Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Money Saving Tips for 2012

By Jennifer (Double Duty Mommy) at 10:55 AM
I am so excited for it to be January so I can mark my savings from day one. I began meal planning a few months ago and buying in bulk with coupons but now it's going to be great to see how much I can save in 12 full months. So This year I have 5 money saving goals I wish to hit.

1. Clip Coupons. Yes I already do this but I want to get better at it and learn more. No, I'm not going to become an "extreme couponer" but I'll do my best so spend practically nothing at the grocery store. I am determined to find more promo codes online that can be used in store as well.

2. Pack My Husband's Lunch. This is a big one for us. My husband loves his sleep so in the morning he's always running too late to stop and make his lunch. I want to pack his lunch the night before so there is no "Oh no. I need to eat out" moments... although I'm sure he is just fine with eating out everyday, I'm not.

3. Buy Generic. I am a stickler for name brand. I'm not sure why since I didn't grow up always eating name brand. Almost every grocery store offers a generic version of the product you want from food to medicine and huge discount prices. I need to remember that "generic" isn't a bad word and it will probably taste the same or do the job just as well.

4. Save Money At Restaurants. Read my twitter feed and you will see that my family eats out almost every single day. Yep, whether it be for lunch or dinner we are always eating out. We have food in the house so it really boils down to being lazy and not wanting to cook or clean up the mess. Although I'm sure we aren't ready to cut out eating out all together I know there are things we can do to cut costs. Going to a restaurant with a "Kids Eat Free" option could save us at least $10, ordering water instead of soda could also save my family of four at least $6. Also going to a restaurant without the Kids Eat Free meal plan is still an option if we were to order a "2 for $20" plan which usually includes an appetizer and two entrees, then splitting the food up 4 ways could save my family around $15-20!

5. Get Cash Back. There are lots of places that offer cash back options for the things I already buy. One way I've already been doing this is my using my PayPal Business Debit Card. Every time I use the card as credit I believe I get 1% cash back. It doesn't seem like much but I use my card a lot and it definitely adds up.

So as you see, most of my goals include spending less money on food. This is probably our only spending issue and it definitely needs to be "fixed" by any ways possible.

How do you save money on the things you need on a daily basis?

56 commented:

Heather on January 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM said...

There are alot of generic products I buy, but I wont do generic toilet paper, dish detergent or laundry detergent, I dont know if it is just me but I can tell a difference in all of them!

Themomjen said...

I REALLY need to start packing my hubs lunch.  His new job has him out of town for the first time in 20 years and he's eating on the go since he leaves so early in the a.m!!  I find myself also wanting to pre-feed my younger kids who seem to order then not eat at restaurants! AHH!

Jennifer on January 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM said...

I definitely wont go generic on toilet paper and laundry detergent. Dishwasher soap I dont notice a difference but for dish detergent when hand washing I will not go generic either.

Jennifer on January 4, 2012 at 12:09 PM said...

yes. this. It's touch and go with our youngest. Sometimes we order her food and she eats it all, other times the food just sits there and then we'll forget about it in the boz at home. So wasteful - money and food :(

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell on January 4, 2012 at 1:23 PM said...

Oh man, the eating out kills finances! You're wise to rein that in a bit.

Penelope on January 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM said...

I pack my husband's lunch…otherwise he'd pay $10 a day!

Sheila Thomas said...

Those are great goals, tips and ideas.   Thanks

Zippy Sandler on January 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM said...

I'm soooo bad at saving money. I probably need to do just what you are.

Jennifer on January 4, 2012 at 4:28 PM said...

I hope we can. It doesn't sound like it but it's a HUGE goal to achive for us. I really hope we can work on it.

Crystal on January 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM said...

Great tips for saving money.  We do most of those.

Virginia Higgins on January 4, 2012 at 5:26 PM said...

We clip coupons, shop at Aldi and Sams Club, and Hubs has been taking yogurt for lunch.  We budget, cut corners, and all the like.  But with rising gas prices, what we are saving on food, we are spending on gas.  UGH.

Jennifer H said...

These are great goals! And I'm still game for teaching you my couponing skills!

Fabgrandma said...

Those are some really good savings goals and a good plan. However, if you do buy generics and don't eat them because yoou don't like them, you are wasting money. Try them out first and only buy the ones you actuallyw ill use.

Donna on January 4, 2012 at 9:48 PM said...

We used to eat out a lot. At least one meal a day. But since my hubby and myself work from home, we don't eat out so often, now. Great tips, btw!

Real Mom Reviews said...

Im a label freak to- maybe I should at least try generic!

Becca @ Mama B on January 4, 2012 at 10:30 PM said...

Great tips! We decided to cut out eating out this year. We will have $40 a month in an envelope and can use that to eat out one a month or save it. We shall see how that goes. 

Anastasia Borisyuk on January 4, 2012 at 10:44 PM said...

Wow, we would be broke if we ate out every day :) I do not use any coupons and we spend about $250 a month for a family of four, I don't buy packaged food, I make things from scratch, that saves even more than couponing. My husband's co-workers get jealous because he has a homemade lunch every day :) 

Jennifer on January 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM said...

You are amazing. Before I was meal planning we were spending about $500-600 in groceries every month! How? I have NO idea. Since then we've cut it down to about $250 so I would say we are doing awesome. BUT I still don't cook every day and some stuff is still packaged food.
@a3a528757fe4a937397c3f5b635b9185 
I wish I had your skills!!!

