How We’re Trying To Beat a Tough Economy, Pt. 3

Posted on | April 9, 2012 | 2 Comments

This is part 3 of a series of sorts that I’m doing. You can read part 1 here & part 2 here.

I’m hoping to receive our new utility bills soon, so I can see if there are any changes. Actually, I don’t REALLY want to receive them, because life would be dandy without paying for that sort of stuff. Since they have to come, though, I want to see if anything has changed. LOL. Um, kinda.

Our little seedlings are doing GREAT! Well, except the strawberries. They just seemed to vanish *le sigh* I spent about $3 & bought a baggie of crowns. I have those planted & pray they’ll take. And grow. And produce.

We did have a setback. On March 28th I went to the laundry room (as I do almost every morning) & loaded the washer. I pressed the start button & *pop pop* then…. nothing. Since our last move wiped any semblance of savings we had, we had no way to replace it immediately, and we were reduced to some impolite words, a few tub stomping moments (cleaning clothes the “pioneer way” as Tris calls it) & a trip to the laundromat. $14.50 later we had clean clothes, but we all know this is definitely not cost effective in the long run. The next day my Dad called to let me know he was going to put one on his card & allow us to pay it off. Actually that’s not what he said, but WE’re going to pay it off. I told him so. Sometimes you just have to get stern with kids these days these folks.

So, onto some more frugal living tips…

I’ve posted some recipes lately that are true to frugal living. I haven’t bought Hershey’s syrup in years, especially after going to a whole foods diet in January 2009. There are just too many unknowns in that stuff, and the “better” brands are so spendy. I’ve taken to making this chocolate syrup again, tweaked to be a little less sugary & a lot more chocolatey. Likewise with taco seasoning, kicking the canned bean habit, making & canning homemade spaghetti sauce & making my own cleaners. You’ll also find How I Make My Broth & a recipe for White Sauce (to use in place of cream soups.

It’s not THAT hot….. Yet…

We’re living in the South again. I have thus far refused to turn our central cooling system on, and we quit using the heat about a month or so ago. We, like many other parts of the country, have seen some record highs for this time of year. We’re blessed to have MANY ceiling fans in this house. We’ve been using them. I’ve also got 2 floor fans, one a regular box fan & the other a small version (about a foot tall). We’ve been using those as well. Of course, we only use them as needed. When a storm blows through & the temperature outside drops, so does the temp inside the house. On that note, we’ve been keeping windows open.

And speaking of things that keep us cool…

This house has an ice maker in the freezer. You know the ones that at 3am jolt you out of your sleep as they chug & bang & churn out ice? I turned it off about 2 weeks ago. Every little bit of energy saved is a penny or 3 in my pocket. Right???

We went back to using our fill & freeze ice cube trays.

And of course, ice cold water keeps us hydrated & cool. *insert sunglasses here. Because we’re cool like that*

By the way, Hubba rolls his eyes when we (the kids & I) use jars to drink out of. I think that’s his Southern upbringing. I know it’s touted as being “redneck-y.” I have LOADS of glassware. They’re made by Libbey & in the USA. But…. I. Can’t. Help. It. I love drinking out of my mason jars πŸ˜€

Gas keeps going up, too…

Hubba has been nicknamed “The Soccer Mom” at work. Yup, we traded vehicles. He is now taking my Uplander which gets considerably better mileage than the Explorer Sport. I miss my grocery getter terribly & he misses his truck horribly, but we know this is the better option for his 1/2 hour commute each day. On days I do mass grocery shopping & have to drive near where he works, we each get the luxury of driving “our own” vehicles. Since I hit several stores in the area where he works, the kids & I make a day of it, so the mileage is greater than just a trip to work & home.

However, I’m also taking into consideration that since Earth Fare is on his way home, if there’s just a thing or 3 I need, he’ll pick it up on his way home. I try to only venture out for a day trip to that area if I need a lot of stuff. I’ve managed to hit that area once a month to once every 6 weeks, rather than the twice a month I was logging before.

Priorities & perception.

That’s a whole lotta…

We’ve always tried to buy in bulk. If bulk isn’t possible, buying from bulk bins will save some cash, too. Once you bring your goods home, you can transfer some to jars.

For what’s left, you can store them in bakery buckets. Most bakeries (those like Kroger, Albertson’s, etc) offer their icing buckets for free once they’ve used all the icing. Of course, you’re likely to have to take them home & wash them well.

Last I checked, everyone had a little elbow grease, though.

And elbow grease is….. wait for it…..

FREE!!! πŸ˜€

By doing, not only are you saving money for your items, you’re saving money by not having to traipse to the store every other day. You have just begin buying your own little grocery. Keep building it up.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some pictures from around the “homestead.” Spring is in bloom. The birds are singing & keeping watch over their nests (AW!). The economy is tough, but life can still be sweet!

So, with all that said & done… How are YOU doing at beating this economy? Comment below & share your ideas! I’d love some inspiration.

On to part 4

Like this? You may also be interested in:

How Are YOU Trying To Beat a Tough Economy? Week 2
1 Day, 5 people, $15- Gluten Free, Real Food


2 Responses to “How We’re Trying To Beat a Tough Economy, Pt. 3”

  1. How We’re Trying To Beat a Tough Economy, Pt. 2 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    April 23rd, 2012 @ 7:09 am

    […] Part 3 Part 4 […]

  2. Angie S.
    May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    I have been gardening the past few years, which makes a HUGE difference in our being able to eat well for less money. This year, I’m expanding to include sunflower seeds for the chickens to eat during the winter, and the garden is being planned & planted with considerations made for growing crops that produce over & over in the same space (i.e. chard, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers…) versus things that take all summer to grow one thing in the space (i.e. cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, etc.). We will still have a few of the one-per-spot veggies, but they will be minimal. I am also focusing on growing things that are more pricey or difficult to find organic, and I buy things like organic carrots that are widely available and cheap in comparison to the space & time required to grow them. We also love broth, and I am going to get back into cooking beans regularly, thanks to your posts – Thank you!

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