Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some Things We Do To Save

wet food items like banana peels, coffee grounds, egg shells ( no bones or meats) are placed in a gallon jar (pickle jar originally) and when full taken outside and placed on compost pile.

Tin cans from vegetables, spaghetti sauce, tuna or whatever are all rinsed, paper label removed and thrown into a box. When box is full it is taken out to shed. We save them all winter and turn them in to the scrap metal yard with our other accumulated metals for money.

Plastic containers from cottage cheese, yogurt, dips whatever are all washed out and saved rather than buying storage containers.

We do not buy garbage bags, we use the ones we get from the store when our groceries are bagged.

This leaves very little other garbage, mostly cardboard or paper items which get burned in a burning barrel.

Aluminum foil I only buy maybe 2 rolls a year as it is washed and reused as many times as possible. We store it folded in empty oatmeal containers

Bread Bags- are saved in empty oatmeal containers and used for storage bags, freezer bags or for putting homemade bread, or leftover biscuits in.

Cleaning Products- The only cleaning product I buy is Toilet Bowl Cleaner, other than that I use baking soda and vinegar to clean everything else. ( it don't work where I live for my toilet...too many minerals in the water leaves stains unless I buy toilet bowl cleaner)

Water- I do not have a water bill, we live in the country and have well water however where we live at the moment it is HORRID so hubby fills up empty well cleaned milk jugs at his place of work for free. It is filtered 3 x there and we can drink it just fine!  So we do not pay to drink water however I do plan on buying a few cases for emergency stash.

Laundry- I have no washer and dryer  but I pay about $18 as we only go to the laundry matt once a month. We have plenty of underwear and socks but practice a minimal wardrobe other wise and where our clothes more than once.

Eating Out- Whats that? LOL something that happens VERY RARE , a precious gem in this house where going out is very appreciated when we get the rare chance to do it.

Cooking- Almost everything we eat is all made from scratch, also when I go to the store and price things on unit prices, I also calculate how much in total for a meal and use that as my gauge. I typically like to fix dinners between $2 and $4 for a complete meal and will usually NOT buy things if they will cost more than that to make the meal..........exceptions are holidays, our holiday meals will run around $20 for the meal but usually also is more than one meal worth with all the leftovers!

Propane Heat- Hate it but can't change it in a rental and a Trailer can WASTE a lot of heat and paper thin walls means my 70 degrees will seem much cooler than your 70 degrees in a well insulated house. We plastic off the windows and back door.  Then we keep the thermostat set at 65 for day and 55 at night! Brrrrrrrrrr I KNOW!

Slippers are a must have in a winter climate living in a trailer ( I swear if your feet were wet they would instantly freeze to the kitchen floor!  We each have 5 blankets on our beds which keeps us plenty warm at night. During the day we wear a T-shirt then a sweat shirt, then a hooded jacket over the sweat shirt! Keeps us comfy. I only turn the heat up to 68 when kids take thier baths.

Also if the sun is out, I open the curtains to allow the heat in, cloudy days I close the curtain or hang thin blankets over the plastic.

Returnable Cans- When we walk , bike or drive anywhere we collect them so we can return them for 10 cents a piece when we have a lot or need a few extra bucks. Unfortuantly I know every state does not offer refunds for pop or beer can returns!

Homeschool- I purchase 30 notebooks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, regular pencils, pens and glue at the back to school sales when all this is dirt cheap. I then get interesting books or supplies  from Amazon Gift Cards I earn for free from Swagbucks.  For example I got a poetry magnetic kit, a book on the Quipu and how to make them and use for accounting and record keeping, Japanese language CD and more!

I also take full advantage of Garage Sales for supplies , the library and a membership to Netflix where I can get ANYTHING including biology and chemistry courses from

I spend probably no more than 200 a year at the moment including the membership to netflix fees. I would like to up this as money improves to offer more experiences though!

Also try to invite interesting people over on a regular basis! Kids learn an amazing amount from discussions and interesting people!

Gleaning/Foraging- I admitt, I love to glean and forage from climbing apple trees on the side of a road, to dandelion greens, moral mushrooms and even puff balls! Can't wait til spring for wild asparagus to be in! I will also glean from farmers fields after they have been harvested ( ask permission first) for cucumbers , pumpkins and such!

Well for now that is a few things, so much is habit for me, I do not always think of it as helpful so I will do another post if I think of more things or add them in the comments sections

So what are a few things you do that you find saves a lot of money?