Extreme Frugality - The other people think I'm crazy thread! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-07-2009, 04:55 PM
 
tresleo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,577
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by enfpintj View Post
We are also trying to teach our kids to appreciate the freedom they are experiencing. I think they will grow up knowing there are other ways to do things. I think it's bizarre that people think they have to work 40+ hours in to old age, and they have no choice. Our society really has drummed creative, original, independent thinking out of many people's head. I think our founding fathers are rolling in their graves about the way we've turned out.
tresleo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-07-2009, 05:29 PM
 
akichan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teenytoona View Post
Woohoo! I have a new label instead of lazy! I reuse dishes sometimes because I'm frugal! heh!
Yay! Me too! My mom is CONSTANTLY washing my dishes/glasses as soon as I put them down and it drives me CRAZY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticpi View Post

I make tempeh and vinegar too (both surprisingly easy).
How do you make vinegar? I don't even know what vinegar is made of but I use it all the time so I'd love to know!

Akie, single mom to M (02/18/06), E (08/04/07) and Z (06/22/09)
akichan is offline  
Old 12-07-2009, 08:56 PM
 
mysticpi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by akichan View Post
How do you make vinegar? I don't even know what vinegar is made of but I use it all the time so I'd love to know!
The first time I made it it happened by accident, I was trying to make hard cider from some fresh apple cider and I let it go too long and air got into it and it became apple cider vinegar! I've replicated it with other fruit juices like rhubarb and elderberry (I made the juice cooking the fruit in some water and straining the pulp)

From what I understand when you let fruit juice ferment (possibly any liquid that is sweet?) it first has an anaerobic (without air) fermentation that produces alcohol and then an aerobic (with air) fermentation that turns the alcohol into vinegar. I am not sure that this would work with store bought juice without adding yeast to it though because it's been pasteurized.
I haven't made white vinegar but I'm going to look into it.

So basically put some juice in a jar, cover it with some fabric to keep bugs out and let air in and just wait!
mysticpi is offline  
Old 12-07-2009, 09:59 PM
 
APBTlover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern US
Posts: 726
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I grew up with a lot of this, and yeah, my family was (and still is) considered extreme for it by some. Growing up, glasses were reused all day (barring illness), heat and air were thoughtfully turned on only when actually cold or hot (instead of a general, well, it's summer, time to crank it down to 60F in here!), towels reused, clothes not washed until smelly or visibly dirty -- definitely jeans were worn over and over, and dresses worn to church were almost always hung right back up when we got home. Most of these things really aren't a huge deal around here, but refusing to pay car notes is a different thing! We have always either bought used OR bought new with cash -- no interest, and often the dealers will come down much lower in the first place.

But now, my family -- who taught me so much about frugality and the value of a dollar -- thinks DH and I are crazy! We do dine out far more than we should (and it's all me, I admit, DH would rather stay home usually), but we share meals 90% of the time. We get almost all of our clothes from Goodwill or on clearance new (which is very often cheaper than our Goodwill). We sew. We take picnic lunches and eat those instead of paying the exhorbitant prices at the Ren Faire (yep, we're nerds like that!). We gather up the bones at hunting season and make pots of bone broth (not purely for frugality reasons, though). We didn't bother to bring the dryer when we moved... we'd rather have the storage space in our 600sq ft house. We rinse and reuse any Ziplocs that didn't contain meat. We keep our a/c and heating to the minimum, unless company comes. One year, in our old drafty house, we hung a blanket over the living room entry and just lived in there, heating just that room. We had a mattress in the floor and we loved it! We saved so much money and found it fun. Our families were convinced we were going to freeze to death. Nope!

I love the way we live!

treehugger.gif SAHM with a precious toddler and the love of my life, expecting a new little one July 2014!
APBTlover is offline  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:21 PM
 
Juvysen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 7,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
The book "Wild Fermentation" talks about how to make your fruit trimmings into vinegar, I believe. Like, instead of making compost with apple peels immediately, you ferment them first and then throw them in the compost (the left-over pulp?)

