New Jersey has been seeing many cuts in state programs and more are to come. If you are a New Jersey family that relies upon government assistance you may be panicking about how your family is going to survive.
It is tough to stretch your money when it already is less than you need to get by. The trick is to find lower cost ways to get by. Think about how your grandparents did things and once you adopt their mindset you will be surprised at how frugal you can become.
Groceries are the thing that most parents are worried about when they have to survive on less money. Grandma had money saving ways of making her food money go farther. The reason many of us spend more money on groceries today is because we spend too much on convenience foods.
Prepackaged snacks for the kids for school may seem convenient but they cost much more than buying a bulk size package and portioning it yourself. Another way that Grandma saved money was by buying reduced produce. Slightly soft, bruised or over ripe fruit can be used the same day and you will feel good that you are feeding your family produce instead of prepared foods that are full of preservatives.
Dried beans are another way to save money on your food bill. You can buy a big bag and store them in an airtight jar. Beans are a great source of protein and it is cheaper than meat.
As we move into the fall season think soups and stews which are a great way of stretching your food dollar. Consider learning how to make your own biscuits and breads from scratch. It isn’t that hard and it will save you a lot of money.
Another way to save money is to shop clearance racks in your local store for school clothing. In New Jersey, the weather can stay warm into October. Many stores have summer clothing on clearance in July. Pick up some things for your child (allow for growth) and you can clothe them for less money.
If your child has clothing that they have outgrown and it is still in good condition, consider a consignment shop. Your child’s old clothing can earn you money. Another idea is to sell the clothing on a site such as Craigslist which is free to advertise. Consider doing the same with items like baby furniture that your child has outgrown.
Entertaining your child costs money and for parents this is often where they feel guilty about not having money to spend. You can find many free and low-cost things to do that will entertain your child. Your public library is a great source. Many have free programs for preschool and school age children. Check your local library for a schedule and information about how to register.
Local parks have recreational programs for school age children also. If yours doesn’t, why not start a playgroup? Hang a sign in your local supermarket and get a group of moms or caregivers to meet once a week. Have the children bring their own bagged lunch and allow for play time.
For more ideas on frugal parenting check out the following links.
How to Have a Great Christmas While on a Budget
Slow Cooked Soups
For consignment shops in Northern New Jersey, check out these links
Consignment Shop Resources in New Jersey