September 1, 2014

Home Sweet Frugal Home

Home Sweet Frugal Home

I don’t know about you, but I know our dollars are not stretching as far as they used to. Grocery prices seem particularly bad and with the drought in the midwest are only going to get worse. We’ve also had a significant change in our healthcare costs. We used to have no deductible and only had  a co-pay to see a doctor. Since July we’ve had $2500 deductible (which I met when I had a $10,000 CT scan!). Oh did I mention our second car died and we’ve have 3 people using 1 car in a town that doesn’t have mass transit? So we’re also saving for another car. We want to pay cash.

We’ve never been big spenders but we decided at the beginning of summer that we really needed to do better (we still have two more years of college to pay for as well after all).

So I thought I’d start sharing some frugal things that we do as a way to encourage myself and maybe give someone in a similar situation some ideas. I don’t know how regular this will be but I’m shooting for twice a month.

Here are a few highlights of some recent frugal things I’ve done:

garden harvest

Veggie garden harvest! My bounty from one day in the garden. The temps have been cooling and we’re getting some much needed rain. Me watering my veggies is not the same as a deep soaking rain water! Also harvested herbs. I have another cantaloupe on the vine!

-used white vinegar in the rinse agent container in my dishwasher. Much cheaper and works just as well.

-went through my old “painting t shirts” and cut them up to use as rags instead of paper towels

bowl of cherries

-pitted and froze some cherries my husband brought home from a business trip. He gets a meal allowance when he travels and sometimes when he doesn’t use it all he brings home some things that we wouldn’t ordinarily buy. Like a couple of pounds of organic cherries! I did tell him that he doesn’t have to buy all the fruit in a bag – he can take some out. It was a new and novel idea to him :)  Anyway, I had just bought a 1/2 lb of non-organic cherries the day before and knew I wouldn’t be able to eat all of them before they got soft. So I froze some to use in smoothies or maybe for a nice cherry crisp to have  in the middle of winter- won’t that be a nice treat!

-we stopped eating  a lot of meat as of last November. We really only have meat two or three times a week and even then it’s small amounts. I made creamy basil chicken for dinner and sliced each boneless chicken breast in half – that gives me 2 meals from 3 chicken breasts. I slice them the long way – so they’re thin (like if you pounded them to make them thinner).  We try to make the veggies the bigger portion on the plate.

plants in containers

-all summer we’ve kept a bowl in the sink and a bucket in the kitchen. When we rinse veggies or strain pasta etc. We capture the water in the bowl then empty into the bucket. I use that water for my ferns planted by the front door and all my plants on the deck and porch.

-I watched some YouTube videos on how to dehydrate vegetable and fruits. I do freeze quite a bit of summer produce but I’m running out of room and anyway, I think it’s a good idea to have canned or dehydrated food on hand since you never know when the power will be out. We had an ice storm one year where we didn’t have electricity for almost two weeks!

-my amazing husband fixed our gas grill! He went to use it one day and noticed that the burner bar was totally disintegrated!

broken grill part

We did look at new grills  but even a good inexpensive one was more than what we really wanted to spend. So we found our manual (that grill is 5 years old but we keep all of our manuals in one place). Located the part number – did a google search for that number and found a place that sells replacement parts.

fixed grill part

So for $27 my husband replaced the part and now the grill is good as new! Plus the grill got a good cleaning in parts that you normally don’t even see! Also, it’s something he’s never done before, but he was at least willing to try!

 

laundry drying

 

It’s been so hot that the laundry we hang to dry dries quicker than it would in the dryer! Now that’s hot :)  We always dry our kitchen towels on the line and rack. We don’t always do our clothes. But I’ve found that putting the clothes in the dryer for about 10 minutes when they’re almost dry – makes them soft and not scratchy. 10 minutes vs. the 60 minutes it usually takes is quite a savings in electricity!

cheese stuffed pretzels

-my equally amazing daughter made some cheese stuffed pretzel rolls. They were sooo good! We had them with some salad. We froze half of the dough to make cinnamon pretzels for snacks for another time. Here’s the recipe she used Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pretzels. She left out the ham.

