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#301 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 09:20 PM
 
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Freecycle.org is the only way to get onto Freecyle. The reason we advertise that, instead of the actual URL is so people can get on the international Freecycle website and check out what it's all about. Go ahead and answer all the questions. They just want to make sure you're not some spammer. Alot of groups will ask members what neighborhood they live, etc. If you don't like the group, you can always unsubscribe. It's okay to belong to several, I belong to mine (well, I'm the owner), also one in my mom's town, and one in my dad's town, so I can give them the head's up on good stuff!

I wish I was married to a mechanic!! DH will do anything to his car, but he won't touch mine with a 9-ft. pole. I got on the car talk website (the NPR show) and got good recommendations for a mechanic when I was out of town, and had no idea what was good. Another thought is to look on ebay for parts. The same time I was in Omaha and had to use the Car Talk website, it turned out I needed a new accessory drive shaft. If the mech. would order that, it would cost $800, and then the cost of labor on top of that! EEK! So I checked on Ebay, and bought a brand new shaft for $300 or $400 (I forget now), but it was a huge savings. I printed out the auction and took it to the mech. to make sure it was okay, he gave me the go-ahead, and I bought it, and brought it to him. He charged a bit extra for labor (like $60) to put it together, but overall, it saved hundreds of bucks!! I recommend this to EVERYONE who is having car troubles.

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#302 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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*subscribing* : we need all the help we can get.
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#303 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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Fundraising drives me crazy-especially that boy scout pop corn. I usually just give a donatation to the troop of $5-10. They get to keep 100% of that. I do like the wrapping paper in the fall that my nephews do and all their cousins before. I LOVE GS cookies and I figure its once a year. I also sold them as a kid. The baseball teams sell candy that my fil and dad enjoy so I buy it for them. But it does get a bit crazy at times. A lot of times though a donation to the cause I will do and as I said-they can keep 100% of that.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#304 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdypea
Oh here's another tip that I learned from a friend today:

I'm going to start bathing my little one in a Rubbermaid tub (already have it in the basement). It uses about a quarter of the water and she says the water stays warmer longer. You just put it right in the bathtub and there ya go!
When I take my shower, I put the drain plug in the tub, adjust the nozzle to just drizzle the water out and put the kids in at the same time. Saves alot of water, and makes me take a shorter shower (so it doesn't overflow)

About fundraising, Amy D. in the Tightwad Gazette talks about that. In a nutshell, she says to just give a check for a portion of an item, because that's really how much would go to the school/organization in the end.

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#305 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 09:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rowdypea
I feel like a jerk about this, but who else is going crazy with kids selling you things for fundraisers? dh and I both work with youngsters and it is SO hard for me to say no. I have actually never said no. And now it's GS cookie time. eegads, last year we spent over $60, and we have a one box per girl policy. Anyone else??
Practice these words "no thanks"
You don't need wrapping paper, GS cookies, overpriced chocolates.... My mom used to say "listen, I could buy this stuff, or I could just give you $10 towardsyour trip. Which do you want?"
I always took the $10.
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#306 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Let me preface this by saying that I'm delighted to support schools financially. The public school that my dd attends is great.

However, I do not purchase fundraisers, even the ones the school tries to get my kids to do, but will give a small donation to the cause. I'm morally opposed to most fundraisers anyway. Corporate America can sell its own damn wrapping paper, candles, frozen pies and other assorted trash and they will not do it on the backs of my kids. Carwashes, bake sales, baby sitting, etc., are a different story.

For every fundraiser that comes home, if there is a place on the form to just make a contribution, that's what I do, and I thank them for including those of us who do not wish to purchase unneeded crap. I don't participate in those that don't have that option on the form. I also send the president of the PTA a letter every year suggesting that they just do a direct solicitation in lieu of selling crap. They haven't yet. If they just asked, I'd cheerfully write them a whopping big check.
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#307 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 11:26 PM
 
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EF Mom-

You are totally right. I work at a preschool (coordinating the family center pt) and they are always doing fundraising. Most of them are great: a dance-a-thon, a yearly spring gala, a rummage sale, a car raffle (donated *new* vehicle), but the ones that drive me crazy are the corporate ones where you buy crap from a catalog and the children actually only get like fifteen percent of the total sales. I have never spent a dime on those because I feel the same way you do. The last one they did was this at home america . Everyone was so excited to spend money on this stupid crap because it was "for the children" when really they only get a small fraction. I'm just so over all of those dumb doo-dads though. It's like stuff that's supposed to look like art but really it's not art it's just mass-produced junk. Okay, I admit I'm getting a little worked up but NO WAY will my son ever be a door-to-door salesman for this stuff. :