I haven't tried it, but I love the idea!

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

Juvysen is offline  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:44 PM
 
ewp11100's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Tied down in MD, feeling restrained
Posts: 1,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
All the things metioned sound close to us but what really baffles people is we don't turn on the heat. LOL we have a wood stove (in the past house a fireplace) and it's hot in our house, toasty warm. We have gone 3-4 years off wood people give away from downed trees my husband chops. We keep a cast iron keetle filled withwater on the woodstove as a humidifier. We line dry year round, we just hang in the basement when it rainy/cold/snowy. When we were in an apt. we had a drying line strung up through the living room into the kitchen. I love dried line clothes, if I have to use the dryer I get miffed cause my clothes come out all junky.

Erin Mama to thing 1 and 2 WAH with CELIAC?! Living and Learning
ewp11100 is offline  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Amys1st's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,322
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Everyone is mentioning the thanksgiving turkey carcus. Right after my DBIL finished carving the holiday turkey last week, he called into the other room over 20 people and said "Amy, are you saving this??" and I said yes. A few were like- what is she saving? I took home the turkey bones and Friday made the best turkey stock I have ever made. It had the perfect taste, thickness, saltiness (not as much) etc. DFIL didnt even notice until I mentioned it to him and he replied, "oh I was wondering why we didnt have that much garbage the other night." he was glad we did that.


I have been known to do a clean out the smaller freezer and take bits and pieces, also the poultry bones or beef bones (never the same) and throw the whole mess of stuff into the pot and fill with water, come back later to the best stock.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
Amys1st is offline  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:47 PM
 
wendyland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: curbside
Posts: 1,715
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We put up canvas to separate our living room/kitchen from the bedrooms and block the vents so that we only heat the bedrooms at night.

We direct the vent from the dryer back into the house in the winter.

we put bubble wrap on our windows.

We bike/walk to stores when we can.

But, we spend a lot on good quality food.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
wendyland is offline  
Old 12-08-2009, 08:29 PM
 
mysticpi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyland View Post

We direct the vent from the dryer back into the house in the winter.
I read somewhere that the moisture from the hot air off the drier can cause mold problems. I don't know if this is true or not, but I thought I'd mention it!
mysticpi is offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 01:56 PM
 
AniellasMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004 View Post
$2450??? is that really how much they cost? well, now that I think about it, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a 2nd car!
Don't forget about ditching insurance, gas and maintenance costs!!!

Im Inspired and might get this
AniellasMommy is offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Not in a bubble!
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AniellasMommy View Post
Don't forget about ditching insurance, gas and maintenance costs!!!

Im Inspired and might get this
Nice bike! Did you see you can get seatbelts for it too?

My DH took a few bike repair courses back in the day and has been working on bikes for 15+ years so all my bike repairs are free. He's so handy!


Some Xmas Frugality

My Mom asked me if we were doing the Xmas gift game this year at the extended family Xmas. Each person that wants to play has to buy a gift for $25 and put it in the middle for the game. That's $100 for us all to play so I said no.

My DH's side plays a similar game only better at their extended Xmas only they bring something from home that you don't use anymore or something that was gifted to you that you wont use. Cost $0.
ParisApril is offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 05:22 PM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 19,261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticpi View Post
of course!

I mix equal parts (maybe 2 tablespoons?):
- baking soda
-arrowroot (could use tapioca or cornstarch)
- melted coconut oil OR a combination of oils that will end up being solid, for instance some olive oil and some cocoa butter/shae butter. If you are into making it really really cheap you could even substitute petroleum jelly
~you can add some essential oils if you want, I don't

put in a little container and let cool so that it hardens. It will last a LONG time

To use: scoop a teeny little bit on your finger tip and rub into your armpit

~ Some people find that baking soda irritates their skin, if that happens you can try reducing the proportion of baking soda

This deodorant is not an antiperspirant so it might take a little to get used to if you've been using commercial deodorants
I just use a little rubbing alcohol for deodorant. Works great.