-I also browned 2 lbs of ground beef and froze it for quick meals. We only eat grass fed beef but we eat so little of it that it doesn’t matter that it’s more expensive. I usually add beans when I use it for Mexican recipes and we use it more as flavoring in pasta dishes.

So that’s just a bit of what I’ve been doing lately. What have you done lately that’s frugal?

 

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Comments

  1. I need to work harder on this very subject – the economy is a kicker, isn’t it?! You’ve got lots of great ideas, we’ve cut back on eating meat to about 3 times a week, too. I tried going dryer-less for six months but my electric bill didn’t go down at all, I guess I have an economy-type dryer, not sure. That was a big disappointment to me. Our two biggest bills are food and gasoline (hubby drives one hour each way for work). Today I’m picking up a book from the library, I read about it in a magazine: Cut your grocery bill in half with America’s cheapest family : includes
    so many innovative strategies you won’t have to cut coupons / Steve and
    Annette Economides.
    Economides, Steve.
    They have another book too, which I’ve placed a “hold” on and can’t wait to get. Thanks for sharing your plan with us, maybe if we all share ideas we can find many ways to save. Hugs ~ Mary

    • Yes, I read their first book a few years ago. Supposedly Amy D. felt they operated in a similar fashion to her.

      They also have a website and some YouTube videos. Although nobody can compare to Amy D. in my mind. She is and always will be the Queen of Frugality!

      I’d love it if people would share what they are doing – I’m always looking for new ways to save money and I think most of us already do the more commonly known things. Plus it’s just encouraging to know that others are on the same path.

  2. Thanks for sharing these tips:) I am always looking for ways to save money! Yum, can’t wait to try the roll recipe! Have a blessed day, HUGS!

    • It was really good! It does involve boiling them first before baking which seems involved to me (I’ve made soft pretzels before with out the boiling) but it really makes a difference in the texture. Anyway, she did it all herself so I wasn’t involved at all – cause I would have probably skipped that step :) !

  3. It amazes me all the gals who don’t see a problem with the economy. I’m glad that you do because I certainly do. Right now, even though I have a new dryer, I have laundry hung all over the basement…we have garbage burners in the neighborhood making hanging out the laundry a bit of guesswork. I noticed that it dried fine while the dryer was broken so it will dry fine now. We don’t eat much meat either…very small servings. We had a little garden this year…nothing great…lots of tomatoes and herbs and lettuces. I did purchase the items to make my own laundry detergent, which I will do when my Tide runs out. Sob. I’ll miss my Tide; I know I will.

    Thanks for the good tips…love the one about recycling the water used on washing veggies…that’s a good one!

    • Gulp! Yes, I would miss my Tide too! I’ve saved lots of “recipes” for homemade detergent but have never tried it.

      Some people love their homemade version and some say it grays their whites. I don’t know why. Maybe the type of water you have makes a difference? Anyway, I look forward to seeing how it works for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I used Tide for years and love it, however with the economy being what it is I’ve tried a few others. You know what? Gain does an amazing job! A big bottle (96 loads) is four dollars less that Tide and I have not noticed an appreciable difference in cleaning. Plus I like the smell better. It’s also made by P & G and coupons are often available for it. Any one else notice that the Tide coupons are getting stingy? Hannah

      • It does smell better! We use Gain for towels and sheets and Tide for everything else.

        I went to Target & Wal-Mart today to price tide – WM was 2 cents less. Tide has gotten crazy expensive and yes I’ve noticed that the coupons haven’t been great lately.

    • You may not miss it, depending if you have a good recipe or not. I haven’t looked back since I started making my own laundry powder; I think my clothes smell better and it cleans them well too. My whites haven’t turned grey, I use a great home made nappy san.

  4. All those are great tips, Manuela. You’ve helped a lot of readers today

  5. All very good ideas! I’m needing to do better at the grocery store. I used to be so careful when the kids were growing up, and then I got to buying whatever we wanted. Now with retirement looming in the next 10 years, we need to find ways to save more. I will have to stayed tuned :)

  6. Lots of good ideas – thanks for sharing them. I have cut and trimmed the budget so much and “they” say the cost of food will get higher.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  7. Great tips!

