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100 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year – Part 4

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Here are just a few more ways we’ve saved at least $100 per year:

17) Switch to cloth diapers. When my husband was in law school and we had our first child, I was wondering how on earth we were going to afford to pay for diapers. This was a year or so before I discovered CVS and I was still learning how to stockpile and we had a very meager budget to work with (think $17-$30 to spend on groceries and household items each week).

God has always been faithful to provide for us, though, and one of those ways He provided was through some friends giving us a whole stash of Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers shortly after our daughter was born. Once I’d used up the disposable diapers we’d received as gifts, I switched over to cloth diapers exclusively.

Since we didn’t pay for the diapers, we mostly definitely saved much more than $100 for the two years our daughter was in diapers. However, from the calculations I’ve done, if we had invested in them ourselves, I’m still quite sure we would have saved at least $100 per year–even if I were buying diapers on sale with a coupon. And if you use the cloth diapers for more than one child, the savings really can multiply.

If you are interested in reading more on cloth diapering, go here and here.

18) Buy contacts online. If you’re like me and you much prefer to wear contacts as opposed to glasses, you can save a bundle of money by ordering your contacts online instead of buying them from your eye doctor. In fact, by using the tips I’ve learned below, you’ll likely save somewhere between 20-60% off what you would usually pay at your eye doctor.

Almost every brand of contact is available online. I’ve purchased contacts through VisionDirect.com as well as 1800Contacts.com. Their prices are pretty comparable, but each site seems to have a little bit of variation in what they carry and the specials they offer.

When checking out prices online, be sure to consult RetailMeNot.com or another such online coupon code site to determine what specials and coupon offers are available for that particular online store. You can usually save at least an additional 10-15% off by using an online coupon code when you checkout.

In addition to finding the site which has the lowest price when
using an online coupon code, also make sure and purchase your contacts
through your Rakuten link so you’ll get a little cash back for your
purchase.

Note: In order to order contacts online, all you will need is an
up-to-date prescription. The online site will not process your order if
they can’t verify with your eye doctor that your prescription is valid.

19)
Skip grocery shopping every 5-6 weeks and challenge yourself to use
what you have on hand and put the extra money into savings.
This is something we routinely do, as many of you probably have picked up on from following along with my Super Savings Saturday posts or my Eating From the Pantry Challenge this week.

If you are regularly stocking up on items you’ll use over the next few weeks or months when they are at their lowest price, it should be relatively easy to take a week off from grocery shopping once a month or once every other month. In fact, you may find it’s almost a necessity to do so in order to wisely use what you have on hand!

And just think, if you regularly spend $50 on groceries per week, taking a week off from shopping once every other month will save you $300 per year!

If you missed the first parts of this series, you can read them here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

photo by Refracted Moments

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25 Comments

  • Adrienne says:

    For even bigger savings on cloth diapers, consider going with prefolds and covers. The mjaority of our “stash” is that with just a few pockets. Even with a few extras that I bought to make my life easier (nicer covers and a nice diaper sprayer), counting vacations when we used sposies, and accounting for laundering costs, it took me under a year to break even and start making money by cloth diapering my daughter. When my DS was a born a few months ago, he used his sister’s diapers (yes, even a few pink covers here and there, but who cares under warm clothes!) so it was free from the get-go. I just purchased a few things to replace things that were worn out but all I have to do is cloth diaper for another 6-8 weeks and I’ll be back into the making money zone. Another advantage is I don’t get the leaks and messes in cloth that I did with sposies. It’s much easier to wash a load of dipes than waste my time cleaning and stain treating clothes. And they don’t stink either…

  • Jessica says:

    I need to get into the habit of skipping grocery shopping every couple of months, like I’ve seen you doing. It’s just SO hard staying home and letting deals pass by! But I’ve been doing more of this with CVS and Wags, letting good deals pass by, so I should be able to do it with groceries, right? Right! (I’m trying to convince myself, here!)

