During the summer months with teenage kids at home, our electric and grocery bills greatly increase. So, during this time especially, we try as a family to make good use of resources and find ways to cut back and save. A few ideas:
- Plan meals the kids can cook for supper. This keeps parents from picking up fast food on the way home.
- Use your slow cooker. Go through the freezer and find meat you have not had time to prepare. Put the meat in the slow cooker when you leave for work, and when you arrive home, the main dish will be ready. Just open a few cans of vegetables or make a salad.
- Freeze leftover vegetables from meals and use them to make a stew, soup or pot pie one night. Do not throw out any leftovers. Use for another meal or make something else later.
- Refrigerate leftover breakfast foods like eggs, sausage or biscuits to be eaten the next day.
- If you want fast food, find a cheap burger deal and make fries and drinks at home.
- Rent a new release and watch at home as a family instead of going to the movie theater.
- Cook a pot of pinto beans and cornbread one day, and then add beef and chili seasoning to leftovers and have chili for another meal.
- Teach the family to be mindful:
- Don’t pour more milk than you need for cereal. If you do, drink it.
- Don’t forget to tie the bread package so it does not dry out.
- Don’t forget to close the chip package so they do not get stale.
- Watch TV with lights off, especially during the day.
- Wash full loads of clothes, not just an outfit or two. This may just be a girl thing!
- Hang clothes on a clothes line outside to dry, and then toss them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up.
- Push the thermostat up when you leave for work. Anything cooler than outside, the kids will be fine.
With the cost of living and food prices rising, we need to all look for ways to save. Some things don’t appear to be big, but in the end, it all adds up. Teach your children to be good stewards of time and money, a great lesson in responsibility. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the opportunities we have to work together as a family!