Monday, August 15, 2011

Tight Budget with a Growing Toddler

it's so hard staying on budget with a growing toddler. They constantly need meals, snacks, band-aids, shampoo, etc not to mention all the running around! I've recently made a few lifestyle changes in order to cut back on unnecessary spending and I gave up on coupons - as wonderful as they are, I just dont have the time!

Cut back on extra driving - I find I take the long way after I pick up Bear and have had a stressful day. It added up to about $8 in gas each week of extra driving.

Stop drinking coffee - yes it's hard and yes it's a crazy money sucking delicious addiction BUT it was costing me $28 per week because I don't own a coffee pot. I switched to tea and only spend $2.50 for 2 weeks.

Switch Grocery Stores - we used to shop at Hannaford for about $115/week. Then we gave in and switched to Save-a-lot and, go figure, we saved a lot. We brought our weekly bill down $45 for three! And any additional stuff like tp, trash bags, toothbrushes, etc, we get at the dollar store which is conveniently located next to the grocery store - WIN!

Make yourself aware of your budget - open up excel and put your weekly paycheck in, add up all your bills and divide by 4 now subtract that from your paycheck. That is what you have to work with for food, gas and any other expenses. What I did in order to "trick" myself into saving money is I divided my car payment by 3 instead of 4 - now at the end of the month I have $80 in my savings account - genius!

Buy Bulk Where Applicable - if you have a large family or lots of space, buying in bulk is smart. I would only buy canned and paper goods as others go bad fast.

Make healthier choices - when it came to grocery shopping we were being tempted to buy the largest box if cookies because it was cheapest - reality is, we do not need to be eating all those cookies. So we buy the small and make it last or dont buy them at all!

Diaper Butts - try store brand diapers. I like target 144 diapers for $28 and it lasts us around 15 days.

Don't carry the debit card around - I have found this is a big no-no I have been giving myself a cash budget and it's been working so far. I spend less and have found myself not exceeding my budget.

Hope these help!


  1. I agree on the coupons - they never have any for the products I actually buy.

    And not to get you started back on the coffee, but you could probably pick up one pretty cheap from a thrift store.

    That's where I save on my budget - if someone else doesn't buy it, all my daughter's clothes come from the thrift store ($1 a piece!) I even picked up some shoes for 50 cents, which was a good thing because she outgrew them in a month.

  2. I LOVE thrift stores. I got a bunch of winter clothes for Bear there last winter all for between 1-1.99. I find I have to "lurk" though because people pick through the stuff in good condition fast around here.