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Best Frugal Tips Contest Sponsored by Bummis - Page 8post #141 of 1971/31/13 at 8:09pmJust reminded of another frugal tip. Hybrid cars. We own a Prius and sometimes we go weeks without having to gas up the car. During the gas shortage after Hurricane Sandy we never had to worry.post #142 of 1971/31/13 at 8:29pm
My tip, buy everything second hand. Reduces waste, and your "new" thing will be "used" within a matter of months so why not just purchase it at 1/2 to 1/4 of the price. And try your best to keep your belongings in good shape, and when your time is up with that thing, send it along to someone else. Moving into a new house? Buy all furniture, decorations from craigslist and thrift stores. Expecting a baby? Buy *everything* on your registry second hand. Buy a used car. Spend the time to find quality used goods and you will save so much! Don't buy new!post #143 of 1971/31/13 at 8:59pm
My frugal tip:
Save, clean, and re-use things that most other people toss to the garbage or the recycle. It's so much easier than you'd think.
example #1: zip lock plastic bags - no need to buy them if you already buy products that come packaged in them, like sun-dried tomatoes, shredded cheese, or even some sugars now come packaged in plastic zip locks. They are easy enough to clean and can be used over and over.
example #2: glass jars - no need to buy glass containers to store food in (as many people no longer think plastic for food storage is safe) if you already buy things like jarred pasta sauce, olives, etc.
example #3: old clothes - no need to buy (as many) dish rags or (any) paper towels if you are willing to cut up old t-shirts and use them to clean surfaces with.post #144 of 1971/31/13 at 9:07pm
My frugal tips- I make what I can from scratch (I belong to an organic wholesale coop so I can buy in bulk too). Also, I like to repair things and make do with what we have- why throw away what isn't working instead find a new use for it. Also- I use a diva cup and mama cloth. We do a lot of hand me downs and I garden and can/dry to preserve things in our home. Being green is actually very frugal and that is where a lot of my frugal tips come from. Oh, and eating whole food close to nature is really very frugal. Oat groats cost way less than a box of instant oatmeal packets!post #145 of 1971/31/13 at 10:49pm
When my boys were little, the biggest money saver turned out to be making their cloth diapers from recycled/discarded clothing. When my first two children began to wear out their purchased cloth diapers, I started making them. Now that we have another child on the way, I would love to win some, as I do not have much time to sew anymore! To go along with these, I also made cloth wipes out of old receiving blankets.post #146 of 1971/31/13 at 11:17pmpost #147 of 1971/31/13 at 11:18pm
Bicycle! Almost two years ago, we bought a Yuba Mundo cargo bike to haul our 6 and 8 year old boys around on, as well as groceries and whatever else. Our 9 year old can keep up with us on his own bike. The first year, we biked 3 seasons in Chicago. Then last year, after I got pregnant with our 4th child, we decided to take the plunge and sell our car, and NOT buy a minivan, since we wouldn't be able to fit the whole family in the car anyway.
Now we no longer have car payments, gas payments, insurance payments, no costly repairs other than routine bike maintenance. Not only do we save this money, but such a huge change has altered our lifestyle. We ask ourselves, do we REALLY want to go out and buy that? We go plenty of places by bike, walking, or on public transit, but make far fewer shopping trips than before. The best part: The Yuba CAN carry a full load of groceries. The most we have ever needed to haul at one time was 11 bags, but it can hold more than that!
Hopefully the benefits in family fitness will also reduce long-term health care costs. The children are happier on bikes and not cooped up fighting in the back of a car. There is no price tag on mom's sanity!
(Normally I do wear a helmet. In the bottom picture, we had just taken the bike up to the park for its first spin with the boys on it.)post #148 of 1971/31/13 at 11:23pm
Entenmann's Bakery Outlet saves us TONS of money. We spend only $15-$25 per month on Brownberry bread products to supply bread for our family of 5 (4 of whom are male). When their coupon books are available, they are well worth the purchase price, and save us an additional $60/year off the already amazing prices.post #149 of 1971/31/13 at 11:56pm
Dumpster dive. Well, that is from the days of college kids, but in our own back alley we have scored so many useful things that people just set out for others. A tumbling mat for the boys to use in the basement. A nice wooden cabinet that we turned into a pet cage which blends nicely with our furnishings. Fence slats which we used to fence in our garden. Bricks which we have used to edge our borders. Large Rubbermaid bins which we have turned into compost containers. A dresser for one of our children. A large bucket of legos. Carpeting for the unfinished basement, attic, and back entryways. Charcoal briquettes and rock salt. Laundry baskets (we never seem to have enough!) I'm sure there are more things, but these are the things that come to mind.
post #150 of 1972/1/13 at 12:16am
Teach children to care properly for their possessions and the possessions of others. Our children know that if they lose something or damage something through foolish behavior, they pay the cost to repair or replace the item. This cuts down drastically on the time spent searching for lost items, as well as the time and money spent repairing or replacing lost or damaged items.
post #151 of 1972/1/13 at 12:20am
Make your own kefir. We spent a fortune on yogurt until we started making our own, which can be done for basically the cost of milk. We made yogurt until I discovered kefir, which is much quicker and easier to make than yogurt. It can be used in baked goods recipes in place of yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream. And the kids are glad that we can afford to make them delicious smoothies every day!
post #152 of 1972/1/13 at 12:27am
Keep an eye on Staples ads delivered by e-mail. Every few weeks, they send a rebate coupon for purchasing a ream of printer paper, FREE. As a homeschool family, and perpetual students, we go through a lot of paper. You pay the cost of the paper, submit the rebate online, and in a few weeks, you get your money back.
