I decided to make a list to see how I can save a bit more money for our family; take a look at what we are currently doing that is frugal, and what is not so frugal. It’s great to take a look at your life every once in a while to see what changes you can make to improve things, and now is a great time with the new addition to our family. The list was seeming a little negative, like I was beating myself down for not being as frugal as I could be. So, I changed it. It is always great to see how I can make changes, but today I want to praise myself for ways that we do save money. So here are 5 things we do daily, that save us money.
1. Diapers – Right now our 2-year-old is still in diapers, he wears cloth during the day that require being washed every 2 or 3 days, and at night he wears disposables (we buy PC Green from Super Store that are fairly inexpensive, and we only require one pack per month). Right now our nearly one month old daughter is in disposables full-time, which I hate. My cousin in Saskatchewan is mailing me her newborn size cloth diapers! I am super excited about this! Since the smallest I have wont fit our little princess for another month or two, this is going to save us a lot of money: the cost of shipping the diapers is the price of one pack of diapers!
2. Meal Planning – Just because I’m not posting our weekly meal plans, doesn’t mean I stopped planning. I don’t think I could even grocery shop for our family without knowing exactly what meals I am making. Dinner time is crazy; end of the day and I’m tired, two-year old is hungry and wants his Daddy home, and baby girl is usually fussy and looking for food too. I can’t possibly start thinking about what to make right before I have to cook it. Having a freezer full of prepped meals, or a fridge full of ingredients, make my life so much easier. Not only does it save me tons of time and brain power, it saves money because I only buy exactly what I need for the week (unless there is a great sale, and I can stock up on something). Everyone should meal plan.
3. Breastfeeding – I realize this is a temporary way we are saving money, it’s only happening because we have a new baby, but babies are expensive, and this is one way to save money. I wasn’t able to breastfeed our son, and we spent a small fortune on formula every month. This time around I have been successful, which means our baby girl gets free meals!
4. My Dodge Caliber – I drive a smallish car. We didn’t rush out and buy an SUV or minivan the second we found out I was pregnant (a lot of people do this). I’ve had this car since before we were even married, so it is already paid off. Not having a monthly car payment saves us lots of money. It is also a fairly efficient car, and has just enough room for two car seats and all the stuff you need for two kids. It is a little frustrating to try to fit everything in it, and probably in the near future, we will be buying something bigger. And, when we do decide we need a bigger vehicle, we have a fairly new car in great condition to use as a trade in or to sell privately.
5. We don’t shop – My husband and I aren’t spenders. I used to be, I had a full-time job, which was pretty much entirely a disposable income, and boy would I spend it! On clothing, fast food and fancy coffees (I also paid for my car, and paid off my student loans. I wasn’t totally irresponsible). But now, things are different. We have a family and a mortgage; we got all our spending out of our systems when we were young and carefree! Ha! I guess two kids and a mortgage means I’m not young anymore. I remember when I first met my husband, back when we were teenagers, and he would spend an entire Burger King paycheck on DVDs (back when they were really expensive and he had a thing for movies). We have both changed our ways. Most people don’t think little changes in their spending habits will make a big difference, but the little things add up. We don’t have a huge family income (and a single one at that), but somehow we manage to have a nice house, nice things in the house, decent cars in the driveway, a savings account, and no debt. So we must be doing something right.
Take at look at your spending habits and monthly budget, is there anything you do that saves you money, or anything you could do better at?