Jennifer on January 4, 2012 at 10:56 PM said...

since I work at home we have saved money that way as well. I can only imagine if my husband didn't work outside the home!

Jennifer on January 4, 2012 at 10:57 PM said...

then put some stuff together and school me! We have to meet at Chik-Fil-A sometime to discuss things as the kids play!!

CanCan on January 4, 2012 at 11:03 PM said...

The lunch thing is hard for me! I can pack my own no problem, but its hard to predict what other family memebers will want to eat!

Amy Duran said...

I definitely recommend the coupons! I saved over $10,000 last year with them!

Miranda Welle said...

I love your ideas!  I REALLY need to start looking for restaurants where kids eat free!  We save money by buying our produce from an organic co-op!  The truck delivers to a members house and the food costs about the same as conventional would in the store but it's organic!  AND it lasts MUCH longer! 

HilLesha Anderson said...

Excellent tips!

Sonya Morris on January 5, 2012 at 8:35 AM said...

Great tips on spending less!  I'm the same way with eating out, I don't like to cook and am too lazy!

Tian Kinasih said...

Very great tips for me, because i must save money for our second baby! thank you!

Becky W said...

I use some generic brands and clip coupons all the time!!

Mar at Obviously MARvelous said...

Great tips! I buy a LOT of generic items for our family and so many of them taste the same. Also I clip coupons, but want to try and do this even more so this year.

Maureen Fitzgerald said...

We need to cut down on eating out in 2012!!

Beeb Ashcroft on January 5, 2012 at 1:11 PM said...

Great goals! Some ways I save on food other than what you mentioned:
Freezer cooking - and not necessarily on a big scale. It could be as simple as just doubling a batch of food next time you make dinner and freezing half for later. Meal planning also helps since you can create a menu based on low-cost ingredients & what's on sale. I find that a strict daily menu doesn't work because my schedule is too chaotic, so I just create a list of all possible meals that could be made from what I have and keep it on the fridge. Then, when I'm standing there at 5 pm with a blank look on my face, I can pick something off the list - LOL! Plus, since it's just me and my fiance, leftovers sometimes last longer than I think so having a general guideline works much better for us than a strict "On Wednesday evening we eat spare ribs, followed by oatmeal on Thursday morning" type meal plan - LOL. I also enter contests for food, do reviews of food, "Try-Me-Free" rebates, you name it! Ha ha!

Nikki Waring said...

Awesome post!  We're hoping to save for a house and vacation this year so we need some extra tips! lol

courtney b said...

i like the coupon idea! i need to start doing that

Brandy said...

I'm pretty proud that I do ALL 5 of those things! :) I totally agree... but also agree with others that say generic isn't always cheaper. That's a couponer's trick. ;)

Vanessa Coker said...

Good tips! I also need to learn how to clip coupons. For cash back on those things I really need to get I like to use E-Bates they offer great cash back on a lot of stores.

Jennifer on January 5, 2012 at 5:38 PM said...

How do I know how long food will keep in the freezer?

Carrie Phelps said...

These are all great ideas! I could use all the tips you can offer me, my budget is so tight!

Sam on January 5, 2012 at 11:26 PM said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

Louise said...

Great tips, I plan to clip lots of coupons

Theresa said...

Wonderful tips! We follow almost all of those, but I do buy brand name toilet paper. ;)

Lolo on January 6, 2012 at 4:17 AM said...

I need to work on packing my lunch every day.

Tammy said...

Great tips.

Jenzen69 said...

I use coupons alot so when i do spend a little more on brand specific items i dont feel so bad. I need to cut out a couple $5 lattes a day

andrews_cheryl said...

I try to wait for things to go on sale before buying them so for everyday items, I try to stock pile stuff I need when they are on sale and hopefully they will go onsale again before I need to replenish them.

ToniPatton on January 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM said...

We do quite a bit of those I am hoping in 2012 it makes a big difference.  Great tips.

Courtney Elana on January 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM said...

great tips!

Sarah on January 8, 2012 at 7:17 AM said...

My hubby and I split meals when we go out to a restaurant. The portion sizes are so big anyway, it ends up being the perfect amount!

Eileen said...

I also buy a lot of generic, there are very few things I'm willing to pay for marketing for (which is what I figure the name brand is often giving me!)

Nottcho1 said...

I use Virgin Mobile for my cell phone.  $25 per month for unlimited texting/data and 300 min.  Saves a bundle.  We also shopped for cheaper car and home insurance and I saved us $800 annually.

Jennifer on January 9, 2012 at 8:41 AM said...

wow. that's awesome. I have an iPhone and although I love it I don't love the monthly price.

allyn said...

i am starting to learn how to coupon. its very tricky, i hope i learn fast...

Kathy Davis said...

I do four of the five ways to save money  So I guess we are doing OK.  We are retired school teachers and really watch what we spend.
I can't believe you eat out that much.  I love to eat out, but my husband does all the cooking in our house so I feel like I am going out every night.  Lucky me!

WendyT said...

I've found CVS to be a great money saver lately. I've really gotten into their rewards programs and promos lately!

Erin Haggerty said...

thanks for the info.. As a new stay at home mom I am trying to cut back..  

polly said...

i should use coupons more than i do. we eat out way too much & that really adds up! good luck on your money saving!

Karen B on January 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM said...

I almost always buy generic and I do a lot mentioned above.

Olivia Rubin said...

good points

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