Yesterday after I pushed the Publish Post button for THIS post, I had other ideas swarming in my head of things that my family does to save money. My blogging time was up for the day, so I decided to do a second post today. I really would love to hear some of your ideas as well, so please....leave me some comment love!!
Do it yourself!
Haircuts- For many, many years I have cut everyone's hair in my family. When my older girls started making money babysitting they used some of their money for professional hair cuts. There was also a time when life was completely overwhelming me (having a baby at 44 just might do that to you....or maybe not!) and I took the boys in for hair cuts as well. Jeff generally goes to a barber now who has a ministry of fostering children, so Jeff feels like he is contributing to that ministry. Devin pretty much does all four boys hair now and does Kaelan's as well. You should spend a few bucks to invest in quality hair cutting scissors and trimmer. Devin and I both get our hair professionally done. Devin pays for her own and goes every other month or so, while I go 2-3 times a year.
Remodeling- Jeff has totally gutted and remodeled two of our bathrooms through the years. For our latest remodel, he did hire plumbers to put in a new spot for the toilet and custom build and tile the shower. The cost though, even with that work hired out was only around $3000.
Reduce paper use!
I quit using paper napkins years ago and replaced them with inexpensive cloth napkins and even cute bandanas purchased on clearance at Hobby Lobby. We generally tie them on the back of the chair to use for the next meal and I toss them into the wash each day. They are very light and don't take up much space in the wash.
I have also quit using paper towels. I have found lots of dish towels and clothes on clearance and stock up when I find great prices. I keep worn-out bath towels to clean up messy spills.
At times I have used cloth diapers for my babies. I really wanted to go all cloth for Caedmon, but Jeff didn't want to invest that much money into diapers that would most likely only be used for one child. Caedmon is still in diapers, but is working on potty training and is wearing training pants a good bit of the day.
It is very rare that we prepare food for only one meal at a time. Last week we grilled steaks (a gift from my mom) for an evening meal. Monday night I sliced the leftover steaks and we ate them on top of or as a side to our salads from the garden. We cooked way too much food for our gathering Saturday night, so we were able to take a good bit of it with us as our contribution to a meal with friends on Sunday night and shared some as well with a single young man. There was still enough for another meal of the grilled chicken, but we were a little tired of it so, into the freezer it went for a meal next week.
Last night we had a meal of beef enchiladas that I simply pulled from the freezer. In early May we prepared several pans of enchiladas at one time. I just line up the casserole dishes and assemble. I only had to use one pan to cook up the meat mixture and one bowl to grate up the cheese for four meals.
Right now I have Jordan grilling out about 30 hamburgers. Yes, it is still morning, but it will be in the upper nineties when dinner time rolls around. It is much cooler now to grill and we will have plenty of burgers for tonight's dinner with one or two more hamburger dinners for the freezer.
Devin made a large batch of blueberry biscuits for breakfast this morning. We ate half and I will freeze the rest for next week. She regularly mixes up large batches of our favorite chocolate chip cookie dough. She uses a cookie dough scoop to make small scoops, places them on a cookie sheet, flash freezes them and then bags them up for later use. Cooking in bulk is a time and money saver!
Cut the cable or satellite on your TV!
We haven't had either for many, many years. I won't get into the trash, etc that comes in to our homes via TV.
Switch phone plans!
We don't have caller ID and all the other extras on our home phone. We have even considered dropping the home phone line, but sometimes cell phone coverage out here can be a problem.
I don't have a cell phone for myself. When I am away from home I borrow either Jordan's or Devin's phone or, if Jeff is home I will take his. Devin and Jordan each purchased their own phones and pay their portion of the cell phone bill. Jeff and Devin are both self-employed and their phones and usage are tax deductible.
Re-purpose and re-use!
Re-decorating my home usually means moving one item into another spot or rearranging the furniture. I generally try to use what I have instead of having to buy something new that will quickly lose its luster in my big, busy household.
Reuse gift bags and tissue paper for Christmas, birthday and baby shower gifts. My children know to look in the storage cabinet in my bedroom for an assortment of gift bags. It's fun to see the same bags reappear year after year!
I know I will think of several more ideas as I go through the day, but maybe these tips will inspire you to save some money for your family as well. Remember our goal is always to be good stewards of the blessings that God has given to us whether it be material blessings, talents and gifts or simply our time! Please share YOUR favorite ideas for being good stewards of what God has given you.