Why spend more, mama? No matter where you are financially, saving money rocks – and for some of us means the difference between having the extras and not. We asked for your best family-friendly budgeting tips and you delivered! Here are some of our faves:
Start walking! I fell in love with walking after having my first and hardly drive anywhere anymore. It’s better than a gym membership, even in winter. We all just get bundled up and off we go! – T.N.
Recognize the difference between needs and wants! – Diane (a mom and grandma and a GREAT grandma so she’s knows what’s she talking about)
I love the Suze Orman’s expense sheets on her website. They are the best things ever!!! – Cathy
We don’t buy school clothes until AFTER school starts because my daughter (and my son too) want to see what the other kids are wearing first. They can be style conscious and I end up saving because the clothes are already back on sale. – Bon
Using cloth diapers (that I bought secondhand) whenever my son is at home has saved us a bunch of money. I’m getting more confident so I’m starting to use them when we’re out, too. – Lovethatboy
I sell things online. Outgrown baby things, household items, sometimes even books I have just laying around sell well on amazon or eBay. Recently I started making baby clothes and selling them on etsy.com. I’m crafty so it gives me something fun to do and brings in a little extra money. – Norell
Don’t just ignore automatic subscriptions running. Check on them every couple months to make sure you’re getting the best price on cable, your phone, newspapers, car insurance, etc. – Laureen
Try YNAB (You Need a Budget) You can’t figure out where you’re overspending if you don’t know where your money is going. – Court
Find a group of 4 local moms with children around the same age as your own. Each woman cares for the other women’s children one day per week while the others work outside of the home. They each work one different day per week, no one pays for child care, their children are cared for by a reliable, trustworthy individual and a part time income could be gained. If you’re going to homeschool it’s a great way to start that, too. – Rebecca
I pay my bills first and buy everything else second. You can’t spend what you don’t have! – Heather S.
Buy clothing during end-of-season sales in whatever sizes kids will be next year or even for the next few years. It can save A TON but you’re still getting great clothes. – Rennie
I actually have an Master of Education degree and just transitioned to being a stay at home mom after having a baby so I’m starting a small Montessori inspired childcare in my home. – Lailah
Breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed! – Peach27 (Editor’s note: Or collect all the formula coupons you can!)
Create a monthly spending plan. We call it our zero balance budget. Every dollar is going somewhere, maybe it’s for birthday presents or the savings account. Don’t forget to include money for fun, though! – Elliephant
All my parties are potlucks or BYOB+some to share. The spirit of cooperation means I can have people over as often as I want without it being a big money sink. – Cat
We recently gave up cable. We have an antenna for our basics, TIVO, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. we pay about $33 a month now when we were paying over $100 for our satellite package. What I learned is that most of the shows we watch come on the basic channels for free, and I don’t miss cable at all! – Michelle
Buy a convertible! (Car seat, crib, stroller, and high chair, that is!) And just because something for baby costs more doesn’t necessarily make it good or better. – Jess
When you’re going out with girlfriends leave your wallet at home. Bring as much cash as you’ll be comfortable spending but no more. When it’s done, you’re done. – Momof5
Meal plan and make ahead freezer meals have been a lifesaver. Before, we were going out or ordering out whenever we couldn’t come up with something. A friend hosted a freezer meal workshop and it was amazing. We probably save $25 a week at least. – Lynn T.
Don’t buy anything that’s not on your kid’s school supply list because they are not going to use it and if you think it’s going to come home with them at the end of the year, think again! – CarieCarie
Never shop hungry. So simple but true. I’d add never shop with hungry kids. In fact, when you’re shopping for anything leave kids at home. – Heather R.
So much baby stuff is a gimmick. Baby towels? Use your own towels and washcloths. The best toys are right in your kitchen cabinets. Babies don’t need a lot of fancy gear. They just need you. -Skylarsmom
Make sure that your kids’ college funds are included in your budget if you’re planning on saving for school. It’s not the kind of thing you want to leave for later. Make it a priority now and you’ll thank yourself. – HappyTerrie
Trim the fat! Do you have a collectible you don’t care about anymore or designer clothes you never wear because you’re a mom? Try selling on eBay or Craigslist or a local message board. You make money and make space. Less stuff can mean more time. – Kristy
Don’t indulge your child’s every whim and wish. Let them be bored. It inspires creative thinking. – Melissaismom
I love You Look Fab for work clothes advice. Being a working mom – or just looking good – can happen with stuff in your own closet. Wear what you have! – NicoleEgert
We love these tips for saving money from our awesome moms. Add your own in the comments and you could be featured in our next money-saving idea post.