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The Annual Mothering Frugal Ideas Contest - Page 3  

post #41 of 118

finding ways to use what we already have and make it last--for example, we still have old TV's.  I also have a DVD player that was just sitting in a closet.  When the DVD/VCR combo in the kids' room broke AGAIN...both sides this time, so more than it was worth to repair, I *could have* went out and bought a new small TV with DVD for 200 bucks.  OR...26 bucks for a box thing that the old TV and newer DVD player going unused can connect to, and the missing S-Video cable for the DVD player.  AND I am using something that was just sitting around taking up space, plus a TV that still works just fine.

post #42 of 118

saving random electronic cords that can be used.  Like when part of our cord for our laptop got wrecked from a chair rocking on it or rolling over it...the adapter part was just fine.  So it went into a box of random cords we have. One small box, and I rarely have to go out and buy say, a cable to hook up a TV in a different place.  I've pieced together an adapter and a cord to use for my laptop because I've saved the good half when there's a problem with the other piece.  Printer cable.  Telephone cord.  Cell phone chargers.  Used to think my hubby was nuts for saving "crap" like that....

post #43 of 118

Hubby likes to grocery-shop a couple times a month and buys mega-tons of crap.  Thinks the kids "need" chips and stuff.  I now have a hiding place for say, 4 bags of chips when he does like last time and buys 6.  When the kids see them, they eat them.  This way, they forget about it, and I bring them out when the time is right. (like the Frito scoops when I make chili tomorrow for the Super Bowl party) Those 6 bags that would have been gone in probably 10 days if they were sitting out now are likely to last a month.

post #44 of 118

I got sick of my kids putting tons of dip on their plates and leaving it, so I started being pretty strict on when I replace the bottles of sweet and sour and ketchup.  Going a couple meals without their favorite has helped them learn to portion-control, take seconds when they need it, and let me scoop some over to others when it pours out too fast.

post #45 of 118

I make my own tomato sauce and freeze it.  Start with cans of tomato paste, add salt and spices to suit your taste, I use Hillbilly Housewife's recipe.  Costs probably what 2 store-bought jars would cost at the *most* for enough that it fills my big pasta pot....I haven't tracked, but I probably make over a dozen meals from it.  Takes no more time to make a ton of it and freeze it than it does to make one batch.  And I know there's no HFCS, MSG, or other preservatives.

post #46 of 118

I make my own laundry soap.  It is really easy and only ends up costing about a penny per load!  http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm

post #47 of 118

I also plan a dinner menu and cook mostly from scratch.  This has brought my grocery bill down to about $450 per month for a family of 5!

post #48 of 118

Most of my baby's clothes I buy at a gently used children's clothing store.  Twice a year they even have a huge clearence sale that is up to 75% off!

post #49 of 118

Netflix!  We stopped our satilite and just have local channels and netflix.  This also eliminates the need to go and rent movies.  This has saved us almost $1000 per year!

post #50 of 118

Stay home;-) Or close to it.

 

I had noticed that our doctors, dentists, optometrists, mechanic, activities for ds, etc were all getting farther and farther away partially because we were using people our friends recommended and partially because a couple of them relocated. I decided to focus on finding services and activities closer to home which makes a huge difference in how frequently we need to fill the gas tank. I try to combine errands that are in a similar direction, as well.

 

 

post #51 of 118

Use cash.

 

When you have a limited amount of cash in your wallet, you think harder about whether you really want to spend it on whatever purchase you are contemplating. You become more aware that even those little dollar purchases can add up to make a big dent in your budget.

post #52 of 118

We went t.v. free in '99.  I don't know what most people pay for channels, HBO, Netflix, etc., but we don't pay for any of it.  Our library has movie rentals for free if we would want to use that service.

post #53 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post

I got sick of my kids putting tons of dip on their plates and leaving it, so I started being pretty strict on when I replace the bottles of sweet and sour and ketchup.  Going a couple meals without their favorite has helped them learn to portion-control, take seconds when they need it, and let me scoop some over to others when it pours out too fast.


 

My kids are gluttons for sauce of any kind.  We use shot glasses to serve any sauce, syrup, dip.  I put a bit into a shot glass and when they want more, we refill the glass.  It saves me a ton of wasted food.  

post #54 of 118

If you hold memberships to any zoos or museums, be sure to check into their reciprocal membership programs. We save a ton of money when we travel by visiting childrens museums and new zoos for free!

post #55 of 118

Don't rush your child into expensive experiences prematurely because you are eager to share your childhood memories;-)

 

The child at the water table in the museum might be just as happy with a bin of water in the backyard or playing at the sink with measuring cups. And we've all seen (or been the parent of) the toddler at the zoo who only wants to chase the pigeons or feed the ducks. Take them to the park for free. Consider waiting until your child will get his face wet in the bathtub before signing them up for swim lessons so you aren't paying for your child to "get adjusted to the water." Many places will let you try a class for free (or give you a refund if you decide against a class after the first session) so check that out in case the class doesn't turn out to be a good fit for your child.

post #56 of 118

Our New Years resolutions to save money are; Eat out no more than 1-2x a week, no more "drinking out" when we do eat out (everyone drinks water), no more $5 coffees (coffee gets made at home), never buy pre-cut fruit or veggies (it only takes a few minutes to cut it ourselves and it tastes much better and is a lot healthier), and lastly, craig and his little list is our friend (we always have things we can sell and if we need something we can find it for much less). Freecycle is great too!

post #57 of 118

"Love is the one thing most needed in this world and which is never at risk of being depleted when given away. Blessed children: When they want to talk, listen. When they don't know what to say, hug them. When you don't know what to say, say 'I love you.'" - Barbara L. Nast

post #58 of 118

We're in the process of upgrading our bedroom with a new look. Instead of buying boring, new factory made furniture, we're visitng local thrift shops, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, and websites like Kijiji. This way we get one of a kind pieces for significantly less money. As for decor, old doors, window frames, and other vintage items make great headboards, photo frames and focal points in the room. Just keep your eyes peeled! biggrinbounce.gif

post #59 of 118

We turned our 7 passenger minivan into a 8 passenger 3 years ago when our twins were born.  3 years with no car payments and we all still have a seatbelt.  This is what we did:

 

It's a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country that has captain seats and a split back bench.  We moved the split back bench to the front, so that the seat would flip down to allow better access to the back.  The dealership helped us figure out what year/model seats would fit our van.  We went to the junkyard and bought a bench seat for the back.  It's not ideal or very roomy, but it worked!

post #60 of 118

Since cutting our income by more than half so I could stay home with my daughter, our number one rule is to not buy anything new. There's already SO MUCH STUFF out there in amazing condition begging for a new home so it doesn't have to sit in the landfill. Craigslist, Salvation Army, Freecycle, consignment shops, friends with older kids, etc. Toys, clothes, furniture, gardening supplies....Why buy new?!?

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