So I live in a large valley in Utah. Its very dry and 80% of our percipitation comes in the form of snow. A few years ago I was suprised to learn that the is an incredible amount of edibles out here. (Hehe I rhymed!) So this very tight time for us we have been eating a LOT of dandelions. I'm waiting on pursane and other stuff to grow so we can use them as well.
Other things we do to save money, I buy nearly all our produce at a local Mexican grocery store chain. The produce is way way cheaper. Its also a bit riper but I got oranges for 20 cents a lb the other week. I looked it up before and out food costs are higher than average for the US. So I bought 20 lbs and made orange juice and froze it as well as candied the rinds and froze them. I bought nappa cabbage for increadibly cheap as well and made, well am making, sauerkraut. I go to the store buy as much as I can afford and process and I have food for the future.
I stock pile dry goods so I always have flour, salt, cornmeal, oats etc on hand. When I get to about 10 lbs of the stuff I get more as soon as I can.
I make homemade cleaners and detergents. I could tell you all the eco friendly benifits but honestly rightnow with money so tight I would do whatever is cheapest in the long term. So I make homeade dish deterent, laundry detergent, window cleaner etc.
I recycle old clothes. My husband gets holes in his undershirts and socks pretty quickly. normally they become rags but now that we are pregnant I make the Ts into diapers and the socks I will find a way to use for the baby even if its just soaking pads in the diapers.
Baby/Kid stuff. We are blessed to have a wonderful family that passes on handme downs to my son that are very very nice but they did move over seas for a year and that year was a thrift store year.
Because My son is ruff on clothes and my husband on parts of his wodrobe, plus I sewing hobby I set aside to collect dust last year I can sew or crochet just about all the baby's cloth needs.
Cloth diapers. They are actually SUPER easy both to make and to dress baby. And they save money long term. And again the perk of being earthhealthy,
Toys, games ETC. My son plays with a few certain toys and really doesn't bother with most of his toy box so I really don't worry about getting him toys. He gets a few new things when we celibrate Eid but otherwise its just a when ever I have extra money and theres a good deal I might get him somemore Legos or cars or what ever his current favorite is.
Babys so not need 13 different places to park their butts. They really don't. Having one or two is nice but not a nessesity. If we don't get a bassenet I am really not worried firm pillow as padding and a drawer or laundry basket will work fine. I can save that money and use it twards a cage, I mean crib (jjk) for when there is a concern baby might wake up and crawll off to play and drowned itself in the toilet in the middle of the night.
Does baby REALLY need all that crap from the baby isle? NO Is a lot of it a waste of money?YES Is some of it handy? YES
Breastmilk. It's free people. Now of course there are the rare but true cases of when a mother can't give milk to the baby but usually its a crap this sucks. YES it can suck so if you can and want to I say hey good for you I guess. But if you are stuck like we are boob is the only option. Plus on the boob baby really doesn't need food until 1 year.
Let me now get on my soap box about paper products. I have TP even paper towels BUT everytime I wipe my butt with paper I am wiping my butt if rainforest habbitat. So if money gets tight and the TP stock pile is depleted we do like people all over the world and use water. I keep terry cloth rags handy for when you just NEED more than water and treat them like cloth diapers of a toddler. BLEACH
Paper towels are reserved EXLCUSIVLY for toilet cleaning. I would make an exception for copeous amounts of vomit but have not needed to. This means that a jumbo pack of TP lasts a VERY VERY VERY long time.
K off the soap box now.
Wait, Buy less crap! I will admit in part as a home educating parent I have hundreds and hundres of choldrens books. That although I buy then used I can very easily spend $100 at the thrift store on picture books and thus have avoided those isles like the plague ince our current budget has been reduced. Notice your weak point or points and quit it!
Wear more clothes in the winter and less in the summer. I get cold SO easily, even now with a little tiny heater in my lower abdomen. Still if I don't fight nature but go along with it I save money.
Today we collected rain water (yes it actually stormed! yeah!) so that we could water the garden for FREE.
Garden. I suck at this. In part because I am not very experienced and in part because of all the stupid ferrel CATS digging it up and POOPING in it (anyoys me so much especially now that I have to wait on someone else to do it because I'm pregnant and cat poo+prego=danger) But I do have cabbage, kale and broccoli going and a tomatoe plant as of last week.
I keep trying seeds but if I don't kill them the cats do. (I hate cats BTW)
Which brings me to pets.
If you already have them and are attahed well you are screwed lol. Otherwise unless they actually contribute to the family in a very large way, say warn you of seisures or burglers. Or say kill mice that try to live in the garage don't waste your money.
Take care of your crap don't buy more and do free entertainment or at least less than $5 a person. Why pay 8 bucks to sit with strangers and miss parts when you need to pee. Possibly have to get a babysitter when you could sit in you pjs and watch it and pause it at home. Big on movies Netflix or Hulu people.
This part is the hardest for my husband. He was a bacholer for a long time, at least in this part of the country and could make the choice oh I'll just kip linch for a week so I can buy this DVD. Now he has a family and it doesn't work that way. So between the need for easy of communication to our family that all live hundreds of miles away, homeschool purposes and keeping my husband sane we invest in web access and netflix. I keep meaning to get rid of netflix but forget so we keep spending 10 for a month of movies or shows.
The car, well we don't live in a huge city where taking public transportation is avalible 24/7. Its there its better than in the midwest but it doesn't meet our needs. My husband needs to go from 20 minutes (in a car) away to his second job in as little time as possible at midnight each night. Busses don't even run at that time and FORGET at 4:30 am when he gets off or Sundays.
So we need the car. If it werent for that we could get by with out one. So how do we save moeny witht the car? Other than work we try not to drive more than 3 miles from home for anything. We have no family here and the Mosque is walking distance in nice weather. We are learning how to maintain it by our selves and drive carefully. (I think Im the better driver homnestly lol)
Back to food, EAT LESS MEAT. We have a saying that you should not eat meat for 3o days in a row, nor should you not eat meat for more than 40 days. We eat actual meat 1 or 2 times a week. Beans are cheap easy, good and you can cook them then freeze or can them to have them done superquick and easy in the future. Combine with a whole grian and its a complete protien.
Make your own homemade what ever in bulk if you can and usually you will svae money.
Too tired for sp check sorry. im going to bed