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This is a great time of year to find bargains on everything from food to toys to shoes.  It’s hard to say no to all of those deals!  We are trying to remember to be very intentional about our spending, especially on Christmas gifts.

If you’re looking for ways to gather some extra money for Christmas yourself, be sure to check out 7 Days of Finding Money for Christmas Presents.

I had to reread it myself this past week.  😉

5 Ways We've Saved Money This Week

Our 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week are…

Creative Ordering Our friends invited us to grab a bite to eat after Mass on Sunday.  We wanted to spend some time with them.  We didn’t want to blow our budget while dining out with our family of 7.  The solution was to tell the kids that instead of everyone ordering what they pleased from the menu, we’d be ordering drinks and a crate of Coneys.

Coney crate

I just totally advertised for Gold Star for free.

Many of you haven’t had a coney before, and I’m crying just a little bit for you right now.

Anyway…the kids excitedly agreed to the plan.  They just wanted to hang out with their buddies anyway.  I told them that if they were still hungry after their coney, they were free to come home and munch on some fruits and veggies.  It worked out great, and we saved half of the bill we would have spent.

Keeping Our Open Eyes  Our kids are big fans of Magformers.  They go on a big sale once per year, so when hubby saw the sale going on he alerted me right away.  I was able to do some Christmas shopping and used some Amazon money I had earned from Swagbucks.  And since I ordered ahead and could take the slower shipping (we are Amazon Prime members), they gave me a $5.99 credit towards Amazon Prime Pantry items.  So I basically got $41 worth of toys for $6.  That’s my kind of deal!

By the way, I talked about that big sale on my Facebook page.  If you’d like to keep up with quick deals like that, you should like Medium Sized Family on Facebook.

Water Refills  We have a kind of unique water situation at our house.  We don’t have access to public water, but we also don’t have any hook up to a cistern or well.  We are pretty much at the mercy of our water hauler guy for water in tanks in our basement.  We have become rather creative in our use of water over the years.

You can read more about our unusual water situation and my best tips for saving on your water bill here.

How to Save Money on Your Water Bill

I had been buying jugs of water at 88 cents each.  That becomes expensive in a hurry.  If you ever want to be aware of how much water your family drinks and cooks with, rely solely on jugs of water for a bit and have your eyes opened.

My parents graciously offered to let me refill my empty water jugs at their house (where they have public water!).  This has saved me a ton of money lately.

Ask for a Discount  Some friends and I took our daughters for a girls night out to see the new Peanuts movie.  It turns out that our movie theater offered discounted tickets to students.  We had no idea!  It never hurts to ask if there are any discounts that you might qualify for when you make a purchase.

Money Back Apps  I got my first smart phone this past week, and immediately uploaded Shopkick and Ibotta to earn money back on purchases, points for scanning items while in a store, and more.

I like to use Shopkick for quick scans as I walk through the store.  I use Ibotta when I get home and have a minute to scan what I’ve purchased.  I really love Ibotta, because it’s so easy to use and you get a great payout.  Not to mention that they’ll give you $10 just for using their app!  You’ve got to love that!

My hope is to make the phone pay for itself as much as possible.

Those are 5 of the ways we saved money this week!

It always pays to keep your eyes out for a great deal.  And it never hurts to ask for one when you can’t find anything advertised.

Did you save money this week?  Be sure to share your favorite money saving tips in the comments section!