Will try this though. Much gentler on skin.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 08:04 PM
 
HeatherAtHome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,077
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post
Big expense coming up for me is going to be a new fridge (preferably one made this century!) and I kind of dread it... new appliances are crazy-friggin-costly!
We bought ours early Jan when there were a bunch of sales. Spent $500CAD on a simple (yet good sized) model found at an online store.
____

Ok, here's our really frugal crazy bits and I feel like they top some people in the sense that they *do* border on crazy.

DH and I lived separately for a year to save money to buy a house. He rented a tiny bachelor pad/room for rent within walking distance of his work and I lived with my parents an hour's drive away.
_____

Then we bought a fixer upper. Like, pay it off within 15 years or less fixer upper and have been paying as we go on remodeling. We reuse a lot of old things (tub, old bathroom sink/faucet but "new" vanity, old kitchen sink but new faucet, paint kitchen cabinets instead of replacing type of thing.)
_____

We had to replace all the plumbing as it was old and rusty. We were also planning on moving the bathroom. Building the new bathroom took a lot longer than we thought. Had to gut the room, (realized we had a log house with no insulation!) frame outer walls and insulate, build dividing wall (to make large room smaller), painting, plastering, taking up and putting down new flooring... and I was sick with the flu for 3 weeks and DH's work schedule was changed so he didn't have a lot of time to work during the week.

We thought we could use the old bathroom then make the switch to the new in a day or two. But, right away the old plumbing gave out. It didn't make sense to replace all the pipes to the old bathroom/kitchen then move them once the new bathroom was ready... so we've been living without running water. We already share a well and pump with our neighbours so it's no extra cost to them and they let us fill up some jugs at their outside tap. (Even our main shutoff was a POS so we had to have the neighbours shut our water off at their house... our house used to be his Dad's hence the connection)

For two months, I have been lugging water from next door (20 feet away) boiling it to wash dishes, clean, etc and have flushed a toilet by dumping water into it. I really don't mind it except having to *admit* to people that I do it. Because people look at us like we're weird, treat us like we're poor etc.

To be honest, we didn't expect it to take this long. Being sick/work schedule change set us *way* back. Also, realizing we didn't have all pieces and needing to reorder wasn't fun either.

But, it's going awesome and just about finished. (Any day now ) Oh, we shower/do laundry at my sister's 5 minutes away.
______

And we choose not to have a tv which = you're poor to most people... even though we have a fancy computer with high speed internet.

Blogging about renovations in our first home
HeatherAtHome is offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 08:47 PM
 
Juvysen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 7,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We happened to go down the appliance "returns" section in Lowes once when we were there and happened upon a huge fridge (energy star, french doors on top, freezer on the bottom) that was a return on a special order - they were selling it for $650 or so (It was just past $700 with tax), but the original price was $1500. It was lacking the drawers. We called whirlpool and had new drawers sent (which cost about another $100 - there were 5 drawers or something?). Our electricity bill dropped precipitously. Before that, we had two fridges running (we have a second kitchen in our house that is unused) because we bought a 1/4 of beef and we used the fridge downstairs for the beef (and to keep beer, soda, etc, in the bottom), and then we had the upstairs fridge. The new fridge was big enough that we could get rid of both old fridges (which were probably 20 or 30 years old), and then when we were ready for a new 1/4 beef a few months later we bought a chest freezer for a couple hundred bucks which is WAY more efficient than a refrigerator.

Anyway, when all was said and done, it dropped our electric bill by like 2/3. We were SHOCKED, but extremely happy. Have to say it was our best impulse shopping EVER

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

Juvysen is offline  
Old 12-11-2009, 04:25 AM
 
Arianwen1174's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: I'm a (Willamette) Valley girl!
Posts: 843
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Subbing, what a great thread. Helps me not feel like such a black sheep. Heck, all of MDC does!

