Money Saving Tips

Updated on July 14, 2012
K.S. asks from Richmond Hill, GA
25 answers

I was curious if anyone had any money saving tips they practice to help with budget. For example since becoming a stay at home mom I've frequently shopped at stores such as Once Upon A Child for my childrens clothes as well as exchanged old clothes for money. Any other ideas out there to share?

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So What Happened?

Everyone gave me such great advice on saving money. I already realized yesterday how many trips I take in my car daily when I could lump it into one and save gas. I also like the coupon idea since I never used them. I always felt they were maybe too much of a chore. The food prep with another mother is an idea I really want to try. I am so thankful for your responses!

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S.S.

answers from Columbia on

Many Dollar General stores now sell children's clothing at terrific prices. My son (3 years old) has some outfits from there and they have stood the test with him, and he's ALL boy!! $6.00 for shirt and shorts sets, as well as summer shoes, socks, etc.

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S.H.

answers from Atlanta on

Hey! I have been doing 'the grocery game' www.thegrocerygame.com and I have saved LOTS on groceries and household items, health and beauty, etc.
The longer you play , the more you save. The first week I saved about 40%, now at 2 months I am saving 60%

It does require some work, but it's fun and well worth it!!
S.

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C.S.

answers from Atlanta on

One of the easiest ways I have found to save money is to create a menu for each week. (If you are into coupons, then you can even use the Sunday paper to help you out; I just can't get organized enough to do it.) When I make a menu,I plan out what my family will eat for each meal, including snacks. Then, I create a grocery list including only what I will need for that week's menu divided by category, so it is easier to cross off at the store. (I use categories like meat, produce, frozen, dry goods, dairy, etc.) Then, when I am at the store doing my shopping I buy only what is on my list. It makes my day so much easier, our meals so much healthier, and it is one less thing I have to think about during the day, since even my son's and my lunch and snacks are planned. It has also saved me tons of money! I hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful
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T.P.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi,

Maybe the best way is to make honest distinctions between what items are necessitites, which are niceties and luxuries and which are out right waste. Most EVERYTHING that we purchase (as is the case with most people) fits into the last two categories. There are very few things that are absolute necessaties. We tend to reason a lot of things are "needs" when they are in fact wants. I never pay full retail price. I always shop the clearance or "scratch and dent" section. For clothes, check out thebargainwathcher.com This site lists all the local consignment sales that sell virtually everything you can imagine for kids. We also use coupons and deals for groceries and when we eat out, we go to places that have special kids' nights. For household purchases, I check Craig's List first. The main thing is be honest about what you truly need and what you want. Also, have you noticed that we have a tendency to make an awful lot of purchases for the primary purpose of impressing others. MOst people would deny this, but that is the motivation behind designer clothes etc. You would be amazed at the how much you could save if you never made purchases based on what other's would think about your status. We are not struggling financially. My husband makes quite a bit of money and we live in an $800,000 home. Many friends wonder why we excercise such moeny saving strategies and I have many friends who live paycheck to paycheck who are much too proud to buy "used" or damaged items. The truth is that being a good steward with your money has nothing to do with how much or how little you have. We give far more than 40% of our income to charity. When making larger purchaes, we always consider investment potential (such as a home) but would not even consider buying a brand new car. But keep in mind your purchases or your money do not define you. Although we are comfortable now, what we have is by the grace of God and he could take it at any time. We really try to remember that what is important is not what we have, but how we make use of our gifts and blessings.

2 moms found this helpful
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D.S.

answers from Albany on

K., you'll be using your time as your money now. Many of the moms have given you some great ideas. Here's mine.

I used my time to really shop for my insurance and saved hundreds of dollars doing that. I also hung out my clothes, saved money and got some fresh air. Don't run the washer with just a few clothes. Buying in bulk works *IF* it really is cheaper. Every now and then, it's cheaper to buy smaller. Watch for that. Take your last grocery receipt and go to another grocery store. By checking out all the grocery stores in my area, I found the one that was cheapest for what *I* buy and it really surprised me. Don't use prepared mixes. Find a cookbook for mixes and make your own. Don't cook with prepared stuff; cook from scratch. Cheaper to begin with and healthier -much healthier- in the long run. Use the store brand or off brands. Most of the time, they'll taste just as good and, in personal care, often even better than name brands. Sometimes, those buy-at-home cleaning products, like Conklin, are much cheaper than anything you can buy at the store.

