I decided to blog this time on what Eric & I do to save money. I don’t think we are as “there” as we’d like to be, but we are doing pretty good to be young and “new” at this thing. Besides I have had a couple of friends ask me what we do and ask for pointers. So here we go….these are in no particular order or anything just adding them as I think of them.
1) I make my own laundry detergent. When I did the math of how much laundry detergent we used, based on the brand we were using, and having a new baby we are saving about $500 a year by doing this.
2) I breastfeed my babies. Uuuummm I’m not even gonna get into the cost of Similac and all of that. You can have that! Besides the tremendous savings that we experience, we help out fellow hard working brothers and sisters by sparing their tax dollars to support WIC. I know a couple of people may be mad reading this but I have a problem with the program in that it gives women vouchers for formula and doesn’t encourage them enough to breastfeed! Breastfeeding has tremendous benefits to both the mother and baby that I won’t go into here, but this program is a robber; not a giver or helper. It robs women of their God given abilities….women & babies suffer and lack bonding and the healthiest nutrition. Moooooving on!!
3) We cloth diaper. This one isn’t hard at all! Not as hard as I thought it would be. Eric was actually the one who WANTED to cloth diaper. He kept tell ME the benefits and all….but all I could see was those old fashion ones that my grandma used to pull out every now and then and was like “…uuummm, No!” One day we had a midwife appointment and we left our son’s diaper bag at home. At the appointment the midwife mentioned that she sold cloth diapers, so I bought one really with the idea that I’d never use it again. I was first amazed at how cute the diaper was! How soft it was! How colorful it was! I began to research cloth diapering and before long I started with the same ole fashions ones like grandma. We couldn’t afford the really nice ones like I wanted. I started with cloth diapering during the day and sposies at night. For tax season, Eric let me make a “small” investment and we ordered some prefolds and covers; later on he let me order more all in one’s. So now here we are with over 50 diapers and never bought one pack of diapers for our baby girl, who is 21 months.
4) We drive older vehicles. Eric and I like newer cars. We love them in fact…..but the cost of having them just ain’t worth it to us. We have a 1999 mini -van, a 1996 Honda, and a 2002 Nissan. We are praying about selling the Nissan within the next couple of months or trading it in for an older but newer than ’99 family vehicle or possibly just getting rid of it and having 2 vehicles for now.
5) We limit our eating out. Every now and then we hit a desperate season and eat out entirely too much. We praise God that he has given us wisdom to use coupons or hit places with specials when we have to eat out, for example: Subway, Zaxbys, Souper Salads. We go when kids eat free, or by one entrée get one free, or buy 4 for $20 specials.
6) We budget. I personally cannot believe how budgeting has saved us money! When Eric first suggested it I was a non-believer and was NOT having it! After talking to so many inspiring friends I realized that they all budgeted! I felt all left out! The first probably 4 to maybe 6 months were so hard. I mean I literally wanted to cry! You mean there is no more eating out for the MONTH?! Its like the 10th! How will we survive?! LOL! I was very dramatic and I admit that. During these times the Lord helped me be more creative in meal prep & planning. I started freezer cooking; changing our meals to more “fun” things like “make your own pizza” and things like that. I had to also start getting things like chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, keeping sloppy joe mix & ground turkey and we just started having fun.
7) I coupon. My last grocery receipt for the year 2010 showed that I saved over $400 last year at Kroger. Now that is NOTHING because I know that I didn’t really start couponing seriously until maybe August or September.
8) I stockpile shop. When I see things on sale that we use, I buy it and I buy lots of it. I could seriously stop buying deodorant, toothpaste, & toilet tissue for a couple of months and we’d be just fine. When I see things that we eat for sale, I load up and I have a pantry area that is designated for stockpile. We have a deep freezer so when pizzas, chicken nuggets, bread, veggies go on sale I load up on them and fill up the freezer.
9) I buy a majority of the kids clothes out of season. Doing this I save tons! I can get my boys a nice pair of shorts in the winter for sometimes $.98 at Target! I have gotten my preschooler jogging suit sets for $3.98 a piece at Target before. Last year in the spring I walked into Walmart and they had coats…winter coast on mark down for $1.50 each!! Not only did I get my kids one but I bought others to give out to other babies and kids that I knew who were less fortunate.
10) We keep our thermostat low. This one is hard for me! I just hate cold weather! In the warm months we try not to turn on our air until July if at all possible. We put on a lot of clothes in the cooler months and we let up windows and enjoy popsicles in the warm months!
11) I wash clothes on the cold cycle. Yes I believe this saves me money! I don’t even have the hot water hooked up to the machine. I have found that my clothes come out just as clean, yay!!!
Well this is just a few don’t want to bore anyone. I have lots of “things” I want to do to maximize our savings like make our own soap and deodorant…I would love to learn how to sew! I would love to plant a garden with lots of summer veggies in it to freeze for the winter and of course enjoy during the summer! So what about you? Do I do anything you do? What do you do? Can you suggest anything more to me to do? How could I help you make the first step to saving more money? Can’t wait to hear from yall!!