1. We don't have any fancy cable package...just the bare minimum service ($13/month) because an antenna never worked and we wanted some sort of TV reception.
2. The very basic phone service for our home-line and then we use our cell phone for long distance.
3. I buy 90-95% of my children's clothes on sale, mostly clearance, and thankfully, I have always been able to buy their clothes a season (or two or three) ahead of time. Just a few weeks ago, I was able to pick up fall and winter clothes for next year at the Children's Place at some rock bottom prices. I do prefer quality, name brand clothes and have always managed to get great deals.
4. I also hit up garage sales and Goodwill for clothing, toys, baby items, etc. Twice, I went to garage sales and found name brand little boys clothes for only $1 an item and they were in great condition. (One of my friends had told me about them-thank you FP!)
5. I shop at Costco at least 2 times a month for the majority of our grocery shopping. Buying in bulk really does pay off. My goal lately is to really compare Costco to Walmart and I found 3-4 particular items that were cheaper at Costco. We also have an executive membership which ends up paying for itself since you get 2% back on all your purchases and over the past two years we spent more than enough there to cover the $100 fee each year. I also make sure to use the Costco coupons.
6. We have a FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to take care of all our medical expenses like prescriptions, co-pays, medicines, contacts, glasses, diaper cream, etc. This is tax-free money from my husband's income that is put into a special account.
7. I try to join all the "frequent shopper" and/or "birthday clubs" that are free and end up saving a lot when it comes to buying gifts and groceries, i.e. at Borders, the Children's Place, of course the grocery stores. Just last year, I ended up getting at least $50 back from the Children's Place for purchases I made over the course of the year. Its not the credit card, but some other "place member" card, that keeps track of your purchases, then rewards you when you spend so much. I then could use that money to buy the clothes for next year and for some gifts.
8. I do go Christmas shopping on Black Friday and there were incredible deals at The Children's Place (with some of their additional coupons-they honored all three that I had!), AC Moore, and Toys R Us. Its worth getting up or not going to sleep!
9. Coupons.....coupons....coupons....my parents trained me very well to always look for coupons for everything...a haircut, an oil change, groceries, for department stores, food, toys, diapers, restaurants (an Entertainment book is a must--I was shocked I didn't get one this year for Christmas), and for any sort of entertainment like theater, zoos, museums, etc.
10. Scan the weekly circulars for good deals on meat, soda, and fruit. I'm excited to tell you all about my pot-roast story soon!
11. Thanks to a dear friend sharing this with me, we are now saving on our paper towel budget. Rather than always using paper towels to wipe off my kids after meals, I purchased 8 wash cloths for about $3 at Walmart and use those instead. I've noticed my rolls of paper towels are lasting a lot longer.
Ok, I'm tried...that's all for now. Be back again soon!