It’s official…I’ve left my career as a Marketing professional to become a stay-at-home mom and raise our first child! With this decision, there have been moments filled with sighs of relief that we can afford to do this, as well as moments where I obsessively looked at our budget over and over again. Instead of panicking about the what-ifs that may never happen, I decided to turn that nervous energy into proactive research on Pinterest and Google.
Some of the best money saving ideas that I have found
Mobile Apps & Online Sites
I’m not dedicated enough to coupon every weekend. I’ve tried, but I end up letting coupons expire and I simply struggle with learning the how-tos of every store that we frequent. Fortunately, mobile apps and online sites have helped us save quite a bit.
Ibotta allows you to earn rebates at stores that you already visit. Simply review the rebates, go shopping, and upload your receipts.
Ebates is perfect for you online shoppers. You create an account and use the custom link on the site to shop at your favorite online stores. You can even earn double rewards and special promotions throughout the month. Every quarter, you’ll be sent a check with your rebate. The only work necessary is logging into Ebates first.
RetailMeNot This discount app offers more than 500,000 bargains at over 50,000 retailers, which you can customize to your geographic location and then keep in a favorites list. How does it work? Walk into a store, look up the coupon, and have the cashier scan it directly from your device.
Plan Your Shopping Trips
This one may sound simple, but a quick trip to the store for some forgotten milk or rice can turn into another $50 shopping trip in the blink of an eye. We keep a shared Note on our iPhones where we can update household and grocery items that we have run out of, and before each trip we review it and make sure there’s nothing unnecessary or forgotten. If it’s not on the list, we skip it, even if it’s on sale.
Invest in Reusable Items
I have a friend who recently shared some Instagram worthy pics of washable cloth napkins. The custom fabric that matched her kitchen and dining room were absolutely adorable. She uses these instead of investing in paper towel rolls. It’s amazing how quickly paper goods can add up. Oh, you’ll be doing your part to go green, too.
Have you invested in plastic or aluminum water bottles for everyone in your family? I love the convenience of water bottles and I love some Fiji water, but in the grand scheme of it all, tap water isn’t too shabby.
Before you grab a disposable item off the shelf, be sure to ask yourself if there’s a reusable option.
Eliminate Unnecessary Line Items
We haven’t had cable for years. As a reality television aficionado that was difficult. But sooner or later, everything comes out on Netlfix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. It can be a bit of a sacrifice, but once you don’t have it, you don’t really miss it.
Do you have a land line still? Or a gym membership that you barely use? This may be the time to negotiate your way out of your contract and begin saving before throwing away money that could be better used elsewhere.
Saving money doesn’t need to involve taking drastic steps because even the small, simple methods outlined above (or that you have previously put in place) can help your family’s budget. The reduced stress that comes from applying your savings into your savings account is well worth the effort!