If you have a large family, you know how difficult it can be to stay within a budget. From birthday parties to new clothes, there’s always someone who needs something. Maybe you’ve tried to budget before, and it didn’t work, or you’d love to take a family vacation but have no idea how to save up for it.
If you are looking for some help to stay within your budget, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve compiled five budget-friendly tips that will get you on the right path to start saving. You don’t have to do anything drastic to start saving money; small changes here and there will pay high dividends in the future! So let’s get saving!
- Buy In Bulk
Although it can seem more expensive at first, buying in bulk is a great way to cut down costs in the long term. Big box stores like Sams or Costco offer the best deals on everything from food and paper goods to clothes and even furniture. They even offer store brand items, which from my experience, are just as good if not better than name brands, for even more considerable savings.
When you buy in bulk, you can get rock bottom prices that retail stores can’t offer. You save on the products you purchase and save on gas when you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store. These savings start to add up, and so does the time you save not making those extra trips.
- Buy Secondhand
When I was a kid, buying secondhand clothing made people look down on you, and you even ran the risk of getting bullied if kids found out. Thankfully, it’s not that way anymore! People realize purchasing clothes secondhand is not only cost-efficient, but it’s great for the environment as well.
I have a habit of buying my kids too many clothes, resulting in them only wearing them once, if at all. Judging by the fantastic assortment of almost new clothing available at secondhand stores now, I’m not the only one. Even thrift stores like Goodwill can have clothes in like-new condition. If you still feel self-conscious about not buying new, just remember; once you step out of the store and remove the tags, no one knows where you bought that shirt your kid is wearing, so don’t sweat it!
- Find Free Activities For Family Fun
If you’ve tried to plan a family night out, you’ve no doubt noticed how expensive everything seems to be. Going to the movies alone can set you back one hundred dollars, and that’s just the tickets! Skip the high price tag and find an activity your family can do that doesn’t cost anything.
Try taking a hike through a nature preserve or watching a free concert in the park. Many community centers offer festivals free of charge, especially during the summer. If you live near a beach, why not spend the day building sandcastles together or go camping in the mountains if they are closer. Not only will you save money doing family activities, but you’ll build memories that will last a lifetime.
- Ditch The Cable T.V.
This tip is one I did years ago and haven’t looked back since! Cable T.V. can cost upwards of a hundred dollars a month depending on which package you choose, and you still have to watch commercials. I switched to a streaming service, and it has been life-changing. Gone are the days of having my program interrupted by ads.
Netflix and Hulu are great choices if you want to access some of the hottest new shows or enjoy watching movies. You can also download apps like Peacock, so you can continue to watch live T.V. I save over $80.00 each month using streaming services over cable, and you can save too!
- Meal Prep
Now that you’re buying in bulk, you’ll be able to meal prep to save time and money. Spend one day a week making meals, so you don’t have to worry if you’re too tired to cook or a sports game ran late. Knowing you have the entire week’s meals already planned out will save you so much time, and you’ll find you’re not resorting to fast food when you didn’t have time to plan dinner for the night. One trip to McDonald’s can easily cost $50.00, plus it’s unhealthy and never tastes as good as home-cooking.
Budgeting doesn’t have to take away from your quality of life; you can save money and make the most of your time with your family. Easy changes like buying in bulk and secondhand, finding fun, free activities, ditching cable for streaming services, and meal prepping can help keep your budget in check without making you feel like you are cutting back.