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View Full Version : Need to save a few extra $'s


crl
04-20-2006, 12:57 PM
We are building a house this year and would still like to take a vacation since we already have a timeshare week to use. So I'm looking for ways to trim the budget to pay for all those other vacation expenses. We are a family of 4. DH, myself, DD age 3 and DS age 3 months. Please help us save some money.

Microcell
04-20-2006, 01:02 PM
Shop at Aldi. Do you have one where you live?
Don't eat out as much.
Turn off the cable and send the kids outside for the summer.
Don't stop for coffee or go out to lunch at work. Brown bag it.
Sell some of last years summer clothes on Ebay or have a garage sale.

More to follow if I can think of any.

aka-mad4themouse
04-21-2006, 07:30 AM
How about trying a "no grocery shopping" week? The objective is to buy the essentials like milk and bread the week before but then use only what's in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer to feed the family. You then put the weekly grocery money into savings. Depending on your normal grocery bill, this could add up to a significant amount of money if done over several months.

There are a lot of advantages to this.
You get to clean out your freezer, frig and pantry without wasting food.
You aren't making extra trips to the grocery store to purchase this or that and then buying several other things in the process.
You save gas by not making multiple trips to the grocery store.
Forces you to get creative with recipes. Who knows what new dishes you may discover in the process?


Turn off the air conditioner if you have one and open the windows. Do your laundry in cold water. Hang the clothes to dry. Turn off lights, TVs, appliances, etc. when not in use - even if it's only going to be 10 minutes. Combine errands into a single trip. Carpool. Walk when you can or take public transportation if available.

Make no new purchases except for emergenicies for a month. No new clothes no matter how great the sale is. No new electronics or technology (my own downfall). Do not renew magazine subscriptions when they come due. No new toys for the kids unless it's their birthday.

With Mother's Day and Father's Day coming up, ask for things that can be applied towards the vacation (gas cards, restaurant and hotel GCs, etc.). Or ask for something that you would have been purchasing anyway for the house. For your own parents, do something different like buying a flat of annuals at the farmer's market for Mom and planting them for her in the garden.

Eat out less, eat in more. Brown bag your leftovers and take them to work for lunch. Bring your own coffee instead of buying it at the coffee shop. Say goodbye to bottled water and drink the stuff that comes out of the tap. Try the generic and store brands of canned goods and frozen foods. Some of them are quite good. Others - well, kive & learn - read the "bagged cereal" thread from last week and you'll know what I mean.

Check into children's "turnabout" sales. A few of our local churches run them twice a year (spring & fall). You can sell your DD's clothing and kids' stuff there on consignment and you can also pick up some great bargains on gently worn clothing and toys that others have brought in. The church takes a small percentage of the price (which you set) and the rest goes to you. You can choose to donate any unsold items or pick them up when the sale is over.

There are probably a lot more ideas that others can offer as well. Good luck saving. It's so hard to do when you're "house poor" but DH & I were able to take the kids on their first Disney trip a year after building our house. It is possible if you really tighten your belt.

Evil Queen
04-21-2006, 07:44 AM
Ok, not a big $$$ idea, but put your change, daily, into a small bank. Last year we used just a cup, but found we would dip into from time to time (for the ice cream truck, neighboorhood yard sales-funny how DS10 found some good bargains for mere change, etc.) Just this past Sunday, I bought a money sorter ($10.), 4 batteries (it only takes two, but I always get spare-$5.), pack of coin wrappers ($2.). By Wed. I had already "wrapped" what I spent on these items and have the wrapped coins hidden. I still have 5 months until my trip,so I'm figuring I'm going to have quite a bit saved this year just in change to use on the trip.

justplaingoofy
04-21-2006, 07:50 AM
If you can promise yourself to never carry a balance!!!!!
Get a credit card that gives you cash back, with no annual fee, and there is no maxiumum you can get back... Ours is a Chase card (used to be GE Rewards and its 1%).. We put EVERYTHING on it.. gas, groceries, md copays... everything! Then pay it off at the end of the month! free $, plus you only have to write out one check at the end of the month... When we bought a car we put the deposit and sales tax etc on it, (we were going to use a check anyway)..

We keep the Disney credit card because they notify us of sales., and in the past have used frequent flyer miles(cancelled them since)...but reality is frequent flyer miles aren't very easy to redeem and you have to use that specific airline..even though you may not love the flights.. This way we get $ back and if we decide to put it towards air we can fly Jetblue for $89 one way!!! WHich offers a bunch of non stop flights to Orlando instead of American that has one (not at a very good time, either)

Thats my tip

KTSMOM
04-21-2006, 08:12 AM
If you can promise yourself to never carry a balance!!!!!
Get a credit card that gives you cash back, with no annual fee, and there is no maxiumum you can get back... Ours is a Chase card (used to be GE Rewards and its 1%).. We put EVERYTHING on it.. gas, groceries, md copays... everything! Then pay it off at the end of the month! free $, plus you only have to write out one check at the end of the month...


We've done the exact same thing. We got the Chase Rewards card that pays us 5% on groceries and gas and 1% on everything else. We use it for everything and pay it off each month. So far i've earned $300. Not too shabby!
I'm also going to have a garage sale next month and whatever money I make from that will go towards my DW trip later this year. That's always a good way to get rid of stuff you don't use and make a little spending cash.

englishteacha
04-21-2006, 08:18 AM
Find creative ways to save! I agree with the above posters. I pack my lunch, I'm cooking more and doing my darndest to eat the leftovers (I'm not a leftover person), I don't buy water, and when I do go shopping, I shop discount, bargain stores, and second hand.

Hanging laundry is a great way to save on electricity, and did you know that it reduces wear and tear on clothes? I hang almost all my work clothes, and most of our shirts, and now the weather is nicer, big things will be hung up outdoors.

Instead of buying cards for birthdays, have your kids make them (or make them yourself). Use that $2-5 savings to put toward a present or make a present. A pack of constuction paper and a box of crayons will make a whole lot of things!

If you have two cars, use the one that gets the best gas mileage as often as you can.

"Neither a borrower or a lender be." Try not to borrow money if you can avoid it. Being in debt is not fun.

We don't make a lot of money, but I don't feel "poor"-I actually enjoy finding ways to save money. I enjoy bargain hunting and trying to find less expensive ways of doing things. People who make more money than we do can't believe that we go on vacation every year, that we have a nice (though tiny) home, and two reliable vehicles. They're barely scraping by, and are in debt up to their eyeballs!

justplaingoofy
04-21-2006, 08:42 AM
We've done the exact same thing. We got the Chase Rewards card that pays us 5% on groceries and gas and 1% on everything else. We use it for everything and pay it off each month. So far i've earned $300. Not too shabby!
I'm also going to have a garage sale next month and whatever money I make from that will go towards my DW trip later this year. That's always a good way to get rid of stuff you don't use and make a little spending cash.


HA HA....I just called Chase and we DO have the 5% on groceries, gas & pharmacies!!! Learn something new everyday!!