August 14th 2012 06:49
With bills piling, me adding to our already tremendous medical bills, and somehow taking the last of your money to get my husband to work without allowing us to all starve, it hit me. I need to talk about Saving time and money while being that stay at home mommy. I look back at my previous post of Dangers Of Motherhood and I think I should have put finance at the top of the list. Because the one thing every stay at home mother worries about is money and saving it.
The internet is wonderful when it comes to programs that help you save money, earn points to redeem gift cards, and cash back sites. You have supermarket value cards and just about everyone will you give you a line of credit to get you to shop with them. So how do you sort it all out? What are some of the other tips and tricks I use to save my family money each month? How do I do all of this within my diet restrictions, keeping with nutrition and staying in a budget? Keep reading and I'll let you know!
Coupon SitesYour text goes here
SendEarnings.com allows you to earn points for using their site to download and clip coupons through them. From what I found they have the same coupons available for grocery items that Coupons.com does. You earn the savings of the coupon and you earn 0.10 extra through SendEarnings for using their coupon link. There are other stores you can earn coupons for and so many other offers available as well.
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MyPoints.com is a shopping site that puts online coupons and deals all in one place! You earn points per dollar spent when using the links through their sites to the coupons. Once you have enough points to redeem gift cards or pre-paid visa cards. It's fun earning 3 points when I shop for Christmas gifts and thing!
UPromise is something a little different than most sites and for that I have fallen in love with it! UPromise has made it so you get up to 2% off when you shop through them, you get up to 8% cash back when you use restaurants in your area or traveling, and the added bonus of grocery e coupons. What I find so neat about UPromise is that you can choose different ways to redeem your cash. You get to choose to put it into a college fund for your kids, save and add interest, can get a check or use the cash to shop online. I have enjoyed this site.
Tips and Tricks To Grocery Shopping
What I have noticed when going grocery shopping is that I make a list and I see some items weekly, biweekly, and monthly. I literally go through the house every time I go shopping and write my list. Even if I have been keeping a list of things we are out of, I still find myself double checking the cabinets and fridge. As I talked about earlier I have had to discover different ways to make my family's dollar stretch and to make the food in the cabinets last as long as possible while making sure my boys get the nutrition they need.
Making a list before going to the store is the number one trick to grocery shopping. The number two trick is going grocery shopping with an empty stomach. I'm sure you have heard these two tricks before and heard them many times over. Now, how often do you actually do it? How often do you end up buying extra because it was on sale when you saw it walking down the isle to an actual list item? I am guilty of them both many times over. So I went on a search online and read how other women were saving money when going grocery shopping. I want to share with you what I am finding that works for me.
Budgeting for Food [Feeding Growing Boys]
I have attempted to budget my grocery bills for a month. Setting out a set amount each week for food and then when it comes time to going to the grocery store I make sure I take my allocated amount in cash. This allows me to stick to my budget and makes me pay attention to price per serving, weather coupons will actually help me save and I can know what a product will cost me each time it is on my list.
Figuring out prices and knowing what stores are cheaper takes a bit of work. I agree it seems a little tedious at times. But after a while it becomes a second nature. One thing I learned while going through school to become a Therapist was that it takes 90 days of an activity to make it a habit. So, for three months make this happen and you wont even notice you do this. Plus, I learned so much about my families finances, where money was going, and what products were eating my dollars alive.
The other thing you need to know when trying to budget for food is how long products last within your home. How often are you buying the product? How often a month depends on what your spending per serving/usage. What I have found is most of the dry goods, cleaning products, and pet supplies are better bought in bulk. How do you figure this out? Simply write a date on the product's packaging when you open it. Read the directions for use or serving suggestions at opening and use them to the best of your ability. Using the directions is something we all take for granted especially when it comes to something like laundry soap or shampoo. Truth is, if you stick to serving size and usage amount the product goes further for you (or you stay within your calorie limit for a day). All that allows you to decide how much you are spending and if you need to make a packaging or size difference.
Examples I found huge differences in were dishwasher detergent, and cat litter. Estimated savings (because it is on going experiments) per month $25.
Dishwasher Detergent story - I have grown attached to those neat little packages of dishwasher soap that dissolve in your dishwasher. They are clean and neat, they are prepackaged to usage size so you don't waste. Right? Well, I discovered something when I choose to go eco friendly products in my home. There is limited eco friendly cleaning supplies out there. I had tried some of the supermarket eco friendly products and I didn't like them much at all. Then, a friend shared a new brand with me and it was even in a neat little packet! I was in love after once use of this product and might I add it was in a neat little package! I even laugh at myself to how addicted to the neat little package of dishwasher soap I was. Through a mishap in ordering I accidentally ordered the powder form of my new favorite soap instead of my neat little packages. When it came in the mail I thought of using the money back guarantee and trading for my favorite packaging but for the same price I was supposed to get 10 more uses. I'm all about saving money now so I made it a challenge to prove the packaging right and get 10 more uses than my neat little packages.
Cat Litter Story - I hate living in my mom's house and having to put cat litter boxes close to my bedroom or bathroom because cats are picky and know they can make us do what they want. My oldest cat is extremely picky. She has been around me and my husband the longest at 9 years now. She has her favorite everything and deserves her own everything. Cat litter has always been a fight for me partly because of odor so close to where I sleep and partly because my cat is so picky. If she doesn't like the litter brand it goes out on the floor, everywhere. If it needs cleaned she will drag our socks and underwear into the litter box. If there isn't enough litter left in the box to suit her she will pee on our laundry.
My mom uses an all natural, odorless cat litter and when I moved in has pretty much made sure I had this one on hand. She told me because it lasts longer, there is no smell (not even backing soda smell), and it doesn't stick to the bottom of the litter box. I have two cats and 20 lbs lasted me 6 weeks. And my cat never even flung it on the ground. How happy I was. Again, I decide to experiment and I discover how much savings (because it was sold on odor control) it actually gave me. I went and bough the favorite brand of my eldest cat because it was the brand I used all the time. I used three times as much cat litter with my old brand in 6 weeks.
It really is all about multiple methods of money saving that get you the huge savings you see these super moms do on the news reports. It's about knowing what your family does, uses, needs and can actually do and helping it in small steps along the way. I hope to share more savings later down the road. I will always share products that I find a savings in. Beware because I like to experiment with all types of things!
Please feel free to share your money saving sites and tips and tricks!
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