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Friday, April 13, 2012

Money Saving Ideas for Moms

Trust me, as a mom of two 2 year olds and newborn baby I don't always have the 
time or energy to look for ways to save money. But that being said I am also on a budget and love
to use our money on the things that we really love as a family, and I don't really love diapers or dryer sheets. 

I think you need to find a balance of what works for you. I know people that are down right scrappy when it comes to getting a great deal and people that just buy whatever they see with out even price comparison. I am somewhere in the middle of I want to save money, but I also don't want that to be my focus on life, or underlying every thought and conversation. 

So, these are some of the little things that I do to save money. 

1. Buy Generic Diapers, Wipes, Baby Wash, Baby Q tips, Formula, Baby Motrin, etc. We buy mostly Target Up and Up Brand. I have found their diapers and wipes to work better than Pampers or Huggies (and any other generic that I have tried) They have "club packs" where you can buy in bulk and save even more.
Example: Right now the girls are in Size 5 diapers. At Target Pampers size 5 diapers are 124 for $35.00
Up and Up size 5 diapers are 124 for 20.99. This alone is a savings of over $30.00/month since we buy at least two boxes a month. The difference is even greater in Size 1 diapers which is what North is wearing. 

2. Cutting Dryer Sheets in Half-Russ totally laughs at me for doing this but 1/2 sheet works the exact same as a whole sheet.

3. Make your own Fabric Softener-I use this recipe for Rosemary Mint Fabric Softener. If you are even more motivated there are also great recipes for making your own laundry detergent. I am not quite at that point yet and just by Up and Up laundry soap from Targett.

4. On a related note, I make most of my household cleaners. I use this recipe for a stainless steel cleaner for my appliances. I use baking soda and vinager to scrub my toilets, keep my drains clean, and clean my shower heads. I use white vinegar, hot water, and essential oils to mop my floors (this is also a great general surface cleaner) 

5. Making Freezer Meals- some people are amazing at this and make a months worth of meals. I normally just double or triple easy, go to meals for our family and freeze them in the portions we use.  These meals are normally chili, soups, shredded chicken for tacos, seasoned ground beef for tacos, loaves of garlic bread, pulled pork, etc.

(ok this is totally not my freezer..I could only dream to be this organized :) 

6. Make Your Own Iced Coffee-surf the web for tons of great DIY recipes for any of your favorite drinks! Since Starbucks charges almost $5.00 for any drink the savings here is huge.
Here is one great recipe from  Savory Sweet Life

7. Buying Clothes/Toys at Garage Sales- this is probally the biggest savings I have had since having kids. Since most clothes at garage sales are around $1.00 you are saving at least 90% of retail price. (even if you just get your kids play clothes at garage sales your saving is monumental over buying clothes retail that they are just going to get dirty) The same goes with great outdoor play toys, games, puzzles, etc

8. Shop Clearance at the end of each season for the next year- Since my girls have always been true to size since they were born this is fairly easy. At the end of each season I just buy ahead for the next year in the size that I estimate they will be. This gets easier as they get older and wear the same size longer. I normally do this for dress clothes, winter coats, hats, mittens, etc. I have found it hard to estimate what size shoes they will be so normally for shoes and boots I wait and buy just what they need in the size they are currently in.

9. Coupons- I am not a huge couponer, but I do find it an easy way to save money on some things. Most of the coupon that I get in the mail are for junk food or particular brand name cleaners that I would not normally buy.

Target does has coupons on their website that are easy to access and print (even on their generic products making them an even better deal) for paper products, baby items, and even toys (which is a great way to get a better deal on gifts for your chidlren or other kid's birthday parties)
(between the generic items and the coupons I normally save about $20.00 on my biweekly trip)

I also use  Coupons.com for free printable coupons. This is great for make up, the few cleaning products I do buy instead of make, and some grocery items. Pick and Save (which is our normal grocery store) doubles up to 5/$1.00 coupons twice a week. So this is a savings of $20.00 each week.

Walmart also price matches any ad, so I grab my Aldi, Pick and Save, and Piggly Wiggly ad and bring it with me to Walmart. If I see any item for less in the ads I just circle it in ad and when I check out they override the price with the ad price. This is a great way to save money with out driving to 3 different stores to save money. I usually save another $10.00-20.00 each week doing this.

10. Energy Savings-having moved into our home from an apartment last year made me really appreciate energy and water savings. We changed out all of our lightbulbs for energy efficient bulbs
This save an average of $6.00/bulb per year. Thinking we have 20-30 bulbs, over the course of a year the savings is significant.

A few other little things that save money

I work out at home vs buying a gym membership-walking is FREE! and my girls love to do 
crunches and jumping jacks with me on the floor

I wash all laundry (except bedsheets and towels) in cold water

Use apps in my phone such as Coupon Sherpa, Gas Buddy, and IGarageSale to find the best deals in the least amount of time. 

Although I never seem to qualify for them, alot of my friends participate in research studies on toddler food, diapers, etc and have earned up to $300.00/study. 

All in all, life is less about money (saving or spending) and more about serving others and living like Jesus.

I remind myself of this when I go too far in one direction or another! 

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post. I have to reign myself in sometimes when I get obsessive about getting every great deal that I see. I've just started making my own cleaners and I love that they aren't toxic and my homemade drain cleaner works way better than Drano ever did! I didn't like homemade laundry detergent or dishwasher soap. Have you looked into Amazon Mom? I saved a ton on diapers there.