UPDATED-Again! We are asked about how we are able to manage our lifestyle with only one income. And do it with NO Reckless DEBT!
– First, the hub works so hard to provide us with the things we are fortunate to have.
– Secondly, we appreciate the value of a dollar. We usually have plans for each, usually each plan putting more money in our pockets in the long run. Most people make the mistake and have more plans for their dollar. Thinking, “Well, we can get this, and just cut here…”. But, never do the cutting. Thus, that dollar was spent twice… Creating a debt.
-We make life Fun, Cheap, and most importantly… Easy! You don’t need to spend fortunes to have great memories. Most people spend way too much money on “Fun”, only to spend their time running, exhausted, and broke for it. In the end, cheaper can be better. I’m not saying don’t splurge here and there, if ya have it. I’m just saying … It’s not needed. Or makes you a lesser of a person, if you don’t. Happy Homes can be made on Pennies!
Here are some Tips, we find Useful. Be sure to check out our added info- Senior/Student/Military Discounts, Kids Eat FREE list, & MORE… That you may not know about! (CLICK “CONTINUE READING”):
*** UPDATED INFO BELOW !!! ***
–If you can afford it, make an extra Mortgage Payment a year. Can cut years off your loan! (State Toward Principle on check). OR set up bi-weekly payments, which at the end of 12 months, will add up to 13 payments. This idea can also work with savings!
–Get rid of Private Mortgage Insurance. If your down payment was less than 20%, you are most likely paying PMI. You can petition lender to cancel the insurance, as soon as your mortgage balance falls below 80% of the home’s appraised value. This can happen when home’s value goes up or you have repaid some of the principal. This may require an appraisal, but could shave hundreds of dollars. Contact your mortgager to start the process of ridding the PMI
-IF you know your home’s value has decreased, and wasn’t accounted for on the tax assessment, petition and fight your assessment. Lowering tax assessment, lowers yearly taxes.
-Come into hard times? You may qualify for programs to modify terms of your loan (Rate, Term, or Principal Balance). Making it more affordable. Not everyone qualifies, but they may save you money. To find out if you qualify, contact your mortgage or visit the Making Home Affordable eligibility website. For more great info! Also, ask your mortgager about DEFER A PAYMENT, when in Time of Need!
–Refinance. KEEP IN MIND if you do this, any programs you may have qualified for, especially deferred loan ones, you may have to PAY THOSE BACK, if refinancing! I would only do this if Rates are at an EXTREME Low! Be sure this won’t cost you more in the long run.
-There’s a program in our area that helps with Weatherization, called CAP (Check your local area for Weatherization Programs). This will help you with home owning costs, lowering bills. With, possibly, new appliances (Energy savers), weatherizations, etc.
-There are also Fix Up Programs. One in our area is Community NHS. They have many programs. Community NHS provided us with a fix up loan, within a payment range that was COMFORTABLE for us. It’s was a LOW Interest Rate Program. They also had deferred loans for fixups! Loan Help. Home Buyers Class with TONS of info!!!
-Another Program place in our area is: MnHousing.gov Which has Home/Home Improvement Programs. May have Programs for Home Buying. Also, has approved lender list (For Mn, tho. Check local area for Programs)
(((BE CAREFUL, NOT ALL SITES ONLINE are Trustworthy! Usually, if you visit your local government page, they have Approved Lenders lists… There’s a lot of scams that present themselves as Programs!)))
–Check into your local Power Company’s online Website. They usually have great programs, income based programs, help, or product suggestions to save money. EMAIL asking for a sample product box.
-Keep the heat low. Invest in Robes! Set heat lower, when out of town (Not too low, don’t burst those pipes in winter!)
-Use energy bulbs.
-Shut vents to rooms not in use.
-We use a towel the same width as window, roll up, wrap in plastic (Saran works), and place at the bottom, in between shut window and storm window. This does wonders for extra protection. No window condensation!!!
-THERE ARE ALSO Programs to help you with PURCHASING a Home! Most programs require a Home Buyer’s Class to be taken. We did this through Community NHS (You may check for something similar locally). Which, also provides other programs/services. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT! Very resourceful class.
