It’s hard sometimes to save up for Disney, or anywhere else for that matter. Someone gets sick, the price of groceries go up again, three school fundraisers (per kid!) come home in one day, and it just goes on and on! Everything is going up, except for most people’s pay!
What can you do then, to squeeze a little extra savings in your every day budget to stick away those Disney Dollars for later down the road?
We’ve got a few suggestions that you might not have thought of, or maybe you already knew about them, but never tried. First up!
Stop wasting food
We are awful about this. Half eaten boxes of crackers that pushed to the back of the pantry, partial bags of chips that never got eaten, fruit that goes moldy, you name it, it’s happened. I blame our weird pantry design for park of it (the tiny closet shares space with a massive hot water heater, so things get shoved, and crammed, and dropped into the black hole…) but every time I find a box of graham crackers hopelessly beyond use, that’s $2 in the trash! The chips? $1. The sack of potatoes that only got half used, then grew alien tentacles and turned watery? $4. Ugh! That’s not only $7 wasted on food, it’s $7 that could have gone towards something else. Factor in the food that gets left on plates, when just an hour later a kid is rummaging around (knocking things into the black hole!) because they are hungry, well, you are paying twice for your food! Once to throw it away, and then again to fill up a tummy!
We’ve been trying not to waste as much the last few weeks. It’s hard, but I keep telling my kids you can always come back for more, but you can’t give it back once it’s on your plate. I’m trying to find ways to use up things that have gotten shoved into the depths of the black hole, but it’s sometimes a little hard. Thank goodness for Google. (On that note, anyone know what to do with 3 boxes of just past date Cheese Its they HAD to have, and then promptly started to dislike?!)
Try to have less wasted food, and not only will your bill shrink, but you’ll stop feeling guilty about all the waste!
Stop buying (new) clothes
The first place I check when one of the kids or I need something, is Goodwill. Not only can you find brand new with the tags on it clothes, I can also find all the brands that fit my kids best, like The Children’s Place, or Apt 9 fr me, at a fraction of the cost. If I can’t find it there, after a few weeks, I’ll give in and start looking for what they need new, but at a heavy discount. It’s rare I can’t find it, and saves a lot of money, because we all know if you want your clothes to last, you’re going to have to get a fairly good brand.
Next time you need something, go take a peek at your Goodwill! I’ll bet you find treasures there that you never guessed would be there!
Change your eating out habits
This one can be hard, I totally get at the end of a long day, you are tired and ordering pizza is a great idea, but it can really add up. I’m not saying you have to do without, because if you really want that pizza, nothing is going to change your craving, right? But try this! Call around and see who’s got the best price, or maybe what the carry out special is. You’ll get what you wanted, but for less. In our area, there’s usually a big price difference between the various pizza places, and I’m willing to bet in your area there is too! Specials don’t always run the same time, so why be brand loyal if it doesn’t matter to you, and saves $10?
Shop your Library instead of Amazon
If you love to listen to music, watch movies or read books, I’ll bet you often browse Amazon. I know I do. But then, I go and check my local library's site to see if they have the ebook, or real book, movie or cd that I can borrow. I;d say 75% of the time they do, and even if I have to wait a few weeks to get it, usually I have so much other stuff going on, or other things to read and watch, it’s not a big deal.
Trying, before buying, is a great way to determine if that movie is going to be on that gets watched over and over, or if it’s a one hit wonder. We’ve bought some stinkers, and regretted it, and now we try and be more careful. Check your library first, and you’re going to save a lot! If you’ve never tried your local library, jump on their online catalog and start browsing. It may surprise you that even small libraries in rural areas get the latest movies and books!
Do at Home Movie Nights
Ahh the movies! Who doesn’t love to go? But by the time you get tickets $12 each here in our town, plus a large popcorn and drink at $20, it’s gotten very expensive. We don’t have a cheap theatre in our area, but we do have the patience to wait for most movies to come out onto DVD, and then either buy or borrow them. I personally prefer my own couch, with no one on their cell phone the whole time, and the treats I like (brownie sundaes and popcorn!) plus the ability to go back and rewind when I missed something.
If you have the patience to wait for some movies (or tell your kids to wait, when they want to go see something) a time or two, you’ll not only save big, you could save up enough to get yourself your own projector and soundbar, and do backyard movie nights where you have your private screen. We did that about 2 years ago and it’s really fun to do that, and invite people over, or just watch it ourselves! It turns any movie into more of an event.
Maybe some of these ideas will spark some new ideas for you, and you’ll find a way to put a few more dollars into your Disney account! Have any others you’d like to share?