by Kara Rozendaal
Old School: A penny
saved is a penny earned.
Homeschool: A penny saved is a necessity!
The checkbook often tells the story of sacrifices made by homeschoolers. There are practical ways to simply trim expenses to alleviate budget woes and offset the sacrifices made.
Save on Eyeglasses
Eyeglasses are an unavoidable expense for many. Fortunately for consumers, high prices can be avoided by ordering glasses on-line at stores such as EyeBuyDirect.com. Glasses that would typically cost $100 at a local store are surprisingly $20 on-line. Simply enter the data from the prescription received from the eye exam. Shoppers can “try on” glasses by uploading their picture and virtually placing various frames on the image. The process is quick, easy, and cheap!
Save on Groceries
It may sometimes feel like coupons are intended to trick shoppers. To minimize being tricked and maximize savings, look closely at the wording on the coupon. Many coupons will have a photo of a product, hoping to tempt shoppers to purchase the higher quality or new line of their product, when the coupon is actually for any of their products. On many coupons, under the product photo, appears a valuable money saving phrase “Off Any.”
This marketing technique is common on toothpaste, makeup, and medicine. Manufacturers have a photo of the newest whitening line or new improved color, while the discount can be redeemed off any item in the product line. Don’t be tricked—look past the picture.
Setting price limits on grocery products helps keep budgets in check as well as alert shoppers when stocking up is a good idea. For example, name brand, high-quality bread is always $1 at Dollar Tree. Setting a limit to spend only a $1 on bread and stocking up when it is priced less than $1 is a great shopping strategy.
Freezing bread is easy, no tricks or training required, just place the bread in the freezer. Many suggest standing the loaf of bread on end during the defrosting stage to help the slices retain their freshness. It is an easy benchmark to remember, stock up on bread when the price is below a $1 per loaf.
Free Children Devotionals
Daily devotionals have benefits that last way beyond the end of the story. The joy of reading with children—as well as learning valuable life lessons—is an investment of time that pays immense dividends.
Keys for Kids, a well-loved children’s devotional, is available for free online. Keys for Kids also offers a free magazine that you can receive by mail at your home. Get free devotionals at www.cbhministries.org (Click on “For Kids”, “Get Keys”).
Save on Electricity
Electricity bills can be a substantial household expense. One way to minimize the bill is by line-drying clothes. Each time a load of clothes is dried in an electric dryer, it costs roughly $.50 per load. Some neighborhoods have restrictions on the use of outside clotheslines. An alternative is to think inside.
There are numerous drying racks that can be built and attached to a wall. One design uses dowel rods suspended between a rectangular frame of 1” x 4” wood and utilizes a piano hinge to attach the rack to a wall. It is estimated that consumers wash 8–10 loads of laundry a week. If 80% of the loads were dried on a line, the savings would surpass $200 per year.
It is encouraging how quickly small amounts of savings add up over time. Being intentional in saving money produces abundant rewards.
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C. 2012. Used by permission of the author.
Originally published in Arizona Home Education Journal
Kara Rozendaal is a homeschool mom with a passion to help other families succeed financially. Kara is a financial planner with a degree in Finance from ASU. She is the author of several books, appears regularly on Channel 3’s Your Life A to Z, and publishes a weekly newsletter that is filled with ways to take the stress out of stretching your budget. Kara lives on a ranch in Prescott Valley, Arizona, loves homeschooling her three children (ages 12, 14, and 16), and has been married to her husband Ross for 18 years.
“We have made a deep commitment to managing money and enjoying life. With the money we save, we spend as much time as we can camping, riding our horses, and taking family vacations. This time we spend is the ultimate reward for the practical way of life we have chosen.”
-- Kara Rozendaal