    I was actually thinking about this today, as I was unloading my groceries. As I make my menu plan for next month, I need to take everything out and plan to use some of this stuff up! Either that or give some of it away (which is what I’ve done in the past instead of skipping shopping–not that that’s a bad thing either…)

  • Tiffany says:

    Great Suggestions! We are going to the doctor’s to get DH a current prescription so we can order online. My insurance covers some but not enough.

    I’ve also noticed that if I don’t take a week off of shopping every once in awhile we get to the point where I don’t have room to put anything in the pantry/freezer. This week we are eating heavily from the stockpile and have never eaten so well. LOL

  • Alice says:

    I love cloth diapers- we use prefolds and thirsties covers- we’ve saved so much money on diapers (although we buy disposables for camping- I have to wait for the next great deal on diapers for stocking up).

  • Mrs. Jo says:

    Muchas Gracias for the contact advice. I wore them for 9 years but had to give them up for pregnancy and nursing (for the last 5 consecutive years due to eye dryness.) Since my baby is no longer nursing I’m ready to give them a try again between kids and I’ve heard the Oasys and Hydro ones might even work during future pregnancies. This will save me tons of money; thanks!!!

  • Stephanie M says:

    We used Diaperaps for our son. I was able to purchase a huge set of cloth diapers and covers through eBay at an incredible deal. I only had to purchase a few moe covers because the ones I got on eBay weren’t big enough for our BIG boy! Using cloth diapers really helped us out as my husband was still in college and we were definitely on a rice and beans budget (well, i guess we still are, haha).

  • Samantha says:

    I second the prefolds and covers! I also bought a large piece of fleece of the $ 1 table at a fabric store and cut it into my own liners. This keeps my heavy wetter even more dry than pocket diapers and makes for easy disposal of # 2s ; ).

  • Lisa says:

    Another place to get contacts cheap is WalMart. I used to buy them there and submit my receipt to my insurance after. Check out their prices also, I find them to be cheaper than 1800contacts, but maybe with a discount the other might be a better deal. Also, Acuvue sometimes has a mail in rebate on their website, so check there too!

  • Anne Marie says:

    Just a heads up that Sam’s recently bought 1800Contacts and now offers a better deal if you are a member since you wouldn’t pay shipping. I just got mine there last week.

  • Carrie says:

    i only found visiondirect.com to be about 15% cheaper than my eye doctor (via kaiser) but still the best price available.

  • Heather says:

    I’m twelve weeks pregnant with baby #3 and have been considering cloth diapers, but after reading the link about having to use so much hot water to get them clean, I’m wondering if it is worth it. It seems like it greatly increase our water and gas bill. Does anyone else have any other suggestions on how to clean them?

  • Alice says:

    Heather-
    I was worried about the water usage too- so here is what I do…

    -Put diapers into washer (I make sure most of the poop is dumped in the toilet- liners make this easier, but if it’s mushy and stuck on, I’m not going to scrape it off).
    -Pre rinse (I use cold water).
    -if the diapers had a lot of stuck on poop, do one more prerinse.
    -add detergent and family whites- I wash every three days or so, so batches are small. I add all the other whites to fill up the batch.
    -Wash on hot, with an extra rise and spin at the end to make sure all the detergent is out and to get more water out.
    -line dry (I have an awesome drying rack that hangs from the ceiling.

    I sell cloth diapers, so I don’t want to misrepresent myself here, but if you have any questions, I really like helping people feel comfortable using cloth, whether they buy from me or not, so if you have any questions, please email me at greenpeasbaby @ gmail dot com

  • Jenny says:

    I found that my eye doctor will match online prices! It’s great, because I’ve been with the same eye doctor for years and they are really nice. They even give me free samples if I am running low, before the next set arrives.

    The cloth diaper thing I wouldn’t do. The waste of water involved is insane.

  • Lee says:

    When we were first married we had a budget of $60 a month. I sometimes miss those days!