    We are economizing too! I make my own laundry detergent, and today I am working on a batch of handsoap. I think I am going to try it for shampoo, too. With a family of 7 (5 of whom are females) we have a lot of hair!

    I cook from scratch, we make our own marinades, salad dressings etc….we had some issues with our garden this year but do have tomatoes and we had lettuce. Going to do broccoli and more lettuce…maybe put in garlic for next year.

    We are fortunate to be able to buy a lot of local produce in our area.

    I’ve been canning peaches. They are such a treat in the winter!

    These kinds of posts are good. They help us to encourage one another!

    • I bet those peaches are a wonderful reminder of summer in winter! I wish I knew how to can. I do have a quite a few books on it and my daughter got me a canning dvd last Christmas. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t even watched the dvd yet! Something about canning scares me. I do freeze quite a bit but I’m always afraid I’m going to lose it all when the electricity goes out. We always have an ice storm or two here that brings down the power lines!

      • Honestly Manuela it isn’t that difficult. I did the canning for Mama when I was 15-16 years old and we never had anything go wrong. I can’t describe to you the absolute satisfaction of a row of clear glass jars with all those lovely fruits and vegetables in them.

        Confession? I meant to return to canning and have postponed it simply because I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to use my new pressure cooker (cans 1/2 pints and pints only). Guess I should polish off my old skills…

  8. I love this topic. I love the challenge of doing things for less. Our biggest saver over the past few years has been google. Anytime something breaks we google how to fix it ourselves. We’ve saved 1000′s of $$ this way – really. We’ve fixed cars, appliances, digital cameras & even a rickety table we’d given up on fixing. I also google leftovers looking for good ways to serve foods before they go bad. I’m pretty good at making leftovers taste like they’re first meal.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. I look forward to more.

  9. Thanks for all the ideas – glad we are not alone in trying to economize. We are unexpectedly “retired” so we got rid of our landline and use MagicJack, got rid of cable and use over the air TV, and gave up our expensive cell phone plan for a prepaid plan that is so much cheaper. I can honestly say that all of these were fairly painless for us to do. We’ve also started shopping at Aldi’s for most of our groceries – it’s so much cheaper than Publix, even with no coupons. My hubby is so good at getting large cuts of meat at Costco and cutting them down and freezing in one meal portions. He even bought a meat slicer for this purpose. I can honestly say we have really trimmed our monthly expenses a LOT and don’t feel any pain from it. Yippee! Oh and also shop around for new car/home insurance. We had been overpaying for years and now feel so stupid for doing so. Our new insurance is 1/3 the former cost. Yikes!

    • DJINFL, Thanks for reminding to shop around for new car/house/umbrella insurance…I meant to do that this year but forgot. THANKS!!

    • We’re going to take a look at Costco and see if they can beat the sale prices I can usually get.

      The internet IS a wonderful resource! I’m so grateful for people that take the time to make YouTube videos. I’m a visual person so seeing someone do something makes it easier for me to learn.

      I’m going to look around for new car/house insurance. We’ve been with Allstate since we bought this house and have never looked at other insurance carriers.

  10. Enjoyed this post very much! Looking forward to more!

  11. We do many of those same things, too. And I do make my laundry detergent, using Maryjane’s recipe from Beehive Cottage. I make mine with Ivory soap (which I also use for treating stains) instead of Fels because I don’t want any fragrance. I feel like the whites actually come out whiter. But an occasional soak in the washer tub with a couple of cups of white vinegar helps, too. Here’s my favorite new tip — the Goodwill Computer Works store! They refurbish and sell all kinds of computers that have been donated. We picked up a Dell laptop for Maurie for $120! I signed up on Facebook and found out that they had a 50% off coupon for one item. We also got a webcam for $4, a surge protector for $4, a brand new Lexmark printer with a brand new cartridge for $29, and a replacement adapter for just $15, instead of $60 for a brand new one. They told me that in a month they are going to start taking in computers for maintenance, so that’s where my laptop will go for its next checkup. They had lots of games and videos also, and random items like iPhone and laptop cases for $2 and $4.
    I will love reading a series on frugal lifestyle! It’s one of my favorite things to do :) Thanks for a great post!