Kali (pka Michelle) ~ crunchy wife to Cory (09/06) ~ Mama to H (03/90) & I (06/92)--bothnocirc.gifbf.jpg BF for 35 consecutive months ~ angel1.gif x 4

Arianwen1174 is offline  
Old 12-11-2009, 10:32 PM
 
sarah_bella1050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: California
Posts: 2,029
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmm, weird stuff? I do a lot of things that I get called a "hippie" for, but I think people mostly keep the "that's weird" comments to themselves. I think with us some people are amazed at what we spend lots of money on, and the things we are super thrifty about. We paid 2k for our homebirth and pay extra $$ for our freerange organic meat. Then on the other hand, my kids wear hand-me-downs, we don't buy snack foods, we use cloth everything, diva cup, make our own bread, grind our grains, and only camp for vacation. I do think people thought we were weird when we went to the Ashland Shakespeare festival and camped at a campground 17 miles away and bought only one meal out.

Sarah knit.gif married to Micah, mama to dd1 (9), dd2 (7) and ds (2). We love to homeschool.gif h20homebirth.gif goorganic.jpgchicken3.gif
sarah_bella1050 is offline  
Old 12-24-2009, 05:40 PM
 
NewDirections's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks mamas for this thread. You have given me some great ideas on how to save money

I'm not very frugal atm however, I aspire to be much more frugal because I'm expecting

jog.gifkid.gif

NewDirections is offline  
Old 12-25-2009, 07:59 PM
 
Pariah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: My happy place.
Posts: 2,727
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
We typically spend just under $200 a month (family of four and a half) on food
Can I have a sample grocery list? LOL...or something? I want to know how you do this! I know it is possible, but I haven't been able to and I so badly want to. I have about a $320 monthly food budget for three people and I barely make it through the month with that. SO bad, I know. I cook from scratch a lot, too. I know I can do better though.

And these cloth/reusable ziplock back replacements...how is this done? I've sewn cloth-pretty much everything, but not snack bags. I need to make myself a lunch bag, too.

stillheart.gif = Pariah, Super Mom + The Amazing Wiggy (1/06)superhero.gifangel.gif  (6/08)  52 Projects: 0/52  Decluttering Challenge: 37/2013

Pariah is offline  
Old 12-26-2009, 02:25 AM
 
akichan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah that to the reusable ziploc bags. I'd love to learn to make them.

Akie, single mom to M (02/18/06), E (08/04/07) and Z (06/22/09)
akichan is offline  
Old 12-26-2009, 04:37 AM
 
Sierra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's interesting to read this thread and hear what is seen as "extreme" right now here on the Frugality forum. I have known times when the discussion was on cloth toilet wipes as an alternative to toilet paper. We've yet to come close to that on this thread , unless it was what someone meant when they said "we use cloth everything."

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
Sierra is offline  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Not in a bubble!
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
It's interesting to read this thread and hear what is seen as "extreme" right now here on the Frugality forum. I have known times when the discussion was on cloth toilet wipes as an alternative to toilet paper. We've yet to come close to that on this thread , unless it was what someone meant when they said "we use cloth everything."
Cloth everything = cloth tp, napkins, hankies, dish cloths, diapers, mama pads, cloth tampons, etc. The only paper we use are note pads for things that cannot be written on the chalk board and the kids colouring paper. I haven't bought paper towels, paper napkins, suran wrap or aluminum foil in over 5 years.
ParisApril is offline  
Old 12-26-2009, 08:19 PM
 
KariM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: at the sewing machine (in zone 5A)
Posts: 3,326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our "extreme frugality" methods aren't going to be extreme to a lot of MDC mamas at all.

1. One car family. DH carpools one day each week to let us have a car day for errands, playdates, etc.

2. No cable/satellite tv. No tv at all in a traditional sense since our old model can't get the new signal and we don't have a converter box.

