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I love a good deal & I’m always on the look out for ways I can save money! My family tries to watch the money we spend on the little things so we can put it toward something bigger- like a family vacation or something fun- I live in a house of motor-loving boys, so a vehicle like a go-cart, a fast car or a Jeep is always on the fun list! We also like to watch our pennies so we’re able to donate gifts during the holidays, give to charitable organizations, or just save for a rainy day.
In no particular order, here are 5 things you can start making or doing yourself to save some money!
1. Hair cuts – This one might be tricky for the girls in your family, but if you have boys a $20 set of hair clippers can save you a TON of money! When my big guy was ready for his first hair cut, we took him to the fun kid’s hair cutting place in town. It cost us $25 for a hair cut that took them less than 10 minutes to do- they did a great job & it was such a fun atmosphere – but, $25.
Now we have 2 boys who need a hair cut every 6 weeks or so – we cut it short, so 1 cut lasts a while! So if we cut their hair every 6 weeks, they would both need about 8 hair cuts each year, for a total of 16 haircuts. If we paid someone $25 for each hair cut, it would cost us $400 each year, just to cut their hair.
This is such an easy way to save money! Bonus if your husband or significant other can cut his own hair! My hubby started doing his own haircuts before we were even married, so probably for the last 15 years, give or take. He cuts his hair once a month – so 12 cuts a year for the last 15 years is a total of 180 hair cuts. If each hair cut would have cost him $25, he would have spent $4,500 over the last decade and a half for this service. It adds up so fast!
2. Coffee shop drinks – I have no room to talk on this one, because this is the one area I allow myself to splurge! There’s really nothing like ordering a cup of your favorite coffee & having them hand it to you all ready to go in a fun cup with a pile of whip & chocolate drizzled on top. The first sip is the best.
But, it’s expensive! If each cup costs about $5, & you stop every day on your way to work, that’s $25 each week, $100 each month, & $1,200 each year being spent on coffee. I love stopping at my favorite coffee shop, but I really need to kick the habit.
On my to-do list this year is to find some great coffee drink recipes that I can make at home. So many stores sell bottles of gourmet flavored syrups & I’m hoping I can find a recipe that lives up to my coffee shop Peppermint Blizzard – it’s white chocolate with mint, & it is as amazing as it sounds. Maybe even more amazing. I will take pretty much any excuse I can to stop for a cup of it!
3. Pre-packaged food – Buying pre-packaged food & snacks is a HUGE budget buster! It is so convenient & something I appreciate even more now that I have one in school. It’s so easy to be able to grab snacks from the pantry to pack a quick lunch & snack for him. But the trade off is the cost, not to mention most prepackaged food isn’t very good for you, unless you are able to splurge on healthier brands.
Lately I’ve been making most of the snacks I send in lunches. Homemade granola bars, muffins & cookies are a much cheaper option & a lot healthier! You control what ingredients to use & it saves on the grocery bill – you can even make things in large batches & freeze the extras so it’s there when you’re ready for it. If making your own snacks isn’t an option, another way to save is to buy in bulk & portion out servings in bags or individual containers. It takes a little extra time, but time = money.
4. Garage sales/second hand stores – You can’t buy everything second hand, but on things you can, it saves a lot of money! My boys are 4 & 6, and a good portion of their clothes & toys from the time they were born were bought at thrift stores or garage sales. We have saved thousands & thousands of dollars this way. I usually pay between $0.50-$1.00 (sometimes less than that!) for their clothes, & when they outgrow them I’m able to turn around & sell most of them for what I paid, or even a little more.
And the same with toys- I can’t even believe how expensive it is to buy toys new at the store! We find good, clean, quality toys at garage sales & resale shops for pennies on the dollar. They outgrow their toys & books so fast I am hesitant to pay full price on almost anything, really. Buying used is a huge savings.
5. Babysitters – The going rate for child care is really high in our area, & we’re probably not alone in that! If you have a good friend you trust who also has kids, a good money saving alternative to paying a babysitter is to swap child care when you can. Then you both can enjoy a break without breaking the bank on a babysitter.
There are so many ways we can save money when we stop to think about it. Services like snow removal, lawn care & house cleaning to name a few, are expenses that can add up to a lot of money over time.
Things like shopping sales & stocking up on sale items you know you’ll use, adjusting your heat/AC a few degrees when you aren’t home, & canceling memberships and subscriptions to things you don’t use anymore are all ways to save a few bucks each month. When you add it up over time you’ll have a good amount of money saved to put toward that special thing you’ve been working so hard for!