My family LOVES to crack jokes about how cheap I am. You’d think I’d take offense to being called cheap.
NOT AT ALL!
If anything, I take that as a compliment. Some people call it being
cheap. I call it being frugal. Actually, it’s genius if you ask me.
I know I still shock my mom with the way I continue to find new ways to save money. She’d tell you in a heartbeat that she has NO idea where I learned any of it from.
Growing up, I wasn’t taught to check for sales, search for coupons, and ask for discounts. Actually, I saw the exact opposite. People in my old neighborhood felt pride at paying full price for any and everything. It was seen as a sign of “wealth” for lack of a better word. Now that I’m older, I can honestly say this is total bologna. My friend, don’t be one of those people guilty of this mindset. Thinking like this will cost your family way too much money that could be better spent on guilty pleasures, big purchases, and whatever else your mind can think of.
Do you want to learn how to save your household thousands of dollars as I’ve successfully done with my family’s budget? Keep reading to start saving money just in time for the holiday season!
5 Easy Ways To Save Your Family
Thousands A Year
Becoming a mom gave me the push I needed to take our finances serious. Formula is expensive. Diapers can drain your pockets. Dominic grows out of his clothes as soon as I put it on him. How could we continue to shop and enjoy our luxuries with the costs of having a child rising with each day? Let me tell you this. Where there is a will, there is a way. I figured it out and so can you!
Let’s talk Rewards Programs
It’s pretty standard for companies to have their sales associates ask customers to sign up for their rewards program at some point during checkout. I’m sure you can’t count the amount of times you’ve been asked to sign up for one. I’ve heard a boatload of excuses of why people don’t want/like to sign up for rewards programs.
I’m already in too many rewards programs.
I don’t like carrying around all of those cards.
I can’t keep track of them.
It’s a waste of time. You never really save any money.
The list keeps going. Yeah, none of those excuses are sufficient to stand in the way of your family saving money.
Don’t want to walk around with a wallet filled with rewards cards? No problem. You can carry some of them on your key chain. Majority of retailers can also search for you by phone number or email. Stores you don’t visit often can just look you up.
When it comes to saving money, every dollar counts! Depending on the store and size of the purchase, using rewards programs alone can save your family budget hundreds of dollars a year. I belong to so many
rewards programs that Babe knows that whichever store he’s shopping in, I’m most likely already signed up. He knows to just tell the sales associate my phone number. Yup, it’s that serious.
Signing up for rewards programs have given me:
- Crazy discounts on gas
- Coupons reserved for rewards members
- Discount pricing on everyday items
- Free gifts
- Gift cards
If you are 100% certain you are going to make a purchase, it can only help to use a rewards program to ensure your purchase can count in the long run.
Are You About That Clipping Coupons Life?
I used to clip coupons from the newspaper when I first started exploring ways to save money.We were about 3-4 months pregnant with Dominic. I was determined to save. One of us would get the Sunday paper from the gas station every week. This paper was supposed to be the key to our savings. Well, that’s what my Facebook groups made me believe.
Since then, I’ve updated my coupon clipping method to save money and time. The internet has been the greatest tool for using coupons.Before I go shopping, I make my list of what the house needs. It’s with this list that I go online and search for coupons. Manufacturer coupons can be combined with store coupons which can be combined with rewards program discounts… You get the gist of it.
Ding Ding Ding!
This right here is a MAJOR money saver for sure.
I’ll say it again.
THIS SAVES YOU A LOT OF MONEY!
Take 20 minutes to research coupons for your shopping trip. Check your email for any coupons you received from your rewards programs. Go to coupons.com to see what’s available. Search Google using specific keywords to find coupons for exact items on your list. This 20 minutes will be the difference between you paying full price or walking away feeling like you robbed the store with the amount of money you ended up saving.
Discounts For Certain Individuals + Groups
Our family is a military family. I make sure to ask if there is a military discount in almost every store I shop in. If the discount is available to you, why wouldn’t you use it?! Obviously, every one isn’t in the military. There are other discounts available.
Some stores also offer student discounts for people who may be currently enrolled in school. I used this discount for years before I met Babe. It’s usually about 10% off which may not seem like much.
Don’t be fooled.
Just the other day, I used the military discount in Party City for our family’s costumes. I had a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. Party city offers a 10% discount to military families. What would have been a $60 purchase dropped to $49 after the coupon and military discount were used. The military discount alone saved me $6.
I can’t stress enough that all discounts matter! Always check to see what special discounts a store may offer to certain groups of people.
Pay Attention To Sales & Prices
All stores and products have sale cycles which predict prices. Do I know the pattern? Heck no. I’m not one of those people that have the patience to know the sale before it hits and the lowest a product price will drop. Honey, I got a infant at home. I’m still trying to figure out how to get a full night’s rest right about now.
I do make sure to check weekly sales and prices at my favorite stores. For example, I LIVE at Target. Well,that’s what my family tells me ALL the time. I know I’m going to Target every week. There are some weeks that I go everyday. It’s not a doubt in my mind that Target will get some portion of my money. Knowing that I will spend money there, I make sure I’m always paying attention to their sales to ensure I’m always saving the greatest amount of money. This is easily done by glancing at Target’s paper ad for about 2 minutes.
Their baby sales come at least once a quarter. Because of this, I save my major purchases for Dominic for those specific sales. I let prices determine when I buy items for the house rather than letting emotions control our budget.
I just mentioned that I wait for the baby sales to make big purchases for Dominic. This pretty much applies to almost every item I purchase for the house.
Certain times of the month are dedicated for different types of purchases. Everyday essentials are bought when either coupons are available or Target gives deals on gift cards for buying a specified number of a product.
Every Sunday or Monday, I purchase our weekly groceries such as spinach and fish. I cook our meals in the beginning of week. There’s two ways this saves us money.
- We don’t buy fast food because the meals are already prepared.
- Our fridge is continuously stocked with our staple food items so there is no need to think of meals every night which may or may not cause me to buy special items for one meal.
Get to know your household’s use of different products. How often do you have to restock on juice? At what time in the month, do you have to purchase soap for each of you? Knowing these answers allow you to plan ahead and save money.
BONUS: Buy In Bulk
If you have the funds available, I totally recommend you buy in bulk. This saves you time and provides a great deal of savings. Don’t make the mistake of believing you are saving money by purchasing items in small quantities every time the need arises. Prices cater to those who buy in bulk with savings increasing with the more you buy.
By buying in bulk, I save us the need to go to the store every time we need an everyday essential and pay less in the long run since I’m paying more money upfront.
Saving Money Is EASY!
These simple tips have contributed to my ability to save our family over $3000 this year. Last month, I paid $215 for over $400 of merchandise from Target in one purchase. Dominic got a new walker. We bought over $200 of formula, diapers, food, and wipes for Dominic that we use every day. I was able to purchase our weekly groceries. This one purchase saved me $215 which we would have had to pay out of pocket if I bought it at any other time.
The money I’ve saved have allowed us the opportunity to go on vacations, pay for my Starbucks coffee budget ( it’s not cheap!), buy Dominic extra toys and clothes…… Honestly, I could go all day just talking about what these savings provided us.
The amount of effort you put into saving your household money will determine the amount you can potentially save.
Don’t allow laziness or ego stand in the way of saving your family money! Certain items are going to be bought every month without a doubt. It’s not a thing we can do about it. Knowing this, why wouldn’t you want to save as much as you can?
There’s nothing wrong with using every tool available to save money, get the most for your dollar, and maintain the lifestyle your family loves to enjoy.