:o Hi all- DH and I are meeting with the Crown Financial Money Coach next week and we just completed the paperwork last night. It was very humbling to find out how much money we DON’T have. Sad, because we make excellent salaries each. Anyway, I’m out today looking for good ideas for money saving ideas, cost-friendly recipes that freeze well or can be doubled cheaply, household tips for saving dough. I know that it will be a big step in our ‘recovery’. Anything that will help me save a buck will certainly be very appreciated by my family. thanks-twk
This is probably not the advice you were looking for but here goes: Please prayerfully consider tithing. Specifically, giving away 10% of your income. The effects of this can be astonishing.
Mathmatically this does not seem to make sense, but I tell you that God will provide. I have been amazed that suddenly our bills fell into place. I would go to the store and what I had on my list was buy-one-get-one-free…My mom unexpectedly gave us money she had for our son’s school tuition… Friends unexpectedly gave us hand-me-down clothes that fit my children perfectly… My old car seemed to run forever without having mechanical problems…household appliances lasted…coupons were found…insurance premiums went down…
I heard a radio personality keep saying that “you cannot outgive God”. This is so true.
Perhaps you cannot give so much at this time, but I promise that if you give more away that you will open yourself up to miracles you did not think were possible. Remember the story of the widow giving away two pennies? All she had? Think if you and your husband only had $20 to last you the week and you gave away some of that! What would God do?
This takes a leap of faith. Please don’t tell me what you decide as it is a highly personal decision. Hope this helps.
there are a couple of recent (last couple of months) threads on money-saving, clutter-reducing, low-cost food ideas with great tips and links, do a browse or search on family life
cut up your credit cards
don’t buy anything that is not an immediate need
if you can’t pay cash, you can’t have it
develop a stewardship mentality, regarding all material blessings as gifts which come from God and belong to God. your choice of a good Chrisitian financial program is a great place to start.
stop buying in bulk, it saves nothing and wastes money needed for current expenses.
this again goes against conventional wisdom but tithe, even if it is a token amount, tithe without fail. the reason is this keeps you in right spiritual attitude about money
]with the help of this counsellor discern how and why your spending and financial decisions have been made up until know, identify the underlying problem (I was poor as a child, I deserve it now; I work hard I deserve the rewards; self-medicating through shopping; gambling; uninformed decisions on buying big ticket items; refusal to learn financial basics; fundamental disagreements about money, work, saving, etc.) and deal with it.
STUFF is a huge danger to marriages, families, financial security, healthy home life, child rearing, spirituality even physical health. Learn to detach your emotional life from STUFF
www.hillbillyhousewife.com has some great recipes and other budget-friendly ideas. I take several of those recipes and tweak them to my family’s tastes. You’re right, food can be a major area to cut back in. STOP eating out or buying prepared foods, and learn to cook from scratch. I know your food bill will go down dramatically–ours sure did!
The Tightwad Gazette is an excellent book (there are three volumes available in one edition - older versions have the three volumes seperate). Mary Hunt has some excellent books out as well, but they are from a protestant perspective. She also puts an emphasis on tithing. Check your library to see if you can request the books above… .
I 2nd the suggestion of Tightwad Gazette. She is comes at the issue from a purely secular point of view, so no discussions about tithing etc. One habit I have gotten from those books is to not always follow directions for how much soap etc is required to do the job. Detergent companies of course are in the business of having you buy their product. I have found that as little of half the recommended amount does a fine job in dishes, clothes, etc. You’ll need to experiment. I also don’t always assume that generics save money. Often they do, but again you need to see. Also with new recipes, always do a trial run with a very small batch to be sure your family will eat it. Throwing food away is disheartening! Portion control and being reasonable about snacks usually saves way more money than some strange recipe for beans that no one in your family will eat! LOL
I really love those books, too. They mention a really good cookbook called More With Less I got mine through Amazon. It is a mennonite based cookbook, but has tons of good recipes that use lower suger etc in them.
I love to garage sale and go to thrift shops. I have to really watch those because it’s easy for me to spend there when I don’t need to. I’ve found nice clothes for myself at work etc… .
I second this! Very true. It has done wonders for me. God always seems to provide extra right when I need it. The other day we were called by a physical therapist that my husband use to see saying we had a check coming of about $60 that we overpaid on some stuff. Well when we got the check it was $315!!! We just happen to have a bill for $148 that we haven’t been able to pay yet and my husband is goign to have to make a sudden out of town trip that will cost about $75 in gas that we hadn’t budgeted in! But this is just one example and stuff like this happens all the time. I just write the check and let it go. Don’t even think twice about it. Write it and then budget based on the rest! The more you give the more you get!
Anyway not to say that you don’t already do this but just agreeing with the PP.
As far as tips go I do the following:
-Buy generic brand items. For the most part. Much cheaper.
-Buy bulk meat when on sale and repackage into dinner sized portions for the week.
-Buy bulk only if it is actually cheaper…I have noticed lately in the past year or so that the stores think we are idiots and have started making bulk items more expensive than if you just bought more of the nonbulk. I don’t know why this is happening…probably because people just keep buying thinking they are saving and are actually spending more. It’s ridiculous!
-Cook meals that feed a lot and can eat from leftovers for 2 or 3 days (spaghetti!)
-Always pack my lunch, sandwiches or soups, never eat out but maybe once a month.
-I cut out every coupon I can find!
-Cut your husband’s/son’s/daughter’s hair and do your own oil changes and car washes!
