It’s almost here, that dreaded time of year!
The lazy days of summer are fast drawing to an end. The prospect of making lunches for school are staring us in the face again, and the added expense of new clothes, school supplies, fees, and possibly tuition are looming like an unwelcome shadow in the corner of the room.
Do you feel your stomach tightening with the thought of all those expenses having to again be worked into your budget? Even worse, will all those expenses end up on your ever growing credit card balance? As a stay at home mom, those mounting bills equal stress.
For a lot of us stay at home moms, we revisit the ever constant challenge of returning to work vs staying home with our kids. I have lived this life for a lot of years now, and I want to share some of the budget stretching tricks I have learned.
- Do YOUR homework. Get your list of needed supplies, clothes, shoes etc. Then sit down with a cup of coffee and read all the ads. List the store with the best price after the item.
- Map out the shortest and most efficient route to the stores with the best prices.
- Please use common sense, don’t drive half an hour to save $1.00, think smart, time and gas are valuable.
- Forget the higher priced school supplies with the latest movie or tv characters, pick a plain color and be done with it. Many times that will save you 1/3 – 1/2 of the price.
- Make sure you have checked all the sale flyers. All the stores are competing fiercely for your business, and many of those sales are loss leaders. Buy the things that are on sale and move on to the next store for the items they are featuring at the best price.
- Don’t go overboard on the clothes, you have a washing machine, so you can limit the amount you spend on clothes by simply doing laundry.
- Buy several pairs (three is a good number) of dark pants. I love the double knee pants for the boys. Five different tops will get you through the week. If your budget dictates, buy less and wash more.
- Consignment shops and garage sales can save you TONS.
I will give you more cost saving tips tomorrow. My best advice is to set your budget, and then just stick to it.