The Annual Mothering Frugal Ideas Contest - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 118 Old 02-08-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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Our city hasn't approved it yet, (come on Billings!  Get with the program!) but raising your own hens is a great source of healthy eggs!  My inlaws and sister in law have raised chickens for years and enjoy feeding the chickens veggie kitchen scraps.  A great way to ensure you are getting healthy food, a great way to teach the kiddos (and myself!) where food comes from.  PLUS they make sweet noises when they are happy!

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#92 of 118 Old 02-08-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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We eat alot of meat, but we don't pay much at all for it.  Nearby (and soon on our land, I'm sure) there are many, many, many wild pigs.  They are very destructive and dangerous.  They are cleared for aerial shooting (which means just shooting and leaving them to rot) around the Red River.  My mom's dh traps many of them as a favor for nearby neighbors.  We go and process them and fill many freezers with good meat and bones for stock.  We worm them and feed them for a month first.  No antibiotics, just wormer which gets out of their systems completely before they are butchered.  With as many as there are out there, there is no reason for anyone to be hungry!  We save ALOT of $ this way. 

 

We also raise meat rabbits, which are lower in fat and calories and higher in protein than chicken breast (we also raise chickens, though).  Very economical way to put food on the table.


Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#93 of 118 Old 02-08-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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I'm making a rug out of old jeans.  They would have been thrown away (friends and family gave me a ton) otherwise...I braided strips and am currently waiting on my hemp twine to arrive so I can finish.  It will be for my mudroom and will hold up to lots of washings.

027.JPG

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Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#94 of 118 Old 02-08-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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We purchased a "nearly new" birth tub from aquadoula for our third birth and now we rent it for $200/month!  We love the extra income and being part of the birth community.


Nurse and mother to two beautiful boys, William 06/07/06, George 08/27/08, and our newest addition John Bear, born 9/20/10! Married to my lovely dh for 10 years on 06/04/10!
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#95 of 118 Old 02-09-2012, 02:27 AM
 
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My mom got a second water meter for outside water.  This way all the water for the garden you only pay for water (not sewage) it paid for itself in a year. This might vary with the area you live in.

 

Along with meal planning I plan to have a few very simple meals. We live in Japan so brown rice and miso soup, I might also serve a side veg. depending on how many veg are in the soup. Another night I do a soup and homemade bread. (or variation of bread like biscuits or cornbread)  I keep a well stocked pantry so I can make dinner quickly when something in the plans goes amiss.  We rarely eat out.

 

Others have already mentioned the best tips.

Sleep

plan

budget

don't shop

pay cash

don't drive

garden

make yourself 

 

Here is to a frugal and happy life for all.

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#96 of 118 Old 02-09-2012, 11:45 AM
 
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Hunt.  Eat Meat.  (please remember this thread is about being frugal not about lambasting each other for personal decisions, I know most of you are vegetarians and vegans, just trying to show the other side of it)  Most animals that we choose to eat, graze off of lands where we can NOT grow crops.  Living in an area that allows it, purchasing a "tag" and responsibly hunting has allowed my household to eat frugally and healthfully.  We avoid mass produced meats, which are pumped full of antibiotics and are not raised in healthy conditions and opt for venison that has lived wonderful lives grazing off the land.  I cannot describe the money we have saved and how better I feel when I eat this way.  So, send your hubby out to hunt!

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#97 of 118 Old 02-09-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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Quit buying stuff.  Use freecycle.com or swapmamas.com, post an ISO in your local moms groups and offer to trade for the item you need.

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#98 of 118 Old 02-09-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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I cut up our old cotton t-shirts into rags for the kitchen. We keep a whole stack of them handy, and we use these in place of paper towels. They are soft, absorbent, easy to wash, and, because because they're cut from old t-shirts, there's no need to finish the edges--no fraying! We have a BIG collection of these rags, which makes them just as easy to use as paper towels--I can grab one quickly to wipe up a small spill, and throw it right into the hamper to be washed and reused. We've used pretty much the same stash of rags for five years now, and they are still holding up well. That's a LOT of paper towel money saved :)

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#99 of 118 Old 02-09-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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Go No 'Poo!  No Shampoo that is!  Use a bit of baking soda to wash your hair and then apple cider vinegar to "condition".  Sooooo inexpensive and if you allow it will improve your hair health!

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#100 of 118 Old 02-11-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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 don't have any patterns to offer, but for the diapers I truly just tore a flannel sheet into squares.  (I zig-zag stitched around some scrap squares to make cloth wipes, too.) There are YouTube videos a-plenty to show you how to do the origami fold.  I didn't hem them because it made them bunchy and bumpy.  Some of the edges frayed a bit in the wash, but usually by the time they lost much size my little guy had grown and was ready for me to rip up some new diapers for him. 

