Since I was talkin' money all last week, I decided to do a little re-cap today, by posting all of your tips that you submitted in the comments! There are so many ways to live frugal and spend wisely and I barely scratched the surface in posts. Here are the comments submitted by my savvy readers; thanks for your input!
Jenn W says:
One thing we have really enjoyed is keeping an irregular income purchase sheet. These are items we would really like to buy (things for the house, furniture, etc.) but are not in our usual budget. When ever we get extra money from anywhere (a rebate, birthday gift, find a $5 on the sidewalk) we check our list and add it to the top item on our list. This reduces the amount of “impulse buying” and allows us to make some larger purchases we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.
I try not to buy things the first time I see them and decide I want them. I wait until 1) I find it used or 2) a couple months, and see how my priorities shift.
When we get overtime or other extra/non budgeted money, some of it goes to savings and we pull some of it out in cash and use that for extra eating out or “frivilous” spending.
Sarah at Ohana Mama says:
Never go grocery shopping hungry. You will buy more. Also, try to join a co-op to receive a bulk discount on items. This is especially awesome for organic or more natural products that can cost more at stores. I found my co-ops through my mommy board, btb (their link is on my site).
Ami (Writing: My Life) says:
My budget saving tip is to make a grocery list and limit yourself to one trip to the grocery store each week. The more often you find yourself at the store, the more opportunities to buy things you don’t really need. And always stick to the list!
I guess in the past I’ve tried to restrain myself… only purchasing 2 “treats” for the kids. I also try to avoid WalMart - as I always seem to spend more than what I originally planned on (because of all the OTHER stuff that is there!).
My budgeting tips would be to start with the zero-balance budget, be sure to leave a little blow-money in the budget so you don’t go stir-crazy, and to CAREFULLY watch that grocery bill. Planning your menu for the week before you go shopping can cut that bill in half.
Gabrielle Krake says:
We have four kids that we home educate. Many years ago when we realized we would not have a consistent income, we stopped randomly shopping. I coined the phrase “If you go looking, YOU WILL find something you want, need or both!” So, we only shop for clothing, housewares & extras twice a year. SPRING & FALL. This greatly cuts down on unnecessary spending for us.
Best budgeting tip… keep track of what you spend! I’m not very good at keeping receipts, so I check my online banking and then enter it into my budget. Works like a charm.
Lauri @ A Day Spent says:
Best little savings tip — I throw any $5 bills I come across into a jar. At the end of the month, I have a nice little stockpile that was not painful to save but makes a nice addition to my savings account.
We have a rule in our house that we don’t just “stop by and pick something up”. We have to have a list and we cannot deviate from it. Also, we try to have specific days set aside for eating out. That way if we get lazy about cooking we can remind ourselves to hold out until our designated feasting day! It saves us a lot of unnecessary restaurant visits which means we are saving money.
My tip is to use envelopes. I am just starting and it seems to be working. I have not read Dave Ramsey, but my sister has been a big proponent of envelopes, as has my mom for years, so it must be a good thing.
I always try to enter receipts into a spreadsheet every night so I can see where our money goes. It’s amazing how much money you spend without paying attention!
My best money saving tip? Keeping my butt out of the stores (and I mean any store for that matter.)
I find making a list when going shopping, for anything at all, really helps me to cut down and avoid impulse purchases.
Thanks for all your great ideas, everyone! Getting all this great input has made me realize how much I love having more of a discussion on GGH! To keep with this spirit, I want to open it up to you... if you have a suggestions for an It's the Absolute Ultimate post or a question/issue you'd like me to address, simply leave it in a comment or email it to me, using my contact form!