Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thrift Talk 4

Around the House:

There are many ways to save money with everyday household tasks. Here is an example of a frugal mom who makes her own household cleaners for just pennies.

And here is a list of some other ways we save too:

1. We use simple Ivory bar soap for bathing and washing clothes.
2. We don't buy paper products (except toilet paper) but use cloth napkins and rags, etc. instead. Some people use cloths instead of toilet paper, but we're not there yet.
3. For handwashing dishes, I use Seventh Generation dishwashing liquid. This may not seem like a money saver, since one bottle costs 3 times as much as your toxic dollar store variety, but it lasts 3 times as long! It is very concentrated, and, best of all, won't poison the earth and is far gentler on my hands than the cheap brands. If you have a dishwasher, here is a cheap alternative to the bleach based detergents on the market.
4. For other household cleaning, I use mostly baking soda and white vinegar. Vinegar makes a good disinfectant spray and baking soda will clean most surfaces.
5. Make dust mitts or cloths from old felted wool sweaters found at thrift stores. They work great! I usually have plenty of scraps left over after making diaper cover pants with the sleeves, and shorts with the front and back. From 1 sweater I can get 1 pair of long pants, 2 shorts and several dusters.

And here are some other random ways we get by on the cheap:

We save gas by combining trips and not going far from home, nor going out very often.
2. We drive an old car, so no payments there. It helps to have a husband who is mechanically savvy, too! He can fix just about anything, and if he doesn't know how, he'll search the web, call his father, etc. till he figures it out. That goes for home maintenance as well.
3. Speaking of the web, it supplies most of our home school materials, diy info and entertainment, so it more than pays for itself. The library is also a great resource.
4. We cut our own hair.
5. We get most of our clothing and shoes from thrift stores and factory seconds, and wear them till they are worn out. T-shirts then get recycled into diapers.
6. Using cloth diapers some or most of the time saves a lot of money!
7. Diy health care! Staying away from processed food and conventional medical practice is the best way to stay healthy in my opinion (and experience- I can share some stories). We treat our illnesses at home using vitamins and herbs, but mostly through preventative nutrition. This approach takes constant study and research, but it really pays off. I can see us in the future seeing a chiropractor or other alternative practitioner, but so far, by God's grace, we've lived a pretty happy, healthy life without them. I mentioned it here because this approach does save money, but our family's health is the primary objective.
8. We have our babies at home unassisted! The total cost of materials, including an inflatable birthing pool, is less than $100. But again, our family's health and safety are top priority, and we would not hesitate to use emergency medical care if the need arose. But we believe that birth is as natural and normal as breathing, digestion and making love, requiring no more interference in a healthy person than these other bodily motions. It's not for everyone, but when I was pregnant with our second child, I knew without a doubt it was for me.
9.We like to make gifts for Christmas, etc. Like this one!

What are some ways you save money around the house, or wherever?


Anonymous said...

I know you hang your clothes out on the line instead of using a clothes dryer. I use to love how nice and white my diapers would get after hanging a few hours in the sun.The diapers weren't super soft but I found as you folded them as rubbed your hand across them they would soften up. It would seem whenever I used paper diapers the kids would get the rash. The sun also kills the germs. Hanging clothes out was and is my favorite household chore. I don't have as much to hang as I use to. Back in the days I would take in one load and have another up several times in a row, daily. It was one of the jobs that gets you out of the house and I loved it!
The one negative thing about this clothes drying method... you have to check the clothes for bees or wasps. We have had a few experiences with those in the clothes.
I am sure this saved us money over the years as dryers use so much electricity.
Mom Harding

Sara said...

Hanging the clothes out is one of my preferred chores too. It can be so relaxing, especially this time of year when it's not too hot, and the air is laden with the scent of honeysuckle blooming everywhere....
Yes, I've had episodes with bees, like the time I had taken down the laundry and left the basket in our room, and later a pair of Luke's boxers started buzzing loudly!
It's been a bit of a challenge with all the rain we've been having, but I think I managed to only use the dryer 3 or 4 times in the past month. Which is a good thing. The cost of our power has gone up 40% in the last year! And that's not a guess, I did the math.