A few thoughts on saving money!
1. Dave Ramsey- I can not recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University enough. This class changed Sam and I’s life. I thought I knew quite a bit when it came to saving, giving, etc, but starting the class I quickly realized I knew nothing! The class talks about saving up, getting out of debt, insurance, retirement and college, real estate and mortgages, and so much more!! I also liked how he talked about your personality and if you are a nerd or free spirit! The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 90 days!! Money can be hard to manage- and we are nowhere near perfect in how we spend our money- but we have learned quite a bit in the process. Also, the end goal in financial peace is to give more- which is the best way to spend the money we have been entrusted with.
I recommend liking his page on Facebook for some daily encouragements.
2. Buy in Bulk- Costco. I love Costco- especially the good deals you can get. We buy quite a bit there and the nice thing is it lasts us a few weeks. And anything that may go bad you can always freeze. I love there giant box of spinach for around $4, frozen fruit- this is quite pricey but you can get quite a bit at Costco, organic eggs, yogurt, berries, hummus, veggie straws, etc.
3. Cook double portions and save for leftovers or free for another meal. This is probably obvious to most but I normally always have leftovers from dinner that I eat the next day for lunch. Sometimes if I made a big portion I even freeze some to use another time. There is nothing like a freezer meal to have on hand for crazy busy nights! We live off of leftovers and it will definitely save you money.
4. Switch cleaners! Everyone knows my love for Shaklee cleaners- not just because of how well they work and non toxic ingrediants, but because they save money. The laundry can last a very long time easily saving you money from using Tide or other store brand laundry detergents! The Stain remover (natures bright) I have had since the fall and still have quite a bit. All of there cleaning lasts you a long time and saves you at least $200 a year. I love not having to shop for any cleaners!
This document is great at showing how you save money when switching to Get Clean Line! Even cheaper than Seventh Generation, Downy, Tide, etc.
You also may be interested to know Basic H is actually cheaper than vinegar!!! Here is the document.Basic H2 compared to vinegar
Compare on amazon. I often go there to check out reviews and compare prices. Often they do free shipping so that is nice as well.
Try to use reusable containers instead of zip locks and cloths instead of paper towels-I can be bad at this as sometimes a paper towel is so quick and handy- but using towels or rags instead will save you money. My absolute favorite cleaning cloths are these! Ahh these are worth every penny let me tell you!!
Garage Sales/ Resales-
Find good place/location
Find out where they are and plan ahead. Friday mornings are always nice because people still have a lot to choose from- HOWEVER, many are not willing to bargain as they just started and think they may get a higher offer later that day. Saturday afternoon close to closing time people are willing to almost give things away for free- but often the good items are gone! When you go garage sailing with kiddos make sure to pack lots of snacks occupy them, or find an amazing babysitter so you can dash in and out of the car!
Find a skilled garage seller
After spending quite a bit of time going to garage sales you start to know whats a good price for certain things. If something seems high priced you can always bargain with others. I have a good friend Jerusalem who is the queen of that J.
My best garage sales were actually from Cortland this year. Normally its Mill Creek, but I found some houses had things priced quite high in price this year, and some did not want to negotiate. Every year I suppose it varies.
Be on the look out for freebies!! We have scored a Radio Flyer wagon and amazing sandbox with a table attached all for free that people put on their curb to take! May I add Sam almost didn’t grab this?! cray cray!
Learn to Negotiate
I am definitely not a negotiator at all, but have learned a few things. First its easy to negotiate when you buy multiple items. Lets say for example you want two outfits (listed at $1 each) and a puzzle $2 and a toy $2. That would cost $6 total so I may ask if they would take it for $4 or $5. I would say 90% of the time people say yes, sometimes they say no and its awkward, but you move on or still take there price because regardless it’s a good deal. You normally end up getting something free from it.
One time I was buying an adorable gap dress for May. It was $3 but I was also buying some other onesies from the man as well. I asked if he would take $2 (3 was still a good deal as it was in amazing shape and I knew gap clothes would last a while). He looked at me and said ‘You can’t afford it.” Instead of saying, “oh yes that’s fine because lets face it I could I just didn’t want to pay the extra. I was silent haha. In the silence he said fine and took it. The art of negotiation- and painfully akward moments. haha
Think and plan ahead.
This past Spring garage sales are everywhere. May had a pretty good summer wardrobe but thinking ahead she didn’t have many fall and winter clothes. I predicted her clothing size and bought some warmer clothes- including a winter jacket and boots for her. I estimate for 4-5 pair of shoes, boots, winter coat, 5-6 pants, a few dresses, and quite a few shirts I spent around $20-30. Sometimes you can’t buy one outfit for that!
Use for Future Birthday’s/Christmases
I have a bin in the basement that I set aside for my garage sale purchases. On a rainy or extra long day I may pull out a new toy. I also save some for her birthday and Christmas. May is too young to know the difference between brand new and used-and on top of that many of the toys I find are in almost brand new condition.
Crazy coupe was $4- brand new is $47!
Host a Garage Sale- Sell things on-line- Craigs list, facebook groups, etc.
Sam and I had our first garage sale a few weekends ago. I was so surprised at how busy and well it went. We got rid of quite a bit of stuff. I learned that weekend, “another mans trash is another mans treasure.”
We’ve sold some pretty big items on craigs list, and just recently I started selling more things on facebook groups. It’s a great way to get rid of stuff you don’t need anymore and yet make some money.
Borrow from friends/family when able
Certain baby items we knew we would only need for a few months so we borrowed them.
Use coupon app on your smartphone-
Sometimes I forget coupons at home but its nice having my phone to pull up any coupons. Many stores are doing electronic ones and its easy to just scan right from your phone.
Watch for good Groupon offers!
Groupon and Living Social always have some good deals on places to visit, restaurants, etc.
I know this isn’t for everyone, and it is extra work- but it does save money! Here is my post on cloth diapering.
How do you save money? Please share your tips!!