We’re moving into a bigger house very soon to accommodate our ever-growing family. After putting the new numbers into our household budget, it was clear that we’d have to cut down to the frugal bare-bones tactics we used for all the years when we were paying off our debt. Of course, I made a frugal plan in writing.
I thought you might be curious to see just how much a family can save by making a few small deliberate changes and trimming a few dollars off of each budget item per month. Below is the actual Frugal Plan for New House I made two days ago for my husband and I to work from.
In our case, the money we save will go into repairing the damage done to the house by the previous owners. All estimates in, our budget for the interior of the house (nothing fancy- just frugal replacing of floors, carpets, fixtures, etc.) is $8,500! We’re going to need to save as much as possible to make those repairs happen without incurring any debt.
Frugal Plan for New House
Fuel & wood. Budgeted = $175. Target = $150. Savings = $25/mo, $300/yr.
- Buy warmer blankets for beds.
- Buy warmer pajamas for kids.
- Burn all paper/cardboard trash in wood stove.
Electric. Budgeted = $120. Target = $100. Savings = $20/mo, $240/yr.
- Switch all bulbs to CFLs.
- Energy hog pushups for kids. (We make our kids do 5 pushups when they leave the lights on – it works!)
- Don’t plug in either car- keep them both in the garage.
- Economize and cut down the number of exterior Halloween & Christmas lights this year.
Water & sewer. Budgeted = $120. Target = $100. Savings = $20/mo, $240/yr.
- 2 baths/wk for kids. 15 minute showers max.
- No clean clothes can be thrown in laundry baskets. Kids wear jeans, pants, bras, and jammies more than once before washing.
- Combine laundry baskets for full loads.
- Install motion sensor faucet in kids’ bathroom to save water.
- Use disposable plates, bowls, & cups from Sam’s Club. (Large family=lots of dirty dishes = 2-3 loads in dishwasher per day. That’s too much.)
Dipes/wipes/formula. Budgeted = $140. Target = $100. Savings = $40/mo, $480/yr.
- Use cloth diapers as much as possible. Use disposable diapers only for when away from home and at church.
- Buy pull-ups in bulk at Sam’s Club.
- Buy only Parent’s Choice diapers and wipes.
Groceries/household. Budgeted = $600. Target = $500. Savings = $100/mo, $1200/yr.
- Cut out all restaurant eating, except next item.
- Go to Denny’s for dinner on kids eat free night for treat night.
- Keep fully stocked snack/lunch cooler in car at all times to avoid fast food expenses.
- No juice boxes for school – fill up reusable water bottles with juice from home.
- Combine coupons with sale items to stock up pantry.
- Menu plan around weekly sales.
- Only 1 trip to the store per week – no exceptions.
Fuel – vehicles. Budgeted = $200. Target = $150. Savings = $50/mo, $600/yr.
- Use smaller car whenever possible (not minivan).
- Park both cars in the garage in winter.
- Husband checks post office on the way home only twice a week – Monday and Friday.
- Combine errands into 1 circuit per week.
- 1 grocery shopping trip per week.
Total budgeted= $1355. New target = $1100.
Total savings possible/month= $255.
Total savings possible/year= $3060.
We can save over $3,000 a year! That’s a spectacular savings from just these few budget items. I think we can do better than this, and we’ll have to wait for the spending to come in for month 1 before we can evaluate how well the plan is working. Whatever your frugal goals are (family vacation, home remodel, new car), have you made your frugal plan yet to make them a reality?
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