August 8, 2013

Saving Money

When I was about two months out from my due date with Rhett, I started looking into part time day cares since I was working two days a week. Up until Rhett was born we made Mother's Day Out work for Hudson. He went on the days that I worked and then our friend, Mrs. Beth, brought Hudson home when they were done at 2 and stayed with him at home until Bryan got home. It worked fine but those mornings were hard for Bryan because he had to go into work late and with two kids we needed something with more stability. I got some quotes (And was FLOORED by the cost) and found out that nearly everywhere worth looking at locally was on a wait list already for UNBORN babies.

I was so upset.

Many mothers are working mothers and that works well for them but personally I didn't want to have babies and then be away from them all day, every day. I called my boss and talked with her about my options and they were willing to work with me and let me work one night a week when I came back from maternity leave. That worked well for two reasons, ONE because night shift pays more and TWO because I could work on Fridays and the boys wouldn't have to go to daycare. The money that we saved by not having to put them in daycare (even just MDO) made up for the pay I was losing. It really was win-win. Bryan and I decided to keep Hudson in Mother's Day Out once a week. We think it is good for him to interact with the other kids and it gives me a day to have appointments or run errands with just Rhett.

So now that I am home full-time with my boys, I am trying to SAVE SAVE SAVE. We have student loan debt that we are paying off... and I thought I would share some of the ways that I am saving.

1. Cloth Diapers. Y'all, I NEVER thought I would be one to cloth diaper. I get pretty good deals on regular diapers with coupons and it is just TOO messy. BUT then I realized that Hudson still isn't potty trained and he is almost 3 and that means that I've spent somewhere in the vicinity of $1000 on diapers since his birth. Just starting with Rhett means that in the next 2ish years that would be another $1000 I could free up in our budget... and since I don't think he will be our last baby, that will be another child to save that money. And really, pee and poop don't really freak me out, and the diapers are SO stinking adorable. I was lucky and had 5 cloth diapers just given to me. I bought 7 more and spent around $120 and I got THREE more free with eBay bucks. So it was kind of an investment but for the last month I haven't spent a dime on disposables... so $30 saved. Anyways, I'll post some details on cloth diapers in the future, but so far so good! (I also make my own wipes that I posted about HERE)


2. Coupons. That is no surprise. I have coupon-ed for a LONG time and posted about it, but I took a break after I had Rhett and am just now starting back up. I got everything pictured below for free.
I follow blogs (HIP2SAVE.COM) and check it a few times a day. I probably get either a coupon for something free or a free sample at least once a day. Companies like to post great deals on facebook. The BIC pens coupon came out of the newspaper and I got the Enfamil with checks (Rhett is breastfed but I buy it and donate it to the local crisis pregnancy center). They day I bought that stuff my total at Wal-Mart was around $100 and with those free products and other coupons that I had I got it down to $60.

3. USE WHAT I HAVE. So since I coupon, I have a "Mini-stock pile". I don't really stock pile food, but I do have a huge tote of healthcare, cleaning and beauty supplies. So I have decided not to buy any more cleaning, hair or makeup products until I have used what I have, even if it is a "good" deal and I honestly probably have over a year's worth of toilet cleaner, windex, lysol wipes, shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste, makeup, feminine products. So that alone should save some good money. I was very tempted to buy some makeup at MAC the other day when I was shopping with my SIL but remembered all that I have to use at home... and passed it up.

I do the same thing from time to time with food that is in my pantry. About once a month I take a week off from grocery shopping and I try to use up some of the boxes of pasta or meat in my freezer. Meal planning is great for finding meals to use up what you have!

4. Sell what you don't use. I really really wanted to buy Hudson some new bedding for his birthday. Since we moved the twin bed into his room, he was still using the grey comforter and brown sheets as we had in the guest room. I love the Spider-Man Set from PBK but it was so expensive that I couldn't justify buying it. So while cleaning out my closet, I got the great idea to sell some of my purses that I don't use anymore, because well, I carry around a diaper bag. I posted them on facebook and within 24 hours had made $192. Hudson's bedding cost us $191. God is GOOD!

5. SWAP services. My husband is a photographer on the side. We have swapped pictures for a dresser that my friend redid, swapped with my hairdresser for the last 5 years, and swapped with other photographers for newborns and family pics. Since Bryan already has all the fancy equipment it just costs him time... this has saved us a LOT of money.

6. Use Money Earning/Point Earning Websites.
((DIAPER SITES)) This is a favorite of mine. I have always collected diaper points with Huggies and Pampers. I got all of Rhett's newborn announcements free through Shutterfly with points I have saved on Pampers. Hudson's birthday is coming up and I was needing to order announcements so I logged on to check my Pampers points and I had a FREE reward waiting for me for entering points for 6 months straights--and just to my luck, it was for 25 FREE photo cards with free shipping. So yesterday I logged on and made Hudson's invitations and thank you cards (12 of each) and got them completely for free. In addition to getting points on packages of diapers and wipes, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter for additional points.

((SWAGBUCKS)) Okay, so I used Swagbucks awhile back and never got into it, until I got a push from a friend to try it again. You have to check out Swagbucks. I have only been using it again for a few days and already have gotten a $5 Amazon gift card for using their search engine, answering some surveys and watching some videos! So easy, and I love free! You can check them out here: Swagbucks.

((MY COKE REWARDS)) So I have a little addiction to Diet Coke and my husband drinks his fair share of Coke. So imagine my amazement when I figured out that I could type in all the codes on the caps of our drinks on www.mycokerewards.com and earn points for free drink coupons (and other stuff)! Win-Win!

Those are just a few of my money saving tips. I've got some more tricks up my sleeve... I am going to be making baby food for Rhett and I am sure I will have some stories to tell about that.


(All opinions are my own, I was not compensated for this post)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jenna! I know for a fact that it's difficult to save money, especially when you have to factor in the expenses spent by the family. But there are a lot of ways you can cut corners and make ends meet. The little things you do have an incremental effect on your financial situation -- that's what I always believed. So just keep on what you're doing!

    Andre Steinberg @ Credit 360 Consulting

    ReplyDelete

 
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