But bake sales, you bet I'll be there with donated goodies

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#308 of 509 Old 01-13-2005, 11:46 PM
 
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Wow, EF Mom, that's a good point. I never looked at it that way. DH and I have a policy of buying something from any child who asks, b/c we know what it's like to be that child. We've felt that by buying frugal in most areas of our life, we could afford to spend money on something local like this. But I never looked at that corporate angle. And now that I think about it, you know what is really bad? Children that are in a group that is doing a fundraiser will face consequences if they don't sell enough. I remember being in clubs where you had to sell X dollars of fundraising items or you had to pay your own way on club trips. Ugh.
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#309 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 12:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom
:
However, I do not purchase fundraisers, even the ones the school tries to get my kids to do, but will give a small donation to the cause. I'm morally opposed to most fundraisers anyway. Corporate America can sell its own damn wrapping paper, candles, frozen pies and other assorted trash and they will not do it on the backs of my kids. Carwashes, bake sales, baby sitting, etc., are a different story.

For every fundraiser that comes home, if there is a place on the form to just make a contribution, that's what I do, and I thank them for including those of us who do not wish to purchase unneeded crap. I don't participate in those that don't have that option on the form. I also send the president of the PTA a letter every year suggesting that they just do a direct solicitation in lieu of selling crap. They haven't yet. If they just asked, I'd cheerfully write them a wopping big check.
This also reminds me of my niece selling for a fundraiser and she learned her lesson- boy did she ever. Her jr high school was doing the magazine drive. I renewed a few zines that I would have anyway- they were actually cheaper this way- fine. She sold enough to get a special prize from the principal on a special day. The day came and went. She was so mad and upset that she lost her recongnition and her prize was late. My sil called the principal herself and said what is up? He was in a meeting that day and it did not happen. She then said how dissapointed her daughter was and would you please just give her the friggen whatever it was so we can move on?? After that, whenever a fundraiser comes up, she just hands it back to whoever is in charge and says "My parents don't like fundraisers."

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#310 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 01:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom
Corporate America can sell its own damn wrapping paper, candles, frozen pies and other assorted trash and they will not do it on the backs of my kids.
That needed to be seen again.

Well said.

Namaste!
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#311 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 01:44 AM
 
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Just posted on Q's & Suggestions to ask to start a Frugal Living Forum. Go over and support it if you wanna!

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#312 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 02:00 AM
 
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Okay, I'm going to swing the topic a little here. I remember reading a few pages back about someone making their own "Clorox wipes". I using these things. They are SO convenient, especially when doing my "swish and swipe" in the morning BUT I am plagued w/ the guilt of adding more to the landfills, the chemicals, etc. So, who made them and how? I would love to make up my own, but I don't know how to make my own cleaners (something else I would love to switch to, BTW). Any ideas? websites that are good to check out?
I am so loving this thread and all the ideas. You ladies have inspired me to try making my own bread

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#313 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 02:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dready*mama
Just posted on Q's & Suggestions to ask to start a Frugal Living Forum. Go over and support it if you wanna!
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=236922
here's the link

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#314 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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Dready Mama - the original frugal mama is back! Where ya' been. Although I confess I can't read every page of this thread that is growing exponentially!!

I posted my support for a family finances board. I want frugal living to be included in that - but so many money conversations happen on MDC I think there is room for all of the topics in a general money forum ya' know!

We asked a few times for a forum like this - hopefully our consistent vocalizing will triumph!
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#315 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Zack419
Okay, I'm going to swing the topic a little here. I remember reading a few pages back about someone making their own "Clorox wipes". I using these things. They are SO convenient, especially when doing my "swish and swipe" in the morning BUT I am plagued w/ the guilt of adding more to the landfills, the chemicals, etc. So, who made them and how? I would love to make up my own, but I don't know how to make my own cleaners (something else I would love to switch to, BTW). Any ideas? websites that are good to check out?
I am so loving this thread and all the ideas. You ladies have inspired me to try making my own bread
What I do is keep a spray bottle of cleaner in my bathroom (usually vinegar and water) and a stack of washcloths or rags. The rags go right in the laundry hamper and the spray bottle goes back on the shelf after I clean up.

