Car fuel, toll fees, electricity, groceries - prices of commodities are shooting up - and so does your blood pressure when the bills arrive. You feel poorer already just by staring at your mounting expenses. But there are many ways to cut down on your expenditures. It takes a lot of discipline but once it becomes a staple in your daily grind, you’d be surprised at how much these little money-saving steps can stave off from your accounts payable. Let’s hear it from real mothers, as they share their own money-saving magic tricks.
On shopping 1. Cut out and avail of discount coupons usually given by restaurants.
2. Always use your rewards card when buying. Rewards cards give you points, which can be redeemed for shopping, groceries, travel, etc. (SM Advantage, Mercury Drug Suki Card, Laking National Bookstore, BPI Delta Miles card, etc.)
3. Never shop for groceries when you’re hungry. You’ll fill up your cart with anything and everything you see. Not only is it unfit for your budget, it is also not good for your health.
4. At the grocery, have a list of what you need - and stick to it.
5. Buy generic medicine brands.
6. When doing the grocery, leave the kids at home. You’ll finish faster, plus you can carefully go through the aisles without feeling the pressure to purchase things your kids would otherwise force you to buy.
7. Buy in bulk - it’s cheaper, wiser, and more convenient.
8. "Use cash whenever possible. A little delay in credit-card payment or a disarray in bills management may take its toll on you. Remember: If you can’t pay for it in cash, it means you can’t afford it." - Tess Lagasca, 43, accountant, mom to Abby, 13, and Dale, 9
On water consumption 9. The last rinse from your washing machine can be used to clean your toilet or to soak or wash mops and rugs.
10. Water used to wash rice is good for watering plants afterwards.
11. "During the rainy season, water from spouts can also be used for cleaning. Use it to wash away debris and mud in the front yard, scrub dirt or mud from the gate, or to clean your dog house." - Lavine Clemente, 28, housewife, mom to Prudence Mignonette, 5
On common household items 12. Dilute your dishwashing liquid with water, and use the mixture for daily consumption. Save the rest. You can also do the same for dishwashing paste.
13. When frying, save the excess cooking oil and reuse. For instance, after frying hotdogs, use the leftover oil for cooking sunny-side-up eggs or fried rice.
14. Research and come up with your own cleaning agents for your home. For glass and window cleaners, simply make this mix in a large bottle: ½ cup ammonia, 1 pint rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon laundry detergent, 2 quarts water. This makes 2 quarts of glass and window cleaner.
15. "Instead of consuming one whole tube, use only half of hair color for root touch-ups. Save the other half for the next time you color your hair.' - Jeni Pascua, 32, call center professional, mom to Jestien, 7