Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: The Little Things Add Up

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.