3. Use family cloth

4. Use cloth diapers

5. Use cloth mama pads and diva cup (when needed - am at 21 months without a cycle due to ecological breastfeeding right now )

6. Use cloth "paper" towels

7. Make many of our own gifts

8. Follow this rule for buying - a. Shop at home - do we really need it or can we repurpose something else. b. Buy it used c. Shop around online and via telephone to find the best price if we need it new

9. Pay cash or do without

10. Sew many of our own clothes - some from "new" fabric yardage bought at garage sales and thrift stores and increasingly many from repurposed used clothing

11. Live in a small house in heart of our city. We purposefully underbought and are living happily in an 1100 square foot home in a less desirable neighborhood. Our mortgage/insurance/taxes are lower than most apartment rents here!

12. Converted our back yard into raised bed gardens and used ornamental planting areas for herbs and fruit bushes.

13. Can, dehydrate, and freeze much of what we produce via #12

14. Cook food from scratch and eat basic whole foods. We're continually improving our expertise in this area and with our plans to put DD1 on the Feingold diet we will soon be almost exclusively eating whole foods.

15. Buy meat locally. DH has managed to find local producers of beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. Most is uncertified organic and the remainder is humanely raised without use of growth hormones and antibiotics. For instance, we just bought 2/3 organic hog for only $3.29/lb.

16. DH hunts. This means we have 1 or 2 deer in our freezer at any given time. Nearly free meat.

17. We buy in bulk. We use bulk grain/bean orders and large scale buying of staple foods to keep our per unit prices low.

18. We've nearly eliminated our use of household consumables such as toilet paper, paper menstrual products, plastic bags, etc.

19. We make our own cleaning solutions/products. We use water, vinegar, baking soda, liquid castile soap, and borax and can keep a clean house for just pennies/year.

20. We are taking steps to reduce household energy consumption by improving mechanical systems (new efficient furnace/AC installed), replacing windows, and replacing light fixtures and using CF lightbulbs. We have our monthly natural gas bill down to $104/month and our electric bill to $96/month.

ETA:

21. Barter or swap for many things. The swap board here is FABULOUS!

22. Cut DH, DS, and DD1's hair at home.

23. Spend $450 or less for groceries, household items, and clothing each month for our family of five. Most months I have extra money left that goes toward buying food & supplies for storage.
KariM is offline  
Old 12-27-2009, 02:05 AM
 
camprunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Loving this thread! A lot of people think we are too extreme and we aren't nearly extreme now that we have kids.

I only drink water though dh and the kids often consume other beverages. When we were first married, dh only drank water as well because it was all we could afford.

Many people thought I was nuts for breastfeeding and cloth diapering even though I worked full time at the time.

We clean with vinegar.

We had to trash our old couch and although we did by our first new livingroom furniture, we did without for over a year while we decided what we wanted.

DH has started hunting and this will be cheap. I never thought of making bone broth from the deer bones. Will have to ask him to save them.

We reuse glasses but have never thought of reusing plates. This may be instituted as I have a hard time getting lunch dishes washed with our homeschool/WAHP schedule.

We did line dry year round until I had some health problems. I'm recovering quickly and will begin this again as soon as I am caught up. We hung the clothes on our porch so that A. if the rain came when we were at work it wasn't a big deal and B. I didn't really like having my undies on the line without being locked up.

We go to u-pick farms while we are starting our own fruit and either freeze or can a lot so we can enjoy it year round.

My youngest daughter wears all the clothes that my oldest daughter wore including socks and undies. My brother thinks this is extremely gross. When they are older we will stop, but for now, I don't see any harm since the cloth diapers were handed down as well.

Food is usually cooked from scratch. We are in the process of going gluten free for me and our grocery bill really hasn't gone up very much at all. This is also helping us curb out going out to eat habit.

We both strived to work at home to save on gas. This also helps us not go to the doctor because we are not exposed to as many illnesses (public school teachers! eek)

We raise chickens for eggs and meat. Much higher quality than the store for the same price plus health benefits.

We don't run to the doctor for everything. We use home remedies if possible.