-Also, be sure to check for Programs in the area you are considering to purchase your home. When Buying our Home, some areas offered incentives for purchasing homes in their areas. To help rebuild their communities. Like 1,000$ toward Down Payment, etc. Look into First Time Home Buyer’s Programs, Home Help Programs, Down Payment Programs, Deferred Loan Programs… Check your local Government Page for APPROVED LENDERS and Verifiable Home Help! Once into a home. Utilize above info, for help keeping it cheap!
Thanks to a Friend, here are some possible Discounts to Utilize:
Check out a List of Possible Senior Discounts. 50yrs+: Click Here
Check out a List of Possible Student Discounts: Click Here
Check out a List of Possible Military Discounts: Click Here
Never hurts to ASK at the register.
*** UPDATED! **** Families of 4th grade KIDS in US get into National Parks FREE! BEGINNING IN THE 2015-16 school year, fourth graders in the US and their families will be entitled to free admission to America’s national parks, federal lands and waters. CLICK HERE
***KIDS EAT FREE LIST:
(Twin Cities, Mn): For Link to the List- CLICK HERE
For other areas, search online for KIDS EAT FREE (Your State Name Here) .
Another Link to Try: Frugal Living Kids Eat Free Lists
Always be sure to call in advance to be sure they eat free!!!
– Couponing. There are great websites that, literally, do it all for you. Our’s, locally, is PocketYourDollar. There’s Online Coupon Printing: Smart Source and Red Plum. Stores online have Coupon Sections (Target, Walmart, Grocery Stores, NAME BRAND websites like: Kelloggs, Ortega, etc.) Check out the deals. THEN make a plan for meals, using the deals and what you have at home. We have a credit card… Yes, for things that may come up. Also, if there’s a deal for meats, using card WITH A PLAN to pay it back immediately. Within few checks. We’ve only had to do that a few times… KNOWING that the deals on meats will save us money in the long run. Do Not make a habit of that. Wouldn’t want to risk something costly to unexpectedly to come up! If you are bad with paying back immediately, then stop before it worsens. We don’t have that issue.
– MEALS are another downfall to everyone’s pockets. It’s hard to eat healthy on a budget. Healthier meals usually don’t last as long and more expensive.
-Buy foods for the season. Find meals using those ingredients. In Season Produce is usually cheaper.
-Freeze what you can, that won’t be used soon. Usually, you freeze separately/ in portion sizes. Then add to freezer bags. To prevent from sticking and becoming 1 big ice cube. Freeze: Cut vegis (Freezing separately). Freeze eggs, herbs, creamer, tomato paste (Measured by Tablespoon(s), into ice cube trays, then add to bag). Freeze tomatoes (Blanch/Peel, add to freezer bag- Seasoning optional. Pull out when needed (Great for growers!)). Freeze til use: Bread, lunch meat, some cheeses.
Freezing things (As creamer) may alter consistency, so do only as ingredient for dishes. Premake and Freeze wraps, muffin sandwiches, egg rolls, etc. – Breakfast types or other types. (Freeze separately on plate sprayed with butter spray, to prevent sticking, then add to bag. Preheat by wrapping placing in container covered with damp cloth. Or rub with damp finger, cover, microwave.). Some Ideas:
Most of these egg roll recipes freeze well. Click Here for page 1
Most of these wrap recipes freeze well. Click Here for page 2
-Plan meals where unused ingredients are used in next meals. We usually use 1/2 lbs. of meats, instead of 1lb it calls for, filling with other ingredients. Making it last 2 meals, saving $. Some recipes only needing part of an ingredient… Thus, having leftover ingredients. So, be sure to have a “Tomorrow” recipe for the rest of it. To not waste. Ex.) We made a Mostaccioli Pasta (Using 1c jarred Cheese-Leaving leftover.), next day we made Cheesy Rice and Broccoli! If you check out our Recipes, you will notice, with most, this technique is used. Seeing leftovers used in a recipe shortly after. (Being busy, sometimes I post out of timeline, or pre-schedule posting to post certain days. So, the technique is not always seen. But, I do try to put links to recipes using the other halves of items. Sometimes, I forget! A simple search of ingredient, may help you!)
