Mothering Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<p>I'm hoping that some of you can give me some advice. My husband and I have been slowly trying to live more frugally, but now we're really going to have to kick things in high gear and cut our spending down. My hours got cut back this year, and now it looks like my husband will be taking a cut in his salary as well. We have a 6-month old son, and are just looking for some suggestions on what are some easy ways to cut down on spending.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Any suggestions on where to start? Huge spending concerns for us are grocery shopping and gear for the baby. I currently breastfeed (although have started supplementing with formula as my supply is waning) and make our own baby food. Also try to get things through Freecycle when possible. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance for the advice.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
<p>First, start really tracking your spending.  That's going to be the way to make sure you are making the best cutbacks.  It's one thing to know that you can cut back in groceries, but if you look at your spending and discover that you are spending $30 a month a McDonalds, just by getting a drink there on your way home every day (as an example) then that's an easy $30 to cut. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for cutting back grocery and baby:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Formula-start gathering formula checks and coupons now while you are still BFing.  Sign up with the companies, they will start to send you samples and checks.  Check Freecycle and CL for free cans and checks.  Lots of BFing moms get samples and checks that they don't use so they post ads for them to get them out of the house.  Because cans are sealed and have dates on them, you know they are good, and if the seal is broken you can toss it.  Get a variety of samples if you can because you never know what your little one may or may not be able to handle.  Some kids can take any kind of formula, others need a very specific one.  Also, all formulas have to meet the same very specific standards, so generics are the same as brand names.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Diapers-are you doing cloth or disposables?  If disposables, my best advice is to combine coupons with sale prices.  If you aren't brand loyal, I know lots of folks have had luck with generics.  I am brand loyal to pampers because they seem to be the only ones that don't leak on my kids, so I am always on the look out for pampers coupons to combine with store coupons.  If you have the storage space, buy when the deal is there and you have the money, NOT when you need dipes.  Same things with wipes.  I am not brand loyal on wipes, but pampers ran some GREAT coupons the last few months and I have 3 or 4 more months worth of wipes that I didn't pay anything for because of great coupons and sales.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Baby furniture/toys-scour freecycle and CL EVERY DAY.  That doesn't mean sit on it all day long, just while you are nursing, give it a glance.  Check the free section and the baby and kids sections (and whatever else you might be interested in:D)  I say every day because the good stuff doesn't last long.  On my CL, baby stuff is posted so much that a fresh post rolls of the first page within hours.  You don't have to be looking for anything specific, and that's actually when you find the best deals.  Like with the dipes, if you have the storage, pick up the deals when they are there, not necessarily when you need them...If a bag of 12mo clothing comes up for free tomorrow and the season will be right, just snag it and stash it in a closet.  Free is free and you will be glad you did that when the time comes and you don't have to buy the stuff.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Groceries/toiletries-combine coupons with sales.  Lots of folks will always tell you that there aren't coupons out there for the healthy stuff.  And, while it's true that there aren't many coupons out there for fresh produce, organic, etc (there are some) there are plenty of coupons out there for plenty of other stuff-last month I got several packages of disposable razors for free because they were on sale buy one get one free and I had buy one get one free coupons.  There are lots of coupon blogs like savingaddiction.com, couponmom.com, couponkartrina.com and plenty of others that can help you master shopping strategically like that.  So far for November, I have spent $365......and I am DONE.  For 5 people and 5 pets. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>One big thing with shopping sales and coupons is to have a freezer to store stuff that you stock up on when you get a good deal.  I just stocked up on turkeies because they are on sale for $0.57 a lb  and the only way I can do that is to keep them in the deep freeze.  Which, I got for free.  That's where scouring CL and FC comes in:D</p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,834 Posts
<p>Certainly track your spending, and from that, create a budget based on what you ACTUALLY spend.  From there, you can attempt to cut back in specific areas.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>A HUGE help to sticking to a specific budget categories is to use the "envelope" system.  For us, this was a HUGE help with groceries.  I was stellar for finding grocery bargains, but until we were using the envelope system--I didn't realize that I was stockpiling us such that I was spending more money than we budgeted for.  And it's not like I had a ton of space that was piled high with grocery steals.  If that were the case, I would have been less surprised--ya know?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The envelope system is just a matter of putting the cash in an envelope and when the envelope is empty--you don't spend any more.  Period.  Whether you figure out the weekly amount or biweekly or monthly--whatever works for you. But you don't exceed what you're allotted.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also, having a budget is lovely.  But it's relatively useless if you're not continually looking at what you spent and comparing it to that budget to see if you're on track!  <img alt="wink1.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/wink1.gif"></p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,738 Posts
<p>I suggest using the pantry challenge and the no spend threads right here on MDC. I love them! You really look at your spending differently if you know you are going to have to put it out there for everyone else to see. So far the pantry challenge has blown my mind.  I used to go to the grocery store at least twice a week and LOAD up.  I have been twice so far this month and both times was because we were out of bread and milk, so that was all I bought.  I can't believe all the food I have managed to stockpile into this house!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
<p>Contact a La Leche League leader.  It is rare that a woman cannot produce enough breastmilk.  Supplementing automatically reduces your milk supply.  Doctors too easily suggest supplementing when it really is not necessary and only makes breastfeeding more difficult.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Replace paper towels with wash rags, kleenex with handkerchiefs, paper napkins with cloth, toilet paper with family cloth (cut up t-shirts), sanitary pads/tampons with mama cloth and/or Diva cup.</p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
<p>I would make sure you've created a budget so that you know how much is going in and out each month and can identify problem areas.  You can do the "grocery games" to save money on food.  Cloth diapering will save you money if you don't do that already.  **HUGS**</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,967 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ssantos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278731/where-to-start#post_16039614"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Contact a La Leche League leader.  It is rare that a woman cannot produce enough breastmilk.  Supplementing automatically reduces your milk supply.  Doctors too easily suggest supplementing when it really is not necessary and only makes breastfeeding more difficult.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Replace paper towels with wash rags, kleenex with handkerchiefs, paper napkins with cloth, toilet paper with family cloth (cut up t-shirts), sanitary pads/tampons with mama cloth and/or Diva cup.</strong></p>
<p> </p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
This will save you A LOT!</p>
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top