We keep the heat just below 60 degrees at night and 63 during the day.

We put in our own hardwood floors. We bought 500 sq feet of unfinished flooring off of craigslist for $300. It actually turned out to be 1200 square feet and we definately made the most of it! This has helped tremendously with allergies.

After looking at facebook, I realize that our Christmas' may be very small but we A. are not setting our kids up for disappointment in a year that we can not provide and B. Are teaching them that getting gifts is not everything. Also most years, this is when they get any new clothes that they need for the year. This year, they really didn't need anything in that department though due to generosity of friends. I have also given them used gifts for Christmas before.

Basically though, if there isn't money for it. It isn't purchased regardless of what it is. Food goes to the kids first in the event of a food shortage. Luckily this hasn't happened in years and the kids have NEVER starved or noticed the shortage. I just skipped the meals that I would normally have at work and had much smaller portion at dinner than I would have liked.

I use mama cloth/diva cup

We do all of this and our children still love us! Imagine that (I've had people suggest that because of the above we weren't being fair to them).
camprunner is offline  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:10 AM
 
quelindo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: On the road to find out
Posts: 3,099
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
It's interesting to read this thread and hear what is seen as "extreme" right now here on the Frugality forum. I have known times when the discussion was on cloth toilet wipes as an alternative to toilet paper. We've yet to come close to that on this thread , unless it was what someone meant when they said "we use cloth everything."
Well, I do use cloth TP, though my DH doesn't.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
quelindo is offline  
Old 12-27-2009, 04:28 PM
 
Leta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ishpeming, MI
Posts: 3,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pariah View Post
Can I have a sample grocery list? LOL...or something? I want to know how you do this! I know it is possible, but I haven't been able to and I so badly want to. I have about a $320 monthly food budget for three people and I barely make it through the month with that. SO bad, I know. I cook from scratch a lot, too. I know I can do better though.

And these cloth/reusable ziplock back replacements...how is this done? I've sewn cloth-pretty much everything, but not snack bags. I need to make myself a lunch bag, too.
My PUL zippered bags came from etsy... my mom knew I wanted some and I picked them out and she bought 'em as a gift for me... I know they weren't more than $20, ppd, and I got 5, which has been plenty.

About food... once you factor in SNAP and WIC, we are around $300/mo for five people, so pretty close to where you are.

1. DH has a job wherein he eats two meals/day for free five days/week.
2.We get $75 worth of food from WIC every month.
3.We get $47 in food stamps every month.
4.We get $40/yr in Project Fresh.
5.We pick free, wild berries until our fingers fall off.
6.We garden.
7.My in laws give us tons of grass fed beef and venison.
8.My husband and kids catch fish.
9.We buy seasonal produce in bulk and can/freeze/dry/root cellar it.
10.We watch sales on a few specific items.
11.We bake virtually all of our breads.
12.I make our yogurt, kefir, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese and ricotta.
13.I make snacks/desserts rather than buying them.
14.I make homemade mixes.
15.We make our own condiments- mayo, BBQ, ketchup, pizza sauce, salsa, syrups, salad dressings,mayo, etc.
16.We buy in bulk (especially spices) often thru a restaraunt.
17.We buy store brands.
18.We buy dry, not canned beans.
19.The only meat I eat is fish.
20.We make our own veggie burgers and veggie sausage.
21. We live in a low COL area with high food production, so food is cheap here, generally.
22. We have rules and guidelines about how much we spend on what- an example: only buy whole pickles. You can buy a gallon of whole pickles for around $4. Come home, get out four quart jars, slice into rounds (or spears, if you're like that), pour your brine, and you're good. Takes 20 minutes, lasts year. Plus then you have a fancy glass gallon jar, and you don't have to track down a pint of pickles every month or so while you're shopping.

