Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is Today's Economy Kicking Your Family Budget's Butt?

Prices are rising on everything from milk to sneakers, parent's salaries are being cut, and bonuses are almost non-existent. Yet your mortgage still need to be paid and so far gas is still needed to make our cars go from A to B, and diapers aren't really something you can cut back on now are they?

  1. Consignment Stores can be a great life saver! Everything from drop dead gorgeous prom dresses listed for $30.00 compared to it's retail $150.00. Good shops will have shoes and purses to possibly match the dress with. Furniture consignment can also be a great resource for the family in need of a couch, table,etc.
  2. Sports fees stretching your wallet? Most sports organizations are primarily a volunteer force. Many will swap fees in exchange for your skill set do you have a unique talent - web master, volunteer coordinator, managing the snack bar for a season. It never hurts to ask.
  3. Bartering has been around for centuries for a reason. It works! Good with scissors? You can offer hair cuts in exchange for a math whiz mom turtoring your kid in Math.
  4. Freecycle a website for your community where FREE really does means FREE! Go on line and sign in to the group closest to you.
  5. Don't want to give away attic treasures for free? Ebay still works. Sell some of your bigger items for some extra cash in the budget, just be sure to determine your shipiping costs accurately.
  6. Online coupons and store coupons can really make a large dent in your grocery bill.
  7. Save green by going green! Turn off your lights, TVs, radios and computers at night or when your not in the room. Run your dishes and laundry during off peak hours. Heck, hang your laundry to dry in the summer sun. Coordinate your family travel to conserve on gas costs.
  8. Be wary of club warehouse shopping, bulk fresh produce is usually wasted. Target the consumables that are gone the fastest in your household (milk in mine) and items with a longer shelf-life for your pantry.
  9. Wherever you can go generic go, go go! If you take any kind of meds on a regular basis this will reduce your bill significantly.
  10. Have family movie night at home - via rentals. Family cook in night with games instead of going to dinner.
  11. Cancel your magazine subscriptions - any good publication will be on line.
  12. Band together with friends and buy in bulk for certain needs/occasions: diapers, school supplies, sports equipment, required summer reading lists.

From my perspective most things in life truly are "Cheaper by the Dozen!"


Mary Q Contrarie said...

I would like to add to your list that not only doing your laundry off hours. But most importantly stop using your clothes dryer. By switching to a clothes drying rack you can save any where from 6 - 10% of your household energy budget.

The Mom said...

Totall agree. I try to hang outside back yard during nice weather - it makes the laundry smell so FRESH!

When in a hurry, you can always dry - w/no heat-low heat fluff for shorter time and then hang on rack.