What are your latest frugal doings???? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 62 Old 07-05-2011, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know, this thread is nothing new but I always love reading these types of posts and get inspired with new ideas on how to be frugal.

 

My latest--

 

Use leftover water from my kids sippy cups and water house plants.

 

Switched from buying pre-made pizza crust to making it from scratch.

 

Hanging beach towels and suits and re-wearing rather then washing after each time.

 

Making sure to fill water bottles from home so we are not buying them when we are out.

 

 

 

What are yours????

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#2 of 62 Old 07-05-2011, 05:13 PM
 
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-Using a bucket to collect water when I'm waiting for it to warm up for my shower.

-Switched to using cloth towels instead of paper towels.

 


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#3 of 62 Old 07-05-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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I dont have any new things I've been doing. But the things I've done today:

 

baked bread

hung my laundry

made rhubarb muffins instead of letting rhubarb go 2 waste

made lasagna roll-ups instead of letting the zuke and eggplant go 2 waste

dried some herbs from the garden for winter

made stock w my veggie scraps

 

Went to the library yesterday to get a stack of magazines,movies & books for the the kids and I for the week. Love not paying for cable,books or magazines. I stayed w my family for a couple of weeks and saw the amount my aunt spent on magazines like people...holy does it ever add up!


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#4 of 62 Old 07-05-2011, 08:33 PM
 
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We had a BBQ here this weekend and had some coolers on the deck.   I gave the kids plastic cups and let them water all the flower pots with the melted ice water in the coolers. 

While I always use reusable water bottles, I bought a case of bottled water at the store for the BBQ and of course there were half empty bottles of water all over my yard!  So in the flower pots those went too.  

Since I've filled up the kiddie pool, I also give them the job of watering the plants from the water in the pool.   lol

 

And i also made raspberry smoothies for lunch today with the squishy raspberries in the fridge.

 

I also made a fruit salad for another BBQ I went to and had tons left over.   It was breakfast for the girls and dessert tonight also.   The rest of it was blended up in the blender and we made popsicles.

 

 

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#5 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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Oh, this post is fun!

We've been baking our own bread and pizza, too.
We collect rainwater in a barrel connected to our downspouts, and we use that to water our garden. We also use the water collected by our basement dehumidifier.
We have started handwashing our bigger pots and pans rather than putting them in the dishwasher - it takes up so much space!
We're doing tons of berry picking, and we're freezing the berries this summer so we don't need to buy fruits from thousands of miles away during the winter.
We line dry our clothes out in the sun - I swear it beats our neighbor's dryer.
We switched the aerators in our faucets so they put out less water.
Hubby built a wardrobe from scratch rather than buying something expensive and pre-made.

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#6 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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i fixed my gutters and collect water from the down spouts (ya know, if it would ever rain)

 

We are having Rubens for supper because I scored $.99 a pound corned beef.


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#7 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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We hang and re-use towels,

We buy our produce at the Farmers market

We meal plan and eat up the fridge before buying more food - the only thing that has gone to waste in a long time is a little bit of sour cream.

We carry water/drinks everywhere and never buy bottled water.

We don't use baby wipes - just slide baby's bum under the sink for a rinse.

I've started growing herbs so we no longer need to buy them.

WE make LOADS of popcorn from scratch - it's our main snack and it's so easy and CHEAP!

WE alter DS' clothes so its a long time before he outgrows anything.

I'm on the verge of family cloth - when I was pregnant I had wretched yeast infections and got into the habit of washing myself (sorry, tmi???) every time I went to the lu instead of using tp. My bits and I would be happier if we just went FC, so that's what's happening next!

It's getting SUPER HOT in our apartment so once the sun starts shining in we close all the blinds to keep it cool and save on air con.

I think that's it. I'd like to add more to the list - make our own bread, granola, sprout our own beans etc. I think July will be a month of great progress in this home  thumb.gif


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#8 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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mmm, oh popcorn! That was our staple snack until I threw it up (sorry...TMI) in early pregnancy. Soon we'll go back to that. orngbiggrin.gif
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#9 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you make your own popcorn?

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#10 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemore View Post

How do you make your own popcorn?


I used to cover the bottom of a pot with a thin layer of oil, and then cover the bottom with a layer of popcorn. Set the stove on medium-mediumhigh heat, put the lid on winky.gif and keep shaking the pot. The popcorn will start popping, then wait until you're only getting a couple of pops a second and you're done. It helps avoid burning if you plunge the bottom of the pot into water immediately after. Cover the popcorn with salt and nutritional yeast and mmm....yummy.... the oil also helps those stick to the popcorn.

