2. Vegetable Garden. Grow your own food can be so rewarding. Not only can you eat fresh produce each day, but you can freeze and dehydrate for later use. This way you can enjoy pumpkin cookies, vegetable soup, or zucchini muffins all year long. Plus it wont cost you a penny! Another good thing I do is give extra produce to my neighbors. I always have a plant that just goes nuts so I am happy to give away things. Helps them save money too.
3. Samples samples samples. These are great because they are free! Also you can use them when you travel. I get so many sanitary napkins and tampons in the mail that I rarely have to buy any. Plus if I do have to buy them, I always have a coupon (came with sample) and get them for cheap! Plus you get to try products without spending the money. No more frustrations of buying a large box of something and not end up liking them and having to use it up anyways because you paid for it.
4. Free TV. No cable bills come to our house so we save at least $50 each month by just watching regular TV. Now days you get about 20 channels including a 24 hr kids channel. We no longer feel the need to watch TV because were paying for it. Now we just turn it off, read a book or get yard work done.
5. Annual clothing bill for a family of 6 $100. How you may ask? About 2-3 times a year I go to my local Goodwill Outlet and buy about 50lbs of clothes. Cost me about $35 each visit. I get clothes, kitchen items, shoe's, and just about everything you can imagine. Throughout the year I give our clothes to friends and family and they do the same in return. So we constantly have clothing and shoes coming our way. These are all FREE! Rarely do we ever buy anything new. Just undergarments and socks are bought new. You wouldn't tell by looking at us though. These days you can find any name brand used.
6. Free Movies. Red box and a few others are now having free movie codes. These are great for us because we just would never go to the movies and pay $40 for the family to see it. This way we can run up and get a movie and make homemade popcorn. My girls get their movie pillow and blankets (they made each other for Christmas) and change into pj's. Comfy time watching a movie is the best.
7. Making food from scratch. I feel so good about cooking healthy for my family. I buy bulk food (super cheap) and make grandma family style meals for my family. Each recipe I try to make healthy. Cut out half sugar with all natural apple sauce. Cut out half the butter with yogurt. Add ground flax seed to all baked goods. And not only am I cooking healthy food for my family, I'm saving a ton by doing it myself. Plus our food isn't filled with preservatives. All food is fresh from local farmers. You get the idea.
8. Candles candles candles. No air freshener sprays or carpet powders in my home. We are allergic to all of these and my daughters get nose bleeds from them. My way of getting around this is to buy candles. I get candles all year round for super cheap. After each season I watch for name brand good quality candles to be on sale. When they hit almost free, I stock them up. Right now I'm burning Yankee fall candles in a cute turkey tea light holder I bought for $1 each (crazy deal! ) about 5 months ago. Just saw them for $9.99 each at the same store. They burn any smells that might be lingering and freshen up my home.
9. No clutter. I know have no clutter in my home annoying me. Since Ive became very frugal, I have given away most things that I do not use. I think before I buy anything "Do I really need this?" and the answer is usually no.
10. No toxins in my home. I have no toxic cleaners in my home, I use no toxic plastics or metals, and I think "green" when I buy. I try to buy recycled products, gifts, and everyday items. If its toxic in any way, its out of my home. Out with the zip lock, aluminum foil and plastic wrap. I feel good about my kids and the environment they live in.
11. Family time. Instead of going to some pay to entertain place (arcade, air filled slides, etc.) we choose to go somewhere in nature. From the beach, to a park, to the school down the street. Not only is this getting us lots of family time, but its saving us a bundle. We try to find local places so we don't have to spend a ton of money on gas. Plus I pack our lunch and or snacks. This alone saves us a bundle. Finding local healthy places is not easy so I usually pack it. This way I control how much sugar and healthy food we eat.
12. Packing a lunch. I pack my girls each day full of healthy food they love. From salads, to peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Our cherry tomato's, raw green beans, lemon cucumbers or carrots from the garden. And a surprise treat usually consist of a cookie Ive made or fruit salad. I also get request of tortilla soup or black bean soup. What? Soups? Yes my kids love them. I enjoy making them a lunch they look forward to eating. This also saves me a bundle.
13. Saving money. I get a kick out of saving 50% more off my bill. I even keep the recipe for a day or two so I can gloat to myself. Its kinda a sickness if you think about it. lol. My husband even comes home and tells me his good deals. I get so proud! I get so excited about any little savings I get. From buying local, from the market, from our local store to even online sales. Currently I bought a pair of undies and a tote from Victoria's secret for only $2.99 shipped to my house. Cant wait for those to arrive! See what I mean?
14. Free things. I find things free at garage sales, on the side of the road (seriously..found some good stuff this way) to friends giving us things. Just received a great wooden corner shelf for free from a friend who lives by us. Just gonna paint it and its perfect. FREE! Needed a wagon to let my twins ride in when we get my daughter from school. My neighbor had a old (very very old) red metal wagon that just needed some cleaning and oil. Perfect! And it was free. If I need anything I let all my friends and family know I'm on the hunt for it and will take anything for free. Just the other day my next door neighbor gave me hanging pots with the moss too. I keep an eye out for friends and family as well.
15. Mrs.Fix it. Yes that what I am now. Instead of just throwing something away, I try to fix it no matter what. I'm testing duct tape on my plastic laundry basket right now. I'm awaiting a good deal on a wooden basket so until then, this one is gonna have to do. Taped it up and looks good so far. We will see. Our fence is very very old and falling down. Instead of buying a new one, were going to replace all post and reuse all the old slats. This will save us a ton of money. My husband is pretty creative too so between the two of us were good.
16. Free printer paper. All 8x11 paper with one blank side that comes my way is reused in our printer. All school papers, junk mail, etc. This alone saves us a bundle.
17. Free snack/book time for my children. Barns and noble has children reading times for free each week in their stores. For 30 minutes my children get to listen to a few books being read, craft time and a free snack. Plus my girls get to wander around with me looking at all the great books. They love looking at all the colorful books and the current seasons new books out. Check their website for a store near you and their schedule.
18. Free daycare. Well almost free. I live in a cult a sack and there are 3 other families with children. During the summer we alternated between houses play dates. 2 moms would watch the others children for 2 hours. Those moms were free to go run errands. This gave us each time to get stuff done or groceries bought with no children distracting us. In return we would watch their children. Free for sure but you would need to return the favor. Now that school is in we do play dates and each week we have a smores night. Last night the kids played while the adults chatted. They supplied smores and I supplied fresh cantaloupe and tomato's from my garden along with fresh pumpkin cookies. Win win situation!
19. Sacrifices. Yes even those can be loved. We moved from a almost new home twice the size as this home. But we were unhappy. It never felt like home. Just felt like a in between home. We don't own any brand new furniture or anything so our belongings were kinda out of place. We decided to find a home we loved and move. We we sold our almost new home and bought a almost 50 yr old home half the size and never updated so we could be in a neighborhood we loved and dreamed about. And guess what? We love all those old details and probably wont change them. Old harvest gold counters are growing on me. Old faux marble bathroom counters and wall are looking pretty nice now. This house was built to last forever unlike the newer homes. No more extra goodies when I went grocery shopping. Mortgage was higher in our new old house. We keep thinking about how lucky we are instead of I wish I had this or that. Its the sacrifices we do that keep us in check.
20. Money in our pocket. Saving money by being frugal has helped us have some green left over in our wallets. Were able to own some duplex's/property, our 2 vehicles are paid off, we have no visa bills, and have no people calling us asking for money for unpaid bills. We also are so much happier now that we live in our home. When I say "home" I really mean this place feels like home. I have a healthy and happy family. What more could I ask for?