10 Fun and Easy Ways To Save MoneyLauren Hartmann
Having an extra little person around means spending extra money. Luckily babies aren’t terribly expensive in the beginning, but I know that as our little Fern gets older her needs will cost more. Because of this, we’ve already begun “tightening the purse strings” so to speak to get prepared, and aside from that it’s always a good thing to find ways to live frugally and save money – especially when you can find fun ways to do it!
Check out my 10 suggestions for saving money – I promise they’re all easy and fun!
1. Make a meal plan 1 of 10OK, so this tip isn't necessarily the most fun of the bunch, but by making a meal plan every week you'll waste less and be able to eat in more - thus saving more money. Make it fun by adding ingredients for new recipes to your list or trying to recreate one of your restaurant favorites.
2. Make your own baby food 2 of 10Making baby food really is one of the easiest things ever and totally worth it. I still buy some of my baby food, for those times when convenience is important, but overall I try to make most of it and I have fun trying out new flavors and adding in hers and spices and seeing my baby enjoy the new tastes.
3. DIY it 3 of 10My husband and I really enjoy DIY projects and it really saves us a lot of money over time. Whenever there's something you are considering as a purchase, think to yourself, "Could I do/make this myself?" Often the answer is yes. From jewelry, to decor, to home remodeling projects - there are a lot of things we pay for that we could make ourselves. Check out YouTube for tutorials if you aren't confident in your skills - there's a tutorial for just about everything on there!
4. Be smart with your clothing purchases 4 of 10Babies grow really quickly which means they outgrow their clothes really quickly, so try to resist the urge to go crazy with the clothes if you can. That said, I really do love dressing my baby up in adorable little outfits, so I try to think longevity when I'm choosing clothes. I often buy things in bigger sizes so they can last longer (jeans cuffed now, unrolled later, as capris and then later as cut-off shorts) and in neutral colors so that they can all mix and match and we can pass them along to our next child whether we have a boy or a girl.
5. Make your own coffee 5 of 10The average American spends $1,100 on coffee every year and if you're anything like my husband it's even more than that. For less than that cost you can invest in a quality espresso machine and grinder and make your own lattes from home every day and after awhile you might even prefer them to your local coffee shop's offerings.
6. Take it a step further and roast your own beans 6 of 10We live in Portland and my husband is a bit (ok, a lot) of a coffee snob, so we don't just buy coffee beans from Starbucks or the grocery store. We were buying our beans from local roasters and while delicious it was also expensive. Then my husband started roasting his own coffee beans, which is surprisingly simple - you roast them in a popcorn popper! The price for unroasted green beans is less than half (really closer to 1/3!) the cost of roasted beans and because they're so fresh, it really improves the quality of your coffee. Look up YouTube videos on how to do it - you won't believe you've been buying your beans for so long!
7. Try a little mood lighting 7 of 10Energy bills can get high in the colder months when your heat and lights are always on, so why not light some candles once in awhile? Not only is it environmentally sustainable, but it will save you money while creating a fun and romantic ambience.
8. Make your own floral arrangements 8 of 10Thanks to the more natural look of floral arrangements these days, you can whip up a pretty good bouquet from pickings around your neighborhood. I once hosted a baby shower and used Queen Anne's Lace that was scavenged from a nearby field as the main flower in the decor. Everyone loved it and it was totally FREE!
9. Play mixologist 9 of 10I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to making drinks - I love them that much. But, since going out for drinks with friends doesn't happen much nowadays with a baby, we bring the fun drinks to us. Have your friends over for a late night happy hour after the baby is in bed and try out new cocktail combinations and play with ingredients. You'll save money on a babysitter AND on your drinks.
10. Thrift your gifts 10 of 10I love gift-giving - it's one of my most favorite things in life. It can get a little bit expensive with all the birthdays and holidays though, so while I'm out thrifting I try to keep an eye out for good gifts to save up. It's a great way to give someone something meaningful and one-of-a-kind.
How do you save money?
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
More from Lauren:
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