Want this button?
And now it's time for Marriage Monday. This month's topic is finances. This is never a fun topic for me, but it's necessary for every marriage. I think overall Hubby and I do pretty well with our finances, though here lately things have been tight because we're trying to sell a rental house (which means it's empty with no income). But if I had to give frugal living tips (and eMom says I do :) ), these would be my top ten:
- Plan your grocery shopping ahead of time. If you have a list, it's easier to avoid all those "extras" that end up in your cart. When the kids ask for something they see, you can have them check the list. If it's not there, tell them to remember to add it next time before you leave home.
- Run all your errands at one time. If you're going to town, think about all the stores you usually visit in that area. Do you need anything from them? This will save both time and gas money.
- Shop at Goodwill. This is one my grandmother taught me. Things like t-shirts and shorts are usually cheaper at Walmart, but for dresses, coats, jeans, pantsuits, and other items like them, you can't go wrong at Goodwill.
- Cut your boys' and man's hair yourself. A nice pair of electric clippers and a comb is all I use. It might take a little practice, but it's not that hard. And then you can spend a little extra on your own beauty regimen! (Though I would like to point out I haven't had my own hair cut in about a year).
- Buy used cars, and buy them with cash. We have never had a car payment (though to be fair we have borrowed cash from relatives a couple of times, but we always paid it back quickly). Then, once we buy a car, we put aside a couple hundred a month in the bank and start the process all over again.
- Buy used everything, for that matter! When I buy books, DVDs, and similar items, I buy them used off of Amazon, homeschoolclassifieds, or anywhere I find them. I've got a huge wishlist on Amazon, where I keep a watchful eye on the "used" prices.
- Every little bit helps. Does anybody really need to pay for a newspaper anymore? Do you have to have the name brand of That Product, or will the store brand do just as well? Could you have your coffee at home instead of Expensive Coffee Shop? Every time I'm tempted to go out for ice cream, we go to the grocery store instead and buy whatever kind we want because it's still going to be cheaper than going out for it.
- If there's an Aldi nearby, you need to go. I've been shopping there for almost 12 years and have never been disappointed by the quality of the products. Their prices are almost always cheaper than every other grocery store. Our local one has milk for $1.99!
- We also happen to know someone who raises beef cattle. Not only is the beef superior to store-bought, but the price usually comes out to way less than the store. And it's the same price per pound whether I have ground beef or steaks cut, which makes it an awesome bargain.
- And this might be the most important one: talk over any major purchase (anything over $100) with your spouse. You need to both be in agreement or you shouldn't be buying it.