–Ensuring Healthy Choices- PRE FREEZE your smoothie recipes. Cut Vegis/Fruits. Measure out ingredients (Nuts/Oats/Fruits/Vegis/Yogurt). Add to freezer bags.
Just pull out, add Almond Milk/ Milk/ Water, blend, done!
Fruits and vegis can spoil before using. This lengthens their life greatly! Allowing you to utilize whenever needed. Always having a QUICK and EASY Healthy Option! And, saves you $. (((Yogurt, too, can be frozen. It’s consistency may be slight separated and some beneficial enzymes may or may not be ruined during freezing… But, it’s safe and still beneficial to eat. Won’t even notice a difference when blended in a smoothie, anyhow.)))
-Store foods properly, for maximum lastings. Some foods shouldn’t be stored together. Vegis do best in the vegi drawer on low cool!
-Keep in mind: If it’s usually on shelf (Uncooled) at store, then it’s “Maybe” best out of fridge at home!
-SOAK PRODUCE IN VINEGAR+WATER! Noticed huge difference, in strawberries, especially! Ours would moosh as fast as we picked. This helped! With all grown and bought produce.
-Handle with care. Banging around quickens spoil time.
-Precut & freeze: Chives, green onions, etc.
-Glass jars wins over Plastic Bags for storage!
-Tie off onions in nylons in dark cool area.
-Wrap Lettuce, Brocc., Celery in foil.
-Store greens with paper towel. Give LIGHT toss, to fluff up packed greens (They will turn mooshy if packed together).
-Rub Cheese end with Butter. Or wrap in wax paper, in baggie.
-Remove spoiled produce IMMEDIATELY! It will cause others to rot.
-Keep potatoes in cool/dark area.
-Growing potatoes? LIGHTLY Brush Off. Don’t cause open cuts, or use immediately. Store in breathable bag (We use burlap in Basement). Remove Spoilers.
-I’ve read not to store onions/ potatoes together.
-Store Tomatoes at Room Temp away from sunlight. Add to fridge, to cool, day of use. NEVER in plastic! Trapped ethylene ripens em faster.
-Store Mushrooms in Paper Bags, not Plastic.
-Dehydrate Herbs, Freeze em, or Freeze in Oils
-More Good Reads on Food Storage: Click Here
Hope some of these help lead you in the right direction, right for you.
-Store foods in clear containers in fridge. Seeing what you have encourages usage ideas. Also, won’t forget about it, wasting it.
–Cut portions. For lunch my kiddos have half sandwich using 1 bread, 1/2cheese slice, 1/2meat slice. Side of fruit. Side of vegis. And/or small salad. Ravioli can lasts us 2 meals. Top with cheese. Serve w/ toast and vegis. Add mixed vegis to canned/boxed macaroni. Kid’s favorite is a box of macaroni mixed in with vegi (Corn, peas, or brocc.) and 1/2 turkey link, sauteed. Side of garlic toast and fruit. 1 box of macaroni feeds them all!
-Place a correct serving size measuring cup in cereal box. The kiddos can just scoop and go. Add in fruit(s).
-Water down kid’s juice (Less Sugar/Calories. Great ween to incorporate more water).
– USE 1/2 the amount of meats in recipes. Try substituting for a little bit of vegis. Like a little corn and onion in Hamburger Helper. Sneaks in vegis, too. A lot of our Recipes use 1/2lbs. Or options of doing so. Making 1lb. last 2 meals! Roasts, I separate and can usually get two meals.
-Cook out. A good marinade is better than those restaurant served meals. We’ve had better meals at home, than $50 per person at a restaurant. We have a few good recipes on this site!
-Grow a garden. Start seeds. A tomato plant can save SO MUCH money. Not to forget, free daily snacks! Check Out Our Garden/Yard Tips, Tricks, & Ideas – Some Great Money Savers in that post!
-Trips. Our most fun has been spent in a cheap cabin in the middle of the woods. Cheap! No rushing, meals are easier, more time to have fun and relax! Premake crock pot meals. This way you can buy meats when on sale, saving up to trip. Cooking them and freezing. Using when ready. Doubling as cooler ice! Buy when on sale: Pop, crackers, imperishable goods (Long expiration dates) and store til use. Our trip meals barely, if even, make a dent in our finances! One year we struck gold with clearance of cereal, crackers, salami, cookies… All for $.50 to $1.50! Our trip was stocked for, on a few dollars!
