Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top Five Best Ways to Cut Your Costs

After another successful day yesterday of “adventure shopping,” I’m all over helping you today with the top five best ways to cut your costs! If you've got tips of your own, feel free to add them! I'd love to hear how you save money, and how you're teaching your kids the value of a dollar!

Meal Planning. Tried and true, this is how meal planning works for me: I look at my calendar and see which nights we will be eating at home, which nights I need to pack a cooler for the ballpark, and which nights we will eat out. Then I check what I already have on hand and decide from that the meals that we are eating. Now, it took me a while to get to this point, where I am “stocked ahead” enough to plan my meals from what I already have. But once I’ve done that, then I can do my weekly shopping according to what is on sale. I don’t have to shop according to what I need for a particular meal. Does that make sense?

Couponing. Coupons work best when they are paired with items that are already on sale. I never used to clip coupons because I just didn’t see the point. Well, thanks to my dear friend Kelly at Faithful Provisions, I get it now! And there is no turning back!

Do It Yourself. Gardening. Baking from scratch. There are so many things you can do right from your own kitchen to cut your cost of living. The Internet is ripe with how-to’s on everything from making your own pizza sauce to making your own laundry detergent. If you’re serious about saving money, you can do it!

Reduce, Reuse, Recyle. I’ve found this to be true, especially when it comes to kids’ clothes! Find another mom who is interested in sharing clothes—what a savings! And there is always consignment for those clothes that have been gently worn! One year I made enough consigning clothes to buy my kids all the new clothes they needed! I once heard of a stay-at-home mom who teamed up with a working mom to do consignment. Here’s what they did: The working mom passed her daughter’s hand-me-downs to the stay-at-home mom’s girl. The stay-at-home mom’s daughter wore the clothes, and when she had outgrown them, this mom prepared the clothes for consignment. The money earned was then returned to the working mom. Talk about a win-win! That sounds like a great deal!

Do without. What? Yes, that is one of the best ways to save money! Ask yourself: Do I really need this ____________ (fill in the blank: dinner out, pair of shoes, purse, outfit, etc.). Certainly, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while, but it's also a good practice to make yourself wait on things that are non-necessities. That’s sets a great example of self-control and good stewardship for your children.


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