12 Unique Money Saving Methods For Families

Save Money Empty Wallet Woman

Are you looking for money saving hacks? Read on to learn about these 12 random but effective methods I use to save money at home!

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I am not a couponer.

I don’t eat rice every single day (not that there’s anything wrong with rice, I just don’t like it enough for that kind of commitment!)

I’m also not really very special, I’m just a regular mom, with a regular husband, who makes a regular income.

But I still manage to save our family some SERIOUS money in lots of small but effective ways that really add up.

Here are 12 Unique (and kind of random) methods & hacks I use to save my family money!

No binging for us…

1. I Don’t Pay for TV or Streaming


I know.

And we literally didn’t even have a TV itself before this year. (only bought it because an apartment complex nearby was upgrading and selling their ‘old’ ones for $10!)

We still like to watch movies sometimes, but we do it on a laptop, or at a friends house.

What do we do for fun you ask? Well lots of things!

We read books, color, sew, clean (joking), play outside, garden, read more books, play with friends, etc.

The great thing about not consuming a lot of TV or video (we still do get a fair amount) is that we have a lot more time for activities that double as teaching, skill building, and service/friendship building activities.

I don’t really know how much we save by doing this, because since I have never paid for Netflix or TV or anything, I don’t know how much they cost.

Call it a hack, call it crazy, it saves us $$$

Home Born baby

2. I Have Home Births

Okay, I don’t have Home Births just to save my family money…. That probably shouldn’t be anyone’s only reason to have a home birth.

But I want to mention it because it does save us money, and that is a really nice side bonus!

A home birth with a licensed midwife can cost anywhere from $2500-$5500 depending on where you live. Around here, its about $4000.

In contrast, around where we live an ‘uneventful’ natural vaginal birth in the hospital costs at least $5500, (if you have a nurse midwife) and a lot more if you chose an OB-GYN.

If you get an epidural, chose to induce, stay a few days, etc. then the cost goes way up.

Our old car that always got stuck in the snow…

3. I Only Own One Car

It wasn’t always this way.

And it kind of ended up this way on accident….but having only one car has turned out to be a huge blessing.

It has saved us gas money, registration fees, insurance premiums, not to mention time.

It has also helped us to ‘slow down’ a little, which I think is good for the kids.

When both our cars broke down within a few months of each other, we sold them for what we could, and only replaced one of them.

Its true that now we go without library visits, have to plan shopping trips for the weekend, switched to a doctor’s office that was open on Saturdays, and have to rely on our wonderful friends who are willing to drop off a package for us occasionally, but after a while I don’t even miss those things.

We make due with what we have, and it has saved us a great deal.

Now, instead of paying for a second vehicle that mostly sits in the driveway, we make greater use of the one we already own.

In an emergency, I have family nearby I can call, as well as the obvious option of calling an ambulance.

Being a one car family takes some thoughtful planning, and honestly it is a money saving method I was nervous to try, but I think it is so worth it.

I actually hope we stay this way for a little while!

I made this outfit for my daughter out of a shirt I got second hand.

4. I Buy Inexpensive Clothing, And Go to Clothing Swaps

Sewing has turned out to be a great hobby to have!

I am able to mend our own clothing, turn my old clothes into new outfits for my kids, and sew for my neighbors to earn an extra buck.

There are so many great sewing tutorials and free patterns out there, if you don’t sew already, teaching yourself can prove to be a great investment.

I also love to shop at thrift stores for our clothing, sometimes I find some amazing pieces that are unique and a good price.

In addition I shop for clothing at Wal-Mart during their end of season sales, sometimes they have shirts for $1, kids shoes for $1-$3! When that happens, even if the kids have enough shoes already, I buy them some in the next size or two up for them to use next year!

We also have frequent community clothing swaps, which helps us save a lot of money on clothes. We trade in what we no longer use, and take some of what we need. The rest is them donated to local charities.

If you don’t have a clothing exchange in your area, you could start one!

save money methods fix tools self
ifixit has saved us money

5. I Rarely Buy New Tech and I Fix It Myself

As mentioned above, we bought our flat screen used TV for $10. It works great!

We also buy used iPhones on Ebay when we want to ‘upgrade’, and we replace the broken parts ourselves using online guides and parts from iFixit. I have replaces several phone batteries using their tools!

Sometimes our family members upgrade their devices and hand down their old ones to us, too. We are happy to be the local hand-me-down-ers!

One year when my husbands laptop was having problems, I did a TON of research online, bought a cheap soldering kit, and repaired it myself (after backing it up of course!).

It was worth the risk to me! It worked, and I saved us a ton of money! (That laptop is still going!)

The internet has become a DIY-ers DREAM!

You can learn how to fix almost anything if you are willing to take the risk and have the patience!

save money methods
Ive used GIMP for years

6. I Use Free Software Instead of Priced Options

I used to pay for a Photoshop subscription when I was in college, but now I use GIMP which I love and is free! It meets my needs just fine! I will likely never need to switch back.

I also use Libre Office instead of paying for Microsoft 365, which works just as well in my opinion and is FREE of course. (Although I did make a small donation just to express my appreciation to them! Still way cheaper!)

Another example is instead of purchasing pricey budgeting software, I just made a simple spreadsheet that meets my needs great.

