So I wanted to talk a little more about frugal living. It will likely be a series of posts that I write that will show how the ordinary person can be more frugal. What are the advantages? Well for one thing it allows me to be at home where my husband likes me to be. He would never tell me I can't work outside the home, but he sure prefers I don't. He likes me here being able to deal with things as they come up and have a hot meal waiting for him when he gets home. Call him old fashioned, he is and that is part of the reason I married him! There are other advantages also. I can save lots of money by being frugal. There are so many ways to save and once you really start looking for those ways, you find you have not used them well enough. I am hoping to share some of the ideas I use with you, and hopefully that way we can always help each other.
One thing I do very often is hang my laundry out to dry. We do own a dryer and even if I want to I can't use it. Long story there involving my son fixing the washer and somehow in the process breaking the dryer LOL. That is family life! I even hang my laundry out in the winter if it is dry enough. We had a very warm weekend last weekend and I did tons of laundry and it didn't all get completely dry. So what was still damp was put on hangers and hung over the shower rod in the main bathroom. While they are there, we all use the other shower. Sometimes I can't put it out at all and need to do a little. In that case, I can do a smaller load and get it on the shower rod. I have no way of knowing exactly what I am saving, but I know I am saving some and every little bit adds up.
Another thing that I do is make as much as I can from scratch. I make my own "Bisquick" and my own pancake mix. I make my pancake mix in four pound batches, and it is super easy to whip up pancakes! Many of the things we buy pre-made can be made easy and much cheaper. There are recipes out there for the flavored rice mixes also along with many other things. Now when I can get these items free or nearly so with coupons, I often will pick them up but I don't become dependent upon them coming from the store! Blogs are a great place to find and share recipes and many of the blogs I read have some great ones.
Along with making things from scratch is home processing. This can be anything from freezing to canning items, and learning how to preserve your foods can be priceless. I also use freezing and canning to my benefit on a night I may be busy or if I have to be gone or I am ill. Being able to pull something from the pantry or freezer can be a life saver. Tonight for instance I made chicken and noodles (and a few dumplings for those who like them this house is split there.) I had the chicken home canned from when I bought it on sale. I deboned it (very easy after it is cooked) and threw the chicken and the broth in the pan with other canned chicken broth bought at rock bottom sale prices and water. I made the noodles and and dumplings and cooked it all as normal. I cut off a lot of stove time (when I had to babysit it) and time letting the chicken cool to pull apart to turn it into a quick dinner.
Also with tonight's dinner I didn't use the normal frozen mixed veggies I normally would. I had a bag of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower half empty in the freezer and I used that instead. Many people wouldn't think to do this, but they needed used, and my family is totally used to me making these switch outs. It saves money by using something that may otherwise go to waste, and it keeps me from running to the store for one item. Those quick runs to the store for one thing often turn into a cart full of things that were unplanned and expensive. If you are saying "yuck" to this it is for two reasons. One, you haven't even tried it and two, it is just different than what most people would normally do. Sometimes you have to throw "normal" out the window.
Once you start learning to do things homemade, the possibilities are endless. You can make your own breakfast burritos and sandwiches easy. You normally pay big money if you buy those pre-made. Just think about the money you spend on things and how could you do it homemade. The more skills you learn while doing homemade the more money you can save doing it.