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Frugalistas Frugalistas

Takes money to save money....

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM
  • 32 Replies

So I've been trying my hand at the whole "frugal" thing for a while now and it's either really hard or I'm just doing it all wrong.

It seems like it takes money to save money for me.  I want to start an outdoor garden but I need boxes/containers to grow my things in because I live in a mobile home park and we aren't allowed to plant in our actual yards.  And then there's the seeds and the potting soil, etc.

I've given up trying to save at the grocery store.  I coupon as much as I can but my grocery bill isn't manageable.  My 10 year old special needs child is soooooo picky he makes meal times impossible.  His diet mainly consists of only chicken nuggets, french fries (and I'd like to just buy sacks of potatoes and cut them up and make them like that....cheaper!  But, he won't eat them that way), mac n cheese, and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  My 7 year old daughter is a little better....she's not as picky.  She's willing to eat what I cook for me (even when it isn't something she WANTS or likes).  

And....I have NO savings at all.  I really don't have anything left to save a month (because I can't even pay everything I need to each month).  I have LITERALLY nothing left over each month.  The two things I want more than anything to afford is life insurance and home owners insurance.  I know these two items are "must haves" but I just can't do it.  My cell phone completely died on me Wednesday and I can't even replace that until Monday....and when I do I'm having to use the money that was going to be my cable/internet payment.

It's just me and 3 kids.  I have roughly $1000 a month before rent & bills.  I'd like to be able to make $100 a week last on the grocery bill but I always go over.

What are your tips on being frugal?

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by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Bleacheddecay
by Bronze Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM
2 moms liked this

You can grow things in containers that you have used for milk or whatever. It may not be as pretty, but it will work.

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/10-gorgeous-container-gardens-made-from-trash-slideshow.html

You can go out into the woods and dig up some dirt. Or if someone is building or putting in a pool they usually would be happy for you to haul away some dirt.

You can also use some kitchen scraps to plant and others for compost.

http://www.realfarmacy.com/16-foods-that-will-re-grow-from-kitchen-scraps/

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jun. 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM
1 mom liked this

This is what I do, too. For example, I have some things planted in old horse feed tubs that I'd otherwise throw away.  They're growing in black soil created from compost mixed with plain old dirt.

Quoting Bleacheddecay:

You can grow things in containers that you have used for milk or whatever. It may not be as pretty, but it will work.

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/10-gorgeous-container-gardens-made-from-trash-slideshow.html

You can go out into the woods and dig up some dirt. Or if someone is building or putting in a pool they usually would be happy for you to haul away some dirt.

You can also use some kitchen scraps to plant and others for compost.

http://www.realfarmacy.com/16-foods-that-will-re-grow-from-kitchen-scraps/


michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jun. 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I have more tips, but I have to take my kids to youth activities for the evening and then I have to do chores after that.  I'll be back.

happymommy1105
by Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 6:06 PM
2 moms liked this
Honestly, internet and cable need to go. You can't afford them.

As for food, buying bulk things that you use a lot is much cheaper.

Look for buy one get one sales to pair with coupons.

We eats lots of noodles and such cause they are cheaper.

Its all figuring out what is truly a need and a want.
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jun. 28, 2013 at 6:59 PM
2 moms liked this

Couponing....I've never found it to be seriously helpful.  The one month that I seriously couponed and stacked coupons and stuck to sales to use those coupons, I spent more money than I usually do.

Instead, I buy what I need.  I don't need a lot of processed foods.  I don't need name brand foods.  I don't spend a lot of time when I cook from scratch the way I do it.

I understand you have a picky eater....so let him be picky.  His choice of diet isn't super healthy, but it's not expensive and it's better than throwing food away because he won't eat it.  Make simple meals (simple=inexpensive) for you and DD during the week and something a little more involved on weekends.

Buy fresh produce when in season, frozen when it isn't.  Plan meals based on sale items + cheap items.  Shop at an Aldi or Save A Lot if you have one within driving distance.


I feed 2 adults and 3 teens for less than $100 a week, easily.

Lindalou907
by Bronze Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 7:35 PM
1 mom liked this

Have you checked craigslist "free" section? There is always dirt. I don't think your picky eater will starve himself if you make your own chicken nuggets for him, that would be cheaper and healthier! Have you applied for food stamps and PA? Can you pick up some extra work perhaps? Can you share internet with any neighbors? I will keep thinking, good luck and hugs!

kimscorner
by Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Internet and cable can't go (one child does online schooling anyway).  But I've got an AWESOME deal on both.  The price I pay for them it would be ridiculous to cancel it.