So don't beat yourself up. A lot of what applies to us doesn't apply to everyone. If my DH and kids weren't such hard core carnivores, we could go lower... but not by a whole lot unless we completely gave up fresh produce in the winter.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
Leta is offline  
Old 12-27-2009, 09:18 PM
 
jewelsJZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought two cloth snack bags from Etsy that cost about $3 each. The idea is that I will use that to copy and sew several more for our family, thus eliminating the need for zip lock bags for the kids' snacks. I don't know how to sew but I got a sewing machine from Freecycle and when my mom comes to visit in January, she will teach me how to make them.
jewelsJZ is offline  
Old 12-27-2009, 09:50 PM
 
AlwaysByMySide's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chattanooga
Posts: 1,658
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It takes us a year to go through one roll of paper towels. I have a collection of hand towels/kitchen towels and cloth napkins that we use. Same for tissues. I keep wanting to move to family cloth, but I'm just not brave enough yet.

Stockpiling. When boxed pasta goes on sale for 20 cents (with a coupon), I buy 20 boxes.

I don't keep my water heater turned on. It goes on every other day, I wash dishes, diapers, and the kids get baths (I shower at the gym), and then it gets shut off, so it's only on for a few hours, at most. It's not the most convenient (yes, the dishes pile up in the sink, for example), but we're a family of three (two of whom are under 5), so there's no need for it to be on all the time for no reason. I can only imagine what my electric bill would look like it if was on all the time!

I also line dry everything, even if it's below freezing outside. I fluff up towels in the dryer for a few minutes, I admit, but that's it.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
AlwaysByMySide is offline  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Pariah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: My happy place.
Posts: 2,727
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ooh, Leta, thank you!

I've sewn PUL zippered bags before, so I can definitely do that again for snack bags. Such a great idea.

And no, not everything on your food list applies to us, but there are several things that do that I am not doing already so it is still very helpful. Thanks for posting it!

stillheart.gif = Pariah, Super Mom + The Amazing Wiggy (1/06)superhero.gifangel.gif  (6/08)  52 Projects: 0/52  Decluttering Challenge: 37/2013

Pariah is offline  
Old 12-28-2009, 02:10 AM
 
bcblondie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: winnipeg
Posts: 3,026
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can I join you girls? I've always been pretty frugal, but I'm sure there's TONS I could learn from you gals?

A little about my situation... Dh is Tyler 25, I'm Susy, 22. We have a 1yr old son William..

DH doesn't make a ton. 17 bucks. but housing is pretty cheap here. We have a strict budget since my mat leave ended.

Ways I've learned to save money so far:

-Cloth diapering/cloth wipes
-All homemade baby food.
-Homemade laundry detergent. (works better than storebought!)
-I sew... some. I'm not great but what I make is functional. lol.
-I cut William and Tyler's hair. Did a good job too! For having zero practice lol.
-When our toilet broke (my fault. hee hee) we got a lowflow.
-Just got new windows. Great help since it gets FREEZING here. (like minus 40)
-Fuel efficient car, on pleasure insurance since I don't work and DH walks!
(Stores in my area are definately in walking distance and I walk in summer, but minus 40? no thanks)

Mom to angel baby, grew wings at 5 weeks in May '07, William, born Dec '08, and another angel who grew wings at 8w4d (lost at 11w) in Oct '10. Rachel born Feb 2012, Another angel Lost Sept '13. New bean due Nov '14!
bcblondie is offline  
Old 12-28-2009, 04:06 AM
 
Arianwen1174's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: I'm a (Willamette) Valley girl!
Posts: 843
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
We have rules and guidelines about how much we spend on what- an example: only buy whole pickles. You can buy a gallon of whole pickles for around $4. Come home, get out four quart jars, slice into rounds (or spears, if you're like that), pour your brine, and you're good. Takes 20 minutes, lasts year. Plus then you have a fancy glass gallon jar, and you don't have to track down a pint of pickles every month or so while you're shopping.
Oohhhh, good idea about the pickles. Don't know why I hadn't thought of that b/c I have guidelines about certain foods too. For instance, I make our yogurt and make smoothies with it but DH would drink the whole batch in a day if I didn't put it into single serve cups and remind him to keep it to 2 a day. Same with canned fruit, which he loves.

