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Friday, March 2, 2012

Penny Pinching, Thrifting, and Making Ends Meet

Shopping is something most women like to do, and I am no exception.  However, I am a firm believer in getting things cheaper if I can.   I could try and seem noble, and say that I am only trying to be a good steward of the money my husband earns.  And that's true... to a point.  The fact of the matter though, is that I dearly love to get a good deal.   Nothing gives me a greater feeling of satisfaction than in knowing I just "scored" big.  I know that is terrible.  However... in my defense... in a one income, homeschooling family, we have to learn to stretch our dollars, and be frugal where we can.   Buy one, get one free sales at the grocer are fantastic.  But if I have a coupon to sweeten the deal, so the better!!  

Years ago I bought this book, The Tightwad Gazette.  I was a newlywed, and we made even less then, AND, only got paid once a month.  I learned a lot from this book.  Check it out from the library, or get it ultra cheap off of Amazon.  It's worth it.

I help with the local organic produce co-op to save money on produce.  Buy buying through the co-op, I can save 25% on organic fruits and veggies.  I already had a 'bee guy', where I would buy raw, unfiltered, locally grown honey... but in the co-op I get the same, local honey, but once again, it's 25% cheaper.  I like cheaper.   It's my favorite price, next to free.  LOL  For every three quarts of honey I buy, it's like getting that fourth quart free.  In speaking of which... doctor bills are HIGH.  I have bad allergies.  Using the locally grown, raw unfiltered honey minimally... a half teaspoon a day is all it takes... and I've not had a sinus infection in over a year.  Talk about saving money!  Not to mention the pain and suffering... nope, I don't miss that one little bit.  No doctor bills, and no prescriptions.  That alone is worth the price of that honey.  Here's a picture of my typical haul each week from the organic co-op.

Today I have been working on my daughter's lesson planner.   I had about ten more Seton books I needed for her, and I am a member of two different swap groups for Catholic homeschool materials.  I went and checked out Seton, at their actual online home site.  Holy Moses.  There is no way I can afford their prices.  But will a little time and a lot of looking, I have so far found four of the books I need out of the ten... all on the swap board, and saved myself $30 by doing so.  If I can save $30 on four books, can you imagine how much I'll save with the other six I still need?  With the money I save, I can pay a bill!  (or blow it in a thrift store, which sounds much more fun.) LOL

I dislike buying cans of 'cream of whatever' soup, because I can make the powdered mix myself for pennies, using cornstarch and powdered milk.  I love making our own baked goods, homecooked meals, jarring my own jams, and even making our own homemade salad dressing.  Because *I* know what I'm putting into it. 

In our window sill is a lot of seeds we've been drying.  We're getting ready to plant them in empty egg cartons.  I am going to get some 5 gallon buckets and make 'earth boxes' out of them, so we can grow tomatoes. (and maybe other produce as well) 

I shamelessly shop in thrift stores. I buy clearance items when needed.  I use coupons, and if we need name brand shoes, (such as my Birkenstocks), I hit the outlet stores and look for the sales within the store.  Like Jim Bob Duggar has said numerous times in "19 and Counting".... "Buy used, and save the difference."  I could not agree more!

Our young dog, is a "wild child" and likes to chew anything.  Because she is a large breed dog, she has powerful jaws, and most dog toys are not strong enough for her.  The roughest, toughest made toy lasts her... maybe an hour if you're lucky.   And most of us know that dog toys can be $7 or $8, or even higher.   Yesterday we visited a thrift store, and I found a stuffed dinosaur.  It was priced at $1.99.   The material used is some 'hard' 'tough' material.. one of those toys that was made to take a beating.  I saw that it was filled with 'fluff' filler, with no beans or anything like that which could choke or even poison a dog.  It did have two plastic eyes, which could be taken off easily.  Over 24 hours later, she is still toting her "baby" around proudly, nary a tear in it.  Unbelievable.  And the price was right, that's for sure!!  I will be keeping my eyes open for other potential toys for my fuzzy baby. :)

I was watching on YouTube... a lady who does emergency food storage for her family.  We have always done that, even just on a 'small' scale.  Anything you have stored extra you will be glad for if something happens.  (God forbid).

What are ways you save money in your family?  Is there anything you do "just in case"?  

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