Needing tips on how to SAVE money!

TaShawna - posted on 08/13/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I'm wanting to start saving money or at least putting a little back but being self employeed and just starting out I really don't have anything to start saving with! I need tips on how to begin saving for christmas, birthdays, and even for family vacations in the future. I want my son to be able to experiance childhood at it's best but I'm unsure on how I can begin saving for the extras and it's all so expensive!

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Candi - posted on 09/15/2010

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I have always stocked up on items. If you find something on sale and its non-perishable, STOCK UP!! This may cost a little up front, but in couple of weeks when the prices get jacked up again, you will be glad you bought it on sale. We buy cases of stuff at a time and we are still using canned veggies we bought over a year ago! Paper products are expensive, so its nice to grab those when they are on sale. Chips, cookies, crackers, anything for kids' lunches are good to have around. We found Caprisuns on sale the other day and we won't have to buy anymore til after Christmas break! I love walking into my basement pantry and seeing all the food we won't have to buy for a few months!

Candi - posted on 08/24/2010

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Buy generic, buy in bulk. What helps us is planning a menu for the whole week and doing one grocery trip per week or less. Before we started the menu thing, we were at the store 3 or 4 times a week spending waaay too much money. Also we have a certain amount of my husband's checks going to savings. If we don't see it leaving, we really don't miss it! I only buy school supplies when they are on sale and I stock up! I buy holiday items AFTER the holiday. I have enough Valentines to last until my 5 year old is out of Elementary school! But paying a quarter a box is much better than $3.00 or more per box. I buy plastic Easter eggs when they are on sale for 10 cents a bag and they last forever. Don;t fall for all the so-called sales! Look at individual prices and see if it really is a deal. We also buy our bread at the bread store. We can buy 6 loaves of bread for less than 1 loaf costs at the grocery store. There are tons of ways to save money. Most of it is common sense. Sometimes it requires a little work, but it gets easier

Cori - posted on 08/20/2010

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I am in the same boat (self employed, limited income, big asperations). It would help to know what your job is, but I do very simple things. We go to the beach, the nature center, free museums, camping,and have all kinds of backyard fun. Every once in a while I splurge on an amusment park, zoo, etc. I feel like my kids get more out of our free activities then our expensive ones. We go to the drive inns in the winter and sneak all of our candy and popcorn in the theater in the winter. We only take big vacation (like disney world) every 2-3 years and take a lot of day trips instead. My kids are in a ton of sports (EXPENSIVE!) , but we look at it as an investment and take advantage as many fundraising oppertunities as possible.

Mindy - posted on 08/20/2010

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i use cold water to do my laundry to save money. buy meats and frozen veggies in bulk. make your own baby food9if your baby is that young). buy generic whenever possible. at night when ts a bit later use candles instead of light,its pretty and romantic. buy things on sale that you know you use like shampoo and stuff,buy a little more than you normally would to get the deals. if you order pizza out always ask if they have any specials bc i learned they almost always do but wont give you the special price unless you ask. use coupons only on stuff you eat and use dont just buy it bc you have a coupon. put yourself on the utility budget plan where they will charge you a flat rate every month and thats what you pay no matter what.then at the end of the year you either pay them or they cut you a check bc you paid too much. if you are careful throughout the year you will most likely get a check

Sarah - posted on 08/16/2010

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dont' use 'disposible' stuff. cloth nappies, cloth wipes. this will save you SO much. if you're super keen, put the money you currently use on these in a jar/savings account. i'm also a big fan of the 'put all your coins at the end of the day in a piggy bank' i do that and am always shocked at how quickly the piggy bank is full, and how much is in there!! make your own baby food too. those are my biggest money savers!

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Kewanna - posted on 09/22/2010

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Here is a very HUGE tip for mothers that want to save money. "Unlock the bargain finding power of MyShoppingGenie simply by using your favorite major search engine such as Google, Bing, Yahoo or AOL. Enter your chosen item and MyShoppingGenie instantly springs into action thoroughly searching the Internet, including major online retailer and auction sites such as Amazon, Ebay, Wal-Mart and the top shopping engines". Try this www.myshoppinggenie.com/25042 and let's talk about it. CNN gave it good reviews

Sylvi-jane - posted on 09/22/2010

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start saving toward xmas 3 months away now bye stocking fillers from pound shops 99p shops etc make hampers up from there too of toiletries kitchen wear etc etc

