Category Archives: Homesteading

36 Clever Ways to Pinch Pennies

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  1. Lower water heater from a standard 140-150 degrees to 115-120 degrees
  2. Turn off extra rinse cycle while washing clothes
  3. Turn off heated dry on the dishwasher.  I wash at night, open the door, pull out the first tray and let air dry overnight.
  4. I make my own laundry detergent
  5. I make all my own household cleaners
  6. I love to cook! I grow my own herbs
  7. I sprout certain veggies like scallions, and celery.  Just save the ends, pop in an inch of water and in days they regrow!
  8. I unplug everything except my big tv
  9. I keep my thermostat at 85 when I am not home and keep both bedroom doors closed
  10. I have dark curtains so my home stays cooler during the summer
  11. I use used dryer sheets to dust
  12. I reuse grocery bags, onion bags, bread bags, and cereal bags
  13. I save condiments and silverware from takeout in case I run out of something
  14. If I go to a fast food place I will always grab extra sauces and ketchup which are great for my son’s school lunches or food on the go
  15. I have a 6 light vanity in my bathroom.  I took out all bulbs except one.  Who needs all that light?  you pay for it!
  16. I have soda bottles in both toilet tanks to displace the water and lower my consumption when flushing.
  17. I reuse containers such as butter, cottage cheese, or sauce/pickle jars.  They make excellent makeshift Tupperware
  18. I have a change jar that my son likes to cash in for treats like the $1 theater or ice cream.  It’s mainly always pennies we find and save
  19. I use money-saving apps on my phone
  20. I make butter
  21. I make yogurt
  22. I make cheese
  23. I make granola
  24. I make fabreeze
  25. I keep my heat low in the winter around 65 and will use a small office space heater and put in front of the couch or where we are laying.  It heats up my entire livingroom and all I do is shut doors.  I live in 890sqft so this works!
  26. I shop garage sales, flea markets, and Goodwill.  My favs are also Marshalls and Ross
  27. I coupon for everything!
  28. I watch my gas consumption
  29. I always shop my services.  I pay for internet and electricity.  I will call every quarter especially around the new year and ask if there are lower rates in my area or any promotions I qualify for.  They won’t offer the information, you have to ask.
  30. I live by a budget which is in 2 parts as I get paid twice a month.  I use MINT.com for my financial needs
  31. My sons on medicine for ADHD so I looked for an online coupon or manufacturers coupon to cut the cost.  I make too much money to qualify for free drug through a manufacturer or any assistance programs.  By using such a coupon without using my insurance makes his medicine $77 versus $149 going through my insurance.
  32. I dont have cable!  I use Netflix instead.
  33. I search online for free Redbox promo codes, so often I get free movies before they are released to Netflix.
  34. I use a dollar movie theater with second run movies.  These movies are in this theater after their time has run out of the major theaters.  You wait a month or two longer, but it is worth saving the $10-$12/person. Their mattinee is $1.60/person or $1 on Tuesdays.
  35. I take advantage of free breakfasts at the end of the school year.  Often times schools will over purchase food based on the number of students enrolled.  But this doesn’t mean students will purchase especially seeming its almost the cost of lunch.  After January, the schools have all this overage so they offer free breakfast to get rid of their excess.  This saves on my grocery bills as my son can eat breakfast at school
  36. I belong to every free rewards card, email list for restaurants, or mailing lists for stores.  I always get coupons, free appetizers, free food or dessert, and even coupons you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Out of Hiding

Hello there! I am finally out of hiding from the holidays and chaos! I did a ton of bargain shopping over the holidays too. I scored big deals on little things at the Dollar Stores in my area which are about four different chains. Plus I ordered alot online using promo codes and free shipping to my family back home.

Overall, a typical Christmas would cost me about $1000-1500, but then again I was married. Now, as a single mom again I spent about $400!  Im happy with that. My son was even happier! I opted for going out for breakfast instead of cooking a huge meal for just the two of us. All in all….I had a good holiday.

Even better………my divorce was final December 18th. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!

Pressure!

I love my showers water pressure. But in doing some research on how to further save money, I came across the idea of a low flow shower head. Now the average shower head uses 2.5 gal/min while a low flow shower head uses between 1.5-2 gal/min. This clearly can save on my water bill as well as turning down my water heater for a combined significant reduction in costs.

What is your opinion on getting a low flow shower head and have you used one? Which ones have you tried?

Useful Tips top Save on Gas

I was searching Facebook today and came across a post with VERY useful tips about saving at the pump!

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening…your gallon is not exactly a gallon.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

Blackout Drapes: Save on Electricity!

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So in researching ways I can save money on my energy bill I came across people mentioning blackout drapes. Now I live in an apartment approx. 890 sqft and two rooms are VERY sunny! Not to mention I’m in Texas where the heat will kill ya. I have branchy trees in front of my windows, a nice view and always kept sheer curtains and my blinds open to enjoy the view. MISTAKE!!

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve been wasting so much money and it really bothers me. So my next triumph is to purchase blackout drapes. Walmart has what appears to be nice ones on their website. They are advertised as energy efficient and are sold by the panel. Upon further reading I discovered they have bundles!! Normally $9.97/panel, buy a bundle of 4 panels and save $5.00.

I know where I’m going this weekend! Two rooms, two colors, save $5 and save on my monthly bill too…..can’t get better than that! 🙂