Friday, December 2, 2011

Saving money....yes please!

Hello Fellow Budgeters,

It seems like everywhere you turn, people are trying to save money.  I am no exception.  I love being a stay at home mom, but it requires us to be a little creative with our finances.  I bet there are some of you in the same boat.  I just thought I would share a few of my money saving tips.  Please feel free to comment and let me know of your favorite deals.

Kids' lunches.  My son NEVER eats hot lunch.  I guess that is okay.  It saves us money and I get to see what he doesn't eat for lunch (as he brings it home again, not smart enough yet to throw it all away so mom doesn't see that you didn't eat your sandwich).  Here is my money saving tip for packing a lunch.  My kids love Sunny D (who doesn't?).  But the individual Sunny D's are $2.50 for 6 of them.  So I bought a six pack and then I wash them in the dishwasher and buy the BIG Sunny D (for $2.50) and then refill!  Voila!  Money saved. Buying juice boxes or little chocolate milks are expensive, but not refillable Sunny D!

Next way to save money this time of year...make your own gifts.  This can be hard if you are not crafty, but I think that there are lots of good ideas out there for all craft levels!  You can make ornaments for family members (salt dough), make calendars or photo books on Snapfish or Shutterfly (they always have great sales if you are on their email list), make Santa hats for your kids (so easy), or for the most advance crafters, you can make advent calendars.  Check out this one my awesome sister made for me last year.  (note: this is not for the beginner crafter.  There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth over this project.  Of course, she made 25 of them, so that didn't help the problem).  But it is AWESOME!  The picture doesn't really do it justice.

The next gift has brought my family SO much joy (and a little pain when there is fighting over it) over the last few years.  This is something that Santa brought a few years ago.  It cost Santa a pretty penny, but it was worth it.  It is our kid's favorite thing about Christmas!  They play with it every day.  So, this is something that will be used for many Christmases to come.  So this money saving tip is, find a family heirloom or tradition to invest in!

2006- The Inaugural Year (Makai age 3)
2008- Makai 5, JJ 6 months, Tanner 3
2011- Tanner 6, Makai 8, JJ 3

I have saved the best for last.  Who loves coffee?  Who loves ridiculously overpriced coffee?  Who loves ridiculously overpriced coffee with all of the fixings?  Me, me, me!  I love Starbucks.  I do not, however, love the price of Starbucks.  Two years ago, a good friend changed my life.  She introduced me to (drum roll please)....the Misto.  Yep.  This is the best kept secret at Starbucks.  Not only does it cost less, it has a LOT less calories!  It is a win/win!  A misto uses regular drip coffee and then adds all of your fancy fixings after that!  So instead of using (really expensive) espresso and then adding a ton of milk and then your highly caloric fixings, they use more coffee and then less milk and then the highly caloric fixings.  So for example let's take my favorite holiday drink: the cinnamon dolce latte.  Regular price for a grande cinnamon dolce latte $4.55+ and 210 calories (if you have non fat milk).  Regular price for a grande cinnamon dolce MISTO......$3.25 and 70 calories (plus the syrup, they didn't have the calories for that).  So, it saves you over $1 per drink and 100 calories.  To that I say......who wants some Starbucks?  So, next time you go to Starbucks, try a misto (with your favorite flavoring) and pick one up for me too!

My favorite ornament
Merry Christmas, and happy bargain hunting!


1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I love Starbucks, but have been addicted for about 12 years. I finally quit this year because of the cost. I will definitely have to try a Misto! I don't think my kids have ever had Sunny D, totally going to buy some!

    Thanks for sharing!