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The Small Things Add Up

Guest post by Sabrina from The Unlikely Homemaker [1]

In the same way that the small things you purchase add up to a lot at the end of the month, the small ways you save can also add up to a huge amount at the end of the month.

Spending $5 at a thrift store every week for a few children’s shirts saves you money over buying them new, but over the course of a month that is $22 (plus tax!). While that is still not much, when you have almost no money, it’s like gold. I would much rather keep that $22 in my pocket and repair clothes we already own.

Buying a Sweet Tea every day on the way to pick your kids up from school can add up $22 or more if you also buy snacks for the kids. I would rather make my own at home using tea bags and honey.

If you buy a pack of gum every time you go grocery shopping (say, three times a week?) that can total $13 per month minimum, assuming you are only paying $1 per pack.

Going out to dinner can sometimes be cost/stress effective, but sometimes it is far better to prepare a meal at home. For two adults and two children (one who is only a year old) it can cost my family around $50 to have dinner out. That includes drinks and any appetizers we choose to get. For us to go out once a week, we would be spending $216 a month! Instead, we choose to go once a month, and use coupons so our cost is about $25-$30. That’s a $191 per month savings.

Buying your children a snack at the grocery store because you forgot to feed them before you left can add up to $13 a month or even more if you aren’t choosing something for under $1 (or if you have multiple children to buy for). It is much less expensive to buy a box of granola bars (or similar) and keep them in your car. That way, you won’t have to leave the store early or buy them a snack while you are there.

Small savings every day can add up to a lot. Following just the simple tips above, we save over $250 per month and saving in the small things has freed up enough extra money for me to be able to stay home with our children without it causing too much financial stress.

What are some small ways you cut corners and save money?

Sabrina Hartman is a new-ish stay at home mom to a 2-1/2-year-old and a 1-year-old. She loves to find new ways to save money to compensate for leaving the workplace, and is finding her inner homemaker in the process. She tracks her homemaking life and tips at The Unlikely Homemaker [1] and offers a kitchen tip/guide site at Kitchen Cheat Sheet [2].

photo credit [3]