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Old 03-16-2015, 10:58 AM
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Default Running a daycare on a tight budget

Anyone have ideas they'd like to share??

I know I cannot wait for yard sales, that's the one option where I can find books, crafts/art materials, toys, puzzles, dress-up, just about anything I have on my 'looking for' list.

I made a grocery list this weekend and stuck to it. It happened to be a short list. Usually I'd impulse buy like crazy. But I spent under 80 bucks and hopefully that'll last the week. Normally I'd spend at least 120. And hit the store 2 more times before the week's out.

I've discovered I can buy stuff just as cheap, maybe cheaper, at Family Dollar, less than 2 miles round trip as opposed to going to Walmart which is about 35 miles round trip. Course I cannot shop WalMart without hitting TJMaxx and the Dollar Tree.

Any tips, tricks, advice you'd like to share?
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:51 AM
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Couponing! I save hundreds per month and always a huge stockpile.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:52 AM
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Couponing! I save hundreds per month and always have a huge stockpile.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
Couponing! I save hundreds per month and always have a huge stockpile.
Ugh! Care to share your secret? I've tried it in the past but without buying coupons(which I get the point of but seems silly to me) I don't know how to start!

As far as tight budget- My kids get a lot of left overs. I never learned how to cook for two so I always make enough food for a family so the kiddos get the left overs. We also have a HUUGGEEEE garden in the back yard so we have a bunch of vegetables from there that we can/freeze if we can. And hit the farmers market for others.

I also hit up second hand baby stores for most of my items. Sometimes you find great deals! Similar to yard sales, wash everything and sanitize it and it's all set!

When I find something on sale i stock up. Sometimes that means I have 15 packs of straws in my cupboard.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
Couponing! I save hundreds per month and always have a huge stockpile.
I used to love to coupon and had a stockpile too but since starting daycare I have no time to coupon. How do you fit couponing into your days?
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:01 PM
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I love yard/garage sales!

I also save lots of money by making a budget and then only buying with cash. You'd be surprised how much money you save this way since it is tough to make impulse buys when you only have so much cash in your pocket.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:18 PM
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Try and do free shipping on walmart or target to avoid the temptation of other things or other stores.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntTami View Post
Ugh! Care to share your secret? I've tried it in the past but without buying coupons(which I get the point of but seems silly to me) I don't know how to start!

As far as tight budget- My kids get a lot of left overs. I never learned how to cook for two so I always make enough food for a family so the kiddos get the left overs. We also have a HUUGGEEEE garden in the back yard so we have a bunch of vegetables from there that we can/freeze if we can. And hit the farmers market for others.

I also hit up second hand baby stores for most of my items. Sometimes you find great deals! Similar to yard sales, wash everything and sanitize it and it's all set!

When I find something on sale i stock up. Sometimes that means I have 15 packs of straws in my cupboard.
Here is her secret... Lol!

http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52976
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:50 PM
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Coupons, facebook sites, yard sales, cooking from scratch even bread and such, making a ton of my own stuff like all of my bulletin board stuff and such. Giving the kids activities that will save us money such as starting seeds for our summer garden. Doing small sewing projects for the kids instead of buying pre made stuff. I am in the process of making the kids aprons out of old jeans I get at one thrift store for a buck a pound.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntTami View Post
Ugh! Care to share your secret? I've tried it in the past but without buying coupons(which I get the point of but seems silly to me) I don't know how to start!

As far as tight budget- My kids get a lot of left overs. I never learned how to cook for two so I always make enough food for a family so the kiddos get the left overs. We also have a HUUGGEEEE garden in the back yard so we have a bunch of vegetables from there that we can/freeze if we can. And hit the farmers market for others.

I also hit up second hand baby stores for most of my items. Sometimes you find great deals! Similar to yard sales, wash everything and sanitize it and it's all set!

When I find something on sale i stock up. Sometimes that means I have 15 packs of straws in my cupboard.
http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52976
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:59 PM
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oops, I see while I was searching for that thread Blackcat beat me to it!
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:01 PM
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I used to love to coupon and had a stockpile too but since starting daycare I have no time to coupon. How do you fit couponing into your days?
I check my favorite websites a few times each day, morning, lunch time, evenings. I print coupons during naptime or in the evenings and I shop several times per week.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:34 PM
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The store I shop at, doesn't take online coupons.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:47 PM
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A few ideas:

-Sometimes you can find good things at thrift shops...sometimes not. Once I found a lot of nice books. Another time a nice rocking horse. Also dress up clothes. Buy a child's size clothing in a slightly larger size than the children in your care.

-Go to the library (without children) and get a large stack of books. 'New' books that you can read to the children.

-Our resource and referral agency operates a 'toy' library. If you have one you can borrow toys from it.

-If you dare, lol, have 'Show and Tell' day. Each child brings a toy from home.

-If you make a list of art supplies, parents may donate.

Laurel
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:51 PM
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I might add I also just do stuff in the home that saves money regardless of daycare. I make my own laundry soap, only use the drier when I have to, I hang laundry outside and sometimes in the garage when I can't hang outside. We don't have extras like cable, but we do have netflix. Little things really do add up!
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:57 PM
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If you have a freezer, shop farmers market in late summer to fall. There is so much produce that the prices are low. If you buy in bulk, price is lower too. Then blanch and freeze and eat "free" all winter.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:49 PM
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Years ago, I got a HUGE box of board books for a ridiculous price off of Ebay. Since then we have bought a lot of toys from there at half the price of retail.

I also frequently go to a thrift store chain here in Utah called Deseret Industries which is fabulous...but I know most places have a Goodwill or Savers.

I have also had a lot of success with Facebook "Garage Sale" pages. Our town and the one directly south both have one. People just post what they are selling. Free and simple. Maybe your area does one?
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:47 PM
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I used to love garage sales, I waited all winter for them to start!
Now they have them starting Thursday and I can't go cause I work, by Saturday only the junk is left, so I don't even bother going!....I started going to second hand children stores, I still find the great deals, without driving around for hours!
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:56 PM
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I have a wish list on my phone. Just a simple list of things I want for the daycare, that I can look through when I go thrift shopping or browse through my local facebook garage sale page. That way, I'm not tempted to buy stuff I don't have a plan for/ don't have room for. I've also sold stuff that wasn't being used. And, I'm not embarrassed to take stuff people have posted for free.
I plan my meals for dinner, and have leftovers for lunch the next day at least once a week.
I recently started making my own laundry soap, and it works great and only cost me about $30 for a six month supply.
I use color coded hand towels in the bathroom, so we aren't wasting paper towels.
I rotate toys and books. That way every two weeks or less, it feels like they got something new.
I don't serve juice, just milk or water.
I hope those are some ideas you can use.
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:34 AM
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Thanks for all the ideas everybody! Keep 'em coming! Please?

One thing I have done recently is designate Fridays as our leftovers day. That has helped with not wasting as much food. Sometimes the dcks groan a bit but too bad. I'm trying to stick to plainer dishes because some kids, if they can't separate their food, won't even try it. I've stopped buying the expensive deli meats and fresh fish. I've bought albacore canned tuna instead.
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  #21  
Old 03-17-2015, 11:42 AM
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I have a typed grocery and cleaning supply list. That way I only buy what i need. I also shop at save alot and family dollar. The list is key. Saves a huge amount of time. I only shop once per month.

Be deliberate when shopping at thrift stores or garage sales. I ask myself several questions:

*Do i need it?
*Do i have room to store it.
*Is it complete?
*Am i willing to get rid of something to have the new item.

Keep good financial records for tax time. Dont loose deductions.

Good luck!
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