The problem with a lot of money saving tips for families on a budget is that they require a complete (or at least big) lifestyle overhaul in order to actually save your money. Seriously, what’s the sense of that when the fact is that most people won’t make those big changes?
It’s with that in mind that we put together a blog with 6 small changes that you can make right away that will have big, positive effects on your family budget. Enjoy.
Change #1) Don’t shop for groceries with your kids. Let’s be honest, it’s extremely difficult to stay focused on the task of saving money on your groceries when you have your rugrats with you, begging and pleading for everything they see. That’s why, whenever possible, you should get the grocery shopping done without them.
Change #2) Plan your meals ahead of time. Two things happen when you don’t plan your meals ahead, and both of them are negative. First, you end up getting fast food, which is loaded with fat, salt and sugar. Second, you waste time and money running out to get that unhealthy food. Planning your meals out for the week is one of the best ways to avoid this situation, feed your family for less and also feed them healthier food.
Change #3) Buy used clothing and toys for your toddlers, tots and pre-schoolers. Okay, we all know that once a child hits a certain age you won’t be able to get them used clothing anymore because that’s “uncool”. (Although, these days, many teens have made a hobby out of going to Goodwill.) So, while they’re still young and won’t know the difference, getting them used clothing and toys is a great way to save money. You can do that at the aforementioned Goodwill, garage sales and even many retail stores that cater to gently used clothing for babies and small children.
Change #4) Stop using paper towels and paper napkins. This might not sound like it will save you a lot of money but, for the average family of five, the savings could add up to $500 dollars a year! Cloth towels and napkins and be reused for years and still look great, and you only have to buy them once in a blue moon.
Change #5) Unplug appliances that you aren’t using. Did you know that 10% (or more) of your electric bill is made up of electricity from appliances that aren’t even being used? Electronics like your microwave oven, coffee maker, phone chargers, laptops and much more use energy even if they aren’t being used. They’re called “vampire gadgets” because they suck electricity all the time. How to get them to keep sucking? Unplug them completely when you aren’t using them.
Change #6) Have breakfast at dinnertime. Weird as it seems, most breakfast foods cost a lot less than dinner foods. For example, you can make pancakes and eggs much more cheaply then mashed potatoes and steak, and most everyone in the family won’t complain. It’s a nice change of pace to and will save you a few bucks. Do it regularly and those bucks will definitely add up.