Friday, April 1, 2016

Frugal Friday

Clara Cannucciari, Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression ~

“My stove is old. My wallpaper is old. It's the same wallpaper from when I moved here and I never changed it. Why would I change it? I just keep it clean. If you take better care of things, you can hold onto them longer. That's how I still run things. If it works, I keep it. If it doesn't, I see if I can use it for something else. If I can't, and I usually can, I toss it.”   

Dan and I were blessed to be mentored for ten years by a gentleman who lived by the adage, Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.  Because of that, we've never really had an issue with having to purchase new things all of the time.  We tend to be content with what we have until it no longer works.  If it can't be repaired or used for something else only then does it get tossed.

We live in a day and age when people are constantly buying new things.  We get daily emails from our cell phone company, telling us that we should upgrade to a new and improved phone.  Advertisements for a multitude of merchandise bombards us on a daily basis.  It's easy to fall into discontentment.  We are being told constantly that we aren't really living unless we have the newest gadget to come along.  So we have to make sure that we truly are centered and content with what we have or we can fall prey to the messages out there.  Yet, if we cave in to those messages, then we just end up digging a deeper financial pit which can be very difficult to escape.

I've been working hard over the past few months at continuing to keep our finances under control.  That means being diligent to plug up the holes.

Here are some ways I've saved over the past month:

$ Dan has been paying extra each month off the lowest car loan in order to get it paid off sooner.

$ I've made my own ice cream, cheese, extracts, spice mixes, baked goods, etc.  It saves us money and I know what's going into our bodies.

$ I always buy the family packs of meat and then separate it into smaller packages for the freezer.  I also purchase a large pork loin and then just cut it into smaller portion sizes, as well as slicing it for chops, etc.  It's cheaper to purchase a pork loin then a package of precut pork chops.

$ Make and use my own laundry detergent.

$ Barter with my hairdresser.  She cuts and colors my hair and I do any sewing she has for me.

$ Decorated the tables for Easter breakfast at church by making water lilies out of napkins and filling them with jelly beans. That, along with colored table cloths made for a beautiful table that was easy and frugal! (I posted a picture in a previous post)

$ The prom is coming up in May.  Emily found a dress back in October that was beautiful and on the clearance rack at Sears.  $12!

$ Made my own household cleaners.

$ Made a spreadsheet on Excel and keep track of our income and expenditures so I know exactly where our money is going and where we need to adjust.

I know I've done other things as well, but these are just a few.  I love doing these Frugal Friday posts from time to time because they keep me focused on spending less, saving and making the most of my money.