Saving money and living frugally has become second nature for me and my family. Our frugal journey began almost five years ago when my husband lost his job, and his new job paid only half of what he had been making before. We knew that we had to make some changes around our home, and we began finding ways to save money however we could.
Through our experience, we have found that we really enjoy finding ways to save money. Now, even if we were to begin bringing in significantly more income, we would continue to do these things to save money, because we have found them to be so much better for our family’s health, for the environment, and for our wallets.
Here are four easy ways to save money at home:
Cook From Scratch and Eat at Home
We buy basic ingredients in bulk and cook at home, from scratch, as much as possible. We avoid pricey packaged and processed foods, both for our meals and for snacks, and only eat out on occasion. The best way I have found to make this possible while balancing three kids, and working from home, is to make sure I have a meal plan in place. If I plan ahead for what we are going to eat for our meals, as well as snacks, I can make sure that I have all the ingredients I need, and I can spend time in the kitchen as I’m able to make homemade food for our family.
Make our own cleaning products
Instead of buying conventional cleaners that are full of chemicals and toxic ingredients, or buying pricey green and natural brand cleaners, I make all of our cleaners at home from inexpensive, basic, multipurpose ingredients. This saves our family hundreds of dollars every year.
If you’re new to homemade and green cleaning, you can follow along with the 31 Days to Green Clean series on my blog, where I share everything you need to get started with making safe and natural cleaners to use all around your home.
As much as possible, we try to purchase items used before we go out and buy brand new items. This includes clothing and gear for our kids, home decor and furnishings, kitchen items, and more.
I shop at thrift and consignment stores, frequent garage sales and children’s consignment sales, and use online sites like eBay and Craigslist.
Our family also reuses and repurposes items around our house as much as we can, before buying new items. I save things that usually go in the trash or recycling to use for arts and crafts projects. My husbands is a great wood-worker and has given our old and scratched furniture new life by sanding and refinishing it.
Developing these habits can save your family so much money over the coming months and years, allowing you to use your money for other things like paying off debt, building up your savings, or taking a great family vacation that you’ve been dreaming of!
Top photo credit: iStockphoto