Ways to Save Money, Honey!!

9 Mar

I am really really REALLY frugal if you didn’t know. 🙂  I am not an extreme couponer, but I am always looking for ways to save.  I think it started with my dad.  When the other kids had $20 to go to the mall, I always had $5 or less.  My mom and I always went straight to the clearance racks when shopping.  I never understood people who paid $60 for ONE sweater!!lol..hey if you’ve got it like that, good for you, but for me, I could never!! 🙂  Here are a few ways that my family and I save money – I hope that these bless you, and if you have any other ideas, please comment and share  your ideas!

1. Dave Ramsey emeals.  It is $5 a month, and it plans 7 meals/week.  It even lets you pick the store, plans meals around on sale foods, tells you where in the store they are, (ex: produce, deli, etc.) and the week of meals for us are around $40-55/wk.  We choose the Wal-Mart low fat meals for two option.  They have low sodium options too.

2. Anything Dave Ramsey, read it!!!  He comes on the radio but you can also listen to the archives.  He is a financial guru who has identified easy ways to save and make money.  Find a church near you that offers Financial Peace University, or you can take it online or order it yourself.  If you think you’re broke, think again.  You’re not really broke.  You probably just need to learn to manage your money.

When someone tells me that they’re broke, (and both people have decent jobs,) I know that it is usually due to money being mismanaged.  You tell me that you’re broke, but on the same breath, you tell me that you just ate out four times a week, bought a new car a month ago with a 27 % interest rate, and just took a week long vacation on credit…hmmm…you’re not broke..you have plenty of money…it just sounds like you need to learn to manage your money better and explore some other options that will still allow you to have just as much fun, but save money too.

3. Eat at home or only eat out at reasonably priced places.  We buy subway on Saturday, (just the footlong sandwiches, and it ends up being around $11.)  Why get the chips and drink?  It’s cheaper just to keep chips and drinks at home.  Cook a meal everyday – that way you can finish your leftovers on your own time, but you won’t end up going to Mcdonalds b/c you’re tired of eating spaghetti for the third time in a row.

4. Find restaurants where kids eat free, and go there on those days and times.  Our kids don’t eat much yet, but when they do, best believe we’ll only go places where they can eat free if they’re coming. 🙂

5. Go to the dollar movie.  Sure, the movie may be a month old, but who cares?  You’ll still have fun.  If you go to cinema cafe, just make sure that you don’t end up spending $38 on food, (which I’ll admit I’ve done.)  Eat BEFORE you go to the movie, and that way, even if you do want something, you can just get water with lemon and a $5 “Mary Poppins” popcorn. 🙂

6. Instead of meeting friends at PF Changs, invite them over for a potluck.  You can cook the main dish, and they can bring sides and desert.  Plus, if you have kids, it’s easier for you anyway b/c they can play in the “kid room” while the adults eat and socialize, and you don’t have to worry about them running buckwild in the restaurant and breaking things. 🙂

7. Stop drinking Starbucks.  There are recipes online to make your own.  I began making my own Pumpkin Spice latte’s last fall, and all of the ingredients cost maybe around $10.  They lasted me the whole fall, (with the exception of the canned pumpkin,) which you better not keep all fall for health reasons!lol..

8. Don’t go to the mall.  I don’t care what you say, when you get there, you’ll spend money on something, and you’ll justify that it was a bargain.  The only time I go to the mall is to meet friends in the play area so our kids can play, and then grab a $5 lunch in the food court – usually Japanese (Sakkio) or Chick-fil-A.  After lunch, I leave.  I refuse to look around b/c I always end up buying something.

9. Bring your lunch to work.  The average lunch has gone up from $5 to around $8.  That is $160/month if you eat out everyday, (roughly.)  I pack my husband’s lunch everyday, (either a sandwich or leftovers,) and I try to include an apple.  Yes, he still eats out by himself or with friends sometimes at lunch, but I know that I’m saving us money every time he eats a lunch that I packed.  Those vending machines will eat at your paycheck too, so watch out for them.  Instead of a $2 granola bar, you could buy a 12 pack of granola bars at Wal-Mart for the EXACT same price.

