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What ways do you all save money?

Alright this is kinda off the homeschooling subject but I figured who better to ask since the majority of homeschooling parents are probably a family with only one parent working. I was just looking for any good tips on saving money. We will be homeschooling this year for the first time and we are on a very tight budget. Who isn't? Anyway tips on money saving ideas for household things, groceries, and school needs would be greatly appreciated. Things we already do is we go to the library, clip coupons, and don't buy many paper towels. I'm sure there's more I could be doing. Anyone have any tips they'd like to share? Thanks!

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:15 PM on Aug. 8, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (12)
  • I guess I would get all school supply type things for the year, right now while they're on sale. Also make meals at home, don't go out to eat. Shop at a discount grocery store, unplug appliances that you aren't using
    skittles1108

    Answer by skittles1108 at 12:21 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • The best thing to do to start saving money is learn to make things from scratch. Processed foods cost a fortune. I make my own bread much of the time even. Dry beans are an excellent source of protein, are easy to cook and very inexpensive. Look for discount grocery stores and buy discount meats. If you put them right into the freezer you won't have any problems. I have even started making my own laundry detergent. Get rid of a cell phone, if you have it. They really aren't necessary and are expensive. Cancel cable TV if you have that. TV isn't good for kids anyway. We have never paid for TV.
    Marwill

    Answer by Marwill at 12:22 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • We ALWAYS use coupons--but only on the things we normally buy!

    We ALWAYS shop sale or clearance items--NEVER pay full price.

    We belong to BJ's Wholesale club--where even gas is cheaper!

    We buy foods in bulk and freeze much of what we buy.

    We grow most of our own fruits and veggies.

    And, when buying kids clothes and shoes/sneakers-I buy 1-2 sizes larger than what they currently need so they can (hopefully) get more than a year/season out of them! Most boys clothing has adjustable waistbands, and the "look" is oversized and comfortable.
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 12:30 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Well for me saving money is hanging clothes on the line, doing dishes by hand, buying school supples when they are really cheap like now and buying extra for next year also. We garden so I can my own food. That won't be an option right now for you though. Pasta & dry beans goes a long way. Cancel anything you don't really need. Don't buy pop and snacks make your own snacks don't buy cleaning supplies use a make your own like baking soda and vinegar can be used for most cleaning, buy clothes for every one at the Goodwill or garage sales
    Things I would cancel if money were really tight would be
    Internet
    Cable
    I'd have 1 phone
    wouldn't run the AC
    Moms_Angels1960

    Answer by Moms_Angels1960 at 12:36 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Buying larger quantities especially on chicken and meat seem to make a difference when you are plannig meals. A larger package of say chicken can be very cost effective if you think about the various meals that can be created out of one package. The same holds true for ground beef.
    CafeMochaMom1

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 12:50 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Make at least some of your own cleaning products. This has the added bonus of bringing fewer toxins into your home
    This is what we use for most cleaning (initially used as part of my daughter's 6th grade science fair project). It is cheap (my favorite) and non toxic.
    ¼ cup white vinegar
    ¾ cup warm tap water
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    10 drops of tea tree oil (antibacterial, antifungal, etc.)
    2 drops oil of lavender essential oil (antiseptic and smells nice)

    Stop buying paper towels and napkins. Cloth napkins are more fun! Pick up cheap cotton towels at your favorite second hand shop. Save money and trees!!

    Past the age of 2, the only beverage that humans need is water. Stop buying juice and sodas; buy milks only for cooking and cereal. You can liven up water with slices of fruits and vegetables; make ice cubes with blueberry eyeballs for the kids.

    cont
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 1:54 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Replace meats with beans, lentils, tofu, seitan, etc. You can save even more money by using dried beans and lentils and making your own seitan.

    Cook from scratch! Home cooked foods taste so much better than the nasty boxed stuff, and you will feel better because you are eating healthier foods.

    Replace simple grains (white flour, white rice, white pasta, etc.) with whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, etc.). While whole grains may cost more, they have more nutrition and are more filling, so they really are the better value.

    Frozen fruits and vegetables have a longer shelf life than fresh and retain their nutrition longer; they are often a better, less expensive option than fresh.

    Once or twice a week have breakfast for dinner.

    cont.
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 1:55 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Popular options at my house are: yogurt parfaits with frozen berries and whole grain cereal; veggies omelettes with a bit of cheese and whole grain toast; whole grain pancakes with fruit.
    Instead of baking a whole batch of cookies, make and freeze cookie dough balls. No one will be tempted to sneak a cookie(you know who you are) and when you do have cookies they will be fresh baked.
    Only go to the grocery store every 8 days. Before you shop, plan all of your meals and snacks for the next 8 days. Write your list, based on what you need to complete your meal plan. Pull any necessary coupons, eat before you go (never go to the grocery store hungry). Most important, buy only what is on your list. The specials at the store are not to save you money, they are to get you to buy items that you don't need. If you won't use it in 3 week, don't buy it!

    I have a ton of recipes that are tasty, healthy, family and budget friendly;
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 1:55 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • I make my own laundry detergent.
    1 bar laundry soap (like Fels-Naptha)
    1/2 cup washing soda (not washing powder, not baking soda)
    1/4 cup Borax

    Grate bar of soap and melt in 4 cups of water over medium heat, stirring until completely melted. Stir in Borax and washing soda into hot water in 5 gallon bucket. Add melted soap and stir. Fill bucket with hot water and stir. Lid and let gel 24 hours. To use, fill old detergent container half full with detergent, half full with water. Shake to mix prior to using. Use 1/4 cup for front loader washing machine. Use 5/8 cup for top loader.

    I have wood floors and use vinegar and water to clean them. I tbsp vinegar for 1 cup of water. We use cloth diapers, we don't have cable - we watch Netflix via our blu-ray player or watch local TV or cable shows on Hulu.
    Christina807

    Answer by Christina807 at 5:34 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • I got tired of trying to cut corners, so I have adopted this philosophy: Don't cut back, make more $$$! I can show you how I do it, if you are interested. Looking for serious minded people to join my team. www.greatworkplan.com/genegodwin Let me know if I can help!
    Gene_Godwin

    Answer by Gene_Godwin at 7:24 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

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