 

The long pants are easier to make than the briefs.  Find a sweater that's at least 80% wool (cashmere works too, but doesn't felt as well so needs to start out dense or you'll need two layers) and wash it in hot water, cold rinse and pop it in the dryer.  Check it now and then to make sure it isn't getting too stiff.  Sometimes they need a couple of rounds to get tight enough. If you have a pair of pants that is the size you want for your soakers, lay that on the sleeves to get length and crotch seam lined up.  Stitch up the crotch seam with the sleeve cuffs becoming the ankle cuffs, and the sweater's waist band can be stitched on for the diaper waist band,  Sometimes I add thin elastic threaded in and out of the waist to make a paper bag style waist, or put wider elastic through a folded over and stitched casing.  I cut appliques from scrap wool (other fabrics will wick the moisture and end up soaked) and hand stitch them on.  I've also needle felted some cute designs onto some of them.  I have some more pics of some that I have made here for some more ideas: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Smiling-Hearts-Custom-Critters-and-Clothing/156271894414477

 

Good luck!

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#101 of 118 Old 02-11-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by oregontina View Post


Oh my gosh! Radiant Lotus, I love love love these ideas!!! I am totally and completely lacking any sort of creativity. Would you be willing to send me instructions for both of these? I am totally impressed with your ingenuity :)

 

Love it!

 

Tina

 

 

Sorry, I don't have any patterns to offer, but for the diapers I truly just tore a flannel sheet into squares.  (I zig-zag stitched around some scrap squares to make cloth wipes, too.) There are YouTube videos a-plenty to show you how to do the origami fold.  I didn't hem them because it made them bunchy and bumpy.  Some of the edges frayed a bit in the wash, but usually by the time they lost much size my little guy had grown and was ready for me to rip up some new diapers for him. 

 

The long pants are easier to make than the briefs.  Find a sweater that's at least 80% wool (cashmere works too, but doesn't felt as well so needs to start out dense or you'll need two layers) and wash it in hot water, cold rinse and pop it in the dryer.  Check it now and then to make sure it isn't getting too stiff.  Sometimes they need a couple of rounds to get tight enough. If you have a pair of pants that is the size you want for your soakers, lay that on the sleeves to get length and crotch seam lined up.  Stitch up the crotch seam with the sleeve cuffs becoming the ankle cuffs, and the sweater's waist band can be stitched on for the diaper waist band,  Sometimes I add thin elastic threaded in and out of the waist to make a paper bag style waist, or put wider elastic through a folded over and stitched casing.  I cut appliques from scrap wool (other fabrics will wick the moisture and end up soaked) and hand stitch them on.  I've also needle felted some cute designs onto some of them.  I have some more pics of some that I have made here for some more ideas: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Smiling-Hearts-Custom-Critters-and-Clothing/156271894414477

 

Good luck!




 



 

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#102 of 118 Old 02-11-2012, 07:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jwhitmandc View Post

Our New Years resolutions to save money are; Eat out no more than 1-2x a week, no more "drinking out" when we do eat out (everyone drinks water), no more $5 coffees (coffee gets made at home)...

We did this last year, and it made a HUGE difference in dining out spending, AND we even stopped 'dining in' at the restaurants for a while when we were saving for buying our new house (saving 20% on our tip fee).
 

 


Married: 02/04   -   SAHM to Son: April '09   -    Pregnant: Due April '12

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#103 of 118 Old 02-11-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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Maybe not the thriftiest tip, but a way to get some good coupons....

 

Change your home phone number and/or provider!

 

I recently switched providers (which ended up saving us money, yay!) and in the process, my number was changed (and eventually changed back, so I don't know if this works if you keep your old number from the get-go). An unexpected result is that we are getting all of those "Welcome to the neighborhood!" coupons from local stores that we got when we moved. One is a 20% off (the whole order) at Bed Bath & Beyond, another for a home improvement store, home furnishing stores, etc.

 

 

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#104 of 118 Old 02-11-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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I never buy wrapping paper or gift bags. (Well, at some point I did, but not in a many years.) I save gift bags, wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons, bows, etc. that we receive. So I've got a stash of supplies whenever I need to wrap something. When I forget my reusable grocery bags shopping, I get paper bags and save those for things like gifts. Tissue paper tied with a ribbon works great for small gifts. I also avoid using tape whenever possible by using ribbon.

