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What do you do to save money? - Page 2

post #21 of 27
Originally Posted by 1pomegranate 1jar View Post
Thank you! I will definitely look into that. After the Holidays I'm sure that I could manage to swing that.
I'm trying to convince DH to get me one and put it in my stocking. He actually is on the verge of agreeing. You know you turned your husband to crunchiness when he is debating getting a diva cup for your stocking and doesn't think it is weird/gross or anything like that. I love my hubby. Although it might help that tampons and pads are expensive over here and he did the math, I go through 1-2 boxes a month or about 6.00 of tampons if I don't clip coupons and a package of pads so about another 3.50 so in two months of using the Diva cup we would save money. What can I say, he is a very practical man at times.
post #22 of 27
I work for a friend in trade for her homemade soap and other bath products, which I use at home and for presents year round.
Each year I plant more and more of my yard and gardens in edible and medicinal plants - blueberry and elderberry bushes are great for landscaping, apple and pear trees for shade, comfrey for spots that won't grow anything else, etc. We also got our fishing licenses and caught brown trout, bass, and perch in the lake 1/2 mile away. I never miss an opportunity to wild harvest - just put up 6 quarts of sumac lemonade. I've even been known to knock on strangers' doors, asking to pick their apple trees and split the harvest with them.
I ask farmers at our local farmer's market what they do with their leftover produce. I volunteer to pick up extra produce or come to the farm to pick produce. In return I keep half the produce and either process and return it to the farmer, or donate the other half to the food pantry across the street from me. I scored over 300 lbs of tomatoes, 10 dozen ears of corn, and so much squash I can barely see straight - and that's just my half!
I CD and BF. We use cloth for everything and are thinking of going to family cloth.
We try to use everything again before throwing it out - we've even pureed potato peels to make fries!
We've yard saled and traded for our kids' clothing and toys. I make most of the toys my kids play with - paints, playdough, beanbags, dolls, etc. What I can't make, we either do without or freecycle for it before we buy it used, and if we can't find it used, then we try to get it on sale, on Ebay, or trade/barter for it.
Right now I've got plans to build a strawbale kid's playhouse in the backyard, and the clay will be coming from a friend's fam garden. We will be bartering baked goods and homemade ice cream with a friend's husband for his skill in building a swingset/slide.
I've really worked hard at building a social network in my town so that we can work on a non-money based economy because we have no extra money. It's wonderful to trade two quarts of homegrown strawberry rhubarb jam for two quarts of local honey, rather than go to the store and pay through the nose for the same product. If you have the time, bartering your work in the fields, weeding and harvesting is worth it in the amount of fresh produce you take home in trade. One of my friends trades field work with another friend for horse riding lessons for her daughter. I love this!
We weatherize our old farmhouse each fall, and insulate as much as money allows. We use CFLs, timers, and "kill" switches to eliminate ghost charges. Next spring we're building a solar dehydrator out of gleaned materials I've found this summer. I've even hosted "workshops" for me and my friends. We recently had a raw foods night taught by a local chiropractor. Everyone brought one food item and $5 to cover the teaching fee. Next week, I have another foodie friend coming over to teach us how to cook and preserve kale, kohlrabi, and other "winter" greens.

Since I've got time on my hands as a SAHM, I have done all these things to compensate for my lack of income. Even though my DH only brings in $24k a year as a social worker, we are surviving. It's tight some months, but we're doing it!
post #23 of 27
We also extend frugality to the kitchen. We make our own vegetable broth using vegetable scraps, such as carrot peelings, the ends to carrots, celery, onions, etc., potato peelings and anything that is soon to expire. We save them in a gallon freezer bag and when we have a full bag, we dump them into a pot and fill it with water. We usually add spices, such as black peppercorns and parsley. We bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours. We then strain it through a sieve and let it cool before freezing it in usable portion sizes. If you eat meat, you can add bones that you've saved.

