Friday, November 5, 2010

20 different ways we save over $100 a year

  I have fun every so often running onto a post on somebody else's blog that tells of ways they save money. I like to see their methods and priorities. All of us are different, and we like different ways but I find it fun to look at a list and say "Oh, yes I do that too" or sometimes it gives me a new idea of a way to save money and then there are somethings that I realize don't work for us, at least not now. I try to stash those ideas away just in case we might really have to cut back someday.

  I know there are many people right now that are having to get by on less due to lost jobs or something of that nature so I thought it would be timely to share things that we do that save us at least $100 a year (each thing saves us that much). Maybe it will somehow help you too!

 So here we go!
  1. I cut the hair of everybody in our family but me, and my sister graciously cuts mine.
  2. We go out to eat pretty rarely.
  3. The majority of our clothes are hand-me-downs. We either wear them "as is" or I refashion them.
  4. We give a lot of homemade gifts.
  5. I pack Ken's lunch for when he goes to work.
  6. I manage my schedule so I don't go shopping or run errands that often, saving gas and shopping money.
  7. I am proactive towards keeping our family healthy so we rarely visit the Dr. (We have chosen to be well informed on health as well instead of doing well child visits.)
  8. I don't buy normal cleaning products or Laundry detergent. Instead I make my own from things like vinegar and baking soda or I have bought some super strong products (and natural) that you add water to.
  9. I don't wear (or buy) make-up and I also make my own "shampoo".
  10. We very rarely hire a babysitter. Partly this is because my parents live in the area and very graciously watch our kids for us occasionally but also we just do most things as a family rather than having somebody watch our kids.
  11. We don't smoke.
  12. We don't drink alcohol.
  13. We garden and are able to get really healthy organic food that way.
  14. We buy wheat from a grain elevator at a much reduced cost compared to the health food store and we grind our own wheat into flour.
  15. We glean potatoes from fields in our area and we pick lots of wild berries.
  16. We "do it ourselves" as much as possible.
  17. We take advantage of lots of free entertainment such as: Playing games, riding bikes, reading (and using the library), church activities and community events.
  18. This year I switched the kids to Saxon Math books which are reusable rather than consumable. (And the books were given to us.)
  19. When traveling we often pack much of our food and stay with friends or relatives.
  20. I cook from scratch on basically everything but Mac and cheese. :-)
I am sure I could come up with a bunch more if I thought about it for a while, but I will quit with that for now. I would love to hear your favorite ways of spending less. Also if you have any questions fill free to ask away!

For more frugal ideas visit Life as MOM.


Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

How are the homemade gifts received? I always think about doing that but I am afraid our families will turn their noses up at them. Teachers and those sort of people we often give cookies too, but everyone else I buy for.

Stop on over and visit Free 2 Be Frugal sometime soon!

From The Heart Online said...

Wow! That's quite the amazing list, Abbi! ... and slightly daunting for someone like me.

I know I can do WAY better at saving money and time. I know I can decrease our consumption of stuff. ... one step at a time, right?

.... deep breath.... exhale ... okay. one step at a time :)

Thanks for the great ideas!

Anonymous said...

It is foolish and negligent to skip well child doctor visits to save a buck. Do you really think "well informed" equals medical degree and a residency in pediatrics?

Anna said...

To be honest I think anonymous is wrong. I don't think well child visits are very necisary. Our kids have gone to them pretty regularly, but that is just because I like our Dr. and I find it comforting to have her tell me what awesome children I have. There are only a few rather rare items that might be missed in not seeing a pediatrician regularly.
I think it is funny that macaroni and cheese is your mix of choice. No one at our house will eat it happily at all. I do buy more mixes than you though, I think.

Abbi said...

Thanks for stopping by! I have had our homemade gifts be quite well recieved. I think most people really like that we spent time working on something just for them.

Thanks for your kind words! Don't get overwhelmed by my list though - just do what works for you! :-)

I don't actually skip well child visits for the purpose of saving a buck though that is a result. I don't go because I don't agree with much of what normal doctors push anyway. I am not claiming to have a medical degree but I do know a lot more about my children than they do. I would respectfully disagree that it is either foolish or negligent to very carefully watch over my children's health instead of visiting a Dr. a couple of times a year.

Your kids don't like Mac and Cheese from a box? My kids get so excited when they see me buy it. They will eat homemade but they prefer it from a box. Silly kids.

Nola said...

Interesting about the Saxon math books. Do you know of any other curriculum choices that are reusable?

Abbi said...

Nola~ Some other curriculums that have reusable books are: Rod and Staff and some of Abekas are as well. We have used quite a bit of ACE which is NOT reusable so we have to buy new books for each child.

Also, finally getting back to you about the celery. It is called cutting celery in the Fedco seed catolog though there are different varieties of cutting celery. The one dad grew was a red one of some sort. Honestly as far as flavor is concerned I prefer the green but his red did grow very well!


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