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Readers Respond: Tips for Thrifty Living

Responses: 10


Do you have thrifty living tips to help other moms save money? Please share your thrifty tips, and read free thrifty tips from other readers.

5 boys how I manage to feed cloth

5 boys now all grown how we did it and what we still do to save money. Philadelphia has a package delivered free to our door steps of the weeks grocery store flyers. Every week we circle all the sale items at each individual store, so that when I enter any given change store I shop the deals and ONLY the deals at that one and move on to next. All and all I shop 5 stores a week. Sounds like a lot but if you go in armed with that stores list and applicable coupons that match you like I can save thousands of dollars on groceries. I also love the CVS rewards points and dollars. Happy savings enjoy the rewards.
—Guest suzette

Barter Your Old Stuff

I recently found a way to save a lot of money: Bartering. It is so convenient, since you get rid of the things you do not necessarily need anymore, like in my case kids clothes, that are still in good condition. And get things that you actually really need and basically you pay nothing for it.

Cash Only

Leave the credit card at home and spend only the cash you have allotted yourself for trips to the store. When our family is on vacation we decide how much we can afford each day and put that amount in individual sealed envelopes labeled for each day "Saturday, Sunday, Monday, etc." Any money that is left on any given day over can be added to the next day OR can be added to the final day's allotment for a big spending splurge...
—Guest lila


I highly recommend signing up at Mint.com to track your finances and set your budget. Since I signed up, I went from never balancing my checkbook to scrutinizing every purchase and charge. I eliminated several subscriptions I didn't really use, questioned bank fees and got them eliminated, and never ever use a bank machine where I have to pay a fee. These little things add up to maybe $75 per month. It is recommended by Clark Howard and other personal finance advisors.
—Guest WB

Know Where Your Money Goes

This may seem very simple and obvious, but I learned that if I write down every penny that I spend, I can see where I can save in the future. It seems that it's not the big items that use up your paycheck... It's all the small items that add up. If you write down that $1 cup of coffee and that $2 bag of chips.... at the end of the week or month, you'll see where $50 went!

Sticking to a List

We spend the most money on food, so I've started writing a detailed list, including sale items from the circular. That way I have a meal plan for the week, and I only get what's on the list. This eliminates having too much of some things and not enough of others, too. I even write down staples, like milk, juice, fruit and veggies that I buy each and every week. It helps me keep a lid on the spending.
—Guest Violet

Learn How To Do Things Yourself

Many things that you would normally pay a professional to do can easily be done yourself. For example I learned how to cut hair. In the seven years that my husband and I have been married we have never had to pay for a hair cut.
—Guest Kristin

Clip coupons and buy generic!

Since having my second child, our budget has gotten very tight, so I do everything I can to save money. I clip coupons, but am careful to only cut out the ones for things I buy anyway (otherwise I end up spending more on things I wouldn't have bought before!) and also pay close attention at the grocery store to see if buying store brands will save me more. The days of store brands being lower quality are long gone in most places. I also do my best to write out a grocery list before I go to the store and try to stick to it so I end up with less "impulse buys."

Leftovers on Friday

My kids have come to love the buffet that I put out on Fridays. We use up all of the leftover food from the rest of the week. It is one less meal I have to pay for and one less meal I have to cook!
—Guest karen

Thrifty Living is Easy with Sweepstakes

Instead of using my own money for movie tickets, dinners out, and DVDs, I enter sweepstakes to win them. There are lots of sweepstakes giving away smaller prizes like these, and they are easier to win since not so many people enter them (as opposed to mega-sweepstakes like Publisher's Clearing House).

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