Wow. Thank you so much! That felt really good to hear.
- topicFrugalitytagged by System, 10/5/12
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wondering if anyone lives on 11,000$ & how u do it - Page 2post #21 of 3510/11/12 at 2:42pmpost #22 of 3510/11/12 at 6:05pmpost #23 of 3510/12/12 at 1:29amThread StarterIt is so awesome to find all of this wisdom accumulating here. I really hope everyone is benefiting from sharing ideas, it would be nice to keep this thread going. I am new here so still getting familiar with how it all works, and new to the internet, which i know you all will understand is a result of my " economic situation" among other things. I am getting to read thru these and plan to respond , its like i have all these new friends! I am planning a hunting trip, never done it before buthave friends that do, so we are mapping out the details which is feeling tedious. There are so many concerns, but i think of having lots of meat on its way and it inspires me. I am a slow typer on my tiny keyboard, so it will likely take time to get my 2cents in here. Its easier for me to read so know I am listening.post #24 of 3510/12/12 at 9:14am
I bet you'll feel really "safe" and provided for if you have that meat stocked away in your freezer for the winter. I think a hunting trip is a GREAT idea. I have friends who love hunting season and that's how they feed themselves through the winter every year combined with some creative New England gardening. Being able to provide food for yourself and not have to rely on a grocery store is a really freeing feeling. I REALLY love foraging in my area because it just feels amazing to have healthy food picked fresh for free with just a little labor on my part.post #25 of 3510/12/12 at 11:18amQuote:Originally Posted by justmama
We lived without a dryer for like a YEAR and it wasn't really a big deal. We have a really high turnover rate in our neighborhood because it's all side-by-side duplexes in a lower income section of town and one younger couple didn't feel like moving their old dryer to their new house and they GAVE it to me for free. Their dad even helped my father move it into my basement, which I thought was super nice. But we still rarely use it because drying racks in my bedroom save us so much money.
We also try to walk as much as possible. There's a grocery store down the street, a dollar store, a pharmacy, etc so we walk a lot of places and make it a flower-picking expedition or a hiking exploration.
Since I do have 3 kids we utilize hand-me-downs to the fullest extent but when my littest girl outgrows her clothing, I donate to her Head Start preschool which is always looking for donations for the students. So today when they had a pair of winter boots the social worker asked me what sizes my bigger girls were and if I needed them. I think networking like that is essential to survival. Sometimes you can barter with people. Sometimes it's just being in the right place at the right time. We got a free pair of Old Navy jeans from the lady at the consignment shop up the street because the knees were a little lighter than the rest of the jeans and she wasn't going to sell them and she knew us from shopping there.
Last week I made $18 after fees and shipping buying 3 bumgenius AIO's from the consignment shop and reselling them on DiaperSwappers.
Try getting together with some girl friends for a potluck type dinner night once a month. That way everyone brings a dish and you all share conversation, maybe a super cheapo bottle of wine, and you get a few meals that you didn't have to make all for the cost of one frugal dish you prepared. You can all divvy up the meals and have leftovers. Plus it makes yo u feel rich to sit and indulge in gossip and food with friends. It breaks the drudge of poverty.
Save all your little bits and pieces of fruits and vegetables and their peelings in separate jars in the freezer from meals or overripe bits you cut off. For example, snack today was celery with peanut butter and raisins. I saved all the pieces I cut off the celery like hte heart, the end/root, and the leaves and stuck it in a jar. If my kids eat a banana but for a little chunk at the end that was squishy, I save that in my fruit jar. Once the fruit jar is full, we puree for smoothies. Once the veggie jar is full(well, about 3 jars) we put it in the crockpot with some water and spices for veggie stock for soups. Use up every last little bit of food and don't waste.
My kids won't eat the ends of the bread because they are little stinkers so we save them in a bag in the freezer for french toast casserole when there's enough. The other benefit is that it's super easy to prepare and I can chuck it in the oven before my shower in the morning and an hour later when everyone's dressed and ready for school, the house is warm and the breakfast cooked itself. And I usually make a big enough batch that there's leftovers for the next morning.
Use the internet to your highest capability and teach yourself new skills that will benefit you. Example: knitting. I find tons of beautiful yarn at yard sales and I taught myself to knit years ago and that's how I afford to do Christmas presents for my mom and sister and dad. It's also how I make a little extra side money. About a year ago my washer wasn't draining during the cycle and so I googled the error code it gave me and found out that's what the problem was. I then got on youtube and figured out how to fix it by watching a few videos. Cost me nothing but my time and a little messy water clean-up to fix it. Saved me from calling an expensive repair guy.
Pack lunches and snacks and drinks everywhere you go so you don't have to buy when you are out. I learned this the hard way. It's expensive to buy 3 kids snacks and drinks. I keep a bag in my trunk with changes of clothing, snacks, drinks, and a first aid kit for the kids.
