I have never fancied myself a frugal gal, but I wouldn’t say I’m a big spender either. I just buy what I need (and want, within reason), and occasionally compare prices on different brands of the same item. I have always admired those saavy, coupon-cutting, deal-finding moms, though. How do they have the time do it? Better yet, how do they have the energy to? Since Chad and my income will grow only marginally this year, and buying a house and having baby number two may be in the future, I’ve decided to embark on a month-long, money saving challenge.
Just type “ways to save money” into any internet browser and thousands of pages pop up. There are infinite ways to save money, according to the ‘net, but my questions are: which of these strategies can working moms realistically implement, and how much money do you actually save by doing them? Are they worth it, or just a pain in the butt? For the next month, I will attempt to implement/do all the following money-saving strategies:
- Bring a thermos of coffee to work each day, rather than buy a cup from McDonalds or Starbucks.
- Pack lunch everyday. (I’m not too excited about this one..)
- For Chad and my monthly date night, look for a Groupon or Living Social restaurant deal.
- Only “eat out” twice during the month (date night included).
- Compare the prices of grocery staples in our household (e.g. rice, noodles, frozen veggies, and frozen fruit), and buy wherever I can find the best deal.
- Locate and use coupons, if possible.
- Make, rather than buy, desserts.
- Find, and do, one free family activity per week, rather than pay for an activity.
- Downgrade my smartphone to a regular, “unsmart” phone.
- Heckle with Verizon to see if I can cut down on our cable bill.
- Turn off all lights and electronic devices before leaving the house.
- Make my own laundry detergent.
- Let more of our clothes “air dry” rather than use the dryer.
- Stop letting the water run while I brush my teeth.
- Limit shower time to 10 minutes (This one is going to be painful).
- Should we need more kitchen or bathroom disinfectant, use vinegar.
- Unplug all appliances and television when not in use.
- Keep the thermostat set at 72 degrees.
- Before filling up on gas, check GasBuddy.com to compare prices.
So, I think that’s it. If there is a great money-saving idea I did not list, please let me know. In one month, I’ll report back. Wish me luck! Thankfully, I love a challenge!