1. Shop Bargain Stores
Not saying that they will be your one and only place to shop, but you should make them your first! Here’s why: when you shop places like the Dollar Tree you will find all sorts of things that don’t need to be “name brand” like plastic storage containers, glassware, cards, wrapping paper, helium filled balloons, cleaners, kitchen gadgets like colanders, graters, spoons- you name it! (even off brand Mr. Clean Magic Erasers that work just like the real deal!) They have these HUGE plastic storage bags that go quick and you can use them for all sorts of stuff! Just go and browse before you go to the “big” store! If you shop at Goodwill you can buy picture frames, household items, furniture that you can give some TLC and really make your own, and clothes!
Another go-to place for budget conscious moms is thrift stores and stores like Big Lots, Burlington Coat Factory, Goody’s, Marshals, TJMaxx and the used baby stores for the kiddos. Also, for groceries, try stores like ALDI before going to the big stores and visit Gordon Food Service for some really great deals on food and kitchen items without the bulk store membership! You will be amazed and wonder why you haven’t shopped this way before! No kidding! And for even more unique savings, try the online yard sales on Facebook and Everything But the House for some amazing deals! If you get creative, you can really stretch the family dollar!
2. Make Your Own Cleaning Products.
Making your own cleaning products is kinda the new thing. No, really. If you can use a simple, cheap cleaner to scrub the crud off your toilet and scum off the tub, why would you want to pay four times as much for the cleaners at the store?? They are mostly water anyway. Look around online and search for some really quick recipes for everything from homemade toothpaste to making your own laundry soap! Seriously easy stuff. We’re not talking rocket science. For example, using one of those sponges with a refillable handle, you can put white vinegar and dish liquid in it and- bam, shower and tub cleaner in a ready-to-go scrub brush. You can make all sorts of cleaners- the sky is the limit! So, look around. Chances are, YOU can make that fancy-shmancy cleaner you love, and save yourself money that you could put to better use on something very important. Like date night!
3. Budget in Family Fun!
Have you ever considered budgeting in a family fun night? There are many creative things you can do on a very limited budget. Home Video Night, for example is a favorite! The kids love to see themselves when they were little, especially when they were born! There’s always lots of giggling from the kids and parents love the walk down memory lane. Past vacations are fun, birthday parties and even the old wedding video! Backyard Camp out Night is tons of fun for kids! They really don’t care if it’s just the backyard; the thought of something different is exciting enough. If you have a fire pit or barbecue, roasting hotdogs and smores is an added element of fun and doesn’t cost much or take much planning. Dessert Out Night- cook dinner at home and then surprise the kids for dessert out! Either to a favorite ice cream shop if its warm out or go inside for some warm apple pie, or even hot chocolates and coffee!
It gets even better if you orchestrate this with friends and meet for dessert out and conversation! Movie Night In is a cool idea for busy moms who want to something fun but don’t really have much time to plan. This one involves going to Redbox and picking out a movie for $1 and then popping some popcorn in the microwave and maybe picking up a couple of drink mix packets for 10 cents at the dollar store and voila, movie night! Mom’s done! If you want to take it up a notch, you could make some brownies from a box for less than $2. The library (even has movies you can check out for free!).
4. Get Rid of TV
Unless you love television and watch it all the time, you really won’t miss TV as much as you may think. The average American spends between $700-$900 a year on TV. That doesn’t include movies at the theater. It could be said that for a years worth of entertainment, $700-$900 is fairly reasonable. That money could be used to buy an EnterTRAINment pass, museum pass, a zoo pass, Camps, etc. That could also pay for a year family membership to the Y. Free TV has the all reality shows you like as well as the news programs you need. The kids have the educational stuff and some cartoons, even nature channels. Would you believe you even get a channel with old movies and TV shows? All crystal clear and for FREE!
Not only are there multiple free channels for your family to enjoy, there are also the options of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Netflix and Hulu come at the affordable rate of $8 a month. When using Hulu you can watch most live TV shows the day after they air. Amazon Prime Instant Video can be ordered individually comes with your Amazon Prime account. When using Amazon Prime Instant Video you have the ability to buy and rent TV shows and videos. When you use the live channels and use a combination of the sites listed above you will get the same TV enjoyment that you once had with cable for a fraction of the cost.
5. Thirty Day Rule
The 30 Day Rule is quite simple. You make a list of things you want/think you need to buy and then wait 30 days. This gives you time to see if you really need the item you want to purchase as well as give time for the urge to “buy it now” go away. If after 30 days you find that you still really need that item, then go buy it. But most of the time people realize that they didn’t really need that item as much as they thought they did. So by waiting, they end up not purchasing something they didn’t really need. It is also more wise to keep that list in your head and not on paper. In my opinion, this allows you to let the unimportant items you think you need to be forgotten and by not writing them down, you aren’t reminded of what you “need”. If it’s something you truly need you will not easily forget about it!
When it comes to saving money every tip helps! If you have found more ways to save money when it comes to your family share in the comment section below!
Entertrainment understands the struggles when it comes to finding budget friendly entertainment. We have everyday discounts steals and deals. Checkout our affordable attraction and see how we can help you have fun while staying in your budget!