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Saving money as a homemaker, especially when you’re first starting out can seem impossible. Between bills stacking up, emergency incidents, and just trying to make ends meet; it can be overwhelming and exhausting. So, today I want to give you 5 tips that will help you save money.
You can read every article there is on Pinterest and they’re going to tell you basically the same things:
1. Use coupons or apps.
2. Eat meager meals.
3. Get another source of income.
And while all of these are fine, sometimes great; sometimes these are not good ways to save money for you and your family. So today let’s talk about some more uncommon ways to save money.
1 | Budget and Track Every Penny
One thing we often don’t do when trying to save money is to budget and track every penny. I started doing this more recently using The Budget Mom’s Budget by Paycheck workbook and it has opened my eyes. Small spending habits of ten dollars here and there, forgetting that I even spent it really started to add up. Even though I had a budget outline in my Google Sheets, it wasn’t accurately showing what I was actually spending with my money. So on “Finance Friday”, as dubbed in our Facebook group, The Homemaker’s Corner, I sit down and work through my binder. Within a month of having my binder, I was able to meet my first goal of saving $1,000 in emergency savings.
While you may not think this will actually save you money, you would be surprised where you can cut spending when you take some serious time to sit down and look at your spending and money habits. I do suggest buying a planner like this (no I’m not an affiliate, I just love it!) because it makes you stop and think about what you’re doing and helps you look at your finances from every angle.
Once you have a few months down in a budget planner, you can really track your habits and start to fix them. And once you see what you have, you can start on the next step.
2 | Cut Your Habits
If you’re really in a pinch or a bind when it comes to your finances, then I hate to say it but it’s time to get rid of the subscriptions. Apple, Amazon, Disney+. Whatever you use for entertainment needs to go if you cannot afford to have it. I know, you may have children who need entertaining and you may lose your mind without your favorite show, but consider some alternatives.
You can ask a family member to be a part of their TV subscription. For example, my brother shares his Netflix with me and I share my Disney+ with him. We get the best of both worlds with only paying half price.
You can rent movies, tv shows, books, music, and audiobooks at the Library. All for free and nowadays there are even interlibrary loans so even if your library doesn’t have it you can still get it.
You can also find a lot of entertainment for free on YouTube, or you can listen to free podcasts.
There are so many ways to find entertainment for yourself and your children without paying a cent, so before you throw in the towel on this one, consider these alternatives to help you save money.
3 | Sales are Your Friend
Finding sales no matter what you’re buying can be a huge benefit to you when you are in need. There are a number of ways to find sales.
Grocery Store Sales
While I have to buy my basic needs each month for groceries, with what I have left in my budget I will stock up on sales. For example, this past week my grocery store cut cereal boxes down from $3 to $1 so I bought 8 boxes, saving $16. Take time to search through your local grocery store flyers and walk the aisles seeing what you need. At least a few times a year they have 10 for $10 sales, but every week there should be a really good sale on an item or two that you might need. That way, when they are not on sale, or you cannot get groceries, you have something to fall back on.
Thrift stores are a great place to get clothes, books, home goods, and even toys and furniture whether you are having a hard time financially or not. It’s just smart. Oftentimes, if you can find a thrift store near a better neighborhood you are more likely to get some good deals on things you might need. But even with the low price of thrift stores, they often have sales. Check out their price tag signs on how it works. Usually, certain colors will be 50-75% off. Now I can say, having worked for a Goodwill, these are not based on the quality of the item but how long it’s been in the store.
And even though some things have been there long it’s not because they are not desirable or nice but because they’re more hidden. Take time to search through the racks at a thrift store for something you want and you may get lucky!
Once or twice a year your local thrift stores will also have blowout sales. I remember coming home with 200 books once because they were $.10/book. I still have no regrets over that purchase if you’re wondering.
Save and Share Groups
This one is new to me, but I have recently joined a Save and Share group on Facebook that has saved me a ton of money when it comes to buying items I need. They offer a wide variety of sales, mainly from Amazon, but I’ve saved from 75-90% on new items that I was really needing.
I will warn you that these groups can be somewhat tempting and irresistible, so be careful joining one of these groups if you have bad spending habits because it can really get you into a bind. But, if you are in need of household items and such and have good habits, I would recommend watching one of these groups for sales you can use.
If you need to shop at box stores, or sometimes even the grocery store, find the abandoned corner of the store where they have their clearance section. It’s always worth taking a look to see if there is something you need.
While coupons don’t often exist any more thanks to those extreme couponers, sales can still be used to your advantage.
4 | Make It from Scratch
Oftentimes, making food and household items from scratch, especially if you have a big family can save you so much money. From bread, deserts, cleaning supplies, and more buying your supplies in bulk and making your food and household items from scratch not only saves money but is so much better for you.
If you are looking to find cheap food supplies to make food from scratch, don’t look in the grocery store but check out my post on How to Find Pantry Staples During a Pandemic for cheap bulk supplies.
Never made food from scratch before? Check out my Pinterest board on Baking Recipes from Scratch. I just made the freezer biscuits on there today and they are amazing!
Making your own cleaning supplies is easy and cheap! Head over to the Dollar Tree and pick up some cleaning vinegar, dawn, and bleach and you’ll be set on most fronts. Check out my post on 6 Easy Homemade Cleaning Products for Your Home. Keeping your home clean does not have to be as expensive as the cleaning industry makes it out to be!
5 | Share, Pass on, and Save
The last tip I have today is for women who have been homemaking for one day or seventy years. One of the best things you can do is find people to trade with. Whether it’s kids’ clothes, household items, or whatever. Trading is a great way to save money on the things you or your family may need.
Maybe it’s just sharing clothes from your older child to your younger child. Or maybe you’ve sent a bag of kids’ clothes off to the pastors wife and she’s sending back a box of pots and pans for you to use since she has too many. Whatever it is, this is a mutually beneficial way to get rid of clutter in your home and also get what you need without having to pay a cent.
This can also work for food. As I talked about in my post on pantry staples, my parents live in a neighborhood where they barter one food item that they make for another that they don’t within their neighborhood and it’s been a working tradition for close to 30 years.
There are so many great ways to make bartering work for your family when you are on a budget or just looking to save money. Ask around in your community to see what share and trade groups there may be.
What do you do to save money? Leave a comment down below, or join the conversation on Facebook!