Blog 6 of Top 25 Money Saving Blogs by Moms - 2012
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What's the single best decision about money you've made?
It honestly is learning to use coupons. When I first learned to coupon, we were a single income (minimum wage) family with a baby on the way. Couponing showed me that we don't have to go without to make ends meet. Over the years, there have been times where we would have went hungry or dirty if it had not been for coupons and the deals I was able to get with them. I genuinely love couponing, even though it's a lot of work. I have slowed down my own coupon usage some since I began blogging, but I still love the thrill that I get when I save 50% or more on items that my family needs.
Does your child receive an allowance? If so, how much?
Sort of. My daughter is 7 and we are working very hard to teach her the value of a dollar and how to save for her future. We use a points and demerits system for her. Each chore is worth a set amount of points. When she reaches 100 points, she can trade that in for a certain dollar amount. She then has to put 1/2 of her money earned into her savings account. When she doesn't listen or doesn't do her chores, she gets demerits. Too many demerits results in a loss of privileges or a loss of points. To teach her to save, she has the option of "banking" her points. For every 1,000 points, she can pick a toy up to a $50.00 value. It works very well for her and since it's all laid out on paper, there is no fight over what she was supposed to have done for chores that day.
What's an easy way moms can trim their family food budget?
There are so many things that can help trim your food costs that I'm having trouble picking just one. Menu planning is a huge one. You don't have to be rigid with it, just plan out enough meals to last the week or month and then pick from that list each day. Don't deviate from your list. Coupons are obviously another huge one. Coupons, when you legally and correctly, can save you up to 50% on your food costs alone. Learning to cook from scratch is another easy way. Aside from being loads cheaper, it also has the added benefit of being so much healthier for you and your family. Even something as simple as making your own chicken stock has the potential to save real money in a year. Make your own bread? You just saved even more. You also get the bonus of learning a skill that a lot of people have lost over the years. Plan your shopping trips - Look through your pantry, fridge and freezer before you shop. A very common thing that a lot of people do is buying items they don't really need because they thought they were out. In reality, they have the item sitting at home somewhere. Always look through your sale ads. Make a list and then stick to it. Don't allow yourself to deviate from the list. Cutting impulse buys out of your shopping trips has the potential to save hundreds by itself each year. Another easy way is to watch for mark downs. Meats are probably the most expensive food item that the majority of us buy. Buy marked down meat and you'll save a bundle. I can buy 3 marked down flank steaks for around $10.00 marked down. Those 3 steaks will provide us 3 meals because they're so large. I've just knocked my meal cost down from over $10.00 for one meal to $3.00 for one meal. As long as the meat is frozen as soon as possible, they're just as good as the meat that is full price. Watch for those markdown tags and you'll save.
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