Family life doesn’t always come cheap, and no matter what your salary, it’s going to start being a bit more important to save the pennies when you have little people running around. But living frugally doesn’t mean not spending money and being tight, it’s about being wise with your money rather and making the most out of any resources which are available to you.
Be smart about your gym membership
We all know that going to the gym and not using our membership is one of the most common ways to spunk money down the drain. We all also know that gym membership joining fees can feel a little extortionate if we’re trying to save the money. Before joining a gym, it’s always worth checking out a coupon site, such as dontpayfull.com, where you may be able to get a coupon code for no joining fees, first month free, or even home gym equipment. The best perk of that last option? You won’t even need to go to the gym to workout!
Create a stockpile
When you come across an offer that will be useful around the home - washing detergent, dishwasher tablets, etc, it won’t hurt to stock up a little. Of course, there’s no need to go crazy here, but having a backup of the products you use will mean that you will never need to make a dash to the corner shop, where you will spend more on a panic item you don’t even really like.
Make your own cleaning products
Homemade cleaners are free from nasty chemicals which are bad for both your skin and environment, as well as being a much more cost-effective way of keeping your home clean. Regular and natural items which you can buy in almost any grocery store, such as vinegar and baking soda, are all much cheaper and nicer to the world than store-bought and branded items.
Don’t buy new
Some people thrive in thrift and secondhand stores; some hate them. But love them or loathe them, you can’t deny that they are a money-saving haven for everything from baby clothes to cosmetics to furniture. If you have the time to browse, you’ll be surprised at what you can find in these stores - cute home decor, discounted books for your little ones and brand-name clothing at a fraction of the cost.
Plan your weekly meals
By planning your meals before you go to the grocery store, you are less likely to buy things you don’t need and therefore won’t eat. Not only will this save you money, but will prevent you from buying foods which are bad for you and that you will snack on, just because they are in the house!
Adjust your thermostat
We’ve all been caught out on months where even the smallest hiccup can send us into a financial world of worry. If you need a little more wiggle room in your budget, shave some cash off your monthly bills by turning the thermostat down and the AC off when you and the rest of your family are out for the day. It’s also worth remembering to check and change your AC filters regularly - a dusty filter can cause it to be less effective and sometimes even shorten its lifespan, costing even more money!
Birthday coming up for a family member? Why spend your hard-earned dollars on a birthday card when you can get the kids to make one out of their craft box? Not only will this practice (and new tradition) save you money throughout the year, but the recipients will appreciate a handmade card much more than a store-bought one. Your local dollar store will have a huge range of crafting bits and bobs for you stock up on, and although it may seem like a big haul in the first place, it will save you the trip to the store to buy cards and money in the long run.
Make do and mend
Fixing any drafts in your doors and windows will save you having to crank up the heat and spending more money on your monthly energy bills. You’ll be able to buy filler from the hardware store, which should come with instructions on how to use it. Alternatively, you can make your own draft blocker by sewing a thin piece of fabric into a tube and filling it with sand or kitty litter. Repairing any tired cushions and blankets with patches is also a fun way to both replenish the look of your home, and avoid going out and buying more.