Friday, February 5, 2010

10 Ways We Save

Andrew and I recently had a meeting about our budget. Our goal is to get out of debt this year so we can begin looking for a home. Below is a list of how we are currently trying to save money. We are always looking for more ways to save - so, if we tagged you, please write your own post about how you save and then tag three of your friends!

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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! =)


  1. I save buy looking for good sales. When you buy decoration items a couple days after the holiday they can get up to 90% off. Looking at the clearance sections. I have found jeans for $15 and a sweater for $4 at Ann Taylor Loft.

    I also look for Manager's Specials at grocery stores. I have been able to buy food that "expires" in a couple days and freeze for later use. And growing your own fruits, veggies and spices.

  2. Good ideas! We meal plan and cloth diaper too :-) Now after having the two kids we are guilty of eatting out more so that we can sneak in a break. My mom comes over to watch the kids and Miah and I go out to eat probaly 3 fridays of the month! EEEKKK! However I recently started cutting Miha's hair so it almost evens out lol!

  3. Make your own laundry detergent. I am about to do my 1st batch this week!

  4. and after i try it out, I am going to post about it, I will tag you for sure! there are so great websites!

  5. I agree with the meal planning. The biggest part of that for me is having a well-stocked pantry and freezer. When things go on sale that I use in my pantry, I stock up. But never more than I would use in 3-6 months the sales rotate and it will be on sale again. It is worth it to get a separate freezer as well. Make sure it is NOT frost-free! Frost-free freezers cause freezer burn for your items. Then you can separate meat into serving size from bulk - 1# packages of burger, 2 chicken breast, or make a huget batch of chili then freeze it into extra dinner servings.

  6. Thanks for the plug for Samaritan Ministries! It's a great way to band together with a loving ocmmunity for health care needs. And it's portable and affordable, too.

    James Lansberry
    Vice President
    Samaritan Ministries International

  7. I really need to plan meals, imagine if I only had to go grocery shopping twice a month! Thanks for the inspiration! We also do home haircuts and cloth diapers (most of the time), and we just started making our own bread. Super cheap and suprisingly easy! I'll post the recipe.