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View Full Version : 2011 Frugal Living Challenge! - Week 15 Challenge Posted in #222!



MoneySavinDiva
12-30-2010, 06:49:33 PM
I know we all need to save some money (that's why we're here, right? :wink7:). So I thought it would be fun to challenge ourselves to be more frugal in 2011.

Rather than just trying to implement all sorts of new frugal ideas at once, and then eventually fizzling out, I thought it would be fun to have an accountability thread here, where we will try a new frugal tip each week and then report back to each other on how it's going.

Each week, I'll suggest a new frugal tip. Each of us will work to implement that tip into our lives in effort to save more money in 2011! If you already do that frugal tip for the week, that's great - let us know how it works for you! At the end of the week we can report back to let each other know how it's going. We can also let each other know if we've noticed a savings at all!

I think this will be a fun way to implement all those great frugal living tips that are out there!!

So who's in with me? :wavehi:


Weekly Challenges

Week 1 - Reduce your electric bill by turning things off & evaluating your usage!
Week 2 - Reduce your water bill by conserving your water usage!
Week 3 - Menu Plan!
Week 4 - Work on reducing your food waste!
Week 5 - Embrace your library and all of it's FREE resources!!
Week 6 - Make something from scratch that you would typically purchase pre packaged!
Week 7 - Reduce/Eliminate Paper towel and Swiffer pad usage!
Week 8 - Sign up for freebies you can use!
Week 9 - Plan a FREE fun/date night!
Week 10 - Find ways to reduce your gas costs!!
Week 11 - Use your crockpot!
Week 12 - Make your own broth/stock!
Week 13 - Make your own "canned" beans!
Week 14 - Cut your dryer sheets in halves or thirds!
Week 15 - Think about what you're doing that may be saving you money now - but will actually cost you money in the long run.

VivaciousJewelz
12-30-2010, 07:04:36 PM
Me! Awesome idea!!

KRP1981
12-30-2010, 07:10:13 PM
count me in! :)

tonyarn
12-30-2010, 07:28:13 PM
Me!

faeryedark
12-30-2010, 07:30:27 PM
cool

skimo
12-30-2010, 07:41:03 PM
I'm in.......

pkchicken
12-30-2010, 08:51:18 PM
Me likkie!!!

Frugal is my middle name!
Well.....beside my Disney trip splurges!!
But Hey! That's why I get to go!

Count me in!

pk

dliver316
12-30-2010, 08:57:12 PM
I love the idea! I will be joining...except of course on dont use paper towels week ( I am in love with Viva :wink7:)

kimandkathess
12-30-2010, 09:00:11 PM
I love challenges!!! I keeps my mind from wandering anyway! I am in.

Niddi
12-30-2010, 09:34:05 PM
I'm in, would love to learn some more frugal tips.

MoneySavinDiva
01-02-2011, 01:05:39 PM
Okay! It's time for our first weekly challenge!

This week, let's focus on lowering our electric bills! Some things to focus on are...

- shutting off the lights as you leave a room
- "concentrated" lighting...if you are the only one in a room, try using just a lamp rather than the overhead light or the overhead light AND a lamp
- Unplugging all of those phantom energy suckers! Unplug the microwave, coffee maker, toaster, computer, tv, etc. when not in use. If you have a power strip on hand, use it to plug in several things and then just flip the switch when you're done using it!

Good luck! Please let us know how it's going for you, and if you have any suggestions to add to the list!

momof2inohio
01-02-2011, 01:19:32 PM
I'm in!!

skimo
01-02-2011, 01:20:51 PM
Okay! It's time for our first weekly challenge!

This week, let's focus on lowering our electric bills! Some things to focus on are...

- shutting off the lights as you leave a room
- "concentrated" lighting...if you are the only one in a room, try using just a lamp rather than the overhead light or the overhead light AND a lamp
- Unplugging all of those phantom energy suckers! Unplug the microwave, coffee maker, toaster, computer, tv, etc. when not in use. If you have a power strip on hand, use it to plug in several things and then just flip the switch when you're done using it!

Good luck! Please let us know how it's going for you, and if you have any suggestions to add to the list!


:BigHand:Okay...here we go.....Kids left the TV on and ran outside to play, so I'll shut that down and unplug the microwave. Nothing else I can think of to do.....

Shelly527IN
01-02-2011, 01:29:23 PM
I'm in! I've been slacking on unplugging things, so I need to get back on track.

kimandkathess
01-02-2011, 02:03:50 PM
well i do that already, i just have to get my kids to help me out!

I have a "frugal" tip for everyone:
Say no to something that you want today, because by tomorrow, you probably wont want it and you will save the money and the space!

Smee
01-02-2011, 02:14:08 PM
In addition to unplugging things, flip the breaker to appliances not in use if you can. Stove, washer, dryer, dishwasher, water heater, etc. It's just a matter of developing a routine, and it's as easy as flipping a switch. It made a significant difference in our power bill.

cody82414
01-02-2011, 03:11:07 PM
I just want to chime in with my results.
I started unplugging last month and got the bill yesterday.

Our usage from last year went from 60.5 KWH
to 39.9 this year
:BigHand:

momof2inohio
01-02-2011, 03:24:18 PM
I unplugged the toaster, coffee maker and blender. Also turned off power to all of power cords.

ELLE-TN
01-02-2011, 03:31:24 PM
[QUOTE=kimandkathess;2727737]well i do that already, i just have to get my kids to help me out!

I have a "frugal" tip for everyone:
Say no to something that you want today, because by tomorrow, you probably wont want it and you will save the money and the space![QUOTE]


best tip ever:BigHand:

gatosqueak
01-03-2011, 07:36:02 AM
Okay! It's time for our first weekly challenge!

- shutting off the lights as you leave a room
- "concentrated" lighting...if you are the only one in a room, try using just a lamp rather than the overhead light or the overhead light AND a lamp
- Unplugging all of those phantom energy suckers! Unplug the microwave, coffee maker, toaster, computer, tv, etc. when not in use. If you have a power strip on hand, use it to plug in several things and then just flip the switch when you're done using it!

We have TV/video game consoles plugged into a power strip.. I will try and remember to disconnect before we go to work. And I think we can fit the phone chargers on there too! That would help a lot. My husband leaves hallway bathroom and fan on. Will add those to turn off as well. :wavehi:

MoneySavinDiva
01-03-2011, 08:15:17 AM
I just want to chime in with my results.
I started unplugging last month and got the bill yesterday.

Our usage from last year went from 60.5 KWH
to 39.9 this year
:BigHand:

Thank you for sharing your results! This is great incentive! :BigHand:

kimandkathess
01-03-2011, 04:35:48 PM
Ok, I have a few tidbits of information for all of you.

Here is the definiation of a kilowatt-hour with an example:
kwh or kilowatt-hour The amount of electrical energy actually used over time. For example, ten 100-watt lamps when on for one hour consume 1000 watt-hours or 1 kilowatt-hour (kwh).
Here is a neat site I found that can tell you how much engergy something can use.
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/howmuch.html

Now i have a few questions for some of you.

Does anyone else have an electric company where one month they read and the other month they come out and read?
Mine does that. And they say if they estimate to high or low the one month they will "adjust accordinly" the following month. So if they estimate too high then the next month they will credit my account accordingly to show a lower bill and if they estimate too low they add the extra in on the following month.

My electric company said i use 2126 kwh from the middle of nov. to the middle of dec. Thats like me leaving on 10 of the 100 watt lamps on for 2,126 hrs straight. thats basically saying I am leaving on these 10 lamps for 88 days straight. I work my butt off turning things off! Didnt I do my math right??

Help??!!

kimandkathess
01-03-2011, 04:39:05 PM
if so...how on earth is cody using only 60 when i am using 2,126?

jenrose
01-03-2011, 04:56:04 PM
if so...how on earth is cody using only 60 when i am using 2,126?

Heat is usually the biggest expense if electric. Those with Gas/propane heat will have a lower electric bill. Also you can't just think about lights cause there are a million other things that take electricity to run.

kimandkathess
01-03-2011, 05:20:57 PM
I think I am going to make a list of everything in every room that is plugged in constantly. Then from there, decide what needs to be unplugged when not in use.

