Saving Money

Family finance tips

At Gerber Life we know the value of a hard-earned dollar. And when you're raising a family, it becomes even more important to stretch that dollar as far as it can go to help you save money. Our family finance tips can help you make smart decisions for spending your money as well as help you make use of opportunities to save it. Whether it's clipping coupons before grocery shopping or throwing a do-it-yourself (DIY) children's birthday party, our family finance tips can help you think outside the box, so that you can put more money into saving.

  1. Ever Had a Bad Valentine’s Day? Three Inexpensive Ways to Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen Again

    Inexpensive Ideas for Valentine’s Day

    A young woman woke up one Valentine’s Day and told her husband about a dream she’d just had. “I dreamed that you gave me a necklace for Valentine’s Day.” she said. “ What do you think it means?” “You’ll know tonight,” he said. That evening, the husband came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, the woman opened it. Inside was a book entitled “The Meaning of Dreams.”

    If you’ve ever had a disappointing Valentine’s Day, try making sure it doesn’t happen again by taking to heart these three creative and inexpensive ideas:

    • Rent a movie

    Not just any movie, rent the first – or one of the first – movies you ever saw as a couple. Another romantic idea is to download a few episodes of a TV show you used to watch together when you were falling in love. Dim the lights, hold hands, and think about what life was like before the only movies you watched had a G rating and a talking animal.

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  2. Don’t Break the Bank to Ring in the Holidays

    Holiday Spending Keeping the holidays festive without spending a pretty penny doesn’t seem possible sometimes. Even though we’d all love to make “big” purchases, the budget isn’t always willing. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to keep your costs down without losing your holiday spirit.

    • Make a list and check it twice (at least) – Decide on a budget you can comfortably live with for food, gifts and decorations. Having a specific amount in mind will help you avoid overspending. Also, be sure to watch for coupons or grocery flyers for food items that are on sale. Keep an eye on department store sales and online offers for gifts and decorations. By planning even a week or two ahead, you can tap into sales on just about everything you might need, at discounted prices.
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  3. A Great Thanksgiving Doesn’t Have to Break Your Bank

    Thanksgiving Spending TipsFor many families, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and the spending spree that comes along with it. It’s not uncommon for some moms, dads and kids to head out bright and early on “Black Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving – with the hope of finding the best deals on those wish-list items. 

    No matter if you’re a Black Friday early-riser or wake-up-at-noon super sleeper wouldn’t it be nice to have a fatter wallet (not just a fatter stomach) once Thanksgiving is over? You can, with the help of these money-saving tips:

    • Plan your menu early – Know what you’re going to serve for Thanksgiving about five weeks ahead of the big day. Many supermarkets have lower prices on traditional Thanksgiving items in the month leading up to the holiday, so check the store circulars for the lowest prices – and make sure to look for matching coupons. For a small weekly fee, websites such as www.thegrocerygame.com will help you find deals and let you know if there’s a coupon to lower the cost even further.
    • Don’t overbuy – The tendency for many Thanksgiving cooks is to prepare more food than needed. Often, however, the extra food (and the extra money spent) may be wasted. To make sure you don’t overspend and over-prepare, go online and search for terms such as, “How much food do I need for Thanksgiving” or “How much turkey do I need for 10 people.” You’ll find lots of sites that can help you to determine an appropriate amount of food.
    • Use leftovers – A meal with leftovers can be just as satisfying as the original feast. Be sure to save more than just the turkey. Cranberry sauce can be used again, vegetables can be used to create soups and dips, and mashed potatoes can be shaped into patties for frying.
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  4. Smart Steps for Saving on School Supplies

    Saving for school suppliesIf you have a school-age child, you know that back-to-school supplies are a necessity. Thankfully, though, overspending isn’t. In fact, with a little bit of planning, parents can stretch their dollars without sacrificing quality or quantity.

    These five smart steps will help you get more bang from your back-to-school bucks.

    1. Don’t buy what you already own. A survey this past July by the company Deloitte, revealed that 26% of parents with school-age children are planning to reuse last year’s school items. That’s a really smart way to cut costs in a tough economy. So, before heading to the store, be sure to check your drawers and closets (and even under the back seat of the minivan) for back-to-school items that might be usable again this year—things like backpacks, lunch boxes, book covers, pencils, crayons, and glue sticks. Having just one of each of these items could decrease your spending by roughly $40 per child.
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  5. Debt Management Plans Help Control Monthly Payments

    Debt management plans monthly paymentsMonthly payments become voracious monsters when your income becomes insufficient to make them on time. Living within your means can quickly become a challenge if your income decreases, you encounter emergency expenses, or rapidly increase your debt.

    You can, however, meet and conquer this challenge by designing a workable debt management plan. Tame the monthly payment monster by building everyday saving habits and analyzing your current debt structure.

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