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Thursday, January 29, 2015

saving $ - in every aspect of your mommy life

None of us are rich. Some have more money than others, sure, some have better paying jobs, some spend money on various things that we may not spend money on… but none of us are totally rich. We ALL could save more money in some aspect of our lives.

I hope you've enjoyed hearing from fellow moms like you on how they saved money using the Dave Ramsey budget system. I intend to share with you my personal money-saving secrets in the next part of this Saving $ series. For now, here are YOUR tips, suggestions and GREAT ideas for saving money in all areas of your life.

I REALLY appreciate all the moms who participated in answering these questions in the Mommy Stories Facebook group the last week or so. It's been SO helpful to me personally already, I'm sure many other moms will benefit from these great suggestions.

Enjoy saving some cash so you can live a more fun life with your babies!


  • GENERAL money-saving tips:
    • Pay yourself first - take even $20 out of your paycheck and put it aside for yourself to use at the end of the year.
    • Save those returnable cans and bottles!
    • Never stop at a store to get water, soda, snack, etc. Pack ahead of time!
    • Buy store-brand items as much as possible.
    • Credit unions for cheaper interest rates.
    • Start by tracking where you're currently spending your money to see where it's going before you can start cutting back and saving.
    • Set a weekly budget for food and don't go over it.
    • Shop at thrift stores, yard sales, etc. and limit clothing to necessities only.
    • Buy ahead by the season - so this winter buy the next size or two up for snow pants, etc.
    • Call every single company you have a bill with to be sure you have the least expensive bill from them and interest rate.
    • Use Babies R Us rewards card for coupons that are sent to your home.
  • GROCERIES
    • Meal plan ahead of time, know what you are buying before entering the store
    • Avoid purchasing processed, packaged food -that cuts the budget, those are expensive.
    • Don't eat out, make your own food at home.
    • Buy what's on sale.
    • Make more from scratch
    • Stock up at BJs or Sam's club once a month
    • Buy meat in bulk at meat shop
    • Using a self-scanner at the store to tally up how much we're spending as we shop.
    • Shop the perimeter of the store instead of the middle where it's more expensive.
    • Instead of two chicken breasts into a stir fry, cut it down to just one.
    • Never leave home without a list, and only buy what's on said list.
    • Combine ingredients- if you need an item for one meal, then your second meal should also use that ingredient so no waste.
    • Shop every other week, the less you go to the store, the less you buy.
    • Using cash so I don't overspend, and also using a calculator to tally it up as I go.
  • COUPONING
    • Checkout 51 app
    • ibiotta app
    • Krazy Coupon Lady www.krazycouponlady.com
    • Target coupons (print online), Target Cartwheel app
    • Wal-Mart.com coupons online
    • Totally Target has match ups for manufacturers items
    • snip snap app
    • print coupons at CVS in store
    • couponkarma.com and ilovetogossip.com
    • Buy two newspapers each Sunday for the coupons
    • If starting out with coupons, watch You Tube videos to learn how to start.
    • Watch Extreme Couponing episodes to get a visual idea
    • Deal Seeking Moms Facebook page
    • Learn the store's coupon rules - do they double them? limit one per item?
    • Find a way to organize your coupons... some use binders, envelopes, etc.
    • Make a list of brands/items you use and start looking for those so you don't get overwhelmed.
    • Donate what you don't use after you get good at using coupons you'll see you get tons of items!

  • BABY ITEMS - Diapers, wipes, breastfeeding supplies, formula
    • Cloth diapers!
    • Register for breastfeeding supplies for your baby shower- you will need those more than other things!
    • Breastfeeding supplies on sale at Target
    • Sam's Club or BJs memberships
    • Amazon.com including Prime for free shipping
    • Buy wipes in bulk
    • Double the coupons at BJs, use your booklet that comes in the mail and ask for another booklet at the desk!
    • Facebook groups online to purchase cloth diapers
    • Babies R Us with coupons that come in the mail
    • Walgreens, use their card and after about 6 months get a $50 credit to use for diapers!
  • KIDS CLOTHING
    • Buy one size up, bigger
    • Kohls has great deals, coupons, etc.
    • Hand-me-downs for younger siblings
    • Mom buys clothing, dad spends too much!
    • Buy, sell, trade Facebook groups have great deals, local to your area
    • ThredUP.com
    • Buy sneakers at the start of the school year when sales are happening
    • Consignment stores like Children's Orchard, Nana's Kids in York, North Berwick Consignment Boutique, Bundle Children's Resale in Sanford, the Growing Place in Bangor
    • Ebay
    • Clearance items only at Old Navy, TJ Maxx, etc.
    • Consignment sales at local elementary schools twice a year
    • Zulily.com special sales for more name brand items
    • Living in warmer climates (FLA), don't need winter items
    • When people ask what they need at birthdays and Christmas, ask for a couple of outfits
    • Buy Nothing Project on Facebook
    • Carter's pajamas sales in winter
    • Buying gently used because the kids grow out of them so quickly 
    • Save them for the next kid, don't get rid of them until you know that you are having a different gender, etc. 
  • KIDS SHOES
    • Osh Kosh Outlet
    • Payless Shoes
    • Gap Oulet
    • Target
    • Children's Orchard or other consignment stores
    • Zulily.com for cute Bogs!
    • Reds Shoe Barn
    • Nordstroms rack
    • Stride Rite outlet
    • New Balance tent sale in the summer for 40% off
    • 6pm.com
    • Burlington Coat Factory
    • Online or Facebook buy/sell/trade groups- brand new shoes !