It doesn't take much longer than using a disposable wipe and I don't get a horrible headache from the chemicals in the wipe.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#316 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 12:24 PM
 
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Hey Goodcents!! I'm here! Not dready anymore, but too cheap to change my user name! :

Thanks to EVERYONE for posting replies on the Q's & Suggestions forum!!! HOpefully it'll work Although I feel budgeting falls in the category of frugal living, I see the point of having a general 'Money" forum for things like house-buying, investing, etc. We'll see what the demand is for, I guess.

What do you guys do for artwork in your houses? We live in a rental, so all our walls are grossly white. Above our couch is this huge empty white wall. It needs something, but not sure what. There's never good art at the thrift stores. And the photography I really like is wicked expensive.

Also, our chest freezer is giving us headaches. It's not freezing things on the top. Anyone else have this problem? The Sears guy said on the phone, that the seal was probably leaking air because the top was probably out of alignment. He asked if it had been bumped hard... I was like.. umm.. yeah, we do have kids!! They tend to think it's jungle gym!! oops. Now what?

One more thing~ a good friend of mine (who used to frequent Frugal Mamas tribes - WeLove2Farm) just emailed me. She said a good friend of hers in Vermont was driving home from the hardware store with her 2 kids & DH to find their house on fire. The fire dept. was out of water, and her family & neighbors and the fire dept all just stood their and watched it burn down. Then a week later, she started having abdominal pains. Found out she was pregnant w/ twins! But one was stuck in her tubes and had to be removed. This all happened the same week as Christmas. Just something to think about so we can stop feeling so poor and feel really blessed!

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#317 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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You can buy a blank canvas at an art supply for fairly cheap, and have the kids paint it
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#318 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 12:40 PM
 
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dready mama-

your poor friend

that makes my money issues seem pretty small.

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#319 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dready*mama
.

What do you guys do for artwork in your houses? We live in a rental, so all our walls are grossly white. Above our couch is this huge empty white wall. It needs something, but not sure what. There's never good art at the thrift stores. And the photography I really like is wicked expensive.

!

ARTWORK!

my FIL was a fine artist so we always have beautiful and pricey art on our walls- rental or not! I'm so lucky in that aspect. Nothing makes me feel more warm and friendly than good art! Much of his stuff has been sold but between my MIL and my SIL and us we have an interchangable collection, if you will. Every few years we trade pieces within our circle so it seems like we have new art all the time. Since he's passed now its even more precious.
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#320 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 01:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dready*mama
Hey Goodcents!! I'm here! Not dready anymore, but too cheap to change my user name! :

Thanks to EVERYONE for posting replies on the Q's & Suggestions forum!!! HOpefully it'll work Although I feel budgeting falls in the category of frugal living, I see the point of having a general 'Money" forum for things like house-buying, investing, etc. We'll see what the demand is for, I guess.

What do you guys do for artwork in your houses? We live in a rental, so all our walls are grossly white. Above our couch is this huge empty white wall. It needs something, but not sure what. There's never good art at the thrift stores. And the photography I really like is wicked expensive.
We have a rental, too. Although we can paint the walls, we only painted a few. Most of our artwork has come from places like Target and Burlington Coat Factory : Not the most original of places, but the pictures are nice and they're really not that expensive. The few pieces we've bought, we LOVE. The rest, well, family pictures. I like to go to the dept. stores when they're having BIG sales and get collage frames. Then I surround myself w/ loved ones
I think the canvas idea is great. I would have DS aint one for me if he wasn't just 9mo.
Oh, another idea.... for our bedroom (island-y theme), I'm taking pictures of palms I took on our honeymoon and blowing them up. Then I'm going to overlap them and collage them in some large frames.
Gotta go- babe's awake

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#321 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 01:08 PM
 
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Nak'ing so excuse the typos....
I am loving all these frugal ideas but I have to confess....I LOVE PAPER TOWELS, : I'm sorry, I do. I use them in the kitchen with some bleach spray because I am terrified og salmonella!

