Now I love Saturday morning cartoons as much as the next girl. (Grownups are still allowed to watch those, right???) But the commercials! They are so heavily marketed towards my children especially that it makes me ill. My three sweet daughters are convinced they need a Happy Napper. (I have yet to fully understand how they are much different from the plethora of Pillow Pets they already own.) They are wishing for Stompeez (Slippers that open their eyes or mouth when you stomp. Just what every parent needs.) and my dear hubby and I can’t live without a Forever Lazy. (Ummm… no.)
1. Watch for tricks. Stores are always running sale and specials, but sometimes they sound too good to be true… and they are. For example, if you have $1.00 item that is on Buy One Get One 1/2 Off sale, you would pay $1.50 for 2 of them which amounts $.75 each. Doesn’t sound too bad. If the store were running a 30% off sale on the same $1.00 item, it would amount to $.70… a better deal! Most people gravitate to the BOGO sales, but they are not necessarily the best deal. Use a calculator if you have to, and be smart.
We also subscribe to Netflix streaming service for $7.99/month. The movie selection isn’t that great, but their TV show selection is incredible. My girls can watch all of their favorite Nickelodeon shows, hubby gets his Discovery Channel fix, and I get to catch up on my favorite crime dramas. And the best part? No commercials.
Order water (drinks are the most over-priced item on the menu!) and if possible, eat out at lunch instead of dinner. Prices are lower and portions smaller. Better for your budget and waistline!
Split an order with another family member (depending on where you’re dining, portions can be massive) especially for a picky eater. I hate spending the money for a mediocre “Kids Meal” that is ultimately left uneaten. Don’t be afraid to ask for an extra plate and let your child share your meal.
6. Pay cash for vehicles. I haven’t made a car payment in nearly 5 years. Perfect? No. Paid for? You betcha. Look on Craigslist. Search the paper. Talk to people around town. There are deals to be had. And if you don’t know anyone who knows anything about cars… make friends with one. We own two vehicles. Both paid for. Not having a car payment has been one of the most financially liberating decisions we have ever made as a family. The vehicles we drive are not as new as the ones we used to drive, but… they’re paid for.
And that makes all the difference.