(Tip: Look into the multiple DNR State Parks! THEY ARE CHEAP! Look for DNR Listings. Yes, they have CABINS! With/without electricity. With the MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEWS! Plus, you can benefit from the activities they provide. Be sure to look into activities in/near places, before deciding. A simple city/resort website search, and viewing their calendars.)
CLICK HERE for our PreMade/PrePrepped Trip Meals
-Free Camping Fun to Keep Occupied (Outside of the typical Beach, Fishing, Fires, Smores, Etc.):
-Walking Sticks: Arts/Crafts (Yarn, decorated duct tape, few containers of paint) They find sticks, rocks, shells, leaves, etc. They decorate their own sticks.
-Weave-A-Spot. Kids locate an area where they can weave a small area rug to sit. Use tied together old ripped t-shirts to make the fabric for this.
-GLOW FUN!!! Fill up bottles with water, add glow sticks. You have bowling. Make a larger ring, toss water bottles or glow sticks to try and get into the ring. Add to their walking sticks!
-Bring a collapsable Tennis/Volleyball Net. Compete against the kids! We also use a big beach ball. That’s always fun, especially for the youngins. You don’t “Need” a net to do this!
-Small toys, such as: Shovel and bucket, can keep a small child busy for HOURS! Frog hunt. Make an area with loose dirt with random things buried: Nickels/Quarters, Shells, Mini Toys… Watch the little ones dig away!
-METAL DETECTOR!!! That killed a few hours!
-Board Games. We have a tradition of playing one game there, and only there. They look forward to it, ALWAYS! Among other games.
-Face Painting. Or allow them to have fun painting themselves, or each other… Then, GO SWIMMING!!! Do as my gramps did… Lather up with an enviromentally safe soap… Jump on in!
-Nerf guns. Make your own Targets with your surroundings.
Just look for outdoor fun online. Many a Ideas! Imagination is Key! As my Grams said, “Bored People are Boring People.” Make the most of what you have.
-Check with your employment and insurances for discount and deals. Human resources is helpful. Through my husband’s employment we get discounts and deals for recreational things. His employment has a subscription through a company that all employees can benefit from. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THIS! He utilizes those sources for Amusement Park Tickets, Restaurants, Hotels, Rentals, Sporting Events, etc. Another great idea, is to look into what’s going on at places. For one of our amusement park trips, we go during Halloween. Utilizing the Trick Or Treating Event for snacks! Double save!
–When going on outings, like the Zoo, Amusement Park, etc… Go for the day, and leave the park to enjoy a picnic at the car or nearby park… Then get back at it. Saving TONS of money on food. (Be sure you can leave and return, get stamp, to re-enter!)
-Bring your own snacks and beverages… Make a fun pack to entice the kiddos. They will not want the $10 hot dog if their fun pack has a fun snack and a toy. Purchases: Box of snack packs, crackers, juice boxes, and Dollar Store sets (Rings, Necklaces, Stickers, Tattoos, Party Supplies). Those packages have several of each. Place 1 of each in fun packs. And still have leftovers for Home Snacks. Keep them entertained always! In their packs, maybe, include a BINGO for trips. (Find Mickey, a squirrel, waterfall, roller coaster, etc.)
– Get outdoors, it’s free! Sledding and ice skating. (Search online for SLEDDING HILLS + Your Location. Brings up great public hills people use!) Go to Nature Centers. You’d be surprised the wonderful parks there! We walk every Friday. The Beach, with picnic basket. One of our favorites, is fishing at nearby lake, off the park! Kids play and we fish! Visit recreational centers. Sign up for Movie Theatre or Bowling passes, receiving free/discounted entertainment. Sleepovers for the kids! Library, as mentioned below, tons of activities. Not to forget free book and movie rental. Check Local Free Things To Do. Simply search online for Free Family Fun+Your City.
-Check with your local library. They always have activities for the kiddos. Free rentals. Not only that, but they sometimes offer promotional deals to places. Ours has done the Zoo and Museum. Up to 4 Free Passes. Don’t be afraid to ask!
