I have been inspired to write this post after reading my friend Rachel's post covering the same topic here: Because I'm ¢heap Like That. In her post she mentions all the the corners she cuts or what I call brilliant ways of pinching pennies. I'm always up for saving a buck or two!
These are a few areas where we have managed to save:
Cheap, to me has always been associated with negative connotations and somehow having an effect on others. You know what I'm talking about. Most everyone has gone to lunch with a group of friends and had a "cheap" friend order a $5.95 meal and had them only dish out $6....when everyone knows well that there is tax and a tip to be factored in. That, my friend is CHEAP! (no pun intended).
Frugal however does not have an effect on others. It's just someone who likes to get the best deal without hurting themselves, their budget (wallet) or others. For an example: someone who will skip the latest movie and wait to rent it when it comes out on DVD because they are wanting to spend that extra money on a new dress. That, my dear is frugal.
Now that I cleared that up....on to more important things like HOW we save a buck or two. These are the things we do:
1. REDBOX: I mean really, who really wants to pay $5 for a movie rental or $9 for the movie theater when you can rent one for A BUCK! All you have to do is wait for it to be released on DVD. Plus Redbox has free movie deals on the first Monday of every month. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.
Do I hear, Family Movie Night!?
There are some other companies out there that are making rentals more cost effective. Like Netflix for example, who is moving towards streamlined movies. But Redbox is the route we have chosen thus far.
2. IN HOME HAIR SALON: OK, I really don't have a hair salon in my home but I do cut everyone's hair...even my own at times. That is only when I cannot get a hold of my niece, Micah (who is Amazing by the way).
Can you imagine the monthly cost of around $12 per head. And that's really low-ball pricing for a haircut. After you factor in the tip and with me (good gracious) if I coloring my hair was a priority?!?! That's approximately $150 per month we are saving!!! And remember that's all low-ball estimating.
3. EATING OUT: Well, first off let me say that we don't do much eating out. Having 7 kids limits us and Chris & I tend to eat at home anyway since Chris is fully capable of making the meals from the restaurants we would choose to most frequent, if able. But, if we chose to do so (which have in the past) we would split meals between us and the kids.
Another brilliant idea I heard was when you order your meal to have them box up 1/2 of the meal prior to them bringing it out to you. Because, if we don't see it, we won't eat it. And then that way you have your lunch for the next day already wrapped up and ready to go. But as any Little Sombrero fan knows...that won't work for any of their food. It's too good not to gobble it all down right there on the spot!
4. COSTCO PIZZA: Pizza night, who could go without a family pizza night? We have at times made our own fresh pizza...very fun and I highly recommend it! Especially if you prep all your ingredients and make personal pizzas for everyone to customize...very fun!
But, if in a pinch and needing a quick meal...go to COSTCO! Not only do they have great tasting pizza ready to pick up in a few minutes or order while you shop (there is a phone toward the back by the bakery/deli). They also have some more varieties in the back of the store/warehouse available to take home and pop in the oven. Oh, and did I mention that they only cost $10? I know! And that's for an extra large! $20 feeds our entire family AND that is with leftovers for lunch the next day! Can't beat that for a family of 9!
5. CLOTHING: Buying 2nd hand and thrifting has always been a fun adventure for me. I've always liked trying to find the "best" deal. It's comparative to the lioness on the hunt for that perfect pair of jeans in the jungle of pants on racks. And don't forget the ever-loving hand-me-down store....if you've got a big family (it's inevitable...and frugal!) I'm sure you have one too! Just about every 6months we get a "new" surprise. The kids feel like it's their birthday or Christmas all over again.
But, my most recent adventure lies within the walls of my own home alongside my Mother's Day present...my sewing machine. I am discovering the joys of up-cycling our clothing. It's fun & frugal. And I cannot wait to start posting some of my creations....if I can just figure out how to turn the thing on. Well, not actually. But, it has been a long time since I've sewn.
6. CUTTIN' THE CABLE: Yep, you heard it. We cut our cable out a little over a year ago, around the same time or shortly thereafter discovering Redbox. We also figured we could save a few $$ and watch movies and tv programs online through Hulu.
You can watch practically any tv program online with Hulu...the only catch is that you typically have to watch it a week later after it airs. Pair that with a Sonic Banana Split and you have a night-in for a really inexpensive date night. Yes, we have gone VERY FRUGAL in this area...But really, who has the funding for babysitting for at least 4 kids every week? This way we can have our cake (or in this case banana split) and eat it too!
Well, there you have it...a 1/2 a dozen ways to save.
COMMENT: I know we are living together on this...So, what do you do to save a buck?