Thursday, July 17, 2014

Saving Miss Moola

"Fix it up. Use it up. Wear it out."  ... copied

"Money saved is as good as money gained." ~ Danish Proverb


Many, many moons ago I decided I just wanted to stay home, as in, not drive away daily to a job. Besides, I wasn't qualified to do anything else. heh.

So during these past 35 years I've made it my career to discover ways to save money at home. I look back upon that life and feel only gratitude and not as though I missed-out on anything.

And since some of you have told me you enjoy my Ways to Save Money posts, here is yet one more. Just for you. 

In no particular order, here are some ideas which enabled me to stay home happily:

1.) Buying groceries only when they're on sale, combining coupons with them when possible. Picking up the occasional dented can cheaply or shopping discount markets.

2.) Shopping yard sales and estate sales, using those purchases to decorate our home, care for our yard, or replace various electronics, appliances and furniture. Also using these sales as a type of entertainment, taking country drives to reach these homes and getting decorating ideas while wandering around inside them. Cheap, happy fun.

3.) Going dryer-less. Always drying clothes, instead, on a wooden-dowel clothes dryer or hanging them on hangers. Using vinegar in the rinse cycle as a softener, purchasing the vinegar in huge containers since I also combine it with water to use as an everyday cleaner around the house.

4.) Shopping for clothes at places like Salvation Army and Goodwill (don't knock it till you've tried it). Oh, the deals for just pennies!

5.) Paying attention to details like re-using cotton from pill jars and creatively re-using foil, glass jars, plastic containers, plastic bags, paper bags or cereal boxes for file folders, etc. Thinking twice before throwing things away or recycling them.

6.) Doing our own yard work, housework, decorating and home repairs (when we know how). Cutting and caring for my hair, myself.

7.) Learning to make our own delicious coffee.

8.) Using a tv antennae or the very cheapest broadcast cable + Netflix.

9.) Learning to cook at home so we're not as tempted to eat out.

10.) Paying off our credit cards each month or, when that wasn't possible, always paying way more than the minimum amount. (Saving-up money ahead of time for a purchase is a wiser option, often, but ok, not always doable.) Also, being willing to wait for a great deal on certain purchases.

11.) Paying bills on time to avoid late fees.

12.) Buying only the houses we could afford (this is huge). Improving those houses as we could afford to do so.

13.) Researching 'natural cures' online and in books and using them whenever possible for various ills, running to them first, before a doctor. Paying attention to stress levels after having read that incorrectly dealing with stress leads to a multitude of physical and mental problems, which can then lead to lots of money spent afterward.

14.) Putting on extra clothes in the winter rather than turning up the heat. Using a small electric heater in the room where we watch tv and letting the rest of the house remain cool.

15.) Not owning more pets than we can afford to feed and care for veterinarian-wise.

16.)  Making the most of the public library by borrowing books and movies. Shopping library book sales where books are just pennies.

17.)  Thinking 'repair it rather than replace it.' Replacing things only when they'd cost more to repair or are too worn-out to repair.

18.)  Grouping errands and appointments together on one day rather than spreading them out over a few days, wasting gas and time.

19.)  Earning money at home through sites like Savingstar and Swagbucks and various survey sites.

19.)  Only attending matinees when we occasionally see theater movies. Or waiting until the movie comes to our local $5 anytime theater. Bringing along our own homemade snacks or ones from Dollar Tree, etc.

20.) Tithing. We have always tithed and given to others and we believe that's kept 'the wolf from the door' many, many times. We view giving as the blessing that it is.

The main thing? I've always felt so grateful to stay home and have tried to never let myself view any of these ideas as burdens. Instead, I've welcomed each as a good challenge, a means to keep my mind sharp and a way to personal freedom.

Your results may vary.  :)


In the top photo, I bought the framed birdhouse picture at Salvation Army (1.99) just to re-use the frame but--when I placed it on the dresser for a minute--it looked just right, just as it was. One of those happy surprises.

In the other photo, this week I finally gathered my favorite old (yard-sale-found) canisters together and sat them on my countertop. Love them there. (Oh, and I finally painted the window frame today, but it's gonna need another coat someday. These things take time.)


"She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness."   ... Proverbs 31:27

(I'm still working on that last half......!)


Free kindle books:

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Anonymous said...

I can see you are very creative in you work at home. Don't knock it, it really does cost money to have an "out of the house"job. I have worked at various jobs both at home and out of the home. God has graciously provided for us throughout our lifetime and continues to do so. Once I hit my late sixties and was "dogged" with breathing issues, followed by costochondritis and fibromyalgia, staying home was my only option. I love keeping my house and making creative meals for my wonderful husband.
Some days the house is "kept" better than others but husband never complains and often picks up the slack. This season of our life is quickly becoming the best season! Jan

Dolores said...

It's weird but the thrift stores charge high prices for used clothing where I live. I can get it cheaper new, on sale. I love all your other ideas. I am a good saver. Hubby pays the bills and gives me grocery money. I am able to save and he can't. He is a big time spender. He comes to me for loans! Hahaha.

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

Loved your ways of saving money. Thanks for sharing. And I just have to say - you have such a way with decorating - it inspires me!
God bless~ Lisa :O)

Anonymous said...

Dolores says new on sale is certainly can be!! Often however, if you can find a tiny flaw on a garment, the thrift shops will mark it way down. The main reason I like thrift shopping is that I can find clothes there that I have not seen in stores!! Beats me where folks find them...but I do not care if they are used and in almost new condition. And there are some companies I will NOT patronize because of their stance on certain issues...and so those are ones I am happy to buy used!! Good ideas too, Debra...thanks for sharing.
Elizabeth in WA

Anonymous said...

I also enjoy shopping used for anything. It is also a creative outlet. Some things need combining or recreating to be just how you want but others you fall in love with on site as is. If you want they can be made into how you like them. I always felt like saving was like a sport. Not overly competitive/worry thing but a fun challenge. One you always learn to do better. One that is enjoyable. Never a burden. A lot of us grew up with most everyone doing these things. It was just the normal way to live. Some of it was out of necessity. Yet you knew that by living so you could relax and usually have in life what you needed even if you did not always get what you only wanted. Life is full of surprisers and also fun if you keep your eyes and heart open. Sarah

mizsuzee said...

Sure enjoyed this post, Debra! All your hints are great ones - and quite doable... except - I'm afraid to cut my own hair! I actually want to try it, however! How did you learn to do it? I've had one haircut in the past two years.... I figured out I saved over 400 dollars in that time period! I was getting my hair cut every other month for about $35 each time. Would love to hear how you actually do it and how you got brave enough to try :) I may just grab a scissors and start whacking away one of these days!

Echoes From the Hill said...

Great post!

I do many of these things, and save so much money. It isn't a "chore" it is fun, and makes me feel like I am making a contribution to the family.

Last week, I got a $100.00 pair of Merrell shoes free. They were on clearance on, for $30.00 and I purchased them with swagbucks.
Love to score a deal like that.

You don't need a lot of money to live well.