    • I just checked and there don’t seem to be any of those stores in GA. I had wondered where all their computers had gone. They stopped carrying them in my local store about a year ago. Seems like TX has a lot of locations.

  12. Thanks, Manuela, for the great ideas! I just love your blog!!!

    I have cut the cable television ($40/month); downgraded my internet (from $50/mo to $30/mo) and cut the landline ($30/month). I un-plug 85% of appliances after use (20% reduction in electric bill) – I do keep washer/dryer, fridge, stove, lamp by front door, water heater, furnace, computer, and night lights plugged in!).

    I don’t eat meat (I do eat non-shell fish on occasion, though). I eat mostly fruits/veggies/nuts/seeds – I am so jealous of the beautiful bounty from your garden, Manuela!! I use coupons to purchase grocery/toiletry items at a discount – my goal is 50% or more. (Great sites: couponmom (dot) com, southernsavers (dot) com, and weusecoupons (dot) com.)

    I am having to learn to be strategic with my health care…I question the doctor about preventive care, samples, new studies that I have seen, alternative methods, etc. I want to know why, what, when..etc. LOL. I question the insurance company about billing. For example, I found that if I see the Cardiologist and, also, have a 2D Echo during the visit that I was being billed for two office visits ($90). So I now make an appt. for the doctor ($45), then after the appt. have them make an appt for the 2D Echo (which will be $0). Yes, two trips to the doctor but I am 10 minutes from his office.

    I am learning to re-purpose things (clothes, furniture, etc). And I am back to shopping in the thrift stores. Like Jen Y, I am a googler! (Is “googler” a word?!) I check pricing, how tos, repairs etc.

    Lastly, until last month, I used public transportation. I scrimped and saved (and searched for 6 months) so I could purchased a used “new to me”, “good on gas” car so I could be more accessible to my parents who live an hour and a half away. I plan my errands around town. And keep the car maintained and clean.

    I hope I didn’t ramble too much. LOL

    • Not at all! I very much enjoyed reading about all the things you’ve done!

      We also dropped our cable package (forgot to mention that :) ). We went from digital view plus to basic. My husband is actually watching some YouTube videos right now to see how to stream content from our laptop to our tv. When we figure that out – we may just drop cable altogether!

      I wish I could just get the doctors I’ve seen to listen to me! I went to see a neurologist today who basically cut me off and was almost combative. Won’t see him for a second visit! I’ve found that I have to be the one to research new information. Good for you for being so diligent with your medical bills!

      I always check SouthernSavers before going shopping. I like Money Saving Mom because she seems to get first crack at a lot special coupons and promotions. So I check her once or twice a day to see what’s new.

  13. Good things to do. I started making my own washing detergent because it killed me to spend $15 on a bottle of Tide! I’m also going to whip up a batch of dishwasher detergent. Have you ever been to One Good Thing By Jillee blog? That’s all she does is have recipes for cleaners, lotions, house sprays, even makeup! It’s http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com. She’s awesome. You are too! So jealous of the garden bounty!!!

  14. WOW!! thanks for some good tips and reminders. I love the one about the bowl and the bucket.

  15. In addition to making a commitment with my husband to stop eating takeout, we have decided to stop letting the laundry pile up. We have always had the bad habit of living out of the laundry basket, which eventually leads to clean clothes getting mixed with dirty clothes, or the cat sleeping in them–then the clean ones get washed all over again. This week I washed everything in the house, threw out what we don’t need, and made sure that everything is properly put away…hopefully this will save us from some needless washing in the future.

