Finding ways to save money here and there can be hard, and I think we can all use a little inspiration now and then in our lives, so every month this year, I plan to publish some of the things we did to stay within our budget during the previous month.
Nothing outstanding happened this month. No big expenses that we crunched down into little expenses. Just normal stuff, ya know?
But that’s good, I don’t want to be facing unexpected big expenses all the time. 😉
But there were a bunch of little things we’ve done, and we all know that pennies add up to make nickels, then dimes, and eventually dollars – lots of them! So we save in all the little ways we can.
Five Ways to Save Money
- Dried apples for snacks. Our local grocery store throws out a LOT of perfectly good apples, so we put our dehydrator to good use making snacks. For church, for car trips, for random hunger pangs. They’re great, and don’t cost us anything!
- Shopped at Goodwill for Garrett’s new shoes. I had to go to a nearby large town for other things, and was fully prepared to take Garrett to a shoe store for some new kicks, but we hit up a few Goodwill stores along the way and, fortunately, met with success. He had a blast shoe shopping. “Hey mom, can we get these red ones to match my shirt?” “Oooh, these are cool!” “Mom, can I try these shoes?!” Ah, fun stuff. Now we just have to teach the kid voice decibel control.
- Snagged a great sale on running shoes. Seeing a pattern here? I guess we all wear our shoes out at the same time. My back up shoes bit the dust, so I needed a new pair (I guess an extra pair of shoes “just in case” is my security blanket, plus I know that it won’t take long to wear out my current pair). I wasn’t actively looking though, when I stumbled upon a great sale it took me until the color I wanted was sold out, so I snagged the next best color (which I’m thrilled with) and called it good.
- Let the kids play with kitchen utensils. Pots, pans, spatulas, measuring cups… anything that isn’t breakable. The kids love playing with non-toys, and when they occasionally discover something “new” it’s high excitement. Sure beats buying stuff!
- Used a wooden clothes drying rack to dry our clothes on when it was too wet to hang them outside. We don’t have an electric dryer, so the alternative was to go to the laundry mat – or just let the laundry pile up (and use paper diapers) – no thanks!
These are all really simple ways to save money, and maybe even things we don’t think much about when we’re doing them because they’re so much a part of our frugal lifestyle.
And that really makes me happy – the fact that these frugal habits are becoming so engrained that not seeking a great deal before paying full price doesn’t really enter my mind.
It’s not that we want to save every penny we can just for the sake of being miserly – there’s always an end goal – something driving us to save on one thing, so we can spend on something else.
For instance, we spent fifty dollars (or more?) on our Valentine’s day lunch date. It was lunch. But we really wanted to do something special for Valentine’s day this year – especially since we missed our anniversary a few months ago.
So here’s my question of the day: What is worthwhile to you to save money on, so you can spend it on something bigger, and better down the road?