When my husband and I first moved in together - into our tiny 2 bedroom apartment, learning to budget our money was no easy task! Now with 3 kids, a mortgage, bills and the always unexpected expenses of life, budgeting is a necessity! I can;t remember the last time we actually went shopping without a carefully planned list, or didn't spend time in the store comparing how much this bag of flour costs per 100 grams compared to another!
But when I think back to those first days of us living together, it took a lot of learning to really get into the rhythm of pinching our pennies. One thing that really helped me at that time was reading savings blogs! I had a whole list I would scour everyday for tips, recipes, coupons and sale announcements. I loved the fact that these sites weren't just run by a company trying to sell their own products - they were real people who had learned how to live frugally, sharing their knowledge.
Learning which blogs would suit you best and learning how to find them can be difficult at first, so here are some tips I found helped me:
- Look for local first: The savings blogs that will help you the most day-to-day will obviously be blogging about savings close to you. There are blogs for every state in the US, and every province in Canada.Search, search, search! Go past the first page and look at the smaller blogs too - sometimes they're the best!
- Be specific - if you're a single person or couple, then following a blogger with 5 kids probably isn't going to help you much, and vice-versa, Look for bloggers with lifestyles and values similar to yours.
- Separate categories - There are budget recipe blogs, blogs about budgeting, blogs about coupons, sales, discounts - anything! Make different folders in your favorites bar or on Pinterest to categorize the different blogs. That way you can browse through them easier every week, or have quick access when you need something specific (like a laundry detergent coupon or a quick budget recipe for company)
I still read a ton of these blogs, and of course have my own here that I try to share some budget and savings ideas on from time to time. One of these blogs that I came across when they sent me an e-mail the other day is a new one - Discountrue. Written by blogger Zoe Fisher, a wife and mom of 3, I have really been enjoying reading her posts. There are some great suggestions as far as deals go, as well as some great DIY/upcycle posts (my favorite - DIY Holiday decorations)