Right now heat is going a lot. Its ny and its about 20 degrees. I have a gas furnace but it is run with electricity.

I would LOVE to aim for a goal of $100 electic bill every month but the delivery charges alone are insane! My bill broke down like this.

Customer charge $21.38
Delivery charge $66.44
Transition charge nov -$5.77
Transition charge dec -$0.34
NY STate assestment $4.95
SBC/RPS Charge $9.99
Total deliver charge $96.65

Variable supply charge $101.84
Merchange funciton charge $4.95
Mechange function charge dec. $6.83
Total electricity supply charge $113.62

Taxes and misc charges: $12.53

Making my total bill $221.79! I hate delivery charges.

cody82414
01-03-2011, 06:10:26 PM
Heat is usually the biggest expense if electric. Those with Gas/propane heat will have a lower electric bill. Also you can't just think about lights cause there are a million other things that take electricity to run.

good point!
We spend over $2000+ a year on propane

kimandkathess
01-03-2011, 06:28:41 PM
I have a question. How does a surge protector save energy? I get that everything is plugged into one device and can be turned off. But even when a coffeepot or plug in light is plugged in but off, it still uses power. So how is a normal surge protector save energy if its still plugged in? Does it stop power from going through the cord of the surge protector when turned off....thus stopping the outlet from sucking any energy from the surge protector and everything plugged into it?

cody82414
01-04-2011, 12:23:24 PM
Got two more brags
(I'm so excited)

Just got my water bill
went from $52 to $34.
YIPPEEEEEEE.

Also,
I condensed my third freezer into the other two
so after two seasons of no deer meat
I unplugged the spare freezer:BigHand:

jenrose
01-04-2011, 12:29:41 PM
Got two more brags
(I'm so excited)

Just got my water bill
went from $52 to $34.
YIPPEEEEEEE.

Also,
I condensed my third freezer into the other two
so after two seasons of no deer meat
I unplugged the spare freezer:BigHand:

I bet being out of town for the holidays helped ya there. Great Job. My goal tonight is to clean out the small freezer and put it all into the bigger freezer so I can unplug that one. I currently have space in the big one so there's no sense in wasting the electricity.

And we are supposed to go pick up a ton of pellets tomorrow so I'll need to move the freezer to put those in there for now. :rolleyes24:

cody82414
01-04-2011, 12:46:47 PM
I bet being out of town for the holidays helped ya there. Great Job.

Yes, that,
plus I KNOW that the older boys spend lots of time in the shower
(if you know what I mean :rolleyes24:)

jenrose
01-04-2011, 12:50:30 PM
Yes, that,
plus I KNOW that the older boys spend lots of time in the shower
(if you know what I mean :rolleyes24:)

:hysterical9:

Goes along with your 'find' after the oldest moved out. :whistle67:

cody82414
01-04-2011, 01:05:21 PM
:hysterical9:

Goes along with your 'find' after the oldest moved out. :whistle67:

I'm too young for this stuff ya know :wink7:

VivaciousJewelz
01-04-2011, 01:23:15 PM
I think I missed something... :giggle2:

kimandkathess
01-04-2011, 03:45:34 PM
cody- do you get a water bill each month?

In our town we get one every 3 months. And they do a base rate. For a long time it was running around $125 for every three months now it has gone up to $160 for every three months. Basically we pay the base rate weather we use that amount or not. So as of right now I pay about $54 a month :sad3:


Got two more brags
(I'm so excited)

Just got my water bill
went from $52 to $34.
YIPPEEEEEEE.

Also,
I condensed my third freezer into the other two
so after two seasons of no deer meat
I unplugged the spare freezer:BigHand:

cody82414
01-04-2011, 03:57:01 PM
cody- do you get a water bill each month?

In our town we get one every 3 months. And they do a base rate. For a long time it was running around $125 for every three months now it has gone up to $160 for every three months. Basically we pay the base rate weather we use that amount or not. So as of right now I pay about $54 a month :sad3:
Yes, they come out once a month to read what we've used.
It really got so out of hand,
I finally decided to do something about it.
Demanded a new meter - inside the house
then started washing FULL loads
(I'm anal about this)
and got an HE washer
and lessened the length of showers
and put a water bottle with sand in each of the toilet bowls.

jenrose
01-04-2011, 04:25:21 PM
They read my meter every other month. They give us an estimated bill one month, then a real bill the next month. Drives me crazy! Especially since last month they came out to read and apparently it was covered with dirt so they just estimated again without saying anything and gave us a HUGE bill!

MoneySavinDiva
01-04-2011, 07:21:48 PM
cody- do you get a water bill each month?

In our town we get one every 3 months. And they do a base rate. For a long time it was running around $125 for every three months now it has gone up to $160 for every three months. Basically we pay the base rate weather we use that amount or not. So as of right now I pay about $54 a month :sad3:

Ours has really gone up quite a bit in the past year or so as well. We were being billed every other month, they just switched to monthly though, so I'll be watching like a HAWK!!

kimandkathess
01-05-2011, 09:17:36 AM
Grr...just got my water bill today....$182!

Zwella Ingrid
01-06-2011, 11:21:16 AM
I would like to join this challenge. I'm not sure how well we can do, but I want to try.

Shelly527IN
01-06-2011, 09:40:53 PM
Wow, after reading these posts, I'm glad I live where I do! Granted, it's just me, the pets and DBF now and then so my usage is lower. My normal utility bill in the winter (no A/C) is about $90 for electric, water, sewer and $15 trash pick up! It's kind of hard to get much lower unless I stop showering, and just sit in the dark.

katieyj
01-07-2011, 12:47:30 PM
I'm definately in on this one. Last weekend I started unplugging my computer, this isn't very scientific, but what I did was leave everything as is and counted how long it took for the meter to make one rotation. I started @ 16 seconds, after unplugging the PC it jumpted to 18 seconds for one rotation. This morning I was thinking what else can I do, so I unplugged the TV's in spare rooms and my room, turned the power strip off to the main TV and of course unplugged the PC. I again counted the time for one rotation of the meter, it went from 18 to 32 seconds to make one round. Now I'm thinking that should definately save me money. Although I probably won't see it until my Feb bill, but it sure is motivation. Last month my elec bill was $206, so I can't wait to see what kind of difference there is.

MoneySavinDiva
01-07-2011, 08:19:53 PM
We have a power strip that our TV, DVD player, computer charger and internet router are plugged into, I never could turn it off because the internet router needs to be on all the time. Today I had a "duh" moment, and plugged the router into a different outlet so I'll be able to turn the power strip off when it's not in use now (which is 99% of the time). Hopefully this will show a difference in our bill.

I'm also fully expecting our bill to go down dramatically next month once the renovations on our house are done. The contractor (my fil) has been keeping lots of things plugged in, including a small generator to run his power tools outside, so I'm hoping that once he's done using my electricity, we'll see a dramatic drop :fingerscrossed:

cdarrow26
01-08-2011, 08:17:29 PM
I'd like to join in! My electric bill just went from $74/mo. last year to $85 this year, so, I obviously used over the budget. I do use electric space heaters a lot in the winter to help with heating cost, especially with the price of oil rising now. I'd rather pay the extra $11 in electric a month then have to fill the oil tank more often! I never have lights on, other than the room I am in. It's just me, so, nothing is on during the day when I'm at work. I wish I could get it lower. I will have to take a look at what it plugged in that doesn't need to be!

Shelly527IN
01-09-2011, 01:15:44 AM
We have a power strip that our TV, DVD player, computer charger and internet router are plugged into, I never could turn it off because the internet router needs to be on all the time. Today I had a "duh" moment, and plugged the router into a different outlet so I'll be able to turn the power strip off when it's not in use now (which is 99% of the time). Hopefully this will show a difference in our bill.

:fingerscrossed:


I unplug the computer and microwave, but not the TV/VCR. I'll have to reprogram the settings wouldn't I? It's w/ cable and just regular 5-15 y/o TVs.

I do believe my bill has gone since since I have a motion sensor porch light instead of leaving the porch light on all night.

MoneySavinDiva
01-09-2011, 05:17:09 AM
I unplug the computer and microwave, but not the TV/VCR. I'll have to reprogram the settings wouldn't I? It's w/ cable and just regular 5-15 y/o TVs.

