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Frugal Tips

Posted by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 2:25 AM
  • 55 Replies
2 moms liked this

Here are mine, what are yours?

  • Home made laundry detergent, dish washing detergent, all purpose cleaner, and fabric sheets. Use as many natural products as possible (for example, vinegar + water makes a great all purpose cleaner).
  • Use inexpensive cloths for cleaning rather than paper towels. (buy in bulk) Or better yet - use old cloths or clothes (if you're crafty you can even make your own!)
  • Buy staple foods like pasta, rice, and olive oil in bulk (or any other items you use often/have to buy more of every week)
  • Make sure your light bulbs are energy efficient, turn off lights not being used, unplug things you don't use frequently.
  • Keep your thermostat on a set temperature thoughout the seasons (Winter is set to 69 degrees, summer is set to 80, etc)
  • Make use of natural light, open the blinds instead of turning on a light during the day.
  • Shower/take a bath every other day. Dry shampoo works wonders (suave $2) and it is healthier for your hair and skin.
  • Limit your lawn watering schedule or convert to desert landscaping. We water once a week in the winter, and three times a week in the summer.
  • Grow your own garden. If you don't have good soil or are renting, buy a kids plastic pool (or use something you already have!), soil and seeds and plant your own portable garden (or two!)
  • Save your extra change in a container, cash in when full and put in savings and/or for a "family fun" event.
  • Walk to places that are nearby rather than taking the car. Walking versus driving not only reduces gas cost, but it helps the envioronment, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and provides your family an opportunity to talk without distractions.
  • Install motion senser lights in your front and back yard so that you do not have to keep your lights on the entire night. If you live in a well lit area, do not turn them on at all.
  • Fans help a lot during the Summer to keep you cool instead of cranking up the air conditioning.
  • Buy store brand names. We love Kroger brand. They have the same ingredients, but the company does not have to pay for advertising and it is usually significantly less than brand name items.
  • Before you buy something packaged with paper and plastic and other things you throw away almost immediately - think to yourself, "Can I make that myself?" We make our own cereal bars, protein bars, pizza, juice and so much more! It's less expensive and reduces waste!
  • Use public transportation whenever possible. Think of it as an adventure or a chance to catch up on your reading.
  • Invest in a bicycle and use it often. If you have kids, get them bikes as well and make it a family outing. If you have young children, think about attaching seats to your bike so you can all enjoy the fresh air together.
  • Thrift stores and the dollar store. Enough said.
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 2:25 AM
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by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 2:39 PM
7 moms liked this
I love the garden in a kids swimming pool idea!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM
3 moms liked this

I've learned that the dollar store actually doesn't save me much money O.o they usually sell good products but in smaller sizes, you get more for your money if you buy the normal sized container.

One way i save A LOT of money is by store stalking lol. I watch items I want. For example on feb 16th I'll be buying up all those valentines  items that can be used in other ways (for example, I just got tons of Christmas "themed" items for a buck or cheaper at claire's) I also check stores clearance section A LOT. The winn dixie here, in the area by the restroom they have items that are about 25-80% off. My hubby can't use detergent with DYE so I got 3 dye free bottles for $9. thats just a little but more than the same detergent but for just ONE bottle. It's amazing,

I also stock up I use  vinegar for a lot of things, and buy it by the gallon as well as baking soda from sam's club ( my membership pays for itself usually with one visit)  I buy soap, toilet paper, and other things that we use on a daily basis in bulk. 

Garage sales: I raid the HELL out of some garage sales, EARLY mornings starting in spring until the fall, I find all kinds of things I can use for one thing or another.

Since I was 18, I've managed to survive on less than $1000 a month, including rent and bills and the occasional fun. I loveeee living frugal, because it allows me to save up for things most people my age can't (ie, I purchased my own car at the age of 18, I've lived on my own since I was 18 and I don't break my back working constantly)

by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Quoting Amy127:

I love the garden in a kids swimming pool idea!

Me too!

by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:43 AM


by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM
1 mom liked this

you can also make your own dryer sheets.

Homemade chemical-free dryer sheets

If you have a couple of old but clean rags or washcloths that have up until now been languishing in the darkest corners of your closet, it’s time to let them see the light. (Cutting up an old flannel or sweatshirt into tidy little squares will also do the trick.)

Whatever basic material you use, place your fabric squares into a resealable plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and saturate them with Ecover natural fabric softener (or the chemical-free brand of your choice). Done — instant reusable fabric softener sheets. If, on the other hand, you prefer controlling your specific ingredients, then all you need to do is spray them with a white vinegar, baking soda and essential oil solution, or, believe it or not, diluted hair conditioner. Just be sure to make it a natural brand.

by Rhonda on Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:54 AM
1 mom liked this


  • make everything from scratch.  I make salad dressings, sauces, seasoning mixes, grain-free pancakes & waffles & muffins....even used to make my own bread, rolls, buns, pasta, tortillas (we are now grain-free so don't eat those anymore).
  • grow a garden in any container possible if you don't have a yard.  Windowboxes make great planters for salad items (salad greens, radishes, onions, spinach, baby carrots).  Tomatoes and peppers will grow in pails.
  • if you have extra garden produce (from your own or a farmers market) then freeze or can it.
  • shop the clearance sections of the grocery store first.
  • the most expensive items are usually at eye level.  For better bargains, check the items on the top and bottom shelves.
  • compare store brand to national brand, even with coupons.  Sometimes the national brand is cheaper with a coupon, sometimes it's not.
  • shop only once a week or once every two weeks.  The fewer times you step into a store, the less you'll spend.
  • shop with a LIST and stick to it.
  • PLAN YOUR MEALS!   You'll waste less time, $$, and food.
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:59 AM

 Bump for later

by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM


by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM
4 moms liked this

Plastic is not the best for plants (I studied horticulture) - instead, try wood. You could even built your own little frame out of scrap wood.

Also if you do use a plastic pool or container DO NOT FORGET to drill holes in the bottom! If the water is trapped your plants will rot. 

Instead of buying fertilizers for your plants use used coffee grinds - mix them in with the soil! Plants LOVE it, and you can usually get free used coffee grinds at starbucks if you don't drink coffee yourself. 

Also, another good fertilizer is cut up banana peels or egg shells. 


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