In the past three months of the Savings Challenge, we came up with several ways to save money that work for us. For instance, we reduced the number of times we dine out or get take out from 2-3 times a week to 1-2 times a month. With just a bit of meal planning the previous weekend, we plan out our meals for the upcoming week and save money on expensive meals because we are not tempted to get a pizza for dinner on the way home from work. We also check grocery and drug store circulars regularly every Thursday for sales on the things we need. By keeping track of prices for certain items, we can tell if it really is a discount for us. Most importantly, before purchasing an item, I ask myself, “Do I really need this?” If so, I purchase the item. If not, I put the item back on the shelf and walk quickly away from it.
Also, with the birth of our new baby, Aurora, came many new expenses, such as baby food, diapers, clothing, etc. We came up with ways to save and offset these expenses like purchasing quality diapers only when they are on sale, using washcloths primarily when we are at home instead of disposable wipes and by making baby food from fruits and veggies at home, which we make once every two weeks and freeze. Since Aurora grows out of her clothes so quickly, we shop at consignment shops and second hand stores, as well as receive hand-me-downs that friends pass on. If we can’t find what we need for her through these avenues then we go to the clearance rack at regular department stores or baby stores.
After looking these and other ways we can save and then reviewing our budget, we were able to set an amount that we could save safely each month. And to make sure we are not tempted to spend it we have our savings deducted from our paycheck and put directly into our savings account.
What are some other ways that new parents can save on items needed for their little ones?
This is an entry from the 2009 Connex Savings Challenge Blog, a place where you can keep up with the Savings Challenge families and they can share great financial tips, ways they are saving and budgeting and much more! For more blog entries and information on the Connex Savings Challenge, visit www.connexcu.org.