The ability for families to meet their most basic necessities is an important measure of economic stability and well-being. Budgeting helps us to maintain the income our family needs to secure a safe and decent-yet-modest living standard. When you lower your expenses you allow your money to go a lot further. Try cutting out some of these extra cost.
1. Fast Food
This is #1 on my list for many reasons. Buying fast food is expensive neither is it good for your health. You will save some money, shed a few pounds and let go of the fast food guilt.Meals prepared at home are not only more nutritious but also more cost effective – usually two to four times as much – than those purchase outside the home.
It's amazing how much money you save by letting go of your cable. It's been 6 years since I've had cable and not once have I regretted it. Choose Netflix for about $8 per month if you must have something to watch. Try replacing your TV time with a good book!
3. Name Brands
I have never really been big on name brands but more so on efficiency. We try buying generics whenever possible. I like to purchase items that I know will offer me the most value and performance. Sometimes it's the name brand that delivers the best bang for your buck. In that case purchasing the brand is best. However you can find sooo many generic quality products and save big!
I truly feel like I have mastered the art of shopping for clothing! I absolutely NEVER and I mean NEVER pay full price for clothing. For starters I shop out of season and purchase clothing for my children way in advance. For example: Silah & Suhailah have bins under their beds with clothing for the next two years. I purchase staple items that never go out of style like sweaters, long sleeve tees, leggins & jeans. I also purchase their sneakers, shoes & boots when they go on clearance. For the Littles, I keep it super simple. A pair of white sneakers & versatile shoes for spring/summer and a pair of black sneakers & boots for fall/winter. They both have rain boots & swim shoes as well, which I up size so I only have to replace every 2 years or so. I also shop second had whenever possible, use online coupons and I'm not ashamed to take good quality hand-me-downs.
For the older girls, Spring/Summer I purchase 3 over garments, 3 Tunics, 3 pair of jeans, pack of undies & socks, 3 comfort bras (gennie bras are great, purchase online $6 per bra). I do the same in Fall/Winter. They both have a pair of sneakers, sandals & flats for the warmer months and in the colder months they get boots. Saj has been the same size in shoes & clothing for years now, so her wardrobe goes a long way.
5. Hair & Nails
We do our own hair for the most part and keep our nails natural & cut short. My husband wears a baldy and cuts his own hair. My mother, brother or myself cuts Silah hair; We keep it short so it will last a couple of weeks. For Shanaz & Suhailah I like to get their natural hair braided once per month when possible. This saves on time and allows their hair to be in a protective style for a couple of weeks. I shampoo and treat our hair at home as well.
6. Laundry Detergent
MaShaAllah I have been mixing my own laundry detergent for almost a full year now and I absolutely love it. I can't see myself buying name brand detergent again. I make between 3 months worth at time. I plan to link a recipe soon. I make it 3 different ways depending on product availability. Our clothes are always fresh and clean. My husband was loyal to his "tide" but is now a firm believer in my laundry detergent.
I have lowered my cost on buying certain cosmetic products by making my own! I now make my own facial wash, facial scrubs, facial balms/lotions, facial masks, make up remover, BB cream, astringent/toners & setting spray.
8. Jewelry & Accessories
I no longer purchase or wear expensive jewelry. Accessories take up a lot of space and and are a major waste of money. I did a purge of all my costume jewelry. Instead choose a few classic pieces that can be worn with everything, are easy to clean and store. I have one small neatly organized drawer with tins for my khimar pins, rings & earrings and glasses.
9. Cleaning Products
I have made the switch to homemade cleaning products and it has been a game changer. All you need is, Peroxide to disinfect, Banking Soda to scrub, Essential Oils for scent, Citrus & Vinegar for all purpose cleaning.