Monday, August 2, 2010

SAVE green & BE green

Ok, so you all can think that I am a dork for posting this list...but many of my friends ask me how I manage to stay on such a tight budget. First of all, I must mention that my loving husband is the reason behind our "all mighty" budget and it is him who keeps me in line. I also must mention that all budgets are meant to be broken....sometimes. In the last year I have really made an attempt to be more eco-friendly while also watching our spending. These two go more hand in hand than you might think. I have compiled a list of some of the money-saving strategies and tips that I have used for our family. Maybe this will inspire you to save a little green while being more green.

Awbree's Money-Saving Tips:

1. Make a weekly menu for grocery shopping and STICK TO IT! Only buy what you are actually planning to use.

2. Instead of going out to dinner with friends, set up a monthly game/date night, pick a theme each month, and have each couple bring something to contribute to the meal.

3. Pick your own fruits and veggies when in season. Or better yet, start a small garden in your yard or on your deck. We grow parsley, basil, green peppers, red peppers, tomatoes, and grapes. You will be surprised how many meals you can make with tomatoes and basil!

4. Stop buying paper towels. Cut up old t-shirts to use as rags and place in a basket on the counter.

5. Use cloth napkins.

6. Start a babysitting exchange with a friend. I do this occasionally, but I know some mom's groups who do co-op programs where they use poker chips as points to earn and spend for childcare.

7. Use reusable containers or washable bags for on-the-go lunches and snacks.

8. Use cloth diapers and cloth wipes. I made cloth wipes out of old receiving blankets cut into small rectangles.

9. Buy store brand whenever possible. We live on Target brands!

10. When going to a museum or zoo, look into buying a yearly membership. It is normally around $100 for the entire family, which is almost the same for a one day entrance for a family of four. The Maryland Science Center and the National Children's Museum memberships can be used for free entrance at other museums throughout the country.

11. Shop at Goodwill. It is not embarrassing or bad. If I can do it, so can you. I found a Pottery Barn kids duster ruffle for a crib for $1! In Maryland, the last Saturday of each month is 1/2 price day.

12. Take your unwanted clothes and toys to a consignment shop or sell them at a children's consignment sale. You can use the money you make to buy "new" items the kids need...or that you want.

13. Make Christmas gifts for family members.

14. Stop buying books. Get books and magazines at the library. You can "order" books on your library website and then just swing by and pick them up. If you like to keep your books, buy them used at www.half.com.

15. Stop buying bottled water. GET A BRITA!

16. Look for deals at local restaurants before heading out for dinner. Many places offer "kids eat free" nights or "1/2 price" night.

17. Clean out storage/junk areas in your house. You will be surprised what you find....either stuff you need or stuff you don't, which you can sell.

18. Turn off lights, TVs, computers, etc. whenever they are not being used.

19. Walk or ride a bike whenever possible to save gas $.

20. Run the dishwasher late a night. Electricity is cheaper at night. Use the 4 hour delay button. This also goes for laundry....do it late at night or first thing in the morning.

21. Try to make 2 meals a week without meat. Veggies are much cheaper, can be grown at home organically, and are much better for you.

22. Make your own baby food and freeze it.



Thanks for reading :)

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