So I had promised a couple of weeks ago to share money saving tips with you all on Thursdays, and since then we started tball, graduated from kindergarten, got the stomach flu, and are preparing for a FIRST birthday party. All and all it is a whirlwind and I wouldn't trade a minute of it, okay, maybe the stomach flu, but she sure was cuddly for those couple of days! ;)
Anyway, I thought while I had a moment between laundry loads, I would share a few more tips with you all. We have actually been able to cut our grocery bill to 30 dollars a week. :) So I have been doing well on our goal of 40 per week!
1. I clip coupons! I know, I was once one of those, UGH! I don't have time for that kind of ladies, but man it really is like holding a job. I save as much as I would make if I were working a lot of weeks. If you like a brand or a companies product...jot them an email and let them know...odds are they will send you a coupon or two and they are typically high value. I also follow blogs such as Faithful Provisions, The Thrifty Mama, Hip2Save and For the Mommas, these help me match up the coupons I clip to the best deals and get things for next to nothing or for free...Seriously, I cannot tell you the last time I paid for something like shampoo, shaving cream, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dish soap, etc. If I clip coupons and shop Rite Aid, I can often make money on these items! My general rule is, if I don't have a coupon, I don't buy it! :)
2. We plant a huge garden and can and freeze. We typically spend about 50 dollars a year on seeds, and gardening supplies, this includes my canning lids. I have really surprised myself with this new found love of canning and freezing as well as gardening. I used to wonder why on earth people did these types of things. It saves us a ton of money and I love knowing that we do all of our gardening organically and that my kids are not eating pesticides. This year we planted the following : tomatoes (LOTS), red peppers, green peppers, and banana peppers, peas, green beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkins, onions, garlic, oregano, cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, and eggplant. ( I am sure I am leaving something out) We have also added two blueberry bushes, two pear trees, and two nectarine trees as well as several grape vines in the past year or two, but they have yet to produce just yet) We only own about an acre of land so it can all be done in very little space if planned out well.
3. Cloth Diapering. Another thing I SWORE I would never in a million years do, and yet I love! We have just in the past month gone from using disposables at night and when on the go to being 100% cloth! I love knowing that Hope has NO chemicals against her skin and that we are not filling the landfill with diapers that take over 500 years to break down! Well, if I am being honest...Howard loves the environmental thing more, I love that they are cute most! :) Cloth diapering is NOTHING like I had imagined it would be. It is not gross or terribly time consuming and has already saved us a BUNDLE! The money I invested in Hope's newborn diapers, I was able to make 80 percent of that back by reselling them! Now she will be in the set she is in until potty training!
4. We drink water, tea, coffee and milk. I typically do not buy juice or other beverages, they are typically expensive and add only empty calories to our diets. We get our fruit nutrients from fruit so that we also benefit from the fiber and skip the juices. My kids are drinkers and it would be easy to go through a lot of juice which would fill them up not leaving room for other foods. SO they have gotten accustomed to drinking water, milk (at meals) or tea.
5. I have begun making our own breads. Not just loaves of bread, but also bagels, hot dog buns, etc. I make it all from scratch and it costs pennies compared to supermarket prices.
SO there you have it...a few more tips...I will share more next Thursday as I have a birthday party to plan now! :)