Learn to Pinch a Penny Until it Squeaks

If you are anything like me your Pinterest feed is filled with money saving tips and posts with topics like “21 things frugal people don’t buy”.  Have you looked at these posts? Some of them are legit and I genuinely like them but the majority seem to be things that a person who is on a budget wouldn’t think of spending money on anyway!

I mean, yeah, I’d like to buy a low-fat, mocha, latte, Grande, Frappuccino with two squirts of espresso every day (please don’t hate me, I have literally NO idea how to order a fancy coffee drink and Starbucks is 75 miles away!) I’d love to own 20 pairs of shoes and have new furniture and designer duds and a housekeeper…oh man! Would I LOVE a housekeeper. I live in a world where I make decent enough money but between owning a home and raising four children my life is one big ole black hole of money suckage!

So here my friends are some my money saving tips and yeah it will include making your own coffee.

First, besides coffee, learn to cook simple meals. We cook a lot of meals at home…a lot! We rarely go out to eat and convenience meals means buying chicken nuggets and fries in a bag or a few frozen pizzas and baking them. We have some go to easy recipes that I’ll share in later posts. Shepherds pie, spaghetti, tacos, casseroles and rice dishes are staples at our home and bonus three out of four kids can make them!! 

In addition to cooking your own food and using those leftovers as bonus lunchtime meals it’s helpful to make a shopping list. Now, I go about this probably differently than most. I make a list of things the pantry needs and the fresh foods we are out of but then I make sure to take an early lunch one day. Going to the store midmorning allows me to look at the “reduced” price meats and then I build around those cuts with whatever is in the pantry and add a few items to the grocery list. For example, yesterday I found pork cutlets for $1 for two good sized cutlets and a decent sized roast at a reduced price as well. I know that I have potatoes at home 99% of the time so I added in some day old dinner rolls and a bag of carrots. I already had green beans, rice and peas at home so right there are three meals for the week. We will be having cutlets, mashed potatoes, milk gravy and green beans one night. Roast, roasted potatoes and carrots are on the menu for one night and beef, rice and peas for another. Lets be real…the kids are going to eat all of those dinner rolls for a snack but I tried!

Next, be honest about how much technology you need. Do you need service to that iPad that was a good deal when you bought your cell phone? Are your kids like mine and can live on YouTube videos instead of paying for cable? Have you checked out all of the free streaming services? Do you really need to upgrade every year or can you buy a really good protective case and make it for two to three years between upgrades?

Buy used, yeah I know… its not rocket science. But hear me out. My kids wear clothes from Goodwill and clearance racks. However, I am guilty of shopping at thrift stores just because I’m bored or in the area or I have a few minutes. I need to be more aware of how much those great deals add up to and make sure that I’m not buying things I don’t need just because it’s “cents on the dollar”.

Learn some old fashioned skills. Do you know how to sew? Can you at least repair a seam or attach a button? Can you grow anything edible? Have you looked into container gardening? Do you know how to preserve food? Have you ever googled recipes for those mixes that you buy for convenience? Goodbye Bisquick!! I’ll be adding some posts related to these topics and I hope that you look forward to learning these skills! I know that I really enjoy doing some of those tried and true ways to save and I’ve liked dabbling in some of the more extreme saving measures too!

I know that saving money takes time, don’t forget to compare car insurance companies while you’re at it! I know that some of the savings are small and sometimes it seems like it won’t make a difference but add up those pennies. See what areas you can make changes in and stick to it! I hope you stick around and learn some of the ways I learned to pinch a penny until it squeaks! (See what I did there? That’s where this blog got it’s name!)

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