Trim Family Expenses

We are all looking for ways to trim family expenses and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends $50,486 annually. That's a lot of money! With these tips from moms and experts, see how much you can bring down that fifty grand and save this year on groceries, kid's clothes, cars, entertainment and more!

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Save money on hair care

The New York Times reported that sales of at-home hair products were up 20 percent in 2009. Cutting and coloring hair at home is less expensive than visiting a salon, but not everyone is brave enough to do it.

Leah Ingram, author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less, suggests visiting a beauty school where "you can get your hair cut, colored and styled for less than $20!"

Save money on crafts

Doing crafts with kids "is inexpensive and builds creativity" says Sandy Sandler, founder of Crafters4Kids. Sandler's non-profit website,, offers great arts and crafts projects for under $5!

Shay Olivarria, author of Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook, suggests visiting Lowes and Home Dept stores on weekend for kids' workshops. "They're free, kids walk away with a project they made, and you spend quality time together that requires no cleanup!" says Olivarria.

Save money on electricity

Nic Soto enlists a houseful of kids to saves money (and the planet) by getting them into the habit of turning off lights they're not using, limiting TV and computer time, and using less water. "It takes a few reminders," says Soto, "but really helps decrease your electric bill."

Jason Raddenbach makes the kids even more responsible with the Kill-a-watt meter he checked out from his local library. "Plug it into your appliances and meter the cost per day to use them." When you have the kids figure out the monthly costs, says Raddenbach, it helps them see that there is a cost for leaving things on.

The Bottom Line

With these simple tips, your family can save a pile of money without having to make major lifestyle changes.

More tips on managing family finances:

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Comments on "7 Ways to save money on groceries, kids clothes and more"

Tina September 14, 2012 | 3:12 PM

I like the advice about buying better quality clothing and you end up saving more in the long run. Buying cheap clothing sometimes seems like they way to go since they'll grow out of it...but if you are buying new items each month because they get ruined than it can really add up.

KarenS June 25, 2010 | 6:31 AM

Instead of buying kids clothes, one could barter them. I actually tried it on www.barterquest. I bartered some pants from my boy for a cute little dress for my baby girl and I didn't spend a penny.

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