    Besides that, my most frugal moment of the week, was making the decision not to replace our dishwasher, and instead spending about $7 to refinish it. You should check it out.
    http://accomplishedbyaccident.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/painting-my-dishwasher/

  16. Hi Manuela!
    You have a great bunch of tips here. Many I implement already!
    We’ve had some good soaking rains lately…and I collect the rain water when I can. But, when I can’t and there is no rain,….I use the same method as you for collecting water.
    I use a dishpan in the kitchen and keep a bucket handy. I pour it for the flowers and plants. I let the chemicals dissolve out before pouring. I also use Palmolive for doing dishes…so it is biodegradeable.
    I ALWAYS HANG THE LAUNDRY! I love doing this. My favorite chore. Just this year, I installed an indoor laundry line for rainy weather and winter months. I can’t weight to use it this winter. In fact…I hang the laundry SO MUCH I’m thinking of selling the dryer. I’d love to move my small deep freezer to the Utility room and free up space in the kitchen~
    One thing I’ll share…
    We use window A/C to cool our home. We live in Texas, but this year has been mild(normal really) last year was super hot…but, the thing is, we also have fans free standing and ceiling fans to help move the air around. We use the ECONOMY SAVER SETTING w/ thermostat. WE don’t cool rooms we’re not using.
    If we’re working outside. We turn them off. It only takes a little while to cool things down when we come inside; also, we turn off the ceiling fans when we’re not in that room.
    I only recently started to do this. The reason is… the fan is to cool people down. If there are no people in that room, why run the fan. It doesn’t do anything to cool the room. It only circulates air…to move across a persons skin to help cool them naturally.
    The same as a breeze does when you’re outside working and sweating… the breeze cools you down.
    I’ll look forward to reading more of you tips on how you’re changing things in your home to help get you through this touch economy.

    Pat

  17. Hi Manuela, you know that this frugal topic interests me. If I want to keep being a SAHM, I have to be frugal but this economy is not making it easy. We have had another record breaking hot summer which meals high electric bills and the rising prices of food and gas- makes me want to scream.

    I cook most everything from scratch, repair anything that breaks when possible instead of buying a new one, use Tracfones for our cells and are very happy with them.
    We gave up cable about 3 years ago- our antenna picks up all the local broadcasts and we use ROKU to watch cable shows on demand.
    My husband is a mechanic and he keeps our vehicles running and tries to do all the home maintenance that he can.
    We rarely eat out-partly because of cost and partly because the salt in restaurant food does not agree with us.
    My husband is a disabled Veteran and we have sought out what benefits he rates and we use them- today he got a new car tag for $6.50. He also gets most of his medical care through the VA even though he also has medical insurance at his job. I know everyone is a not a disabled veteran but there lots of benefits for other things like being a student or teacher or ??? and I think people should seek them out and use those benefits if they help.
    I almost never buy books or magazines- blogs are better than most magazines and I get lots of free Kindle books.
    I could go on and on! I’ve been reading the comments as I am always looking for new ways to stretch our income. Thank you!

  18. Loved this post. Grocery prices are really going up. We’ve been watching our pennies carefully at the grocery store. Careful planning has been helping plus after moving I’m trying to restock the pantry and restock our supplies so I’m not spending less but getting what we need for now plus keeping an eye to future needs. We eat primarily grass-fed beef as well. Buying the cheaper cuts is helpful plus we often use a half or quarter pound of ground beef in recipes instead of a whole pound. Soups can be cut back even more. I do the same with pastured sausage–instead of sausage patties, I crumble and brown it and add it to eggs or quiche. Really stretches it that way!

    Noticed our electric co-op’s website has a list of businesses that offer some kind of discount when you show your membership card. One is our vet! I want to make a list of those businesses we frequent so we can take advantage of this. Every little savings adds up!

  19. Glad to see you jump on this train with me. I know you’re frugal by choice, just as I am, but it’s nice to see you do this sort of post, too. The tomatoes are gorgeous by the way. They look so good. I’m anxious to plant peas, lettuce and beets when the weather cools a bit.

  20. Whoa, I cannot believe the cost of that CT scan. You could have come down to New Zealand and had a holiday and had a CT scan (<$1000) for the same money! How can they charge those prices?

