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Old 03-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
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Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

Hello everyone!

I wanted to create this thread to help me keep track of my transition to a frugal life style. Any suggestions you might have would be great. Support is highlyappreciated

Things we do:
Cloth diapers
Mouth wash
Laundry detergent
Cloth wipes
Use electricity off peak time
Sale clothes/used ones
Efficient light bulbs
Got a better telephone plan
Cut dh hair
Drink water most of the time
Almost meatless family
Make dh lunch to take to work
Stock on sales (Groceries)
Liquid hand soap
Breast feed/make own baby food
Minimal previously loved toys
Mama cloth
Cloth Unpaper towels
March 2013: Dh & I started shopping with a list and skip everything else we might want unless its a great sale and save us money along the way.

Forgot to mention:
DIY gifts, its fun and it saves a ton
Use gift card towards big purchases
Stop going window shopping, i cannot do that. Seriously
No more magazine subscriptions.
Swangbucks
We buy quality shoes (not only better for our feet but these also last years)
pay bills online.
I cook twice as much food we need and freeze the rest so whenever we want to eat out, we eat from our freezer


Things to do:
Air dry clothes (started hang drying clothes and putting them in the dryer just for a few mins)
Cereal bars
Bread
Sewing
Get better car insurance
Cut cable done 3/13/2013
Get a library card Done 3/2013
Hand lotion
Meal plan
Soap bars
Make our own tooth paste
Go no poo

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Last edited by babyleon; 04-29-2013 at 11:53 AM. Reason: adding info, even more
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

You can watch some of your tv shows on Hulu free. They are a week behind but free. (Not all shows on there but if you are cutting cable that might help you to transition)

Barter and trade- Sometimes you can find someone who is more than willing to trade you for what you need.(Example: Instead of buying used clothing for your kids... trade babysitting for hand me downs.)

Sell your junk/unneeded items on Ebay/craigslist. Always list all flaws etc... but try to sell it before you donate. You can list 50 items free on Ebay a month. You still have to pay a fee if they sell and a paypal fee. Keep those in mind when you price the item(because shipping costs are included in the % of fee you pay). Read this on how to ship: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/....php?t=1454378

I do swagbucks. I'm a SAHM so I have the time to take surveys /watch videos throughout the day. I typically get $25 in amazon and $50 in paypal a month from swagbucks. (More if you count Dh's account). I don't sign up for any of the free trials or anything that you have to pay for. It's not a lot of $ but it could pay your internet bill with extra leftover!

I sew. I fully admit it is a hobby and not to save $. It can save you $ if upcycle & buy only clearance fabric. I made my DD 3 dresses, 3 capris, 2 shirts, a pair of pants & a skirt out of a queen size thrift store sheet for less than a $1. (Not counting the cost of lace, elastic, thread, ribbon but I already had those things) If you already know people who sew ... like great aunts or whatever, ask them for their extras. You'll be surprised how much they are willing to give you. I swear everyone that sews has a secret hoarding tendency. We fall in love with a fabric we can't use and hold on to it for years. Years ago I asked everyone I knew if I could borrow a machine. Someone gave me an old machine for free. I used it till I bought a new one. I gave it away to someone else that was hand sewing baby blankets. You'll be surprised what ASKING gets you. (especially if people know someday you'll help them out!) I have a ton of pattens but find I use free ones of the internet more.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

That's a pretty impressive list!

If you have certain foodstuffs or personal care items that you cannot make and get quite regularly, it is worth shopping around on amazon, vitacost, and swanson to see if you can get them in bulk once a month or once every six months (if you have enough storage space) via subscribe and save programs. You might also want to see if there are food co-ops near you. Additionally, I recently discovered ebates via which I can get cash back at some of the online stores that I was already regularly shopping at.

I would be surprised if you saved money by making your own soap bars versus getting a cheap and longlasting natural soap like Kirk's Castille from vitacost. But that depends on a lot of factors including how many kids you are sudsing up. If you are using melt and pour, those soaps don't last as well. For lye based soaps you will need a lot of ventilation and a dedicated stainless steel pot and dedicated utensils, etc. as well as a food scale. If you have scavenged the things for lye based soap, it might indeed save you money while enabling you to make a soap that is precisely geared toward your skin's needs. The whole idea of making soap bars interests me, but I don't have even close to the adequate ventilation or an outdoor gazebo in which to make it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by debcita429 View Post
I would be surprised if you saved money by making your own soap bars versus getting a cheap and longlasting natural soap like Kirk's Castille from vitacost. But that depends on a lot of factors including how many kids you are sudsing up. If you are using melt and pour, those soaps don't last as well. For lye based soaps you will need a lot of ventilation and a dedicated stainless steel pot and dedicated utensils, etc. as well as a food scale. If you have scavenged the things for lye based soap, it might indeed save you money while enabling you to make a soap that is precisely geared toward your skin's needs. The whole idea of making soap bars interests me, but I don't have even close to the adequate ventilation or an outdoor gazebo in which to make it.
It is true there is startup cost to making lye soap, but you definitely don't have to do it outside if you have adequate ventilation in the kitchen. On cruddy days I'll open the window and turn on the range hood and it's more than enough to suck out any lye fumes.

Some people do sell cold process soap base with no added fats or fragrances so you can melt it down and add your own. I'm not sure of the frugality of it, but the same thing could be done with any soap bar you find at the grocery.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

Thanks, delladea. I actually don't have any windows in my kitchen nor a hood fan in addition to the start up costs, so it was a no go for me. (The kitchen is in the center of a small house.) I did look at some of the better melt and pour options, but they simply weren't worthwhile for me. I learned a lot though that I will pass on to a friend who is about to start homesteading and may purchase a milk goat with which she'd be interested in making soaps.
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Pain and Sleep oil roll ons too! Inhalers for Allergies, Nausea, Sinus & Germ, Memory & Concentration, and Mood
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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We got rid of cable over a year ago. Bought a $30 attenae. We get all the local channels. Plenty to watch. Usually end up recording instead of watching anyway. Also makes cartoons easier. PBS cartoons only.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:13 AM   #7
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

I have been working on this as well. Going no poo has been great for my hair! The baking soda really does clean it and the vinegar conditioner is great as well. Another thing to do is clean with baking soda and vinegar. From what I've read, they can clean almost anything around the house! Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

Redesonia: Thanks for your advice i will be checking Hulu. We dont need the lastest tv shows, we usually watch king of queens either way. Old stuff.
I am posting a few bigger items on cl this week.
I just started a swangbucks account. Making $25-50 a month would be really good. Its rewarding when i spent money i worked for.

Decita429: I did not know about vitacost or swasun, i will check those. Thanks for your advice.

Dlladea: Do you have any advice where to buy materials for making soap? we just like the idea of knowing what we are using, dh is allergic to most of the commercial stuff either way.

Pinktoes: Thanks for the encourament mama

Manniewcu: i started to not wash my hair everyday. I will star with no poo this friday after i fun out of my shampoo
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:59 PM   #9
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

That is a great list!!
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:15 PM   #10
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Re: Switching to a frugal Lifestyle

Learn how to coupon effectively. You mentioned stocking up on sales, which is part of couponing, but learn to be open to looking for the coupons you will use and effectively paring them with the sales and stocking up to get the best bang for your buck.

Learn how to do your own car maintenance. You and/or your spouse can do repairs like replacing brakes, timing belts, etc, with just a little bit of research.

Learn how to barter. My sister just traded 2 dozen cupcakes for shooting lessons. Seriously.

Prepaid cell with no data if you don't already have that. If you have a wireless router at home, then your cell phone will work on your wireless network.
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