As I get older and more in tune with how to run a household successfully I realize all the ways that a family can be frugal, or “go” frugal (like, going green … only cheaper lol). I’ve been a coupon clipper and usually save at least $10 at the Commissary (which in itself is a wonderful place to save money!) I also look for sales and price compare things. I have a chart that I got from ListPlanit that helps me to compare items at different stores – it’s very helpful because I am a bad list maker.
Anyway, here is a little list of ways our family is working to be more frugal:
- Clip coupons (they seriously work!) – but don’t buy something that you wouldn’t normally buy just because you have a coupon for it. Also – my friends and I swap coupons sometimes, it works out really well!
- Search for sales – check out various stores for price comparisons.
- If you are military and have access shop at the Commissary! They aren’t lying when they say they can save you 30% off your grocery bill. Get what you can there and then what you can’t try Wal-Mart (if you have one). They might be a little *evil* but they are still cheap.
- Save and try NOT to use credit cards!!!! (easier said than done, I know!)
- If you are swimming in credit debt why not try and do a balance transfer? Make sure that the percentage rate is super low for at least 6 months (or better yet for the “life of the balance”). Pay attention to the “balance transfer fee” because it could be high. Then, make that card a PRIORITY.
- Make a budget and stick to it – sounds simple but it works. Try and use cash for things like groceries and entertainment (and allowance). A trick I learned from my Mom that works for me is to divvy up the budgeted money into different envelopes. Then you can see plainly what you have to spend.
- Cash in those bonus points from you credit cards! I love getting either $50 “cash” or a $25 Starbucks card from my Discover Card points. A lot of companies have reward cards – if you are going to use plastic you might as well earn stuff.
- For playgroups meet somewhere FREE (like a park) and plan a picnic. The kids will have a great time eating on a blanket on the ground and the adults get to relax.
- Swap babysitting with friends.
- Try to shop online at places like eBay or Half.com – even Amazon now has a used entertainment category. Pay attention to shipping though.
- Seriously SHOP AT THRIFT STORES (and pawn shops!).
- If you like to rent movies see if there is a “Redbox” nearby – the movies (usually new releases) are only $1 per night! You can even get a text message per week with a “freebie” code!
- Don’t pay a lot for eyeglasses when you’ve got a website like Zenni Optical around. Their glasses start at only $8 and are super cute and in tons of styles. I personally know moms who have shopped at their site and say that their deals are really for REAL and that the quality is excellent. They were even mentioned in a book titled “Living Rich by Spending Smart” by Gregory Karp. (Which might I add has some seriously great advice).
I’m sure there are more GREAT tips on spending less money. Please share YOURS!!