When we started eating this snack very frequently, we splurged on an air popper for health's sake. The salt and yeast don't stick as well, but still a yummy treat.
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#11 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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OT: Just jumping about popcorn, since this is one of our favorite simple, cheap snacks too and I have finally mastered how to make good popcorn lol! Cover the bottom of a pot with oil and put on the stove at medium-high.  Add ONE kernel of popcorn and wait until that kernel pops.  Then, add popcorn in one layer over the bottom of the pot.  Cover, but leave the lid slightly askew so steam can escape and shake frequently.  Something about waiting until the oil is really hot before adding the popcorn makes it nice and fluffy and also helps almost all the kernels pop so there are almost no hard or burnt ones on the bottom :)

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Originally Posted by Tear78 View Post



I used to cover the bottom of a pot with a thin layer of oil, and then cover the bottom with a layer of popcorn. Set the stove on medium-mediumhigh heat, put the lid on winky.gif and keep shaking the pot. The popcorn will start popping, then wait until you're only getting a couple of pops a second and you're done. It helps avoid burning if you plunge the bottom of the pot into water immediately after. Cover the popcorn with salt and nutritional yeast and mmm....yummy.... the oil also helps those stick to the popcorn.

When we started eating this snack very frequently, we splurged on an air popper for health's sake. The salt and yeast don't stick as well, but still a yummy treat.


 

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#12 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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I finally got over my squeamishness around bars of soap and it's way cheaper than liquid/foam. Not ready to give up foam in the shower though, that's beyond my 'grossness' limits. lol.gif

We take a walk around the neighborhood on trash day... worse case, we got some nice fresh air & exercise, but occasionally we score -- outdoor toys for DS, baskets for the house, small furniture we can refinish, etc.

I checked the websites of my town & surrounding towns for free summer concerts... lots going on around here, should be much more fun than sitting home wishing we could afford entertainment!!

One of my next projects (if I ever work up the energy!) is going to be sewing my old, too small clothes into new ones that might actually fit. It may be a failure, but maybe I'll end up with a great (and unique) wardrobe!
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#13 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I finally got over my squeamishness around bars of soap and it's way cheaper than liquid/foam. Not ready to give up foam in the shower though, that's beyond my 'grossness' limits. lol.gif

 


We use soap but lather up a pouf with it before soaping ourselves down... that brings it down to an acceptable level of grossness.  We are all family, after all! :)

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#14 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

OT: Just jumping about popcorn, since this is one of our favorite simple, cheap snacks too and I have finally mastered how to make good popcorn lol! Cover the bottom of a pot with oil and put on the stove at medium-high.  Add ONE kernel of popcorn and wait until that kernel pops.  Then, add popcorn in one layer over the bottom of the pot.  Cover, but leave the lid slightly askew so steam can escape and shake frequently.  Something about waiting until the oil is really hot before adding the popcorn makes it nice and fluffy and also helps almost all the kernels pop so there are almost no hard or burnt ones on the bottom :)



Hey, thanks for that advice! Our air popper leaves the popcorn chewy instead of crunchy, but whenever I've made it with oil, it always tastes overcooked to me--with a kind of almost-burnt taste. I bet your method will help me avoid that! I'll definitely be trying it next time.

 

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#15 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Today I:

-hung up one load of laundry (and got it in before the thunderstorm hit)

-made strawberry rhubarb crumble, chocolate muffins, and 2 loaves of wheat bread all at once to limit the time the oven was on

-planned ahead for lunch and snacks for the car for tomorrow's vacation

-filled some water bottles and put them in the freezer for tomorrow

-filled some tubs with water to have ice for the cooler (rather than buying it)

 

Not so frugal:

-cracked the plastic on the shower head when I adjusted it during my shower.  I plan to turn this around by at least replacing it with a low flow head.

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#16 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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oops, double post
 

 

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#17 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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-hand wash & hang laundry

-POPCORN! :)

-always reusable water bottles

-eat homegrown beans & other goodies

-walk/bike everywhere

-buy almost exclusively 2nd hand clothes

-"   " for baby on the way or make clothes (more fun anyway!)

-reusable bags, towels for carrying & storing foodies

-Dh makes all furniture (except the bed)

 

fun thread! always inspired by the ways of others, too!


