I am so into the idea of pinching pennies right now. In part because it is necessary for us during the slow season (winter) of our business to stretch our dollars until spring starts to improve cash flow. Also in part because it is a good feeling to know I've been eliminating waste and being wise with our money. Wasted food, wasted clothing that was perfectly good or household products that could have been stretched out. These are the things I've been paying closer attention to. I thought it would be fun to share some of the tips I've come up with or found from various sources.
1. I take my children's clothing to the consignment store when they outgrow it. They will sell the items that are still sellable and donate the rest. Then I get some store credit to spend on used but new looking items. I have found the most darling clothes (especially for Carolyn) for $1 to $7 a piece depending on the item. If it cost $7 it was really special!
2. I have all sorts of interests that I've been able to delve into simply by logging into my online library account and requesting books be sent to my local library. I have searched for books on gardening, home decor, potagers (french kitchen gardens), chickens, financial planning, and much more. There is so much information and inspirational books ready at my fingertips for free!
3. I love to bake muffins and breads, cookies and cakes from scratch. These can be a cheap afternoon snack or breakfast food or part of a school lunch. Much better than prepackaged already prepared food with preservatives. We also enjoy homemade pizza, a lot of soups and other dishes that have simple ingrediants but utilize a variety of what we have on hand. I have also been substituting less sugar than the recipe calls for to see if things still taste good and use less of what we have.
4. Trying to cut back on paper towel use with washclothes and substitute saran wrap for ziploc bags. There are lots of areas we can cut back on in this area. Like paying attention to how much water we use etc. On that note I usually make at least 2 children use the bath water and often 3. (not usually 4 there is something about that number that seems too much! the last child will take one the next time) In this case, I start with the cleanest child and work down. This is never the boys!
5. My last tip for today but I will probably post more another time...Yard sales and flea markets and thrift stores! I am hooked. I cannot wait until yard sale season is really in full swing. This is how I decorate my home! It's often how I clothe my children and stock my cupboards with useful kitchen tools, china and such! I've even got the children into it! Scott amazingly was on board from the beginning, apparently he had already realized long ago that you can find some pretty great deals on manly stuff like motors, tools, athletic equipment etc.
Finally I must say that I do not choose to be thrifty because we are broke. I choose it because it means we can spend money on other things. It means I can change my style on the drop of a dime because I dont have tons of money invested into anything. We can eat out more because we've saved money elsewhere which is something our family really enjoys especially when it's raining and we can't be outside. (also because we have a catering business and sometimes it's nice to have someone else preparing the food). It means we can have a big family and not spend a fortune on just getting clothing, food and shelter. And best of all, being thrifty is fun. It's the thrill of the hunt and the great deals that get me! I guess you could say it's kind of a hobby!