10. Buy off brand items.  Ex: Huggies diapers are $24, and Parents Choice are $14.  Why anyone would want to pay $10 more is beyond me, and while some say that huggies work better, I’ve never had a problem with the off brand.  When you can, buy store brand such as “Great Value.”  That is an easy way to save a few dollars.  I’ve seen loaves of bread for $5, and loaves of bread for $1.25.  Again, not sure why some buy the $5 loaf, but I’m not gonna do it!

The whole point of living frugal is to save the money for what is important.  For me, I save my money so that I don’t have to work full time and can be home with my kids to teach them, love them, and play with them.  I save money so that I can build my savings, buy investment properties in the future, and take vacations with the extra money I’ve saved.  Being frugal is a lifestyle choice that allows you the freedom to have money for those extra things you thought you couldn’t afford.  Pinch a little here, and you can get something out of it in the long run.  By pinching pennies, you can add that little extra to your kids college fund, your retirement, or just pay your house off early.  Imagine being 45, still working and putting that $2000 mortgage payment in the bank monthly.  That is the goal of being frugal.  Financial freedom is attainable if you just take the small steps to save here and there – people may laugh and call you cheap, but their laughs will turn to admiration when you’ve paid off your house by 45, have a few investment properties, take vacations with your family every year, and can afford to put your kids through college.  Let them laugh b/c you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank! 🙂

***Be blessed and look out for my book in a few mos. 🙂  This book is a testimony of God’s faithfulness in my life, and it covers topics such as finance, friendship, marriage, relationship, and anything else that comes to my mind from a Biblically based perspective.

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5 Responses to “Ways to Save Money, Honey!!”

  1. Lori@Mothering Matters March 10, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Another reason why I like you!! We are more alike than I am with my sisters! 🙂
    Frugal living ROCKS! 🙂
    I’ll never forget the time my best friend and I were both having our 1st baby. I saw a crib set (bumper pads, comforter, etc) that I liked, but it was $100. i wasn’t going to pay that. I waited, and about 7 months into my pregnancy it was 50% off. I bought it then!
    What made my day was to find out that my best friend had liked the same set – but she had bought it in month 2 of her pregnancy – at the $100 price. She was slightly upset that I got the same thing for cheaper – and both our babies were due around the same time (a month apart).
    I will wait. I have patience. It has saved me a ton of money! Even today – I am going to return a couple pillow shams that I bought when they were on sale a month ago – because now they are even MORE on sale – over 50% off what they were before. So – I’ll return and rebuy (or just get the difference if they let me). It’s worth it (those things are expensive!). Then I can buy the bedskirt I needed!
    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to reading your book!

    L 🙂

    • lholmes79 March 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      I know Lori – I’m the same way! 🙂 I’m glad you waited until all the stuff went on sale – I never pay full price for anything. Plus, half the time, people end up giving you stuff for free, or when you put it on your prayer list, God gives it to you for free! I am still waiting to win an HGTV contest like you did!lol..but when I was preganant with Zoe, God told me not to buy any clothes b/c people would bless me with all free stuff. And they did! Zoe has clothes all the way through five years old, and she’s only 8 mos. 🙂 And not just clothes..she has bows, shoes, headbands, purses, bathing suits, EVERYTHING! God is a big God. Sometimes we’re scared to ask Him for stuff, but we shouldn’t be. If we plan on using what we have to bless others, (and our hearts are in the right place,) He’ll do it!

  2. Kathy May 27, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    These are great frugal tips. I’m a big DR fan too so it was good to hear you talk about him. I haven’t tried his e meals out yet though. With your persuasion I just may have too. I would love to have you link this up to Titus 2 Tuesday next week on Cornerstone Confessions.

    Hopping over from Women Living Well.

    Kathy

    • lholmes79 May 27, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      We are huge DR fans too! My hubby actually had never heard of DR, but practiced all of his tips before I met him, surprisingly! So needless to say, after we got married, he had to help me to become more frugal. 🙂 Now, our last debt is our house, and then we’ll be debt free! Yay! I would love to link up Tues! 🙂

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