Things I don't Buy/Frugal Ideas
Things I don't Buy or Ways I save money:
1. No TV
We gave up the TV 2 years ago and honestly don't miss it. No more paying for 100 channels only to watch 3. A ton of time gets wasted sitting in front of a TV that can be used for other pursuits.
2. No Dryer
The dryer is a huge user of electricity. We've seen the electrical bill drop with both appliances gone. Clothes last longer too. In the winter wet clothes are hung on a rack in front of the wood stove and in summer outside on the line.
3. No Trash bags
Why spend money on something you are simply going to throw away? Feed sacks and empty dogs food bags serve the purpose perfectly. Food scraps are fed to the chickens and the pigs so no worry over leakage.
4. Turn down the Thermostat
Wear a sweater. Its winter, its not supposed to feel like summer time in your house. I have a fuel oil furnace, but this year I decided to use more wood to keep the house heated. The thermostat is set to 58 degrees and it does kick on when the fire burns down in the early mornings. Wool blankets on the bed and a pair of thermal pants with socks allows for a comfortable night sleep. Started the winter with 250 gal of fuel and so far about 1/2 is left.
5. Turn out the lights
Only 1 light on at a time. This rule, along with no dryer, TV or furnace running has seen the electric bill drop by $30/mo.
6. No NEW clothes
Ok, so not 100% accurate. I do buy new socks and undies, but everything else is second hand. Its amazing the new or practically new clothing you can find at thrift stores and yard sales.
7. No bread
I don't buy it, I make it! Its easy once you figure it out and far better without all the additives. Sour dough, yeast, quick and sweet breads, all delicious!
8. Simple meals
The dinner table doesn't see a main dish and 2-3 side dishes. Nope. At the most its 1. (Except on holidays of course when I may spend way too much time in the kitchen preparing to only have it devoured in 20 mins.)Nothing wrong with basic homecooked food that is simple to prepare and costs pennies. Beans and cornbread, chicken and mashed potatoes, burger and homemade fries, etc
9. Buy in bulk/sales
I buy in bulk when I can. Do the math and you will often find that the smaller package is typically not your best value. Know your prices and take your time making your list and shopping. Also take advantage of sales. In the fall baking goods and canned items typically go on sale. In May condiments and other items for BBQs are on sale. Take advantage of them and stock up enough to last until the next cycle.
10. Preserve the Harvest
I can, a lot. Vegetables, pickles, meat, sauces. Nothing like being able to go into your own cellar and pull a jar of whatever off your shelf that you know exactly what went into it. Sour kraut is also fairly easy to make and good for you too.
For the last 2 years I have bartered for my hay supply. 4 goats year 1 got me hay plus some work clearing ground and last winter it was 1/2 a processed hog. Talk to people! See what opportunities await.