10 Things We Do to Save Money
There are a lot of little comforts we go without in order to sustain ourselves and save money. Sometimes I wish we lived outside the city limits so we could have a couple chickens, a goat, and a nice big garden. We live in a city with very strict ordinances and I dread the thought of asking if we could even have one chicken on our small property! I’m sure it’s against either a health ordinance or nuisance ordinance ( we live in a city where you must move your car ever 48 hours if it’s not on private property otherwise it’s 7 days I think!)
So here are 10 ways we save money plus links to a few posts to save more if you read all the way through:)
1. Make our own laundry detergent– I’ve been doing this for over 3 years out of necessity At first I was skeptical like many others, but I am happy to save so much moolah and know I am adding to our family by making our own. We make our own washing soda from baking soda as well! This helps stretch the almighty dollar even further.
1.b One way we make money if by using affiliate links which earns us a small commission if you click over and buy something or by clicking on ads without our blog. We used affiliate links in this post and thank you for clicking on them to support our family!
2. Make foaming soap from regular soap refill– My sister brought me Bath & Body Works Foaming Soap Dispenser that she saw in the trash when she was a nanny! I experiment and found out how far to fill with soap and then the rest was filled with water. (I would say a finger’s width should do.) This has saved us a tremendous amount of money with 3 kids.
3. Cancel all cable except Netflix– we were paying over $115 a month for cable/phone/internet. Now we pay for internet and Netflix. We just got a phone via Magic Jack Plus, but have relied on cellphones for almost 3 yrs.
4. Membership’s can be worth it– My husband has a Playstation Plus account and he get’s double or triple his money back in free downloads each year making the Playstation Plus membership worth it. Just be sure that you are using what you are paying for and NOT paying for extras. (i.e. we used to have a YMCA membership with extra HC which my hubby never used. That was an extra $150 or so a year!)
5. Search with Swagbucks– I like free stuff and Swagbucks makes it easy to earn free gift cards. We only get Amazon $5 GC since it’s the best bang for our buck! We have earned quite a few and would love for more people to join under us:)
6. Garden what we can– we had 8 tomato plants, 1 prolific zucchini, a couple of squash, and a few melon. I started the garden from SEEDS not plants since seeds are much cheaper. We also were given the tomato plants since they had been volunteers growing where my mom didn’t want them! Not sure if the potatoes we planted (from store-bought ones that began to grow) did anything or not since we planted them so late in the season, but we might have some nice ones at the beginning of next year.
7. Barter for lawn and garden products– I posted on freecycle and got 10 flat concrete stepping-stones, free cuttings of sedum and bulbs just because we asked. If you are driving by a house with gorgeous flowers and you noticed they are creeping way outside their boundaries-STOP and ask if you can have some of the excess. Most likely you’ll be handed a shovel and given a hardy “have at ’em”.
8. Make your own food and learn to use the crockpot– sounds simple enough but my SIL has been known to buy waffles and other convenience items. She was robbed even at $1 a package. I also like knowing what is in my food and ALWAYS add bananas or pumpkin to my waffles and pancakes. My kids will only eat then that way. Kinda like the cheese we add to scrambled eggs just don’t taste the same without! If you learn to cook in the crockpot for days you are busy EVEN if you are home all day you will know that you are providing a healthy dinner for your family instead of fast-food!
9. Experiment with all natural stuff– for example we use baking soda and vinegar as cleaners instead of expensive brand name cleaners. I use baking soda to exfoliate my skin and occasionally for my teeth. I like to use olive oil on my skin as a moisturizer and witch hazel as a toner instead of a pricey skin toner. I just started making my own deodorant and lotion bars! Gonna experiment with salve, lip balm, and other creams.
10. Buy generic unless a sale with coupons is cheaper– We keep an eye on prices mostly in my head. It has been hard with the increased price of groceries and the fluctuation on things like milk and eggs. I used to be able to get a pound of beef easily for .99 or $1.19 a pound. Now we are lucky to get it at $2.99- $3.39(yikes). I know that sometimes it seems like only the crappy boxed food is cheap or free with coupons, but if you look really hard you will come across produce mark downs and other deals.