internet each week, as TERI'S LIST. Members log in, spend a few minutes with a pair of scissors, and they're off to win The Grocery Game!

I save at least half of our normal bill each week!! If you decide to join...would you mind listing my email address ([email protected]____.com). I get 12 weeks free when I have 3 referrals. By the way, it is VERY reasonable...you can try it for a month for $1 and after that it is $10 for 8 weeks....I save more than that in one shopping trip.

I hope that helps! Good Luck!

M.
www.WorkingWithFamilies.com
www.WellnessStartsInTheHome.com

3 moms found this helpful
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A.T.

answers from Little Rock on

I was going to suggest A. Food Ministries as well. The food has been great and has saved us a ton. I am excited about Decembers menu as they have a ton of specials next month because of the holidays. I also get food from Big Lots and sometimes Dollar General. Most people dont realize that big lots has food but they have a few isles of nonperishables like cereal and cake mixes and noodles etc. They even have bread. Then Dollar General and or Braums has things like milk and juice and other dairy items. Going here also helps me not impulse by like if I go to walmart to shop. I also get most of my produce from either the farmers market or the flea markets. The flea markets are great because when you find one you like and frequent it you will start getting discounts and free produce and the stuff is usually much fresher than in chain stores. I also belong to a few different local freecycle groups online. I have gotten a ton of free toys, clothes, home decor stuff and even my childs pet from these sites as well holiday decor. I have also been able to recycle my stuff off these sites too. Just go to yahoo.com click on groups and then depending on your area put in like fort worth freecycle or even just fort worth and see what comes up as I know Fort Worth has at least 2 of them. Plus garage sales are wonderful and if you are really creative you can really refurbish things for little or no money that are wonderful gifts or home decor. Also type frual under google and you can find a lot of frugal sites for receipes and such. There is also a wonderful place off of Beach St called Town Talk. They are a liquadation place for food and such and it is a great place to save money too. Also at big lots you can save money on things like diapers, wipes, home cleaning stuff and so on.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.L.

answers from Houston on

Stephanie,
I am one of those people who hardly ever buy clothing at full price.(By the way I bought a pair of pants $3 and shirt set $3 that looked fabulous that I got a lot comments about yesterday.) I bought it at Burke's in Spring they have clearance rack starting at 30% off all the way up to 90% off. The weekend before last I was in LA same sale so I'm sure if you have a Burke's by you they will offer the same thing. On top of that I go to Garage Sales. I let friends know who have kids in the same age bracket are a little bit older than mine that if they have old clothes that they will not do anything with that we are willing to take them. (And for the most part I don't say it in a begging way but, my family and friends are willing to pass them along because they know they dont' want to crowd up their homes and they are not going to do anything with them so why hold on to them.) Also in Houston we have a store called Buffalo Exchange (resale) people sale stuff to this place with tags on them still you should check that out they also have a website.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.J.

answers from Killeen on

everyone has great advice so far! i would just say as for gifts for extended family and friends...just don't! if they know the situation you're in, they will understand why you can't give them a gift! and as someone else said, have your kids make gifts. i had my 3 yr. old make xmas ornaments last year to give out to grandparents and my brother. then i helped her make a little picture for her aunts (twin 10 yr. olds) using construction paper, glitter, and sequins, and i cut out letters to spell their names from magazines and we framed them in the $2 frames from wal-mart. there are SOO many cheap and easy crafts that you can help your kids make as gifts and i think they mean so much more!
if you are determined to buy something from the store, start shopping in january! lol look for clearance items all year long and save them in a closet and when a birthday or xmas comes up you will have plenty of things to choose from!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.K.

answers from Lubbock on

I shop at resale stores for the kids clothes and I shop at walmart or old navy (we dont have one so I go out of town). I use coupons, shop at the dollar store but sometimes the regular store is cheaper, buy off brand-only at HEB-cant taste the difference, make dinner and save some for the next day-like casseroles, we dry our clothes on the line when its a nice day.

Hope this keeps going

1 mom found this helpful
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T.

answers from Dallas on

I have started a Frugal Mommy Group in Arlington. I send out updates often on sales, bargains, tips, etc. We also meet together (in fact we have a meeting this Sat., if you're interested). I have received great advice! I would be happy to add you to the list.

SAHM, dedicated to a simple, yet joyful life.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

I joined www.afullcup.com a few months ago and it has helped so much! You can find links to printable coupons for products that you buy. (there is one for $5 off a polly pocket toy at mattel's website, meaning you can get the cheaper polly pockets for free). You can list items that you want coupons for and people will trade with you. They will also list codes that you can use for online shopping. Like another poster said, CVS is great as well. If you get their card and start earning ECBs (Extra Care Bucks), you can save tons. I recently got a box of tampons, a box of maxi pads, and some candy for $.51 after coupons and ECBs. I just have to make sure that I use my coupons and ECBs for things I would buy anyway.

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B.E.

answers from Dallas on

Hey Stephanie,

Presby Dallas is piloting a new community education thing about financial management for young families. I believe it is free. If you are interested in attending, let me know and I will email you the registration info.

