A little bit about family: Anh Mark (my sweet husband) likes to refer our family as The Content Proverbs 31 Family (tcp31f) since we like to live frugally. What do we do with our savings? We truly believe we are very blessed with so much and if and when are able to we like to bless others who are in need and are less unfortunate. One of our goals is to live debt free and pay off our homes ASAP so the savings definitely do help with that.
We’re not a 100% natural family. We do try to make better choices when it comes to what we eat and put on our bodies. We buy organic products we believe in and as often as we can afford them. We’re big animal lovers and have five very sweet and beautiful fur kids so we support companies that are against animal testing.
I haven’t really been couponing much due to lack of time and exhaustion for a long time now. As most of you guys already know my sweet husband went to work far away for ten months and just returned this past June. I stayed at home to take care of our five months then son, our five fur kids and everything in the house.
I did clip and printed coupons when hubby wasn’t home but they always expired before I could use them. Every time I had a trip planned out I couldn’t always make it out to the stores. It was hard for me to get out of the house on most days. I also found that since we make a lot of our own products or replace them with a more natural alternative I don’t have to shop as much. There are also not a lot of coupons available for what we need…
So how did we still managed to save money without clipping coupons and matching weekly deals all the time?
Here are a few things we did and have been doing for over a year now and they work really well for our family, life style, schedule and our monthly budget. We still clip, print and use coupons here and there but saving money this way is just easier and less stressful and time consuming for our family. More time saved equals more time to do the things we love and to spend it with the ones we love.
SAVINGS for clothes, toys, books, household items:
#1. I don’t have a problem shopping at thrift stores or from online yard sales. I’ve been able to find a great deals on a Stoke Tripp Trapp high chair, City Select double stroller, Björn babysitter chair and some other good toys that will last more than a week on ebay.
Some of the purchases were won from auctions and that require a little time, strategy and patience. But in the end we paid way less than buying the items at the stores even with coupons and weekly/monthly promotions and their stores bucks.
#2. There are a few things that I’ll not buy at a thrift stores. But I’ve been very lucky to have found some really good learning and toys in GREAT condition for our son for such a low price. I also found some pretty new cloth napkins and kitchen towels to replace paper towels and napkins. Disposable wipes to me are also a waste of money so it only made sense to use cloth wipes with our cloth diapers. I still have to buy disposable wipes when they’re at our stock up price just for on the go purposes or emergencies.
This frugal tip has really saved us so much money Ways for us to cut back on using paper towels and lliving green makes me very happy.
Also check with your local thrift stores about their weekly or monthly promotions.
#3. Target and Kohl’s: stacking the weekly promotions with their coupons really will give you a huge discount on the products
We don’t like credit cards but we do have a Kohl’s store card just to stack up all the discounts if we ever need to purchase something from Kohl’s. It doesn’t hurt us at all to have one since we don’t carry a balance and there is no annual fee.
As mentioned here
Kohl’s is a great place to shop for our baby products! We bought a bunch of new clothes for baby boy with the 30% coupon, $10 off $30 purchase (we were able to combine two coupons), earned $10 for $50 spent, earned 6% cash back from ebates and received free shipping.
Check out this post for more ways to save on the products for your baby’s first years
Our Target debit gives us a 5% on EVERYTHING so that’s always awesome. Along with all the discounts Target offers read more about More Ways to Save at Target
we must not forget to stack all these discounts with Cartwheel, Saving Star and Ibotta offers whenever posible to get even more savings. What’s Ibotta? Read more here Ibotta and Saving Star are two more ways to save even more money without doing much.
We think of our SavingStar account as our savings account. When SavingStar has eCoupons we like we activate/click on the ones we want immediately and forget about them. There’s no need to clip, print or remember where the coupons are when we need them. There are a lot of participating stores for Saving Star that will require you to upload a receipt.
This is really how easy and painless Saving Star is!
Become a member today for absolutely FREE!
#4. MYO products~
Our shopping list for household & personal items are not very long at all since we try to make everything ourselves or use a better healthier substitute for the product.
The MYO ( make your own) products are so easy to make and they really don’t take up a lot of time. I truly hope you’ll give them a try. Take a look around on this site for all the MYO/ DYI posts and join us over at our facebook page for more updates and money saving tips
✔ out these MYO products (listed below) that we make at home so we don’t have to buy and spend so much anymore. It’s a pretty awesome list and that’s a bunch of money and time saved each month not having to go to the stores for them.
•powdered laundry detergent
•powdered dish soap detergent
•all purpose cleaner
•glass & screen/electronic cleaner
•stainless steel cleaner
•air freshener (no more expensive plugins!) and air freshener spray
•toothpaste & coconut oil for oil pulling and mouthwash
•coconut oil for hair mask and so many other uses
• face wash, toner & moisturizer
•going “no poo” was one of the best decision I’ve ever made
• we use “>essential oils for so many things especially in the MYO products and absolutely love them!
•hand soap~ we don’t make it but found a better way to stretch our dollar
•bug spray for us and our boys, Lukey and Bear
•better substitute for diaper cream
Here are the products that we can’t live without and they help us make the products for our personal and home use: hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, apple cider vinegar,Dr. Bronner Magic Soap, coconut oil, and essential oils.
#5. Check out Bed Bath and Beyond when you need something for your house. They do price match and take expired coupons. They also allow you to redeem more than one coupon in one transaction. We’ve been able to buy some good kitchen tools for less here than at Target.
#6. Lowe’s & Home Depot offer 10% discount for veterans and also do price match.
We’ve been using Raise.com a lot the last few months to buy gift cards. Every penny counts right? We’ve saved quite a bit since we only buy the gift cards for the stores that sell what we need.
Anh Mark shops at Lowe’s & Home Depot for almost everything we need for the house so I bought him this Lowe’s gift card awhile back and he doesn’t have to use it all at one time. I just didn’t wanna buy a bunch of time and then we’d have to print the vouchers bunch of time. On top of that he’d also be getting a 10% military discount so that’s another $22 saved. So we’d be saving $47! I also headed over to ebates.com before heading to raise.com to get another 1% for all our gift card purchases.
Wanna try it out? If so we hope you’ll our link
to help us some points with Raise.
So far we’ve earned $85 with ebates already! It’s an awesome way to earn more money if you love to shop online.
Please use our link to sign up
#8. So before shopping at Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath Beyond, Home Depot, Lowe’s or anywhere else make sure you find a gift card at Raise.com first!
#9. thredup.com ~ since I’m in between size right now and my weight is a roller coaster… I couldn’t wait any longer to fit into my “skinny pants”and can’t wear my leggings forever so thredup was a great way to shop without spending a fortune. I found some really cute pants from Banana Republic (the dress up ones) and one is brand new for less how much I used to spend for one pant at Express, Gap and Banana.
It’s an awesome site – you can buy or conveniently sell excellent-quality women’s and kids clothing. They’ve got everything from Gucci to Gap, J Crew to Justice – at up to 90% off retail prices! I can get you $10 off your first purchase with this link.
P.S. If you join through my link, I’ll get a $10 store credit. Pretty please. Thank you so much! <3
10. Used books store, Amazon, church library, local library, online yard sale groups are great places to buy used but in great condition books.
Shopping on Amazon and being a Prime member was one of the best purchase we’ve ever made. It’s help us save an incredible amount of time from not having to get a baby and now toddler ready to go the stores. The UPS is also one of my best friend now.
Thank you for so much for taking the time to read this post and for clicking on any of our affiliate links.
Don’t forget to join us over on facebook and check back with usfor PART TWO that will be covering SAVINGS on groceries, baby and pet products.