Is it summer yet? Things have been pretty rough around here, but I’ve been doing my best to keep it together, even when life sucks. Just because things are rough, doesn’t mean I’m going to lose sight of my goals. Here are some ways I saved money in March:
5 Ways I Saved Money in March
1. Bought School Project Supplies at the Dollar Tree
My daughter was so enthusiastic about making a diorama of the cliff homes of a tribe of Native Americans for social studies. Thankfully, we were able to use mostly items from the recycling bin. I even had to sacrifice by finishing off the box of Girl Scout cookies so she could use the empty box!
To make the brown background, she wanted some brown postal wrapping paper. Most stores wanted around $5 for a 30″ roll. I remembered that the Dollar Tree often has good prices on school & office supplies. They had a 15″ roll of brown paper for only $1! Win! The Dollar Tree is also my favorite source for foam board ($1) and poster board ($0.50-0.69).
2. Sold at the Kids’ Consignment Sale
I’ve written before about how great it is to sell at a kids’ consignment sale. This spring was a little different because I had two years worth of summer clothes to sell. I skipped the sale last spring because I was too busy working as a tax preparer. Since I wanted everything to sell, I priced it cheaply with most items at $2. Here were my stats:
- Listed 123 items with a total value of around $300
- Sold 117 items for a total of $273 (some items at 50% off)
- Earned a profit of $191 (70% of the sale price)
3. Shopped at the Kids’ Consignment Sale
My kids didn’t need a ton of clothes for this summer, as many of last year’s clothes still fit. My son needed some shorts and my daughter needed some shirts. I was able to find most of what we needed at the consignment sale. I also found some like-new jeans and some adorable pajamas.
In total, I spent:
- $70 at the consignment sale
- $30 at a store for some more shorts
- $35 on the next size of these sandals for my daughter. I already had the next size for my son that I got on clearance last year. We’ve bought many pairs of those sandals because they meet the school & camp shoe requirements and hold up all summer.
The kids are all set for summer and I’ll still have about $56 left over from the consignment sale to spend on clothes for myself!
4. Booked an AirBNB Instead of a Hotel in the City
All four of us are going to visit my niece in Chicago next month. We’re very excited and wanted to book something centrally located, so we can be close to her and use public transportation. When I started looking into hotels, I was a little blown away by the prices. Because my kids don’t sleep well sharing a bed, I was hoping to find something with 3 sleeping surfaces (like 2 beds + a couch), but those rooms were even more expensive. Even though I was a little leery of it, I decided to check out the options on AirBNB.
I always imagined AirBNBs as random guestrooms in a shared house or a dingy basement apartment. I had no idea the variety available, especially in a city like Chicago. There are quite a few options that are beautiful full-time AirBNBs . We booked an apartment that looks out on Wrigley Field for the same price as a tiny hotel room in the area. Although it’s about the same price as a hotel room, we’ll save money in several ways:
- Parking is included at the AirBNB and was up to $50/day at the centrally located hotels.
- Public transportation is literally in the backyard of the apartment, so we’ll avoid paying for taxis.
- We’re within easy walking distance to my niece’s apartment and tons of restaurants.
- The AirBNB has a fully equipped kitchen, so we can eat some of our meals in.
Another bonus that is hard to quantify is the fact that the kids are going to love the adventure of a unique apartment. I have no doubt that it will be much more interesting than a cookie-cutter chain hotel room.
5. Had a Low-key Spring Break
While I enjoyed seeing many of my friends’ photos from their spring break beach vacations, we stayed close to home. The kids had a play date with friends, we went to a park, and we stayed at the grandparents’ house for a couple days. It was nothing fancy, but we all felt refreshed at the end of the week.
How did you save money in March? I’d love to hear in the comments below! If you want more ideas, check out other posts in this series for more money saving ideas.