Over at http://www.rural-revolution.com/ , Patrice Lewis has listed 25 frugal tips. In addition to that she has asked others to submit tips as well. So here I am trying to come up with some frugal tips. Here goes:
1. I buy whole milk and mix it half and half with water. I do not reccomend this for children, but for my family which consists right now of two teenage boys who don't like skim milk, it works. To tell the truth I don't much like skim milk eaither and this way I get kinda 2 gallons of "milk" for the price of one.
2. Make my own cleaners. It is amazing how easy it is to take a few basic items and make up house cleaner. Items like ammonia, baking soda, dish washing liquid, bleach, and vinegar, when put together (not the bleach and ammonia please), can make up any type cleaner you need. Baking soda can be used alone for scouring powder.
3. Baking soda is the queen of housekeeping if you ask me. I have used it for shampoo, toothpaste, laundry, cleaners, etc. the list is long. Baking soda, the housewifes friend.
4. Scratch baking. The more from scratch the better. Opening a box of rice a roni is cheaper than buying rice already cooked from a deli or restaurant, but cheaper still is to buy the rice plain and add your own seasonings. Other words... make your own roni. The same can be said for anything conveinient. It doesn't take much more effort. Some things do, but for the most part, once in a routine, they aren't to bad.
5. When you cook from scratch, use the least amount of meat in your recipe. S-T-R-E-T-C-H that meat as much as you can without affecting taste. I have made 2 chicken pot pies with only 8 oz of chicken breast. I have taken three chicken breasts and some how managed to cut, pound, bread, and fry them into enough fried chicken to feed 6 adults and 1 toddler.
6. Re purpose items: Lids from 18 oz peanut butter jars just happen to fit my canning jars. So I can use my chipped canning jars with these lids to store food items or transport food items. I will cut up t-shirts into strips to make "yarn" to crochet for pot holders http://frugalmavensdailyrave.blogspot.com/2012/06/what-to-do-with-old-ratty-t-shirts.html . I have also used that "yarn" to tie up tomato plants or other vines. The sleeves of said shirts go into my rag basket.
7. Before I toss an unuseable shirt or pair of pants, I remove anything useable on it: buttons, elastic, zippers, etc. I save them for use in other items I make. I will also take the material and reuse it in items I need. I just had to make some pajama pants into pajamma shorts for my son. I used the legs of the pants in layers to be the inner lining of two potholders I needed to finish up. They are a beautiful, elegant blue color on the outside, with a radical AC/DC/ Call of Duty inner lining. Sounds perfect.
8. Gardening, gardening, gardening. I love the fact that I can by pass the veggie ilse in my local grocer. Wonderful feeling. I also don't have to buys blueberries or jams. This year I have also tried my hand at herbs, and peanuts. Making my own peanut butter? Its a thought, but more than likely they will be roasted and eaten before I can get to that.
9. Canning, to really get the most benefit from gardening, you need to be able to put up either by freezing of canning, the produce that comes in. If you are leary about learning to can, start with a Ball canning book and a water bath canner. Wait on the pressure canning later. Hey, every little bit helps.
10. I cut and color my own hair as well as shave my Dh head and cut my boys hair. Saves a ton. Now I am not as great as someone trained, but it works for me. You can also try using a student at a cosmotology school. They work for cheap.
11. Thrift stores are a wonderful thing. Love them, love them, love them. Especially the one my sister and I go to every week during the summer months. Find some good ones and frequent them. Always have in mind what you are looking for. Keep a running list in your pocketbook for quick reference. Keep sizes, quantitiy color etc in the list as well.
12. Bread stores, aka bread thrift stores are a great place to get baked items for cheap. Really great if you have a freezer to store them in. If you can't bake your own bread items, a bread store is a great alternative.
13. Don't be afraid to purchase items that are close to threir expiration date. I buy marked down meat, dairy, produce, etc. Just make sure you can freeze it at home. Milk is good a week after its expiration date. Buy it up and freeze it for later. Yes you can freeze milk.
14. Unplug appliances when not in use. Electrical items still draw power even when not on. It is called vampire power.( Ve vant to drrink your dollars!)
15. Don't be peny wise and pound foolish. Don't purchase items you won't really use just because it is a good deal. It is penny wise pound foolish to not fertilize your garden. Yes you didn' t pay for the fertilizer, but you didn't get as much from your garden either. That is just an example.
16. NEVER TURN DOWN A BLESSING FROM SOMEONE ELSE. If you do, not only do you keep them from being blessed, but eventually they will stop trying to bless you. If you can't use it, find someone who can. You can be the recipient, or the conduit. Just sayin.
17. ALWAYS BE WILLING TO BLESS OTHERS. This is the part two of the above reference. Have a generous heart. Give and you shall recieve. Maybe not in material things, but certainly in the heart.
18. A;ways be willing to call a company if something isn't right with a purchase. I have purchsed items from the store and had something wrong with them. I called the company. They want to make it right and will definately do so. I called one time about some liquid soap I had purchased. I had about six of them and couldn't figure out how to open the things up. They just wouldn't open. Anyhoo, I called the company to see if I was doing something wrong. Come to find out it was a manufacturing error and they sent me coupons for free items. Yay. I still used the soap. They said not to worry sending it back. Call the compnay. What can it hurt. They need this info for quality control. Just be honest.
19. Call around fro quotes on car insurance. We stayed with an insurance company for years. happy with the service and had no complaints until they raised out rates out of the blue for some obscure reason. I called the insurance company first who held the insurance on our house. I saved over $750 a year! Worth a call
20. Gettin low on some ideas guys.....uhhhhhhh...Ooo, Okay. I keep my thermostat set at about 65 in the winter and 78 in the summer. As soon as possible I shut off all heat/air in favor of open windows and fans for comfort.
21. Did you know you can get vaccinations for your doggie at a feed and seed store? I did not know that until just recently. Great savings doing the vaccinations yourself. We have three doggies and that can rack up quick.
22. Oooo in the home stretch here... will she make it......It is getting hairy... turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth. No need to let it run while you scrub. Just turn it back on when you are ready to rinse.
23. When you need to run water to get it hot, fill up pitchers (in my case one 2 quart pitcher works fine) with the cold and use it to make coffee, tea, other drinks, or for the doggies water, etc. try to time it so it isn't running down the drain.
24. re use water from washing dishes to water indoor plants. I also use grey water during drought times to water my garden. Check with your city to make sure it is Okay.
25. Last one.... Uhhhh....take care of the items you own. Especially the ones that cost a lot in the beginning. Beter to maintain your items than replace your items. This can be the biggest savings of all I think. Also make sure you know ahead of time what you have and don't have in storage. This can save a lot in not bying duplicate items. Uhhh like buying a of WD40 cause you can't find any, only to find two bottles you didn't know you had. We joke that the best way to find something here is to buy a replacement and then it will turn up. lol
Well I did it! I'm so proud of my self. Can you think of 25?