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 October
1. Inexpensive Date Night
My husband and I had one of our very few out of the house date nights last week. Because we are trying to live frugally (and because babysitters are just so darn expensive!), we typically have in-house date nights each month. This month, however, we had a gift card to a local Italian restaurant that was given to us by my wonderful sister-in-law. We also swapped date night babysitting with a family from our church. It all added up to a VERY inexpensive date night!
Amount Saved: $90 (gift card plus babysitting costs)
2. Reused Halloween Costumes
Halloween can be super fun for children and super expensive for parents! This year we spent zero–that’s right, zero!–on Halloween costumes. Here’s how we did it. My oldest son borrowed a Harry Potter costume from my co-workers child. He is in second grade and reading the books for the first time, so he was very excited about his costume! My daughter borrowed a ballerina’s leotard and tights from a family from church. We put her hair up in a bun and called it good. She looked very cute! Finally, my youngest son was a dragon and wore a costume which had been previously worn (twice!) by his older brother. The moral of the story? Think of Halloween costumes as hand-me-downs!
Amount Saved: $60 (estimating $20 per costume)
3. Bought Kids’ Clothes as the Thrift Shop
At the beginning of each season my husband and I evaluate our children’s wardrobes and make a list of their needs. We scour the basement for boxes of clothing we have saved from hand-me-downs, gifts, and items bought on clearance at the end of last season. This winter we noticed that we had two major needs: pajamas for all of the children and clothing for my daughter. Being the only girl in the family and one of the few girls at church, she receives fewer hand-me-downs than her brothers.
So, we visited Target’s clearance section and our local thrift shop to make purchases. All together we spent $60 on winter items for all three children, averaging out to $20 per child for a winter wardrobe (including a new pair of shoes). Not bad!
Amount Saved: $60 (Based on spending just $40 per child for a winter wardrobe.)
4. Received a Payout from Ibotta
Each week I use the free Ibotta app to save some money at the grocery store. It’s really simple! You just:
-Download the free app
-Link up your store’s reward card
-Click on rebates that you would like to use (my favorites are ones like $.25 on milk, $.25 on carrots, etc.)
-The app will know when you’ve purchased those items (thanks to your store’s reward card,) and they will credit your account
-Once you have reached the payout threshold ($20), you can cash out
-That’s it! Ibotta is definitely the simplest way to save money at the grocery store. No coupon cutting required!
Amount Saved: $26 (Just for buying groceries I was going to buy anyway!)
5. Used Swagbucks to Purchase a Gift
Finally, I have told you guys before how much I love Swagbucks. It’s an easy way to earn some money just for making searches online, watching videos, and taking surveys. You will get paid in gift cards to popular retailers. I typically choose Amazon so that I can combine my gift card with my free shipping from Amazon Prime (click through the link to get a free trial!). This month I earned enough Swagbucks to help pay for our godson’s birthday present. Score!
Amount Saved: $10
Total Saved: $246
What did you do this month to save money?
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