Sincerely,
Marianne

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S.L.

answers from Houston on

Great responses thus far... The reader who mentioned common sense and priortization was on point. Nonetheless, a major part of being savvy about money is understanding how money works. And, most people do not. In school we were taught how to make money, but no one really taught us what to do with the money once we earn it. See, it is GREAT that you ladies are looking for ways to trim your expenses now. But, in addition to that you must look for ways to increase your cash flow and also increase the return on your investments. Think about this, if you are not getting a return on your investments that is significantly outpacing inflation, at some point-if you ladies live lone enough, you will run out of money. How many of you know any elderly people who do not have enough monthly income to take care of their needs. And, they either A) depend on their kids or B) Work. Do you want to be 65-70 years old saying "Welcome to Walmart" or "Can I take your order"? IF the answer to that is no or mayben even H#$% NO, then Dreamgirls you better get in the game and not just figure out how to trim your monthly expense (which is important) but how to make sure your money is working as hard for you as you do for it, in additon to making some add'l streams income.

I am a Financial Empowerment Coach and I work with women of all ages and backgrounds all the time. There is a concept I teach called the Rule of 72. If you take nothing else form this message, please take this. The Rule of 72 approximates the number of years it takes for your money to double at any given interst rate. ie. ( If you are saving your money and getting a 3% return, it will take about 24 years for your money to double 72/3 = 24, so if you have 10K getting 3% it will take 24 years before your 10K will have grown to 20K) This formula works for any Return you get on your money. So, Ladies you have got to stop settling for the 1-3% returns you get by putting your money in accounts at the bank and this includes CDs and FIGHT to get the highest rate of return by putting your money in the global economy like stocks and mutual funds. If you are earning 3% on your money and the cost of living is 4% you have lost money already. Most people get cost of living raises each year of about 3-4% but remember the cost of living is increasing at about 4-6% each year (check out those gas prices if you don't believe) - Again you are loosing money.

The reality ladies - at some point you will have to find a way to generate some add'l income. I hope all of this helps. Please visit my website at www.YourTheArchitect.com

S.

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P.A.

answers from Santa Barbara on

http://blog.greensherpa.com always have new ideas on how to save and manage ur money. I visit their blog sometimes

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E.T.

answers from Dallas on

stop buying things to decorate your home. If money is tight, that is a luxury, not a necessity.

Entertainment is also a luxury at this point. Look for free things to do as a family instead of anything that costs money.

I went through about 2 years of extreme tight budgeting and it definitely takes discipline. Like someone else said, I would buy clothes at a consignment sale and then sell them back the next year. That makes the cost of the clothes super cheap.

My boss is going through a similar situation and she is having her 3 kids make Christmas gifts this year for the people in her family. That's also a great way to save and it will mean a lot to the receivers.

My MIL will pick up a part time job during the fall in order to give her extra cash for the holiday season. Of course, that would be hard for you if you don't have someone to watch your kids.

Use your library for entertainment for the kids and new books.

Read 'Financial Peace' by Dave Ramsey, but by no means BUY it at Barnes and Noble. I saw a woman in line waiting to buy Financial Peace and she confessed she had a shopping problem and I thought, "no kidding, you're paying FULL PRICE for a book about how to spend money more wisely when you should be checking it out of the library or borrowing from a friend."

A lot of it is common sense and prioritization.

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B.H.

answers from Dallas on

Having 3 kids on one salary is tough, so we've used Angel Food Ministries to help us get through rough patches. For $25 you get a box of food that is quite good. I've purchased as many as 3 boxes at a time and it has helped a ton! There are no income requirements, and the first time that I went to place an order, the pastor at the church told me that he and his family buy the food every month. This is their website: www.angelfoodministries.com.

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T.A.

answers from Dallas on

I understand there are different levels of money being tight. When I decide to become a SAHM we lost 70% of our income. It was a very hard year filled with lots of prayer and financial planning. Still it was better than any amount of money in the world and we learned a lot on how to save money and spend it wisely. Money is still tight, but not on the same level as a year ago as we are able to spend a little money in a few luxury areas. You don’t have to be poor to be frugal. Many wealthy people are very frugal.
Decorate home/home fixtures – shop at Big Lots, Marshals, builder model sales, and Craigslist (great finds for light fixtures, hardware, stone ect.)
Gifts – Warehouse sales and Dallas Market sample sales
Groceries – the grocery game (see previous poster)
Entertainment/Date Night – rent movies from the library (Free); FW stock yards Cattle Pin Maze 5$ per person then walk the stock yards, Kimball, $1 movies, FW Gardens,
Clothes – Nordstrom Rack, ½ off ½ off in NRH. ( I have not been yet since I am in maternity clothes, but a lady I know shops there and finds great designer clothes for pennies on the dollar. She looks stylish so one day I’ll try it. She said you just really have to dig)
Children toys – consignment shops and garage sales
Books - Library or 1/2 price books

Fun! I can’t wait to see how others are saving!

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