-If you have kids, cloth diapering and making your own babyfood is a moneysaver too!
you can save up to half what you are paying now on groceries, paper products, cleansers etc. by eliminating waste. Prepare and cook only what you will eat, prepare and store food properly as soon as you get home from the store. I am always hearing complaints about the high cost of veggies, and people throw half their produce away because they bought unwisely and did not store properly.
for detergents and household cleansers start with half the amount recommended on the label (1/4 for a front loading washer) and move up gradually until you get the results you want. use additives like sofener sparingly once every 3 or 4 washes, to avoid buildup which makes clothes wear out because of build-up, and damages the washer.
do preventive maintenance on appliances large and small, and all household goods and furniture, keep them clean and repaired and use them properly
clean sort and store household items properly so you can find them, instead of having to buy a new hammer every time you want to hang a picture
start by taking care of what you already have and eliminating waste and you will be half way home
SHARE food buying clubs (not to be confused with Share and Care). Anybody can use SHARE, no matter how much or how little money they have. Income is not a factor. Volunteerism with SHARE and/ or in the community is encouraged, but not mandatory. Food is ordered once a month, and picked up once a month.
Twenty/ twenty-five years ago, SHARE had second-class meat, wilted veggies and out-of-date cereal. NOW- WOW! The meat is great, there are very few canned goods, the produce is seasonal, organic where possible and FRESH.
“Units” which are supposed to last one person about a month, run between $17.50 and $22.00, depending on where you live. During holidays, there is also the offering of a holiday “unit”. SHARE also offers “solo” items, including but not limited to: The contents of the month’s “unit” or “units”, precooked sausage patties, egg beaters, steaks, french toast links, summer sausage, turkey breasts, etc.
I did a comparison between SHARE and our local Aldi, Big Lots and Woodman’s. My calculations came out with SHARE saving about 52% on average.
Here are links to the SHARE co-ops that I know. You might also check your phone directory or directory assistance to see if theere is a SHARE in your area that does not have a web site:
SHARE Wisconsin (includes Northern Illinois and Indiana)
SHARE District of Columbia, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania
SHARE New Jersey, New York (metro)
SHARE Florida (includes South Georgia)
SHARE Iowa (includes part of Nebraska)
[FONT=Arial]There are also SHARE clubs in South Dakota, Wyoming, Central Illinois, Southern Illinois and Missouri, and El Cajon CA. [/FONT]
That reminds me: www.angelfoodministries.com/ is a similar thing, you get a huge box of food for $25.
– Eat one or two meatless meals a week, like bean burritos or pasta primavera.
– Use powdered milk for baking
– Be aware of how much of something you’re going to use and limit yourself to that amount. Making buttermilk biscuits? Buy a pint instead of a quart.
– Be aware of food substitutions that can work in a pinch. Out of buttermilk? Mix 1 1/2 Tbls vinegar with milk.
– Vinegar is your friend. You can use it as a food stuff, as a household cleaner and in your laundry.
– Hydrogen peroxide is a great anti-bacterial cleaner and really inexpensive.
– Invest in microfiber cleaning cloths to use instead of paper towels. You can throw them in the washer.
– As the others mentioned, tithe.
I can’t disagree with any of the posters so far -r.e. saving money.
I would just like to mention that I started shopping for groceries online to help me out while I was heavily pregnant, and as mother to a newborn.
We now continue this, because even allowing for a delivery charge we generally spend far less and now buy only what we need as I am not tempted by in-your-face offers.
Also you are not advised to shop while tired or hungry (you tend to spend more), and I am always either tired or hungry! Online shopping avoids this, plus I can have a cup of tea and nurse He-who -won’t -be -put -down at the same time. I can more easily stick to a set limit this way.
Plus there is a certain satisfaction in having things delivered right to your door, and not trailing around a neon palace of despair all morning.
while all the replies are good, my vote goes to puzzleannie for having consistently the best, no baloney, guidelines for money stewardship.
years ago, i heard a money guy say “if you’re throwing out rotten produce, you’re throwing out money.” if it’s on sale and i buy it and don’t use it all, i threw out cash.
but todays’ gem of PA’s wisdom is this:
stop buying in bulk, it saves nothing and wastes money needed for current expenses.
i bought a case of name brand organic granola bars at a discount store. they cost ninety cents a box. yup. ninety cents, as opposed to nearly four bucks in the store. i thought this was a great deal till i brought them home and my kids ate a case of them in two weeks. I put them up on a high shelf, but so what?!? I have teen sons who can reach easilly! and the littler kids are like merecats! they hear crinkling paper and come running. so, box open, box gone.
no money saved there.
on January 1, GoodHusband and I began reading the threads about money management, bankruptcy, stewardship et al. We began a novena to the parton of finances, The Tenderest, Gentlest Infant of Prague, and He put us on the right track.the tougher advice has been the rule of the day. cut up the cards. immediate needs only. cash or forget it. we’re doing it.
By month’s end, we will have managed to cut our $1500 MONTHLY shortfall to $700 monthly shortfall. We are praying for few more part-time daycare kids and the difference will be covered. So far, this has seemed impossible to do. But God knows what we need. Please pray for us in this-- that we can bridge the gap.
You all have been GOOD help in this. I believe the adage, " When the student is ready, the teacher appears." Stubborn debt made us into ready students.
If any of you ladies like to shop like I do, never leave the house to shop and looking for some part time income…I ran across this the other day. It’s all free…this is right up my alley. Check the site out below it is an awesome idea!