I am especially excited to get some tips from so many people today! You better believe I have my pen and paper out and ready to write down how I can find the best deals on things so that we can save now to splurge later! I don't have too much to share, but I do think I have mastered one teensy area in our life that allows us to save.
Steal...This may not be the most amazing tip, but I have mastered the art of ordering when we eat out. I wasn't always the best, but I finally got tired of throwing food away or coming home with leftovers we'd never eat - or worse, leftovers that I would eat when I shouldn't. I was fed up. (pun intended)
As much as I'd love to say that we will just quit eating out, that choice isn't realistic for us. We can cut down eating out and we have, but we find ourselves out a lot, so, I made some changes and we got some major change in return! You probably know this and do lots of this yourself, but just in case, here are my top hacks for eating out:
1. Everyone drinks water - the exception is if a meal includes a drink; otherwise, it's H20. This includes alcohol for us big kids... Ryan is usually the one that breaks this rule. ;)
2. Quit ordering kids meals - the cheaper price is deceiving and hardly ever saved us money. Instead, the girls share a regular meal.
3. We can always order more - This is our motto. I typically order Radley something separate but not huge because the girls won't finish everything and Radley generally likes to eat whatever I am eating. If we have all cleared our plates and someone is starving, then we can always order more.
Here is a typical order at Chick Fil A:
Girls share a 12 piece nugget, upsized to a large but I request that the drink be split in three kids' cups and y'all - they do this 99% of the time. Radley gets just a sandwich and this was a bizarre day where I ordered a salad (I'm doing Whole30 so I would typically order a sandwich, too). We eat for $12-$15 which I think is pretty darn cheap for four people! The drink splitting is a game changer.
Other ways we save money...
1. Play it again sports - if we only need something for a season then why not spend $3 on shoes? Radley actually fell hard for a pair of Nike shoes that he wore to school for $2 and LOVED them.
2. Hand-me downs - yes, I will take your clothes! Also, my kids don't really grow...
3. Half-priced books - Y'all. Why spend $20 on a book that we can find for $2 at Half-Priced Books? I only wish we would have done this sooner! Besides saving money, we are saving the environment! Reuse and recycle that stuff!!!
4. We say no - Isn't that crazy?!?! But really, we have enough "SWDN" as Cindy and I call it. (That stands for 'stuff we don't need'.) (We use a different word for stuff.)
5. Laundry detergent - Our dryer broke a couple of years ago and while we weren't looking for a new set, we lucked into an awesome front load washer and dryer for cheap! BUT the washing machine never smelled clean. We kept the door open, we washed it, we tried all the tricks... and then one of m friends posted about making her own detergent helped her washing machine stench disappear. So I tried my hand at homemade laundry detergent and y'all - IT IS AWESOME! You can read my review here. We have made it twice since May 2015 - that's $60 in almost two years...INCREDIBLE!
Splurge...We spend more money on our own clothes or things that we will get more use from. We aren't complete food snobs, but we aren't afraid to spend more at the grocery store or on date nights. But as far as our favorite thing to splurge on - experiences. We want to do things and see things with the kiddos, so we travel as much as we can. We aren't super fancy and we look for deals and make smart choices, but we have taken them on awesome vacations and will continue to do so!
Some of our favorites include Disneyland...
And our amazing trip to New York last January...
Our goal is to hit all 50 by the time Landry is 21... and I think we've hit 12 so far!
There you go... how we save and where we splurge! Can't wait to read your tips and tricks today. And if you missed on linking up, here's a list of what's to come!