I’m in the midst of figuring out ways to decrease our spending at home since I will be quitting my job to become a full-time Mom and Potter. I thought I’d share some saving tactics I’ve learned in the last few months.

  My grocery bill seems out of control most months, so that was the first item on the agenda to get slashed. My family of 4 goes through bread like a tornado in a trailer park. I found that a lot of grocery stores sell frozen rolls of bread (both white & wheat) in the freezer section. A bag of 6 loaves runs around $5.50, that’s $0.92 a loaf. Yep, you still have to use energy to bake them, but if you bake 2 loaves at once and freeze the extra loaf you are ahead of the game.

  Try to only hit the grocery store every two weeks. In order to do this, make up a menu for two weeks and it will give you less stress with trying to figure out what’s for dinner. I know for some who have kids who consume copious amounts of food during their couch potato sessions a surplus of food around is a bad thing…hoard the food where you put the cleaning products, no kid will ever consider getting within a 50 foot radius of the possibility of being enlisted in a chore! If you still need to make a small grocery run, send your trust-worthy husband with a list…they don’t spontaneously shop like us girls do (except for the chips and cookies aisle).

  Dump the paper products. Remember when you used to go to your Grandmas and everyone had nice dinner napkins to match the table cloth, with real china plates and cleaning up a mess was with those blue and white striped reusable cloths? Water costs us here about $0.01 per gallon; you can wash a bunch of plates or wash cloths with a gallon of good ol’ H2O.  A paper plate on average costs $0.33, a paper napkin or towel $0.01. The paper plate is an obvious ditch, but the paper towel may take more convincing. To buy a 2 pack of reusable counter cloths cost $2.00, the amount of paper towel rolls you can go through before you’ll have to throw away the two counter cloths…12 rolls ($13.50). You’ll probably want to keep some paper towels around for the really yucky clean ups or when all of your reusable cloths are in the wash, but that’s a huge savings.

  Also make your own laundry detergent. It’s very easy to do, doesn’t take much time and there are only 4 ingredients to the recipe and there are many places to find the instructions on the web. You can make enough liquid detergent for 52 loads of laundry, 100 loads if you have a water-reducing front loading washer and it only cost $7.  

  Switch to bar soap instead of liquid body wash. See if your husband will switch to an electric razor. Try out store brand diapers and pull-ups, some of them are just as good as the name brands and you can save up to 10 cents per diaper. And did I forget to mention coupons? I only clip what brands I normally buy so I'm not paying higher for a brand even with a coupon, when I can get the store brand for a better price. You can find many coupon offerings online now that you can print only the ones you want and you can even send them to your store shoppers card! There are so many things that you can do to cut back, it might cut out some conveniences but in the long run you’ll have a great deal of savings.