Unusual tips to save money?
Hello... I lost my job right before the baby was born and they refused maternity leave... so I had no job to go back to... his father is not involved and no support is coming in... So this is some of the things I do... I am taking off a year of work...
1. Yard saleing every FriSat.. you can really find steals at bargain prices... and you really can find just about anything and everything that you will ever need... just need to clean it up before you give it to your child. So far I have gotten just about 90% of all my baby's items at yardsales. Blankets, clothing, story books, puzzles, baby toys, toddler toys, electronic toys, all name brands, crib, crib bedding, safety devices, and much more... some things never opened and brand new. But don't jump at the first thing you see... because you could find the same thing at another yard sale that's in much better condition. For example, I found a precious moments bassinet for $3 and it was sooo clean, perfect, almost looked brand new... saw the same type of bassinet (exact same thing except it was baby snoopy not precious moments) for $25 but it was really dirty, and stained so badly that it was disgusting... so purchase wisely. My latest steal that I am bragging about to everyone, is the awesome Radio-Flyer red tricycle practically brand new, w/ no signs of wear or tear for $5 bucks... another sale had a radio-flyer which wasn't as nice and was missing some streamers for $35... My advice, just keep looking you'll find good stuff cheap! People are willing to haggle down on prices, because they want the stuff out of their house. So you should play that up to your advantage. Seriously... I got my baby enough Halloween costumes for the next 3 years... 50 cents per costume... these costumes which are almost brand new (kid probably wore it one year and was done w/ it) and retails for upwars of $15 in stores.
2. Stop buying so many things that I really don't need (think long and hard before you buy)
3. If you have a bad day and make a impulse shopping mistake, save all receipts, and return the item when you are thinking logically again.
4. Buy the less expensive brands (for instance tonight, I really wanted the Pantene shampoo, but at $4.99 a bottle I said forget it... that's almost half a pack of diapers... so I bought the big Family size bottle of Suave for $1.49)
5. Avoid stores all together. Especially gas station mini-markets... they mark up items rediculously high. A dang bottle of water costs $1.89 or more... you can buy a whole case on sale for $3.99 at a grocery store and keep it in your car.
6. Join your local FreeCycle group... yahoo groups has them for each county that you live in of your state... I joined mine and I have already gotten a really nice, barely used, Baby Einstein Activity Center that retails for $79.99 but I got it Free!!! and a pack of unused unexpired Similac singles that sell for upwards of $13 ... FREE!!!
7. Sell things that you really don't need anymore... free yourself of the clutter... general rule of thumb is if you haven't used it w/ in the last year then you probably don't need it. You'd be surprised at what people want to buy on sites like Ebay and Craigslist. They will buy anything, literally... I recently sold an old ugly, used handbag of mine... I was hoping to get maybe $2 bucks for since no one wanted it at my yardsale... But a woman from England begged me to sell it to her for $25 as I would be doing her a favor since it is the only thing that goes w/ her outfit for some "ladies day" at some castle... The British are so weird! but I couldn't refuse her!
8. Visit your local charitable organizations... I went to my local Birthright... a catholic charity for pregnant women... they set me up with a huge layette and a few packs of diapers, wipes, and other baby care items.
9. Check out your local Beauty school or Vocational school for lo-cost hair cuts for the entire family... I believe our local Beauty school cuts hair for $5 if you let a student do your hair.
10. Don't buy stuff that you'll only use one time and then throw away like paper napkins, cups, utensils, paper towels... instead use renewable things that can be washed... you can keep a dish towel for many years and years and you can buy them cheaply at yard sales or in the "Dollar Store".
11. Entertainment: Instead of going out to the movies... rent them... instead of paying $5 per movie rental, join a club for $9.99 a month and rent as many as you want... Instead of visiting one those major amusement park chains (six flags ect) go to your local small amusement park w/ free admission and just pay per ride... cuz lets face it... the lines are rediculously long (I once waited 2.5 hours in line at a ride in Six Fags, New Jersey). kids get irritable and cranky and you end up leaving early so you dont really get your "money's worth" of rides in one day.... At our local park that's much closer to home and more family oriented... the admission is free and you pay $1 for a big ride or 60 cents for a small kiddie ride... food is cheaper, parking is free, its well shaded w/ lots of trees, free entertainment... or kids can get a all day pass for like $10 bucks... you can't beat it.
12. Recreation: Instead of paying for the public pool or big water park rides... go to your local state park and swim for free!
Well that's all I can think of for now... Good luck to you and there's many many many more ways to save money if you get creative!!!