-Try to plan trips on the weekdays. It’s cheaper! Less busy!
-SEARCH AROUND. Take a little time to research places and prices. Research Cheap Fun Parks near Hotels. Sometimes a cheap hotel near a Go-Cart Park, is cheaper than a hotel with something featured inside, in which you have to purchase separate, expensive, tickets. Some places even provide FREE SHUTTLES to hot spots! Ask them. Also, before deciding and paying for an outing:
–CHECK Online for deals, codes, promotions. If staying abroad, check out deals at nearby entertainment and food places to decide further what you can do there! Deals may even help you decide which hotel to stay at, offering more cheap activities nearby. (I go to Google Maps, type in addresses I’m debating on, search nearby entertainment or food- Locations will pop up. Check out their websites, then coupon/deal sections). ASK the HOTEL if they have coupons for nearby entertainment or food. You’d be surprised on what you may score! Ask at check-in, as well!
-Sign up for restaurant points, cash backs, RedBox, email deals for entertainment places, if available! Signup for emails. Also, sign up EVERYONE’S Birthday!!! Utilize those freebies! We have a separate email for this, to not overfill our personal ones. (Comedy clubs, parks, hotels, EVEN STORES, etc. They always email us deals!).
Along with couponing and online deals- Sign up for CVS (CVS Kiosk is GREAT for receiving MORE coupons!), Walgreens, Points cards, Gas Station Cards, etc. We’ve gotten HUGE deals on items- Shavers, toothbrushes, soaps, etc. Target card gets you 5% and Free Shipping. Send your gifts straight from Target Online. Save 5%, there’s always more deals online, and FREE shipping! We like to shop for things OUT OF SEASON (Summer Fun Bought in Winter) online and have it shipped free. We do this for our vacation fun/supplies. Thus saving $! Clothes, as well.
-Make a list of Free/Cheap Fun. Do, at least, 1 a week! Alternate with Pay Week. Free in between those. Drive-In. Nature Center. Zoo. Recreational Center. Park for some BBall or Small Ball. Miniature Golfing. Movies. Sledding. Ice Skating. Snow Ball Fight at a Park. Visit a Race Track. Sign up for those Geocaching hunts. Beach. Picnic at the park. Art Centers (Have free admissions sometimes!). Outdoor Concerts. Fairs. City Gatherings (Check nearby cities, as well.). Car Shows. Craft Shows. Play areas (Even if it’s McD’s for small ice cream!). Mall play areas. Arcades (ChuckECheese is cheap! – Keep eye out for deals). Also, again, SEARCH online for local activities and promotions. Ask friends and family what free fun they enjoy in the area.
-Team up with couples for babysitting. Take turns. FREE!
-Make your home fun. Utilize all spaces. A simple slip n slide and tennis racket can kill hours! Get into it with the kids. Great exercise and memories to last! Bocce ball, mini golf, crate basketball hoop, CHALK, mud cooking station, cheap leftover wood playhouse, random targets in the yard (Kids can draw their own monsters) for nerf war. We’ve even done the house up so there’s different areas. We have a separate room for music, with TV and Computer. Basement with ping pong/air hockey/ pool, darts. Plus, we have a large movie tv downstairs. Board games (PLAY GAMES… Get into it. Be Dramatic. The laughter will follow!) … All these areas are for switching it up on those days you’re stuck inside. It’s better than the same thing everyday! Also, get XBOX or WII games that are ACTIVE (Wii Active Life Explorer is Fun for everyone!). Netflix through device, is great. Vudu, is great. Curl up on those mucky days. Or Library for movies. RedBox signup for free movie codes! Search online for Free Redbox Codes, there’s MANY. Each code can be used once per card.
—I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. My best memories are of those that cost nothing. I always joke and say, “Lazy People Insist on the Most Expensive Trips… We Create Our Own Fun!” You can have more Fun, Laughter, and Memories to last, doing the simplest thing. Versus insisting on going to expensive places you can’t afford. No! I am not calling you a Lazy Person for going to wonderful places… If that was so, we’ve splurged, as well… What I am saying is: If you go into debt for taking trips, then you aren’t trying hard enough to put the work into making memories for your family on a budget you can afford! It takes actions to create your own entertainment. Like Grams said, “A bored person is a boring person.”