Reusable is always better. Disposable= waste of money. Paper plates, paper towels, plastic cups, etc all wasteful and expensive and not necessary. Individually packaged snacks are the same way. If you are even slightly handy with a sewing machine you can easily make a few little snack baggies from old worn-out clothing or sheets to pack snacks in. My girls take lunch to school every day even though we qualify for free lunch just because I can afford it with our food stamps and their school lunches are gross. They have nothing disposable. They all have washable stainless steel canteens we've collected over the years and cloth snack bags that I wash for sandwiches and other small snacks and fruit and veggies. I cannot tell you how many people have commented on how great the snack bags are. Apparently my kids are the cool ones at school because of them. ;) Better than being those broke kids whose mom can't afford sandwich baggies at the dollar store right???
Great Post!!! I do a lot of this myself....But something I haven't been doing is using cloth snack bags...Got a pic to post of them??? Maybe I can create my own:))) My L takes her own lunch too..She also qualifies for the school lunch but with her allergies I have to send in her packed lunch...FS saves us too....post #26 of 3510/13/12 at 3:40pm
3 of these are mine(snotty roll-y eyes girl is unfortunately. ). If it matters, left to right the first, third, and fourth kids are mine. You can see the sandwich-sized bags there. They are made of PUL and therefore waterproof. Some people use food-grade nylon type material but I'm comfortable with PUL and I already had some on hand. It is $14 or so per yard at Jo-Ann fabric and they constantly have 50% off coupons available if you are on their mailing list. I wouldn't get more than a 1/2yard to be honest anyway. They are a simple square with the fold on one side, sewn up the sides, velcro on the top with ribbon pull-tabs. Very easy. I also have a bunch of plain cloth bags that are "fold top" style like the plastic sandwich baggie but these are my fave. They never spill and we turn them inside out with the velcro stuck together in the washer with all the kitchen cloth and the rags.
On further inspection of the picture, the dark pink is the PUL bag, the purple striped cloth square in the purple lunchbox of Miss Attitude-girl is the fold-top style.post #27 of 3510/14/12 at 9:44ampost #28 of 3510/14/12 at 10:17am
Unpaper products. Don't buy anything that is single use. Paper towels and napkins are the obvious ones, but consider using mama cloth/family cloth too. If you've used cloth diapers before, it's not much of a stretch. I started using family cloth and thought my older boys would freak out, so I just put it out and told them what it was and what to do. I figured I'd still be buying TP for them, but cutting down our use quite a bit with me. Well, within the week it was pretty evident they were using, and my teen spent a week at my parents last year and said the thing he missed the most from home was cloth TP! LOL I purchased 1 big Costco sized package of TP almost 2 years ago, and i have at least 2/3 of it left still. (We have a roll out for company of course!)
Same for paper towels, I bought a big Costco pack of 12? or 15? rolls about the same time, and still have more than half left. We use paper towels for anything really greasy as that ruins unpaper towels, or any animal messes that need cleaned up. I have 1 layer serged birdseye in 'regular' paper towel size.
Napkins, we have a stack of two layer flannel that are serged. Kids call them 'wishie washies'.
I keep a basket in my kitchen to toss all the unpaper stuff into and keep it corralled until it makes it way to the laundry. If you can sew just basically, all of these things are easy to make. Super simple and quick with a serger, but just a little more time and just as easy with a sewing machine (you'll have to hem or turn and topstitch).post #29 of 3510/15/12 at 1:45pm
I know most of these have been said already, but these are what I do and it keeps us going
garden (we have one in the ground, containers on the patio, and plants inside)
chickens (ours are pastured on the back lawn, they use only a little feed)
learn how to repair/mend clothes, sheets, towels
hang dry laundry
walk, bike or bus as much as possible (we have not driven since June and saved a ton on insurance and gas)
cook everything from scratch
learn how to cook beans and make stock (we eat meat maybe 2x a week)
reusable everything (we do diapers, napkins, cleaning rags, mama cloth, family cloth, lunch boxes, jars for leftovers...)
grandparents (the grandmothers love to buy my kids clothes so I let them, we ask for museum memberships and art supplies for birthdays/christmas)
fix broken things yourself or live without (we are currently trying to fix our washing machine, I really miss it. Hand washing diapers is a pain.)
conserve everything (water, lights, leftovers...)
if you fall behind, call utilities or medical bills to negotiate payment plans, most are happy to work with you and it can keep the lights/water on
cheap phone (tracfone/virgin mobile are ones we've used
call to ask about discounts for things like internet/insurance/trash pickup (for us internet is a business expense, otherwise we would use the library internet)
A lot of times people say "Oh I could never live without ____" They probably can, they just don't know how. I'm constantly looking at our budget and looking for other places to cut back. This year we've cut some of those types of things and we are still here, we are still alive, we are still happy without them.post #30 of 3511/10/12 at 2:37pmThread Starterpost #31 of 3511/11/12 at 1:56pmpost #32 of 3511/12/12 at 12:09ampost #33 of 3511/19/12 at 11:27am
If you are pregnant you can get WIC and get a set amount of free milk, cheese, beans, bread, eggs, 10$ of fruits and veggies per month! I didn't get it when i was pregnant cuz i didnt know about it but i have it now that DS is born and it helps! Very few grocery stores accept it (here only Wal Mart and Winn Dixie) so sometimes it's a PITA to haul 2 gallons of milk (+ the rest AND the baby lol) on the bus but the savings are worth it.
