Frugal Living Tips
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These past few months Cody and I have realized we spend way too much and save way too little. Our debt is starting to build up from having babies, daily living and random odds and ends.
I finally decided that just stressing about it wasn’t going to solve our problem, so I did hours of research on frugal living.I learned some tips when we first moved out on our own, but slowly I stopped.
Convenience and feeling secure when Cody got a higher paying job made being frugal very low on my list. I’ve made a game plan to start saving as much as possible and paying off all our debt in the next 3 years.
Once Finn is a year old I will be joining the workforce again and hopefully make this process go even faster. Here are some frugal living tips and tricks that I think will work well with my family.
Cutting Food Cost
At the store
- planning meals around sales and coupons- I shop Fred Myers and they have all their coupons online and you can just add them to your rewards card, then I look at their online sales ads and plan our meals around both of those factors.
- Pick your own farms- since I didn’t plant much this year I’m going to a couple farms where I can pick my own fruit for much cheaper than store prices. I plan to make jams, sauces, and freeze anything left for smoothies. Also since we’re a small household we never finish all our fruit and veggies before they go bad so I plan to freeze any leftovers to add to my baking and smoothie stash.
- Buy meat in bulk when on sale- We tend to go through chicken like no tomorrow and I regularly see it on sale, but rarely buy extra. I want to start stocking up whenever the prices are dirt cheap. That goes for ground beef, chuck roast (can be made into ground beef as well), fish and seafood. I also am going to stop buying for conveniences, I’m going to buy a whole chicken and cut it up and use the bones to make broth. I’m also thinking about trying Zaycon Fresh since I can buy meat in bulk from them.
- Meatless meals- at one point we were vegetarians and our grocery bill was fairly cheaper. This week I added in bean and cheese burritos to our meal plan, so I don’t have to use as much meat.
- 6 ways to save money as a stay at home mom
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- How to live simply as a stay at home mom
- Frugal minimalist
- Eating at home and eating leftovers- My downfall is grabbing fast food. I have planned out every lunch and snack for the next two weeks. That way I don’t feel the “I don’t know what to make” blahs. I’m going to pack the lunch or snacks with me if we leave the house for any reason.
- Doubling meals and freezing them – I’m going to cook the first week after grocery shopping and freeze the leftovers. That way I don’t have to buy a bunch of ingredients and less food will go bad. Here’s a ton of freezer meals to choose from.
- growing my own garden- let me tell you, I kill more plants/flowers then I should, but this year I actually have managed to grow spinach, kale and have some corn stocks coming up. Then I have some parsley, dill, and basil growing in my kitchen window. I was so scared I wouldn’t get anything to grow. So I didn’t plant much and now I regret it. I did research on fertilizer and needs for each plant. Also, I have worked really hard to keep consistent and it paid off. Next year I’ll grow as much as I can fit into my gardening area (which is huge) and freeze, can or make jelly and sauces out of everything for winter.
- making things from scratch- I’m pretty good about this one anyway, but I really want to try to make everything I can from scratch. As long as it’s cheaper than the convenient item. It can save me money, be healthier with our all the additives. I have the time to do things like that if I actually use my time wisely. Though I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make bread from scratch. I never seem to get it as tasty as my in-law’s bread.
- Sew River’s and Finn’s clothes- I am pretty handy with a sewing machine and have piles of fabric and patterns waiting to be used. I just am terrible at taking the time to do it. I can also alter some of my normal clothes into maternity clothes. Having a sewing machine is really helpful!
- thrift store shopping- with me and River outgrowing all our clothes at a rapid rate, we could use some summer outfits. Then there is Cody who only gets new clothes at Christmas because of his mom. I’m going to browse the local thrift stores and see what I can find or search the Good Will website. They usually have name brands and really affordable prices.
- Mend or sale- I’m constantly mending Cody’s clothes, so that isn’t really a new thing. We do tend to hold onto clothes we don’t wear anymore when we could actually profit from getting rid of them.
Energy and Water
- unplug and turn off items/lights, not in use- I discovered that even when an item is turned off it still pulls power if plugged in. It’s simple to unplug things when you’re done and turning off the lights when not in use is always a good habit.
- wash dishes by hand- this will save on water, dish soap, and electricity used to power the dishwasher. I’m not going to like this task at all but in the long run, it will even save us a pretty penny.
- Running the washer on cold and line drying clothes- For some reason, my husband thinks the water level needs to be as high and hot as possible when drying clothes. A new rule we have is using the least amount of water, detergent and having the water as cold as possible. Cody is handy with woodwork, so I plan on having him make me a clothesline to dry our clothes.
- half full baths for River, shorter showers and fewer baths for me and Cody. I like to take long showers. Then I and Cody like to take baths to relax our muscles almost daily.
- closing blinds and curtains- This will help block out the heat from in the summer and keep in the heat in the winter. We also close vents to rooms that are rarely used. Try some blackout curtains.
These are a few of the things I’ll be doing to save us money. I want us to live a little more stress-free and really enjoy the life we have. If you have any useful frugal living tips let me know in the comments!