Reading several friends blog posts has inspired me to write this post. Being that any day now we will be starting the new, exciting, & scary challenge of being new parents. This challenge will also bring a huge cut in our income & struggles to make ends meet. I have been trying to find ways to conserve money during this next year.
I hope to channel my life growing up when we did not have lots of money, but had tons of fun. My parents was great at keeping us happy & entertained on little money. We made our own playdough, cooked most of our meals, went camping, & when money was good took trips down to Grand forks for shopping, or a flight out to visit our aunt in Vancouver. My mother was always good at coming up with crafts, & taking us on walks to the park & around the neighborhood.
I think that this was the reality for most families I knew growing up, I know it was for both of us. People didn't go out several time a week to eat, or travel multiple times a year, or buy huge expensive electronics & toys. Eating out was a treat, we made our own Halloween costumes & crafts, & travel was something you saved up for over the year or even several years. In fact this is how Al's Mom still chooses to live.
To prepare for these lean times I have been cooking dishes to freeze for easy & inexpensive meal when we have no time to cook. Stocking up on baby care products when they are on sale. I have been slowly putting money on my Starbucks card (my own guilty pleasure) to allow me the splurge on a fancy coffee every so often. I have purchased some Groupons, a site that offers discounts for local companies. I have joined blogs about saving money featuring freebies & coupons.
We have decided to go the route, of cloth diapering & I want to make our own baby food when the time comes. I'm hoping to revamp the back garden next spring & plant a veggie & herb garden. We have been composting like crazy in hopes of having some nice rich compost to add to our garden, & we have less guilt if we have veggies & fruit go bad, knowing that they are going to a new cause.
Then the always amazing & incredibly talented Sarah M. has posted an amazing story about conserving money while still eating delicious, & healthy food. 20 Tips: How to eat well for less money couldn't have come at a better time. It helped to remind me of some money saving tips & strategies that will come in handy over this next year. I have never heard of Food buying clubs until I read this post & think that this is something I am going to look into. I will certainly be referring back to this post during lean times to remind myself how to maximize my dollars.