This post is sponsored by Sears Mastercard with Shop Your Way.
I have to admit it I am a bit of a cheapskate but I have to find some way to make my dollar last. Between mortgage payments, emergency vet bills, orthodontists that are looking to fleece me of my last penny, to entertaining the kids while they’re on a holiday hiatus from school I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed! So while I get a lot of ridicule and the kids make fun of me I call myself a Budgetista because ultimately I want to give them what I consider the important things like healthy meals, sturdy clothes and shoes and a college education.
So if you are like me–don’t worry I’ve got you covered with some of my go-to cost savers to help you and your kiddies stick to a budget!
Plan, Plan, Plan. Let’s face it shopping for your family is not only a herculean effort (carrying those 20 lbs bags of produce is quite literally a workout for your biceps) but sticking to a budget is nearly impossible. The key is to plan ahead. This means, check the inventory of food you have in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry before finalizing your shopping list. With a list in your hand, you’ll not only save money by buying less on impulse but you’ll also avoid last minute trips to the store for missing ingredients. Also Eat first, shop second. No matter what your rush before you go on your shopping expedition you must eat…something! Whether it’s a small yogurt, an apple or a muffin- – you cannot go shopping at the supermarket on an empty stomach and expect to stay within your budget. Having something in your belly prevents impulse hunger buys that can bulk up your bill.
Opt for generic brands over those flashy ones! I try to use store brands on many things like breakfast cereal, jelly, ketchup and pasta, I know it doesn’t seem like much but on a day to day basis it is very unnoticeable and you can save a few bucks. Sure your kids would rather have Toucan Sam’s mug on their box of Fruit Loops as opposed to some copy cat no-name brand cereal like, fruit flavored O’s- but in this economy- they’re just going to have to pour their milk on it and eat it! But don’t worry; most no-frills brand items are comparable in quality to their more expensive branded counterparts but for a fraction of the price.
Make your own coffee AT HOME. Think of it, we drink 3-5 cups of coffee a day for about a dollar when 2 medium cups of coffee are at least $5 on the outside. Do you really need the super-duper mochachino latte supreme which really costs.
Sign up for a Sears Mastercard with Shop Your Way —here customers can earn rewards points on all purchases everywhere they shop. As a budgetdista I have always been a big fan of Sears in fact every major purchase of an appliance or home equipment has been from Sears and that includes my snow blower, lawn mower, refrigerator, oven and dishwasher. I really have been a loyal customer but that is because I have been so satisfied with the cost,quality and lasting durability that all the products I have bought. You all know the great brands that Sears carries Kenmore and Craftsman to name a few. Which is why applying for the Sears Mastercard that is now enhanced with a new value proposition that earns Shop Your Way points on all of the purchases you make every day- is just one more way I can keep my family on a budget and was a no brainer to sign up for! Bottom line–if this card is as reliable as all the other Sears products than it will be your new favorite card to use and here are some of the advantages of owning this card.
So how does it work and why should it be a part of your Budgetista lifetsyle? Starting today, all new Sears Mastercard from Citibank customers can earn more Shop Your Way points on a complimentary basis for 12 months from the date the account is open, which include:
• 5% back in points on eligible purchases made at gas stations;
• 3% back in points on eligible purchases at grocery stores and restaurants; [5% and 3% back on the first $10,000 of combined eligible purchases made on gas, groceries and restaurants and 1% thereafter]
• 2% back in points on eligible purchases made at Sears and Kmart; and
• 1% back in points on all other eligible purchases.
Shop Your Way points can be redeemed on purchases ranging from everyday household products to larger items such as kitchen appliances sold by Sears and Kmart in store or online and on ShopYourWay.com. These rewards points can also be used in combination with in-store promotions at Sears and Kmart. Customers will earn Shop Your Way points in the places they shop frequently and points can be redeemed on purchases ranging from everyday household consumables to larger items such as kitchen appliances sold by Sears and Kmart in store or online and on ShopYourWay.com. These rewards points can also be used in combination with in-store promotions at Sears and Kmart. Sears Mastercard by Citibank is powered by Citi Retail Services one of the country’s largest and most experienced private label and cobrand credit card issuers. For more information go to http://syw.co/2k5aY8z
Clip those Coupons Clipping coupons is no longer solely the domain of polyester wearing middle aged- housewives. In fact; take a quick look next time you’re shopping and you’ll see many other like-minded moms breaking out their coupon stash! You can clip coupons from magazines, Sunday newspaper inserts or check out sites like; Coupon Chief which provides access to thousands of online store coupons and discount codes and makes it easy for users to find great online discounts.
Turn your living room into a movie theater. Forget shelling out big bucks to see a ticket to see a movie. If you’ve got cable you can likely order a brand new movie for less than $5.00 and stop, play and rewind it- to accommodate bathroom breaks and a quick time –out for microwave popcorn.
Summon your Imagination and play games the old-fashioned way—no batteries required!
Play hide and seek red light, green light, red rover or charades. Get some pads and pens and let your kids create and act in a play, or choose a known story and turn it into a play. You can also print free coloring pages and activities from Sites like Free Printable network of sites which offers everything from recipe cards to kids’ coloring pages. Check out another nifty site online and make a paper toy.
Volunteer with the kids at your local animal shelter like Louie’s Legacy – it’s free! You can search out other local volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood at sites like; volunteermatch . And for simple ways to volunteer your time; bake cookies for seniors, set up a winter bird feeder and make sure your children keep it filled throughout the winter.
Check out free events in your neighborhood! Check your local parenting guide for a listing of the museums, zoos, festivals, plays and other facilities that are offer free family admission days…you’d be surprised at just how many freebie visits you can score! Don’t forget to Visit your local library… a lot has changed! Use the time off to visit your local library- sign up for a card and borrow some books. And while you’re there check out their schedule of workshops, classes and their collection of video games and DVD’s – which you can rent –free!
Get a few gifts –FREE! Check out freecycle, a free classified system. Once you find your city you’ll find people offering free goods from electronics to new clothes that anyone can pick up. The only catch, you’ll have to quickly respond to the product of your choice and pick it up.
Craft your own homemade presents The old saying that kids can be happy playing with a cardboard box is sort of true! Put together a snowman kit—get a hat, carrot stick, buttons and a tie wrap it in a pillowcase and tie a ribbon around it! Go through your jewelry box and wrap up a pair of earrings or a necklace you haven’t worn that you know your daughter has been eyeing!
So do you have any tried and true cost savers that help you be a BUDGETISTA to share?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sears Mastercard from Citibank .