-Barter. Look online for things people may want that you no longer need (ISO Means- In Search Of). KID CLOTHES is a great one. Many FB pages that are in your area. Just simply do a search of your city (In the Facebook search bar) and add “Garage sale”, “Trade”, or “Free”, Etc., after it. See what pops up. (Use nearest big city, too). I’ve traded extra girl clothes for TONS of NWT pants for my son! Plus, many other things. KEEP THAT IN MIND when GARAGE SALING!
-GARAGE SALE!!! Self explanatory (For things you need!) But, also, keep in mind things that would do great for selling, or trading. If things are dirt cheap and in mint condition. I’ll buy and set aside for rainy days, which did great for bartering for more clothes. Or selling on Ebay or Craigslist.
-Selling tips: When selling your items- BE SURE the photo is of beauty. You will get more responses, than a dingy dark photo with a pile of used wrinkled clothes. Take the time to soak (Gets stains out-Stainfree = $), dry, LAY OUT NICELY, take a few photos in a nice, sunny (Fluorescent light dingy-fies), CLEAN, area! Don’t have pet Fluffy Paws in the background. That’s a turnoff to most. If you have the time: Break clothes up into lots of 10-15, not a huge lot of 50. Once one sells, list another (Otherwise you are splitting up the offers vs. 1 listing with multiple offers that go up!) Start a little high on price. DO NOT STATE, “Or Best Offer”. That tells people you may take 1/2 of asking price. Usually, people have no problem going down on your price, without stating OBO. Unless it’s something you want to rid of soon, money not needed. List all the great things about the items (Also, list faults). Start price off a little higher than you’re thinking. (You can always bump items in 7days if not sold- Lowering the price- “Bump” is to move post BACK UP to top so others can see it). If someone offers lower than your asking price and you’re considering… It doesn’t hurt to ask them to meet in the middle of their’s and your asking price. It works a lot of the time. KEEP IN MIND: Do not be, or seem to be, rude. Kind words as: “Please”, “Thank you”, etc. go a long way. Also, don’t respond to offers in a rude way. Even if they are low or rude. Still be kind. Other’s are reading it! Don’t act like the items you are selling are Better than They are, or Their Offers. A lot of people will be turned off and not purchase from you. Even block you. So, choose your wordings carefully. Especially, online. They can be read wrong! Most important… Don’t overprice! When I say go a little higher than you were thinking… I don’t mean ripping them off. Be within reason. People are also turned off by a listing price of more than what they can purchase NEW.
-Gifts. We’re ALWAYS running into sales at stores. Newborn Jammies-$1, Toys- Few $, etc. We buy. Knowing how my family’s full of kiddos and To-Be-Babies. It’s great for Shower and future Birthday presents! Or Bartering.
Be creative. Buy things that come in quantities and separate. Like a girl’s gift: Buy sets of: Scarf/Gloves. Nail Polish. Lotions. Bracelets. Watches. Earrings. Socks. Cheap Purses. Separate sets (That can be separated), add one of each to a cheap purse (I can find for $5. Dollar Store has great ones for lil ladies). I take decorative cardstock and print cute sayings like- Rings: You’ll always have me around your finger. Necklaces: A niece close to my heart. Ear Rings: Hh-Ear’s Ringin for you! (Lame, but gets job done!). Get sisters a Sister Friendship Necklace set (1 purchase can be separated for each, into cute 50cent boxes). Boys: Dollar Store: Magic Sets. Spy Sets. TShirt Sets. SOCKS! Deck Sets. Activity Books. Bug Sets. Split up, what you can (Unless has needed instructions! Also, don’t go giving them 1 random piece from a set, like tweezers from bug set. That makes no sense!). Place in cool toy truck. SEARCH ONLINE Stores in Clearance/ Sale sections.
