There are tons of different ways to save money each week, some extreme and some easy to do with little effort. I’m a busy mother of three, so I prefer the ones that don’t involve a lot of effort. I hate budgeting, but it’s important to save money when your’e raising a family. By following a few easy weekly rules, you can easily save money too, without feeling like you’re really trying.
Drink Coffee at Home
While this may seem like a sacrifice, it’s really not. Buying a value box of k-cups or a bag of coffee grounds is way cheaper than spending $4 on a latte every day. If you’re having a rough morning and really craving your favorite coffee to go, than stop for a special treat – just don’t do it every day. Trust me – you will appreciate it more and save money in the meantime. And you’ll never miss sitting in a long drive through waiting for your caffeine fix. My favorite k-cups are linked below if you need a good recommendation.
I know everyone talks about the importance of meal planning before hitting the grocery store, and it’s true, but I like to take it a step further. I plan breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole week. I also try to choose meals with similar ingredients so I’m not having to buy as many ingredients.
For example: if I know I’m going to make Chicken Marsala for dinner one night than I know I’m going to need to buy mushrooms, cream and chicken. Since my recipe only calls for about half the the container of mushrooms and cream, I will try to add a meal to the list that will use some of those same ingredients, like Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Spaghetti. Meal planning is not that difficult and it will always save you money at the grocery store.
Not only do I love using store coupons, I also use apps like Ibotta that allow you to earn cash back on products you buy. It’s very user friendly and they have a large variety of stores to choose from. Another smart idea is to take advantage of buying products in bulk. I use to be a member of the large wholesale stores, but now I prefer to use Amazon Prime. I don’t even have to get dressed to buy diapers anymore – and it’s wonderful.
Eat Dinner at Home
This one is the most difficult for me. I do cook frequently during the week, but when I get tired towards the end of the day, my favorite thing to do is pick up dinner. I love the convenience of take out, but it can get pretty pricey. My tip to avoid the temptation of picking up dinner on the way home from school, is to cook or prep dinner in the morning. Put dinner in the slow cooker or just marinate some chicken early in the day, that way you won’t be so tempted to stop for a burger since your meal has already been started.
Choose Free of Cheap Family Activities
There are plenty of local activities to enjoy with your family that won’t break the bank. We enjoy going to the library during the week. They have a story time for the little ones and a play area that my kids really enjoy. The park is another great option to get some of the kid’s energy out, they’re all over the place in my town and they don’t cost a thing. If you do choose a paid activity there are plenty that aren’t too expensive. You can see a matinee movie (skip the snack bar though), go bowling, visit your local museum or visit an aquarium. Also, look into deals on Groupon, to save even more.