Thursday, November 13, 2008

FRUGALIITY



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When I was able to be a stay-at-home mom and homemaker, part of what I did was to look for ways to be more frugal. It was exciting to find something new that would save us money by the hour, by the month, and by the year. I subscribed wholeheartedly to The Tightwad Gazette. Unfortunately, they (the Dacyczyns) no longer publish their newsletters, but I believe that you can still purchase their book, The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I learned so much from their tips! This family of eight was debt-free and consciously lived for frugality.

I would keep an ongoing list of the changes I made or was going to make and the amount of money each change would save me. To this day, I still use cloth napkins (purchased at garage sales), which save over cloth napkins.

It is quite frustrating to me that for the past 10 years, I have had to work and have not been able to put my efforts into this great endeavor. I have vowed anew, however, to begin again and despite time restraints get back on the road to frugality.

The Duggar family, whom I have mentioned before, is also debt free with 17 children and one on the way! These wonderful people always take the prudent road; it is simply a way of life for them. I’ll shortly (as soon as I can find washing soda) begin making my own washing detergent. It will be quite a savings! Though I have shopped thrift stores for years, I haven’t been as diligent as I should be and will be returning to those nifty deals hidden amongst the piles of so-called junk. (The Duggar Family link can be found on my home page.)

In days gone by, I made most all of our Christmas presents. It felt so wholesome, and our families loved the home-made gifts. Once again, due to time limits, this has pretty much gone by the way, and my husband needlessly spends hundreds of dollars a year on gifts. Somehow, it doesn’t seem right.

THE SOLUTION

My children and I are meeting this weekend to come up with a plan to lessen the Christmas woes and to put Christ back into Christmas. I don’t know that DH will go along with second-hand gifts, inexpensive gifts, or no gifts at all, but we are determined to put a stop to the commercialized world that we have allowed ourselves to be caught up in.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2008

WAYS TO SAVE

Perusing an old copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette, I came upon a list of money-saving goals that I had made for myself. They are as follows:

• Hang laundry versus using the dryer
• Bake my own bread
• Walk to work when it’s nice
• Cut family’s hair
• Repair Ziploc bags
• Use home-made cleaning solutions
• Dry and lubricate razor
• Buy books at used versus new book stores
• Use less shampoo than recommended on bottle
• Use less dish detergent
• When using dryer, set for less time
• Use less oil in cooking
• Set hot water heater to 125 degrees
• Get designer labels for kids’ generic clothes
• Have a container garden
• Make my own cream soup
• Substitute powdered milk for whole

Some of these I did, some I didn’t, and some don’t apply anymore.

To this day, I would LOVE to hang my clothes if only I had a line. My husband keeps promising. ; )

Occasionally, I do cut a couple of my kids’ hair.

The Ziploc bag thing is still an issue in our house. My husband nearly refuses to wash them or wipe off tinfoil. Instead, he throws them away! Aaaah! I want to pull my hair out! Think of the poor Earth and how she cries with all of the waste that is piled on her daily!

I have gone off and on (more off than on) on the homemade cleaning solutions. I am once more determined in this area and am looking for solutions that truly work—not only for the money savings but for our environment and our health.

I fell off the bandwagon on drying and lubing my razor—have to hop back on that one.

Dish detergent is a sore spot with me. When I was growing up, we only used two maybe three DROPS—not squirts—of Dawn. They have thinned it down so much that I now use an exponential amount compared to what I used to use. I finally wrote the company some years back asking if they changed the product because it certainly wasn’t working like it used to. They denied any change and sent me two coupons for two free bottles. No change my little toe!

I no longer have teenage children who care so much about what they put on, so I don’t worry about style for them. My oldest, in fact, does all her clothes shopping at thrift stores! Yeah, we rubbed off!

I want with all my heart to garden, but…the school/work thing has me running from morning until night with nary a minute to spare. It is becoming more of a worry to me, though, as our seeds have been altered, natural disasters have increased, and the fertilizers and additives in food are what are causing such disease in society. I WILL find a way once again to grow my own produce!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2008

FRUGAL PIZZA?

We had pizza tonight. Frugal? No. Absolutely delicious? Yes!

We combined our little meal with scripture and prayer, and it made for a nice family (hubby, me, and boy--Ha) time. With everyone doing their own thing these days and on their own, scrounging up a “family” is at best, tough.

Back on the pizza—interestingly for years, the kids and I were so sick of pizza that we could barely stand to look at a piece of it. My husband moonlighted as a delivery man and brought home all the old forgottens at the end of his shifts. Well, many shifts over many years equaled many many pizzas. On top of that, he would bring home mounds of pizza dough, which I would occasionally cook into bread after it had raised the refrigerator shelf off its hooks!

Spring forward a few years…now, while moonlighting—this time as a newspaper boy in the wee hours of the morn—he would pluck from the local pizza chain, unsold pies that had been thrown out at the end of the night. They were still boxed, and it was cold out, so we found them fit enough to eat though not all that tasty in reality. They were the 5$ ones, on special every day; you know the kind. Needless to say, all of the cold second-hand pizza over the years sort of wore us out on this family staple. But, since we don’t like to pay full price for them, we generally settle for second best. Tonight, however, it was Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust meat-lovers all the way! Mmmm…fresh and hot. To top it off, we had a richly-topped cherry dessert pizza that was to die for! So…Family, Scripture time, Prayer, and good hot food made it all worth it. : )

3 comments:

Lara said...

We looked into substituting powdered milk for whole and it was the exact same price here! So we buy 2 gallons of whole milk, divide it into 3 1-gallon containers, then fill it the rest of the way up with water. It stretches the milk and honestly tastes like 2-1% milk.

Zebu said...

Lara,

We used to do the very same thing. At one time, we were able to buy fresh milk from a farmer. You really can't do that legally, as far as I know. That's a shame, as it's much better before it goes through all of the processing.

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