I can accomplish XMas Shopping for nieces and nephews for around 50-75$. $30 last year Xmas! Buy family gifts instead of separate gifts for each kid. Like a Board Game. Or Movies. Or Gaming System Game. Or our great idea: Un-Cooked-ies! Idea for girls: Tie bracelet set (On sale) onto a jar of Un-Cooked-ies, with ribbon. Click Here for Un-Cooked-Ies Idea
Hand make something. If you’re good at it. Do it! Whatever your talent. And if they don’t like it… Cry. A devastating cry, so that they feel so guilty they tell you they were joking and love it! Which, then, gives you a free ticket to gift them handmade knitted ear rings for LIFE! Bam. Dramatics Utilized. Money saved! (Saved money on acting class there, too) – Total Joke… Kinda.
-If you have a talent, try selling it. It doesn’t hurt. Look online for local garage sale sites, with lots of members. Etsy. Craigslist. Post there. Or sell things you aren’t using. Have some ugly art/furniture- Paint it a coat of paint, list it, sell it. Do you knit/sew? Sell those! Do you can foods? Sell that! Make Jewelry/Accessories? Sell! Sell! Sell! Try our Cheap Advertising Idea- Click Here
-Plan. If there’s an upcoming event. STOCK UP throughout year! Birthday, Births, Celebrations, Trips, etc. Make a checklist. Make a list for basics needed for each. Buy as you go. Have separate bins (Gifts, Celebrations, Trips, etc.). Place in bin for that event. If items, even if not on list, are dirt cheap – BUY IT. I’ve come across a lot of birthday party prizes, decor, plates, cups, etc.- DIRT CHEAP. Just placed it in a BDAY bin. Come BDAY, crack open, “Phew”, I didn’t have to buy a lot!
We have a deep freezer to store freezable items, for recipes I do for parties/trips (Within expiration). Stock up on meals for when baby comes. THE SMALLEST of things matter, even toilet paper. Especially, when a baby is inconsolable and you’re out! That’s not a fun trip. So, you end up paying double at the convenience store! So, buy it, if on sale. Things like that are never a waste, and will save $ down the line (If you can afford it!)! A little spending here and there on SALES, even if you have them, add up in the long run. And lessen chances of quick purchases where you end up paying more.
-Speaking of Sales… Just because it says SALE, CLEARANCE, or PRICE CUT, doesn’t mean it’s worth it… Remember, it’s not necessarily what you saved. It’s what you spend, and on what you spend it on! And if it’s tons on something you can live without, it’s a waste! No matter how much you “Saved”. Especially, when trying to budget.
Keep in mind, when I say … Buy, buy, buy… Sale, sale, sale… My plan is to save money for the future. As stated, a little here and there for future savings, adds up, and is all you need. Don’t go buying everything, and it’s momma, that’s on sale. Or use this reasoning for furthering your debt. This is what works for our family, because we know and respect financial boundaries.
-ReUsing/Making the Most of it:
-Wash and ReUse Freezer Bags (I wouldn’t waste time washing sandwich bags).
-Little kiddos- Knitted rags with kiddos names on them, for napkins. Rinse off. Hang. Use as needed throughout day.
-When washing dishes (Dawn lasts long- Little goes long way AND easier to clean). Always SOAK in Slightly soapy water. Easy cleaning means less soap used in long run.
-Cut Sponges in half!
–Old Socks make great dusting/cleaning rags.
-Skip wrapping paper. Use paper bags, have kids color/paint it!
-Save and reuse grocery store bags.
-Soak kid clothes– Our secret: A blue bin. Fill with warm water. With LITTLE Dawn and a good amount of Shout. Soak overnight. Wash in morning with Arm & Hammer Powder Detergent – Allow water to fill in washer some. Swish around detergent, a lil more shout for those stubborn stains. THEN add in clothes.
-Call me SUPER CHEAP, if you’d like- But, some girl’s summer dresses become very Cute Shirts. You wouldn’t know the difference. Many a compliments on outfits! If worried about thoughts, rip the darn tag off. Done.
–Those pesky kid footed jammies. Cut the darn feet off. We have to anyway, due to my daughter’s need to face plant it, by just walking (Wood Floors, slippery). They last a little longer! No stuffed toes!
-Vacuum Bags– Now these can be pricey. But, are great for saving up future clothes, without taking over your home. Allowing for more saving. KEEP A CHECKLIST of all the clothes sizes. Or you’ll forget and they outgrow them.
