We collect old washers, dryers, refrigerators, anything w/metal or compressors or engines or batteries. We spend time tearing them down and hit the metal recycling yard. Then we hit the grocery store. We've made almost $2,000 this way in the last year!
The Annual Mothering Frugal Ideas Contest - Page 2
Last but certainly not least.....I found these supers for beehives. Rented a uhaul to go get them. Spent $20 on the uhaul. Sold 45 on Craigslist for $15 each. The remaining 30 of them go tomorrow to be traded for a bred Nubian doe, which is a real steal!!! The goat is worth $150 by herself, and she is pregnant. She gives almost a gallon of milk a day!
Re-gift. I have been doing more of this lately, either giving things that we received or just that we own. Of course, I don't mean to simply fob off something you don't want/like on somebody else. My criteria is that it needs to be something specifically suited to the recipient. For example, we recently passed on some beautiful marble tea-light holders that were the *exact* right colour and style for our neighbours home decor. (And they were very pleased!) This way I do not feel like we are "cheating" or anything, since we are carefully selecting gifts, just not buying them. We moved this year and after several months we still have boxes and boxes that remain unpacked (what could possibly be in there?? We aren't missing anything!) so I've been dipping into those and seeing them as a good place to look for things that might please others.
Accept used children's clothes and pass 'em on after you are done.
Kids don't care about brand names. And you'll be amazed at the beautiful clothes that are only worn once or twice, like at Christmas.
(I've been getting quite a bit of clothes from my SIL and then passing on to a cousin.)
Home hair cuts. Hubby bought a cutter that you attach to the vacuum hose for around $35 a few years back. Through trial and error (and watching YouTube) he taught himself to cut his own hair and mine. Annual savings - at least $400. Not to mention it is nice to have him hover over me and tend my tresses.
Plan weekends carefully. Decide in advance if you're having a weekend out, or in. Make at least half of your weekends "in". When you do decide to go out and about, pack a lunch.
We've been pretending to be snowed in this January. I'm amazed at what we're able to save by not running in to town for this and that.
One that saves us probably at least $50 a month in the warmer months is to catch the condensation that drips off of our air conditioning lines. We must have a/c here, so we may as well save some $ somewhere else. Even if we don't use a drop of water out here our base fee on our water bill is $40. Anyway, hubby re ran some lines and catches the water off of 2 of our 3 units and we water all of our livestock with it. It involves toting buckets of water, but that is well worth it! We also water the garden with it. That one is set up to drip into a big blue barrel and has a hose run off the bottom w/a shut off valve. I can attach it to the soaker hoses in the garden beds.
Another thing we do is forage. Recently someone posted her crab apple tree for picking on Freecycle. We were the only ones to respond. We also forage for dandelion greens, lamb's quarters, Indian bread root, cactus paddles and fruits, blackberries, grapes, persimmons, pecans, and kefir pears when we can.
Another thing that saves us money and makes us money is beekeeping. Honey money. Definitely sweet. We go a step further, though, than just keeping bees. We also do cut out jobs. We go and remove bees from people's houses, porches, sheds, doghouses, etc. These colonies are usually well-established (and harder, more involved jobs that some beekeepers don't want to do), therefore having more honey. We get paid to remove the bees. We keep the honey, and sell extra that we won't use in a year's time. We also sell the bees! 3 times the payoff.
Just a month ago we removed an entire tree full of bees. We brought the whole thing home and will rehive the bees when it warms up more.
Buy one rotisserie chicken per week from somewhere that doesn't use anything nasty to cook it (Whole Foods is just salt and chicken).
For family of 3, heat up a slice of breast and a few pieces of wings/legs. First night serve with rice and salad.
Separate bones and meat and put half of the meat tin a ziplock in the freezer (to make a quick meal/soup another night, usually something mexican or a stir fry). The other half of the meat goes in the fridge for use that week-- either soup or chicken salad or just given to toddler.
Bones, skin, everything else go in crockpot to make stock. Make soup that week or freeze.
So one chicken easily leads our family of 3 to 3-4 very easy no-prep meals. There is always cooked chicken in the freezer for a recipe, and always stock for soups/recipes.
Yes, I could also roast it on Sunday, but we're usually out all day doing family things so picking up a rotisserie chicken is a nice easy end to the day!
Take advantage of stores that give you points for shopping there, which equal to money when you cash them in.
I remember saving points to buy a Medela breast pump at Shopper's Drug Mart. I waited until is was on sale and cashed in my points. It was regularly over $100.00 at I got it for $20.00. Whoo hoo!
This isn't too exciting, but we don't spend much on presents for ourselves or others. We accomplish this by getting books at used bookstores, local libraries that sell donated books, using half.com for any books/media we want to give as gifts, re-gifting when appropriate, buying at YMCA/Goodwill, or paying/bartering with friends who can make wonderful gifts.
Kids get overwhelmed by too much to clean up. I try to stick to fewer items and more thoughtful toy purchases--what they truly love, or something that solves a problem for me, like toy dishes to go with the playdough so they quit taking my pots and pans, which I then have to clean.