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Hello all! I am Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas. I blog with my oldest daughter about all the things we do that are crafty, cooking related or family. I love to blog, cook, craft, hike, spend time with my family and travel. I’m also an amateur photographer and I’m learning the art of archery. (It’s actually harder than it looks.) I have two other blogs that I write on my own. One details our travels around the world and the other is for my journey through photography. Both of them are linked on our Fearlessly Creative Mammas page. I have a great husband, 3 fantastic and grown kids and 3 of the most beautiful grand children on the planet. (I’m not bias, just truthful.) We all live in the same town and they keep me pretty busy.
I’d like that thank Brenna for allowing me to meet all of her readers here at Life After Laundry. Don’t you just love that name? I just love her and I’m so glad that we are getting to become friends. We haven’t actually met in person, but we talk a lot online. Hopefully we will get to meet sometime soon.
Today I am going to give you some tips and ideas for living frugally. It seems like we can all use more tips these days. I’m open to learning about anything that can help me save a dollar. My husband and I are getting closer to retirement, although we still have some time left, and want to save every bit of money we can. So, here are a few idea for you that I have found around the internet and implemented and some other things that we do as well. This first one is from Life as You Live It and something that I really love. I got one of these jars for each of our kids and one for us as well and I taped the simple chart Kaylie has for you to print out. It is a great way to save $1378 over the coarse of a year. My kids thought it was a great idea. I didn’t actually give it to them until the end of the second week, so I added the money for the first two weeks. The idea here is that you add money each week, following what ever week of the year you are in. For example week 1 you add $1 and week 25 you add $25.
Now, I can’t tell you where I got this idea, but I have tried it out and it worked really great. I don’t know about you, but I use a lot of chicken broth. I usually buy Swanson’s Chicken Broth and it is really good. I really love it. I found this idea somewhere online to make it at home. I didn’t save it because there wasn’t a recipe, just an idea. A good one too.
First, you save the scraps from the vegetables you use until you have about a gallon size ziplock bag full. I saved scraps of carrots, onions and celery, being sure to wash them well before I used them. So, when you peel a carrot, wash it first and then save the peelings. For celery you save the leaves and ends, although I didn’t save the very ends. Onion? When you cut off the ends, take the peeling off and save that little bit.
After you have the scraps all saved up, you buy an inexpensive fryer chicken. I think I paid around $3.00 for mine on sale. You put the chicken in the slow cooker, frozen is fine. Then you add all of the vegetable scraps. I actually added a little extra celery because there wasn’t enough in my bag. Then I added some dried parsley flakes, about 1 tablespoon and about 1 teaspoon of salt. Add water, but don’t fill it because the juices from the chicken will come out and you don’t want it to overflow.
Finally, you cover it and cook it overnight. I started it at about noon, so it cooked for a long time. When you get up your house will smell you good. You turn off the slow cooker and let it cool.
- If you buy green onions, strawberries, blueberries, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower or any other hearty fruit or vegetable and you won’t use them all before they go bad, you can clean and chop them and freeze them in a container.
- To save on plastic baggies, use freezable containers to freeze food.
- Buy meat in bulk or a lot when it is on sale. I have a Food Saver that I divide the meat into meal size servings so that they can keep longer. I even freeze them in different size servings so I don’t waste meat when my husband is out of town.
- Buy a few reusable bags and take them with you when you shop. A lot of stores are now giving you a credit on your bill if you use your bags and not their plastic bags. Target is one example. Also, we have a store called Wealth of Health that if you have your own bag they donate to either the Food Bank or the Animal Shelter in town.
- If you use most of your power at night or on the weekend, check with your power company and see if they have a “Time of Day” discount. This means that if you do things like run the dishwasher, clothes washer or dryer between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am or on the weekend, you get a discount on your electricity during those hours.
- Errands are not awesome. Save some money on gas by planning your errands on the same day of the week and planning a route. You’re still going to the same places, but you aren’t running across town four times a week.
- Grocery shopping isn’t too fun and can be expensive, especially if you take someone with you. Shop with a list and when you can leave your kids at home. I don’t know about you, but when my kids were young I spent so much more if they were with me. My husband fills that roll now. I try to shop at 8 am, alone, when I can. Then it isn’t busy so I’m not just grabbing things to get out of the store.
- Cook from scratch. I have been doing this for two years almost exclusively and it not only saves money, but your food tastes better and is so much healthier. I know a lot of people like to cook with cream soups. I make one up from scratch and have it on hand, like you would a can of soup, and mix it when I need it. You can get the recipe HERE. Also, The Joy of Cooking Cookbook is a wonderful resource for basic recipes. I learned how to make gravy and salad dressing with this book.
- Turn off your cable tv. I know, it’s shocking that I would say such a thing, but we haven’t had cable for two years and we don’t miss it. We have a good internet connection, which we would have anyway, and we stream what we want to watch either through the internet to the tv or we watch Netflix, for $7 a month. There are a lot of options for streaming and it’s a one time charge. Some are Apple TV, Roku or ChromeCast. The last one is the newest and least expensive at about $40. We also have a digital antenna to get the local channels.
- If you work outside of the house, eat breakfast before you go to work and take your lunch. You will save a lot of money and have healthier options. I make my husband’s breakfast before he goes to work, send him to work with a lunch and cook dinner at least six nights a week. I don’t have to go out of the house to work every day, but even if you do, you can plan ahead for these things and use your slow cooker.
That is a pretty long list of the things we do at our house to save money. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. Also, if you are eating and living healthier, your health care costs will go down.
Thanks so much for reading. I hope you will stop by Fearlessly Creative Mammas and see what we have going on. What are some things that you do in your family to save money? Leave us a comment below and let us know.
Thank you for all the wonderful tips, Kathleen! I know I’m always searching for more ways to live frugally, and I’m looking forward to putting these tips to work.