I do believe my bill has gone since since I have a motion sensor porch light instead of leaving the porch light on all night.

You would have to reprogram. This isn't an issue for us however, as our dvd player is never set to the correct time, our tv takes no reprogramming and our cable box was wired in on our second floor when we moved in for some reason.

I'll be back with the week two challenge this afternoon :smile:

adkat
01-09-2011, 07:02:38 AM
I am in on this challenge. Great idea.
Just a note for the first week's challenge, I would recommend unplugging your surge protectors for your expensive electronics. If you turn off the surge protector it will not protect against surges. Having to buy a new tv or other expensive electronic after a lightening strike will not be a frugal endeavor. Unplugging my surge protector for the tv, cable box, dvd player, and Wii now.

MoneySavinDiva
01-09-2011, 12:25:09 PM
Week 2 Challenge --

Several of us were commenting on our water bills last week, so I thought that this week we could do things to try and lower that! Some ideas for you...

-- Shorten your shower. I've put a 10 minute limit on our showers, which we've found to be very manageable :smile:

-- Rather than filling the sink full when I do dishes right away (no dishwasher here :sad3:) I put a little water in andwash the smaller things (silverware, etc) and catch my 'rinsewater' throughout...by the time I'm done washing/rinsing everything (turn off the water in between rinsing!) the sink is full and I have enough water to wash the big bowls, pans, etc.

-- Catch water from when you're warming the bath/shower, save water from your dehumidifier/when you boil noodles, etc. for use to water plants, flowers, etc.

-- Fill a 1L bottle with water/sand and place in your toilets tank to reduce its water usage

If anyone knows of any other tips/tricks on how to save water, please share! This is one area I'd really like to cut in my own home but don't have a lot of ideas on how :smile:

Good luck, let us know how it goes!!

cdarrow26
01-09-2011, 12:27:32 PM
I'm on a well, so, no water bill here. Guess I will have to look for something else "frugal" to do this week:smile:

katieyj
01-09-2011, 12:37:53 PM
Well, I'm obviously not going to lower my water bill this month, since I didn't get the lid back on the pool basket the right way and the pool emptied over night. I can't leave it like that or I won't have a pool, and that's one of my fav things.

But I think I'll try that 1L bottle filled with water in the toilet tanks. Nice idea. Maybe I can bring it down some anyway. My monthly bill for water/garbage/city taxes etc is about $48/mo that's for one person (+kitty)

Zwella Ingrid
01-10-2011, 12:16:10 PM
Like the electric bill, this is one area that I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to impact very much. I will try to not run the water the entire time I brush my teeth. That's a bad habit I've been doing for years. It might save a few cents, so I will try to not do it. Really stupid habit, I know.

MoneySavinDiva
01-10-2011, 01:09:02 PM
I'm on a well, so, no water bill here. Guess I will have to look for something else "frugal" to do this week:smile:

Sorry this one won't work for you!! Just keep working on that electricity savings!!


Well, I'm obviously not going to lower my water bill this month, since I didn't get the lid back on the pool basket the right way and the pool emptied over night. I can't leave it like that or I won't have a pool, and that's one of my fav things.

But I think I'll try that 1L bottle filled with water in the toilet tanks. Nice idea. Maybe I can bring it down some anyway. My monthly bill for water/garbage/city taxes etc is about $48/mo that's for one person (+kitty)


Like the electric bill, this is one area that I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to impact very much. I will try to not run the water the entire time I brush my teeth. That's a bad habit I've been doing for years. It might save a few cents, so I will try to not do it. Really stupid habit, I know.

It's the little things ladies! Even if you don't make a HUGE impact on your bill, every little bit adds up. Even if you're only able to save a dollar or less off this next bill, just remember that pennies make dollars!! :BigHand:

cody82414
01-10-2011, 01:33:26 PM
make certain that your shower heads and faucets have the water saver taps/heads on them. Those spread the water out quite a bit.

Amazon.com: Water Saver Shower Head: Home Improvement (http://www.amazon.com/Bestfilters-WS003-Water-Saver-Shower/dp/B000FVU3WE)

This one you can turn on and off as you need the water

katieyj
01-11-2011, 05:57:47 AM
It's the little things ladies! Even if you don't make a HUGE impact on your bill, every little bit adds up. Even if you're only able to save a dollar or less off this next bill, just remember that pennies make dollars!! :BigHand:

Absolutely Diva, I won't let my little mistake stop me. Heck, I'll just have to keep the pool clean now so I don't have to refill in Spring.

An idea, I use liquid fabric softner, instead of trying to catch the rinse cycle, or rerun the washing machine, I'm using a dispenser now.

Shelly527IN
01-11-2011, 08:27:23 AM
I'm sure I could save some on water. Thanks for the tips!

MoneySavinDiva
01-12-2011, 03:05:43 PM
So ladies, mid week check in...how's it going?

Zwella Ingrid
01-13-2011, 01:27:14 PM
Not so good for me. I believe I have only remembered to turn off the water while I brush my teeth once this week. I don't know why I have this stupid habit. It's almost like I don't think I'm getting my teeth clean unless I have the water blasting. It is so stupid. I'll try to remember the rest the week. Sorry, I feel like an idiot!

jenrose
01-13-2011, 01:42:04 PM
My mind was wandering this morning while in the shower. And this thought came to my mind. I know people on wells will sometimes fill up the bathtub to use for flushing the toilet if they think the power may go out. So one ultra frugal thing I thought of was if you plug the tub during the last shower of the morning you could then use that water to flush the toilet throughout the remainder of the day.

And I wasn't even showering in a shower with a tub. :giggle2:

cjpsmom
01-13-2011, 02:00:11 PM
Yes, that,
plus I KNOW that the older boys spend lots of time in the shower
(if you know what I mean :rolleyes24:)
:hysterical:


Wow, after reading these posts, I'm glad I live where I do! It's kind of hard to get much lower unless I stop showering, and just sit in the dark.:hysterical:


I'm on a well, so, no water bill here. Guess I will have to look for something else "frugal" to do this week:smile:
Yes, well water people don't get a water bill but the electricity to run the well is what you have to look at...ours is on a seperate power bill and you can definately see a difference, esp down here where we keep water flowing during the freezing temps...Looking at my bill this month compared to last year it has increase from 11.91 to 30.58...last year (2009) it was warmer than this year (2010)...therefore our bill went up this month.:rolleyes24:


And I wasn't even showering in a shower with a tub. :giggle2:Sad:wink7:

cjpsmom
01-13-2011, 02:01:53 PM
I forgot to mention...I up for the challenge...our dec bill was almost twice as much as nov...it's been cold and we're wimps...will have to start cutting back..

cjpsmom
01-14-2011, 08:30:26 AM
You would be soooo proud of me.....I turned off all power strips, turned the water off while brushing my teeth, unplugged a night light or two, turned off all the lights while not in use (last night and this morn) and even cut the t-stat down another degree when I left the house.:smile:

Did check the microwave and oven...can't reach the plugs.:rolleyes24:

kimandkathess
01-14-2011, 08:40:50 AM
I have been doing well also. I used the idea of putting a little bit of water in the sink and then filling it up the rest of the way while rinsing.

cody82414
01-14-2011, 08:55:09 AM
I turned the temp on the water heater down a bit.
That should help some

MoneySavinDiva
01-16-2011, 04:22:05 PM
I hope that you all were able to implement a few ideas these past two weeks to bring some of your bills down a little -- keep practicing those ideas and I'm sure you'll see your bills start to shrink :BigHand:

This week's frugal tip is one that many of you already may do, but I want to introduce/refresh the idea as it will be the foundation of future week's challenges.

This week, I want you to write a menu plan. Don't panic if you've never made one before, it's really simple! Here are a few tips...

- Make it for an amount of time that works for you. I personally only plan one week at a time.
- Plan around what's in your cupboards/pantry/fridge/freezer and fill in with sale items in your grocery ad this week.
- Plan a few family favorite meals as well as a few new recipes.

Thanks to menu planning, you should see a significant reduction in quick trips to the store for that one ingredient you didn't have on hand (which turns into a $25 trip...), in that last minute frenzy of what to make for dinner panic (which results in spending money on takeout...) and in the amount of food you waste since you can plan accordingly.

