Re: Share with me your best thrifty tip!
First off, be an encouragement to your DH this is a very difficult time for him.
for us we trimmed back on haircuts, I now give my boys buzz cuts every 6 weeks instead of taking them to the hairdresser - savings $30 for all 3. For me I've recently stopped highlighting saving $40. BTW I borrow the buzzer.
The home made laundry soap is Ok for the short term IMO and that cuts the cheap $10 for 5 gallon to under $2.
I switched to mama cloth savings per month $8?. I made my own so I didn't have a high upfront cost. I still use tampons but use them as little as possible.
U have no income temporarily that's what food stamps and food pantries help with, but be wise when using them. First use up what you have on only using the food pantry as a fill in than use the food stamps to get more of what you regularly use. And buy in bulk for me a 50lb bag of oatmeal cost $18 most pay $3 for 2lbs at the grocery store and more if you want the flavored pkgs (which are easy to make). I buy flour also buy the 50lbs its $28 or about .50c per pound. Make your own mixes for cakes, pancakes, Bisquick. Its way cheaper to buy the dried milk (flour, baking pwd, dried milk, sugar, salt in most of the mixes) than to buy that cake mix from the store. When you are out of this situation donate back to those food pantries. WIC is also very helpful if you aren't already getting it.
U need to be keep the lights on, apply for energy assistance. Turn down the heat during the day when you're busy (u won't feel the difference) and at night (but while waking up 5:30-8a, and between 4-7:30 turn it back up) and keep the lights off as much as possible. Ask your energy provider if you do your laundry at night rather than during the day if you could get that energy discounted (not during prime time).
cut your water usage back its winter the kids don't need to be bathed daily they can go every other-3 days. That will save on shampoo too b/c those darn cute little people use the entire bottle each shower. buy a large gallon bottle of bubble bath and use that as your body wash just keep filling up the other one they'll never know the difference. During the summer (if he's still un or under employed) use the community pool and their showers)
use the hand/dish towels in place of paper towels.
If he's out of work through summer, you have the ability not to buy clothing. Just cut off those holey, short pants for shorts you've just extended their life one more season. While the ones without holes keep to pass down. those long sleeved shirts with holes in the arms do the same thing and make them short sleeved or tank tops. They are fine for when the kids are only home. And since you have 0 gas money you will be home a lot. So you'll have a some quality family time.
Cut out everything, internet, cellphones, cable, if you pay for trash pick up ask someone if you can share their bin until this is over. Most libraries allow you to use their server on your own laptop or using their computers 1 hour per day for all your internet needs and job services allows jobs searches on their computers. cut your landline down by dropping voicemail, call waiting and caller ID. We dropped to local service only and used MIL's unlimited to return long distance calls for a few years. We only returned long distance b/c I was working local-long (for phone calls) and I needed to be able to make calls from home for work (otherwise it was a 20 minute drive to return a call). BTW calls to cellphones of local family members are considered local free calling in my neck of the woods, and yes all my siblings and dhs siblings who are local don't mind if we call on their cells instead of their landlines.