Moms on a Budget: 10 Easy Ways to Save

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By Rubina Ahmed-Haq

Are you a spender who wants to become a saver, but you don’t know where to start cutting back. I have some tips for you. Saving money can be so easy if you start small.

Here’s a list of things you can do today that will help you start saving towards your bigger goals. Remember my motto, save on the small things so you can spend on the big things.

 

1. Clip coupons: I know it’s what your mom used to do, but mother know best. Using coupons, especially on already sale priced items will give you maximum savings on household goods.  My best advice is clip coupons for products you already use in your home and then scan the flyers to see when they go on sale and stock up!

2. Take your lunch to work: Most people know a home packed lunch is cheaper but have you ever crunched the numbers? Lets take the example of a lunch consisting of a    sandwich and a bottle of water.  If the average cost is $7.00, over 4 weeks that equals $140.00. But taking a sandwich from home, your grocery costs is about $41.00, a           savings of $99 every 4 weeks and almost $1300 every year!

3. Walk and bike: If you can walk to buy milk, walk to your local restaurant and bike to see your friend in a close by neighbourhood. Its 100% free and you will get some exercise too! Of course this means you need to own a bike, my bike last year cost $300 and it has more than paid itself off in only one year.

4. Don’t buy items just because they are on sale: This goes specifically for clothing and shoes. Here’s the test, go to your closet right now and look at all the clothes you bought on sale that you don’t wear and add up the cost. You’ll see how this quickly comes to hundreds of dollars spent. I’m a big believer in buying clothing full price if you     know you will use it, rather than buying 10 things on sale and have them hang in your closet.

5. Don’t assume buying in bulk will save you money: Always check the unit price of what you’re buying, toilet paper, aluminium foil, juice etc. Often the smaller sized items can be cheaper per unit. Its easy math and usually the smaller sizes are sitting right beside the bulk size on the store shelves. Check the size of the main portions before ordering at a restaurant: Mains often come with too much rice, potatoes and salad. Ask the waiter if you and your dining buddy can share a main and order an extra steak or burger on its own.

6. Take advantage of social buying sites: Sign up for deals on sites such as, Groupon, Living Social and WagJag. These smart sites send you deals based on your location. Best deals are on salon treatments, restaurants visits and clothing stores. A little travel tip, switch your location to the city you are travelling to and collect deals ahead of time.

7. Don’t pay bank fees: If your bank is charging you to keep your money than you need to either tell them to change your account type or switch to a bank that will give you free banking. Don’t let the bank tell you that it costs them money to keep your money.

8. Buy smaller fruits and vegetables. If you are paying per pound buy smaller, apples, oranges, zucchinis mushrooms etc. This will avoid wasting fruits and vegetables.  How often have you wasted half an apple because it was too big to finish?

9. Dine out on weekdays: This might be the hardest sell, but eating out during the week is cheaper and makes more sense. Most restaurants have great deals during the week to attract customers and you will appreciate not having to cook and do dishes on a work night.  But remember it’s cheaper to eat at home, so don’t over do this one.

 

Happy saving!

Rubina Ahmed-Haq


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