Stretching a Penny (episode 1)

We are a family who survives on one steady income. I am a stay at home/homeschool mom and have been since my daughter was born nine years ago. I am blessed to have always been there for my two wonderful kiddos and all the money in the world couldn’t compare to that.

Being a stay at home has its blessings and it has its setbacks. The blessings outweigh the setbacks for sure! But unlike the families that have two incomes, we have to stretch every penny! Here are a few things we do to help our family to stretch that penny.

Turn out the lights!

Electricity is not cheap! We leave lights off in well-lit areas during the day and have a “Light Brigade” (my two kids) randomly run through the house turning off lights. It has become a fun game with both of my kids but my son (6) takes his job very seriously. I yell out “Light Brigade” and they run through the house turning off lights like well-trained soldiers. Hey, whatever works! Am I right?

ALDI

We shop at ALDI for about 75% of the items we use in our house. I watch for good sales at a local grocery store and sometimes Walmart but the majority of our food comes from ALDI. I buy most of my vegetables, fruit, yogurt, Kefir, milk, eggs, and dry goods there. (just to name a few) I have a lot of people ask about the quality of the food we buy there…to be honest, I haven’t found many things I don’t like from there! I would say it’s comparable to most of the products from top named brands!

Once a week…

We eat out and when I say “eat out” it may be a pizza or hamburger at our local Sam’s Club or Chinese place. I will admit it is not the healthiest of choices but it isn’t very expensive and it’s ONLY once a week! I make all of our meals the rest of the week and “eat out night” is just a “cheat” so mommy can have a night off. What mom doesn’t need a night off? Can I get an “Amen”?

Amazon

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I use Amazon Prime for a lot! From buying my printers” off brand” ink to sending out of town family members gifts. Now if you are thinking Amazon Prime isn’t free, you are right! Prime membership cost $99 a year but I have done the math and just in a birthday gift shipping alone (I have seven nephews and nieces that live out of state) I have almost paid for the membership. We also use our Amazon Prime membership for watching shows on Prime Videos, listening to (and downloading) music on Prime Music and saving our pictures to Prime Photos. It’s worth it!

No Media Subscriptions

No paper, no cable, no magazine subscriptions… just, no. We do have internet but that is about it. We make use of our local library for books, media, movies and a lot more. For movies, we either rent from Red Box or we use our Amazon Prime Videos. We don’t normally go out to the local movie theater and if we do its a treat! We usually wait for the movie we want to watch to come out on DVD and then we rent it from Red Box. The idea quickly turns into a cozy night at home with freshly popped popcorn and snuggles under a warm blanket. Who needs a movie theater?

Just say “NO”

This is my least favorite way of saving money but it is one I have to exercise a lot. On many occasions, I had to say no to outings with friends or invitations to do things that cost. It’s not that I don’t like going out and doing things…on the contrary! But we homeschool and that $30 trip to the bouncy house place could pay for my kid’s next swim lesson session.

Like I said, not my favorite way of saving but sometimes it is necessary when you are on a tight budget.

Clearance

I am constantly scanning for birthday and Christmas gifts or anything useful in the clearance section! Now does that sound cheap? Sure it does! Does it matter if I pay full price for the item that is being gifted or if I bought it at 90% off? Well, to be honest, the person who is receiving “said gift” does not know I bought it at a discount. My kids cannot tell the difference on the Lego set I bought for $15 compared to the same set that is selling for $30+. Again, it’s stretching every penny! Besides, “It’s the thought that counts”, right?

To be continued…

 

 

 

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