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10 Easy Ways for Families to Save Money

Mighty Mommy is always on the look out for ways to save money. Here are ten tips that have put more cash back into her family's bank account.

By
Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #365

Tip #5:  Re-evaluate Your Cable Bill

We have a bundle plan in our house with our cable company, which includes a land-line, internet services, and cable. Cable companies continually run specials on various packages and when we took advantage of one a few years ago, I was stunned to learn how many extra channels we were paying for that my family never even watched. By renegotiating our bill, we saved over $60 a month and still have premium movie channels to enjoy. In addition I put a “lock” on “on-demand” movies so only a parent has the authority to purchase one.

Tip #6:  Choose Lunch Over Dinner When Dining Out

If you would like to experience nice restaurants at a better savings, in addition to only ordering water for drinks, choose lunch time to treat your family instead of dinner. Most nice restaurants have a full menu mid-day so you can fill up on a delicious meal and either have leftovers or something simple like grilled cheese for dinner.

Tip #7:  Take a Money Challenge

About ten years ago I met with a new financial planner who had a different approach to managing money. Her advice? Challenge every single expense you have and get your family on board and involved in the process. The object of this exercise was to analyze every single line item we were paying for such as different insurances, car payments, credit card payments, house taxes, cable and Internet, dance lessons, little league fees, clothing budget, grocery bill, movies and entertainment, pet care, babysitting—every single expense we had. Next she advised looking for the “fluff”—in other words, extras that we could fully cut out such as extra magazine subscriptions, costly birthday party gifts, unnecessary warranty packages, drive-thru coffee runs etc.  Then, we shopped around and compared our insurance premiums, credit card rates, how much we paid for clothing and so on.  This took several long periods of time we set aside to do so, but we included our older kids in the process and it was an eye opener to see what they thought they could and couldn’t live without. 

Tip #8:  Have a Regular Meal Plan

As the mom of a large family and also a full-time working mother, I couldn’t survive without a regular meal plan each week.  In my episode,5 Tips to Make Family Meal Planning Easier, I share the ins and outs of how my family eats on a scheduled meal plan.  Not only is it a sanity saver, I’m able to save over $100 per week on our family’s grocery bill because I go to the store armed with a list of what I need and can stick to the list for the most part (especially if I shop without any kids in tow.)  Because our average savings is $400 a month, sometimes more, we budget that savings towards our family’s vacation each summer. Ca-ching!

Tip #9:  Don’t Upgrade Electronics and Tech Gadgets

Technology changes so quickly that it would certainly be possible to upgrade laptops, smart phones, tablets, and other electronic gadgets on a very regular basis, and believe me, some families I know do this.  If your current tech items are working just fine, save your money by hanging on and using them as long as possible.  Check out Quick and Dirty Tips' Tech Talker for dozens of informative and fun podcasts that relate to all the technical parts of your family's life.

Tip #10:  Subscribe to Finance Blogs and Podcasts

I love the expression, “Knowledge is Power” and when it comes to finances that is certainly the case.  Too often many of us shy away from money topics because we’re afraid it will be too complicated or perhaps if we ignore it, it will go away.  Get into the habit of following financial blogs and podcasts such as quick and dirty tips own Laura Adams, Money Girl.  Laura has over 400 helpful and timely podcasts on everything from getting a loan with bad credit to understanding your mortgage options and how to maximize your tax return. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll be with all types of financial matters including the best strategies for saving your hard-earned money.

For more ideas, check out these 10 Fun, Free Family Activties

How does your family save money?  Share your thoughts in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.

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About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

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