I have what most would consider a large family, my husband and I have four children under the age of six. As our family has grown my money saving skills have improved. I have learned not to settle for the first item I find, I search until I find it for the price that fits our budget. Sometimes that means shopping second-hand stores like Goodwill or scouring sites like Amazon and Ebay. I also use cash back rewards sites like Ebates, Mr. Rebates and Shop At Home to earn cash back on my online purchases. Another site that I use to earn extra money is Swagbucks, you can earn gift cards or PayPal cash just by searching. I don’t even really “try” like some users do and I have still earned $100 in Amazon gift cards.
Most people think that is a lot of work just to save/earn some money but it does add up and it does make a difference. We also search for restaurants where kids eat free when we go out to dinner. This means we can eat out twice for the same amount it would cost us if we paid full price for one meal. I clip coupons (yes I am that crazy lady in line at the grocery store with $70 worth of coupons) but only for items we would normally use. If there are coupons for free items that we won’t use I get them and then donate the items. There are so many things that families of any size can do to save money, it does take time but to me it is worth it.
A few more tips:
- If you are eligible for WIC, Medicaid or the Ohio Direction card you can get a $25 annual family membership to COSI (I discovered this while researching memberships on their website, hopefully someone can benefit from this info )
- You can receive discounts for buying memberships online (Columbus Zoo gives a $5 discount). We have the Family Plus Membership which is great for our family, we can take either set of grandparents with us at no extra charge. Definitely worth the price if you make more than one or two trips to the zoo a year.
- Check Retail Me Not for coupon codes before making online purchases
- Sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. are a great way to purchase deals at half price
- With the holidays just around the corner don’t forget to take advantage of holiday layaway at stores like Walmart, Toys R Us and Kmart (it is a great way to spread out your holiday spending as well as hide your presents from sneaky, curious kids)
- I also take advantage of product rewards programs (Huggies, Pampers, Stonyfield Organics, etc) just enter their codes and earn coupons and other free items.
- Follow local deal bloggers like http://missiontosave.com/ and http://blogs.centralohio.com/bargainadvocate they post local grocery deal and coupon match ups as well as discounted events around Central Ohio
And of course one of my favorite ways to save and earn money is by shopping and selling at Three Bags Full! I always earn more than I spend so I look at the items I buy as FREE! Where else can you earn back the money that you have spent? Only a few more days until the first sale of the season…is anyone else excited to score great deals?!