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Money saving tips?

Posted by on Feb. 18, 2015 at 9:44 PM
  • 29 Replies

we are about to go down to one income, either I'm using all my pay check for daycare, or I'm going to quit.  Dh will bring in about $2000 a month and we have 3 kids.  

I tried making my own laundry soap once and didn't care for it, but I'm going to try a different recipe, I also want to make all our house hold cleaners.  I generally cook from scratch anyway, we buy pork and beef right from the farm, and if I do quit I will have time to take care of a nice garden,  and maybe I can talk dh into getting a coop and getting chickens.  We have switched to shopping at Aldi's for most things.  I plan to try and make my own yogurt, and maybe even start making my own bread.   I buy as many of the kids clothes as I can from a 2nd hand store and anything else I buy when there is a sale, and when I have a coupon code.

 I use ebates, but I don't really shop enough to get a big check.  The last check I had was $30 and most of that was from Christmas shopping and refuring a friend.

we don't have a car payment, but do have 2 cars on our insurance, but I'm going to try and lower the car insurance.  I'm going to try to call time warner and get a better deal on Internet.  I want to cancel Directv but we have a contact for a few more months.  I also want to lower the data on the cell phones or take it off all together (not sure if I can do that.) I want to keep the Internet, so I can search for jobs, and online coupons, and it's how we communicate with the the kids teachers. There really isn't anything else we can compleatly get rid of besides the tv.

we already use laundry bars to dry our clothes, we wash everything in cold except "whites". We keep the heat as low as we can tolerate, we keep lights off for as long as possible.

Any other tips on things I can make at home for cheaper or other ways to cut costs?

by on Feb. 18, 2015 at 9:44 PM
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Replies (1-10):
michiganmom116
by Ruby Member on Feb. 18, 2015 at 9:54 PM

in my experience, a coop and chickens is not cheaper than buying from the store in the long run, unless you also grow your own feed.

MommytoAbigail
by Member on Feb. 18, 2015 at 10:20 PM


Quoting michiganmom116:

in my experience, a coop and chickens is not cheaper than buying from the store in the long run, unless you also grow your own feed.

We would raise them for eggs not to kill the chickens.

mybratsmom
by Silver Member on Feb. 18, 2015 at 10:23 PM

Swagbucks - I make $45 to $50 a month doing it.  Call all of your service providers and see if there are lower rates available.  Also - you may qualify for low income deals with your utilities - absolutely do not be afraid to check them out.  Cooking from scratch and meal planning has helped us a lot.  I garden and make crafts that sell, so I often barter for things that I don't have or sell for cash.  My homemade cleaner is basically vinegar and water and a little lemongrass EO.   I do coupon what I can, but I am in no way a hoarder - I might have an extra toothbrush or two, but don't have a cabinet full because really, I've found that money is better spent somewhere else, or saved, than stored up in my closet.

good luck!  I've been home for almost three years and have found that we are actually more successful now. Best wishes.

michiganmom116
by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2015 at 7:13 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting MommytoAbigail:


Quoting michiganmom116:

in my experience, a coop and chickens is not cheaper than buying from the store in the long run, unless you also grow your own feed.

We would raise them for eggs not to kill the chickens.

Keeping chickens for eggs is even less cost effective than for meat (I found that raising birds for meat is actually a good savings over buying from the store.)  You have the purchase price of the chicks/chickens, feeding them until they are 16 to 24 weeks before they start laying, then their egg laying cycle typically lasts for 10 months before they go into a molt and don't lay for 2 to 3 months or more.  Production then resumes, but at a reduced rate until they molt again, repeat.  By the time they're 3-4 yrs old, you're doing good to get 1 egg for every 3 birds each day.  With the price of feed, you're paying a lot more and doing quite a bit of work for those eggs.  If you want laying hens for a hobby or as pets, great!  if you're doing it to save money, you'll be lucky to break even.  It's those feed prices...even pastured/free range birds need feed.

michiganmom116
by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2015 at 7:26 AM

You may be able to lower your DirecTv plan to one that costs less.  We even had good luck with having them give us a few months free when we claimed hardship.  


Saphira1207
by on Feb. 19, 2015 at 7:28 AM

What kind of chickens did you get?  That matters a lot to how many eggs you get.  

We have Bard Rock and even in the middle of this %&*^*(*&%^ winter we're having here in WV they're still laying an egg/day/chicken.  And they started laying at around 15 weeks.  We've been selling the extra since we don't use as many as they produce.  That goes towards the feed cost so it's been about 1/2 it's usual cost.  and we buy the $20 feed since it's the better one for our flock.  We buy it about every 4-6 weeks and supplement with stuff from the house after we cook.

Quoting michiganmom116:

Quoting MommytoAbigail:


Quoting michiganmom116:

in my experience, a coop and chickens is not cheaper than buying from the store in the long run, unless you also grow your own feed.

We would raise them for eggs not to kill the chickens.