Don't buy new clothes just because "it's time." Wear clothes until they really need to be replaced. I have found brand new clothes at thrift stores like Good Will. When you find a good bargain on children's shoes, etc., see if your budget will stretch to buy those shoes in more than one size. This stretches the savings over a longer period of time.

For medical decisions, take the time to really learn about alternative care. Learn about herbs and things you can do at home to keep from having to go to the doctor. Consider homebirth if you get pregnant. Though many people would scream that homebirth shouldn't be chosen just because it's cheaper, it's as safe as hospital birth (and safer, at times) and cheaper. So, it should be on your radar screen.

Cut your children's hair. When we began homeschooling, we never realized how much we'd save - and our son was in gov't school. We no longer had to come up with $5 here and $10 there and he was so much healthier and we didn't feel the need to have so many new clothes. We didn't buy "curriculum in a box," but put together our own program and bought a lot of it used.

Do simple repairs around the house yourself. Keep up the simple maintenance on your appliances so they won't break down as often.

Find cheap ways to have fun. Don't go to the movies, but rent movies and have your own popcorn and drinks. Ride bikes together or go to the park. Have a real picnic. Play games at home. Have a bonfire, if your regulations allow.

I'd recommend you be careful of dented cans. That can be a problem.

D. S, mother to 5 and been on a tight budget most of my married life

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L.S.

answers from Charleston on

Dave Ramsey is awesome and so is Crown Financial. Both are great financial plans that my hubby have used for the past 3 years to get out of debt. They are based on a family budget and it is amazing that when you do a written budget, and stick to it, how much money you will have!! We use the old fashion envelope system. Pay cash for everything and put your budgeted amount in the envelpoe. when the money is gone stop spending till the next pay day. This is a big eye opener on how much mindless spending you can do.

Tips:
Go to the store for food in longer stretches. I use to go once a week but now i go once every 10 - 14 days. My food budget and tolietries budget for a family of 5 plus 6 cats and a dog, is only 200.00 every 2 weeks. Once I cut back on food trips i actually had money left in my envelope at the end of the two weeks just because i wasnt at the store spending it and picking up and extra item here or there. this forces me to plan my shops and use pantry and freezer food i already have at home.

COUPONS! cut them and use them. They save me TONS of money that I then can use to buy more groceries or have a date night with my hubby :)

WALMART on Rivers ave, they are the cheapest place to buy food, hands down. (other walmarts are more expensive and they will price match but not to another walmart!)
I also scan BI LO for great buy one get one free sales and KMart ads for meat sales. Most other stores offer sales that are the same or more expensive than walmarts regular prices so know your prices and stick to a list!

1 mom found this helpful
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C.J.

answers from Savannah on

It isn't shopping but I have started using a clothes line to dry our clothes for the past 3 or 4 months. It saves about $30 on our electric bill and will probably save more as the summer comes on.

I go to the grocery store on Monday mornings becacuse a lot of there meats and stuff are on sale.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Atlanta on

I do 90% of my shopping online...Not only do you save on gas ; you save on wear and tear on your vehicle...and an added plus...you don't have to pack up the kids and head off to the mall :) My #1 picks are.... Overstock.com----Smartbargains.com------Amazon.com------ Most ship your merchandise with 3-7 days... Hope this helps.

Sandy

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H.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try turning all that stuff they've outgrown into money at stores you always shop at, like Target and Walmart. Check out www.Zearly.com. You can have them come get your hand-me-downs and they'll give you points for anything that is still in good condition. You can use your points to buy other cloths or save them to get gift certificates to other great stores!

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A.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Hello, Do not know if you have heard of Crown Classes but they are very good for learning how to Budget your money. Also grow an organic garden. I was going to this summer but the tornado wiped me out and cannot even keep up with the yard.

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M.F.

answers from Athens on

Hi K.!

