With the price of everything going up and raises on the job being few and far between, my family has been feeling the pressure in these economic times. We have had to make some changes in our way of living and our budget in order to stay above water. Does that mean that our quality of life is any lower? No. As a matter of fact I haven’t noticed much change in our quality of life at all. I just wanted to highlight a few of the things that we have been doing to “pinch our pennies” lately.

  1. We moved into a smaller house in order to save money on rent.
    When me and my fiance decided last year that we wanted to relocate back to his hometown in the earlier part of 2009, we decided that we could save money by renting a smaller house for a year. So that is exactly what we did. We moved our then family of five into a two bedroom, one bathroom house saving us almost $200 a month. To make this an even better decision for us, the house was total electric which meant that we wouldn’t have a gas bill. One less bill is always a good thing in my eyes.
  2. I started menu planning and clipping coupons.
    I know to many this may not seem like it saves money, but you would not believe how doing something as simple as planning out a weeks worth of meals and clipping coupons can actually keep money in your pocket. Where I was once spending almost $600 a month on groceries to feed my family, I can now buy all of our groceries for $358 a month. I now only go to the grocery store once a week instead of making several smaller trips throughout the week. I use coupons to buy items on sale, therefore maximizing my savings. I also try to do the majority of my shopping at grocery stores that double coupons.
  3. I shop at drugstores to buy our non-food needs.
    I am so glad that I have learned how to play the CVS game. This has saved my family SO much money. I am now able to buy our everyday needs such as shampoo, soap, deordorant, toothpaste and lotion for pennies for the dollar.
  4. We buy used before buying new.
    If we need to buy something around the house, or something gets broken, we always search for that item used before we will buy it new.
  5. I shop at yard sales, thrift stores and consignment shops.
    Shopping this way has saved me a lot of money as well. When my two oldest sons needed a new entertainment center for their room, we found one for $3 at a yard sale. The same thing goes for clothes. We also found a like new baby crib at a yard sale for $50 when we had budgeted $200 for a new crib. I wanted a deep fryer and found one still in the box for $5. I have also gotten DVDs and lamps for $1, books for $.50 and scrapbooking supplies for pennies.
  6. We choose free entertainment.
    We have cut back substantially on the amount of money we spend on entertaining ourselves outside of the house. Now we choose to take the boys to the lake or the park when they get restless instead of to the movies and the arcade. When me and my fiance want a date night, we take the children to grandma’s and come home and cook dinner and watch a movie. We’ve also incorporated family movie night and game night into our week.

These are just a few of the things that we have done to save money but these few things have helped us to save money. When thinking of ways to save money, we didn’t want to compromise our quality of life. I think we have made the right decisions for our family when it comes to making sacrifices and changes to our budget in order to save money.

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  1. What an encouraging thing this was to read! I needed to see that it is little things that add up, instead of a huge, insurmountable task where I don’t know where to begin.

  2. Great article!! Thanks so much for sharing your personal story. I have a question – can you provide a list of those groceries stores that “double” coupons?

    Thanks again and Be Blessed.

  3. I saw your feature in Essence and wanted to commend you on such great ways to save money. Thank you for imparting the advice to the public.

  4. I am a new stay-at-home mome and we are making the transition from a two-income family to just one. We have two girls, 10 and 4 and a baby boy on the way. I just want to thank you for this site. It is a blessing, as I had no idea where to begin trimming fat from our budget. I greatly appreciate the advice, girl! You have some wonderful tips!

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