  • Catherine says:

    I’m pregnant and using the sewing machine I got for xmas to make my own fitted cloth diapers. They look just like the all in ones that sell for $20-30 each. Well, the stitches on mine might be a little crooked, but I try and keep in mind what they will be used for! If you have time on your hands like me you can make your own too for just the cost of velcro and thread. I use old t-shirts and pyjamas for the fabric (anything 100% cotton or flannel will work) and I reuse the elastic from old underwear. If I run out of fabric I will get more cheaply at Goodwill. Of course I’ll have to buy some plastic covers too. Anyway, I’m a beginner at sewing but there are tons of websites that explain how to make your own cloth diapers!

  • Holly in OK says:

    For contacts, definitely check out contactlensking.com. They’re super fast, and I get my Focus Dailies for $34 a box instead of the $50 to $70 I’ve paid at my past and current eye doctors, respectively.

  • Julie says:

    We used prefolds and Bummies…. I spent $300 on them, and now that baby #2 is on the way, I just need to replace two of the Bummies. However, I bought two yards of PUL fabric and some snaps, and I will have two new diaper covers for under $15 after I am done making them.

  • RAJEEV SINGH says:

    Great post.. guess has really motivated me to follow your blog.. thanks!!

  • Felice says:

    I must have an eye dr that prices his contacts really well, because my acuve oasysis contacts are still about 6-8 dollars cheaper a box from him than any of the websites that have been listed and i don’t have to pay shipping. so just offering that you might want to check and see what prices are from the dr.

  • Holly in OK says:

    Felice & Jenny, I used to get them from my eye doctor, who’d match online prices. But then the cost for them to get them apparently went up a couple of years ago, so they couldn’t match my price any longer. I was trying to get my boxes for $35 or so apiece, and they had purchased them from Ciba for $50!! They told me that in general, the manufacturers just give online places a better deal. No idea if that’s true or not, but when I switched from the Walmart-ish eye doctor in town (you were a number, they were rude and slow…) to the nice, personal guy, the cost went up from $50 to $70 per box!! So it’s online I go. Local loyalty only goes so far.

  • Andrea says:

    Heather,

    I’m actually with Alice now on the washing thing. I wrote the “Journey” post, and since then, I’ve changed up the routine to rinse in cold, wash in hot with baking soda and detergent, rinse again in warm. I could probably do the last rinse in cold, but I wouldn’t skip it. It makes a big difference in the smell to have them rinsed well.

    Best wishes,
    Andrea

  • These are all things that we do, and sooo worthwhile!

    We’ve used cloth diapers most of the time for our two munchkins, and plan to use them exclusively with our new baby as well. Even though we have had to make some purchases, it is well worth the money we spend, to not continually fork out for disposables. We also use cloth wipes and I toss them in with the diaper wash, and this also saves so much on buying wipes!

    I’m Canadian, and I buy my contacts online from ClearlyContacts.ca (they also have CoastalContacts.com), and I get great deals and fast shipping. Love it! They even sell glasses now, which are really nice and quite a good value if you don’t mind not getting to try them on.

    I’m preparing to do a month of working with my pantry and freezer as much as possible, and only buying fresh veggies and fruits and very little else. I’m trying to clean them out a bit, use up older stuff, and get ready to start re-stocking and then putting aside freezer foods for when baby comes this summer. It’s nice to start somewhat fresh once in a while (and make good use of what we already have that gets buried in the pantry and forgotten!), and the savings from shopping will let me use the extra to stock up on needed bulk items from my health food coop.

  • Shayna says:

    I noticed comments are closed for Part 1 of this series, but the envelope system is a great idea. I try to budget, but if I ever go over in one aspect, I’ll often slip elsewhere, too. Definitely gonna try it!

    For #19, there are sites out there on which you can enter all of your ingredients on hand, and it will spit out recipes you can make. I’ve used Supercook.com before; it’s pretty good. 🙂

  • Zippy says:

    Thank you, I’m due for new contacts and I was going to go to Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club to order some, but I think that I’ll check out buying online instead.

  • Zippy says:

    Thank you, I’m due for new contacts and I was going to go to Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club to order some, but I think that I’ll check out buying online instead.

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