Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Creative Ways to Save

Who doesn't love saving money???

Kevin and I have been working hard to cut down our spending.

We have regular meetings to discuss bills, to look over spending and set goals for ourselves.  We don't do spreadsheets or anything really strict with cash, but we do talk about our finances regularly.  We both know our goals and we communicate about them often.  We've cut back on areas like eating out and opt for take out instead a few times a month.  I cook dinner most nights and we eat at home a lot.  All these little choices add up to big savings which means we can do more of the things we love.

I thought I'd share some things we've been doing to save money because A. they're really easy and B. we've been trying to get creative with saving.

1. Buy Holiday shirts/clothing/pjs at chain stores instead of boutiques.

I love all of the holiday pjs that are monogrammed and coordinated, but I just can't justify spending $20+ per kid on these items.  They're adorable, but not something I want to splurge on right now.  My kids love holiday clothes and I love dressing both kids in them.  The fact is that they are just as happy with a pumpkin shirt from Meijer as they are a fancy boutique.  So I opt to save money and go with the Meijer options.  Their Halloween shirts were on sale for $4.20 this past weekend and they're really cute.  The regular price is $6 and they come out with cute ones for every holiday.

2. We are making the most of our FREEZER.

We don't have a huge chest freezer so we rely on our regular side by side freezer.  It's just an average sized freezer, but we pack it to the max.  Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see what I mean.

We dice up bread and buns that we're done with before they go bad.  I make sure to closely keep track of what is in our pantry so that I can freeze things before they spoil.  I dice up the bread and then freeze it to use later for stuffing or french toast casserole.

I noticed that a big bag of frozen banana slices was $10 at the store this week.  Bananas are super cheap so don't let your ripe bananas go to waste.  Slice them up and use them in smoothies or bake with them.  I like to buy the big bundle of 8 or more bananas from Sams.  It's usually around $1.50.  We eat the bananas throughout the week and then slice them one they're too ripe.

3. Stock up on TOYS when you find them for a great price.

We are just barely entering into the birthday party stage of life with kids.  We always buy gifts for our little cousins and now we're starting to have friends to buy for.  I heard this great idea once: Have a stash of gifts that would be good friend gifts for boy and girls and then let your kids choose something from the stash when they are invited to a birthday party.  This month I stocked up on all the Melissa and Doug sticker and marker activity pads I could find at TJ Maxx.  They're $3.99 each and are so much fun!  My 4 year old loves them and I think they'd make great friend gifts.

I also found some great deal on character books.  This big flap book was $8 so I'm saving it to give to Olive for a holiday this Fall.

4. Say yes to free garden PRODUCE

Kevin has some coworkers that garden.  Anytime they offer to share, we say YES!  We've enjoyed tomatoes, raspberries and zucchini thanks to them.  I even froze some of it to use later.

5. Buy MEAT when it's on super sale or marked down and freeze it in smaller packages.

Our freezer is currently packed with ground beef, fish, steaks and other random meats to use in tacos, soups, spaghetti, etc.  It makes dinner prep so much easier to have great options in your freezer.

6. Use what you have in your PANTRY or freezer

Keep close track of what you have and try to use it up.  We eat Mexican food a lot.  And every time we eat it we end up with some leftover taco fixings.  Instead of tossing them, I decided to freeze them in a little sandwich bag to use later.  I ended up with nearly 10 little bags of taco toppings.  Perfect time to make TACO SOUP!  I thawed them out, added in a bottle of V8 and taco meat.  Voila!  Delicious taco soup for dinner.

7. Figure out your favorite FREE activities and do them often.

My kids LOVE going to parks and playing outside.  So instead of going on expensive outings like the zoo or the movies, we often opt to meet friends at a park.  I'll pack snacks or a lunch and we all have a great time.  We have tons of neat parks in our city so I'm hoping to keep checking out new parks as the weather cools off a bit.

See my freezer is STOCKED and every inch is being used :)

 Do you have any creative ways you save your family money??


  1. Love it Whitney. We are all about finding ways to be frugal over here to.... but now that I am on the spot, I can't really think of any of them. Haha! Sams has been a big game changer to how we do groceries. I really think it has more than payed for itself every year though.

  2. Love this post Whitney!! We do ALL of the things you listed...the biggest one- eating almost ALL of our meals at home. Once a month Aaron and I go out on a date and once a month our family goes out to eat- but other than that- breakfast, lunch and dinner are at home (or work and school :)
    I love stocking up on things when they go on clearance- for instance- I already have the girls Christmas jammies for this year- got them on super clearance last March! And a big one for me is just learning to say "NO." I could easily spend A TON of money on clothes for the kids and I...but I am just constantly having to check myself and realize we don't NEED a thing!! Hope you have a great day friend!! :)

  3. You're so good! Love the bread idea. Saving money is super important to us too. I pray daily that I can be a good steward with what God has given us. Keep these posts coming - love them!

  4. Good ideas! We are on a strict budget right now while we finish up paying off some debt. We've saved up for a cash-only trip to WDW in 6 weeks too! I am a spreadsheet nerd and my husband and I both really like our budget we use. It's just a spreadsheet but I've got formulas built in and we do one for each month. If you want a copy just let me know and I'll email you a blank copy. It really helps us to purpose out our giving and make sure we plan ahead for things like family pictures, gifts, etc.

  5. These are all such great tips, Whitney! I've always been a fan of freezing items and using them later. So many people just throw things away but I hate wasting things. And I personally always use the concept of "shopping" my pantry/fridge/freezer first before heading out to the grocery store. You never know what you can make with a couple cans/boxes of something! Awesome post! :)

  6. These were excellent!!! LOVE the bread one! We never seem to use a whole pack of buns but I never thought of freezing it in cubes (I do this with regular bread, just not buns).

    Also, do you write down an inventory of what's in your freezer? That's my trouble...remembering what I put in the back of the shelves or organizing well!

  7. Our fridge is on the small size so our freezer doesn't have a ton of space. We are getting a small deep freeze from Sam's and I am excited to stock it with items that we find on sale. I love Meijer's buy 10 get the 11th free on frozen veggies but don't have the room for them in my current freezer.

  8. This is awesome!!! I love all of the tips. Your freezer is amazing with all you have in there and use.

  9. These are great tips. I need to be better about using our freezer!


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