Since becoming a homemaker, it has been my passion and duty to figure out the best ways to stretch every dollar that my dear husband brings home. It has been an extremely long and tedious process, and I am still learning, but we have discovered tons of ways to live on one income.
At times it has felt completely impossible, and with baby #3 on the way-a tad bit scary-but it is definitely doable. Here is a extensive list of quirky ideas my family uses or tips I've learned from others, so that frugal budgeting doesn't seem too hard to handle.
1. Switching from cable to Netflix saved us $40 a month.
2. Couponing (big or small) can really help.
3. Stockpiling items when they go on sale. (I haven't had to purchase deodorant in over a year!)
4. We went down to one car for over two years to get caught up on bills. We now have two paid off vehicles.
5. Go meatless two nights a week.
6. Make freezer meals to curb the desire to eat out.
7. Use cloth towels over paper.
8. Make your own laundry detergent. (My recipe is about a penny per load while I believe Tide is around 10 cent per load)
9. Make your own house cleaners (vinegar, anyone?)
10. Check second hand stores for clothing and household items.
11. A can of spray paint can change the look of any home decor item!
12. Cut your family's hair.
13. Consignment. We take our kids clothes to a consignment shop, and when we get credit we just use it to purchase items they need as they grow. It's like constant recycling!
14. Make your own baby food.
15. Get rid of home phone and just use cell. I wish we could do this. Unfortunately, where we live-we have horrible cell service, so we have to have the home phone.
16. Learn canning! This saves BIG BUCKS in the long run!
17. Pay with cash. It's a whole lot more painful than using a card.
18. Cut out bad habits. Calculate how much those cigarettes, energy drinks, or lattes are really costing you each month.
19. Use envelope system budgeting. Separate your spending into categories, (grocery, gas, rent, etc.) Place your money in each envelope and once it's empty-you must wait until the next month to spend in that category.
20. Check out DVDs from the library instead or renting or purchasing.
21. Barter with people you know for services.
22. Sell unwanted items that are in good condition.
23. Mend your own clothing.
25. Bring your own bags to the grocery stores, many will give a small discount for doing so.
26. Wash clothes in cold water.
27. Line dry clothes when you can. (We aren't allowed to have a clothes line in our neighborhood...this makes me super sad)
28. Check out GasBuddy.com to find the cheapest gas in your area BEFORE you leave the house.
29. Unplug appliances that are not in use. Especially cell phone chargers, irons, and toasters.
31. Are you a student, senior, or in the military? Ask everywhere you go if they give discounts-you may be surprised!
32. Check your bank for hidden fees regularly. Many are charging a 5-7 dollar fee just to hold your money.
33. Sign your kids up for birthday clubs! (just Google, there are tons!) We get free ice cream, little gift cards and much more each time their birthdays come around!
34. Ask your utility company if they offer a lower rate during off-peak hours. This is when you want to do laundry or wash dishes.
35. Check out couponing and freebie sites for awesome freebies. These sample size items are great donations for homeless shelters, but also for stocking stuffers or basket fillers for gifts!
Find even more frugal budgeting tips and ways to save money!
So here is my list! I'd love to hear some of the ways you stretch your budget!
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