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10 Money Saving Tips

I have not blogged lately and regret this as I am several post behind. I hope to get caught up this month. As some of you know I stopped working about 2 months ago. Below I have listed some fun frugal ideas. Most of my grocery ideas are from “Miserly Moms,” an amazing book that has allowed us to steadily decrease our grocery budget. I am couponing a little bit, but that is an area I still do not have to a science. I hope some of the below items help you in your money saving endeavors.

1. Replace laundry detergent with 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda. Buy fabric softener on sale so clothes smell nice and fresh. Honestly, the best smelling laundry I have ever had.
2. Replace dusting products with 1 part olive oil and 2 parts lemon juice. Hydrate your furniture once every 4-8 weeks and wipe down with clean cloth between cleanings.
3. Reduce your water bill by placing a 1/2 gallon jug in the back part of the toilet to displace the water. Also, call your water company to see how they calculate your bill. Ours takes an average of usage from Jan, Feb, and March to create our base payment for the year. We just boycotted water for one of those months to reduce our average.
4. Avoid all convenience items and snacks at the grocery store. For instance, We make our own pancakes, syrup, cookies, and bread. We even received a juicer for Christmas to make our own juice.
5. Make your own Christmas presents – This year we made Bird Feeders, placemats, and Jelly for gift baskets.
6. Get rid of your Cable – lets be honest, what do you really need to watch on TV anyway. We get our favorite shows online or off netflix and Mike gets his sports from ESPN.com
7. Buy in bulk whenever possible. Everyone know this, but I have taken it to the next level. When I find chicken or meat on sale at a loss leader price I buys tons of it. We also use Sams for select items. We have been eating rice from our 15 lbs bag for the last 6 months.
8. Unplug anything that is not in use and turn off lights. We also replaced all of our bulbs with high efficiency bulbs.
9. Reduce hair cut cost by doing it yourself. I have started cutting Mike and Elliots hair and I go to the cosmotology school to get occasional highlights and hair cut.
10. If you don’t have the money for it – Don’t buy it. We have gone to a mostly cash based budget and this has saved us tremendously.

I am still looking for ways to reduce our cell phone bill if any one has suggestions.

I wish I could tell you exactly how much all this has saved us, but I can not. I can tell you though that when I stopped working, on paper it seemed we would go into debt within a month, but with the above changes we have somehow managed to survive and even save money since I stopped work. God continues to provide all of our needs. I have enjoyed learning how to be “that” mom, and hope that I get more miserly with age.

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7 Responses

  1. Tip number 11 should be: “When you go out to dinner because you have a gift card to use…DON’T FORGET THE GIFT CARD!” 🙂

  2. Putting Elliot in with the laundry is NOT an acceptable way to save water.

  3. Those are awesome tips! And Ethan, you’re right about #11…we feel your pain…we just got the restaurants mixed up…oops! I now know that Longhorn Steakhouse doesn’t take Outback gift cards. 😦

  4. just saw your blog via my facebook feed. Love these tips! We also use mint.com as a way of tracking our spending. It’s a free web site that allows you to plug in your budget and track by category. I have loved having a visual pie chart each month that shows where our money went, as well as the ability to track over a several year period to note trends.

  5. Get rid of CABLE?!!! Are you serious? Who will watch my kids?
    Getting rid of cable….kids now a days. They are so crazy.
    Love you guys
    j

  6. That’s really interesting about your water bill (as well as the other tips)! I can’t believe you made those placemats!!! That’s awesome! We frequently do “homemade Christmas” gifts like apple butter, jams, jellies, cookies, bread, etc. I don’t know if Sams has a cell phone provider, but we use BJ’s wholesale club in our area, which includes a Verizon kiosk. The plans are the same price, but the phones are drastically cheaper. My blackberry was free after a speedy rebate. Also, I rip fabric softener sheets in half for smaller loads. Learned that from Francie.

  7. For a second I thought I had company

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