- Paint your own toenails rather than going to the nail salon. (Waxing and massages come into this category too. Instead of going to get a massage, I sit in the jacuzzi/spa hot tub at my gym and let the jets do their work while my kids enjoy open swim there. More to come on how to save big on gym memberships if that’s something you don’t want to give up.)
- Don’t focus on what you want but on what you already have. (Maybe you’re in the mood for brownies, but how could you jazz up the cake mix you already have and be equally as excited about that and not run to the store to get brownie mix and risk falling for whatever other suggested sells they have running at the store when you get there)
- Pack lunches at home; don’t eat out.
- My 9 year old suggested this one especially: “If I want to be near horses, don’t ask my parents for expensive horse lessons; ask the horse barn nearby if they need anyone to clean their stables in exchange for horseback riding.”
- Finish leftovers. Repurpose, reuse. Your grocery bill will thank you!
- Eat oatmeal instead of cereal for breakfast, especially when bought in bulk, oatmeal can be dirt cheap. Jazz it up with raisins or craisins or coconut and brown sugar.
- Give drawing lessons to other children. Same goes for piano lessons and house cleaning lessons (many children don’t know how to clean well – most of us parents want our kids to know how – if your child does, ask if their friend wants to be shown how) or whatever one person can teach another.
- Help out with extra chores so we don’t need to pay a housecleaner. And declutter! Selling, donating or throwing away as you go. I can’t believe how much less (still a lot, since I have four children) I have to clean when I really purge our possessions and each belonging has its place. Don’t set it down; set it where it belongs. (I’ve got a long way to go on this one, but I love having a clear goal.)
- Reuse last year’s school supplies when the new year begins.
Here are other ways my kids have suggested we can save money…