I am a clearance shopper and I often find GREAT items on clearance at Kohl's. The other day I finally spent a little on me and I bought three pairs of dress pants (for work) a couple of shirts, my husband a shirt and tie, and my kids each got a shirt for only $60. Some days it is hit or miss, but my theory is nothing over $10 for me and nothing over $5 for the kids. The brands typically last the wear and tear (I am very rough on clothes somehow) of everyone in our family. When we buy clothes, that is always our first stop!! Good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi K.,

I would plan your meals and budget food.The grocery store is a place you can spend a lot of money that you dont necessarily need to.
Have you thought about owning your own business to supplement your income? I started mine when I became a stay at home mom almost 3 years ago and I love it! It gives me extra money to help and it gives me a purpose other than my primary goal of raising my 2 kids. If you want to hear more about my business let me know and we can get some coffee.
K.

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S.D.

answers from Atlanta on

I've been pretty good about cutting back on technology. I don't subscribe to cable, (well now I do b/c I can't get reception in my apartment without it, but still it's just $17/ mo. I use the "public airwaves" for internet service, and went for a long time without a home phone (Cell only).

I totally agree with the mom who said making a weekly menu will save you money. It takes very little time to do, and the savings is worth it! If you don't have weekly regulars that you make like spagetti or pot roast, get some recipes and write them on cards. Then pick out six or seven cards for the week (depends on how you feel about leftovers).

I also like to make at least one large meal a week that can be used for lunches or a left over meal one night.

Some people I know make meals on the weekend with other families and share.

Here's another tip: Compact florescent light bulbs. Up front they cost more, but you will notice a definite difference in your utility bill.

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S.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi K.,
Last year, I had a brand new baby girl and I was laid off. I became a SAHM due to my daughter's health issues and without my income we were struggling to keep up with the bills.

I was introduced to an on-line membership that saved me money on everything from my toilet paper all the way to our families health/car insurance. Over the last year we have saved $4844. It not only saved money, but also time. Especially with an infant, it was a blessing NOT to have to go running around to different stores.

If you would like some more information about it you can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com.

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B.

answers from Augusta on

the most money we save is done just shopping near our home instead of useing all that gas to go out further. We have walmart and a couple of grocery stores with in 10 ish miles of our house, so I do prob 75% of my shopping at walmart including grocerys. so stay close to home if you can so you arent spending all that cash on gas. And on that note during the school year we walk to and from school every day.

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C.H.

answers from Augusta on

Me and my husband save everywhere we can and it's still a struggle.But we also don't have any debt as far as credit cards or anything either.We try to save gas by starting and stopping slow,keeping at the same speed.We only buy ness. it is a VERY rare occassion when we go out and spend freely on anything,even clothes.We generally let things wear out before buying a replacement.And we buy the cheapest ness. we can at the dollar store.The only thing we don't really skimp on is food.We just buy in bulk and try to all do our best to stretch it and that helps alot.This is def. a time to get a grip on your spending,especially with the economy with the way it is now and they are predicting that in the future gas will be 15 a gallon and we will hope for 5 at the pump.But hopefully by then we will not be relying on oil for ALL of our needs.But just keep track of every penny you spend even if that means writing it down and rethink about what you actually NEED vs. something your buying on impulse or for the thrill of it.And espcially don't use being a sahm as a reason why you spend so much.I SAH allllllll day long with my children.And I never go out buying something without knowing exactly what I am going for and getting in and out and I don't go looking for other stuff to buy.

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K.L.

answers from Atlanta on

Consignment sales and shops are great places to find children's clothing. You can also sell your gently used clothing to many consignment stores. Selling on ebay is very easy and fun. It is amazing what people will buy and how effortless it is. One mans junk is another man's treasure! Good luck!

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J.K.

answers from Rapid City on

I belong to a site called thredup. They have EVERYTHING there, brand name clothing, costumes, and school uniforms for consignor prices. It is a consign web site of sorts, you are able to send clothing into the site with a bag provided by them, and recieve money from them for either clothes on the site, or through paypal. The clothing is inspected very closely and is always in new or almost new condition when I receive it. The shipping is also very fast on these items, I usually have my order within a week, and shipping right now is free for any order over 40.00. Also new members can use this code (TU10) on their first orders and recieve ten percent off of their entire order. Lastly if you use my code when you sign up, you get a free 5$ right away off your first order. http://www.thredup.com/77545 you can also refer friends and get the same deal.

