This is an article my wife Belen is posting to all those other moms out there that are responsible for the real bottom line. Check it out:
We are facing hard times, and whether you are a working or stay at home mom, we are all trying to find ways to pinch pennies and stay afloat. I have given this some thought and I have some tips/suggestions that are helping my family save some money:
1. Try to use what you have at home first! What do I mean?, eat the food that you have in your fridge, freezer and cupboards before buying moreâ€¦really try to make a dent in what you have before going out to purchase more. Same applies to cleaning supplies etc.
2. If you have babies and/or toddlers: buy their clothes at second hand stores, find gently used clothes and toys in your area at craiglist.com and take advantage of the mom to mom sales in your area. When your kids are little, they wonâ€™t care and because they grow so fast, you can find things in completely new condition, sometimes with tags on them. Donâ€™t be embarrassed about doing this, it will save you a lot of money!
3. Utilize your local library and its resources. Even though itâ€™s great to have books at home, rent them from your library for free. You can also rent music cds and movie dvds. Our family gets all of our movies from the library instead of the video store, for free.
4. If you work outside of the home: skip buying a daily coffee somewhere and bring your own from home, youâ€™ll save at least $3.00 per day, depending on what kind of coffee you get. Eat breakfast at home and bring your own healthy snacks to your office as well as your lunch. Nowadays, you cannot eat out without spending about $6-$8 per day. Bring food from home that you can just reheat (when you cook, just make extra and separate into containers for each meal), or even buy frozen meals if you canâ€™t cook or want to alternate (you can get them on sale for around $2 each). If your kids are in school, get creative with their lunch bag and donâ€™t fall for the convenience of the millions of lunch kits out there. You can pretty much â€œcopyâ€ them and make your own, which is cheaper and healthier for your kids.
5. Get together with your spouse and look at where you are spending. Look at your bank statements, debit card and credit card transactions to see where you may be able to save some money (get rid of your cable tv or lower it to a cheaper package, shop for the best and less expensive cell phone service option for you and your family, try to go longer between haircuts, skip your biweekly manicureâ€¦) Can you save some gas by consolidating trips so you donâ€™t end up going to the same area twice? If you have kids on sports, get together with other moms that live close by and suggest you take turns taking and picking up the kids.
6. When you go grocery shopping, stick to your list and look for items on sale, but do make sure that the price is actually cheaper. We all look at anything that says â€œsaleâ€ on it, but you need to check to see if itâ€™s a deal! When you do find those items on sale, get some extra ones to keep at home.
7. Find activities and events that are free. Check your local community, your local library and area museums.