I do pay for some software though, when I feel it is a good deal. For example, I use iDrive to backup all our family devices.

(I’ve lost data before, I’ll never get those pictures back! Now I don’t worry about it, that is a fair trade off to me!) Sign up with my iDrive Link and you’ll get up to 50% off the regular price!

save money methods
Homemade gifts are personal

7. I Make Homemade Gifts

One year for Christmas, I spent $7 on a cute new baby doll for my daughter.

As part of the gift, I sewed it a tiny quilt, pillow, jacket, pants, headband, and a tiny baby carrier wrap to go with it. It ended up being a great gift set, well beloved, and it didn’t cost us much at all!

I also have made cookie mix jars, herbal bath salts, flower seed packet gifts, pot holders, aprons, etc.

The great thing about homemade gifts is that they are more personal, and you know they won’t accidentally get two of the same thing!

homemade pizza
Homemade Pizza is the best!

8. I Host Potlucks

One of our favorite things to do is have dinner with friends, but very rarely do we all go out to a restaurant together. Instead, we all pitch in a dinner item or two and make our own little pot luck!

Not only does this provide MORE food, for LESS money (plus there’s usually leftovers) we don’t have to worry about the kids, since they can play outside or have a movie night.

We have done Taco Salad potlucks, Make Your Own pizza parties, Homemade hamburgers, Greek Pasta Salad, and more. This is a good way to get to know your friends and save everyone money (and save your diets too 🙂 )

Remember, one of the best ways to save money at home, is to STAY HOME. Eating at home is a lot cheaper than eating out!

person cutting hair

9. I Don’t Get My Hair Done (Professionally)

This is something that some women couldn’t imagine going without, but hear me out!

I haven’t dyed my hair in many years, and I don’t think I ever will again.

It’s great to not have to worry about regular hair appointments, and I don’t have to worry about *what happens* if I miss one!

I have also learned to cut my own hair, as well as my children’s hair. My current hairstyle is full bangs, and when I tell people I did it myself they are usually shocked! (Except my hairstylist sister in law… I wonder if she could tell, lol!)

A few years ago I went from very long hair to a shoulder length-bob, and let me tell you, THAT was a risky DIY! But it actually looked really good and no one could believe I did it myself with a hand held mirror!

My husband also cuts his own hair, with Wahl hair trimmers like these.

We save a lot of money doing our own hair, and we don’t regret it at all!

shopping cart save money hacks
Grocery shopping can make your break your budget

10. I Skip Name Brand Groceries.

I am perfectly happy buying generic brand items at the store, and they are almost always significantly less expensive.

We usually don’t notice a difference in taste or quality at all, but I do notice that I can afford to buy more when I don’t buy name brand.

To this point, the only time I have ever noticed a decrease in quality with a store brand product was with olives… but I still buy them anyways since they are kind of an expensive item!

person using a computer and holding a credit card and receipts

11. I Don’t Use Rebate Apps or Coupons

This sounds a little backwards, shouldn’t using rebate apps or coupons help you save money?

Answer: they can.

But only if you buy the exact item they are discounting.

If you TRULY would have bought that item anyways, then great, You saved money! But most of the time, since I only buy store brand, there are no rebates or coupons.

In fact, at one time I WAS using a rebate app, and even with the rebate, the name brand bacon, bread, contact lens solution, soap, etc. it had discounts or rebates for were STILL more expensive than the regular brands! Seriously!

Can you use rebate apps and still save money? Yes. But not every time.

Don’t get into the “Free Money” trap. Getting that rebate feels really good, but you might still be spending more!

Remember, its NOT always about how much you save. Its ultimately still about how much you SPEND!

save money methods
Mend or Make

12. I Mend It or Make My Own.

You may notice the trend here, if I can fix it myself, I try to. If I can make it myself, I try to.

Like that one time I made a shower curtain to save $20.

Sometimes I fail, and its a lesson learned. But every time I succeed at fixing or making something, and thereby saving another dollar, it goes a long way!

There’s at least one thing I wish I could make my own of, and that’s dishes. Those seem to break a lot…

A Closing Note

Sure, life is about more than frugality.

There comes a time when my husband is ready for a new pair of work pants that don’t have any patches. So we get a new pair.

And that’s what money is for, making life healthy and comfortable.

But living in debt is a form of bondage, and where reasonable and practical, I try to fight it all I can!

For example, here are some things we tend to splurge on…

  • Fresh Produce instead of always frozen or canned (We eat a lot of fresh produce! I bought 21 bananas last week and 21 avocados last month…)
  • Food Storage (Buying food storage is an up front investment, but I cut down on costs by packaging it myself in mylar bags, and buying supplies in bulk, including Organic wheat and beans from Azure Standard which I LOVE!)
  • Play” Money, for house projects, or fun/extra things for the family
  • Dish Washing Detergent (REALLY random, but I tend to buy slightly more expensive dish soap than necessary because I like them better when they’re clear and don’t smell strongly.)
  • Washer and Dryer (I spent a little more than I’m normally comfortable with when I upgraded our laundry machines, I really wanted front loaders for our cloth diapers and so far I am so glad I did!)

What are some methods you use to save money? Did anything on this list surprise you?

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