Unless otherwise specified, all writing here on my blog is my own original work. If you refer to something I've written here, please be sure to give me proper credit.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED: Please don't let that deter you from commenting, though. I LOVE to read your thoughts! I only ask that you keep it clean & respectful.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Saving Money

A couple of years ago, I wrote up some posts about how we manage to save money. 

Snip, Snip from January 2009
How Our Family Saves Money from Sept. 2010
How We Save Money Part Two from Sept. 2010

Most of those listed are still in practice today...making our own laundry detergent & cleaners, doing our own haircuts, couponing when possible.

Since Matt quit his job to go back to school, we've been trying to watch our finances even closer. We're fine w/ savings & my job, but we still want to be as cautious as possible.

Here are some of the things we're doing more of or adding to our ways to save. Some are just plain common sense; some might seem a bit weird to others; all work for our family!

* using a previous suggestion to turn off unused appliances - Once my coffee is done in the morning, the pot goes off & gets unplugged. Same goes for the microwave & toaster.

* not turning on lights unless absolutely needed - For me, this includes showering & using the "facilities". Our master bath doesn't have a window, but there is plenty of light coming from our bedroom. I just shut the bedroom door & leave the bathroom door open. When it's time to do my hair & make-up, I just step into my bedroom & use the mirror on my dresser.

* re-reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn...an all-in-one set of three books that were a compilation of newsletters sent out in the early 1990s. Many of the suggestions are outdated, however, I am finding a few good ideas & recipes.

* sandwich bags - One of the suggestions that came from the above book is a way to reuse bread bags. I've started taking them when empty & cutting them to make sandwich bags for Matt's lunches. I just use a small piece of tape to seal them up.

* combining trips - Whenever we have to go somewhere, we make sure to visit other places w/in that area to save on gas.

* clearance at Kroger - We are blessed to have a GREAT Kroger store w/ incredible Manager's Choice specials at times & have stocked up on some great food & household items. Even though there are at least three other Kroger stores closer to our home, we will drive extra to this one for their specials & excellent customer service! The extra mileage is made up in the great deals.

* I got to the end of my make-up, but could still see foundation inside of the squeezable tube. I took scissors, snipped off the end, & store it in a zipper bag. So far, I've gotten at least 12 more uses out of it & there's still more in the tube. You know, that would probably work for toothpaste & other squeezable tubes, too!

* Along the make-up line of saving...I don't wear make-up every day. If I don't have any big plans for the day, there's no sense in wearing any. I've even gone to the library & grocery store w/out make-up. (I can hear you gasping right now! LOL)

* gardening - We've planted our own garden the past few years. It doesn't always do great, but any little bit helps.

* book reviews - We rarely buy books, preferring to borrow from the library. Unfortunately, it's tough to get some Catholic books. I was a reviewer for The Catholic Company for several years until they stopped their program & recently, I did a couple reviews for Ignatius Press Novels. These have been great ways to build our family library!

* Thrift stores have been another great way to build our family library. I've found so many great classics & Catholic books...many for less than $2.

* Thrift stores have also been wonderful for clothing. One of the local thrift stores uses colored tags on their clothing. Each day, one of those colors is 50% off & another is 75% off. Because of this & their low prices anyway, I've found some great deals!

* bandages - With four children who frequently gets scrapes & scratches, I do not purchase the brand name bandages. To appease a teary-eyed child, a bandage & Momma's kiss are all that's needed. That bandage often is removed as soon as another toy or activity catches their eye. So, no brand name bandages here...Big Lots $1 box of 100 does the trick!

* freezer meals - Just last week, I spent two days making up about a week & a half's worth of main dishes to freeze for later use. There are tons of websites & books out there if you'd like to embark on this type of meal planning.

I'm sure there are other things I'm not thinking of at this time. Do you have any great money saving tips? Please share in the comments!