Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Penny Pinching Preparation for the Holidays

Halloween has yet to come and I'm already thinking of Christmas. Ive been gathering Christmas decorations for over a month now and hiding them in my room.  I just love vintage Christmas decorations but they are hard to come by.  So as I rummage through thrift shops I always keep my eyes open for beautiful things to bring home. These things have been around for generations and will continue to do so in our home. Not only does this put a smile on my face but they also don't break our bank. Woot!

Ive learned over the years that it doesn't take much to save money.  There are little things you can do to save some big cash. You can start saving on your grocery, electric, gas and household bills even with only a months time. True you only save a tiny bit with each tip. But remember that small change adds up to big savings. If you want to keep saving money just keep going with the tips and enjoy keeping your money in your pocket. Don't forget that these things are also helping your mother earth. Come be a penny pinching santa with me!

One easy thing you can do it stop using disposable napkins, utensils and plates. What a waste of money and trees.  Once you use them you toss them in your laundry. I also use these to wrap my daughters sandwiches in their lunches. There is a commercial on TV that shows a mom getting grossed out by having to use a fabric towel. How is having to go buy paper towels just to throw them away any easier than just using a fabric towel and washing it? Why don't you just go throw your money away? Goodness don't get me started on that subject!  While your at it stop buying anything disposable. Seriously get smart and stop throwing your money away.  This tip alone will save you over $100 each year.

One thing that has saved me $24 a year is not buying any shaving cream anymore.  Remember that thing your grandmother had in her bathroom sink? That square slimy thing? Yeah its called a bar of soap. It's pretty simple actually.  No packaging, no plastic involved and it last a long time if you take care of it.  I would suggest a soap holder with holes for air circulation.  Keep your bar dry when not in use and your soap will last a long time.  Instead of grabbing your shaving cream try grabbing a bar of soap and getting a good lather going.  Apply the same way you would your cream and shave away. Using a bar of soap also saves you from having to scrub your tub so much.  Shaving creams are filled with so many oils that stick to the side of your tub and leave a ring. Not with soap!  You can use the soap to wash your tub too! Some even use soap to wash their hair. Shut the front door! Its true.  Seriously stop buying shaving cream!

Another great way to save money is making your own medicine.  Obviously go to the doctor if you have something more than just a simple cough.  But for the regular old yucky cold this will do the trick.  You can make your own cough syrup easily. Even just some chamomile tea with honey will do the trick.  For a nasty cough sprinkle some cayenne pepper to quiet it. Works every time. And yes even my daughters will drink these.  Each time your kids get a cold you will save yourself  $5 by just making it yourself.  This tea my friend Tamara Rubin gave me Marshall's Farm Natural Honey and its her moms company. So if your from California keep an eye out for it. Taste amazing!

Good old vinegar has numerous uses for the home.  Stop buying cleaners and use a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% vinegar.  Use just like you would any cleaner.  Don't worry about the smell because after a few minutes it goes away.  I also use a 50/50 combo of water/vinegar in my carpet cleaning machine. Vinegar gets rid of any smells and cleans so well. 

Did you know that many stores pay you to bring your own bags? Yep! Bring your own bags and you get a few pennies off your bill for each bag you bring.  These pennies add up! Woot for no more plastic bags!!!! This tip alone would make Beth Terry a very very happy lady. This is my milk crate full of bags I have bought or I received for free from stores.  Don't forget to wash them once a week to keep them clean.  Just let them air dry.  If you master this tip try reusing containers in the bulk section.  For example I have a plastic container for liquid amino's that I wash when it runs out and then refill at the store.  I also use fabric bags for my produce and dried bulk foods.  You can bring your own glass container for things like flour/sugar but remember to bring it to the cashier to weigh before you fill it. Master that and you are one hard core green super hero!

Ever heard of DIY? Do it yourself is what it means. Instead of buying prepackaged foods you just add water to how about making it yourself?  Google what ever you want to make and find any recipe for any meal.  Not only will you save money but you will also keep preservatives, BPA and plastic out of your food and body. Woot! You simply cannot go wrong with homemade. 

Think you can master these simple tips? Then be hard core and enjoy these helpful tips from my older post and fellow bloggers. You can thank me later!

Lisa Sharp from Retro housewife Goes Green has some money saving food tips, homemade shower spray, homemade chocolate syrup and she can even save you money on your period

Amity Hook-Sopko from Green Gifts Guide has a great post on planning your holiday with less stress.  Look for her Holiday Budget Worksheet!

I also have another great post on steps to stop throwing your money away. It's packed with things you need to stop buying and I share with you so many things you can make yourself. 

You might also enjoy these:

DIY Mint Tea
DIY Chai Tea
DIY Banana Carrot Muffins
DIY Ketchup
DIY Beans
DIY Liquid Laundry Soap
Pack a waste free lunch

Save on your energy bill by heading over to The Crunchy Chicken or sign  up for her Freeze Yer Buns Challenge on Facebook. I do this every year!

Good Girl Gone Green shows you how to use your water responsibly and how to conserve water. She also has a great post about 10+ ways you can conserve energy.  See you can save money just about anywhere!

Condo Blues has a whole section on reducing your household energy up to 15%. Now thats sweet savings!

Make sure to come back and visit this page. I will continue to add on links as my amazing blogger friends share them with me. Saving $$ can be fun and its a never ending process.  Even I still learn new ways!

I just wrote a great post on gathering Free and Frugal Firewood.

Celebrate Green Blog helps you cut back on food waste.

Jen and Joey Go Green-
Water Conservation
Energy Conservation
Stopping those household drafts

naturemomsblog with 30 ways to save money, conserve energy and stay warm this winter.


Lisa Sharp said...

As we have talked about, I'm obsessed with Christmas so I understand thinking about Christmas early. :)

These are great tips! Thanks for sharing some of my links as well.

I Thought I Knew Mama said...

Great tips! I haven't bought shaving cream in forever. Dr. Bronner's works great as a shaving base :-)