Here every other Monday there's a free healthy meal at Whole Foods, maybe you can check yours out!
Churches give away food, clothing, etc!, especially during the holidays!
Dumpster diving! Maybe not for food now that you're pregnant, but you can find all sorts of stuff when you take a walk in wealthy neighborhoods! We found clothes, furniture, our X-Mas tree, even a 12 pack of beer!
Edited by Jaxy - 11/19/12 at 12:28pmpost #34 of 3511/20/12 at 11:50pm
We are a fam of 5, both my dh and I are full time students, we live off our Pell Grants, we each get $5,500 a year. At the moment, we live in public housing, hopefully not for long. We will be finishing our associate degrees this year and moving on to get B.A.'s and hopefully family housing at our next university.
We also get EBT, WIC, and medicaid, our kids get free school lunches too. I also have a work study through school where I make 1-2,000 more a year. I nanny all summer long and I also make crafts on the side. Dh and I also give plasma whenever we can, which I don't like to do, but if I have to I will.
We also don't feel too poor or deprived, except for having to move into the projects last year, which a year later isn't so bad, but it sucks being white in the hood.
I make sure my kids get alot of fun in their lives, and we just dont buy a whole lot of extra crap, basically. We pay off our rent and internet when we get our school money, we have to have internet for classes, and we just watch netflix and msnbc and other free internet sites for tv, we rent alot of movies from our public and school libraries. My kids bought their own roller skates and I take them to the park with paved bike trails and let them ride around, they love it. We live in a town that always has free events and festivals going on, and beautiful national forests and swimming holes and such all around it, so there is always something to do. I keep my ear open in my local mama groups for mamas looking for babysitters and what not, and jump on opportunities. We only have one car, a minivan I bought with my taxes last year, so we don't make any car payments, and our car is really old and I've been driving a long time, so my insurance is pretty low. We also barter and trade, like the dad of the girl I babysit for works on my car just for the price of parts and a little babysitting. I got my maternity photo shots by trading handcrafted toys I made. When we get really desperate, on occasion, we pawn stuff, but we always buy it back within 3 months. We do not have parents or anyone else that helps us. You just kind of get creative and fantastically frugalista baby, and it works. You can still be really happy and not have alot of money. I do alot of potlucks and playdates with mama friends, and I know all the spots in town to get my free fun on. Also, I keep up with coupons, reward codes and promos for things that can get me free movie tix and such, so my kids' are pretty spoiled. I hope not to live this way forever, sometimes it is really tough, but that's why I'm working on a degree that will hopefully get me more then min. wage one day.post #35 of 3511/25/12 at 8:40pm
I can't say that I have anything to add that hasn't been said here already. We're not on any kind of assistance though I have done WIC once. The 5 of us (soon to be 6, Lord willing) live off of my husbands $900 a month retirement check from the army & have been for the last 3 years. He's disabled, but w/ us expanding again, he's looking into getting a part time job to supplement somewhere. The economy here is horrible. We (unsuccessfully) hunt. What has worked better is having people call us when they see a deer get hit on the road so we can go. Our grocery budget is $40-$60. Meat is out of our budget; our vegetables we grow & we try to save for an orchard trip to have fruit once a month. We do forage, quite often. People have given us chickens & that has multiplied delightfully; we can probably have a chicken dinner once a week through out the winter & eggs in the morning are always like a gift.
No cable, but we do have the net for our homeschooling. Our cars are paid off. What helped tremendously is knowing that we were about to be in a drastically reduced lifestyle & so were able to prepare for it. I realize not everyone has that luxury & it can be a hit to the morale. We forgo AC & heat w/ wood. I cook outside in the summer to keep the heat out of the house. I wash our clothes in a big sink w/ a wash board to include diapers when that is necessary. I've taken up EC & anything that cuts diapers down works for me. Hot water is only used for baths & showers as we live on a well & electricity is our only bill. We strive to keep it under $60.00. Shutting off the security light outside saved $10.00 a month. Every little bit helps. We've an electric well pump & are trying to figure out how to save for a hand pump.
I like to play "What would great-great grandma do?" It really wasn't all that long ago that everything was done by hand. It helps (me anyways) to sleep better at night.
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