  21. Manuela, you’re such a busy and productive person. I love that about you. :) I’ve been pretty productive myself this last week but not so frugal! Two years ago I started over in life with almost nothing. I moved into a tiny apartment and it’s just me and a cat now. I left behind a good deal of my cooking and canning supplies so for the last two years I’ve been slowly building that back up. Last week I bought a 16 quart pressure canner and jars and took it all to my mom’s house. She and my stepdad are really stressing over the economy so Mom and I are going to start canning quite a bit, mainly meats, soups, and stews. I still need tongs and a few other supplies so the money outgo isn’t quite ready to stop but hopefully it will soon. I also had to buy new shoes for work as the ones I did wear had splits in the soles! This time I bought four pair of good quality shoes. If I can rotate through four pair instead of having just one, they should last quite awhile. All were on sale but I still spent a bit over $400! Oy! Well, I stand on my feet for 5 to 10 hours so good shoes are a necessity. Oh well. Keep up your great work. Your blog is one of my favorites. :)

  22. Great tips! I love the way you have done so much frugally in the past already.

    I was talking to my daughter last week about the economy. My son-in-law makes an excellent salary but with the prices going up so much, they have even had to become very frugal.

    Since they have a large family, the price of food is shocking (and they have to be careful about eating processed, cheap food) and he has to commute an hour or more each way so the gas prices affect them.

    They made some expensive purchases for homeschooling last year but she says this coming year should make up for it with few purchases. At least with homeschooling kids, you don’t have to be concerned with lots of new clothes all at once. :)

    Keep up the great posts. I love seeing a new post from you even if it just a picture or two.

  23. Some great ideas here! I’ve wished for years that we had enough room for a veggie garden here. I know you helped a lot of people here today!

  24. Hi Manuela! It’s tough on everyone right now. I prefer to look on the bright side. We have all spent so many years living in a bubble. Now that reality has hit, we all need to set our priorities. I believe there is a beauty and a charm in living a simple life. Yes, perhaps we need to trim back, but when we trim back the fat, we get to the meat. Isn’t blogging wonderful? We can share our tips, and our woes, but our joys as well. Man has created his own trials, but Our Lord is steadfast. We will prevail.

    Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  25. I do most of these things that you and your readers have talked about, so I won’t repeat them. We live in the Chicago suburbs, which has a high cost of living in general, so we’ve always been pretty frugal by necessity. One thing I don’t think anyone has mentioned is the cost of a car. We’ve always made sure we did our research/homework (Consumer Reports annual car issue in April is a good resource) on what kind of car is a “good” one and how much we should expect to pay for it. And every car we’ve had, we’ve driven until it “died”. No trading in for newer models just because we were tired of what we were driving, or anything like that.

    Oh – and another frugal idea. Shop at Goodwill (or whatever resale shop you have in your area) for clothing, purses, home decor, books, toys, jewelry – you name it!

  26. What a great post! Have you tried cooking in a solar oven? I made on this summer and have cooked quite a few meals in it saving on gas or electricity I would have alternatively used. It might be a bit late in the season for it, but you could try next summer.

  27. Hi Manuela,
    I think you are doing great, by all the big and little ways you save! Great tips! I compost all veggie scraps and coffee grounds.
    I am making a huge batrch of homemade laundry detergent with washing soda, borax, and grated bar soap. Got the recipe from Sugarpie Farmhouse, economical and works great!.
    I buy big bags of popping corn and make kettle corn for treats, cheaper and a little healthier than caramel corn. Gave goodie bags of it away at a birthday party recently.
    I save all veggie leftovers and make soup when they accumulate.
    I only buy meat that’s on sale, because each week a different variety is on sale. I got chicken leg quarters for $.77 lb. last week and made BBQ’d chicken for 2 meals for 2 for $1.89! Cooked it in a skillet, instead of heating up the oven. Use a spatter guard to keep the mess down.
    I don’t have a grill, but I will pick one up off the curb if I see it and fix it like you did. People throw away all sorts of things that someone can use!
    London Broil is sometimes $1.99 lb. and I make stir fry with it and lots of veggies.
    I scrub any messes on my stovetop with baking soda, the old one that I used in the fridge to absorb odors. If you keep it clean each time you cook it is easier and quidker than having to spend a lot of time on major cleaning.
    I think it’s great how you are growing so many beautiful vegetatble and fruit.! That’s the best advice I would give to anyone-grow as much as you can. The herbs and vegetable plants can be integrated into flower gardens or grown in pots on patios, you can even grow potaoes in a bag and espalier (sp?) fruit trees for those who can’t plow up a big plot, like me! Share with your friends, and they will share too, when they have bounties! Every time I give- it comes back to me ten-fold!
    I don’t have TV because I can’t afford cable, but blogging is better anyway and watching movies, which many libraries loan for free is fun!
    I encourage people to use and support their local libraries!
    You are a great encouragement to me and others! You live a rich life! Thank you for sharing all your fabulous ideas!
    Linda @ Grandmalay’s Daydreams

