The Thrifty Mama's Guide to More Life for Less!
Knowledge is Power!
You love to use the internet, (I know you do)! but are you using it for good as a tool to enhance your life or are you reading Brangelina gossip and playing games?
These days we have so much access to information but seem to consume it rather indiscriminately but if you are wisely with your surfing and reading you can save yourself a lot of money (and time!).
Starting with the obvious there is price comparing and subscribing to "daily deals" newsletters (remember only buy what you were already looking for, not just anything that is a good deal!) and good old eBay and Freecycle (more on Freecycle later). This is good when you are buying things you will use to save you money in the long run like bread makers or if you are a caffeine addict- coffee machines!
Less obvious is what I do more often which is find out how to do something I would normally pay for- me and my boys love a locally made elderflower cordial and the elderberry concentrate but it is too expensive for me to buy regularly so I have learned to make my own (with free flowers and berries to boot!) so now the only costs are for the sugar and electricity used! I now make my own jam, bread, relish, pickles, nut butter, tahini, tentatively attempt to sew things and instruct my husband how to fix the car (sometimes I do it myself too- I am not a helpless woman, he just likes the car stuff). If you want something- for instance artisan bread-type it into a search engine and you will find out how to make many varieties and which books to read to find out more (books from the Library of course!) maybe you love sock monkeys? I bet you can find out how to make them too! Sometimes first attempts aren't the greatest but it is fun and a learning curve and very empowering to know you can learn how to make or fix many things yourself!
Another way knowledge will save you money is if you have done some research before you get quotes for anything you can't do yourself (it might be installing an air-conditioner, having your auto transmission rebuilt or a getting a new telco plan) if you know your stuff people can't scare-monger you into buying unnecessary warranties or paying for services you don't need- this is also good if buying a second hand car- know the make and model and it's potential problems before you start test driving and quiz the seller on the maintenance of the vehicle (I know that if you are buying a 3rd generation Chrysler Voyager and it still has the original gearbox you shouldn't touch it).
there are lots of helpful websites- one great one for making or repairing stuff is: http://www.instructables.com/ but a search will uncover lots of them!
There are also a lot of You tube videos showing you everything from how to trim your fringe (or bangs if American!) to how to repair the convertible roof on your BMW (I have used both successfully!).
So go! Learn and Empower yourself and save money at the same time go forth and learn to make sock monkeys, or cloth pads, or baby slings, or cut your own hair, or make sourdough bread, or jam,or a chicken tractor or repair the abs pump on your ML 320 Mercedes-Benz or .....?