  • ACTIVITIES - Extracurricular activities like dance, sports, etc.
    • Consignment stores for leotards, etc. and buy bigger sizes so you have them on hand.
    • Buy the next size up for swim rash guard and gear so that you can get an extra season out of it or at least so it fits a little big in the winter swim class but fits well in the summer for beach trips.
    • Trade them in for gently used things at the dance class. 
    • Ask grandparents, etc. to give swim lessons, dance lessons, etc. for birthday gifts!
  • OUTINGS, events like zoos, children's museums, etc. 
    • Groupons
    • Discount coupons from local library
    • Maine's Half Price Outlet.Com, NH has one too, on FB too.
    • Teacher or Military discounts
    • referlocal.com
    • Attend free library events - puppet shows, magic shows, etc.
    • Buy a membership to a place you know you'll visit a couple of times, saves money instead of paying the ticket price once.
  • BIRTHDAY parties and presents 
    • Amazon.com for favors that are cheap
    • Make your own cakes and cupcakes
    • Pick a theme months in advance so you can pick up deals for the party decor and giveaways for kids, etc. 
    • Order a JPEG invitation and print yourself
    • Try Goodwill or Dollar Tree for decorations, especially to avoid paying full price for things that will be tossed in the trash like paper plates, napkins, balloons, etc.
    • Couponing!
    • TJ Maxx always has Melissa and Doug toys, great books at cheap prices, cute clothing on sale, etc. GREAT gifts there for Christmas or birthdays! 

  • HOLIDAYS - Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day, Easter, etc. 
    • Dollar bin at Target
    • Stock up on holiday clearance the days after the holiday - some 90% off
    • Get Halloween costumes the day after the holiday and buy size or two larger for next year or to use as dress up
    • Reuse items like gift bags, Easter eggs, etc.
    • Homemade gifts
    • Budget every month to save money for the bigger holidays
  • HEALTHY - exercise, organic foods, etc. 
    • Target cartwheel app to get more healthy items
    • Gluten free- many items are labeled gluten free and cost more, but then there are foods that are naturally gluten free and not labeled, those are cheaper!
    • You Tube exercise videos - FREE
    • Planet Fitness offers $10 a month membership.
  • HOUSEHOLD cleaning items 
    • Make my own household cleaners - vinegar and water 50% of each; 
    • Soak orange peels in vinegar.
    • Order from Melaleuca...the cleaning products are all natural, about $6 and concentrated so you mix them yourself. I get about 6-8 bottles out of each one and they last forever!
    • Dawn/vinegar/water to clean the bathroom
    • Using a steam mop
    • Baking soda on the bottom of the dish washer with only a few drops of dish soap in the soap compartment, doesn't leave the dishes with that bleach smell
    • "I soak orange peels In white vinegar in a mason jar for 2 weeks then pour into a spray bottle. Acts as a disinfectant and antibacterial. I use to clean everything with it! Very inexpensive  white vinegar does have a string scent, especially if it's not diluted, but works like a charm!"
    • "I use Dr. Bronner's Castille soap and lemon extract. Just a few drops in a spray bottle. Does an amazing job on glass and my kids help me clean."
    • "I'm obsessed with LA totally awesome oxygen from the dollar store ($1!!!!) ...it's the best cleaner for hard to clean things (grout, stains, bathrooms) and it's also great for laundry instead of bleach, just add a scoop to hot water. Also big fan of vinegar and water...natural stuff is the best kind of cleaner...baking soda to clean matresses, add to laundry, etc. Lastly "bar keepers friend" is awesome at cleaning any of those stubborn grease on stove, or any marks on toaster oven, etc."

  • CARS - gas, oil changes, etc. 
    • Cumberland Farms app to save $.10 a gallon
    • Fill up once a week regardless of if empty
    • Synthetic oil changes, which is more expensive but lasts longer so cheaper in the long run.
    • Awesome partners who work on the cars at home :) 
    • Quik lube for oil changes, about $20
    • Get to know the local mechanic and see about trading.
    • Shell Fuel Rewards, save $.03 a gallon
    • Car washes in winter to protect against rust
    • Pay yourself every month and put money aside in savings account for "in case of emergencies" related to car maintenance. 
    • Rewards Cars, Chase, Discover
    • Oil changes with the dealership
    • Irving rewards card, you save $.10 a gallon every few fill ups
    • Cartland Farms Smart app
    • All gas and oil changes at BJs, by far the cheapest!
  • DATE NIGHTS 
    • Ask for gift cards for Christmas and birthdays!
    • Local restaurants that offer dance lessons, etc.
    • Tuesday night movies are cheaper!
    • Get coffees and take a walk just us to talk
    • Use the money from the change jar and go out for coffees, etc.
    • Drive around together and talk.
    • Window shop at the mall.
    • Stay home and just put away iPad, phones, etc. and be together.
  • VACATIONS
    • Hotel reward credit card
    • Travelzoo
    • Kayak 
    • book late fall for winter months for cheaper rates
    • Travel to the southern coast (Virginia, Carolina, etc.) in May or September, at least 50% cheaper
    • Travel agents for big trip plane tickets
    • Put away $5 per week from your paycheck and deposit into a vacation fund. This doesn't pay for plane tickets, but can be spending money or pay for food on the trip. 

HAPPY SAVINGS!




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