I am speaking from first habnd experience because dd had it when she was 2, hospitalized for four days on antibiotics, then more antibiotic shots for a few weeks. We dont know where it came from, I know lots of scary facts about it if you want more details....but chicken & eggs scare me. You'll never eat a moist chic in my house 'cuz I roast them to death!

PHEW...glad I got that off my chest. (better than church, lol)
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#322 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 01:54 PM
 
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If you want to create some cheap "art" you can get a piece of funky fabric and staple it over an ugly canvas.

I have been so inspired by this thread that I pulled out my sewing machine and used a remnant of flannel somebody gave me awhile back to make cloth napkins. They turned out great

While on a roll I've decided to do a few more sewing projects....ds is low on diapers and I've put the word out to some of the moms that I know that use sposies so I think I will probably get a few old burper but am also thinking about making some with the items that I've stuck in the rag bag lately...so how do you think that old towels would work? Would they be too heavy? Absorbant enough?

BJ
Barney & Ben

P.S. I will weigh in and the forum for a frugal/family finances forum!!!
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#323 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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I was wondering that too.

What old towels and clothes can be turned into dipes?

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!

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#324 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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Just posted my request for our own forum.
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#325 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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I posted like three...I kept getting new ideas... :

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!

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#326 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AngelBee
I was wondering that too.

What old towels and clothes can be turned into dipes?
Just about any- except maybe polyester!!!

Wool stuff (sweaters, pants, etc) can be used for covers.

Anything soft and cotton can be used for diaper interiors- flannel sheets, t-shirts, etc. Even cotton/poly stuff would probably work OK for inner layers (that touch baby's skin) but I wouldn't count on them for absorbant layers. Thick, cotton stuff (sweatshirts, towels, or just lots and lots of thin cotton like t-shirts) can be used for the absorbant layers.

There's somebody on ebay who sells diapers made with jeans for the outside and t-shirts for the inside (and separate covers made from old sweaters.)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#327 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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Hey, the FlyLady's got a place on the internet. I don't think it's been posted on this thread but if so, sorry. Check it out!

flylady.net
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#328 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 05:27 PM
 
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nak
as far as making your owm dipes, a good site to check out is www.fernandfaerie.com/frugaldiapering.html
Also, www.thediaperhyena.com has links on frugal diapering.

flylady!!! I am a flybaby and working my way to superfling boogie-ing my way to decluttering my home I have about 160lbs to donate to Salvation Army and we're still going. I also like that she covers meal planning, finances, etc. check out the table of contents link at www.flylady.net there is SO much info there

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#329 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 05:29 PM
 
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Wildmonkeys, I love that idea of making art by stapling fabric to canvas!!!!

To those who asked about homemade cleaners, I recommend the book Clean Home, Clean Planet. I just got it from the library, and I'm actually excited at the prospect of replacing the endless of bottles of chemical cleaners w/ bottles of safe, homemade cleaners. I've just started the book, but the basic shopping list consists of baking soda, vinegar, liquid castile soap, Borax, lemon juice, olive oil, club soda, purified water, (optional) essential oils, and spray containers. As for disinfecting, check out this thread I started in Natural Home and Body Care about using vinegar and peroxide.

I'm not normally one to get on mailing lists, but I do make a point to get on the lists for my favorite stores or companies. That way, I get coupons and notifications of sales. However, I always call the 800 customer service number and tell them not to share or sell my information. That way, I get what I want, but no other junk.

Herbs are expensive, so I grow and dry my favorites.

I like to buy goods from our local Amish. Everything is great quality, yet a low price. And their growing practices are essentially organic.

Has anyone tried making their own TV dinners? I got the idea from those FoodSaver vacuum sealer infomercials. I have seen compartmentalized Tupperware-knockoff containers for the purpose too, but I have a ton of lidded plastic containers from Chinese take-out that I think might work. That would be a great way to use leftovers w/o it seeming like you're eating leftovers.

If you are near a factory, processing plant, etc., they might have an outlet or seconds store. When I was a kid, my mom would get seconds from the Brach's candy factory, and there is a furniture factory about 30 miles from here that has a scratch-and-dent outlet.

If you have friends or family that work for a company that produces or sells goods, you might be able to get things low cost. DH has a friend that works for a building company that uses those plastic-coated metal shelves, and he can get leftovers from projects for free. The matching ones we've used in closets, and the mismatched ones we use in the garage.

