Happy Tuesday, friends! It's the first Show and Tell Tuesday linkup of 2017 and I can't wait to hear all your thoughts on spending/splurging/etc.
To be honest, I've never really talked money on the blog (which is shocking considering the wide array of topics I've covered) mainly because I feel like it's sooooo personal and everyone's situations and priorities are so different. Dave and I aren't coupon clippers - we tried that once but ended up spending waaaaay too much tine on it and really... does anyone need a stockpile of Lysol? No. I'm pretty sure I'm still using toilet bowl cleaner from 2008 ;)
We do try to pinch pennies when and where we can (because a penny saved is a penny earned, right mom???) ;) and here are a few of my own little tips...
We Don't Eat Out Often
We really don't eat out much. Occasionally for sure - but on a regular basis - no. Neither one of us grew up eating out a lot and while we enjoy eating out with our kids, we generally prefer eating at home. Even when we travel we'll bring breakfast stuff with us (i.e. bagels, bananas, etc.). We pack lunches for ourselves and the kids when we make little morning trips to the museum or other places like that the kids eat better than they would at a restaurant.
We Bought a Deep Freezer
We bought a deep freezer last year (or maybe the year before) and keep it stocked with items when we find them on sale. We also can buy better meat in larger quantities and then break it down into smaller amounts for use whenever. This also allows me to double recipes and freeze one so on nights when we're in a pinch I can pull that out instead of hitting up a drive through.
I Try To Shop On Tuesdays
At our local Kroger the sales run from Tuesday - Tuesday which means that on Tuesday you can actually get this weeks sales as well as next weeks. I also will send Dave to the store with a list instead of going myself because he sticks to the list WAY better than I do. ;)
We Like Cheap Fun
Our kids love a big outing as much as the next, but a lot of our family's favorite things to do cost little to nothing. We like cruising around in the golf cart after dinner, visiting the library, going to Home Depot workshops, going on "adventure walks", playing games, doing puzzles and things like that. We are members at several Dallas "attractions" (the Perot Museum, the Arboretum, etc.) and when you're a family of five and visit often those visits end up costing us about $10 each time instead of $50+. The fringe benefit to this is that when we do end up doing something "big" our kids get REEEEALLY excited!
I Learned How To Cut Hair
When we first got married I went with Dave to get a haircut and realized how super simple it looked (I'm not saying ALL haircuts are easy... but the one he always got looked simple enough), so we bought a haircut kit (the electric razor kind) and I figured it out. He used to get his hair cut at least once a month and it was over $20 with a tip... so about $250/year. I've been cutting his hair for over 11 years which means that we've saved about $3000 on haircuts! I was totally freaked out at first, but learned pretty quickly and can do a mean fade :) My mom has always cut Luke's hair (thanks, Gibi!!!) and Mason gets his cut at a salon because I feel like his is way too easy to mess up.
Date Nights In
Dave and I love a date night - and while we totally value getting a sitter and going out - it's often hard for us because of his work schedule. And oftentimes the thought of spending $50 on a sitter and then $40 on dinner and then $30 on movie tickets and popcorn just isn't worth it to us. We tend to order in food after the kids go to bed, watch a movie in our PJs and play gin rummy. We may sound lame, but it works for us - it's special time out of our normal routine (sans kids) and is way more budget (and schedule!) friendly for us.
We Invest in Reusable Items
While containers like Yum-Boxes seem like a big investment, we use them so often that we feel like we've more than gotten our money out of them in savings on food as well as the plastic bags and such that we normally would have used. (Bonus is that we're not throwing away all those bags!)
I Buy a Season Ahead and Second Hand
All my kids have really convenient birthdays for buying ahead. They're all pretty average sized and I know that pretty much every Spring they'll all go up a size. So for example... Mason will be 6 this Spring so I feel confident buying him 6's for Spring and Fall knowing that, barring any crazy growth spurt, they'll fit no problem. I'm able to take advantage of lots of good sales this way. This may be harder if your child has a birthday mid-season, but you get the idea. I buy as many of their uniform pieces second-hand as I can. I do buy the boys pants new, but the rest of the pieces I pick up resale and it helps A LOT. When you're paying tuition and fees for multiple kids, I'll take a deal anywhere I can get it :) When we're done with the uniforms we donate them to the school's resale shop who resells them and uses the money for the PTA.
Name VS. Storebrand
I'm not going to lie - I like my name brand cereal :) Other things I can compromise on... but not cereal.
Splurge on Clothes
This seems counter-productive, but I've found that when I invest in quality kids clothing (i.e. Boden, Matilda Jane, etc.) and take good care of them that I can resell them and end up spending less than I would if I dressed my kids in Target (seriously). And no... I don't stress about them "messing them up". We lose an occasional item to a big ol' pizza stain or a playground tear - but for the most part I'm able to keep things looking good with Dreft stain remover and line drying. If you're not "into" clothes this probably isn't for you (because it can be quite a bit of work to resell items), but if you like dressing your kids in nicer brands this could be a great option. There are tons of Facebook groups for buying/selling better brand clothing as well that you can check out to see what brands tend to hold their value before you make your purchases.
When it comes to my own clothes - there are a few brands that I LOVE that I find are worth the splurge. I adore Free People and while it can be pricey, I find that they're the pieces in my closet I reach for over and over and over. When I buy the less expensive brands I end up not loving them as much and they just hang in my closet. I am trying to pare my things down to just those that I LOVE and have been giving the rest away. Knowing that it's going to help someone else out makes it that much easier to part with things.
Just Go Home ;)
This one can be a challenge for me because I love to "pop in" to Homegoods or Anthropologie and check out what's going on if I have a few extra minutes. But I know that if I go in I'm PROBABLY going to find something I love so "just go home" is what I tell myself. ;)
Right Off The Top
When I wrote the prompt my intention was for the "saves" part to be more about saving on daily spending, but in case you took it to be long-term saving, something that we do is have money taken "right off the top" from both of our paychecks and put into savings/investments/IRAs/Church tithe/etc. With the money not even showing up in our other accounts we don't have the chance to even miss (or spend!) it. We pretty much just pretend that that money doesn't exist. I realize that this may be harder depending on your situation, but if it's at all possible it's so simple and makes it less tempting to spend.
I'm excited to read all about your tips for how you save money and what y'all feel is worth the splurge. If you have any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments!
And just in case you missed it at the beginning of the month, here are the rest of the Show and Tell topics for 2017!