Sylvi-jane - posted on 09/22/2010

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Have you tried freecycle.org yet? you can get lots of different items which people dont want not broken electrical goods ie tv's fridges, freezers, furniture cooking items clothes etc etc , i have even had fish and tanks off the sitetoys jigsaws etc the only prob i find with the site is you competeing with a lot of other people for the same item so the quickest who answers gets the goods mostly.
sylvia-jane

Barb - posted on 09/21/2010

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Oh it's so hard when you are self employed to budget because you really don't know how much is going to be coming in each week or month and have to be frugal. My best advice is to check with your bank, a lot of them have a christmas account with a higher interest on them than a normal savings account. When you get extra (haha, extra while being self employed, that's funny isn't it?) make a commitment to put in 20 a week, or 10 a day or whatever you think you can hold yourself to doing and then do it...

Ways we save money, not sure where you live, but the county gives out so much help for electric bills, gas bills, take advantage of that, take advantage of the WIC vouchers for your children, take advantage of all assistance.

The YMCA here in our county has someone who will come out to your home and help you make it more efficient for the winter months, adding insulation and even giving you the more efficient light bulbs.

I'm an electrician, so i did this myself but i bet you could pay a guy if you don't know how to do it, but i put my electric hot water heater on a timer and wired both elements to heat the water. it makes it more efficient AND it isn't heating water when i don't need hot water so i'm not using that electricity. It only takes about 10 minutes to heat up the water so it just takes a little planning a head. But it saves us about 60 a month on our electric bill.

We wash clothes on cold and dry on the line all year round (in door clothes line in the winter) and then 5 min in the dryer to soften them up. We use propane for the dryer and for my stove, i won't give up my gas stove, no no no. but i don't use the pilot lights, i light the stove each time with matches. That saves us quite a bit as well. We use a bbq size propane tank for the dryer and stove and change it about every 2 to 3 months.

Shop around for car insurance, never think you have the best plan just because they say so. Same goes with cell phone plans. Right now the best price i'm seeing is the straight talk plan via walmart, 45 a month for unlimited text, internet and phone, no contract, nothing. And only 35 for 1000 minutes of text, internet and phone.. still nothing beating that.

we tried the magic jack for our phone, but we have wireless internet and it doesn't work so well. It might work better for cable or DSL internet.

Another tip, recycle, if you have to pay for your trash service, stop! recycling is free and gives more people jobs. Also, in many states they pay for glass and metal.

a grocery tip, buy frozen fruit, it keeps its flavor, nutritional value, but doesn't go bad like fresh fruit does.

another of our family traditions is we celebrate the holiday the week after the holiday so everyone can take advantage of the after holiday sales.. easter, christmas thanksgiving, yep, all of them, even 4th of july is now 11th of July LOL or whichever weekend comes up after wards. you get my point. Especially since with so many family parties and separated families and combined families no one really notices.

hope some of these ideas help

Polina - posted on 09/20/2010

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we've setup automatic transfer to baby account on monthly basis (as little as $50/mo will add up). Another way you can save is whenever you use coupons, total whatever you've saved from regular price minus coupon savings and put that money aside (savings or baby account) this way you actually saved instead of spend the money left over (you can start by doing it on monthly basis).

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As far as setting money aside and not touching it goes, I find the following helpful:
1. Hide money in every nook & cranny I can think of. Eventually I forget where at least some of it is & this keeps me from spending it.
2. Keep a jar of money. When it get's up to $50, go to the bank and buy an EE bond. This keeps me from spending it because you get penalized if you cash it too early.

As far as having money to set aside... good luck with that.
I will tell you this, networking or knowing someone who networks helps a lot. Almost everything I own has been given to me; not sold but given. It pays to know people who know people who are getting rid of this or that because someone always says "Do you know anybody who needs a..."
My t.v.'s, couches, recliners, kitchen chairs, kitchen table, all 3 of my kids beds, all of our dressers, cabinets and shelving, lamps, even this computer was given to me. It pays to know people. Join community groups, TOPS, Redhats, etc. You'll see.