Good luck, let us know how it's going so far!

jenrose
01-16-2011, 04:28:15 PM
I have the next 3 days planned for meals so far but can't figure out what to make for tonight LOL:

Monday Roast
Tuesday Pork chops
Wednesday Ham

skimo
01-16-2011, 04:47:41 PM
Week 2 Challenge --

Several of us were commenting on our water bills last week, so I thought that this week we could do things to try and lower that! Some ideas for you...

-- Shorten your shower. I've put a 10 minute limit on our showers, which we've found to be very manageable :smile:

-- Rather than filling the sink full when I do dishes right away (no dishwasher here :sad3:) I put a little water in andwash the smaller things (silverware, etc) and catch my 'rinsewater' throughout...by the time I'm done washing/rinsing everything (turn off the water in between rinsing!) the sink is full and I have enough water to wash the big bowls, pans, etc.

-- Catch water from when you're warming the bath/shower, save water from your dehumidifier/when you boil noodles, etc. for use to water plants, flowers, etc.

-- Fill a 1L bottle with water/sand and place in your toilets tank to reduce its water usage

If anyone knows of any other tips/tricks on how to save water, please share! This is one area I'd really like to cut in my own home but don't have a lot of ideas on how :smile:

Good luck, let us know how it goes!!

Okay........turned down my hot water heater & am putting a bottle of water in my toilet tank.....I'm curious to see what savings I see next month! I'll let you know...:biggrin:


:giggle2:Okay..I'm running behind the rest of ya......but I tried this. I guess I turned down the water heater too much, because I tried to fill the sink w/ water to wash dishes & it never got past luke-warm & then DS7 tried to take a shower and came out grumblin' 'cuz it was too cold..:giggle2: So, adjusted the hot water heater a bit and we'll see how that works.

Went to put a bottle of water in the toilet tank, and decided to go w/ 2 baggies of rice, 1/2# each. Keep ya'll posted.......:biggrin:

MoneySavinDiva
01-16-2011, 06:08:26 PM
Here is my menu plan for the week...

Tonight - leftovers
Monday - Mexican Beef Lasagna
Tuesday - eating on the run (sandwiches, etc)
Wednesday - Crockpot Corn Chowder, Homemade Rolls
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - Steak Stir Fry
Saturday - Out at a friends

MoneySavinDiva
01-16-2011, 06:13:32 PM
Okay........turned down my hot water heater & am putting a bottle of water in my toilet tank.....I'm curious to see what savings I see next month! I'll let you know...:biggrin:

I'm eager to hear your results :smile:

VivaciousJewelz
01-16-2011, 06:57:27 PM
Wow, what an awesome idea! I have been meaning to start doing this. I'll come back tomorrow once I have a chance to go thru our cupboards to see what we've got.

katieyj
01-17-2011, 04:45:30 AM
I try to do this. I make 2 or 3 meals a week and use the leftovers for lunch and dinner the rest of the week. I still haven't learned to cook for one ;)

Chicken Soup - Sun
Ribs in the Crock Pot tonight with fries and either corn or beans

If I need a 3rd meal I'll make pork chops in tomatoes over rice with mixed veggies

Zwella Ingrid
01-17-2011, 06:36:35 AM
Menu planning is a key to success in living on a budget, but for some reason it seems so hard for me to do. I am going to try since I know this is something need to do. Will try to figure it out and post later today.

froggie3
01-17-2011, 07:00:03 AM
I always menu plan, I noticed that when I don't then we spend way too much at the grocery store. I start with a month's worth of meal ideas and then adjust them for the weeks based on the ad...so right now I have this weeks menu shopped for but have menu ideas for the rest of the month.

VivaciousJewelz
01-17-2011, 07:09:23 AM
I always menu plan, I noticed that when I don't then we spend way too much at the grocery store. I start with a month's worth of meal ideas and then adjust them for the weeks based on the ad...so right now I have this weeks menu shopped for but have menu ideas for the rest of the month.

Wow! A whole month's worth? Is that 30 different meals or are some of the related/leftovers? Like, if you have baked chicken one night and then use that leftover chicken to make a new dish, etc.?

cody82414
01-17-2011, 07:12:54 AM
Wow! A whole month's worth? Is that 30 different meals or are some of the related/leftovers? Like, if you have baked chicken one night and then use that leftover chicken to make a new dish, etc.?

That's what I do intentionally.
If I make a whole fryer, for example
I know I can make a few more meals from the meat
and soup from the carcass.

froggie3
01-17-2011, 07:14:55 AM
Wow! A whole month's worth? Is that 30 different meals or are some of the related/leftovers? Like, if you have baked chicken one night and then use that leftover chicken to make a new dish, etc.?

Some of them are leftovers because I know that a dish will make plenty for a second night. I try not to repeat an actual menu though we will have spaghetti, gnocchi, eggplant parm, all in 1 month(so all Italian). The only thing that will get repeated in a monthly menu is pizza, we try to do homemade pizza at least every other week on Friday nights.

cjpsmom
01-17-2011, 10:48:40 AM
Trying to stick to some of the previous tips (started late) but I do have a plan in place for pretty much the rest of the month...we eat alot of leftovers and have ffy nights (sandwiches/junk/clean out frig) dotting my calender...that way if a meal doesn't get done one night (happens alot), I can shift it to another night easily.

cdarrow26
01-17-2011, 04:24:17 PM
I try to do this. I make 2 or 3 meals a week and use the leftovers for lunch and dinner the rest of the week. I still haven't learned to cook for one ;)

Chicken Soup - Sun
Ribs in the Crock Pot tonight with fries and either corn or beans

If I need a 3rd meal I'll make pork chops in tomatoes over rice with mixed veggies
I have the same problems and do the exact same thing you do!

I made a roast with potatoes and carrots in the crock pot yesterday. That'll be at least 2-3 more meals this week.
Tonight I made a bacon and swiss quiche, which will also be a couple more meals, either lunches or dinner.
I probably won't cook again until Friday.

I HATE cooking for just myself! HATE IT! I always say that I'd be in heaven if someone made me dinner and dropped it at my house every day. I wouldn't even care what it was, as long as I wasn't the one to have to think about what to make and cook it!:hysterical:

katieyj
01-17-2011, 05:47:04 PM
So far I've been doing really good at turning everything off at the power strip. Hoping to see a difference in my Feb bill. I'm guessing with the holidays and my two boys home, I won't see much of a drop in the Jan bill.

Added the bottles to the toilet tanks, turn off water while brushing teeth.

I already cooked two meals this week, Chicken soup and ribs in the crock pot tonight. That should last at least until Wed, so I may have to cook again this week, we'll see.

Cdarrow, people at work are amazed that I cook the way I do for just me. Luckily I do love to cook, so that's not a problem for me. I just haven't figured out how to cook for one. But I eat the leftovers for lunch and dinner. And I also use meals to barter to get work done around the house.

VivaciousJewelz
01-17-2011, 06:21:27 PM
Hmmm, well today I didn't feel like cooking much since I am sick and Cara is sick, plus she's not really into eating, so it was ham and rice tonight.

Hey Jill- for the challenge, can I just make a list of meals based on what we have here and not dedicate them to a specific night? Some are easier to throw together than others and some nights my energy level just isn't there.

Here are my meals so far, I need to dig up my cookbook and go thru the cabinets a bit more to see what we have and then I'll add more.
1- spaghetti
2- baked chicken and scalloped potatoes
3- chicken stir-fry
4- beef and vegetable stew (my friend just shared a new recipe with me)
5- pizza

ETA: I might make a turkey dish this week, too, if I can find a good turkey recipe. I've never cooked turkey parts before, so hopefully I find something good and than I won't have to buy meat this week.

MoneySavinDiva
01-17-2011, 08:07:05 PM
Hey Jill- for the challenge, can I just make a list of meals based on what we have here and not dedicate them to a specific night? Some are easier to throw together than others and some nights my energy level just isn't there.

Yep :smile: Do what works for you!! I think that what makes menu planning so successful is being flexible, so keeping a list of meals rather than a rigid schedule is more effective, in my opinion.

