An oft-repeated phrase “in this economy” used to not ring true with me. However, we’ve had a couple rough years. Even though it feels settled now, my husband’s new job sees him bringing home the same amount every other week that he used to bring home weekly. I work full-time again, but with insurance and other “must-haves”, it has still been interesting. The girls go to a great, parochial school and they are involved in some activities (piano lessons, sports, etc.) that can be pricey. Of course, with Murphy being so fond of his law, the other shoes have dropped on occasion–dryer needing replaced, car repairs, etc.–and if we could rebuild the cushion we lost long ago, that would be amazing.
To that end, I’m always looking for ways to build in convenience, efficiency and savings to our budget. For instance, this weekend, my daughter played in a two-day soccer tournament. I spent around $25 at the grocery store prior to the tourney and was able to pack some awesome picnic lunches and snacks. We had the best time hanging out between games and there were enough leftovers for packed school lunches at least through Tuesday. I’m sure had we eaten out & driven around, we would have spent at least $25, if not more, and had nothing to show for it after the games concluded.
I love Pinterest and even have a board called Becky Home-ecky. I’ve found tons of things to try that don’t take a lot of time, but save a lot of money. Through my research, I’ve developed an abiding love for vinegar and its amazing properties. I have used it for cleaning all kinds of things including my washing machine–20 years of gunk and goo GONE. Fabulous! I also make my own laundry detergent now and I’ve never been happier doing laundry.
I’ve been trying to plan meals & use my crockpot more. I love to cook and bake, but after a long day at the office and with after school activities eating up hours of the evening, it isn’t as attractive an activity as it once was. I try to plan ahead so that everyone knows what is on the menu–that way, no matter who is home first, something can be in the works.
Via Pinterest, I stumbled upon a blog written by a woman whose job it is to save her family money. Her husband had been in the military (so she knows about deployments & other familiar topics) and I found her blog pretty interesting–especially the parts about freezing anything and everything from milk to fresh vegetables. I know that when Kroger has its 10 for $10 and one of the items is a half gallon of milk, that might be an option for us. I was especially interested in the homemade mixes section because I know we spend a bunch of convenience products like that and we don’t need to do that. The girls are old enough now that they might see this homemade mix thing and baking in bulk and freezing as fun (at least the first few times we do it!).
This has been food for thought especially since this week the remainder of the girls’ piano school tuition is due and my husband isn’t paid until Friday–my meal plans are all based on things we already have in the house! That’s what that stockpile is for–it’s suffering a bit because I haven’t really couponed in over a year, but boy am I glad I did it all those months ago! I haven’t bought shower gel for my husband in over a year and a half–savings galore right there.
If I figure out anything good or find other experts that might be helpful, I will be sure to post. If you have ideas or great websites, post a comment!