Thursday, December 15, 2011

Frugal ideas (yours)

I have a dream.  A dream that includes visiting the continent that stole part of my heart 12 years ago within this calendar year.  However, this is a rather expensive dream and as such there are more sacrifices to be made in our home life to make it happen. I am by most standards a very frugal person. Radical even for most but not as much as some. Here is where you come in, I need your best money saving ideas and tips.  Even if you don't regularly leave comments I want to hear from you.

I already do quite a few money saving tips and there are some suggestions that I have considered and am just not gonna do (paper products...enough said). I probably have some readers out there who could teach me a new tip or two so please let me know your ideas.  Thanks!

Here are some of the things I/we already do:

Household:
Homemade laundry detergent, window cleaner, all purpose cleaner
Hand soap - we use homemade foaming soap in dispensers
Dishwashing soap - I use dawn and won't give it up (my hands are too important when you wash all the dishes)
Electricity - set thermostat, turn off lights and unplug everything not used daily
Cloth napkins, reuseable containers (no ziplock) 

Health/beauty -
Basically here I just buy on sale and when we run out
I don't buy a ton of cosmetics but will continue to buy makeup and wear it
We buy supplements, herbs and vitamins and I am not really willing to budge on the brands we use

Food -
We don't eat out (very often) it really is a very special treat for us
Pack lunches everyday
Menu plan and I know exactly what I buy and where to buy it the cheapest

Clothes/shoes -
I know the free thrift store and when the sales are at my favorite thrift shop
I yardsale but only with a list in hand so I am not tempted to buy even something cheap if I don't need it
Shoes - I often buy secondhand but nice sneakers and shoes are a must for Justin
Clothes - I just don't buy much in this area, I have been very blessed by some swaps in the past and continue to get by with what we have

Medical expenses -
This is by far the biggest money waster and frustration I have, not sure what to do about this one

These are just a few of the things we do. Please advise if you have anything to add to my list

1 comment:

Maria said...

There is a lot you do already, but here are my thoughts:

1. Become OCD in health. Make sure the kids are washing hands, flossing, covering their coughs, etc. I know it sounds simple, but there was a time I was so exhausted at night that I didn't floss regularly. That year I had A LOT of cavities (I'm too embarrased to post just how many), and they were all a result of not flossing. Needless to say, I spent a lot of medical money I didn't need to spend had i just taken the extra two minutes to take care of it.)

2. Put a picture of you in the country from the past in your wallet, in your bill folder, and on your fridge. Keeping your dream in your mind will keep it from being pushed to the back burner. If people wish to gift you something for a holiday, ask for a donation instead so you can go there.

3. My first Xmas with Adam was my funnest. We had only $5 to spend on eachother. It was challenging to find something for that cheap, but worthwhile too. Maybe try that in gifting. And for that matter, keep date nights regular but free...swap babysitting, cook in the crockpot (to save you the work), and have a date at home. Play board games, look at old pictures, or do other things. By keeping that part regular you won't want to have date nights outside of the house. (and we are always up for swapping babysitting!)

4. Make a monthly Dollar Tree stop. You can stock up on medicines for $1 (and walmart has a small selection of their brand for 88 cents...its on an endcap in Pharmacy). You can stock up on diahrea, gas, tylenol, ibuprophen, body powder...it's all for $1 or less.

5. Shop less and with more purpose. If Justin spends less (Adam is a quick shopper), then have him run to the store often to get milk, eggs, bread...the perishables that you will need once a week. Then you run to Aldi's or wherever once a month and do a "stock up shopping", and then hide the extra stash in a room you don't use often so you aren't tempted to eat it in big plastic totes. (I've bought lots of food at Aldi's with that intent and thought, "Hmmm, I do have MORE of that...I can eat this bag since there is more in the cupboard!!)

Finally, leave it in God's hands. He knows your finances and He knows your desires to do His work. He will provide the way. To him, the amount of money you are needing is NOTHING. And He LONGS to give us the desires of our hearts, especially when they are to glorify HIM!!!

Love ya, let me know if you want to babysit swap or clothing swap or anything else. you know me, I LOVE this stuff too!!