My faith

I'm a Mormon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hi everyone

I'm new as a contributor so let me start off and write what I do to save money on groceries and other expenses. I have a 4 daughter's and a husband. We home school, raise chickens and struggle to make ends meet like so many others.

1. I do NOT have teenage boys. That's my biggest reason on why I can save

2. I make a menu for 2 weeks. I buy groceries for what we need to make meals for the next 2 weeks. Of course the menu is more like a guideline because we are always switching days. I take that grocery list with me and stick to it.

3. I make most everything from scratch. I never buy processed or already prepared food. They cost more and aren't healthy for our bodies. Just making more stuff from scratch, I've dropped my cholesterol by 40 points.

4. I half ground beef. For example, when I make spaghetti I will cook up a pound of beef and put half in the freezer for a future meal and use only 1/2 pound for the spaghetti.  If you like your spaghetti with more meat you can use wheat as an extender which nobody would be able to tell and you'll get some great nutrition from it. I also do that for tacos.

5. I do not use coupons. I can't because of my daughter's food allergies. I can't be picky on what brands I use so nothing I ever need has coupons. I have found that since not using coupons, I'm not missing out. Plus most those foods with coupons are highly processed, sugar, and expensive stuff. I will use a Campbell's soup coupon every once in awhile even though Britney can't have soup.

6. LEFTOVERS!! We eat leftovers for lunch whenever we can. Since I home school, I don't have to worry about having stuff to pack lunches or deal with lunch money.

7. We don't buy soda or alcohol. I know of friends who have quite the expense in those areas. We also don't buy too much fruit juices, mostly because they are loaded with sugar. We love orange juice at our house.

I have to admit, we don't eat as much fruits as I would like. My 2nd daughter is allergic to most fruits and vegetables and its hard to keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand when I only go to the store twice a month. I like to take $5-$10 and hit the Farmer's Market every week or so and I hope next summer I can have my garden in full force (we have neighborhood cats which like to dig up gardens). 

Other ways I save money include using cloth diapers.  I have the same diapers from when I started cloth diapering Bmy 2nd daughter so I really save money every time I use a cloth diaper instead of a disposable.  I nurse into toddler hood.  We couldn't afford formula right now. Plus it saves on co-pays to dr. offices.

We bargain prices at most places. Even Sears you can get bargain prices.  We got a new TV earlier this year and Jeff bargained to get the floor model. We research prices before we set foot in a store. We recently got a 2003 Dodge Caravan Minivan for $6000. Don't be afraid to walk out if you don't get the price you want. It's a lot harder to do it in person but its so worth it when you get a good deal.

Look around your house and sell what you can on craigslist or local new stations websites which have free classifieds. Not only will you have some extra cash but you will declutter your house. I just got rid of all our baby stuff.  Also buying stuff used has been nice. We got a super nice bed for my 3 year old of off Craigslist for super cheap.

I believe in good karma(blessings). So de junk your house. Most people can get rid of 1/2 the clothes in their closest. Make a big donation day to your local thrift store and you will receive good karma or blessings. De junking your house always feels good.

I try to hit Target, Old navy and other stores at the end of the season when they have 75% off. I pick up clothes for the next year.

One year I bought Christmas gifts for the next year right after Christmas. It was great since so many toys were clearanced. We also bought Christmas Decor after Christmas. We have a bunch of wrapping paper that only cost pennies. I hope to do that again this year. It helps when I have a daughter who has a January birthday.

For Phone service we use Magic Jack.  It's less then $20 for a whole year. It's nice not having a bill each month for phone service. We used to not have a land line but we our babysitters needed a way to contact us in case of anything.

OK so to be fair, I have to admit to stuff I don't save money on and the biggest one is getting my hair cut and colored. But to be fair, I kind of have to keep up in that area because I do go on regular auditions for acting. I'm not going to lie, it's expensive to keep up.  However, I do use a nail school to get my nails done. $15  for a full pedicure!!

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