Take tonight at my house for example, I had planned to make Taco Beef Lasagne. I didn't have any cottage cheese on hand, and due to the current financial situation we are in thanks to the transmission in our vehicle going bad, I'm not doing any shopping except for milk and produce. So, as I was getting ready to make the lasagne, and realized I didn't have the cottage cheese but was not willing to spend the money on it, I switched it to Tacos. Same basic ingredients, different meal.

I usually assign a certain meal to each night, but that's only because I menu plan in my weekly planner, so it's easier for me to just write a meal on a day rather than find a place to keep a list. Rest assured, it happens on a very regular basis that the meals get flip flopped around :smile:

foodie
01-18-2011, 10:39:46 AM
Hi,

Just wanted to check in and cheer you on your challenges! We are in Tampa & Orlando, FL (relaxing as much as you can with 6 kids) on vacation and visiting friends from college and family members.

I have some Mennonite recipes from my mother and grandmothers (also sisters-in-law and sisters) that are great and economical too. When we return to VA in 2 weeks from vacation, I will post some recipes on a separate thread.

Also, for cooking turkey parts--Julie, try boiling the parts like chicken--similar to poaching. After boiling the poultry parts, debone the parts and use for a stir fry or casserole dish.

Makes great broth for soups too from the turkey parts.

Wishing a sunny day not snow here in FL.:giggle2:

Foodie:biggrin:

tiger_fan3
01-20-2011, 06:25:31 AM
I am just getting started on this challenge. I cleaned out the pantry last night and got a list going for the rest of the week. I had depleted a lot of my stockpile in December, but there were still some things I found that I needed to use up.

cjpsmom
01-20-2011, 06:15:39 PM
:wavehi:
Okay...menu plan for the rest of the month...

Tonight-Manwich/Sloppy Joes
Fri-l/o's or sandwiches
Sat-Pancakes, fresh saus, grits, eggs, toast
Sun-Broil Chops, butter beans, creamed corn, okra, rolls
Mon-Barbers Chick with l/o veggies
Tue-Hamburger Helper, veg (whatever needs to be used), rolls
Wed-open (in case of shopping trip)
Thur-L/O's
Fri-Breakfast Skillet
Sat-Catfish, shrimp, FF's, grits
Sun-Salsa Chick, yellow rice, english peas
Mon-BEEF (find some)

Will only have to purchase Potatoes for these meals.:smile:

cjpsmom
01-20-2011, 06:17:35 PM
Oh and still doing the power strip thing (much DH and DS's dismay), lights and such...trying (but not succeeding) with the water...still trying though.

tiger_fan3
01-20-2011, 08:01:31 PM
:wavehi:
Okay...menu plan for the rest of the month...

Tonight-Manwich/Sloppy Joes
Fri-l/o's or sandwiches
Sat-Pancakes, fresh saus, grits, eggs, toast
Sun-Broil Chops, butter beans, creamed corn, okra, rolls
Mon-Barbers Chick with l/o veggies
Tue-Hamburger Helper, veg (whatever needs to be used), rolls
Wed-open (in case of shopping trip)
Thur-L/O's
Fri-Breakfast Skillet
Sat-Catfish, shrimp, FF's, grits
Sun-Salsa Chick, yellow rice, english peas
Mon-BEEF (find some)

Will only have to purchase Potatoes for these meals.:smile:

We had sloppy joes for dinner tonight too. I thing I tried before with l/o SJ was to cook some noodles, then in a casserole dish layer noodles, sloppy joes, extra sauce, cheese, just like a lasagna. Bake it till it's all bubbly. It was soooo good. Looking forward to tomorrow's dinner.

MoneySavinDiva
01-21-2011, 06:31:38 AM
I am just getting started on this challenge. I cleaned out the pantry last night and got a list going for the rest of the week. I had depleted a lot of my stockpile in December, but there were still some things I found that I needed to use up.

:welcome17:


Oh and still doing the power strip thing (much DH and DS's dismay), lights and such...trying (but not succeeding) with the water...still trying though.

:BigHand:

MoneySavinDiva
01-22-2011, 11:04:26 AM
I (FINALLY) got around to putting the bottles of water in the tank of my toilet this morning...I never really had a bottle to use...but hubs had purchased a coke and I emptied a small vinegar bottle this morning, so I filled both of those and put them in the toilet tank. I'm a little embarassed that it has taken me this long to do so. I'm eager to see what kind of savings this will yield me :smile: Now to just hunt down another bottle or two for our basement toilet...

New challenge will be posted tomorrow...everyone keep working hard at the previous challenges. The goal here is to implement routines and habits into your lives that you will regularly do out of habit to save money!

MoneySavinDiva
01-23-2011, 04:00:52 PM
It's Sunday! That means new challenge day :BigHand:

This one *kind of* goes hand in hand with the menu planning, but WILL require flexibility on your (and your menu plan's) part.

This week, let's work on reducing our food waste. I know we're all guilty of it. That once weekly (or less often...) clean of the refrigerator, pantry and freezers where you toss moldy, stale, expired or otherwise inedible food.

Make a concious effort for that to not happen. Keep constant tabs on what's in your food stores this week, and adjust meals according to that.

Eat/pack leftovers for lunch, repurpose a whole bunch of leftover meat into another meal (ex. leftover pot roast easily turns into pulled sandwiches, panini sandwiches, etc.) and just generally get creative to be sure that there is very little to no food waste going on. Throwing food in the garbage is the same as throwing money in the garbage!!

Put things in your freezer until you can get around to using them (don't just use the freezer as a rest stop between the fridge and garbage, have the goal of getting it used!!)...for example, if a loaf of banana bread or some muffins are soon to be growing things, put them in the freezer until you are able to use them.

Keep up with the meal planning this week, but don't worry if you have to veer from your plan in order to save something from the trash! And don't be discouraged if you still have food going in the garbage one, two, even ten weeks from now...food waste is something that takes practice and discipline!!

So report in throughout the week with any food that you wasted, or any food that you saved from being wasted!!

MoneySavinDiva
01-23-2011, 04:03:11 PM
oh, and here is this week's menu plan :wink7:

Tonight - frozen shrimp, Hot Pocket Sliders
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie, Garlic Potato Rolls
Tuesday - Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese, Hot Dogs
Wednesday - Apple Stuffed Pork Chops, Homemade Applesauce, Stuffing
Thursday - Sandwiches, etc. on our way to coach cheer at the wrestling meet
Friday - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza (homemade)
Saturday - Leftovers

kimandkathess
01-23-2011, 04:44:25 PM
I will try to do menus. I am not very good at it.

I have to serve 6 meals a day due to me running a daycare (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 3 snacks. So sometimes I just don't like thinking that much LOL.

But i will try :)

tiger_fan3
01-23-2011, 05:14:21 PM
I was really looking forward to seeing this week's challenge. I did this 2 years ago really well, then got out of the habit of doing it. But I hate seeing how much food gets thrown out!

Tonight I incorporated Friday night's leftovers into a new meal. I will probably end up freezing the leftovers so I can pull them out in a week or two when I am busy with work.

I will have to work on the rest of the stuff in my fridge.

adkat
01-23-2011, 06:21:36 PM
One thing that we do is save that last bit of veggies from a meal and freeze it. It is great to use in homemade vegetable soup.

pkchicken
01-23-2011, 08:12:00 PM
lunch:
Soup for lunch every day!
Why not!
Soup and bread or crackers or ???

