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Welcome to AskMommy.ca Q&A, where you can ask pregnancy, baby and parenting related questions and receive answers from other members of the community.

Care to share ideas on how to stretch a dollar?!?

14 votes
I now am a mom of three and eventually would love to complete my beautiful family with one more bundle of joy! I know however that a big family is expensive and that there are new expenses with every child. My husband has a great job and i was getting decent pay until recently when my husband took a transfer. Times are tough at times and i would love to share my ideas as well as hear other ideas as to how to make the most of stretching a dollar! Would anyone care to share their money stretching ideas?
asked in Moms by Angelbaby12000 (1,243 points)
Some things that I do are...

-I make crafts from recyclables. Stuff like egg cartons, milk jugs, boxes, etc. Also the dollar store has really great crafts for cheap for young children. At Christmas we painted ornaments and gave them as gifts. It only cost $1.50 for paint, paintbrushes, and two ornaments.

-I have kept all my baby clothes and pretty much everything I need for baby until I am 100% sure I am not having anymore children. Plus, I have got hand me downs from friends and family!

-I get coupons from websites such as PG brandsaver.ca, websaver.ca and save.ca. Then I shop ONLY sales! A lot of stores have dollar days or ten for $10 deals. I stock up on things that I know we use a lot!

-I try to unplug all electronics and appliances that I'm not using and turn down the heat in the day.

7 Answers

4 votes
Angelbaby12000 sounds like we do the same things...I'm a mom of 5...my oldest son is 19 years and my youngest son is 7 months and 2 step-boys ( 3 1/2 and 9 years old).  It's a busy house...water and hydro are killing us...not to mention heat!   We try to limit shower times and bath water levels...we run washer/dryer/dishwasher on off-peak times and we keep the thermostat low .  Coupons have always been a staple in our home...and sometimes we luck out on quick sale items that can make a nice dinner on a low budget...also freeze as much as you can...Spag sauces and meals such as: lasagnas/shephard's pie and over ripe bananas are great for banana bread ...when you have the time to cook/bake.   We just had a birthday party for our 2 year old this week end...and everything including gift was under $75.00 ( we budgeted for it and researched the best deals/prices for party favors etc...).   His present from us was a Wonder Pets Extravaganza...2 flyboats, 8 figurines and blocks...all for $7.99 at a children's consignment shop...we washed/disinfect and used a recycle birthday bag!  All I'm saying is it can be difficult finding time and ENERGY but in the long run it's worth the SAVING :)
answered by Chris666 (658 points)
4 votes
Some of the little things we do that adds up in big savings!

-turn down the thermostat a few degrees, having quick showers (no long, soaking showers), when brushing our teeth we fill the glass & do not run the water.

-I walk as much as possible, to save on gas.  I don't buy tea/coffee from coffee shops, I make them at home. We use CASH as much as possible (no credit cards, no debit cards), so when the money runs out, we don't dip into money we don't have or can't afford!

-we'd go to the public library to get books, magazines & dvds (instead of renting or buying.)

-we cancelled our newspaper, because we get all the same info on the daily, local news, local radio stations & online for free!

-take the time to actually sit down & write down where every penny spent went & that will quickly open your eyes on how much is wasted on un-necessary items!
answered by bcpotts (7,692 points)
3 votes

If possible, try doing some gardening in the yard or at a local community spot. At work we're in a residential setting, and our current manager encouraged a few co-staffing and members to start up a garden. They've been able to plant strawberries, tomatoes, and potatoes in the past 2 years to help save on the grocery bill (meals for 7 - 8 people). frown

 

When running errands ... always keep a list handy at home or in the car. That way you ensure you are combining errands/tasks. Also, have an idea when and where you want to do your grocery shopping so that you don't find yourself short or feeling like you have to rush out to pick up only a few small items. General grocery lists really come in handy ... even if you know you're only looking to pick up 60 - 70% (or less) of the items jotted down. yes

Gas up during off-peak hours. I talked with a gas attendant at Esso years back and he noted it was frustrating the way the prices jumped around during the day, but often encouraged mid-week and to avoid the key times of the day (AM and supper hour). Aim to gas up really early in the AM, or late at night if at all possible.  enlightened

 

Prepare meals wherein you're ensuring there will be possible leftovers. Soups, stews, and casseroles are great in that sense in that they're not usually "1-off meals" ... they tend to "have some life to them" (as the saying goes). smiley

 

 

answered by Evan (1,400 points)
edited
3 votes
That's a great question! I can't believe how much our costs skyrocketed after having kids. I have become really fastidious about using coupons, I use them almost every time I shop. I check out the flyers, making sure to take advantage of sales of high cost items like diapers and formula, and then stocking up. Definitely take advantage of hand-me-downs like clothes, since kids go through clothes so fast anyway. And I also use kijiji for finding great deals on gently used stuff for kids at a great price.
answered by jenna3967 (2,690 points)
2 votes

Another recommendation when grocery shopping is to bring along additional store flyers with you for price/ad-matching purposes. This is very helpful that way you can reduce time while getting groceries, match your deals, and not have to travel to various places and waste gas or time in the process when all stores tend to have their "loss leader" items they mark down for savings (to get you in the door) yes

answered by Evan (1,400 points)
edited
Superstore at least is catching onto this, in the fact that many times it already adjusts its prices on the shelves to match lower competitors. Only the odd item I have to ask for. Saves the running around for sure!
3 votes
With a small initial investment, there can be large savings on utilities.  

Seal your house to save on heating/cooling costs.  Caulk around all pipes or cables that exit the house, make sure the dryer vent louvers are working, make sure all windows and doors have proper weather seals, caulk attic access, and if you have an old fireplace that is rarely used seal and insulate the flu.

Install water miser shower heads and when replacing old faucets and bathroom fixtures, use low flow replacements.  Insulate hot water tank and pipes.

Replace all incandescent bulbs with CFLs.  Put timers on bathroom fans and lights that are used for security.  Turn off computers and audio/video equipment when not in use but don't worry about monitors and tvs that go into stantby, they usually use less than 1W of power which translates into approximately $0.10 every 40 days or $0.90 per year.  Make your kids decide what they want before they open the fridge.

Lastly, join you local Full Circle or Free Cycle web site. You can post requests for almost anything, but I often see kids cloths, furniture, and books.  I have received a computer monitor, a tv stand and a kitchen sink for free.
answered by cmic (4,473 points)
2 votes
Coupons!!! and coupon sites.  Some of mine include: smartcanucks.com, save.ca, brandsaver.ca

I've found myself shopping at the Dollaramas lately too.  They've expanded to quite a selection in everything including canned and packaged foods.  I buy all my kitchen stuff there and they have some really nice decor
answered by channylaf (3,549 points)