Thursday, May 28, 2009

Saving money in a crunch

As many of you know, I received a traffic ticket a few weeks ago. Due to my husband being paid once a month, I was going to have to find a way to pay it. Lets see no job......hmmm. Yikes! Well luckily my ticket was reduced to $185 (was $249) but still its going to be very hard. So I thought I would take time to tell you my plan on how I was going to pay for this. You can apply this to any money crisis you may have.  Sports money for your children, unexpected bill, or maybe you just want to start saving money.

Work for your money-Luckily I have a friend who needs me to babysit once in a while and she just emailed me asking me to watch her children. This is where a sigh of relief comes in play. So this is very helpful. If you really need to make money, try sending out a email or telling your friends and family that you are trying to earn money. Let them know you will do anything and not to hesitate to even ask. My friends and family know I will do what ever they ask of me. Babysitting, mowing the lawn, dishes, laundry, picking weeds, or just helping them make homemade laundry soap. My motto is "Beggars cannot be choosers." So express to everyone you know, you are looking to make money.

Groceries-If I have to , yes I will take money out of my grocery budget. Which is not good because its a 5 week period this month. One of those long months. So its not good. But I will do it if I have to. Ways I save money are as following:
-Buy seasonal-Buy fruit in season. Right now banana's are only 59 cents per lb. My girls know its banana season and expect it. Its also BBQ season so pork, BBQ sauce, buns, etc are on sale. We eat a lot of these types of things.  I buy only mark down meats found usually on the side of all the other meat. They just need to be used soon or put in the freezer for later. My goal is to pay less than $1 per lb for any meat I buy. It can be done. So buy seasonal. It saves a bundle.

Garden-Yes your garden can help you out too. Right now the only thing thriving in my garden is spinach . So we eat a lot of salads with it, put it in pasta dishes, and work it into our meals any way I can. Lettuce  is almost ready so soon it will be top priority in our meals. Its free food for the eating in our house. Once my plants start sprouting, I will soon have a ton of veggies to eat and save me a bundle. I am stocked and ready for when this happens. I have purchased my jars little at a time to can anything I grow. I also will be making freezer jam in the next month or so. You will be reading about that when the time comes.  This alone will save you a bundle. 

Resources-Use any resources you have. The bread store I go to about once a week. Its free bread products with a small donation. All money goes to the local seniors. It helps them and you. If you don't have one of these programs, ask friends or family if they know of any places like this. When I was younger, my mom would go get brown bags of food from a local church. You pay $20 a year and once a month you go get 2 brown bags of food to take home. It had everything you could think of in it. So ask anyone you know. Someone always knows of someplace. Also if you have too much of something, give it away to your friends or neighbors. You never know when you will be getting something from them. Just yesterday I received a bowl of potato salad that was to die for. So yummy. I had given her some of my spinach and she gave me that in return. So this also can be helpful. We ate it for dinner with spinach tuna salad.  Try shopping in low cost stores. Example:Grocery Outlet. They are always 50% less than any other store. They always have different things so buy what you need at the moment and think ahead. When they have sales, its super cheap! 

Gift Cards-This is a option if you have gift cards you have not used yet. If your a member of my points, you know you can get gift cards to just about any store. Whenever I get enough points, I usually will get a gift card to Target. Target has everything you need plus groceries so I can get anything I need from there. So I save my gift cards for when I need really need to save money. So next time I need milk or anything else, I will use that card. If you are not a member, check the right hand side of this page and there is a link. Its a super easy way to earn points to use for gift cards. Ive already earned over $100 and only been a member for a year. Its the fastest way to earn money that I have found. My daughter does it as well to earn gift cards to barns and noble so she can feed her book apatite

Dont go to the store-This is my number one tip. Just avoid a store at all cost. Only time I go to the store now is if were out of milk or eggs. I have so much stuff stashed away that I really do not need to go to the store. If I really want, I can use powdered milk. I try to use what I have before going to any store. I have lots of baking products, so I will be making muffins and stuff for snacks.  You can also freeze them if you make a lot.  Try having breakfast for dinner sometime. Kids just love this one. Make homemade pancakes, or just have cereal. We do this on soccer practice nights. I have a ton of cereal that I bought when those round of coupons came by a few weeks ago. I was able to get each box of cereal for less than a dollar each. Maybe work those into your muffins. Kids love cereal muffins for breakfast.  So my point is, stay away from the stores. You will spend money in them now matter how hard you try not to. So just avoid them all together.

Second Hand-If you do need anything at all, try buying second hand first. This used to be optional for me (uuyyy I cringe thinking about it) but now its a must. There is just too much garbage going into the landfill and buying second hand helps prevent this. Plus it saves you a bundle. So my oldest daughter was in need of jeans and I really didn't have the money to go buy $20 jeans (and that's a Target or Walmart). So last Friday I hit the garage sales. I only went to 3 and found what I needed. 4 pairs of Gap jeans almost brand new for only $1 each. I also found name brand shirts (Abercrombie,gap,Roxi etc.) for only 50 cents. So for $8.50 I brought home 4 pairs of jeans and 9 shirts. Yahoo!!! When you garage sale hunt, make sure to check out any free box's out there. Each sale usually has one. You never know what you are going to find and want to keep. I have found most of my Tupperware lids in these. So before you go to get that certain item, check out Goodwill, thrift stores or even yard sales first.

So as you can see, this does save you money. I'm pretty sure I will not have to take any grocery money to pay this ticket. But if I do, it will be very little. Where there's a will, there's a way. Get creative and don't ever say you "CANT" do it. Even someone who has no job and is on a budget can do this. So get creative and have fun saving money.

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