That was easy!

pk

Zwella Ingrid
01-27-2011, 11:46:50 AM
Well it's Thursday, and I never made a menu this week! I didn't really have to though. DH and I have eaten cereal or leftovers every night this week! TOO Easy! DS2 has not been getting fed at all, though he seems to root out enough to live on. He is 18, so I figure he is old enough to figure it out for himself anyway. In my defense, I did offer to heat up leftover spaghetti for him last night, which he refused, so at least I offered. I really feel guilty though, and feel like I ought to cook him something he actually likes tonight. I'm not going to be able to though, because my grandson has a basketball game tonight, which will take place right after DH and I going to the fitness center. I may have to shell out some money for him to get a sandwich. I had to throw out 3 leftover hamburgers and some turkey sausage that I had in the fridge too long. Bummer. I'm probably going to be throwing out the leftover spaghetti, and some leftover meatballs as well. There is only enough spaghetti for one person, or I would have frozen the sauce. The meatballs are still good, but I've already eaten them for lunch once, and I'm not sure I can eat them again. They were good, but they are just not appealing to me now. I'm guesstimating that is $5 worth of food I've thrown out, or will throw out, once the meatballs and spaghetti go. I feel bad, but I don't know how I could have done better with any of these items other than the turkey sausage. I would have definitely eaten it if I had remembered it was in there. I will try to do better with a menu for next week.

cjpsmom
01-27-2011, 02:23:39 PM
One thing that we do is save that last bit of veggies from a meal and freeze it. It is great to use in homemade vegetable soup.
I do the same thing! Some call my soup "interesting":giggle2: I take my "good" veggies and throw them in a bowl and save them for a big pot of "everything" soup....DELISH!!:wink7:

Well it's Thursday, and I never made a menu this week! I didn't really have to though. DH and I have eaten cereal or leftovers every night this week! TOO Easy! DS2 has not been getting fed at all, though he seems to root out enough to live on. He is 18, so I figure he is old enough to figure it out for himself anyway. In my defense, I did offer to heat up leftover spaghetti for him last night, which he refused, so at least I offered. I really feel guilty though, and feel like I ought to cook him something he actually likes tonight. I'm not going to be able to though, because my grandson has a basketball game tonight, which will take place right after DH and I going to the fitness center. I may have to shell out some money for him to get a sandwich. I had to throw out 3 leftover hamburgers and some turkey sausage that I had in the fridge too long. Bummer. I'm probably going to be throwing out the leftover spaghetti, and some leftover meatballs as well. There is only enough spaghetti for one person, or I would have frozen the sauce. The meatballs are still good, but I've already eaten them for lunch once, and I'm not sure I can eat them again. They were good, but they are just not appealing to me now. I'm guesstimating that is $5 worth of food I've thrown out, or will throw out, once the meatballs and spaghetti go. I feel bad, but I don't know how I could have done better with any of these items other than the turkey sausage. I would have definitely eaten it if I had remembered it was in there. I will try to do better with a menu for next week.
Even though it was only a little of the speg sauce, this would have gone in my frzr veggie bowl for soup later...and don't feel bad, my ma didn't cook for me at 18 either.:giggle2:

I'm just now reading this weeks challenge-ooops...but I made Potato soup Sunday and I just finished it off last night (along w/ french bread):BigHand:...DH has tried to work on some leftover sausage (he's done though)...I did have some fresh ham that needed to be chunked...don't kill me, but we give these type of l/o's (like sausage, ham, etc) to the dog...not a total waste.:wink7:

Tonight's menu (if I make it that long) is:
Broiled seasoned chops
creamed corn
butter beans
rolls

Zwella Ingrid
01-28-2011, 01:06:25 PM
I do the same thing! Some call my soup "interesting":giggle2: I take my "good" veggies and throw them in a bowl and save them for a big pot of "everything" soup....DELISH!!:wink7:

Even though it was only a little of the speg sauce, this would have gone in my frzr veggie bowl for soup later...and don't feel bad, my ma didn't cook for me at 18 either.:giggle2:

I'm just now reading this weeks challenge-ooops...but I made Potato soup Sunday and I just finished it off last night (along w/ french bread):BigHand:...DH has tried to work on some leftover sausage (he's done though)...I did have some fresh ham that needed to be chunked...don't kill me, but we give these type of l/o's (like sausage, ham, etc) to the dog...not a total waste.:wink7:

Tonight's menu (if I make it that long) is:
Broiled seasoned chops
creamed corn
butter beans
rolls
Ok, I'm sorry, but leftover spaghetti put into soup is just gross. I've always suspected that you weren't right, but it is now confirmed! UCK!

cjpsmom
01-28-2011, 02:28:01 PM
Ok, I'm sorry, but leftover spaghetti put into soup is just gross. I've always suspected that you weren't right, but it is now confirmed! UCK!

DAAAAAANG WOMAN! What are you doing? Following me around to give me flack? Speghetti sauce is tomatoes, spices, sugar, salt, meat...what do you put in veggie soup...the same things. You need to come down here and eat with me sometime...you'd love it!:wink7:

MoneySavinDiva
01-30-2011, 02:27:55 PM
How did everyone do this week? It was a busy week here, so I forgot to do a midweek check in, but I was thinking of you all this week - hoping you were finding uses for all the food that could be wasted!!

I ended up throwing away 8 english muffins and 6 cornbread muffins that started sprouting mold on me. I need to find a better way to store my bread so I see it regularly and can keep a closer watch on it. I also found a bowl of green beans that had shriveled up. Otherwise, that was our only waste :smile:

This week's challenge is veering away from the kitchen/food area that we've been focusing on the past few weeks. This week, I want you to embrace your local library! The library is a wealth of FREE information. There are so many great things that you can find which you may not have realized.

Looking for a new workout dvd? Need a new cookbook for recipe inspiration while menu planning? Want to plan a family movie night, but don't want to pay for a rental? Go to the library!!

This week I encourage you to get to your library and hunt out one new service that you didn't know they offered. You don't necessarily have to inquire with the front desk or anything, just walk around and take in everything on the shelves that you may not have noticed before. Also, be sure to check out any bulletin boards in the entryway (or wherever it is located) -- I did that and discovered that a Babytime Story Hour is offered at our library and my son has really enjoyed that! I also have enjoyed that and have met many other stay at home mom's in the area!

So anyways - check out the library and then let us know what you found that you didn't know was offered! Also - don't be afraid to suggest ideas of things you'd like to see at your library to your librarian! Be it story times, classes, book offerings, DVD offerings, etc. They can't offer it if they don't know there's interest!

MoneySavinDiva
01-30-2011, 02:34:19 PM
And continue sharing your menu plans if you'd like - I like seeing everyone's plans, it is inspiration to me :smile:

Here's mine,

Tonight - Homemade Hawaaiin Pizza
Monday - Crockpot Chili, Cornbread
Tuesday - Sandwiches on the way out the door
Wednesday - Stuffed Pork Chops, Stuffing, Applesauce
Thursday - Pizza Burgers, Homemade Oven Fries, Peaches
Friday - Homemade Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Saturday - Progressive Dinner with our church

dja13
01-30-2011, 08:40:21 PM
Hi all! I am kind of just lurking as I just got back from vacation and I am trying to get back to reality.

I am super excited to see the post about the library, as I have worked and received my Masters Degree in Library Science only to have them cut the library budget in the are I live in 6 months before I finished my degree so I have a love for the library. I don't go as often as I would like to go the library so I am going to try to go more often this year.

I just wanted to add about the library you can even check out their websites to see what they have to offer, espeically if you live in an area where there might be a couple close to you that may offer different things.

cjpsmom
02-04-2011, 08:33:11 PM
:wavehi:Just checking in...I'm doing well with the elect. cut backs, I stink at the water conserv., meals are generally planned out for the month, have really been using up l/o's and the week has totally gotten away from me, so no library trip for me-but plan on a trip soon.

foodie
02-05-2011, 01:26:17 AM
Hi,

Speaking of the library--we homeschool and use it extensively. We are part of our Mennonite church--Dayspring Mennonite Church, Catlett, VA's homeschool cooperative. Our younger kids are homeschooled and older kids go to our church's school.

You can also request through the library's Reference Desk area Interlibrary Loans on any type of media (i.e. cds, dvds, tapes, and books from all across the nation and world). I recently (before we headed to FLA on vacation) had requested a book on Food Science which I needed for a project that I had to do for one of my classes online. It came from England and only cost me $5 since it was overseas. Local (national in the USA) our county charges $1 for each book, etc. that you request for Interlibrary Loans.

Also, you can use the databases for homework help, read books online in free program for Ebooks, download movies free, download kids' books for a MP3 player of other form of media player, and do all kinds of fun things.

You can also learn various foreign languages, read about crafts, checkout magazine, and most public local libraries have kids' book clubs, reading times, show movies, have great Summer programs for kids and adults, book clubs for all ages, and speakers speaking on varied topics, etc.

So check out your local libraries for wealth of useful information. Also, use the Reference librarian to gain access to the computers, learning software and computer classes for free, learn the Internet, etc.

