My husband and I both work during the week, and sometimes on weekends to be able for our kids to enjoy the “good life”. We work hard for them to be involved in activities such as gymnastics, piano, and take swim lessons. We also try to do our best by saving in little ways, that add up so we can splurge a little once in a while.
1. Buy In Bulk
To be honest, I hate buying in bulk. It’s SO much money up front, rather than buying a little here or there. But it all adds up. Months later I still have the essentials we bought in bulk like toilet paper, paper towels, and the one food staple in our house – veggie straws. I bought 4 family value veggie straws for school lunches back in August and nearly 6 months later we still have them!
2. Use Reusable Bags
Many grocery stores give you a discount for bringing your own bag to the store. Target offers $.05 off per bag, while Whole Foods offers you $.10 off. If you bring 4-5 bags to the store, and shop twice a month, that adds up to about $12 a year. Not THAT much, but buys you an extra coffee or two.
Now I understand not everyone can breastfeed, or everyone wants to breastfeed, but in our family it was my choice to nurse both of our boys. With my first we did have to supplement with formula towards the end, spending about $20-$40 on formula. With my second son, we haven’t had to spent a single dollar on formula. Because my mama milk is free, I saved our family nearly $1,000 this year.
4. Part-time Cloth Diapering
My husband was weary about me buying cloth for our second son, but I of course did the math and promised him it would save us money. The first few months we only used disposables overnight and occasionally when we went out or I went to work. A year later, my son is still cloth diapered 50% during the day when I’m home, and wearing disposable diapers at night. I’m still saving us money, and our water/electricity barely changed more than $1 from running the laundry more frequently. Cloth diapers also have a great resale value, which you definitely can’t say about disposables!
5. Brew Your Own Coffee
These days there are Starbucks coffee shops nearly every mile in the East Valley. I recently realized that if I spent only $3 on coffee every OTHER day for the year, it would amount to about $550! That’s crazy! If I just woke up a little earlier each day to brew my own, or spent the extra cash for a coffee maker that brews automatically in the morning, we could be saving a lot of money!
I keep reminding myself that the little things in life add up, and from budgeting the past year I’ve realized it really can. These are just a few ways we save some extra cash for our family.
What’s your favorite way to save?