Friday, March 8, 2013

Getting More for Less: Tips for a Frugal Family

It's almost springtime, which calls for some seasonal upkeep inside and outside the home. Frugal moms, take note: there are quite a few practical things you can do to reduce your household expenses and keep the whole family happy at the same time. Here are five:

Transportation


From the annual registration and insurance costs, to fuel and tires, driving and maintaining a vehicle is expensive. Lifehacker.com has some great tips on negotiating that can help you stay on top of vehicle maintenance. Try exchange babysitting services or homemade meals for car repairs or new tires, and don't be afraid to ask for a loyal customer discount. Also, make sure you compare rates from other companies and ask the mechanic to match his competitors' prices.


Woman shopping for a used car
Many families can't find reasonably priced vehicles, especially if they have bad credit. If finding a used vehicle you can afford is your problem, you may want to try an option like DriveTime bad credit auto loans. With a simple two-minute online application, moms find out if they're qualified for a used car that won't break their budget.

Food


Feeding a growing family can feel like you're throwing your cash into a never-ending money pit. Moms can feed their families healthy meals and stay on track financially with a variety of money-saving tactics:
  • Clip coupons. This enables families to buy the groceries they love at a reduced price. Coupons are available in the Sunday newspaper, online and through coupon exchange sites. Use them before they expire and combine them with store sales to increase your savings.
  • Stock the pantry with foods when they're on sale. Grocery stores place the same items on sale every three to four months.
  • Store brands cost less than brand names and usually taste just as good.

Coupons for food
Coupons can help make mealtime more affordable

Shelter


Refinancing a mortgage isn't always possible, but frugal moms can save money on utility bills and other expenses. Turn off the lights before leaving a room and unplug unused electric appliances. Lower the thermostat during winter months and raise it in the summer.

Also, investigate if electric deregulation means you have an option to choose your energy provider. It depends on what state you live in, but one phone call may increase your family's disposable income without sacrificing indoor comfort.


Entertainment


Buying new books and seeing movies at the theater are expensive ways to stay entertained. The local public library offers numerous resources for frugal moms. You and your family can get free movies, books and magazines rentals, as well as Internet access, free children's story times and adult book clubs. Many libraries even offer free museum day passes.


Clothing


Keeping closets stocked with cute clothes that fit growing kids challenges even the most frugal moms. Secondhand stores are the perfect places to find quality, affordable clothing.

Consignment stores sell brand-name, gently used clothes and shoes for the entire family. Moms can earn credit toward clothes by consigning the clothes that don't fit their kids anymore. Thrift stores offer clothing, shoes and household goods that are usually less expensive than consignment stores. Savvy secondhand shoppers search the dollar bins regularly and buy items during half-off sales.


No comments:

Post a Comment