Friday, January 18, 2013

Some of the ways we have saved money this month

 I enjoy reading a blog called the Prudent Homemaker and at her blog she does posts called "Last week's frugal accomplishments" where she will list just odds and ends of things that she did that past week that helped them to spend a little less money whether it be big or small. I know she doesn't list everything that they do (and how frugally their family lives is pretty inspiring to me) but it is fun to read what she does list and perhaps get a few ideas of how I could be more frugal as well.

With that idea in mind I thought it might be fun to share a few of the ways that we have been frugal lately....
 ~ We have walked to church a couple of times on Sunday mornings. The top picture is Mara on the walk and just above is a picture of Jonathan pulling Megan through the little patch of woods we are able to go through. The benefit of this is some fun times of fresh air and exercise as well as saving money on gas and wear and tear on our vehicle. We dress quite warmly and so our walk is not cold but rather we often get a bit warm.

~We have been staying home a lot and being careful to combine errands when we are out. Again this helps us to save money on gas and it saves time.

 ~I finished the rag rug for our living room (more details here).

~We have used cloth napkins, rags and handkerchiefs instead of their paper counterparts of napkins, paper towels and tissue.

~ I have tried to remember to use my cell phone (a track phone with cheaper minutes) instead of our landline for long distance calls.

~ We fixed up Mara's snow boots. The insoles had become very uncomfortable and there was a place that needed some stitching and a shoelace ring that was missing and so we fixed all of those things. For the insole we first put in a layer of cardboard and then I remember some insoles that I had bought (free or very cheaply) way back when I was doing the drugstore "game" and we hadn't needed yet and so we put them in as well. Mara says they feel just fine now. I still have my eye out for different ones as I think she is about to outgrow them but it is nice that they are working for now.

~I mended a bunch of jeans.

 ~We planted some seeds (tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and radishes) in pots inside in hopes or growing some fresh veggies to eat. My mother-in-law grows a bunch of stuff in her house and we are hoping to do it too. It would be very exciting to be able have homegrown produce practically year round. The lettuce and radishes are coming up nicely and I would guess the others will pop up very soon now too.

~I have been making radish sprouts to eat.
 ~We make our own homemade cookies and other snacks rather than buying premade things.

~We packed a lunch to take on our trip rather than going to a restaurant.

~We pack Ken's lunch to take to work on days that he doesn't have lunch meetings.

~I am (today) boiling down beef bones from the 1/2 beef we bought in order to have good nourishing broth to use for soups and other cooking. I am planning on canning it this time so that it won't have to be frozen.
~ We stripped the old finish off of a dresser that we had been given and then stained and varnished it. It looks quite lovely if I do say so myself. I will try to share more details on that soon.

~I sanded down our stairs and refinished them as they were needing some attention. Neither of our wood working projects required any money as we used things we already had on hand. Here is a post about our stairs when I pulled the carpet off and fixed them up the first time. At that time (in 2010) I had thought it was a temporary solution but the way things have worked out it is still the condition of our stairs but I don't mind especially now that I repainted the back of them again so that is fresh and then this time I put a couple layers (and I plan on doing another one tonight) of polyurethane on the treads. I think they look pretty decent.

~ I have been having fun reading books by Dave Ramsey, Ellie Kay, Steve and Annette Econimides and I just started one by Suze Orman - all about using money wisely.

~ I planned our menu for the month.

~I have been baking a bunch of things at one time to conserve energy.

What sort of frugal things have you done lately?



Libby@Everything's Coming Up Green said...

That's a great list! I've been trying to suck it up and hang some laundry out on the line. We also have a portable wardrobe frame and a drying rack in the basement that I'm using as well.
I've also been spending time researching bulk pricing in order to reduce our grocery budget as well as trips into town to shop.

Mary Ann said...

Great list!

Debbie said...

Hi Abbi,
I have been reading both yours and the Prudent Homemakers blog for atleast a year now. I find both of you very inspiring. I enjoyed this post. Please keep posting ways that your family saves money. My family is experiencing some difficult times at the moment so any tips you post would be helpful. Thanks again,

Abbi said...

Thanks everybody!! It blessed me to hear that writing about what we do encourages you. May God be praised!!

Lydia said...

I just sent some stuff with my inlaws to burn. We don't have to pay for trash pickup, so we are choosing not to. Can't let it pile up though!

I enjoyed reading your list! Great ideas.


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