Trust me, I don't have any wants, can't afford them.  Everything I do spend money on is a need.

It just gets frustrating.  Everything seems to cost so much.


Quoting happymommy1105:

Honestly, internet and cable need to go. You can't afford them.

As for food, buying bulk things that you use a lot is much cheaper.

Look for buy one get one sales to pair with coupons.

We eats lots of noodles and such cause they are cheaper.

Its all figuring out what is truly a need and a want.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers

kimscorner
by Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM

My picky eater is also my special needs child.  I think alot of his eating problems have to do with his disabilities.  Like I had stated, he won't eat french fries cut up from potatoes (even though I've explained to him a thousand times that's where french fries come from.  lol).

I always check craigslist and freecycle.  Several times a day.  I did score some clothing for me that I really needed.  I haven't bought anything for myself in years.  I do get food stamps but the things I buy it's hard to make it last a whole month.  

I can't pick up any extra work.  I don't have a trade or any skills and with 3 children under the age of 10 at home I wouldn't be able to afford daycare or a sitter anyway, and I don't know anyone that would watch them for me in trade.  I only have a couple friends and they are older or don't want to deal with my special needs child.

I make do.....it's just frustrating.

Quoting Lindalou907:

Have you checked craigslist "free" section? There is always dirt. I don't think your picky eater will starve himself if you make your own chicken nuggets for him, that would be cheaper and healthier! Have you applied for food stamps and PA? Can you pick up some extra work perhaps? Can you share internet with any neighbors? I will keep thinking, good luck and hugs!


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers

kimscorner
by Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I've noticed the same thing with couponing.  Usually it's for name brand stuff and I mostly buy store brand anyway.

Food wise, the one area I know I could really save is making my own french fries.  We eat ALOT of french fries and a bag costs $2 as does a sack of potatoes.  I'm going to stick to just making them myself this coming month and see if my picky one finally breaks down and gets used to them.

I've decided to just buy what we eat/like because it is a waste to throw anything away because it ends up not getting eaten.  

I've always bought frozen produce.  I know fresh is healthier, but would it be cheaper than frozen?  I'm thinking not, but will look into it next week when I go to the store.

I have started saving empty milk jugs for planting lettuce.  I have some old lumber that I could probably use to make some free standing gardening boxes....only problem is I am not handy.  Plus, I have no tools.  I wish I knew someone that could make them for me!  lol

Quoting michiganmom116:

Couponing....I've never found it to be seriously helpful.  The one month that I seriously couponed and stacked coupons and stuck to sales to use those coupons, I spent more money than I usually do.

Instead, I buy what I need.  I don't need a lot of processed foods.  I don't need name brand foods.  I don't spend a lot of time when I cook from scratch the way I do it.

I understand you have a picky eater....so let him be picky.  His choice of diet isn't super healthy, but it's not expensive and it's better than throwing food away because he won't eat it.  Make simple meals (simple=inexpensive) for you and DD during the week and something a little more involved on weekends.

Buy fresh produce when in season, frozen when it isn't.  Plan meals based on sale items + cheap items.  Shop at an Aldi or Save A Lot if you have one within driving distance.


I feed 2 adults and 3 teens for less than $100 a week, easily.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Although lettuce is best fresh, most fresh isn't always healthier...think about this:

Frozen produce is frozen very soon after it's harvested, while fresh produce is usually a couple of days (or more!) old by the time it hits supermarkets...thanks to shipping and packaging, etc.

If vitamins start breaking down within hours of harvest, just how much is left by the time you buy "fresh" produce?

Quoting kimscorner:

 

I've always bought frozen produce.  I know fresh is healthier, but would it be cheaper than frozen?  I'm thinking not, but will look into it next week when I go to the store.


Quoting michiganmom116:

Couponing....I've never found it to be seriously helpful.  The one month that I seriously couponed and stacked coupons and stuck to sales to use those coupons, I spent more money than I usually do.

Instead, I buy what I need.  I don't need a lot of processed foods.  I don't need name brand foods.  I don't spend a lot of time when I cook from scratch the way I do it.

I understand you have a picky eater....so let him be picky.  His choice of diet isn't super healthy, but it's not expensive and it's better than throwing food away because he won't eat it.  Make simple meals (simple=inexpensive) for you and DD during the week and something a little more involved on weekends.

Buy fresh produce when in season, frozen when it isn't.  Plan meals based on sale items + cheap items.  Shop at an Aldi or Save A Lot if you have one within driving distance.


I feed 2 adults and 3 teens for less than $100 a week, easily.



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