We also make convenience foods from scratch. We're vegan so we make our own seitan, vegan pepperoni, sausage, cutlets, etc. We make our own hummus and I have a recipe for homemade tahini that I'm going to try to make.

We cook a lot using beans. Homemade chili beans and refried beans are delicious and very economical. We also cook large batches of dry beans and then freeze them in can size portions, about 1 1/2-1 3/4 cups. Then when a recipe calls for a can of beans, it's as simple as defrosting what we have.

I'm beginning to bake my own bread.

I recommend shopping at ethnic stores for spices and some produce. You will find you save A LOT on spices this way. For common spices, such as parsley and cilantro, drug stores usually sell them for under a dollar each. Also, I can get things like tofu and rice much cheaper at the local Asian Market.

Angelfood Ministries has very affordable food packages.

If you qualify for WIC, it is a great help.

I believe in providing your family with the the best quality food you can afford. Often that means the food may not be organic (at least for me), but I can still make healthy choices, if more labor intensive, and be home with my son at the same time.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Once again, thanks for all of the suggestions!

I like the idea of making my own vegetable broth! I always feel like we waste so much with vegetables...that's a great idea.
post #25 of 27
I second most of the great advice you've been given, but wanted to add:

Budget in some "luxuries," or at least something that feels like a luxury. For instance, once a week I drink a store brand 25 cent cream soda. I know that sounds dumb, but it makes me feel really...indulgent. DDs dad and I used to take hot water in a thermos to the co-op's cafe on weekends with tea bags, hot cocoa mix, and a metal cup. We'd each buy a bagel for 60 cents, bring our own cream cheese, and sit and read together for a long time. That type of thing. I find that deliberate, creative treats help you avoid impulse spending and feel rich for a few moments.

Also, a pressure cooker is crucial! Those dried beans are cheap and healthy, but can be kind of a pain the "slow way." Pressure cooker helps make cheaper, tougher meats quickly palatable and cuts down on stove time, too.
post #26 of 27
Don't freak out mama s

Dh and I have come ALONG way since we had our first almost 3 yrs ago. We used to both work and made plenty of money, but we were so stupid with it. Now we've cut our bills in half and live totally fine. The biggest savings are in food and entertainment

We buy natural/organic meat when it's on sale at the store and STOCK up.
We buy organic frozen veggies at Costco for next to nothing
We buy our bread items at the bread outlet for over 1/2 off (usually 3/4)
We use coconut oil as body/face lotion (everyone in the family does this)

I meal plan on Saturday nights when Fred Meyer emails me their ad and I plan our meals around what's on sale. I clip coupons on Sunday mornings when the ads come out and have a little coupon organizer that helps. I shop on Monday mornings after breakfast and get everything we need for the week. We rarely have to go to the store again that week.

I've started canning to help us along in the lean winter months, as dh is self employed.

We only buy used clothing, however shoes are the exception. I've outfitted both my kids for the next 9 months for under $25/both (not including shoes). Garage sales are gold mines when you can find Gymboree, Mini Boden, etc for $.50/each

Call your car insurance, phone company, cable (we have it free with the DTV box), cell phones, etc to see if you can lower your bills anyway. Just the other day I called about our land line and saved us $12/mo

All of the things the previous mamas mentioned are great ideas
post #27 of 27
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
How do you make your own laundry detergent?

We were pretty flush until we decided private school was best for our kids, so we just went through major cutbacks on everything else.

We went through our bills are cut back on everything possible. We do fun things that are free, like hiking and going on picnics.

Don't eat out. But grocies when they are on sale, and cook everything from scratch.

Maintain the cars so they will last.

Use the library for books, DVDs, and music.

make a budget and start keeping track of exactly what you spend on what. Give each your and your DH a little pocket money (same amount for a little flexibility).

Since you are home with a baby, why not see if you could find another baby to watch during the day? It would let you earn some money and could make it easier to stay home longer.

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