For me, it's like most or all of you, not just for frugality. And DH is picking habits up from me more and more, yay! Because of health issues I can't do everything I wish I could but I do what I can. I end up spending money and resources on some things because those things make it easier for me to be better about the rest.
* I've been using family cloth for a couple years now, I think. First it was just for #1, and now I also use it quite a bit for #2. This has saved so much TP, it amazes me.
* I use mama cloth and love, love, love it. The only problem is that now I have enough and can't buy any more of my pad lady's great pads, lol.
* We use cloth for virtually everything. I do keep a roll of paper towels (recycled paper) b/c we have a cat who pukes on a regular basis (and for other occasional things like that). I just bought a 2-roll pack and it will take us ages to use up.
* I use cloth to blow my nose. I even finally put some in my backpack I so I don't have to use paper when I'm away from home.
* I buy things used as much as possible. Just this evening we got a free dining room table and 4 chairs through Craigslist. (And gave away a coffee table to another person...) I keep a list in my backpack that I can check when I'm at the thrift stores. Virtually every piece of furniture we have is used, and several things were free.
* I buy store brands when that is an option.
* I repurpose things when that will work (old clothing into rags, for example).
* While I can't make all our food from scratch, I do that as much as I can. I do buy most condiments and some other things, but stay away from things like boxed meals for cost and nutritional reasons. I was making our bread and need to start that again. I make our yogurt.
* I plan a month's menu and do big grocery shopping once a month, then fill it in with perishables once a week. Saves money and my sanity.
* I'm working on buying higher quality new items when we can. We had extra money this spring and I bought a KitchenAid Pro mixer. With fibromyalgia, this was a great investment.
* I print on both sides of the paper whenever I can and also cut printed-on paper into quarters for scratch paper. (I have scads of it, some going back more than 5 years!)
* I buy whatever food I can from the bulk section.
* We have a freezer and that has enabled me to buy larger packages of things to separate and freeze for later, and also to freeze leftovers for nights when I'm not feeling well enough to cook. (Although it's a huge, ancient thing and I really wonder how much we're paying to run it...)
* I reuse ziplock bags as much as possible, including washing them if necessary. I do have 5 different boxes of them in the drawer, but it takes forever to go through a box. I do want to gradually add homemade ziplocks.
* A few months ago we bought a set of plates at Goodwill that are light weight so we could stop using paper as much as we were. The heavier plates were hard for me to handle when washing and putting away. The "new" set was a great $6 investment. Even DH rarely uses paper now (and I keep the extra paper plates in hiding, lol).
* I keep the heat down in most of the apartment. DH makes up for that in his "office," however. Not sure if that's good or bad. It definitely makes it possible for me to keep the heat down in the rest of the house but sometimes I freak out at how warm he keeps his office.
* I hang our laundry to dry here in the apartment. We only put a couple loads a month in the dryer. This is especially frugal b/c we have to pay to do laundry. I never budget more than $10 for laundry and between hanging it to dry and throwing our extra quarters in the dish, it always works out. I find hanging the laundry to be relaxing, even though it's taxing on my body. (And I just remembered there are 2 loads waiting to be hung!)
* Hmmm, I know there are other things but can't think of them right now.

THAT SAID, one way we are not frugal: we spend $115 a month for FIOS. For me, it's totally worth it. I'm disabled and it makes a big difference to have the fast Internet, all the TV channels, and the free long distance. But we couldn't have FIOS if I wasn't careful in so many other ways. We also spend $300 on food, between food stamps and cash. This is what works best for us, considering my physical issues.

Keep up the good work, ladies!

Kali (pka Michelle) ~ crunchy wife to Cory (09/06) ~ Mama to H (03/90) & I (06/92)--bothnocirc.gifbf.jpg BF for 35 consecutive months ~ angel1.gif x 4

Arianwen1174 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off