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1. Thrift stores/hand-me-downs - We love to buy clothes at thrift stores, especially for John. In fact, we have only purchased clothes for him second-hand. We also never turn down the offer of hand-me-downs from our friends! =) Additionally, I want to use our local consignment store more because I can get rid of my clothes there and earn store credit.
2. Hair cutting - This morning, Andrew cut his hair with an electric shaver. He has been doing this since before we were married. I have learned to trim up the back of his neck and around his ears. So as a team, we cut his hair for free (aside from the original purchase of the shaver). We will most likely cut John's hair too. Though I don't need to know this yet, I have looked into how-to videos for the future reference when cutting our kids' hair: BOYS or GIRLS
3. Planning meals - I have learned a lot about meal planning over the last year. It has really helped us save! If I have a plan then I am less likely to buy random things at the store. I only buy what we need for the meals. I usually do a plan for two weeks, which means I only have to go to the store about two times each month - which I like a lot! HERE is a good resource for learning how to meal plan.
4. Cloth diapering - We spent around $300 on cloth diapers and wipes (the wipes were actually free - as a gift!). We are saving a lot of money by going the cloth route, especially because we will be able to use these diapers for multiple kids. HERE are all my posts on cloth diapering.
5. Samaritan Ministries - HERE is my post explaining what Samaritan Ministries is - in short, it's a health sharing ministry in which all the members share each other's medical expenses over $300. Our monthly share is $245 (way cheaper than health insurance!). So far our experience has been really good. Our only medical expense has been John's well-baby visits - about every three months. Those visits cost $198 for private pay patients, which is really not that bad. We also get 10% off by paying the full amount at the appointment.
6. Eating out less - This heading speaks for itself. We try not to eat out much - maybe once or twice a month.
7. Netflix + Roku = Savings! - We have been using Netflix to get our movies. We pay $9.99 per month and that includes one movie sent to us at a time plus unlimited streaming movies and TV shows. Not all movies and TV shows are available for streaming, but more are added every day! We use to watch streaming shows on our laptop but then Andrew found a device called "Roku" that lets you sink up your Netflix que to your TV. It is so cool! The best part is there are no commercials!
8. Selling things we don't use - Andrew just recently sold a guitar amp that he hasn't used in a long time. It was worth a lot of money, so now we have extra money to put towards our student loans. The cool thing is he sold it to a man who is in a band, so the amp will actually get a lot of use. It makes me happy to see things be used!
9. Being a homemaker - We both think that having me at home with John is invaluable and it does save us money. I do a lot around the house (most of the time!) and a care for John 24/7. Having those things hired out would cost us a lot of money!
10. Opting for homemade - This last Christmas, we tried to make most of our gifts. It saved us money and it was more special! Also, right now I am attempting to make a lot of John's food and freeze it - this is really easy to do with fruits and veggies!
We'd love to hear how you save! We tag Athena, Katelyn, and Anna! =)