so, i've come up --yeah right. i did NOT come up with this. actually it's how i was raised.-- i've FOUND WHAT WORKS for us by living the frugal life. i actually enjoy it. i am content with our wages because it promotes this healthy lifestyle of frugality. and yes, i truely believe it is healthy on a number of levels. (perhaps that will find itself in another blog though). here are some of the things i do to make pennies last and last and last. i know it's the thing to do nowadays to live green, so it's nice that how i live (and how i will always live, no matter what our income level) is "in". for a while, at least.
the following hints are in no particular order, just my thinking pattern:
- a good way to start is by cutting out things that aren't NEEDED (different that wanted).
- examples being: telephone plans (cell phones). tv and cable. vehicles. etc
- homemake everything.
- do things the old fashioned way. things that i can make that save me big bucks:
- laundry soap
- laundry soap looks daunting but after doing it a couple times, it's easy. the website for the recipe is http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm there are lots of others too. just google homemade laundry soap.
- dishwasher soap is equal parts baking soda (yes, BAKING, not washing) and borax. you only use 1 Tbsp per load (1/2 in the prewash spot, 1/2 in the wash cycle spot). if your dishes are not sparkling like you wish you can throw some vinegar in with the rinse cycle. we pre-wash all our dishes before we put them in the dishwasher because our dishwasher is a piece of crap though, so i don't do the vinegar rinse.
- you can use that same powder formula for washing dishes by hand too. it's kinda weird because it just doesn't seem like the liquid soap we're used to... but it works. cuts the grease really well. i still prefer the liquid though and i haven't found a substitute that i like. i like the bubbles. it makes me feel better about the clean dishes for some reason. :)
shampoo & conditioner.
food (from scratch).
haircuts. (don't be scared... it's not as hard as it looks. and, if you mess up... it'll grow back!)
i've heard of others (lotion, deoderant, etc.) but haven't gone that extra mile yet. go here and seek out some awesome recipes and ideas for natural healthy living.
things that i (as a mama) use to help me save mulah:
- cloth diapers.
- cloth wipes.
- cloth napkins.
- reusable stuff (meaning not disposable anythings).
tips to make things last longer:
- reuse things*. and by "things*" i mean anything! even things that you don't think are made to be reused. wash it and try to use it again... if it works, it works. if not, no harm no foul.
- use ALL of things*. just because it's hard to get out, doesn't mean it's not there!!!
make a meal plan and stick to it. only go grocery shopping once/week (at most). don't EVER eat out. it's just not worth it. i think that's one of the most frivolous expenses that can save you so much money!!! not drinks (coffee included) or anything. all take-out food is WAY OVER-PRICED! instead pack lunches and snacks.
- a meal plan tip that i do is plan out and get groceries for about 8-10 dinners but don't set them for a certain day. then you know what your options are and can decide each day. that works so much better for me for some reason. you'll find that you'll naturally want to use the recipes with fresh ingredients first (so they won't go bad) and then usually the other recipes are easier so as the week goes on and you get more tired each day... the recipes will be less work (crockpot recipes, casseroles, etc.)
- eat less meat.
- cut down on portions.
- stay hydrated with water (it comes out of your sink... not from a bottle. if you're scared of drinking tap water, buy a filter. but you don't have to change it as often as they say. you can taste the difference when you need to change it.)
always be prepared.
don't buy things* at full price! shop clearance, big sales, yard/garage sales, or second-hand stores. you can find some amazingly awesome deals at thrift stores!
- here are a few of my favorite sites to find deals through: thethriftymama.com (she's not local) and krazycouponlady.com (this one IS local). i found that a lot of things i thought i could find cheapest at my favorite stores (winco) can actually be bought dirt cheap with coupons at places like walgreens and rite aid! (which i'd never shopped at before) before starboy was born i stocked up on medicine cabinet items and toilet paper. i got about $80 worth of FREE items (by single check rebates through rite aid) and bought several months of toilet paper really really cheap! i knew i didn't want to be pressed to run to the store for something stupid like that right after the baby was born. it was eye-opening how much coupons could save me...
- people don't NEED to shower 3 times/day. most people don't NEED to shower once/day. if you do shower every day you surely don't need to wash your clothes after every time you wear them!
- wait until your clothes are DIRTY before you wash them and then use cold water.
- use energy-saving appliances and low-watage flourescent bulbs.
carpool when possible.
stay home more.
COMMENT! IT SHOWS ME THAT I'M BEING READ!!!