Bri - posted on 09/01/2010

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Other suggestions:
1. Check store policy about BOGO- many stores you have to buy 1st at full price to get 2nd free, but NOT all stores. Kroger/Owen's you buy the first one and it rings up 1/2 price- which you add a coupon to and tada, quite the savings.
2. Angel Food Ministries is an organization dedicated to quality food at affordable prices and they operate sites throughout the country. You do not have to be "poor", "qualify", simply order and pick up. We buy the "regular" box for $30 and it's supposed to feed a family of 4 for a week- with a few extra groceries and good menu planning we usually stretch that box of food to 2-3 weeks!
3. Restaurant.com- if you know you're going to be eating out, why not save a fortune and enjoy the local joints. We've had great success with everyone we've tried (and we're talking 3-4 dozen over the past 3-4 years). We even bought during an 80% off sale and ended up with $7-800 worth of certificates for less than $100 and gave them as xmas gifts.
4. Set up savings accounts for a variety of things- we contribute monthly to a Christmas Club (and when Nov. 1 comes, that's our budget for the holiday season... no credit card debt to pay off), a House Fund (for home improvement and/or repairs), a Savings (for medical and auto bills), a CD (our emergency fund) and his 401. It's a LOT easier to "spend" $20/month towards the Christmas Club than it is to cough up $200 later. IF you can, have these deducted from pay check so they are "out of sight, out of mind".
6. Two checking accounts. One for the household bills- utilities, rent/mortgage, etc. and put enough in here every week to cover all those bills plus a small cushion. Second is for the flexible things- you may not like it but if that account only has $30 in it for the week because you took a day off work, well, guess we're eating cheap that week. When that bank account is low, you really stop and think what your priorities are "yummy, that sounds good but would I rather have that money for X later this week"

MaryClare - posted on 08/25/2010

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Making your own laundry soap saves a TON of money, is better for your skin, and is fun to make with kids! I use the recipe with one bar fels naptha soap bar, super washing soda and borax. Google the recipe or feel free to ask me. I also make my own baby wipes and they work great! It's super cheap too.

Anna - posted on 08/24/2010

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A major category hasn't been mentioned above but is significant when cutting the monthly budget: utilities! Can you switch from your phone company to either Magic Jack or Vonage? That will save significantly on monthly phone and long distance bills. Can you cut out the cable/satellite and watch DVDs from Netflix (9.95/month) instead? If you keep the cable, can you cut down to a cheaper plan, such as no HD channels, no movie or sports packages, etc? Shop comparitively for the cheapest cell phone plan. You can get a low-cost or free cell phone and just prepay a certain number of minutes on it and then only use it in an emergency and then have no monthly cell phone charges. Compare shop all your insurance rates (car, home, life, etc.). If you shop around, and ask for all the discounts you qualify for, you may get a better rate than you are paying now. Some energy (gas/electric) companies will allow you to pay the average each month of your 12-month total. That way your expenses don't spike in the winter - you can budget the same amount each month. They will take the total of your last year and divide it by 12 mnths, and that becomes your payment. It doesn't save money, but helps with budgeting.

Candi - posted on 08/24/2010

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yes I forgot to mention we do have a garden. I swear i believe cucumbers could grow anywhere! We have tomatoes, cucumbers, wtermelon, cantaloupe, jalapenos, variety of peppers, collard greens, brussels sprouts, green beans, a fig tree and 2 peach trees. I never thought I would enjoy such an easy garden, but it is a lot of fun and it saves tons of money

Katie - posted on 08/24/2010

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These are great ideas.

I try to use cloth diapers. But we live with my boyfriend's mom and she makes it more of a hassle that what it should be. So she usually pays for diapers.

Ideally, if I lived on my own, I would have a graden with fresh veggies, I'd use cloth diapers/wipes, make my own baby food. I love garage sales and resale stores.

It also doesnt hurt to ask any mom friends if they have any old baby clothes. When I was pregnant with my first, my neighbor gave me TONS of baby boy clothes. Honestly, like 6+ garage bags full. I had clothes to last him to 12 months. I probably only spend $75 of my own money my entire pregnancy on clothes for him.



Edit: I also have a savings account with my job where the automatically take out $20 a week and put it in a saving account.

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Use Coupons!! It's super easy when you can see what's on sale and then print coupons that go with it!
www.SuperCouponLady.com
covers these stores: Publix, Food Lion, WalMart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Target & Kroger!

Julie - posted on 08/23/2010

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While we're talking about saving big bucks, do NOT take your change to the counting machine at grocery stores!! They charge about 9% most of the time. Count and roll the change yourself or take it to your bank. Most banks now have these machines, or they will give you the rollers for free and you return them rolled up. No need to waste all that savings! Also, make sure you're putting money away into a 401k or another employer-sponsored retirement plan or even an IRA to help reduce your tax bill. Also, look into a 529 or college savings account. Many college expenses qualify to be taken from these types of accounts pre-tax. Definitely have a chat with a tax advisor about what might be helpful for you.