Keeping chickens for eggs is even less cost effective than for meat (I found that raising birds for meat is actually a good savings over buying from the store.)  You have the purchase price of the chicks/chickens, feeding them until they are 16 to 24 weeks before they start laying, then their egg laying cycle typically lasts for 10 months before they go into a molt and don't lay for 2 to 3 months or more.  Production then resumes, but at a reducted rate until they molt again, repeat.  By the time they're 3-4 yrs old, you're doing good to get 1 egg for every 3 birds each day.  With the price of feed, you're paying a lot more and doing quite a bit of work for those eggs.  If you want laying hens for a hobby or as pets, great!  if you're doing it to save money, you'll be lucky to break even.  It's those feed prices...even pastured/free range birds need feed.


michiganmom116
by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2015 at 7:30 AM

I also use Swagbucks and make $50 in an average month.  

michiganmom116
by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2015 at 7:36 AM

I have had Barred Rocks, Isa Browns, California Greys (Browns and Greys are the best for egg/feed conversion), Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, White Leghorns, Ameracaunas, Black Australorps, Black Wyandottes, Silver Wyandottes, Brahmas.  

You're in WV...I'm in Michigan.  Big difference in weather and how it affects the birds.

How old are your birds?

Quoting Saphira1207:

What kind of chickens did you get?  That matters a lot to how many eggs you get.  

We have Bard Rock and even in the middle of this %&*^*(*&%^ winter we're having here in WV they're still laying an egg/day/chicken.  And they started laying at around 15 weeks.  We've been selling the extra since we don't use as many as they produce.  That goes towards the feed cost so it's been about 1/2 it's usual cost.  and we buy the $20 feed since it's the better one for our flock.  We buy it about every 4-6 weeks and supplement with stuff from the house after we cook.

Quoting michiganmom116:

Quoting MommytoAbigail:


Quoting michiganmom116:

in my experience, a coop and chickens is not cheaper than buying from the store in the long run, unless you also grow your own feed.

We would raise them for eggs not to kill the chickens.

Keeping chickens for eggs is even less cost effective than for meat (I found that raising birds for meat is actually a good savings over buying from the store.)  You have the purchase price of the chicks/chickens, feeding them until they are 16 to 24 weeks before they start laying, then their egg laying cycle typically lasts for 10 months before they go into a molt and don't lay for 2 to 3 months or more.  Production then resumes, but at a reducted rate until they molt again, repeat.  By the time they're 3-4 yrs old, you're doing good to get 1 egg for every 3 birds each day.  With the price of feed, you're paying a lot more and doing quite a bit of work for those eggs.  If you want laying hens for a hobby or as pets, great!  if you're doing it to save money, you'll be lucky to break even.  It's those feed prices...even pastured/free range birds need feed.


Saphira1207
by on Feb. 19, 2015 at 7:36 AM

OP - from what you posted it sounds like you're already doing everything you can short of getting rid of one of your cars.

My only suggestion is to use Horse manure on your garden.  It took me years to discover that horse shit makes food taste better.   And I was gardening organically at the time so my food was tasting pretty phenomenal anyway.

I prefer organic gardening but if it's easier and cheaper for you to use some kind of pesticide do so.  There are a lot of naysayers who will tell you it's cheaper to do it all organically but, unless you're a hard core gardener who's been doing it for years,  it will likely take a couple of years for that to happen.  Until you figure out all the in and outs of organinc gardening in your area it can be a hassle with a smaller crop than you anticipated.

Also know that it takes a few years for pesticides to leave  your soil if you do decide to use them and then switch to organic.

cdb7519
by Member on Feb. 19, 2015 at 9:54 AM
1 mom liked this

You can do it,  I make slightly less than that and i think I do okay  I do keep a budget. 

We do not eat out very often.   When we do, we drink water with our meals.  I make my own laundry detergent and some cleaners.  I have straight talk for phone service so I pay $45/mo for unlimited everything.   I always buy the 12 month plan because it is less expensive in the long run.  You can look on their website occasionally and they have free phones with the purchase of a month of service.  Since you have to buy the month of service anyway, it is good to have a backup in case your phone breaks.  Shippng is free. I think Walmart has a family plan that may be cheaper especially if you add a second line.  I haven't use that phone service though.  I shop sales and use coupons.  There is a deodorant stone on Amazon that is about $6 and it last about a year. I also use a tooth powder that was only about $5 and It has lasted 6 months and I still have a little left. that will probably last a few more months.  It is amazing stuff and my teeth actually squeak when I brush them.  I think it is mostly the little things that add up that you should focus on.  It is great that you are calling trying to get your rates lowered for your regular monthly expenses.  That will help.  I buy groceries and prescriptions from Kroger and get fuel points.  I save quite a bit on gas each month.  I also try to combine errands so I do not waste gas.  I smoke ( I know that is stupid) so I buy tobacco and tubes and make my own.  It costs about $12 for three weeks.  If I bought cigarettes by the pack it would be over $50 for thre weeks.  I use old cut up towels instead of paper towels for big messes.  I do like paper towels for some things I keep a bottle of water (24 pack is $2.50 at Kroger) and a juice box in the car in case I get thirsty when I am out so I am not tempted to stop and get botlle for $1 or more.  Juice is in case sugar gets low.  I bought a $20 wetvac from Walmart so I can save money at the car wash.  My neighbor has a problem with bugs and our houses are pretty close.  I bought professional bug killer from the internet for $40 and a $20 applicator container (not sure what it's called but it is used for spraying weedkiller in the yard.  This was about the cost of an exterminator for one month.  It lasted over a year.  I spray each month as a preventative measure and never see any bugs.  If you need to run your water to warm it up for the shower, you can put a mop bucket under the spigot to catch some water instead of letting it go down the drain.  Use this for watering houseplants or outdoor plants or whatever you decide you need it for.  I wait a few days to do laundry so I can do a few loads back to back.  The dryer is already warmd up this way so it doesn't take as long to dry the 2nd load. 

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