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#18 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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I read this hint last year and this year I tried it out:  Use space blankets (that reflect something like 90% of heat) to block out the hot sun coming in through my windows.  I bought several tension curtain rods (at a yard sale for less than a dollar). I hung the folded up reflecting blankets over the rod, clipping the bottom with one of those paper binding clips so that the "curtains" could move freely on the rod.  On cooler days I push them back and secure them with a clothes pin.  On hot days, I pull them shut.  Today it was 95 or 97 out (depending on which thermometer I was looking out). I came home and did not even think about the air conditioner.  In fact I didn't even need the fan until I started cleaning.  My total expense was about $15 for the space blankets and I could probably have gotten cheaper ones (bought then at Kmart).  Of course buying the rods new would have been more money.  But the rods can be used and reused in other house.  But much, much cheaper than anything else I could have purchased, such as black out curtains or something.  And I haven't needed the air conditioner at all.  Even if I do use it some days, it should still be cheaper as it won't have to cool as much.  My electric bill this month was only around $30. (I have been using other electricity saving techniques as well.)

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#19 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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Mine are related to home renovations.

 

We decided it's in the budget to put up insulation and siding on our house this summer. 

-instead of doing it totally DIY we're hiring a friend of a friend, jack of all trades guy (he's already done our roof and we love him). DH and I will work with him (cheap labour) but love that it will be done right, no second guessing. 

 

-he wrote up a material list so we'll be shopping around. Found some great deals for Reno Depot (part of Rona) including buy 12 of same item and get the 13th free, they say they beat others prices by 10% (and will give a discount if you find it lower elsewhere) AND my mom has a bunch of coupons (spend $250 and get $25 in gift cards etc). I found all this by looking at their website and plan to print it up for when we go to the store. 

 

-we might do our floors later this fall and supposedly we can borrow a floor sander from BIL's uncle. He bought one when he refinished all the floors in his big apartment block. You never know who owns what! 

 

-also, adding extra insulation in the attic and vents in the peak of the roof on each side has made a HUGE difference this summer. We have a 1.5 story home and the upstairs was SO HOT last summer. (And cold in winter). 

 

For people who have high heating/cooling bills I highly encourage you to INSULATE! It will be your best friend. Also, there are so many grants around. Check your provincial/state/federal government websites.

 

We have electricity through Hydro Quebec and you can do a home diagnostic by filling out a questionnaire. They use the info from your file and say roughly how much you spend on heating, hot water, lights, laundry etc. I loved it! 


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#20 of 62 Old 07-06-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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Turned the temperature down on our hot water tank - saves us 10 or 15$ per month!

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#21 of 62 Old 07-07-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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ooh, ooh, guatemama1 mentioned reusable bags. I use these to carry my sandwiches/snacks around. They have a plastic, washable lining and a velcro top. The whole thing can go in the washing machine, too. I usually just wipe off the plastic with a sponge between uses, then throw it in the wash when the fabric starts to look dirty to me. I currently only have one, but I want to get a few more. We also have small cinchable mesh bags I use to hold beans, mushrooms, and other small items we buy at the market. I have to figure out where they came from because they were a gift. LOVE them! (eta - they came from here).

Also, ditto on the home improvements! Insulating made a HUGE difference for us. We also got a high-efficiency furnace, new windows, and a water heater that heats the water on demand. These were all pretty big investments we made over several years, but it's really saving us money in the long run.

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#22 of 62 Old 07-07-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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Wow, some of you are so ambitious!

 

I totally breastfeed our twins.

We are living without AC this summer.

Frugal for the future, I researched a lot and bought myself a $269 serger.  LOVE it.  So far, I have made two nursing gowns, a top and a dress for myself, cut off and hemmed 6 pairs of pants for the kids, made a moby-type wrap for baby-wearing, in the process of making two night-gowns for my three year old from fabric I'd bought for the wrap that didn't work (interlock and jersey are NOT interchangeable. LOL), a pillow made from her baby blanket for 11yo DD's birthday coming up and have material cut for an experimental nursing bra.  Total cost for material so far under $20.  Most of my fabric came from our St. Vincent de Paul and from a new jersey sheet set from Goodwill.  I still have several yards of another fabric, but I haven't decided on the pattern to use it.  I'm thinking nursing top or dress.  I also have some fabric leftovers from long ago projects that I'll be turning into usable things.  So my machine is pretty close to paying for itself, and I am so much more pleased with the quality and durability of my work.  I'd sorta given up on sewing except for little odd things here and there, because the durability just wasn't there.  

