Welcome to the first Simple Savings post. In this series we’re going to share the simple ways we save money each month . I’m so excited about starting this series because I truly believe that it is possible to live a very full and rich life and still be very frugal. I also believe that the struggle to stay within a budget is won and lost over the little things we chose or chose not to do.
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.
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We started harvesting our sweet potatoes. These were grown from some slips that came up from last year’s harvest. These are our prettiest sweet potatoes ever.
Not only did we harvest the sweet potatoes, we harvested the leaves. I took several vines and planted them in a container to overwinter in our local feed store so it will be great if we don’t have to buy any next year. We also dehydrated some of the leaves for a green powder for smoothies. We also sauted some and froze them. I’ll use these in soups and lasagna. Our other greens are not ready to harvest so this will hold us over until they are.
We planted most of our fall/winter garden this month. We planted lettuce and other salad greens, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, chinese cabbage, head cabbage, carrots and beets.
I cut five heads of hair. Before you think I’m some kind of beautician disguising as a homesteader, let me assure you I’m not. When Carl and I first got married a friend who was a barber gave me a few lessons on cutting Carl’s hair. So, each month for 23 years I’ve cut Carl’s hair. His hair is pretty wavy so if that helps cover up any minor errors. When my kids started needing haircuts there was no way I was going to spend $10+ per child to get their hair cut, so I checked out books and videos (as in VHS) from the library and learned. You can watch this You Tube video instead of going to the library. It really is easy with clippers. I no longer cut Josiah’s hair, he happily spends his money at Sports Clips to get a professional job, since my styling ability is somewhat limited. Phoebe and Esther both got a trim. Phoebe and I get a “real” hair cut about once a year. A couple of times a year, I trim her hair and she trims mine. If you have medium to long wavy hair and want to try cutting you own hair, you need to check out this post from Spring Mountain Living.And just so you know that we don’t look like we all have home cut hair, you can see our family photo on our about page.
At the end of August we installed AtticFoil Radiant Barrier in our attic. The purpose of the foil is to help reduce our energy costs. Since we live in an area that has very mild winters (but hot summers) I’m not expecting to see much difference in our electric bill until May. The average temperature was one degree more this past month than it was for the same billing cycle last year and yet we used 235 kWh less. You can read our installation post here.
We used ShoeGoo on a pair of sneakers to get a little more life out of them.
I started using dishpans in my kitchen sinks to wash and rinse dishes. We then use this water to water our front flower beds. Since we’re on well water, it probably doesn’t save us much (if any) money, but it helps keep gray water out of our septic and this way I make sure to water my flower beds. We use our washing machine water to water our side yard and our citrus trees.
I made sure to put something in the crockpot on Wednesday afternoons for when we get home from AWANA/youth group, to resist the temptation of grabbing pizza.
I made Sausage, Potato and Kale soup (recipe to come next week) but the kale isn’t ready so I cut some moringa leaves to put in the soup instead. It turned out great. I also made a quadruple batch of granola and a huge pot of beans.
I repaired a couple of pair of pajama pants and re-sewed buttons on two shirts.
I bought 40 reusable plastic cups (gasp, I know, plastic) for us to use when we have people over, which is several times a month. The sides are smoothe and we can write names on them with a sharpie and it washes right off. The cups were on clearance for .05 a piece.
We got a box in the mail that had biodegradable packing peanuts in it. I showed Esther how to wet the ends of the peanuts so she could build with them. It really is the simple things that make life fun!.
I whitened some undershirts, socks and a set of sheets with White Brite. I could go broke buying undershirts and socks so this is my trick to keeping them looking good.
We sold a few things on Ebay that we no longer needed.
Your turn…what simple things did you do to save money?
This post is shared at Frugal Friday,