Welcome to the Thursday Thirteen! Here are just thirteen ideas for ways you can be saving your family money!
1. Compare, compare, compare. Don’t ever believe that you have the best rate on anything. Even your junk mail can really pay off if you read it thoroughly. I received a letter from an auto insurance company that I actually called on and saved us fifty bucks a month by switching my insurance. You can compare rates easily and effectively using Lower My Bills. It is worth your time and you can compare everything from cell phone rates, to internet rates, insurance, credit card rates, & mortgage rates all in one place. Best of all- it is free!
2. Entertainment Books can be a great way to save your family money on everything from trips to dinner to putt-putt golf. This handy little book has a lot of great two for one meals for the family. Maybe you are like me and you don’t eat out a lot? Well, these coupons are still great for all of those celebration dinners (birthdays, wedding anniversary, Valentines Day, etc..). Pick a place out of that book and save yourself enough cash that you can swing going to a movie into your budget. It only takes one coupon for this little baby to pay for itself.
3. Here is a novel idea…stay home. Yup, that will save your family a whole bunch of money. If you are not running around using up gas and shopping your little heart out, you will save yourself some easy cash.
4. Take advantage of free things in your neck of the woods. Summertime is full of fun outdoor concerts, park activities, and outdoor festivals. There are so many fun things to do in the summer that are free or cheap. Fill your time with activities like these rather than a trip to the mall!
5. ‘Tis the season for garage sale shopping! I have already got my start on shopping this past weekend and scored some serious deals. Be sure to start jotting down things that you would like to find so when you arrive at the sales, you will know just what to look for. Oh, and pack lots of snacks for the road so you aren’t suckered into two dollar sodas that the garage sale hostess is trying to get you to buy on a hot summer day. A small cooler can keep snacks in your car and limit your spending on trivial things at the sale.
6. Use your library! Use the library for the obvious (books, duh!), but also use it for the lesser known things that you can get from it. Want to pick up a few movies? How about the library? Want to learn a new skill? How about the library? Need some new art for your walls, but don’t want to make the investment? How about the library? Want to try out toys for your children, but not sure if you want to spend the money? Did you check the library? Our library has all sorts of valuable resources that we can take advantage of and it is all free! Don’t forget to take advantage of all of those summer book reading programs- your kids can score some great freebies for reading this summer!
7. Score some free reading material. You can read more here on some great ways to get free magazines. And when you are done with your free magazines, trade with your girlfriend, and when you are done with those, trade again. The free reads just keep on rolling and you don’t have stacks of magazines collecting dust in the corners of your room.
8. I am actually going to write a full article on this, but I will give you a sneak peek- how about doing a little organizing around your house? If you are organized you avoid buying repeat items, use the things you have, and it will save you some time in the process.
9. Learn how to make stuff. If there is something that you enjoy, whether it be something you eat or something that you use, find out how you can make it yourself. Just do an internet search and Google what you are looking for. Things that you don’t think you can make can be found because someone else was out there trying to figure the same exact thing out.
10. So you want to know how to save some money? Well, how about saving some money. Just put it into an ING Account and earn 4.15% interest on your savings. Create this fund and name what you want it to go towards- Christmas, Dream Car, or Safety Net is just a few ideas for your account name.
11. Ebay the stuff that you aren’t using around your house. Ebay is simple and relatively pain-free. I have just started selling things on Ebay and I get a rush when I am taking stuff out of our home and getting money for the items we don’t use. In the same regard, if you are looking for something- check Ebay before going to a retail store. There are tons of brand spankin’ new items that you can find for a really low price. Just be careful to not get too caught up in the bidding or you could end up spending more than what you bargained for.
13. Last, but not least…recognize that free does not always mean free. For example, if your family offers to take you out to dinner and both of your kids are screaming their heads off and throwing fits during dinner and you are frantically trying to entertain them and miss out on even eating your food…yeah, well, that dinner was NOT free. You will just have to trust me on this one!