1. Parenting

Frugal Living

Money Saving Ideas

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Here are some frugal tips that other stay-at-home parents have shared with us.

From Shelly:

  • I bought a used Umbrella Stroller at a yard sale that looked really dirty. So I took it home and after trying to clean it up I made a removable cover for it that I can take off and wash.

From Amy:

  • I shop the ads, use Value Page and coupons to cut my grocery bill in half. The other day Beechnut baby food worked out to be 12 jars for a dollar. Flex Shampoo is often free if you save their 1.00 off coupon until it goes on sale for $1.99. Sure it takes time... and some sorting skills, but if I save 60 bucks a week... spend say, 3 hours on it 20 bucks an hour sounds good to me!

From Kendra:

  • We live a long way from the nearest city, so when ever I drove there it would end up being a fairly long day. The kids would always get hungry and want lunch and snacks out. I learned that quite a bit of money could be saved by packing my own drinks and food in a cooler. If we do go out and don't have time to pack a lunch first, I still grab a few cans of soda and and chips, then order at the drive through only a hamburger for each of us and cups of ice. Most places don't charge for ice. That way we can all eat for less than a dollar each. Another tip if you like fresh coffee on long drives. I always pack a cup for the way there, but on the way back I have found that if you refill your own cups most places will give you a great discount, even if it isn't one of their store cups.

From Beth:

  • My husband and I have 3 children (ages 3,2,1) and one income. We still enjoy going out on dates, but the cost of eating out takes a lot of the fun out of the evening. In order to save money, we sometimes eat a sandwich, or something else cheap and easy at home before we leave, and then just get a soft drink and an appetizer at a restaurant. We get the "feel" of going out, and we get the quiet time for conversation without the killer bill at the end.

From Kelly:

  • Buy macaroni & cheese when it is on sale and stock up. When you want to make a macaroni salad, use the noodles from out of the box and save the cheese sauce mix. You can use the cheese sauce mix to turn your scalloped potatoes into au gratin, and you save a fortune over buying the macaroni in bags. An envelope of cheese sauce mix can be pretty pricey, too.

I want to thank everyone for their tips and hints, and please submit your tip!

More Reader's Frugal Tips
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