Things have been tight here lately so I've been pulling out the stops to try and save money. I know that the little things that don't seem like much add up quickly.
Here are some things I've done in the past few weeks.
► Started washing the dishes by hand rather than running the dishwasher. I noticed they weren't getting as clean which probably means the used dishwasher is on the blink. I started doing this to just make sure the dishes were getting washed properly. However, I noticed the electric bill went down after doing this for about a month.
► Hanging clothing on drying racks rather than running the dryer. Between the dishwasher and the dryer, the electric bill was about $50 less a month.
Those two items don't really affect our finances as the church pays the electric, but it's still a savings.
► I made homemade bread - focaccia, biscuits, whole wheat, and bagels rather than spending $3-$6 for this in the store.
► Made vanilla. I spent $17 to make 32 ounces of vanilla extract - $7 for 2 vanilla beans and $10 for a bottle of vodka. In the store, it would cost me about $8 for a 2 oz. bottle of pure vanilla so this is a huge savings!
► Used 1/2 cap of laundry soap instead of a full cap. Clothes still get clean and the soap last twice as long.
► Used cloth napkins instead of paper. I haven't bought paper napkins in over a year.
► Washed out the freezer gallon bags unless they have raw meat in them.
► Made a dinner with leftover chicken soup that was mostly broth. There were only a few veggies and pieces of chicken floating in it so I added egg noodles, chicken bouillon, and some more veggies and the bit of soup stretched into a dinner and a lunch.
► Roasted 2 sugar pumpkins that were on sale, scooped out the insides and froze 10 cups of pumpkin.
► Roasted the seeds for a snack with a bit of olive oil and cracked sea salt.
► Went for tea with Dan and because the store carries some of my items, I get an employee discount there and saved $1.50.
► Made 4 jars of pesto from 2 bunches of basil that were on sale. I sold 3 of the jars.
► I made granola rather than purchasing store bought.
► Cut Nathan & Dan's hair - the hair dresser charges $20 per person, even for men's cuts so I saved $40.
► Made Emily's costume for her party rather than buying it. In the store for the cat ears and tail it would have been around $10-$20 for them. It cost me nothing but time because they were made with fabric someone gave me.
► A friend of a friend contacted me and asked if I would like some fabric samples. I went and picked them up and they will provide countless projects for my Etsy shop.
► And finally, have made Dan's lunch every day. It is healthier than purchasing fast food and saves a ton.
All it takes are a few simple changes, but the savings really do add up.