I cannot believe it’s time for our Simple Savings for October update already. If you’re new to our Simple Savings post, this is where I share all (or all that I can remember) the things we did to save money the previous month. These are usually very simple things and yet when you add them up, they can make or break your budget.
But here’s the deal, the things I share are things we’ve done, not things I think everyone should do. You’ll also notice that we do some of the same simple things each month to save money, nothing super exciting, just little things that help us out. You’ll also notice that there are some frugal things that we don’t do, or at least don’t do every month. Sometimes there is a time/money trade off and saving time wins out.
I hope you’ll be inspired to look for simple ways to save money in your life and share some of those things with others and in the comments of these posts.
I broke our glass dishsoap pump for our bathroom (I know, not very frugal). When I looked at the store the cheapest one I could find that I liked was $12! That ‘s crazy. I’ve seen people use mason jars, so I decided that’s what we would do. I asked Gabriel to drill a hole in the lid of a mason jar that was just big enough to fit the pump from the broken container. I had to cut the straw part just a little so it would fit in the jar but it works great.
I gave Carl, Gabriel and Benjamin hair cuts, this alone saves us about $350 a year.
I made a 5 gallon batch of liquid laundry soap. There are many recipes floating around the internet and I’m sure they are all equally good, the one I use is published in Taming the Laundry Monster.
We planted more seeds for the fall and winter garden. The lettuce is doing really well, so I’m hoping I won’t need to purchase lettuce again until mid March. The other greens are doing pretty good, too.
And how is our Attic Foil doing? Well, the average temperature in October 2013 for our city was 74ºF for this October it was 76ºF and we used almost 200 kwh less this October than we did last October. I’m getting more and more excited to see how this stuff will work in the heat of the summer for us.
Carl, Gabriel and Benjamin changed the oil in both cars this month.
Phoebe needed a silent auction item for an event with the dance company she’s in. I asked a friend, Sara from Vela Farms, if she wanted to donate something to support the comany. To my delight she said yes. It’s a great opportunity for her too, as most of the people who attend this function are people who support the arts in our area a(nd usually have a little more discretionary income that some of us). Sara makes gourmet jams, jellies and seasoned salts and was recently a finalist in a competition our local grocery store had. So, they’ll start carrying her products – like Texas Sweet Tea Jelly, Strawberry Balsamic Serano Jam and Habanero Sea Salt.
A friend called me the last day of the month to tell me that the church that has a pumpkin patch each year had a lot of pumpkins left over and that I could get as many as I wanted for a donation. We were going to town anyway, so we stopped by and got 9 pumpkins of various sizes for $20, we also took a few fall photos. Now, before you think I took advantage of the situation, I asked what they do with all the left overs and was told that some go the local food banks and whatever is left at the end of the day gets thrown away.
In the food department, I made a quadrupal batch of granola for snacks and a couple of big pots of beans to use for burritos and taco soup. I also got 8 cans of black olives for .39 a can. I don’t do a lot of coupon/drug store shopping but black olives are something that we use each week for our homemade pizza night. I know that Walgreens will have them for .99 a can every month or so, so when I’m down to my last 2 cans I check out the Sunday ad and then log into my Lindsay Olives account and can usually get a $1 off 2 coupon. This month they had them for .89 so after the coupon they were .39 each. This is enough to last us 5-6 months.
We’ve started working on our handmade Christmas gifts. We don’t only give handmade gifts, even so, this is a huge money saver for us.
We said “no” to a few things, so that we could say “yes” to things that are really more important. And at the time, it was a bummer we had to say ‘no”, but today I’m really glad we did.
So, now it’s your turn. What are some simple things you did last month to save money?