We know how to save money here, for sure! Besides the rule of combining a sale and a coupon when we shop, we also have some hard fast rules that save us money in our home. I really try to teach the kids these rules too and most of the time, I’m really proud of their choices, as they are too. You may have to use some will power in most of these, but truly, you’ll be happy you did!
1. Plan your weekly menu and post it for the family to see. I have a white board that says what’s for breakfast and dinner for each night of the week. I made up our menu from what we had in our cupboards and what was on sale. Take inventory of what you have already in your house before you go shopping. This can save you a lot of money!
2. Make your shopping list and stick to your list. I’ve almost always had to go shopping with the four kids as they were growing up. I had my list and coupons together and I stuck to my list! We flew in and out of the store in doing so and I pretty much knew how much my groceries were going to cost me each week. Keep this in mind for all your shopping stores too! Going to the mall, Walmart or Target can drain your bank account in no time at all when you don’t stick to your list.
3. Shop only once a week! I went shopping yesterday and spent less than $50 for our family of 7! Yes, something to be proud of. I found a recipe last night that I really want to make. But, I already have my menu made for the week so, instead of heading back to the store this week, I’ll have to use my will-power. I’ve put the ingredients on the list for next week’s shopping list and we’ll be enjoying Gingerbread pancakes one morning next week.
Chances are a lot of us would pick up extra things that we really don’t need and there would go our great budget for the week!
4. Order waters at restaurants. When you go out to eat, especially with the family, order waters instead of sodas, juices or milk. If our whole family ordered drinks when we went out to eat, at $3 each, that would already run our bill $21.00! That doesn’t include tax and tip that would be added to that bill price.
5. Start a price list spreadsheet. I’ve just recently started making up a new one for our home. There are a few stores I shop at along with some food warehouse stores and I like to be able to compare prices to make sure I’m getting the best deal for my money! Start off with the products you most often buy and then add to it as you shop at different stores. Either take a quick photo or jot it down. It doesn’t take long to form a great list and it will save you a bundle in the end.
6. Don’t buy right away! Rule of thumb we use for our kids is wait 48 hours to buy that item “they really have to have”. 90% of the time they have changed their mind. Another thing to do with the kids is add to the 48 hour rule to say if they really want it after 48 hours they can buy it themselves. This changes it to 98% of the time they’ve moved on to wanting something else.
Rule of thumb of me. I don’t go out shopping too often, but when I do I could have a shopping cart full of stuff I want for the house. It’s rare that I’ll buy that day, but I will write down what it is and write down how much it costs. Over the next couple of days I’ll ask myself what I wanted. Usually, if there was a list of 8 things, I’ll only remember 2 of them. I’ll look at my list and realize it was really just those 2 things I really, really, really wanted and I’ll treat myself to them the next time I go out.
7. Buy off season. Once you get into the groove of buying winter coats for the following year, Christmas clearance decorations for the following year etc, you’ll really be saving a lot of money.
8. Book getaways during the week. Instead of vacationing for a week at a time, book a few getaways during the week during the year. Now, I know not everyone can do this, but if you can take some vacation time during the week, you’ll save money. Book a getaway Sunday- through Wednesday and you’ll save a lot of money and usually get an upgraded room and possibly a bonus of a free breakfast package included. Another tip is if you can wait till last minute during the week, you’ll most likely even get a lower price to book your stay.
9. Buy extra food during its season. An example of this would be to buy a few more turkeys at Thanksgiving and freeze them, buy a few more packages of corn beef at St. Patrick’s Day and freeze them.
10. Don’t always use your dishwasher. Our dishwasher broke years ago and I never replaced it. There’s 7 in our home, that’s a lot of dishwashers. I would have to run mine 2 times a day, that’s a lot of hot water and electricity I’d be using. Most of the time everyone helps by washing their own dishes when they’re done eating. Clean up gets done quite quickly. Let’s face it, if I had the dishwasher, I’d still have to hear arguing that it wasn’t her turn to load it, that it wasn’t his turn to unload it. Honestly, I don’t miss the dishwasher at all.
What’s your saving tip? We’d love for you to leave us a comment and let us know.