Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tips for Frugal Living

We are all aware that the economy right now is very scary. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. Everywhere companies are closing down or laying off workers by the thousands.

I believe that we have forgotten our roots in this country. We, myself included, have become a nation of I want it, I like it, I deserve it and I'll buy it even if it's on credit. It is so easy to get sucked into that lie. When we turn back we realize that we could have lived without whatever it was we wanted.

I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom. We have two children and are living completely on one income. As the prices for everything have sky rocketed in the last couple of years, I have tried to find new ways to save money. I think these are all very easy things to do and anyone can do them.

One of the first things I did for saving money was to make my own laundry detergent. I think that you can find many different recipes if you Google it. One is bound to be to your liking. The recipe I use is very easy and it lasts me about 6 weeks. The total cost for one batch of detergent is much less than I would pay for a commercial detergent, even with a sale and coupons. An added benefit is that it is green. Being made with all natural ingredients makes this easier on the environment than commercial detergents. If you would like me to share the recipe I use, let me know.

The second thing is to stop using fabric softener and use white vinegar in the rinse cycle. This helps to cut static cling and it also removes the residue from the detergent. Don't worry, your clothes will not come out smelling like a plate of fries. There isn't any smell of the vinegar left on the clothing. I do like my laundry to smell nice and purchased some essential oils. I add just a few drops to my laundry detergent and it makes the wash smell wonderful.

It is easy to get caught up in the bonus buying and coupons that many stores advertise now. The deals are great but the plan for the store is to get you in the door and then spend more than you intended. When you are shopping with coupons or for special sales, make sure to only purchase those things on your list. Try not to browse through the aisles because this will most certainly result in impulse buys. Today I went to a local supermarket that was having a wonderful sale. This market happens to be in an affluent neighborhood and near a very busy shopping center. They have many foods available that you don't find in other supermarkets, even their own in the chain. When we walked in we were immediately filled with wonderful scents and aromas. They had huge displays of all ready prepared meals and snacks that were fantastic. Through out the whole store you were surrounded by the most wonderful products. I had gone to purchase only a few things on my list, that were on sale. I went immediately to where the things were located and to check out. I knew that if I lingered in that store I would spend more than I intended. Because of their great sale I was able to purchase:

a pot roast
2 packages of split chicken breasts (buy one get one free)
a 5 lb. bag of potatoes (free with purchase of roast)
a bag of carrots (free with purchase of roast)
a 2 lb. bag of onions (free with purchase of roast)
grapes (on sale for $1.79/lb)

My total was less than $24 and my savings were $23. I was thrilled.

The last tip for today is reuse. Don't throw things away right away. Try to find other uses for them. I reuse all my plastic food storage bags. It is very easy to wash them out. I just hang them right over my utensils to dry. Don't throw away those jeans if they don't fit or have a hole. Try to find another use. Maybe an apron or a bag. There are many different things you could use them for. Search the internet for ideas. You will be amazed at all you find.

This tips are also green tips. You will be saving money and the planet. We need to take good care of this earth we have. We need to be good stewards and protect the earth.


Anonymous said...

Much to think about - much to remember, Thanks, Ruth!! - Love you, friend - Charity

Artfulife said...

Love it! Some of the very things we are doing now that my husband has lost his job. He works for himself now, but things are tight. I say tight, but we have never been happier. We are living much more simply. It is humbling to go through times like this. However I love how much closer our family has become.

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Excellent tips!

And you're right...we have all come so far from our roots that if some catastrophe were to ever really happen, most of us wouldn't know what to do! Scary...

Anonymous said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to do laundry is to put 3 or 4 soapberries in the wash. They grow on the Chinaberry tree and have been used for thousands of years. They work very effectively.

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