March 25, 2014

Easy Money Saving Tips: Round One

This article is part one of a series. You can read the other articles here, here, here, and here.

I don't know about you, but at our house, we're on a tight budget. As a SAHM, determining and managing that budget is part of my job. So is finding cost-cutting measures we can use. I've found that budget tips are more of a "one-size-fits-most" deal as not all of them work for everyone. We'll never be those people who get the fattiest cut of meat or bone-in just because it's cheaper. We're also not a cloth diaper family. With all the tips out there, my number one money-saving tip is simple--find the ways to save money that work best for you.

Here are a few I've implemented for our family.

1. Use rags instead of paper towels. We have a stock of rags that I keep in the kitchen drawer for cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, baby, stains, you name it. They're washed (very thoroughly in very hot water) once a week. As each rag is used, it gets tossed in a dirty laundry basket until the next wash day.

2. Wash clothes in cold water. Only sheets, towels and the aforementioned rags are washed in hot water. This saves a bunch on electricity, as does having energy efficient appliances.

3. Cut the cable. We discovered that most of the time, the TV was tuned into random junk we didn't care about. For the $90+ bucks a month we'd have to pay to get it, it wasn't worth it to us. Instead, we watch things online and use Amazon Prime Instant Video. Honestly, we don't miss having cable at all. Not having it also means that M2 doesn't get much TV exposure, which is something we fully support.

4. Skip theater movies. Movies in the theater means paying for a baby sitter and the ticket, which can get pricey. We only see a movie in the theaters every now and then. The rest of the time, we rent from RedBox. It's cheap and when you sign up for their email alerts you can get great coupons (often, a totally free rental).

5. Don't buy any meat at the store full price. Watch for the little yellow (at least they are in our stores)
clearance stickers and stock up when it's a good price. A sale and a clearance sticker is a big win. Be sure to check the price per pound, even when it's reduced, as reduced doesn't always mean it's a good deal. If it looks funny, that also means it's not really a deal. I stock up when meats are cheap and store them in a deep freeze. This trick helps us avoid having to get the bone-in or fattier cuts. Chicken is also a good bet for money saving--it usually is cheaper than beef and pork, plus it's healthier. A whole roasting chicken can be bought cheap and used for many meals.

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  1. These are great tips - we got rid of cable about 2 years ago and haven't missed anything except a $100+ bill every month. I also buy my meat marked down as much as possible and freeze which saves a ton!

  2. Great advise it is always good to have saving tips when is tax season =)

  3. I already follow some of these but will need to try the others. Thanks!

  4. Great tips! It's always a great idea to put money aside! We try to as much as we can!

  5. Good tips. I know for Moms wanting to make the transition, it is amazing what you are willing to cut back on in order to be able to stay home with the kids.

  6. My blogging income doesn't fully support us so we rely on my husband's income to cover our bills and other expenses. Thanks for sharing these tips. We definitely need to cut down on our cable bill..thanks for the reminder :)

  7. We adhere to 4 outta 5 of your helpful tips! I just can't get my husband to ditch that pricey cable bill!

  8. I've taken to buying the discounted meats myself. I can't cut cable out completely, but I did drop off all the expensive extras from it.

  9. great tips. we cut cable years ago and just use Hulu plus and amazon prime(and the occasional movie or television series from the library)

  10. I really need to do the rags instead of paper towel thing. I also can't get the hubby to turn off the cable because, ya know, the world revolves around sports. He works 9-7 every day but Sunday so if I could have cable that would magically turn on at 7 PM and off around midnight every day, and then on all day Sunday, I would DEF do that!!!

  11. Thanks for linking up at the Fabulously Frugal link party! These are such great tips. We couldn't believe how much we saved when we switched from paper towels to reusable ones.

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  13. We always try to go to the cheap theater, they have movies that have been out for a couple of months already. Last time I went though I was super saddened to find out that they had raised their prices and instead of being $3-$4 a ticket they jumped to $5 for matinee and $6 for regular time movies. :-( By time we get there it isn't much cheaper than the regular theater...


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