Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's the little things...

Saving money is something I am passionate about.  If you can keep more money in your bank account then why would anyone just throw it away?  Little things, can add up into big savings. Here are some of the little things our family does.

Haircuts-Yep, I cut my hubby's hair. This saves us at least $20.00 a month.  If I had sons, I would cut theirs too...or at least try! For now us girls get our haircut in salons...but we usually use a coupon! 

Dryer Sheets-Did you know that by cutting them in half, they last twice as long and you're clothes still smell good?  Some people don't use dryer sheets at all so this will only save money for the people that do!

Meal Planning-I make meal plans based on what I have in the house and what's on sale.  My newest method of this is to just make a list of 14 dinner options and we cross off after we made it.  I also have a list of all the snacks and breakfast items we have in the home.  So far it seems to be working! 

Also if you can do one meatless meal a week, the extremely frugal folk says that says you a ton.  We're not quite there yet...maybe one day!

Eating Out-We have a lot of room to improve in this area but I think we're a lot better than most families!  We try to only eat out once a week...and usually for under $25 (which for a family of 5, that's good)
We pack lunches for work and school. By cutting out my usual Friday lunch, we have saved about $25-30 a month! 
I am a huge fan of Starbucks and used to drop at least $25 a month there....currently I try and keep it at $6 a month.  That means once a month I treat myself to a latte and baked good.  It's harder for me to resist treating myself in the winter but the savings make it worth it!  Plus, I got a lot of gift cards for Christmas so I used them right up!

Recycle-I realize recycling is good for the environment....but you know what else?  If my family recycles that means less items are going into the garbage bags, which also means we have to buy less garbage bags!

Budgeting-If you know where your money needs to go, and know how much is coming will save money.  Most important part of a budget is sticking to it.  I am slacking on this but one of my goals for 2011 is to make a budget and stick to it!

Freebies-If a free sample is offered take it!  Walmart's website always has about 5 free samples.  They require to fill out a small form and within a few weeks the mail man delivers a box to your door!  Usually they have a coupon along with the sample....double score!

Stockpile-A lot of people said they watched Extreme Couponing and it reminded them of me, well for the record my stock pile is teeny tiny compared to the people on that show! With health and beauty items I try to have 6 months worth on hand.  I pretty much have enough toothpaste and toothbrushes to last my family a long time!  My line of thinking though is if I can buy a name brand product for half of what I would spend on the generic version at Walmart then I should.  I used to spend $3.76 on their face soap....I currently have 4 Clearasil's that I probably spent $3 on total.

As for food, I have noticed if I buy more and leave it in the pantry my family will consume it.  My newest trick is to hide it in my closet and once a week bring the goodies down to the pantry!  Recently we discovered a brand of frozen chicken breasts that are really good.  They typically go on sale for $4 a bag...the next time this sale comes along I will probably buy 5 bags. I wish I had a chest freezer!

Making own cleaners-Couponing has provided me with a ton of cleaners for $1 or less.  Periodically though I am out of cleaners and waiting for the next sale to grab more.  If this happens, I will bust out the baking soda, vinegar and whatever else to get the house clean.  Luckily though, this doesn't happen often since I stockpile cleaners too!

Temperature-We keep our house at 66-67 degrees in the winter.  To some this is cold, and to others more frugal than me this is nothing!  We have an old house and if we put it at the standard 70 then it would run constantly! In the summer we try and do 70-71...depending on who's home!

Hand me Downs and Secondhand Clothing-I love hand me downs!! Having 3 girls is nice too :) I gladly accept clothes from people when they offer, and often times I try and pass my girl's clothes along too.  I also will go to a kid's consignment or thrift stores to see if I can find name brand clothes dirt cheap. I did this with maternity clothes for myself too!!

There is probably more little things that add up to savings that I am forgetting.  If you have some to share, I would love to hear them!


  1. Hi Lori!

    These are awesome tips! Thanks! I have a few others that I have been doing, which have saved money for us.

    1. If you are a tea drinker, bring your own mug & teabag to any coffee shop. Then, simply ask for some hot water (which is free!). Not only are you saving money, but you are also being green.

    2. When buying things online, prior to checking out, search for "online coupon codes". You can usually find free shipping or a 10% off coupon. Simply put in the promotion code prior to submitting your order.

    3. With grocery coupons, go directly to the manufacturers website. Sometimes coupons can be printed there. If not, send the company a comment asking for coupons. Companies value feedback from customers and are usually more than happy to send coupons your way.

    Hope this helps! And, keep up the good work!!

  2. Thanks Julie! I also am a huge fan of searching for online codes! I got free shipping on Christmas presents that way!