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The other week, I shared 5 simple ways that I’m earning money this year. I’ve already made $10 from Bing, $5 from Swagbucks, and $32 from selling books at Half Price Books. Not bad, considering that we’re only 1 month into the new year! In addition to earning a bit of extra money for our family, I’m focusing even more on saving my family money. Here are 5 of the ways I am saving us money this year.
1. I’m baking our bread. Ever since I did the calculations and realized I can make a loaf of good, homemade bread for only $0.48, I have been baking our bread. Right now, we go though one or two loaves a week – depending on how much bread we’re eating. Considering that a good loaf of bread costs at least $2.50, I’m saving us between $8 and $16 a month. It doesn’t take me long to mix up the bread. It freezes great and it tastes so much better than anything I can buy at the store. This is a delicious way to save money!
2. I’m staying at home more. Now that I’m a stay at home Mom, I only have to venture out a couple days. I teach music in the afternoons on Tuesdays and Thursdays and go to church on Sunday mornings. The other four days, I’m doing my best to stay at home when I can and save on gas money. This means I need to be intentional about my errands and go grocery shopping before or after I teach. It takes a bit more planning but it saves me time and money when I stay at home.
3. I’m learning to do more from scratch. Convenience foods are wonderful but the prices add up. I don’t buy baby carrots but peel and cut up my own. Same is true for salad. In addition to baking our bread, I’ve started making our own yogurt. I freeze produce from our garden and can salsa, applesauce and jam. I’m open to trying almost anything (at least once) if it will save me money.
4. I’m shopping at thrift stores and yard sales. I keep a running list of items on my list and try to avoid full-price stores when I can. This is particularly true for myself and our growing baby. I’ve updated my wardrobe with quality clothes at a bargain by shopping online at Twice. It’s one of my new favorite ways to save! (Read more why I love Twice here.) During the winter, I shop at resales and thrift stores. When yard sales start in the spring and summer, then I’ll start looking for bargains there. It takes time and patience but you can find amazing deals and save a lot when shopping at thrift stores and yard sales.
5. I’m using less. I’m using less detergent in the wash. I’m using less soap – by turning it into foaming soap. I’m using less electricity by opening the blinds as much as I can. I’m using less gas (in my car) by staying home. I’m using less gas (in our house) by keeping our thermostat low in the winter. I’m (trying) to use less water with shorter showers. This one is the hardest one for me.
These are five ways that I’m saving this year. How are you saving? What would you add to this list? And do you have anything else I should try making from scratch?