Saturday, October 07, 2006

Twenty-five Ways I Save Money

This idea is borrowed from Meredith. However, I have to come up with all the ideas myself. I'm not sure I can make it to twenty-five, but I'll try.

1. Mothers of Twins Sales. It's like hitting twenty kid stuff garage sales on the same day. The prices might be a weensy bit higher than you'd get on the street, but still better than a thrift store or resale shop. And the time saved hunting around is definitely worth it for me. I can go to the spring sale and the fall sale and get everything I need for the kids at once. Today's find was a large play yard for $15.

2. Procrastination. If one puts off until tomorrow what one could have bought today, one may discover that one can keep muddling along without it a bit longer. Or perhaps even ever.

3. Library movies. The selection in our library system is awesome. DOB just checks at work as to which of the branches on his route home might have something we want to see, and we can watch anything for free. Just have to watch those late fees.

4. Cooking everything from scratch. I would do this anyway, for health and allergy reasons, but I presume it saves money. I don't know for sure because I've never tried doing anything else and I'm too lazy to calculate the difference just for the sake of knowing.

5. Cloth diapers (and training pants) at home. I'm still using the same diapers and covers on D2 that I bought for D1; I only have to buy a package of the store-brand diapers for outings every few months.

6. Hanging laundry up to dry. Actually I hadn't done this much until last week, because I needed the full allotment of training pants to get through the next day. But some long-awaited progress by D1 at a certain necessary life skill has made it possible for me to hang up the diapers and let them dry twenty-four hours.

7. Making baby food. I'm too paranoid about allergies to serve table food to babies under one. So my blender and I are very good friends; I usually puree a big batch and freeze it in ice cube trays. And that celebratory whoop you heard last week was D2 progressing to table food.

8. Aldi's. It was a great day when DOB discovered there was one near his work and offered to go there every other week. We're still working out the bugs in our system, but each of us now only has to go shopping every other week; I get the stuff not available at Aldi's on the opposite weeks.

9. Reserve meals. Canned beans, cheese, salsa and tortilla chips is not the healthiest or cheapest meal. But it's a lot cheaper and healthier than ordering pizza on a day of desperation. So I try to keep it in stock.

10. Laziness. I hate shopping. I don't do it unless I absolutely have to.

11. Being nice to DOB's family. We save incalculable amounts in handyman work and babysitting thanks to their help.

12. Being low maintenance. I still haven't needed to replenish my makeup supply since we got married.

13. Trash for toys. You know how people complain their children ignore the expensive toys and play with the boxes? We just give our kids the boxes. You wouldn't believe how much fun a Kleenex box (or rather the Aldi's brand of tissues) can provide.

14. Moving closer to work. This saves an amazing amount on gas, insurance, and DOB's psychiatric bills.

15. Sunrocket. This is DOB's department, but he researched it incessantly so it must save us money over the other phone/internet options.

16. Waiting to call the doctor. Unless a child is behaving seriously ill (which hasn't happened so far), I wait at least three days to call the doctor. By that time, they're well.

17. Family discount at the chiropractor. We go every week; we pay a flat fee for the month. We think this is why the kids are always better in three days.

18. Beans. They're cheap. They're healthy. They're a lot more filling if you combine them with a little meat.

19. No tv or cable. We do have cable internet service, though.

20. Drinking water. It's cheap; it's healthy. It tastes good. If you never give your children juice, they'll never ask for it.

21. Library book sales. These don't really save money. But they're certainly cheaper than buying the books new.

22. Buy packs of blank cards and make up my own appropriate for the occasion. This is fun and more special than something off the rack. D1 likes to help.

23. Packing meals. DOB carries his lunch and breakfast every day. When we go out to some (free) event, I fix a meal we can take along. On vacation in a hotel for two days, I cooked in a crockpot.

24. Pain Free. DOB is skeptical that this saves us money. But it saves us a lot in pain and suffering, and I think that makes us more efficient. If we would take pain killers, it would save us on pain killers, but we prefer suffering.

25. Have cheap friends. That way you can do cheap things together.


Amy K said...

Thanks for posting this. It got my mind thinking about ways to save money and that's always good. :)

We use disposable diapers and I've found that they are relatively cheap at Babies R Us, who reportedly sells them at cost. (We've gotten away with paying about $20 per month for one child.) I've often wondered if you save that much money using cloth diapers if you're doing that much more laundry because of it.

Anyway, the list was good. Thanks for posting. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Sunrocket tip! Our phone expenses seem huge for the small amount we talk. By some fluke I am still getting dial-up internet free, but if I could get internet and phone for the cost of our current phone bill, I'd be thrilled!

Queen of Carrots said...

Someone has calculated that the laundry cost is about the same amount of water as the toilet flushing when the child gets a little older. So yes, I still think it saves money, especially over the long haul. The cheapest I can find diapers is $7.99 a bag, and that would barely last us a week if that was all we used. Whereas D2 is still wearing D1's old diapers--$120 spent on various sizes of cloth diapers for 2.5 solid years of use. Plus, I'd rather do laundry than take out the garbage. And I'm terrible at properly fastening disposables. :-P You have to pick the things you don't mind doing.

Anonymous said...

love the list!

thought i'd share a tip that's useful to me. i'm on the road a lot due to business so i own a cellphone, and sometimes i end up paying more than i'm willing to. a friend told me about free directory assistance at 1-800-411-SAVE, it was hard to believe at first but now i'm hooked! i crunched the numbers, and it turns out i can shave up to $20 off my cellphone bill. : )

hope you guys find this helpful


Anonymous said...


Mrs Shoes said...

I'm confused by #24 Pain free... are you saying that you don't keep any kind of pain meds on hand to be thrifty?
You've lost me on that one, completely.
You may change your stance on pain meds when you're older & wiser with more aches & pains than you can shake a stick at; sometimes pain meds is what enables us to keep on farming because what we do incurs pain on an almost daily basis.
Your other 24 seem reasonable.
When we were raising kids it was 'normal' to use cloth diapers & rubber pants; these days I sometimes hear girls say they don't know a soul who has used cloth - I guess they're lucky to be able to afford disposable diapers to clog the landfills over having to clean dirty diapers (literally).