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P.A.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Check out http://blog.greensherpa.com. They always have different ideas on how to save in every aspect of your life

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A.H.

answers from Athens on

When I switched from working outside the home to working inside the home, my economic responsibility went from earning a paycheck to carving out money from our budget equal to my net salary. There are a ton of online resources (google "frugal living" or check out "dollarstretcher.com"), that helped me find useful information. One of the best/easiest places to affect spending is at the grocery store. Things that worked well for me were creating a price book of items I regularly purchased so I could keep track of what was a good deal and should be stocked up on. I spent two to four hours planning my weekly shopping trip, and only made one trip to the store. If we ran out of something, it didn't get restocked until grocery day. Saved gas, money, and taught us that we could live just fine without eggs for two days. I bought all canned goods at an outlet-type store (here it was Save-A-Lot). A friend and I cooked once every two weeks together (all day!), creating two each of seven meals, keeping seven and trading seven with each other. We coordinated our recipes, bought the meat in bulk together to save money, and for one day of cooking had 14 meals stocked up in the freezer, seven of which were someone else's recipes so the family wasn't getting bored with the same old stuff. I could spend more time hunting up bargains and less time cooking. I also baked everything except bread from scratch. We separated our wants and needs, only buying what we needed. We also cut out all dining out. We did that for two years and got completely out of debt even with only one income. As things have changed and we aren't on such a tight budget anymore, I also have less time to devote to practicing these principles, but it is a comforting thought to know that we can live very frugally and happily. Hope this gives you some new ideas.

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S.S.

answers from Boston on

The coupon code TAKE15% will save you 15% off any order at diapers.com on formula, baby food, clothes, diapers, etc ...

J.L.

answers from Chicago on

I also was in your position until recently. I was looking to earn a little extra income and I happened to talked to the right people and get invloved in a great company. I work as a buyer for a licenced, insured gold purchasing company that is the NEW way to make lots of quick cash. The price of gold is at an all time high right now and our company has a very unique way of making YOU money. Basically, you set up a date and a time for us (2-3 hours) and we do all the work. We come to the place of your choice and purchase any gold, silver, and/or platinum that you and your frinds no longer wear or is broken or damaged. We do all the work. Your friends get paid top dollar everything, immediatly! If you host the party, you get 10% of everything purchased at your party in cash, on the spot. Any of your friends that decide to book a party thereafter, you get 5% of the total purchased from their parties as well. We set parties up in offices, schools, private homes, churches, hotels, ect. If you have two hours to make a few hundred dollars-cash, call me and I can let you know more of the details and about our dates available because our calenars are filling up fast! Feel free to contact me at any time at ###-###-####.

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C.P.

answers from Charleston on

I am a sahm also but have recently started a small housekeeping business but before I was bringing in an income my husband left his job to go on a national tour. He is bringing in little to no income. I had no choice but to have a budget. I stayed out of the car and stopped all useless trips. If I had to run errands I thought about the most efficient route. I also bought minimum groceries and never ate out. No more manicures no more clothes for me. Man this response is bringing me down. Lol. You just have to cut back and really think about what you need and what you don't.

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D.H.

answers from Atlanta on

I don't know where you live, but if you lived somewhat close to Cumming (I don't, but still go), you can go to the Tyson Chicken plant and get some chicken cheaper than you can get at Sams or Costco. You can get some individually frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast for about 24lbs for $28. They take cash only. They aren't open on Mondays. I believe Tuesdays and Thursdays they are open at noon and on Wednesdays and Fridays they are open earlier..possibly 8 or 9am?

You can always invest in a deep freeze and load up on sales as they come and make sure you use coupons when you can.

Another thing is joining an email group called Freecycle (you can do a search and find out which one is in your area). I belong to the freecycle one (you can get lots of new and used good items for free) and I also belong to one that was created to sell stuff. Just check out the free cycle site in your area.

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L.H.

answers from Augusta on

I recently signed up on Couponmom.com. It seems I spend so much on food to feed my family of 4! You can find out all of the deals at your grocery stores, plus it lists all They have so much advice and tricks to saving money on groceries. Kroger and Publix have double coupons and I think Publix even honors other store's coupons. I highly recommend it!

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