Finding new money challenges and budgeting tips for how to save money is a fun game! Here are 6 out of the box ways to save money, if you're brave enough!
Two years ago we become a one income family. We knew that our family was finally expanding beyond just the two of us, and that I was going to stay home with the baby... what we didn't count on was my husband losing his job only 4 months after I quit mine!
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As a result we also knew that we needed to drastically change our spending habits. So we dug into our budget and cut out everything that wasn't essential.
We even took our food budget from $1000 a month to less than $300 a month!
But even though we love saving money, there are a few things I'm not quite brave enough to do yet... how about you?
Crazy Ways to Save Money, If You're Brave Enough!
While there are some incredibly sane ways to save money, like creating a meal plan, freezer cooking, and cutting your household budget with my worksheet system, there are also some pretty intense ways to save money too!
I know a lot of people who do all of these things, so I'm not cutting them down in any way. But for me and mine, there are a few points I'm all for, and a few I'm not there yet on!
1. How to Save Money Using Mama Cloth
Ok, this one is getting more and more appealing to me! I'm seriously considering switching over to mama cloth soon.
Mama cloth replaces disposable feminine products. Not only does it save money, but it cuts down on the toxicity that comes along with using the disposable kind of feminine products.
For most women, this would save about $150 a year.
You can make your own mama cloth or buy pre-made mama cloth in a ton of fun colors and patterns!
2. How to Save Money Using Family Cloth
Family cloth is reusable toilet paper. I know a lot of fine people who use this in there homes, and more power to 'em! I'm not sure I have the stomach to wash up after my husband!
However, it would actually save us about $360 a year, so I may have to consider it!
Most people use wash cloths for this purpose, I heard good things about these wash cloths for using as family cloth!
We have started using these for "number 1" and it saves more toilet paper than you think, without all the mess of using it all the time!
3. How to Save Money Using Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are nothing new, but many families think of them as old fashioned in a time of disposable diapers. However, when you're trying to save money, sometimes you have to get a little old fashioned.
Just like making your own bread, or finding awesome depression era recipes, older ways of doing things can be a really great thing for your budget!
We originally wanted to do cloth diapers with our little guy. My mom got us all stocked up on the sweetest little patterns and I was so excited to use them! But he ended up being a preemie so the diapers didn't fit right away. And by the time they did fit, we were already sold on Honest Company diapers (which are ah-mazing by the way).
However, if we had made the switch it would have saved us $1080 a year!
You can buy cloth diapers in a variety of patterns and styles, or you can make them yourself!
RELATED: More Money Saving Tips from a Child Care Provider!
4. How to Save Money Using Cloth Wipes
This goes right along with cloth diapers of course. Even though we weren't able to get into the cloth diaper groove, I had thought about cloth wipes for our son as he has very sensitive skin. But in the end we finally found these Burt's Bees Baby Wipes and have never looked back.
However, they are not cheap! If we switched to cloth wipes it would save us $640 a year!
You can grab these super soft clothes made specifically for cloth wipes here, or of course, you can make your own from whatever cloth you'd like!
5. How to Save Money Using the No-Poo Method
No, this isn't a method for learning how to not go to the bathroom any more! It's the slang term for cutting shampoo out of your routine.
There are many different methods for doing this, but the most popular is the Apple Cider Vinegar and baking soda method.
All you do is get your hair wet and rub some baking soda (just a bit) into your hair. Then, take a spray bottle with ACV and water at a 1:4 ratio and spritz out the baking soda. Then rinse well and style as you normally would.
While I haven't switched to just ACV and baking soda - I have switched to a conditioner wash only (for curly hair)! I haven't shampooed my hair since January of 2018 and it's healthier than ever!
When I cut out hair products I saved over $300 a year!
6. How to Save Money by Having A No-Spend Day/Week/Month
A no-spend day/week/month is exactly what it sounds like. A period of time during which you spend NO money. I have great friends who do this every year for a full month and I applaud them!
They even take it so far as to spend no money on food, which means getting really creative with your meal plan.
I'm not sure how much we'd save by doing a no spend month, but if we just cut out our food budget we'd save about $300!
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If we did everything on this list we'd save over $2700 a year!
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From a money-saving perspective, I found that couponing works best for our family. Right before I started grad school, I spent a month in the summer really focusing on coupons, shopping two days a week. In total, maybe 10 hours of my time, and I managed to gather a lifetime supply of pads and tampons (including organic cotton ones), three years worth of toilet paper, enough Kleenex to last us five years or more, plus frozen foods and pasta and as much organic and healthy foods as I could manage to fit in our freezer. We had enough to eat well for almost a year. I spent a grand total of $657.88 for everything, including extraneous items that we needed throughout the year (socks, underwear, milk, fresh produce, etc.) We’re still using some of the things I bought then, and that was over four years ago. I recently started stocking up on disposable diapers. I have just shy of 500 total diapers of varying name brands (Huggies, Pampers, Seventh Generation) stocked up for less than $4 total, including tax. I also stock up on homestead needs in advance of needing them if I can get them for at least 75% off.
Yes!! I LOVED couponing!! My two favorite memories are getting paid $35 to take a bunch of soap out of Wal-Mart (money maker) and then getting a FULL basket of organic food for $0.03! So much fun!
Now that we grow so much though, I don’t coupon anymore. Saves me a lot of time and also money, since we live 20 miles from town and gas is expensive!
Sounds like you’re a pro, that’s an awesome haul!
Victoria…how did u get paid to take soap from Walmart…? I’m so not in the loop for good couponing tricks…
Hi Rachel! So, I had a $1 off coupon for the soap, and they had it on sale for less than a dollar – so they paid me the difference! I think I actually just used it towards my order, but yes! I did get money to take the soap away!
Now, these things happened a looooong time ago and couponing has changed a lot. I don’t do it at all anymore, because we eat food that doesn’t usually have coupons. But, it’s a great way to save money!
Ashley…how on earth did u manage that…? I have tried couponing before & did okay…but that is amazing!!! Any tips or tricks or links u can share…?
Brittany @ Raising Hungry Dinos says
She’s, I’ll tell you, when I clicked on this I was not expecting to read about a family cloth. Like you, I couldn’t imagine sharing, especially with my husband! I suppose each family member could have their own though? This way you feel a little more comfortable! Couponing is definitely my favorite! I love seeing how low I can get the prices!
Haha, right? Ew! I’ll stick with toilet paper for now! LOL
We use water to wash ourselves instead of toilet paper. I keep an old water bottle in my car for public restrooms.its a way of life for us as Muslims.
sarah C Lagnado says
Many people that I know have hooked their toilet up with a spray bidet. There is a handle for just spraying yourself with water after you go to the loo, and another for flushing the toilet.