Pinching pennies? Our family definitely needs to watch our spending. Yet I still want us to While we never seem to have a lot of money, I still want us to have have fun together. Although we do enjoy most of our family meals and events at home, having fun outside our house is also a good thing at times. Yesterday I gave you suggestions on finding fun family events. Here are other ways that we have managed to not spend a lot on family fun.
Saving Money in General
- Shop at discount stores. Use coupons. Price match. My favorite is the last option. I save so much money by only going to ONE store (my favorite Hy-Vee) armed with ads that allow me to get the best deals across town. Although I do often use coupons, many items like produce, work better with price matching.
- Buy seasonally. Now is about the time to stock up on baking items. July/August stock up on school supplies. In the spring, produce starts to be a great buy – freeze some of those inexpensive peppers and onions. This is when there are loss leaders – you benefit from the stores giving such a good deal that they make little.
- Become familiar with prices. Study circulars. Look at the store to determine if you really saving money or only a dime. May make a difference whether you stock up or just buy one item.
- Get together with friends for a freezer meal exchange. This can definitely save you money and time. Simply make the same meal multiple times. For more tips, see this post from the Good Life Moms.
- Set up a “junk e-mail” account where you can get special offers without cluttering your regular e-mail. Then if you want to use a coupon, you know where to look.
Eating Out at Restaurants
- Try new restaurants that are discounted with Living Social, Groupon or other such sites. This is how our family tried Lazzari’s Pizza at almost half price. In Lincoln, sign up to get half price gift certificates on B Bargains or at Today’s Deal from the Lincoln Journal Star. Big Bonus Bucks are available for places across Nebraska.
- This probably happens more in urban areas like Lincoln and Omaha, but watch for kids eat free nights. Usually they are the beginning of the week. Sometimes they are one per adult purchase – we like the places that have two per adult.
- Sign up for e-mails to places you frequent. Use your “junk” e-mail account. Not only does this bring special restaurant offers to your inbox but also often great birthday deals. As mine just happens to be next week, I will say that I get to enjoy eating out more this month. For instance, at an area pizza place, this week I could get a medium pizza free with purchase of breadsticks. For $5.35, the kids and I had lunch on Tuesday with leftovers to spare. Hard to eat on much less than that at home!
- Borrow movies from your local library. While you have to wait a bit for new releases, you usually have the flicks for one to three weeks usually giving you ample time to watch them.
- Set up a movie/game exchange. Ask friends if they want to swap movies. Or board games. Just keep track well who has what. Also agreeing in advance to replace any broken items is a good idea.
- Search the web for great family night suggestions. A couple of links: 20 fun nights from iMom and four from Heritage Builders as well as 50 ideas from “She Knows.”
Want to continue to learn more about saving money? Here are some of my favorite local ladies who share how to save money in Nebraska!
Any other great suggestions on saving money? If so, please leave them in the comments below.