A penny here, and a penny there.

Many of the great blogs I visit regularly, and those I follow on Facebook, have had some great ideas for frugal living and have inspired me to share some of our family’s ways with you.

As both the mom of a large brood, and a person who sees much harder times on the horizon, I am always looking for ways to save money, cut monthly expenses, and discover what things I can do myself rather than pay for them to be done.

Some of the ways that we save money:

♥Momma’s barbershop!  I cut everyone’s hair in this house.  Over the years, I have learned how to cut the guys’ hair, as well as trim and even layer the girls’ hair.  It has taken time, but it has been well worth it.  At minimum it is a savings of over $400 per year.

♥I have made laundry detergent for over 4 years now.  I played with the recipe until I got something that cleans like I want, doesn’t leave behind soap residue, and is still super cheap to make it.  I can’t even begin to think how much money that saves us.

♥We grow a lot of our own fruits and vegetables in our garden.  Not only do we save money, but we also know that the food we are eating is not GMO, is not covered with pesticides and chemicals, and we know exactly what was used to fertilize them!

♥I use my dryer as little as possible.  I learned years ago that the dryer can account for 30-40% of our power bill.  Mr. Muscles built a clothes line for me that week, and we have been saving a lot of money ever since.  I was a little skeptical at first, but the proof was in the power bill!

♥I admit it.  I used to use disposable diapers.   That is what our first three children wore.  I was intimidated by the cloth diapers.  The only thing I could picture and understand was the giant square clothes and pins.  Wow, cloth diapers have come a long way!  I have used cloth diapers for the last 5 children, and I have noticed significant savings, earlier successful potty training, much fewer diaper rashes, and an easier time switching to big girl panties.

♥Thrift stores!  I know many of you already have discovered the savings that come with finding treasures in thrift stores.  I am surprised how often we find vintage items in fantastic condition or items with tags still on them.

♥While my choice to nurse our children has been purely for their health and giving them the best start possible, I cannot help but think of how much money we have saved over the years instead of buying formula!

♥Used book stores.  I enjoy going to the library, but sometimes it can be easier to own the book.  I have no interest is paying full price for a book unless I absolutely have to.  The great thing about a used book store is that you can take the books you no longer need there, get store credit, and use that credit to purchase the books you need.

Camping.  Yes, I really do mean camping.  Hey, vacations can far too easily cost a great deal of money.  Contrast the price of renting a house or getting a hotel room(s) to the average $20 per night for camping.  We cook our meals at the campsite rather than going out to eat.  We hike, ride bikes, explore, fish, and hang out.  It is a great and inexpensive way to get away and enjoy being with our family.

♥We buy a lot of items in bulk.  I first started shopping at Costco about 19 months ago.  I have not increased the dollar amount that I budget for groceries and household supplies, but I have noticed how much more I bring home for the money spent.  We don’t eat junk food, and Costco offers a lot of the healthier foods that we look for.  We went ahead and paid for the executive membership.  At the end of our first year, we earned enough money that it paid for the next year’s membership AND bought more groceries to put in the pantry!

Now that you have read just some of the ways our family saves money, what does your family do to save money?  What ideas do have to share with the readers here?  I am always on the lookout for new tips!  (If you have written a post about saving money, please put a link to it in your comment.  I would greatly appreciate it!)

Always in God’s mighty hands,

~Rhen

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This post is linked up with Raising Homemaker’s Link Up!

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9 responses to “A penny here, and a penny there.

  1. Im having a hard time finding a good homemade detergent recipe.do you mind sharing yours???And this may be little but i use homemade detangler spray…We have 6 kiddos and 4 of them r girls so were constantly needing that and the one i use is great!..I just use 1 part conditioner and 9 parts water..Shake and use!Its soooo easy,smells great(espically if you use your fav. conditioner)Doesnt leave your hair oily and helps secure those flyaways!!I just use my old Store bought detangler bottles!No cost really at all..!

    • Hello Mrs. Bobbie!! Amen! I make our detangler as well, and it has saved us headaches and money. LOL I even purchased a little palm-sized bottle to carry in my bag. It helps with tangles and that crazy winter hair. Sometimes the girls all look like they have been rubbing balloons on their heads! Excellent money-saver. Thank you for mentioning it!
      PS- I am emailing you my recipe for detergent.

      • I would also love your recipe for detergent! I make my own as well, and it works pretty good. But I’m always open to new ideas!

        As for what I do to save money… budget! But used when I can.
        Menu plan so I don’t waste as much food
        Bake all our bread
        Wear clothes even when they aren’t in style (ie. wear them til they are worn out)
        Don’t buy a lot of junk that we don’t need.

        There are lots of other things, like cloth diapers, etc, but those are a few 🙂

  2. I agree on allot of what you said, but I have found that shopping at Sams/Costco’s I spend way more money. If I watch for sales I can get the same thing at a lower price. I do like the fact tho that you are stocked up and not every month having to buy the same things. I buy alot of 10 for 10s when I find them and also shop at Aldis. Really when it comes down to it I think they get you coming and going. Have a great day.

    • I have to be careful shopping at Costco. I cannot let all of the other things distract me or call me to purchase them! I stick to my list with the exception of a birthday gift or something. I do love Publix’s buy one get one deals. I have no problems shopping loss leaders and leaving the store. They have FINALLY built an Aldi’s close to me. It hasn’t opened yet, but I keep watching and waiting. 🙂 I am hoping they will sell some of the foods we eat. No artificial sugars, no refined foods, no processed foods and such in our house. Do you find they sell healthy stuff?

  3. We make our own laundry soap too but I wouldn’t mind tweaking the recipe for some better cleaning power. Would you share your recipe please? 🙂

  4. I am soooo sad that we have to give up our cloth diapers. 😦 There is a long list of reasons, but most of it starts with 3 in diapers (soon!) and hard water that makes them really hard to get clean without tying up my washer all day and being much harder on the diapers.
    But I have spent so very little on any new girl clothing that I’m excited about that! I’m going to a clothing swap this weekend to trade out all the stuff my youngest boy has outgrown for newborn and 6-9-12 month girl clothes. I got a bunch of 3-6 last fall at a MOPS sale (where I also sold some of mine) and then next January I will trade it all back in for the next sizes!
    I’m excited that my biggest expense for twins will be diapers (which will be big, but considering what it could be… 😉

  5. Have you posted you laundry soap recipe anywhere else? Do you mind sharing it? Because of allergies we have to use the “free” kind and it tends to get a little pricey! Thanks!

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