My family has a lot going on in December. Both my son and I have big birthdays (5 and 40) and we are doing a HUGE family vacation the day after Christmas. That said my hubby and I thought it would be smart to do a NO-vember. A month to cut down on our spending, find ways to save money, or find deals to have fun…but spend less.
Seattle isn’t a cheap place to live and I hope these tips will help you save a little:
- Gardening – My front yard gets super muddy in the winter. I wanted to get filled in with bark or rocks so you aren’t stepping in mud. Surprisingly, this would cost us over $500 to get the material delivered. There are some sites that you can sign up to get FREE wood chips dropped off.
- Movies – We all know movies are expensive and if you leave your kids at home the movie adds up when you tack on the babysitter, too. Just north of Seattle is Crest Theatre, in Shoreline with $4 movies. Of course, these aren’t new releases and most films that play here are on their last stop before leaving the Seattle area.
- Play Area – It is COLD and no one wants to stand around at the park. There are several paid indoor play areas but there are also a lot of free ones at local community centers.
- Produce – Reducing your grocery bill! My other TWM bestie got started and now I am hooked too. Imperfect Produce is a quick way to reduce your food bill without losing the value of organic produce. So for around $20 I get 11-13 pounds of fruit and veggies delivered to my door weekly. Imperfect Produce offers food at 30-50% less than grocery store prices. Their subscription produce box is affordable, convenient, customizable, healthy, and delicious. I also love that this company even offers a reduced box for people who meet the criteria, so everyone can eat healthy without spending a lot.
- Clothing – I started selling some of my nicer things that I no longer wear on PoshMark. Over time I have sold about $300 or more and now I have this credit to spend without dipping into our budget. This month I got a new sparkly dress for my holiday party and kept with out NO spending NO-vember.
- Extra Money – Do you like animals and have some hours to spare or a home to share over the holidays? I signed up to be a member of the Fetch community, to be a pet sitter for some extra spending money. My kids love temporary pets and it’s all local so I don’t have to go far to visit and get to make around $20 a visit. You can also do babysitting, house-sitting, or pick up some extra hours doing surveys. There are a ton of online survey companies like SWAGbucks that use a point system for surveys that then pay you. If you have time to kill this could be an easy way to make some extra cash.
- Sell Stuff – Facebook MarketPlace is a great place to have a garage sale. I have sold a lot of old toys, kids clothes, and some household items. My hubby works from home so it makes pick-ups super easy, and, all-in-all good side money for things we are no longer using.
- Meal Plan – I have previously done a whole blog post on this but really, if we don’t do our meal planning that week we end up spending way more on food. In fact we are able to reduce our spending by half if we spend a little time over the weekend to meal plan. (Hope to share my cards with you all soon in 2018, so keep posted.)
- Buy Nothing – If you are not already on Buy Nothing for your community on Facebook, you are missing out. I hosted a play date and got a bunch of great mugs to make my hot cocoa station super festive. Great way to find things without buying something and a fun way to meet your neighbors and be active in your community.
- Free Events – If you can’t tell I love Facebook. There are a ton of free events in your community and you can find them on Facebook. My son loves to run and we signed him up for a free kids dash. Lots of great activities so take a look. We even found some free Santa photo sessions.
Then there are the obvious places to reduce and not do certain extra activities that add up:
- No Mani-Pedi – I love getting my nails done. I really enjoy the massage and relaxing me time. Plus something about having your nails done makes me feel polished and put together. I go every other week and that can cost about $45 a visit. This month I am forgoing the mani-pedi and just doing a natural top coat at home.
- No Starbucks – Ok well how about less, and we can call that a win 🙂
- Gifts – Make stuff. I’ve already started making my kids blankets for Christmas this year and going to also make our own Christmas cards.
- Dry Cleaning – Avoid using clothes that require extra money to clean.
What about you? Do you have any tips on saving money that you would like to share? * L