Budget’ing and money savings tips for parents!

Ok now as a single mother I realize there comes a lot of expenses with kids. So I thought I would share some of the tip’s that I have learned in hopes that they may help other parentstoo!

Lets start with the basic stuff like clothing and coats and such. I was incredibly blessed to find a local ‘freecycle group’ What is freecycle you might ask? Well freecycle is a fantastic invention. The idea behind freecycle is to ‘recycle’ the things you can no longer use .. but things that are still usable to others. thus cutting down on the waste put into landfills and helping out your fellowcitizen. So you join a local group in your area it is all completely FREE . you post the items you need, items you have, and others do the same. These items can be anything clothes, shoes, furniture, household repair items .. and ect.I have been able to find a lot of what my kids need and want on here . not to mention I have been able to get rid of some things we no longer needed and know they went to good use too! My local freecycle group is on yahoo. However I know there are many .. many groups out there.

Next and most important . and often most shocking! Write down what your bills are each month and what your income is. Then write down what you spend on what. Now stach this away because your going to want to look at it later. Now for the next month or two write down EVERYTHING you spend money on and how much. You will find it fascinating at the end of the month when you look at it and find out you spent $30 on soda’s from the vending machine at work .. or on coffee .. ciggarette’s ect. Its funny how when we do the budget we often times under estimate what we spend .. or how much our bills are. If we track our spending we are houston window replacement likely to think about it before we do it. Like do we actually need that 99 cent 20 ounce out of the machine? Or the candy bar at the grocery store?

Then we as parents have to shop around. Shop around for everything. windows tucson what places in your area have peoria az to phoenix az best deals and when. For example . a lot of grocery stores will mark there meats down in the early morning or the late evening. They do this to the ones that will expire soon. However if you go and get them and freeze them they are good to go later on. Same thing with breads and produce. Most grocery stores will have a ‘day old rack’ however there is nothing wrong with the items. Also buy the items when they are on sale. For example .. meats go on sale. Buy family packs and have them freezer wrapped and shove them in the freezer at home! Why pay top dollar a week from now when the frozen meat is going to be just fine for you to thaw out and use?

Coupons coupons coupons. I can not stress this enough. A lot of stores resturants and bussiness’s will have coupons online. A lot of resturants even have free birthday clubs where they will send you a coupon for a free meal on your birthday. Even Chuckie Cheese has coupons online and they even have a reading club for kids to earn free tokens too. I know if you sign up for the birthday club for toys r’ us they will send your child a card and a gift card .. and coupons for you .. as well as a postcard for the child to take the service desk and get a crown and a balloon and they will sing happy birthday over the PA. When my kids were still using wipes, diapers and formula I called the makers of the brands we used and asked for coupons and to be put on the mailing list. Some places gave me coupons for freebie’s. Most of the places sighned me up to recieve coupons monthly. I know Gerber and Pampers sent me coupons for all there products and mailed free samples .. right to my door!So coupons .. coupons coupons!!!!

Free samples . there are a lot .. and I do mean A LOT of places on the net that will send you free samples. For example walmart.com always have free samples you can order. They mail it right to your door and it is totally free with no hassle or spam to your email. I know Pantene and Dove also mail samples. So when you get time check out some of your favorite products online and look and see what you find!

If you have young kids and want activities for them to do that you can all do together and they are free .. your in luck! Home depot window pane Lowe’s both offer a free monthly workshop for kids the first saturday of every month. Each child will get ot make a project AND take it home totally free. Compliments of the fine people at home depot and lowe’s! Also a lot of local libraries offer childrens programs free of charge. I know ym local library offers incentives to kids who read a certain amount of book monthly. Its great kids get the joy of reading and learning and get a reward in the end! Also check and see if your local area has a boys and girls club. The boys and girls club is a low cost place for kids to spend time with each other and learn and have fun! There is no income limit . and the kids love it!

Ok I know the gas prices are hitting all of us really hard . well a good way to save on gas is to go without the short non important trips. Make a list . get everything on the list all at once on the same day. Its the small trips here and there that add up and up costing you more in the end.

Winter time is coming winterize your home! Fill in any gaps where air could come into the house.Keep your heat set at one constant level when everyone is home and turn it down when your sleeping or gone. This way your saving on the fuel to heat the home. When you think about it .. its cheaper to grab another blanket to sleep with then to pay for the gas to heat the house! Next do you have storm windows? If not I know you might think it looks tacky but weather seal plastic is the next best thing. Also thicker curtains too It will make a HUGE difference in your bill. Even your outlets allow air into the home. You can insulate the outlets with special insulation you put under the cover sold at home depot for 10 cents or so a piece .. way worth it. Next invest in the new floresent light bulbs. They may seem expensive at first but once you replace them all in your house with the lower costing energy efficient ones you will thank me for telling you later!!! Next we all know kids don’t think about the electic bill. Well make a system for teaching them to tunr lights off in rooms they are not in. Like maybe give them 100 pennies a month. Each time they leave a light on they have to give up a penny at the end of the month see how many they have .. then they will learn by leaving the lights on it is costing everyone money!

The holidays are coming we all know this can get expensive. Now this is the worst time for impulse buying. RESIST the temptation. Make a list of who your buying for and what you want to buy them. Stick to your list!!!! Watch for sales . sometimes it is good to buy things off season. Like for example after christmas all the wrapping paper is marked down. Hit the 75% off sales and store the stuff! Wrapping paper will easily store under a bed or behind a dresser . I know some families that actually instead of celebrating christmas on the 25th they celebrate all the winter holidays on January first this way everyone is able to make their money stretch further and avoid all the rush for the holiday season! Not to mention it helps settle the arguement of who is going to who’s house on christmas! :) Oh yeah .. no fake tree’s! Fake tree’s are murder for the tree and end up costing you more in the long run. Why do it? Also with the holidays remember the idea of giving a gift is not to find the most expensive thing you can find. The best gifts I have received have been ones that have come from the heart. Take a peek for information about used windshield replacement product reviews by KjWindows.comSomething home made .. hand crafted .. well thought out and time put into it. That means more to me then just something you went to the store and picked up for $30 the last minute! Also those of you with young kids help them join a christmas club at the bank. This is where they can deposit money but they can not take it out until the holiday season. Then that way when they need money for gifts they haved saved it all year so it won’t be such a shock to your pocket book and the fact that it took them so long to save will make them put more thought into what they spend it on!

This is just the begining! I would like others to jump in. Leave me comments letting me know what you do to save money, conserve energy and the planet. Also if anyone has a link to freebies please post it in the comments for other to use too!

Thank you all for reading and I look forward to hearing some feedback and to other sharing some tips too!

Dena

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