My love of a good deal started when I was very young. I grew up in a household where we had to stick to a very tight budget, and it taught me a lot about frugality. I quickly learned that if I wanted to fulfil my ‘fashionista dreams’, I’d have to work for them. So I got my very first job at the age of 12 (babysitting), and I’ve never looked back since.
Having an appreciation for hard work and a true understanding of the value of money has served me well. It has fuelled my need to research everything – and has resulted in useful information that can help anyone purchase wisely, and even save a few bucks!
Here are some of my favourite ways to be frugal:
Buy sale items in the next size up
It’s wise to purchase kids’ running shoes and other wardrobe basics in the next size (or two) up, if you catch them on sale. Don’t gamble with buying sandals or snowsuits too far in advance, though (unless you shop at Costco, which has a 1-year return policy).
Label your kids’ items
This is especially important at back-to-school time, when you’re spending a lot of money on new supplies. It goes without saying if they’re well labeled, you have a greater chance of getting them back if they ever *do* get lost. Tip: I like Oliver’s Labels, for their durability and exclusive Found-it system.
For the Home
Invest in a chest freezer if you have the space.
It allows me to purchase bread, meat, frozen fruit and veggies in large quantities when they’re on sale, which adds up to a lot of savings over the course of the year.
Make your own foaming hand soap
My kids wash their hands a lot…and that means we go through lots of soap. I was tired of paying around $5 per bottle for all-natural foaming hand wash (which I find gentler and less drying than the liquid kind) so I started making my own. Here’s a recipe to try.
Check out this guide to natural bathroom products. It contains lots of information to help you make the healthiest choices for your family: .
Banking & Financial
Know the SCOP
Pay attention at the grocery and drugstore checkout to ensure the items you’re purchasing are scanned in at the correct prices. The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) is a policy that helps ensure retailers honour their stated prices. Find out more about the Scanning Code of Practice here.
Don’t pay everyday banking charges
Basic savings and chequing accounts are available free of charge (including checks!) at various financial institutions like Tangerine and Simplii Financial. Save yourself money each month by making the switch.
Take advantage of grocery store points programs
We all know that credit card points programs can add up to big money, so imagine how quickly you can earn points on the food you buy every week! I collect PC Optimum Plus points (Loblaws Co.) and have received hundreds of dollars in free groceries so far.
Double your grocery savings with rebate apps like Checkout 51.
What are your favourite tips for being a frugal Family CEO? We’d love to hear them, so connect with us on social media and share your tips with other Moms!
Lisa is a writer, social media consultant and small business owner. She’s a crafty, DIY-loving, fashionista who loves to unwind with a good manicure and an afternoon spent at a museum. Her husband, two kids and dog keep her pretty busy, but in her spare time, you can find her blogging at Fab Frugal Mama.