Some other ideas for frugal decorating:
--We had several mismatched pieces of wooden furniture given to us. DH primed and painted them all spring green, and people always comment on what a nice "furniture set" DD has in her room.
--For the curtains in DD's room, I bought yellow cotton fabric for $25, and DH's grandmother sewed the curtains for us.
--Instead of buying fancy baskets for organizing the bookshelf in DD's room, I bought several plastic baskets at The Dollar Tree, and I also use empty shoeboxes and wipes containers (from our sposie days). The wipes containers are all cream-colored, but I'm thinking about painting the shoeboxes all one color, so they match the room.
--At my baby shower, I got some frilly homemade quilts that are too nice to let a baby pee and throw up on, so we are going to hang them on the walls in DD's room for decoration.
--And speaking of hanging quilts (or blankets) on the wall for decoration, instead of using an expensive quilt hanger or rod, we bought a bag of industrial-strength clothes pins. They have a hole in the "handle part," and DH slips a screw threw that hole and screws into the wall. You can still open and close the clothes pins, and then use them to hold the quilt in place. You can get a neutral color, and they're actually pretty unobtrusive.
--A good way to save space when you have a lot of stuffed animals is to use a stuffed animal hammock up in the corner of a room.
--I bought a "Bed In A Bag" for our bedroom on clearance a couple years ago, but the sheets that came w/ it were too shallow for our mattress. That wasn't a big deal b/c we already had some sheets, so DH's grandmother sewed them into matching curtains for us.
--I like to use furniture that has multiple uses, like end tables that open up underneath for storage, using storage chests for coffee tables, etc.
--We have gladly taken hand-me-down furniture and decorations from our families. Furniture can be covered w/ a slipcloth, wood can be painted, mirrors always look nice, picture frames can be reused.
--I make my own drued and artificial flower ornaments and wreaths.
--I actually like the look of plain grapevine wreaths on the walls, especially if you hang several of them. When Hobby Lobby puts them 50% off several times a year, you can get them for just a few bucks. If you have access to grapevines, you can make them yourself. Just soak them in water to soften them up, wind them into a circle, and secure w/ wire or a thin piece of grapevine wrapped around the wreath several times.
--Look for other things from nature. Small tree branches can be dried and arranged in a vase (curly willow looks quite dramatic), lots of flowers dry well, pine cones look pretty in a basket. I have several containers of preserved autumn leaves that I want to make into a collage and frame for our bedroom.
--I have used our digital camera to take some nice nature pictures--close-ups of flowers and leaves. I'm going to pring them on 8 x 10 photo paper, frame in matching frames from The Dollar Tree, and hang them as a grouping.

Here's our house, if anyone's interested. I promise, it was all frugally bought or decorated. And please don't flame me for the crib. My in-laws bought it, and we don't use it.
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#330 of 509 Old 01-14-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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Subscribing (and nak). Hi, all.

I'm a SAHM to two fulltime (up to six when we're all home). The Tightwad Gazette has been my friend for years (I'm happy to say I picked up a retired library copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette for 50 c -- it's now a favorite of DS11, too :> ).

The Mr. has learned auto repair and maintenance in order to work on our older Mercedes diesels (which we'd eventually like to run on waste vegetable oil and/or biodiesel). He orders the parts from various websites and is subscribed to an enthusiasts' email list where he finds lots of useful advice on repair. He doesn't quite sleep with the Haynes manual under his pillow, but he's made extensive study of it.

I'm in the design phase for our garden / edible landscape plan -- intensively cultivating our small front yard with mixed veggies, herbs and (mostly edible) flowers and using other edible plants in the rest of the landscape.

As soon as our fencing is finished, I'd like to raise a few hens for eggs, and possibly some angora rabbits. (Chickens, rabbits and possibly honeybees are the only livestock for which we're zoned.) My goal is to be as self-sufficient and/or sustainable as is possible on a small (.17 acre) suburban lot.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
On a purely financial note: My favorite game right now is "How Much AREN'T We Spending?" ... looking at how much we'd be spending on something if we weren't using our frugal option.

F'rexample: A recent thread on how much some families are spending on cloth diapers ($$$!) made me feel even better about the lowly homemade flatfolds I've made from stash material and the fitteds from castoff T-shirts. So far, we've spent approx. $25 so far on DS's dipes, and we're starting over from scratch (we had no diapers left over from his older sibs).
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