Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WFMW: Ways to Save Bucks

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No, I'm not joining PETA. I'm hoping to tighten the belt of our household budget and am looking around for various sites/blogs that can help me.

Last Lent I used for inexpensive meal planning. It was not only an economic exercise but a spiritual one - seeing how simple we could live so that our celebration on Resurrection Sunday was that much more special and a contrast to how we ate everyday.

I'm also incorporating some things I learned from the This is a site that gives, really, some common sense tips for weight-loss. The founders' ideas are very simple.: No Snacks, No Seconds, No Sweets - except for days that begin with S or are Special. Besides helping me with portion-control it does cut down on purchasing food that should be purchased for special days (whiile 21st American lifestyle says we deserve those things everyday!)

Other sites I just hooked on to:
The Dollar Stretcher
Living On A Dime
Miserly Moms
Frugal Abundance

There's a lot of over-lap between these sites. There are articles, tips, recipes to keep you busy and save money. Some habits I've developed: make my own laundry soap, bake my own bread, use powdered-milk in cooking, walking as exercise instead of paying for a gym, eating more beans and less meat. It's a learning process and I'm always tossing ideas which failed with my family and trying out new ones. If you have any ideas or sites to share, please do!


tootie said...

I will have to check out those sites - thanks!!

Suzanne said...

Heard a speaker the other evening talk about a website. It's called may be familiar with some of it but it's good to have a reminder. Roberta's article was enlightening.

Podcastin Cyndi said...

I like that nosdiet - surely I can do that! It's what I need to be doing anyway!

I've met those "Living on a Dime" gals; in fact, I interviewed them on my radio show - delightful women, solid ideas. I recommend their cookbook as a great compilation of everyday recipes.

Dave mentioned to me that he was interested in the "slow food" concept, and I've also been trying to incorporate vegetables, whole grains, but it isn't cheap, is it? Thanks for the great tips! Peace, Cyndi

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Thanks for that. As the "housewife" right now I need to hear and read this stuff...

Orrange said...

powdered milk in cooking?! does that work?! it's brilliant.
And HOW do you make laundry soap?

I tried making our own bread... but alas I still cannot get bread to rise.

We make our own marinara, buy dried beans, buy whole chickens and boil them instead of buying chicken breast, try to use the veggies and fruit that are in season, and try to make most things from scratch.

I'm trying to find more ways to cut back, but less meat is not Brent's idea of a good way to save money.

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

Courtney - I mix up the powdered milk into milk (by adding water, use more powder, about 1/3 powder to 1 C. water) - don't just use the powder.
Yeah, my family gets tired of the beans, fairly quickly.

Cyndi - so glad you've stopped by. Slow food is a great idea, except if your only local shopping experience is wallyworld, then you're pretty limited. And walmart isn't exactly cheap when it comes to the good stuff - produce is pricey and often on the verge of going bad. I can buy soda for 50 cents and chips for 99 but peppers of $2.99 each and a bag of baby carrots, small bag, is $2.50. Ah, the madness!!

Suzanne - i checked out that site. looks interesting, something I remember from my days back at USCWM. The only critique I have with it is there isn't a lot of "how-to's" - only "you-should-do-this". I'm a practical person and need easy steps to follow - not just convicting.

I did some further looking and there are T-O-N-S of sites out there. I could spend my days looking through new sites.

musicmom said...

Thanks for the ideas Barb! I'm into saving money in a big way now that Paul and I are both students! Here are a few of the things I've learned recently. Most of them are time-consuming at first, but have a big payoff in the long run:

1. Take time to evaluate everything you pick up in the grocery store. Can I do without this? Is there a cheaper option? This creates new habits and saves money on a regular basis. It's all the repeated expenses that add up, so creating new habits can save a PILE of money.

2. Make a menu out of what's on sale rather than planning a menu first and then buying whatever you need for it. I've saved a LOT on meat this way.

3. Since gas is so expensive, even walking or biking short distances instead of driving can save significant cash.

4. Just say no. If we didn't buy half of what we usually buy, we'd be just fine.

One thing that motivated me after having lived in Kenya, is to realize that lots of people in Kenya eat well and thrive on 1/8th or less of what I spend at the store. There is everything good about eating simply, so I'm trying to eat and cook in a more Kenyan way.