Leslie - posted on 08/23/2010

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Coupons Coupons Coupons! You can get free stuff if you use them correctly. For instance I stocked up on 12 tubes of Crest last month for just tax. It is awesome!

I have a blog about couponing... itsacouponlife.com

(not sure if I cant post my blog please remove it if it is not allowed)

Lisa - posted on 08/22/2010

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I use coupons and check the junk mail for them. Look at the sales when you get the paper from your local grocery stores. check the sundays paper for coupons, sales, and classifieds.
We get a biopark membership every year you pay a certain amount per year and have unlimited access to the zoo, aquarium and other bioparks locally. you would have to contact your local zoo to find out if they offer a membership. Go to funfamilyselect and get a membership..its a card that contains coupons to amusement parks, restaurants, toy stores, etc in your local area.
you can also buy an entertainment book for $40 that has several coupons for different places as well. its well worth it.

Rica - posted on 08/20/2010

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I am agreeing with alot of these ideas. some of them don't work for all of us. but a big one everyone missed: Breastfeed!!!! especially if you are going to be staying home, and don't need an expensive pump. I am going to be staying home but buying a single manual pump so DTB can feed sometimes. I don't want him missing out on an important bonding. also, unplug things you aren't using, toaster, chargers, etc. it really adds up. Also: try using sites like Craigslist.com to find decent furniture and stuff that is used at deccent prices. We got a bassinet for 5 dollars and a bugaboo (a $1500 stroller) for $300.

Alison - posted on 08/16/2010

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ways i save money..i buy mostly genaric brands if i shop at walmart or shnucks..sometimes go to aldis i buy target brand diapers and wipes they work better in my opinon than pampers and huggies and are 15$ cheaper a box! clip coupons i know it can be a hassle but shop with the coupons make dinners around them it saves alot!

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If you put change in a jar some banks have change machines and if you have an account with them wont charge you to cash it in, I am a new stay at home mom so I am learning to but I can say we have saved by shopping at Aldi's(savealot) and the food is good! I use coupons, make a menu and limit eating out to eat once for a nice meal and once for a "quick meal" or snack,(that is really good for us) and we only buy what is on the list for the menu that week and eat it weather it sound good or not! we also use cash for everything but bills and makes us realize how much we are really spending.

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I suggest starting with a change jar and taking out cash when shopping. Put all your change at the end of the day in the jar, once it's full take it to be processed by a change machine (found in most super markets). The machines do charge though.

Another way is to set aside a set amount from your funds (when ever you get paid). Start with $5 and then increase it.

I highly suggest always keeping $100 in a savings account. That is the up front cost of a visit to most ERs even without insurance; most insurance co-pays are also $100. If your insurance's co-pay is more have more in your account.

Shaina - posted on 08/15/2010

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Make your own laundry soap!!
Cut eatting out to once a week.
Buy at yard sales.
Buy in bulk... but check prices to make sure its a deal.
Watch your bills, shut lights off in rooms not in use, etc.

Jamie - posted on 08/15/2010

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most common n easy is,, No name brand foods, Dont buy name brand clothes unless at a yardsale, buy out of season on clothes, when fall hits attack the clearance racks n buy up to 2 sizes bigger than what u need now! All stores do that form of sale. For birthday/Christmas presents start 6 months early and buy something from every paycheck that you want, You can find things on sale durring regular times but not durring the holidays when everyone last minute shopps. OH ya n take advantage of the %off coupons from toys R us,They help alot! lol and another thing is when its potty training time,dont buy pullups for 24/7 usage only at nights are they actually needed, but undies instead,more laundry but saves $$ in the longrun, Plus they get the idea faster since they dont like having wett pants and having to deal with all the yuckyness! To save even more money on laundry,I handwash the panties n hang dry them in the bathroom,They are dry by the next morning. IT helps to have at least 2 days worth of undies,( 2-3 6 packs) Hope this helps! Im sure you will find even more ways to save money with how you live,Just look for the cheapest way to get what you need!



Here are some sites that I go to for stuff that I need...



http://www.dollartree.com/partysupplies/...

(Buy party supplies n bulk,Saves money than if you just went to the store and bought it all seperatly!)



http://www.gailslistawish.org/Home_Page....

(Trading site, You have to have something to offer to put in a request, even if its food, Everyone needs something and has something to offer.)

Sarah - posted on 08/14/2010

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a way to save big bucks in the long run is using cloth diapers!!
search online about cloth, they are awesome these days. i also just found a deal on some inserts!

Buy One Doopsy INSERT, Get One FREE SALE www.babyecomart.com

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