Do you ever find yourselves at the end of the month wondering where your money has gone and trying to stretch your last dollar to make it to pay-day? I find myself in that situation more than I will ever admit! Here are ten small ways I’ve learned to be frugal.
1. Start with a plan. Before you begin a new month sit down and write out a plan. Look at your expenses for the prior month what did you spend that you can cut out this month? Did you eat out too much (that is often my issue). Look at what you have coming up in the next 3 months. Vehicle registrations, birthdays, season changes that require new clothing or shoes for the kids, baseball camp, ballet classes…. the list can go on forever. If you can see those things coming in the future it may be easier to know that this coming month I need to save an extra $20.00 for a birthday. I have found that the month’s I sit down and make a plan and commit myself to stick to it are the month’s that I don’t stress about money. The month’s that I don’t take that time to sit down and make an effort to plan it out are the ones we eat out too much and I find myself in trouble.
2. Make a grocery list and stick to it. How often do we run into the store for milk and leave spending more than $50.00? The average person spends $79 per week on impulse items. Guilty! I often stop at the store in a rush on my way home from work. I generally have my two youngest kids with me and they want everything. I’m tired from working all day. They are cranky because they didn’t get a nap and I grab everything that looks like it might taste good. Big no, no!! I found that keeping a small list in the kitchen close to the garbage can is a good way to build my list. When I use the rest of the ketchup I can write it down on my list when I throw the used one away. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference.
3. Coupons. I was an avid coupon-er several years ago. I even had to buy a candy bar once because the store owed me money after my rebates and coupons and they couldn’t give me the cash. The problem was I was often buying things we didn’t need, I got 22 boxes of brownies once because they were on-sale and I had a coupon. It really goes along with common sense. I didn’t need 22 boxes of brownies. I’m sure I gained 15 pounds by making them because I had them. Coupons can be really great to use, but my advice is if you are going to clip coupons only save the ones you know you will use. Get a binder or envelope and organize them. Match them with your weekly grocery ads so you can save the most. Some stores do double coupon dollar days in my area. I try to watch for those days and purchase the items I need to stock up on and save double my coupon dollars.
4. Use social media and yard sales as a way to save on items that you can buy used. There are several yard sale sites on Facebook for my area. Kids grow out of clothes so fast that I very rarely purchase them new. I purchased my daughter a garbage sack full of clothing for $15.00 off the local yard sale site just recently. She got 10 pants/capris, 2 pair of shorts, 8 shirts, 4 summer dresses, 3 pair of leggings and a pair of tennis shoes. Some even still had tags. There are deals all over this site. Often if you are in need of something try posting an ad that you are in search of a new… blender. you may be amazed to find that someone has one that they’ll sell you for $5.00. I suggest you give it a try.
5. Pack a lunch. My co-workers laugh at me because I bring leftovers or a lunch from home everyday. One said to me once, but it’s only $5-$7 a day. That’s only $120.00-$150.00 a month plus time and fuel to run to the local fast food chain. I’ve found it is easier, and much less expensive to just pack something and bring it. Instead of driving all over town trying to decide what I want to eat I can sit down and enjoy a book and eat my lunch.
These are simple things we can do to help save money everyday. Everyone has quick tips and tricks and ways that they save money and I would like to hear yours. I invite you to share with us your ideas by commenting below, sharing on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moms-Who-Can/610332615669864?ref=hl or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org