Money Saving Tips for Frugal Families
Plan your meals. Cook them from scratch.
The convenience of places like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Jack in the Box is undoubtedly tempting. But don’t expect these “cheap” options to be cost-effective necessarily. Your bill can rise exponentially when eating at a McDonald’s. And if you consider just how unhealthy most of their food is, it’s clear what your choice should be.
Cooking from scratch is not only cost-effective but also the healthier choice for your family. Store- or restaurant-bought “healthy” meals cost you more than you bought the ingredients and made them yourself.
Don’t overspend on birthdays.
If you have a family, birthdays will be up with your most significant expenses during the year. But there’s no need for your kid’s birthday celebration to be overly costly. Kids don’t care about the price tag. After all, they care about having fun. If you can make a birthday party fun and memorable for your kids without breaking the bank, then why not?
Plan your kid’s birthday party around a no-cost or inexpensive activity. At a party at your house, your kid can invite their friends, order pizza, and bake a cake, and you have the ingredients for a perfect birthday party.
If your kids are set on doing a specific thing, then you might be able to save by booking the venue they want at an off-peak time and keeping the guest list small.
Curb how much time you spend in front of your television.
Watching too much TV can negatively affect your budget in more ways than one. Advertisements will tempt you to spend more, even on products that you may not need.
Of course, your electricity bill will no doubt be higher. And perhaps most importantly, the time you spend in front of your television could be better spent doing other things.
So, curb how much time you spend in front of your TV. This way, you’re not only lowering your electricity bill by keeping your television off most of the day. You’re also avoiding advertisements, which you probably weren’t fond of in the first place.
Consider downgrading your cable subscription, which would save you on your cable bill.
Don’t overspend on family vacations and outings.
Going all-out on family vacations and outings is undoubtedly tempting. But all-out also tends to mean expensive. One of the most common lies marketers will tell you is if you don’t spend a fortune on your family trip, it won’t be fun and memorable.
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And while visiting Disneyland can be an enjoyable and memorable experience, you don’t have to splurge on every family vacation and outing.
Instead of going to Disneyland, go on a weekend camping trip. Or pack a lunch and visit a state park. If you live in California, a trip to Yosemite doesn’t have to be too costly, and it can be just as fun for your kids.
You can also save money on hotels.
One of the best cost-saving measures you can take is to buy second-hand. While it can take a bit of getting used to at first, you will quickly realize that buying second-hand doesn’t mean settling for lesser quality.
If you’re a hobbyist, buying second-hand is almost non-negotiable for specific hobbies. Most musicians, for example, will purchase second-hand over visiting an instrument shop any day. Buying new children’s clothes and shoes is also needlessly wasteful.
Books are another needlessly-large expense. Rather than shop at big bookstore chains, go to a used bookshop or order a used copy from eBay, for example. Kids’ toys are another expense that doesn’t have to be. Buying at a garage sale or thrift store can save you hundreds of dollars on items like bikes and scooters.
Sell the stuff you don’t need.
This may seem like an obvious thing to suggest, but you would be surprised at how old stuff we don’t need to stockpile anymore. Just as buying second-hand can curb your expenses, organizing a garage sale is an excellent way to make a quick buck. And not only that, but you’re also freeing up desperately-needed space in your house.
Repair your clothes.
You probably have a habit of throwing out perfect clothes because of a small tear, rip, or broken button. But there’s simply no need.
With a little bit of practice, anyone can learn to sew. Whether you have a jacket with a busted zipper or a pair of pants with a hole in the bottom, you can most likely fix it yourself. But if you can’t fix it yourself or are afraid of doing a poor job, taking it to a local sartor or tailor can still come out less than buying a new pair.
Greg is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 22+ years experience in Financial Services. He has held numerous FINRA Securities licenses (series 7, 63, 65, and 66), and is an expert on Investment Products and Financial Planning. Greg has 22+ years experience as a real estate investor and degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.
Greg has been quoted/interviewed in Yahoo Money, Yahoo Finance, USA Today, Authority Magazine, Realtor.com, Business Insider, and others.
Greg is an avid runner, and the father to identical twin girls and their awesome brother. His love of budgeting and his kids led him to join The Great Resignation in 2021.
Disclaimer: Any Financial Tips on ChaChingQueen are general and informational. Speak with a professional about your specific situation.