  28. Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers says:

    You have some great tips on saving money Manuela. Your veggies look great!

  29. Wonderful tips! I definitely want to make some of the cheese stuffed pretzel thingies. I do several of the same things, especially with the laundry. It makes absolutely zero sense to use the dryer here in Georgia.

    And I love vinegar for about four thousand reasons.

    With times as tight as they are, I really, really like reading posts with frugal tips. If you have more, please keep them coming.

  30. Hi Manuela! Oh, these are some great tips! I’ve found myself cooking less since it’s been so hot, especially baking! I wish I had a place to hang things outside but I don’t. It’s a comforting look to me.
    Love seeing your pretty veggies from your garden.
    Thanks so much for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  31. CreditDonkey says:

    I love how you replaced the grill part. I also keep a file of all the manuals of appliances in one place so it’s easy to find if there is still a warranty for any that needs repair. I love those fruits and vegetables, they look so healthy and enticing to eat. Great tips to sum up, keep it up.

  32. I Just found your blog recently and just love it. The way my family and I save money is that we raise chickens for meat and eggs, Cow for Beef and we put in out first garden this year. We did manage to get a little bit of the veggies out of it but not as much as we wanted. It has just been so HOT here in Texas just made it harder to get things growing this year. I am still getting things from it so that is good. We are going to also be looking for another pig to raise for meat as well sense we are almost done with the pork.
    In Cleaning my house I just use Vinegar and water depending on the job. I have one of those swiffer jets so I am in teh process of making cloths to use on the mop and I am also reusing the bottle it comes with as well. I try and cook just about everything from scratch that can be made that split them up if we can. I also do repairs on our cloths as they need them I have also been known to darn a pair of socks if they are needed. The socks that are beyond repair get put in my rag bin for dusting the TV’s ,Lap top screens. I try and make home made cleaners for the house and i wll be making my own laundry detergent soon. I found a fun blog Called MaryJanes and got it from her.
    I also make quilts, lap quilts for the family and hot pads, rags ect for the home. I am always on the look out on how to decorate my home for less, shop for less, craft and sew for less. We got alot to the library to get books to and you can also get dvd’s to watch as well. I am starting to also make my own shoppng bags and I will be using the feed bags that I get for my horses, and chickens. It will help keep the food cold. I also belong to some coupon sites so this way I can print ou the ones I know my family and I will use. Love shopping at thrift stores good will. Our goodwill has a display case that they might put some nicer things in or those that cost a little more than your average things on the floor. And next to it is a notebook where u can put in a bid and if you win they call you. we have gotten some really nice things this way. If fact that reminds me I need to go back and get me some button down shirts from the mens, womens, boys and girls depts. and make them into aprons to wear and to sell.
    Pat in Texas we also do all the things you mentioned about the AC Unit and fans in the house. We do have central air but we found that the unit helps to keep the ac from working as hard some with the ceiling fans.
    Another Idea is get all your friends together and some of their friends and do a cloths exchange with clothing that the family is not wearing and exchange with your friends. I used to do this when I lived in Boston and in my 20′s we had a blast and you can also do this with other things Examples, books, bedding sets, dishes ect. Well those are my tips for now.
    deana

    • The heat this summer made it hard for all farmers/gardeners I think!

      You could probably sell those shopping bags made from feed bags – they’re quite the thing right now.

      I also use a window ac in the master bedroom because I like it cold when I sleep but the rest of the house doesn’t need to be cold. So I set the central air thermo higher at night and turn on the window unit.