Money Saving Tips for the Growing Family

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As our family grows we continue to search for ways to save money.  We want to add a third member to our jeweled rose in 2013 and are even more interested in saving money where we can (college is EXPENSIVE!)  Here are some of the changes I have implemented as a mom  in our journey as growing family!  

Money Saving Tips for Families

Sign Up for Customer Rewards Programs
Signing up for customer rewards programs is free and full of benefits.  I sign up for all that are available, even if I don't shop at the store too often.  I created an email just for my rewards and coupon related mail.  I check it just before shopping at certain stores to print coupons, compare deals, etc.  This has saved us so much money!  An example- Michaels Craft Store- if you sign up for their coupon emails, they will email you 50% coupons often.  Then, just before going to purchase something from there you can check for the latest coupon offers, print them out,  AND SAVE!

Use items like baking soda and vinegar to clean
Cleaning products are expensive.  Why buy them when you can make them?  There are so many simple homemade cleaning recipes.  You can make your own bleach or use baking soda to clean- here are 62 different ways to use baking soda.  You can also make your own floor cleaner..... and the list goes on.  Check out my Tips and Tricks Pinterest board for lots more DIY cleaning recipes and tips.

Not using it?  Unplug it!  We started doing this a bit ago and noticed a slight decrease in our electric bill.  This slight decrease adds up to huge savings over time!  Unplug the coffee pot, toaster, blender, and more after each use unless it is programmed cause then you will lose your settings

Make Your own Gifts
There are tons of gifts you can make for family and friends instead of buying them.  These gifts are more personal and hold more meaning too- all while saving money!  Here are some toys we have made for the girls that would make great gifts for children.  Here are a ton of homemade gift ideas.

Water it down
Water down juices.  We don't give the girls juice often but when we do we fill their cups half way with juice, half way with water- and SAVE!

Think before you buy
Don't impulse shop.  If you think of something to purchase, think longer.  Don't jump online or run to the store right away.  Wait a few days or a week.  If you still want the item or still feel it is a worthwhile purchase, then go for it!  Quite often you will find you decide not to get it and SAVE!

Skip the baby gear- most of it anyway
There is so much baby stuff out there- and as first time parents we bought it all!  Every single gizmo and gadget.  You really don't need to do this!  REALLY!  Research items before purchase- see what others said about the product or if they found it worthwhile.  Some examples of items I wouldn't buy again- a baby bath, a water thermometer, a changing table, and a baby play mat- use the sink, touch the water, put a blanket under their bum and change them anywhere!  SAVINGS!

Write Shopping Lists
I used to be a chaotic shopper, stumbling down aisles and throwing stuff in.  Not anymore!  Now I  list shop.  When I stick to the list I spend less, stay focused, and actually end up with full meals in my shopping cart instead of bits and pieces of mixed foods that "kinda" make a meal.  

Host a play date instead of going out
Going out is expensive and while we love our trips to the aquarium and the zoo it does add up- quick!  Save here and there by having play dates at home.  There are so many fun things you could do .  Host an art party, mud party, or or a messy play date!  Use what you have on hand or have everyone pitch in a little.  It is still way cheaper than a trip to the zoo!  Another option is to look at what kid places offer yearly memberships and invest in one if you think you will make use of it often.

Many of our art and craft supplies is pulled from the recycling and upcycled.  There are TONS of crafts you can make from cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, and plastic containers.  Check out this upcycled Pinterest board for TONS of great ideas to get you started!

Turn off the lights
This one is an obvious one but hey, we used to be awful at it so I thought it deserved mention.  Turning off all the lights as we leave the room has saved us on our electric bill.  During the day we open our blinds and go light free- SAVINGS!

Insulate your home
Add plastic to your windows for extra insulation.  You will be surprised by the money savings!

Yard Sale Shop
I am not very good at this myself but I have a friend who is a yard sale shopper and she saves a ton!  A perfect example is the keyboard we got the girls for Christmas.  I paid $40 for it.  I asked my friend who has a similar one how much hers was and she said she got it at a yard sale for $5!  HUGE MONEY SAVINGS!

Change the light bulbs
As your light bulbs burn out switch over to LED bulbs.  They are a little more money initially but burn less energy and last longer-adding up to savings in the long run!

Practice Price Comparing
Before going out to buy large items compare prices.  We do this and  I am always so surprised by the differences in price for the SAME EXACT items.  A toy at Walmart might be $5 cheaper at Target or vice versa.  No store is always the cheapest- the best deal varies for each item, but hoping online and checking only takes a moment.  Bing shopping is a great tool for comparing prices.

Cancel idle memberships
Do you have memberships that you NEVER use?  Get rid of them if you can and SAVE MONEY!

Shop the after holiday sales
This one I am really good at!  I don't buy Christmas decorations in December.  I wait until January and get all of it for 60-90% off!  Same goes for Easter, Halloween, and Valentine's Day!  Also be sure to hit the after Halloween costume sales for dress up clothes! 

Buy Generic
We just recently began sampling generic products and have found there are many that are fantastic!  This will require a bit of trail and error as some stuff you really will want name brand but you will be surprised by some of the off brand products and the difference in price for name brand verse generic is HUGE!  Give it a try and SAVE!

Extra Food Storage
If you have room in your home consider investing in a deep freezer.  That way when there are huge food sales you can stock up and SAVE overall! 

Grow your own vegetables
Not only does growing your own fruits and vegetables save money but it is fun and educational for kids too- BONUS!

Search for free local entertainment
There are lots of free things to do around town.  Our local library offers free story time.  The malls near us offer free kids activities once a week.  Check online or look at a local paper.  We have a kids newspaper that is free and packed with fun- maybe your town does too?

Rent, borrow, and donate
Books and movies are expensive.  While you may want to buy some why not rent and borrow the majority from the library?   Netflix is another great option!

Follow the rules of the road
Don't speed, make illegal turns, or run lights.  Not only will this keep the roads safe but you will also avoid tickets and fines and SAVE!

Coupons Coupons Coupons
Ok, I admit I am not that good at this one but I want to be!  I have friends who save tons using coupons!  Don't believe it?  Check out the Crazy Coupon Lady!

Set up automatic payments
If you are like me you might be a little forgetful of when things are due or just busy and don't always get to paying things on time.  Setting up automatic payments is a great way to avoid unnecessary late fees. 

Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is cheaper!  Next time you are at a store compare pricing verses size amounts.  For products you use regularly buy big and SAVE!

Skip the Specialty Coffee
Brewing your own coffee at home will save you anywhere from $1-$7 per cup depending on where you get your brew from.  Cut out the store bought coffee and make your own, or make buying specialty coffee a treat reserved for once or twice a week!

Buy and sell on Craigslist
Craiglist is AMAZING!  It is basically a huge online yard sale.  You can find things to purchase and also sell things.  We bought Rosie's barbie jeep on Craigslist for 30% the original cost and it looked practically brand new.  We also sold a few of those unneeded baby items- for 50% the original cost!  That's definitely a lot better than having it all sit in our basement!  Just be careful- don't give out your address- meet somewhere publicly and go with a friend.

Write a budget
Ok, we don't have one but we have started one.  2013 New Year resolution- stick to our budget!  Here are some tips for writing a budget to get you started.

Make your own art supplies
Why buy what you can make?  We make our own paints, sensory doughs and more.  Here is a collection of some of our art recipes, bath paint recipes, and also check out our Art & Play Recipes Pinterest board for TONS more ideas!

Make your own laundry detergent
Making your own laundry detergent is super simple and will save you a TON!  Here is the recipe we use.


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I hope your family finds these money saving tips helpful!

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