-Decor. Redo/Updo sturdy items. If it’s in great shape- Redo it. Don’t rebuy it. Paint it. Couple of cheap screws to sturdify it, if not sturdy. Buy crappy looking decor that’s in great condition and paint it. Ugly owls: Paint white for cottage/modern look. Gold frames not your thing? Paint them. For some Great & CHEAP Ideas:
– Check Out Our Tips & Idea Gallery HERE
– Check Out Our DIY Decorating Gallery HERE
– Check Out Our Recipe Gallery HERE
– Check Out Our Gardening Gallery HERE
Repurpose: Give things multi purposes! Tons of uses for Mason Jars. Pallets. Crates- Stacked sideways make for great shelving. Even the plastic containers from the store/creamer containers/etc.- Reuse for storing leftovers/snacks. Old entertainment center- Turned to new sitting bench (Project coming soon). Etc. Check our site’s Tip & Idea, Gardening, and Decor Galleries in tabs on top of page. We have some great ideas! Or a simple search online for UpCycling or RePuposing, will bring you endless Ideas.
–TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOS! Photography’s Expensive! Especially, if you have a large lot of family and friends! Personalize, use your beautiful surroundings. The sun is a great warm and soft light! Lookup ideas and use them. Get a photo program (A lot of cameras come with some!) or Photoshop (Tutorials online). Send Printable ECards w/ the photos, to save on printing & shipping! I sometimes use a photo program to fit 2 photos onto larger (Cheap) print, cut in half for 2! For my large photos/wallart, I use Walmart’s POSTER- Cheaper than canvas or large prints. They look like expensive photography prints. Below are just a few of MANY I’ve taken (& these were w/ our old camera)
-Add few eye drops to empty mascara… BETTER than new!
–Prepay Auto Insurance, you save Hundreds.
-Prepay vacations/large expenses/Expected Gifts (We do for tax time)
-Newspaper Subscription – We got ours for only few dollars!!!
-Keep eye out for deals on subscriptions for Money Saving Magazines
-No shame is saving those cans. It’s a habit. Kid chore. Smash em. Large plastic bags. In back of garage. Then BAM… Come Spring- Some nice pocket change.
-Premake cookie dough and freeze, individually, for on hand desserts! Click Here for that Idea
-Check out our GREAT IDEA for Cheap Ways to GET YOUR KIDS TO DO CHORES– Click Here
-Make Freezer Meals. Ensures produce lasts longer! Some meals you can pre-assemble ingredients, no need to cook prior to freezing. (If water or broths are needed- Add at cooking time to save space. I always add in broth cubes and write on freezer bag, how many cups of water is needed.) Some meals you can pre-cook, then freeze. MOST OF OUR RECIPES are FREEZER FRIENDLY! Click Here for Recipe Gallery
–Constantly check store for Manager Sales/Meat Sales. If in the area, swing by and go to meat section. Ask the workers if they have any sales in back (Sometimes they sit in the cooler til ready to come out).
-Canning. We don’t have all recipes up. But, it’s beneficial. After purchasing your supplies, you’ll not need to put too much money in after that. Jars are reusable. Salt lasts forever. We have a great recipe to keep Pickled Eggs. Great for straight up eating, salads, egg salad sandwiches, or pastas: Click Here for Recipe
-Dehydrate fruits, vegis, etc. You can even add them into soups to spruce back up.
-Make your own invites. A 60cent piece of decorative paper (Michaels), made with a greeting card maker (Quart fold, open on side), print invite on front, inside left/inside right, and back… Makes 4 invites. Alot of times, Michaels has sale on papers. Or buy a pkg. for 3$ (Get a consistent pattern). Click for More CHEAP Party Ideas
-Premake lunches. Marinade and cook meat. A few pieces of chicken, thing of grapes (Which we usually get FOR FREE with Cub Coupons!), eggs, candy bar… Makes several meals!
-Possibly save on Co-Pay & Meds. Check out our HIGHEST Rated Post, Ear Ache Gone in a Day! Click Here
-SOON I will have some great skin care Ideas! Keep checking back.
-Cheaply Prevent Costly Treatments/Solutions For Lice- Click Here