Also, we keep a pile of "scratch paper" for the kids to use however they like, paper airplanes, scoresheets, whatever-basically any paper that comes in which has one white side goes in this pile, such as the backs of worksheets, backs of business mail, etc.post #153 of 1972/1/13 at 12:41am
Tips for frugal homeschooling:
Use Paperbackswap.com. For the books our library does not carry, I make a wishlist on paperbackswap of books we will need/want in our homeschool. This is cheaper than buying used through a site like amazon.com, and I have received at least 10 of our items this way.
Also, homeschoolclassifieds.com is a great way to find homeschool materials a great price. If you know what you need and can plan in advance, you can often find great deals.
Another way to save money on homeschool materials is to share materials with other families who may use the material one year, but have another child who will use the materials a few years later. If your kids are staggered in ages, this sometimes works very well.
Another source for materials is librivox.org. Many public domain classic stories are available for free download. My children love to listen to these.post #154 of 1972/1/13 at 2:13am
We save a lot of money for hand soap and dish soap by doing the following:
-Buy 1 bottle Method foaming hand soap (or any foaming hand soap that you like the look of), and one large refill jug of regular liquid hand soap (NOT the diluted foaming kind)
-When that bottle is empty, pour enough regular liquid hand soap in just to cover the bottom of the container.
-Fill it the remainder of the way with hot tap water, put the cover on and shake to dissolve. Voila!
-You may have to adjust your ratio slightly to get the best foam consistency, but it is not difficult to do.
-One refill jug of liquid hand soap lasts FOREVER this way-I think on average 3-4 years for us.
For dish soap, the principle is similar. A foaming dispenser would probably last longest, for all those little things that just need a tiny bit of soap. However, I fill an empty dish soap bottle with about 1/16 to 1/8 dish soap, and the rest with hot water, shake and use. It seriously cuts down on the amount of soap the man,, who thinks everything needs a half dollar sized dollop, uses.post #155 of 1972/1/13 at 6:10ampost #156 of 1972/1/13 at 6:28amHaving grown up as the youngest of a single working mom of six kids, I learned frugality from a master. And not much has changed: she breast fed and cloth diapered back in the 70s when such things were going out of style. And I hold onto 101 shopping and lifestyle tips that played out in our own lives to get us by financially. But perhaps the greatest tip she has shared with me as an expectant mom, she says, is that she very much enjoyed spending time with us. On weekends and holidays, we lounged in parks and picnicked on PB and J sandwiches happily as a financially stressed but loving family. We went on camping trips when we could afford it, something not easy for a 40 something woman with a gaggle of kids on her own, but we could never afford to stay in hotels, and her family lived too far away for us to afford to visit much. We never ate out. we ate what she ate, for better or worse! We went for night walks and counted cats together in the neighborhood - my favorite memory of my childhood.
What it took for her to survive all the financial pressure of all this was the joy she took in spending her time with us, and she cultivated that. Many parents today work so hard and have too little time with their kids and oft times i see them attempt to make up for it with excessive toys, after school activities, elaborate vacations and shopping trips, which over a few years can amount to thousands of dollars. That my mom simply enjoyed us is a lesson I will bring to my own upcoming parenthood. Today, my husband and I have a moderately higher income than she did, but having a child is going to be hard still. Nevertheless, we are choosing to spend what economic opportunity we have on maximizing the quality and quantity of our time with our son, who is due in March, and to remember that all we need is food, shelter and a whole lotta love to make it work!
Edited by Meggsy - 2/1/13 at 6:46ampost #157 of 1972/1/13 at 6:35ampost #158 of 1972/1/13 at 7:14am
My best frugal tip is to spend your monthly income on paper ( in pencil so you can make changes) before the month begins. Include all your bills, expenses, savings, emergency fund contributions and spending money.
- Slot in any income on the calendar day you'll receive it and then what needs to be paid and when.
- I like to use a big desk calendar but any will do.
- I always round down the income (if it fluctuates) and round up any bills/expenses that way there will usually be a little extra each month. You'll know exactly what you have to work with every month.
- If you do a few months at a time then you'll have a really great financial picture, I find it makes it easier to deal with unexpected expenses and to stay on track financially.
Edited by AprilMary - 2/1/13 at 8:11ampost #159 of 1972/1/13 at 8:15am
Another frugal tip is to make your own play dough, clay, paints and glue. Search online for recipes - I find play dough recipes that use cream of tartar work best and last longest (usually calls for a very small amount). Also taking your children on nature walks to collect craft materials is a lot of fun:)
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