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#105 of 118 Old 02-12-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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Save chicken or other bones from roasted meats in a freezer bag in the freezer.  Save all veggie scraps and peelings in another freezer bag in the freezer until ready to make stock.  This makes stock that is just about free! 


Giving Love serves as a wonderful reminder that we already have an abundance of Love within, "it is in giving that we receive."
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#106 of 118 Old 02-12-2012, 10:21 AM
 
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Use a menstrual cup and/or cloth pads for your period.  I made my own cloth pads out of flannel and use a diva cup.  I've been using re-usable menstrual products for 10 years now.  If I was purchasing disposable feminine products I imagine I've saved hundreds of dollars!!!

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Giving Love serves as a wonderful reminder that we already have an abundance of Love within, "it is in giving that we receive."
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#107 of 118 Old 02-12-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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Recycle tee-shirts into reusable cloth wipes.  Not only will this work for diaper changes, but it also works for family cloth!  Even if you are just using it for #1 it will save you money. 


Giving Love serves as a wonderful reminder that we already have an abundance of Love within, "it is in giving that we receive."
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#108 of 118 Old 02-12-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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Use the grocery sale flyers to make your meal plan.  If you make your menu prior to looking at the sales, you will have nothing to base prices on.  Make a price book to record the prices you pay for regular items, and where they were bought from.  This will allow you to know when the price is the lowest, you can then stock up at that time.  Track your spending!  I use Excel but a notebook also works.  This makes you aware of where you are spending your money and allows you to set goals to for the future.

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Giving Love serves as a wonderful reminder that we already have an abundance of Love within, "it is in giving that we receive."
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#109 of 118 Old 02-13-2012, 01:27 PM
 
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Our rural community is an incredibly supportive place. Folks freely pass on their children's hand-me-downs, extra garden veggies, even tools to those of us in need. Two of my favorite money-saving events are our seasonal clothing swaps and the outdoor gear exchange at our community school. Twice a year we take turns hosting an evening of potluck dishes and clothes that don't fit, don't look good, or we're just plain sick of taking up space in our dresser. Most of the items are woman's clothing, but we always have a men's table and a kid's section. Since the nearest shopping center is at least 45 minutes away, not only does this save in gas and stress, it is a great way to freshen up your wardrobe, fill your belly and laugh with a bunch of beautiful people. What we don't take home we bag up and donate to the school's annual yard sale. This year at school we also created an easy system to outfit our kids for the long Adirondack winters. As our children outgrow hats and mitts and snowsuits, we drop them in the bins at school and take what we need. Brilliant, frugal, friendly :)

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#110 of 118 Old 02-13-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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For my daughter's birthday we had a hot chocolate bar and the take-home favours were the mugs we used at the party. The week before, I went to the second hand shops in the area and picked up pretty mugs and a few china cup and saucer sets. I also made my own chocolate dipped spoons from wooden picnic spoons and discount bars of Belgian chocolate. For the winter, I put together a small indoor herb garden for on my counter. I have fresh parsley and lemon balm on hand for just pennies!

Recently, my grocery store had a sale on bok choy, so I stocked up, washed, chopped and froze the cabbage and now I've got a supply in the freezer. When I cook chicken, I save the liquid broth and chill it until I can skim off the top. The remaining broth I use in soups and stirfry meals. I make a lot of my own bread, and I also make hamburger buns and tortilla wraps when I need them in a pinch.

Cleaning supplies: I buy a giant box of baking soda for scrubbing, and I also buy peroxide at the dollar store and put it in a spray bottle for cleaning. In the shower, I make a bath scrub out of cornmeal, salt and brown sugar, and I also got the tip from here on Mothering to "wash my face with honey". For acne, I rub my face with the end of a carrot - the vitamin A is great for my face!

Sewing: I save old clothes to be re-purposed into new crafts or projects. Adult sized long sleeve shirts are just about the right size to make pants for little ones. Wool sweaters can be shrunk down to make cozy mittens.  Right now, I'm making my daughter a twirly skirt out of a bedsheet and a sofa cover. I once made a mei tai from a sofa cover too - the fabric was a great weight, and because I made it myself, I stuffed it with wool instead of polyester. The wool I got free from a local farmer who raises sheep for meat but has nothing to do with the wool. If you're willing to do the washing and prep yourself, it can be a great way to get stuffing.

My neighbour recently cleared out some fallen trees in the woods behind his house, so I asked for the wood - I'm going to make some tree blocks by cutting them to size, sanding them and then rubbing them with leftover ends from beeswax candles. Some larger pieces became outdoor stump-stools for us to sit on.

In December, I kept my garden clippers in my van and clipped wild holly berries from ditches to decorate my home. I also used boughs of spruce that were trimmed from a tree to make swags under the front windows.

