7 Ways Our Family Saves
My family and I are on a fairly tight budget. This is mainly because I am a stay-at-home mom.And, in order to remain at home with my 10 month old son, I still technically must work. Only itis at home with my wee one at my side, and I would have it no other way. Here are some of theways we cut costs so I can stay at home.
- Cloth diapering. I am a cloth diapering mama. We love AIO (all-in-one) cloth diapers, butthese get pretty hefty pricewise. So I choose to go with prefolds (kinda like they used in theolden days) with super cute diaper covers. I can get a pack of 12 Gerber prefold diapers atWalmart for about $10. And the covers I get for about $12 each because I aim to get them onsale. My favorite covers are Flip and Thirsties Duo Wraps because they are cute, rarely leak,and can be used as the child grows. I prefer snaps because they don’t wear out as fast as aplix(Velcro) and they are harder for my wee one to undo. On average, I probably save about $300 a year by using cloth diapers.
- Homemade. If something can be homemade for cheaper than it can be purchased, I home-make it. This includes bread, sushi, spaghetti sauce, and more. Since I have a chef background,homemade food is not only cheaper, but it is also tastier. We also make a point to very rarely eat out, which saves us even more. Oh, and I also make my own laundry soap (it costs less than 2cents a load to make).
- Garden. My husband is the green thumb in our little family. I have the thumb of death. If I touch a plant it withers and dies (I just assume they know I was once a chef so they fear me).But, with my husbands gardening skills, we have a fairly large garden and fresh, delicious produce all summer long. When the season for each fruit or veggie draws nigh to an end, I get tocanning. Canning food is also another great way to save money and eat healthfully all year long.
- Chickens. This is a new endeavor my husband and I are engaging this summer. I raised chickens and turkeys when I was teenager, so I am the go-to “expert” (even though I don’t really know all that much) for my husband concerning our feathery flock. Since chickens are inexpensive to upkeep, they are a good investment. Each of our 6 chickens cost about $1.50 to purchase when they were chicks. Their food costs around $6 a bag and one bag lasts about amonth. Their coop was probably the biggest investment, but not even that bad. It cost around $60for my husband to build a coop. He used wooden shipping crates that he received for free from a manufacturer across the street from where he works and recycled most of the other materials used to build it. Our chicken selection was also important towards saving money. We have 6(you can’t have any more than that in the suburbs where we live) Speckled Sussex hens. These versatile birds are hardy in both hot and cold weather, they are great egg layers, and, since they’re also meaty, they can dual as fried chicken.
- Couponing. No, I am not an extreme couponer. Not yet anyway. But there is a certainadrenaline rush, an excitement if you will, that you feel when you get something for free (or nearly free) by combining a coupon with a sale. Couponing is probably the biggest way we save money. I very rarely pay full price for anything. I aim to get it on sale, with a coupon, or both. Iaim to get everything that we use at 50% off full price or less. On average, I save around 40 to 90% every time I go necessity shopping. And I stockpile using these skills to save even more.Now, I’m not going to tell you how to coupon. You can discover how to do that from a plethora of websites, including on my blog’s Coupon Center. But, once you understand sales cycles and all the ways coupons work, you can make the system work to save you a bundle.
- One vehicle. This is definitely not the most ideal situation. But with gas prices on the rise,it is a wise way to save money for my family. It does take a little more effort as, on days I go grocery shopping, I have to drop my husband off at work then take the vehicle to run my errands.Because it is more difficult to get out, I also don’t go out as often because it’s too much work!So that save us gas money as well. There are also other tricks we do that save us gas money.Like fill up gas cans when it’s lower to fill up when the prices are higher. It is also actually better to get the middle or high grade gasoline because it’s better for your engine, which means less maintenance, and you get more miles per gallon so it lasts longer than the low grade.
- DIY. If there’s something we can do ourselves, why pay someone to do it for us? This includes anything from changing the oil to cleaning the carpet. Before we hire someone for anything, we carefully weigh how much it would cost to pay them to do whatever task for us versus how much it would cost to do it ourselves. I’d say about 99% of the time, it’s cheaper toDIY. However, there are those situations (for example, installing carpet) that it is in fact more frugal to hire someone, mainly because to purchase or rent the equipment to do it ourselves would be too much. For example, if your pool needs swimming pool covers, go buy one and put it on yourself.
And there you have it. Those are just some of the ways we save money. There are others, but I’dsay these are the big ones. Please be sure to pop by my blog when you get a chance and browse my posts to find other saving tips.