Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tightening the Purse Strings

I've always been frugal and worked hard to make ends meet since we lived on one income for the past 10 years. Now that I'm back to work, I'm still working hard at being frugal. There are a few reasons for this.

1. I think it's important to be a good steward of our money and not throwing it away.

2. Starting next week, 60% of my paycheck will be going to pay for medical benefits.

3. Starting January 1st, Dan is losing over 1/2 of his income.

4. Starting February 1st, our rent is increasing.

I'm determined to make this work so I need to kick things up a notch and watch our pennies. Here are some of the things I've done this past week to help work at saving money. Some of them are things I've shared before and others are new.

* Cut my dryer sheets in half and only use 1/2 per load.

* Make my own laundry soap.

* A few months ago, I used canned pineapple for something and didn't need the juice. I poured it into a tupperware container and put it in the freezer. On Saturday, I pulled it out and used it for a sweet and sour dish I was making.

* I make sure I use up our leftovers.

* I throw the heels of homemade bread in a freezer bag and freeze it until I need bread crumbs. Then I toast it and run it through the food processor.

* 3 leftover slices of bacon went into the freezer for a time when I need crumbled bacon for a dish.

* I put dinner in the crockpot most days to save on being impulsive and going out to eat when I'm tired at the end of the day.

* I use vinegar & water to clean windows and mirrors.

* I wash out my baggies unless there is raw meat in them.

* I'm making stockings for the children in my class and it's costing me approximately $2.00 because I waited until after Christmas last year to purchase material.

* We are planning on a New Year's Eve party again this year and last year in January I bought Christmas styrofoam plates and cups at $.50 for a package of 50.

* I turn the heat down when we leave the house.

* I hang out clothes when possible, even in the colder months.

* The turkey carcass went into the freezer for soup at a later date.

* When I boil a chicken for something I save the broth and freeze it for other recipes.

* I make my own seasoning mixes (taco, sloppy joe, etc.)

* I buy extra gallons of milk when they are on sale and pour off a cup of milk and then put the container in the freezer.

There are so many other ways, but these are just some of the ways I'm trying to make ends meet.