January 16, 2018
As a stay-at-home mom of three boys, I try to find creative ways to reduce spending. There have been seasons in the last few years that our family needed to scrimp and save. Here are a few things I have implemented that saves our family money:
- Use things you already own: Take a look at what already sits in your cupboards and on your shelves. You may be surprised at what meals you can cook using the ingredients you already have in your cupboards and freezer. Read the books on your shelves that you haven’t had a chance to get to yet. Instead of finding entertainment outside of the home, stay in and play the board games or put together a puzzle you already own.
- Trim the food budget: As I mentioned, I am a mother of three [quickly growing] boys, so these suggestions may not apply to you. But, if your family goes through a gallon of milk/day and spends as much on groceries as their mortgage payment, you may want to tune in. Buy chips, crackers, and snacks in bulk and then portion them out in snack-size bags rather than buying pre-portioned bags. Research restaurants that offer “kids eat free” nights. Determine which name brand foods matter to your family, and then buy off-brand food items that don’t matter so much.
- Find free entertainment: You don’t need to compromise quality of entertainment just because you are saving money. Check out local museums to see if they offer free admission at certain times. Go to a local park or garden for a picnic and throw a frisbee or ball around. Find out if your local library has any free events that interest you and your family.
Some of these ideas take more time than others, but then again, sometimes we have more time than money. A few of these ideas became permanent changes for our family, which affords us to use the money in other ways when finances are not as tight.
Written by Leslie Melby, volunteer writer for the Summit Stewardship and Generosity Ministry.
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