Have fun--

Foodie (Katie):BigHand:

MoneySavinDiva
02-07-2011, 08:22:36 AM
Hi Everyone! :wavehi: Sorry this week's challenge is getting up late - we were at a Superbowl Party last night and I forgot to post the new challenge!

This week, we're getting back to the kitchen for a challenge. This week I encourage you to make one thing from scratch that you would typically purcahse at the store. Cooking from scratch saves a significant amount of money over prepackaged meals (most of the time. there ARE exceptions).

So if you typically make a cake using a mix - try homemade! Or cookies, soups, muffins...the possibilities are endless!!

By cooking from scratch AND couponing, I've been able to SIGNIFICANTLY reduce our grocery budget even more than I had by just couponing!

Let us know what you decided to whip up this week, and share the recipe with us! :smile:

If you're stuck on a recipe, check out the recipe forums (http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/recipes/)here at HCW - there are LOTS of great ideas!!!

cjpsmom
02-07-2011, 01:06:25 PM
Made French bread yesterday...will see what the rest of the week brings...

saving-n-va
02-07-2011, 01:49:35 PM
Can I join in? Seeing that dh may be unemployed in 5 weeks, I need all the help I can get. I looked through the past challenges and here is where I am on those:

Week 1 - Reduce your electric bill by turning things off & evaluating your usage! - right now we are not home, so we have heat down low, everything else that we can turned off. When we are back home I'm going to work hard to reduce our heat by 1 or 2 degrees, make the most use of my oven by cooking more than one item in there at a time, try to get dh to turn lights off when he leaves a room. He refuses to shut off the computers (yes plural - its his vocation), so I have to pick my battles..lol.

Week 2 - Reduce your water bill by conserving your water usage! - going to start a sink full of water to soak the dishes in instead of dh running the water constantly to get the stuck on stuff off to put in dishwasher.

Week 3 - Menu Plan! - I am the queen of the menu plan...lol.

Week 4 - Work on reducing your food waste! - really need to work on this one. I forget I have stuff in my fridge. So when we get home in 3 weeks, first thing on my list is clean out the fridge, use bins/plastic baskets to keep like items together in fridge.

Week 5 - Embrace your library and all of it's FREE resources!! - not really needing much from the library at this point, but we do have a nice one down the road.

Week 6 - Make something from scratch that you would typically purchase pre packaged! - can't do this until we get back home, but, I gifted myself with the Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day cookbook last week, so that's my new items to learn to make. Bread prices are CRAZY high. Going to do lots more homemade this year. Its healthier and cheaper.

Other things I am starting/or going to start doing: Get a supply of rags for cleaning to replace some of our paper towel use, swiffer wet jet reusable pads and homemade wet jet cleaner.

cjpsmom
02-07-2011, 02:57:46 PM
savings-I'm doing the samething with the paper towels...gonna try and make me some towels and what not from diaper material...we'll see how it works out.

saving-n-va
02-07-2011, 03:16:03 PM
savings-I'm doing the same thing with the paper towels...gonna try and make me some towels and what not from diaper material...we'll see how it works out.

Do you have a serger? I think you could make the wet-jet covers with diapers, etc. if you do. I'm TRYING to crochet a couple but not having much luck getting it done. So I think I'm going to buy a couple sewn ones on Etsy.

With the cleaning rags - I desperately need new kitchen cloths/towels, so I'm demoting all my current ones to a rag bucket, and getting new ones for kitchen use. Staples (of all places!) had dish cloths 3/$1 yesterday, so I grabbed 2 packs and a pack of scrubbie things. That will give me a start on some new cloths/towels.
Hoping to find some for the rag bucket at a yard sale, thrift store etc. when I get back. I haven't really been doing much at the thrift stores, I think its time I do.

XUfan
02-07-2011, 03:26:17 PM
I seem to be lurking in some threads lately...and here I am again!

As for the rags...I did the same thing a few months ago. No more paper towels. We're using rags...and re-using them! When we went through our clothes to donate, I pulled out any t-shirts that were "beyond donating" and cut them into rags. Also, my granddaughter likes to dust with me, using an old sock on her hand as a dustrag.

saving-n-va
02-07-2011, 03:37:39 PM
I seem to be lurking in some threads lately...and here I am again!

As for the rags...I did the same thing a few months ago. No more paper towels. We're using rags...and re-using them! When we went through our clothes to donate, I pulled out any t-shirts that were "beyond donating" and cut them into rags. Also, my granddaughter likes to dust with me, using an old sock on her hand as a dustrag.

Oh an old sock...hmm...I wonder if I cut a hole for the wet jet sprayer if I could use them for that too. Thanks XUfan for the ideas, now my brain is thinking of what else I can use.

Foodie - I just got a teacher magazine that has all kinds of cool websites and stuff for kids. I'll have to compile a list and post it when I get back home. I bet some of the past issues had them too, I just haven't had time to really look through them.

Has anyone had any luck/experience making homemade cleaners? Is it cheaper considering the coupons and sales?

cjpsmom
02-07-2011, 05:50:08 PM
Do you have a serger? I think you could make the wet-jet covers with diapers, etc. if you do. I'm TRYING to crochet a couple but not having much luck getting it done. So I think I'm going to buy a couple sewn ones on Etsy.

No, I don't have one but my class instructor does that she lets everyone use...maybe I can get everything cut out and then take it up there on one her "just come and sew days"...then again, she may just let me borrow it...I'll have to ask...I didn't think about using one on my swifer before....ideas are a poppin'.:smile:

Shelly527IN
02-07-2011, 10:46:15 PM
I made white gravy from scratch the other day for the very first time. I wasn't sure if I could remember how my mom did it, but I did! It turned out pretty good and much cheaper than the Bob Evans DBF and I usually buy.....we can't seem to find it anymore. That's why I made it from scratch.

I save a lot of money by not subscribing to magazines that I can borrow from the library. The other subscription I have right now is All You and that's mainly for the coupons!

MoneySavinDiva
02-08-2011, 12:42:28 PM
Made French bread yesterday...will see what the rest of the week brings...

:BigHand: - Such a versatile bread too! We use French Bread for EVERYTHING around here!!


Can I join in? Seeing that dh may be unemployed in 5 weeks, I need all the help I can get. I looked through the past challenges and here is where I am on those:

Week 1 - Reduce your electric bill by turning things off & evaluating your usage! - right now we are not home, so we have heat down low, everything else that we can turned off. When we are back home I'm going to work hard to reduce our heat by 1 or 2 degrees, make the most use of my oven by cooking more than one item in there at a time, try to get dh to turn lights off when he leaves a room. He refuses to shut off the computers (yes plural - its his vocation), so I have to pick my battles..lol.

Week 2 - Reduce your water bill by conserving your water usage! - going to start a sink full of water to soak the dishes in instead of dh running the water constantly to get the stuck on stuff off to put in dishwasher.

Week 3 - Menu Plan! - I am the queen of the menu plan...lol.

Week 4 - Work on reducing your food waste! - really need to work on this one. I forget I have stuff in my fridge. So when we get home in 3 weeks, first thing on my list is clean out the fridge, use bins/plastic baskets to keep like items together in fridge.

Week 5 - Embrace your library and all of it's FREE resources!! - not really needing much from the library at this point, but we do have a nice one down the road.

Week 6 - Make something from scratch that you would typically purchase pre packaged! - can't do this until we get back home, but, I gifted myself with the Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day cookbook last week, so that's my new items to learn to make. Bread prices are CRAZY high. Going to do lots more homemade this year. Its healthier and cheaper.

Other things I am starting/or going to start doing: Get a supply of rags for cleaning to replace some of our paper towel use, swiffer wet jet reusable pads and homemade wet jet cleaner.

The more the merrier! And great job on playing "catch up"! :BigHand:


savings-I'm doing the samething with the paper towels...gonna try and make me some towels and what not from diaper material...we'll see how it works out.


Do you have a serger? I think you could make the wet-jet covers with diapers, etc. if you do. I'm TRYING to crochet a couple but not having much luck getting it done. So I think I'm going to buy a couple sewn ones on Etsy.

