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What do you know?  Planning ahead really does save money!

Not that it’s always easy to do.  We’ve been in a season of life for months on end that made it very difficult for me to wrap my brain around meal planning and careful shopping.

I even hesitate to say that we’re “back” to planning ahead on a regular basis.  We’re just taking it a paycheck at a time.

If you have a rough season of life and you feel guilty about not saving the maximum amount of money, remember that it’s ok.  We all go through ups and downs.

One thing I’ve found to be true is that you can’t let yourself wallow in guilt.  Believe me, I’ve tried it.

When I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself (not to mention letting go of the guilt of being a frugal blogger who couldn’t be perfectly frugal all the time), that gave me the permission I needed to try again.

Because here’s life in a nutshell:

The 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week

Here we go!

5 Ways We've Saved Money This Week 142 The best money saving tips for families every week

State Fair

One of our favorite things to do in the summer is visit the Ohio State Fair.

We can’t head back to school until Smokey the Bear has creeped out all of my kids with his uncanny ability to remember their names.  haha!

This year we saved by purchasing tickets through their website as we drove north.

That alone saved us $18!

Once inside, we focused more on collecting free stuff and less on buying one of everything.

Our favorite part was a free magician act.  This guy was quite the entertainer…and he chose our daughter to come on stage with him!  So much fun!

Reds Game

Baseball lovers are we, so any time we find a way to attend a baseball game (affordably…remember there are 8 of us!) we take it.

This time, our son was selling Kid Glove tickets.  Not only were we able to get Cincinnati Reds tickets for a discounted price, but his team will get a big portion of that money back to buy baseball equipment.

My husband found that waiting to redeem our vouchers until game day got us better tickets than friends who redeemed vouchers ahead of time!

Maybe sometimes it’s better not to plan ahead?  😉

Grocery Shopping

Just kidding.  It’s almost always better to plan ahead!

Aside from doing a good round of meal planning (have you grabbed these free meal plans and organizers yet?), I made sure to check the calendar before shopping.

Then I added snacks and foods for events (like the Reds game and the State Fair trip).

Not only did that stop us from buying expensive snacks at these events…but it also meant I didn’t have to run back to the store to shop for snacks before we left!

I don’t know how you are in the store, but I guarantee that if I went in “just for snacks”, I would have come back out with extra deals I couldn’t pass up.

Celebration Time!

At the Reds game, our teenager told us that if the Reds scored 10 runs that game, we’d each be able to redeem our tickets for a free Chick Fil A sandwich.  (Our favorite!)

Surprisingly, they scored 10 runs in just one inning!!

Coincidentally, the next day our 5 year old had a follow up for his surgery he’d had in the spring.  (You might want to check out these things I wish I knew before my child’s hospital stay if you have one coming up!)

He got a fantastic report!  I was so excited and relieved that I wanted to celebrate.

So we stopped by Chick Fil A.  We got our free sandwiches, a fry to share, and a couple of sweet teas.

(Mmmmm…Chick Fil A sweet tea!)

Then we took the other free sandwiches home to the family!


I’ve been taking all the baby’s monthly pictures.

Back when my first three kids were little, I was that mom that took them to JCPenney regularly for monthly photos.  

But now I just don’t have the time for that…plus I’d rather not spend all that money!  Who can handle having that many pictures around the house anyway?

Instead, we’re buying a dozen donuts each month and using them to count her month.  Like this…

(I love donuts…and she’s basically made out of them since that’s what I ate while pregnant!)

It’s cute and totally good enough for this Mama of 6!

Those are the 5 ways we saved money this week!

So remember, if you’re in a hard season of life, just do the best you can.  And let yourself get back to the frugal life when you can!

Speaking of crazy seasons, have you finished your back to school shopping?  Spend less with these ideas!

How did you save this week?