Saturday, January 9, 2016

This week's frugal successes and frugal flops

I often enjoy reading The Prudent Homemaker's posts on what she's done the past week to save money. It encourages me that I am not alone in my efforts to save money. I have decided to try and list some different ways I have saved money this past week - hopefully it will not come across as bragging, but rather a list of ideas that might be helpful to others. I also write these things to encourage myself when sometimes I feel like I haven't gotten that much done.

Successes: 
  • I learned how to install a zipper by making some zipper pouches (tutorial here) and learned how to use my new serger (a gift from my mom for Christmas). I also listened to two podcasts on working at home in a creative business while I sewed, which is something I would eventually like to do to help generate some additional income.
  • After hearing from a friend that she had gotten her rate lowered and getting a letter a few days later informing us that our rates would be going up, I called our security system provider and asked for a reduction in our rate, saving us about $15 a month for a year - this will save us $180 in a year.
  • I made homemade pizza dough (this time not ruining it - see below).
  • I painted an accent wall in our kitchen with paint we already had on hand (the paint cost about $10 awhile ago). 
  • I mostly did cloth diapers with our youngest (many of us, including myself, were struggling with a bad cold this week and I just couldn't do it every day).
  • I cut out 200 squares of cloth from fabric I already had on hand to make a quilt.
  • I made gluten-free bread for our oldest son.
  • I organized our laundry room. I have a long way to go on the rest of the house, but I am trying to take 30 minutes each day to declutter/organize in one zone per week. I find that when my home is cleaner or better organized, then I am more content and less likely to spend more money. This did not actually happen every day, though - this is an ongoing struggle to match up my real life with what theoretically I think I can do. 
  • I downloaded the latest issues of my favorite magazines from our library, who offers over 200 titles of many popular magazines for free through Zinio. I also placed a hold in advance for The Martian (DVD) which has yet to be released but is on order at our library. I loved reading the book last year, and watch movies like this with my husband for date nights. Usually the library's wait list is extremely long, but I am realizing now that if there are movies that have yet to come out, I can search for their release date and try to get on the list before they are released.
Flops:
  • I tried to make crackers, not to save money, but just to try it, and seriously, why??? We eat a lot of crackers around here, and to make all of our crackers would be like making Christmas cookies every week. To me, at least this was totally not worth the time it took.
  • A little over a week ago, I made our pizza dough like always, but I got distracted and forgot that it was rising in the oven when I preheated the oven, only to find that by the time I got it out, it was almost fully baked. We really didn't have that much other food on hand so I gave the okay to get a pizza from Little Caesar's.
  • I did not get as much reading done as I had hoped because I frittered away more time than I should have on the Internet. When you don't always have money to spend, time is also a big currency, and I'm trying to be more serious about how I spend it as well.



4 comments:

  1. Time is also a big currency...such a great point. I was just saying tonight that winning the Powerball would be great and everything, but if someone could invent a lottery where you gain time instead of money, I would be super interested in that! Just never seems to be enough time, and yet I still find myself on Facebook far too often.

    Great job on saving this week! I truly think that decluttering saves a ton of money.

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    1. I know, I struggle with the same thing! I think Facebook groups can provide encouragement, but it's far to easy to log in instead of picking up something that needs to be picked up. The thing about time too is that you have to spend it each day - you can't bottle it up or accrue it in the way you can other resources. I have a blog post brewing in my mind about that and need to get it written!

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  2. I am totally impressed that you made crackers!! We're not quite there yet, but I do have an awesome homemade pizza recipe that includes a crust that doesn't need to rise. It's a thinner crust recipe, so if you like those you should try it out: http://www.thefrugalfarmer.net/best-homemade-pizza-recipe/ The crust is all ready to go in the oven in about 15 minutes

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    Replies
    1. Well, I made something that promised to be crackers, but I don't think I will try it again, at least ones that require you to manually cut each one out. My sons loved them, and devoured them in almost less time than it too me to make them. I love thin-crust pizza and will have to check out your recipe!

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