 

 

 

 

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#111 of 118 Old 02-13-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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This may seem overly simple, but the easiest thing my family does to save money is to stop thinking of things we already have as disposable. If something like an appliance stops working, do not immediately throw it out and seek out a replacement. I have used the website called "Fixya" to help repair my refrigerator, washer, stand mixer, coffee maker, grinder, printer and more, saving hundreds of dollars while keeping these items out of landfills.

My husband and I were truly baffled at what could be causing our printer to jam recently. DH is normally very handy and intuitive with machines but he was stumped. He was ready to chuck it in th ewaste bin. I looked up the make and model on Fixya with the problem. On the page, I saw scores of mamas writing in to recommend turning the unit upside down and shaking. We did, and out came a crayon. Now, it works great again!
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#112 of 118 Old 02-13-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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I accidentally washed a few disposable wipes that were "made from real cloth". I realized once washed, they were a lot like swiffer pads, so I started using them to clean my car and dust furniture.

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#113 of 118 Old 02-13-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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We have chickens, use their eggs in our cooking (making bread etc from scratch), my daughter helps collect the eggs. Extra eggs are sold and the money put into an account for her - to help her learn about running a business (she is still too little to understand much, she is 2yrs). When we clean the chickens out the waste goes onto the veggie garden as compost, from our bountiful garden - weeds, spoiled fruits and veggie plants at the end of the season are given back to the chickens. Veggies from the garden are used in home cooking and canning too. It is a wonderful cycle of life activity to involve our daughter in.

100_5022.JPG 100_4275.JPG

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#114 of 118 Old 02-13-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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I think the best thing we've done to save money is write out our budget every month and stick to it. Might sound  really basic and not like much of a tip, but it's startling how many people have never actually created a budget plan, let alone stuck to it. Know where your money is going! It can be surprising how much you save when you plan where your money is going to go, and keep track of it, making sure it all goes where you told it to.

My second favorite is careful gift buying/making. I buy art/craft/school supplies when they're on sale after the back to school "sales." I use them to make "genius kits;" a box, bag, or large jar filled with colored papers, ribbons, felt, fun scissors, crayons, markers, glue, tape, etc. For young children, an even cheaper is making a big batch of playdough and including real kitchen utensils from thrift stores. Both of those are always hits. I always buy things on sale and save them in a big "gift" tote, to use whenever a kids' birthday party comes up.

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#115 of 118 Old 02-14-2012, 06:58 AM
 
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i think what saves us the most money is making our own meals using basic whole foods. we use a combination of many tips that have already been mentioned and some that haven't,  including:

1.breastfeeding, 

2.joining co-ops and csa's,

3.shopping farmers markets, or growing our own food, and preserving our own food

4.bartering, 

5.freely sharing excess,

6.shop clearance, shop secondhand or don't shop,

7.rescue things from the trash (food or otherwise),

8.get crafty with what you've already got,

9.cook in large batches (saves energy and time),

10.ECing and "diaper-free" time,

11. take part in free community resources and activities- especially libraries, 

12. doing without

13. taking "working vacations"

14. buying quality and fixing what's broken- or buying/finding broken, but quality things and fixing them

15. travel to an area where people have literally nothing and realize we don't really need anything.

16. don't be too strict with yourself- everything in moderation, including moderation (and forget the guilt!)

 

 

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#116 of 118 Old 02-14-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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Natural cleaning products such as vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and luffa for cleaning has saved us a lot of money.  We use vinegar in our dish rinse cycle and as fabric softner and general cleaning and disinfecting.  For disinfecting real nasty stuff we use vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide.  We use baking soda in our laundry to cut down on detergent and it helps soften the water and clean better.  We use sunlight as bleach for stains. 
Also, meal planning and budgeting according to our meal planning has saved us over $100 a month and we reduce our food waste.  We made our own wipes and handkerchiefs and napkins.  When we do have waste, we compost, recycle or reuse to reduce the amount, we've even cut out our trash services because we had so little wastes, just a bag every two weeks that we just bring to our friends garbage can...

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#117 of 118 Old 02-15-2012, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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This contest is now closed to posting. A huge thanks to everyone for their wonderful ideas and photos!

 

We will announce winners soon. thumb.gif


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#118 of 118 Old 02-22-2012, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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With this fabulous collection of frugal ideas and tips it was a challenge to decide on the winners! But after going over all of the entires and considering the community voting we are please to announce that Chicky2, Chalex and peaceful_mama are our winners! Congratulations to you all and a huge thanks to everyone for their participation!

 

 


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