Hey Momma! Just popped in for some inspiration and thought I'd post some of the things we do to save money.
~Keep lights off as much as possible.
~Don't use AC unless we have visitors or it is EXTREMELY hot....we don't want the kids to be miserable. We do have ceiling fans in nearly every room that we use if it gets hot. Keep the heat down pretty low and bundle up with sweatshirts and blankets in the winter.
~We don't have cable.
~We have one cell phone and we share it. I only use it when I drive to Indiana, otherwise Josh has it because I'm usually at home.
~We don't buy books, movies, CDs. We use the library a lot for these things.
~We have a membership to Costco that we split with another couple.....we only pay the fee ($45/year) every other year because of this. We save a lot of money buying in bulk.
~Never turn down gifts/hand-me-downs/etc. Even if it is something we don't need or like, it lets the giver (usually my MIL) know that we are accepting, and occassionally we will hit the jackpot and she'll give us a bunch of stuff we need. If we won't ever use it, we just donate it, give it away, or regift.
~Speaking of regifting.....I do this a lot too. We seem to get a lot of gifts we don't need, like knick-knacks, candles, etc. I regift these.
~Use cloth.....I haven't figured out how to make cloth diapers, but I do make my own wipes. We've never had to buy any for Bella. These can also be used for other family members to save on toilet paper.
~We use shredded newspaper for cat litter.
~I resell kids clothes (we don't plan on having any more kids) to a children's consignment shop.
~We don't eat out.
~We don't buy the kids toys except for holidays/birthdays.
~We really don't buy anything new. I shop a lot at thrift shops. If we do "need" something, I try to find something else to use instead that we already have. I always try to wait on purchases because my "needs" usually aren't true "needs". We can usually do without.
~We don't buy junk food.....no soda, chips, candy, etc. We splurg on ice cream very rarely, but only if it is truely on sale. I miss ice cream....
~I only shower every other day and the kids only get bathed every other day unless they get really grungy outside.
~I don't wear make-up or fix up my hair, so no money spent on beauty supplies. I cut Josh's hair and the kids' hair and have my mom cut my hair.
~Let people know if you are looking for something. EX: We need a new bed for Bella (actually for me and Bella because we are having a hard time co-sleeping with Josh....he snores and keeps everyone awake!) I put the word out with family and we now have a bed coming our way. The only thing we have to do is unbury it from my MIL's basement and clean it up. A little work, but hey, it's free!
~Josh and I don't buy each other gifts. Sometimes we'll buy something really small, but not usually. We both understand that paying bills is more important so there are no hurt feelings if he doesn't get me anything for birthday/anniversary/holiday and vice versa.
~I pack Josh's lunch so he doesn't eat out everyday.
~I don't throw anything (food-wise) away, unless it has fuzzy stuff growing on it. Even if there are only two bites of peas left, I'll put them in the fridge to use later.
~Make our own baby food.
There're more, I just can't think of them right now.
And re: your jewelry.....you could always make jewelry for gifts (one less thing to buy!). We also have a craftmart down the street. It is a year-round craft show. Maybe there is something like that in your area where you could sell your jewelry?
*OT~I need to sit down and write you, but I've been drowning myself in reading. Trying to escape reality for a bit!!!! Things have been nutty around here!