I have two kids and my partner and i both work in jobs with a relatively low income. We are by no means on the breadline but some months we are pretty tight. I like to give my kids a sense of value of money, as my mum did when we were growing up, so there are some things that just come naturally to do. Many of these involve saving money or being thrifty, luckily this also means that re-using and recycling is good for the environment too, so its a double benefit! Here are some of the things that i do.
I have been doing this lately, when you have the last bit of a candle you can save the wax and then melt it all down and create new candles inside pre-used jars. The results can be really creative and cool and make an amazing statement for dinner parties and when guests come over. I particularly like the candles inside the fruit peels and obviously recycled jars and cans.
Ride a bike
Riding a bike to get places, such as school drop off and weekend trips both saves us money on fuel but also increases our fitness at the same time. My family and i ride bikes almost everywhere we need to. From school drop off to weekend visits to the park, its great, its free and it helps us to stay fit too. When we have things to carry, we use the different Goodordering bags, such as the PICNIC PANNIER which can attach to the pannier rack of a bicycle.
Make gifts & cards
We have always made gifts for each other growing up, and i can count the times i have given a shop bought gift card on one hand. Making gifts for people can be more sentimental and personal too. Some ideas include plants that you can re-port and grow at home, creating artwork and make birthday cards.
Freeze food to save on waste
Thinking ahead on what i'm going to cook that day saves money, all i need to do is get what i'm going to use out of the freezer in the morning. Its much less likely to be wasted.
Making things is great, because it is a creative outlet for the whole family to get involved in together. Bead making is something our family has got into lately. Its fun, creative and beaded bracelets and necklaces also make great affordable but personal birthday presents and Christmas presents. If you are like our family, we end up keeping them all for ourselves.
Fix socks, repair tears in blankets and find ways to up-cycle things you might otherwise throw away. For the first time ever i repaired a knitted blanket i had at home which had a hole in it. I felt a huge amount of satisfaction from fixing this.
Buy second hand
Shopping in charity shops is a great way to save money and still get the things that you want or need. Shopping in charity shops is hugely fun, when we go to Sweden as a family, one of our favourite activities is to scour the charity shops. I have found so many amazing things in them. The kids really love it too! For a fraction of the price of buying new, you can find much more interesting and pre-loved items and save a lot of money at the same time.
We borrow clothes or jackets from our Swedish family when we go there rather than buying them. For day to day items we mix up buying books second hand with going to the library and borrow books instead. The activity and process of going to the local library to read, hang out and borrow books is a great activity. If you are going camping or to an event, borrow gear and equipment before buying.
Trade items with other families
Trade kids bicycles with larger ones as they get older. You can either do this privately or through an association or app. I often also trade things like wellies, toys and books. Anything that has a longish shelf life.
Get good gear for picnics
This will save money in the long run. Having a nice big, wipe clean picnic rug is great and will make your picnics the envy of the park. We have also recently released the BILLOW - a Goodordering original product which is inspired by, guess what, the PILLOW. Taking a pillow to the park to have a proper lie down but you can store things in it and carry it with its shoulder straps on the way there and on the way back and it also attaches to a bicycle pannier rack!
I'd love to hear how other families save money. So please drop us a note in the comments below.
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