Are gas prices eating into your family's monthly budget? Have you noticed your grocery bill is climbing, too? Everyone could use some ways to save and stretch the family budget these days, so here are 20 ways to save.
1. Half price bagels at . Look for the huge rack of still soft and delicious "day old" pre-packaged assortments of New York style bagels at the store’s location near .
2. Become a fan of the Redmond King County Libraries. You can put popular DVDs and bestselling books on hold via the KCLS website using your library card and password and pick them up at the or the Library Express branch at Redmond Ridge. And check out the Friends of the Library section in the downtown branch where you will find this month’s magazines for just a quarter and popular paperbacks and hardcover books for adults and kids for just a few dollars.
3. Shop where you may find new name brand pants, shirts and hoodies for kids with the tags still on for a fraction of what you'd pay for it retail. This is also a great place to get a beautiful vase when you need a gift and the floral staff of nearby Whole Foods or will be happy to wash it out and arrange flowers in it for a fraction of what you would pay a florist.
4. Grow your own food this summer by putting in a garden this month. Overwhelmed or don’t know how to get started? Connect with the King County Master Gardners Association or contact Redmond’s Bill Bowlus and Living Earth Landscapes at 425-882-2930.
5. Get your dance gear and “dress up clothes” at the consignment store.
6. Kids eat free at on Tuesday nights from 4 p.m. to closing and at on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Both restaurants are at the and both deals require purchase of an adult entrée.
7. Check out the “day old” bakery rack at . It is worth locating the rack in the back of the Redmond store where I often find cookies and other yummy snacks that I freeze for lunches and after-school treats.
8. Host a clothing (or toy or book) swap. Snoqualmie's Patti Pitcher, mother of four and co-author of Under the Chinaberry Tree, highly recommends clothing swaps. Her three daughters enjoyed updating their wardrobes for free through their teenage years by swapping their jeans and other clothing with friends.
9. Sign up for Thrifty NW Mom’s e-newsletter, which is full of great weekly tips on where to find the best local deals on family staples.
10. Buy the Chinook Book coupon book at or . The pages are filled with great coupons on everything related to “living green,” from food to landscaping.
11. Save on the fancy dog grooming by taking your dog to the in . For less than $10, you’ll get a “do it yourself” grooming station that includes the tub with ramp, shampoo and dryers that makes it easy to wash and dry your dog yourself.
12. Redmond’s offers free kid meals all day long with the purchase of an adult entrée on Saturday and Sunday.
13. Shop the at for great deals on locally grown produce.
14. Get your Microsoft products free by participating in Microsoft usability studies.
15. Is your kid finally graduating college next month and getting ready to furnish his or her first apartment with your help? Then head to in Overlake for some great deals on dishes, furniture and everything else he or she will need to achieve a “shabby chic” look.
16. Plan ahead for Free Friday the first Friday of each month when both the in Factoria and the is free and open late. KidsQuest free admission from 5 to 8 p.m and BAM’s is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m..
17. Save money on your grocery bill, eat locally grown produce and support local agriculture when you sign up this month for a summer share in the Root Connection. Located just north of Thenos Dairy in Woodinville, the charming farm provides members with a weekly bounty of freshly grown produce and fruits, and you’ll have access to the farm’s u-pick herbs and flowers as well.
18. in Redmond offers an amazing array of books for adults and kids, DVDs, CDs and current magazines, for half price.
19. Save money on yoga classes this month at . During the month of May, new students can purchase a two-week “unlimited class pass” for just $20. Call 425-861-1318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
20. Get a Club Card. The card makes it easy to take advantage of great store deals and when you sign up with the eScrip program you can earn money for your local school. You’ll also save on gas at Safeway gas stations in the Kingsgate neighborhood of and in on 140th. Sign up online.