Saving money when you have children can be a particularly hard thing to do, even for the most frugal moms and dads. For homesteaders, money saving tips are like pennies from heaven that help us provide so much better for our self-sufficient lifestyle, which includes our children. Here are five super simple money saving suggestions specifically for homestead families.
These money savings tips for families will probably sound familiar to you if you’ve ever tried to cut back on spending and increase on saving. Still, it can be helpful to remind ourselves of money saving goals we’ve had in the past as we resolve to double our efforts.
If you’re completely new to homesteading finances for families, don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these suggestions! Simple is good, as every homesteader knows.
Also, please be sure to read through the article for the “homework” challenge at the end. It really will help as you make money saving a habit.
5 Money Saving Tips for Homestead Families
Remember, these are money saving tips for families with children or grandchildren around, while still being helpful for anyone who needs to budget.
Free Local Events
Look for free family events to attend in your community. Even if you’re single or your family is small, these enjoyable, local events can save you a pretty penny, while still providing for your entertainment. Here are some examples:
- Often local farms and libraries are hubs of free, neighborhood activities and classes.
- Zoos, community gardens, and children’s museums often have half price or free days.
- Churches, park systems, and your university extension, can all be quality sources of free events.
These opportunities are also helpful in that they create close ties with your immediate area and your neighbors. By establishing local relationships, you are opening up the possibility of future enrichment in countless ways.
Building a good relationship with your community is its own reward.
Pick up change off the street. No joke, just do it.
We have a jar we keep in our kitchen that’s just for rummaged change. We use it once a year to go out to dinner as a family. It doesn’t always cover our entire bill but its money we didn’t have before and didn’t let go to waste by leaving it a drawer or on a street corner.
If you save your pennies, your dollars will take care of themselves, as the saying goes.
Pull the Plug
Analyze the media coming into your home and find places to pull the plug.
- What about the number of cell phones in your family?
- Is your thing HDTV that you never use?
- Are you ready to ditch the TV altogether?
I’m not here to tell what to get rid of but I am strongly suggesting it’s time to get rid of something and not just to save money. Homesteading is a way of life and it takes time to live that life. This time is spent in the three-dimensional world and the work will not do itself.
Don’t stop reading and researching and relaxing at appropriate times but do ferret out the weasel in the digital portion of your home life. Trap the weasel and chop its head off. You won’t be sorry.
If you’re thinking of moving off-grid and/or simply wish to reduce your electrical consumption, the following article might help you brainstorm further.
—>>>Read Things to Think About Before Going Off-Grid<<<—
Host a Swap
Hold a clothing swap with friends, neighbors, church ladies or your school group/PTA. I LOVE these events!
I keep boxes of clothes in storage and change out mine and my children’s wardrobe as the seasons change. My kids don’t know any different and it’s a great treat when we go to the thrift store to buy some “new to us” article.
Clothing swaps, and outright asking for people’s cast offs, have saved us hundreds of dollars every year.
An Extra Tip: when you do purchase used clothing, get as close as you can to the wealthier neighborhoods. Wealthy people often don’t wear their clothes for very long and typically purchase more expensive brands. Expensive clothing is often made with higher quality materials and will last longer. If you can buy wealthy people’s secondhand clothes, you’re golden!
If you like the experience of a swap, you may want to start a group in your community for doing things like this. For example, you could start a seed saving group to save money in your gardening efforts.
—>>>Learn How to Start a Seed Saving Group<<<—
Hand-make gifts. Yes, this will take longer and will require more thought, but it can save you money and change how you look at gifts and their purpose. The cash savings in this exercise is very dependent on what kind of gifts you’re accustomed to giving, and how many people you have on your list.
Everyone has something from the heart that they can share, and you are no exception. Try this on your next gift-giving holiday but plan for it now because it will take more time.
Word to the wise, don’t plant to make EVERY gift by hand–you’re only human. Be realistic about your handmade plans.
—>>>For More Help Read Holiday Planning for Handmade Gifts<<<—
Make Handmade Happen
The following is a handmade example from our family. Every year my children and I hand make gifts for most of the people in our family Christmas drawing. I’m not going to lie; this tradition exhausts me since several of my children are still young and all of them require some amount of help from me.
Why do I do it? Why do moms do anything?
Because it’s a valuable lesson for all of us, and because it really is fun. To prepare for the adventure of handmade gifts with five small children, we hold an annual Leon Day celebration. “Leon” is “Noel” spelled backwards if you were wondering. Here’s what we do:
- Every June 25th, exactly six months until Christmas, we get out some holiday decorations and music.
- With Bing Crosby crooning in the background, we draw family members’ names out of a hat.
- We keep it simple and include the family members we’re closest to and with whom we’re most likely to spend Christmas.
- After we draw names and know for whom we’ll be crafting, we open our craft books and get online to start looking for handmade gifts kids can do.
The children get excited making plans for their assigned people and I love to watch them really think about what the recipient would enjoy having. It’s fun to keep it a surprise for the next six months as we gather supplies and work away at our projects. Regardless of how the gifts are received, the gifting is far more meaningful and frugal for our family.
—>>>Learn More About Leon Day Celebrations<<<—
How Can I Save Money in My Daily Life?
Money saving tips for families are only as good as the effort that goes into executing them. The best way to save money in daily life is to simply begin! Pick one step and try it.
Then, keep a record of what works and what doesn’t.
Most Important Money Saving Tips for Families – Keep a Journal!
Keep track of what works and what doesn’t in your homestead journal.
- Write down prices, irritations, successes, and even recipes.
- In a few months, stop where you are in your journal and go back to the first entry and start reading your notes with more experienced eyes.
- For activities like this, your homestead journal becomes a narrative, descriptive, expository and persuasive essay all rolled into one great education.
- Your homestead journal will keep you motivated and moving forward.
- You WILL flop a lot of the time, but you will learn from those times—sometimes more than you do from your immediate successes, if you’re anything like me.
The only way you can learn from your experience, though, is if you WRITE IT DOWN!
Clothing Swap Challenge Homework
Organizing a clothing swap is your homework for this article. Deep breaths – it doesn’t have to be a huge event. Keep it small to begin with.
Here are some things to think about and do:
- Email your neighbors, friends, school group, homestead group and/or congregation, sending out feelers about getting together to organize a clothing swap.
- Your local church may be able to offer a venue large enough and moms are great at organizing stuff like this.
- You’ll need tables to display items, racks to hang more delicate clothing, hangers, and recycled grocery bags for people to use who forget to bring their own to take clothes home.
- It helps if you have a venue with separate rooms to display different types of clothing and accessories, just to keep things organized and crowds under control. If you only have a few bags full of clothing, one room will be fine.
- Remember to provide name tags for anyone helping you so that visitors know who to ask when they have questions.
- You’ll need a few people who are gifted with media and marketing to create a flier, send out announcement emails asking for donations, and inviting people to come swap when it’s time.
- Typically, those who’ve donated items to the swap get to come first to take what they need from the stash—usually a few hours to a day before the main event.
- After that, anyone from the community is invited to come and take what they need.
- Amazingly, you still may end up with items at the end of the swap, which you can donate to your local shelter or thrift store.
For more reading on clothing swaps, visit Homestead Hippy How to Hold a Clothing Swap.
More Money Saving Tips for Families
Here are a few more homestead-y money saving ideas. If you have one to share, be sure to leave it in the comment section!