Living a frugal lifestyle can become a bit discouraging after awhile. It can seem like all work and no fun–often for little progress. So, each month I take a look at 5 ways our family saved. I hope to encourage others to find small ways that they saved. Remember, frugal living is a marathon not a spring. Every little bit adds up!
5 Ways We Saved in January
1. Used Swagbucks
I used Swagbucks to buy an exercise DVD as part of my fitness goals for 2017. (For those of you who are interested, I’m trying Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I am doing Level 1 each day for 30 days–currently on Day 7–and then will go up to Level 2, etc.) Swagbucks is a way to earn gift cards online by doing tasks like searching, watching videos, taking surveys, etc. I spend less than 10 minutes on it a day, but I manage to earn a few Amazon gift cards each month. If you have more time than money, I’d definitely recommend checking out Swagbucks.
Amount Saved: $10
2. Visited National Park on Fee Free Day
We are blessed to live very close to Shenandoah National Park; however, the cost often keeps us away. That is why I love the fee free days that the Park Service has throughout the year. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the kids and I headed over to the park in the 35 degree weather. We went on the most beautiful hike to several waterfalls. My kiddos are troopers–they loved it! If you live near a national park, be sure to check out this list of fee free days for 2017.
Amount Saved: $20
3. Bought Clothing on Clearance
I don’t often buy clothing for myself. Maybe it’s a guilt thing. But, more than likely it is just because I hate shopping! The idea of going into a store with other people, trying on clothing, deciding which items to get that will both look nice and be within my budget, and wrangling children at the same time–it’s all too much for an introvert like me! But, I did happen to spy a couple of great items on clearance at Target. I purchased a $50 pair of brown boots for $14 and a $25 plaid shirt for $11. They are super cute, and I feel great knowing they were on sale!
Amount Saved: $50
4. Eat Meatless Meals Twice a Week
As Orthodox Christians, we fast from meat and dairy twice a week. This means that we have two meatless meals every week, which definitely saves us some money. On those nights we eat a lot of soups, salads, beans, etc. While saving money is not the primary purpose of fasting (though the Church fathers did instruct us to give to the poor during the fasts), it does happen.
Amount Saved: $40 (an average of $10 saved per week)
5. Not Paying for Childcare
Back in October, my husband and I sat down and looked at our budget together. We knew that things were going to be really tight for the next year as he is finishing his dissertation and we are living off my teacher’s salary. So, we decided that we would pull our youngest two children out of day care in order to save on that monthly expense. Now my husband is home with the kids during the day, and he leaves to go write when I come home. He is enjoying spending more time with our children, and our budget is definitely happier. We are both working very hard right now, but we know this is only for a season.
Amount Saved: $1,120
Total Saved: $1,240
What did you do this month to save money?
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