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#23 of 62 Old 07-07-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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For laundry...

 

I wash in cold water (except diapers) use homemade soap and hang clothes to dry. 

 

hang.gif

 

 

Also I use coupons to get good deals on food and other household items and pretty much all my shopping is on sale or clearance. 

 

 

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#24 of 62 Old 07-08-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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I've been trying to repurpose items more before recycling them- glass jars for homemade salad dressing and sprouts, yogurt and butter tubs for dry goods/leftovers/baby play things.

 

Buying beer in refillable growlers instead of individual bottles. :P

 

Secondhand and consignment clothes and toys for the baby.

 

Freezing ripe fruit for smoothies.

 

DH is not onboard but I reuse paper towels or use cloth instead.

 

I WOH and I bring lunch most days (I have coworkers that eat out every day, idk how they do it!)

 

In my dream home improvements we collect rain water in the old cystern in our basement and connect it to the toilet!

 

I like the emergency blanket reflector idea for cooling the house- may do that on the SW corner which just bakes everything this time of year!


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#25 of 62 Old 07-08-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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- Laundry in cold - this has been hard for me for some reason

- Meal planning - I've been hearing for years that is saves money, and what do you know?

- Selling some unused items in the garage


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#26 of 62 Old 07-08-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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Buying beer in refillable growlers instead of individual bottles. :P


This is Greek to me, can you explain? Sounds like something my DH would benefit from!!
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#27 of 62 Old 07-08-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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Great ideas mamas. Since my DH and I are both really frugal, it makes it easy for us to save and re-use items in our household. So far we've

- stopped using paper towels and started using cloth

- unplug everything when not in use...our electric bill tops $70 each month

- no air conditioner during the day, just fans

- collect rainwater, and use it to water our grass and garden

- planted a tomato and peach tree and started growing cucumbers

- wash and sanitize ziploc baggies and use 3-4 times before they hit the garbage

- mama cloth instead of disposables

- only use the diswasher twice per week

 

Any tips for being frugal with laundry?? Consolidating loads?? I have been trying to find something, but I don't want to mess up our clothes.


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#28 of 62 Old 07-08-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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This is Greek to me, can you explain? Sounds like something my DH would benefit from!!


 half gallon jugs that can be filled at a beverage center/ draft beer to go. growlers    1/     

 


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#29 of 62 Old 07-08-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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imanifaith - I've been thinking about adding a spin dryer to shorten dry times: http://www.laundry-alternative.com/drying.htm but haven't taken the plunge yet.  I do not separate colors; I wash everything cold except dipes during the summer.  During the winter here my water gets too cold, so I wash warm.  If you mostly buy used clothes, they're usually well past bleeding.  I only use the minimum amount of soap in the scoop or less.  Lots of people hang dry, but with the size of our family, my dryer is worth the savings of time and personal energy.


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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#30 of 62 Old 07-09-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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I have a great deal of my budget going towards food, but I buy it the most frugal way possible. My family and I started a CSA and every 2 weeks we sort, pack and distribute meat, eggs, honey, flour and, coconut oil and dairy and produce to ourselves and others who have joined our co-op. We buy all local and organic and get it at absolute rock bottom prices by doing the work ourselves. Besides that I shop in bulk at Costco once a month and we rarely go out to eat. I utilize all of our food, make my own salad dressings, bread, mayonnaise(when it works, lol!) and pickles. We eat very little bread and grains (for allergy purposes) so a lot of our money goes to meat, eggs, and produce, but we are so healthy because of it!  I use cloth diapers on both my kids, and I hang my cloth diapers instead of using the dryer, I have a compost pile to help with my garden, grow my own veggies and herbs (very little grows well here in Texas though, so right now I mainly have peppers and herbs) I'll be making my own baby food when our baby starts solids. My main reason for all this isn't necessarily to be frugal, but I believe it's all healthier for us and better for the environment. We just installed solar screens on the house to help with our A/C bill. My husband does pretty much all house projects himself(we never hire anyone to do anything). Hubby is a big soda fiend, and while I hate it, we bought that SodaStream soda maker to save money on the soda he buys. Yuck, but whatever. Besides that I recycle and use old cans, jars, anything really to make crafts for the kids with.


DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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