With the cleaning rags - I desperately need new kitchen cloths/towels, so I'm demoting all my current ones to a rag bucket, and getting new ones for kitchen use. Staples (of all places!) had dish cloths 3/$1 yesterday, so I grabbed 2 packs and a pack of scrubbie things. That will give me a start on some new cloths/towels.
Hoping to find some for the rag bucket at a yard sale, thrift store etc. when I get back. I haven't really been doing much at the thrift stores, I think its time I do.



I seem to be lurking in some threads lately...and here I am again!

As for the rags...I did the same thing a few months ago. No more paper towels. We're using rags...and re-using them! When we went through our clothes to donate, I pulled out any t-shirts that were "beyond donating" and cut them into rags. Also, my granddaughter likes to dust with me, using an old sock on her hand as a dustrag.

I think I know what next week's challenge will be! :giggle2:


Has anyone had any luck/experience making homemade cleaners? Is it cheaper considering the coupons and sales?

I've not tried to make my own - I still have quite a stockpile from when I started couponing. But I will look around and see what I can find for a future weekly challenge :smile:


I made white gravy from scratch the other day for the very first time. I wasn't sure if I could remember how my mom did it, but I did! It turned out pretty good and much cheaper than the Bob Evans DBF and I usually buy.....we can't seem to find it anymore. That's why I made it from scratch.

Could you share your gravy recipe? Gravy is one of those things that I have a hard time getting "just right" so I usually just end up buying the McCormick packets - I'd love to give from scratch another shot though!

MoneySavinDiva
02-08-2011, 12:47:41 PM
I'm embarassed to share the amount of food that I just tossed in our garbage can - but since it was last week's challenge I'd better share to motivate me to do better. I just tossed

-The remainder of the Rotel/sausage/cream cheese dip from the Superbowl party Sunday night (and there was quite a bit leftover...)
- a bowl of dried and shriveled up green beans
- two half full tubs of yogurt
- one serving of pizza burger meat that dried up
- a half loaf of english muffin bread
- a half can of evaporated milk
- a small container of an unidentifiable object
- some ham sticks that got shoved to the back of the refrigerator and promptly forgotten about

On the plus side though, I packaged up into three bags and froze a bulk package of sliced lunchmeat, found a bowl of pineapple (which I still swear we finished already...:dontknow1:) that still has life left in it and found a half a loaf of french bread that I forgot I had made, which will be turned into french toast in the very near future :wink7:

saving-n-va
02-08-2011, 02:45:56 PM
I'm embarassed to share the amount of food that I just tossed in our garbage can - but since it was last week's challenge I'd better share to motivate me to do better. I just tossed

-The remainder of the Rotel/sausage/cream cheese dip from the Superbowl party Sunday night (and there was quite a bit leftover...)
- a bowl of dried and shriveled up green beans
- two half full tubs of yogurt
- one serving of pizza burger meat that dried up
- a half loaf of english muffin bread
- a half can of evaporated milk
- a small container of an unidentifiable object
- some ham sticks that got shoved to the back of the refrigerator and promptly forgotten about

On the plus side though, I packaged up into three bags and froze a bulk package of sliced lunchmeat, found a bowl of pineapple (which I still swear we finished already...:dontknow1:) that still has life left in it and found a half a loaf of french bread that I forgot I had made, which will be turned into french toast in the very near future :wink7:

Well I know when we get back I'll have several items to toss. But then I promise to do better. Don't beat yourself up over it, you are repurposing several items you may have tossed and thats a good thing.

I can't make anything from scratch this week....but am determined to start making more homemade bread when we get back.

I found some Swiffer pads on Etsy...since I'm ordering, I'm getting some for mom and dd too. (I'm just nice that way...lol).

Ok things I'm doing these next few weeks to be "frugal":

1. Making a coupon box. Well I bought a 4x6 index card box for $1 at Staples, and am making the dividers out of 4x6 index cards.

2. Making afghans for the onslaught of all the new babies at our church. (I'm NOT drinking the water there thats for sure). I got the yarn on sale for 1.99 plus 20% off at Michaels back in December. Cheaper than buying gifts for all them.

MSD - if you run out of ideas for challenges, just ask, I'm sure we can all come up with some ideas.

MoneySavinDiva
02-08-2011, 03:41:25 PM
MSD - if you run out of ideas for challenges, just ask, I'm sure we can all come up with some ideas.

You are all MORE than welcome to contibute ideas! I'm open to anything!! :smile:

couponfan
02-08-2011, 03:58:01 PM
Oh an old sock...hmm...I wonder if I cut a hole for the wet jet sprayer if I could use them for that too. Thanks XUfan for the ideas, now my brain is thinking of what else I can use.

Foodie - I just got a teacher magazine that has all kinds of cool websites and stuff for kids. I'll have to compile a list and post it when I get back home. I bet some of the past issues had them too, I just haven't had time to really look through them.

Has anyone had any luck/experience making homemade cleaners? Is it cheaper considering the coupons and sales?


:lurk1: but wanted to share about homemade cleaners:wavehi:. A great book is Reader's Digest Homemade. It has 702 different homemade items, from cleaning products, pet food, health and beauty, garden solutions, and homemade grocery items. I got my copy from Walmart a few years ago, but I am sure the libary would have it:smile:

pkchicken
02-08-2011, 08:50:26 PM
Y'all made me remember a tip that I thought only I came up with !!!

When sweat pants and sweatshirts get out grown....I've been cutting them up for kitchen rags ( to use as dish rags and cleaning rags)

Since they do not need any special sewing just use as is and then launder.

Oh yes, I cut them up in squares.....identical squares so that they stack....ever so nice.

When I come up with a really nasty/dirty job I do not feel bad about tossing those rags out.

pk

saving-n-va
02-10-2011, 08:37:04 AM
Y'all made me remember a tip that I thought only I came up with !!!

When sweat pants and sweatshirts get out grown....I've been cutting them up for kitchen rags ( to use as dish rags and cleaning rags)

Since they do not need any special sewing just use as is and then launder.

Oh yes, I cut them up in squares.....identical squares so that they stack....ever so nice.

When I come up with a really nasty/dirty job I do not feel bad about tossing those rags out.

pk

Good tip!

I ordered my reusable swiffer pads. Ended up getting a couple for mom, and for dd.

Zwella Ingrid
02-10-2011, 01:19:01 PM
Great ideas everyone. I'm back doing some catching up from a busy spell at work and at home. I will be making some soup from scratch tonight, if time permits.

saving-n-va
02-13-2011, 04:40:33 PM
My reusable Swiffers have already been mailed. Is it crazy that I can't wait to get home in 10 days and try them out? LOL

I'll do the "make something from scratch" challenge later this month when we are home. (BREAD!!)

MoneySavinDiva
02-14-2011, 06:46:48 AM
Sorry this is up late, AGAIN!

This week, I'm going to take the conversation from last week about eliminating paper towels in the home and make that our challenge.

Let's work towards eliminating/reducing our paper towel usage. Cut up old t-shirts, bed sheets, scrap fabric, etc. to make cleaning rags to use in place of your paper towels.

Savings purchased reusable Swiffer pads - if you use a Swiffer, see if you can make or purchase reusable ones as well.

I guarantee that reducing or eliminating alltogether, your paper towel and Swiffer pad usage will have a significant effect on your grocery budget :smile:

cjpsmom
02-14-2011, 10:06:16 AM
I'm up for this weeks challenge...got my diaper fabric in and will try to start on some towel/rags...plus I have old scrap tees that I'll cut up too...

Last weeks challenge-I did the French bread and I also made some buttery rolls Sat...they were soo so good...but not for the weight/healthy food watchers...trust me...a whole stick of butter went in...and a whole bunch of pounds have came out of it...;)

saving-n-va
02-14-2011, 10:28:16 AM
Sorry this is up late, AGAIN!

This week, I'm going to take the conversation from last week about eliminating paper towels in the home and make that our challenge.

Let's work towards eliminating/reducing our paper towel usage. Cut up old t-shirts, bed sheets, scrap fabric, etc. to make cleaning rags to use in place of your paper towels.

Savings purchased reusable Swiffer pads - if you use a Swiffer, see if you can make or purchase reusable ones as well.

I guarantee that reducing or eliminating alltogether, your paper towel and Swiffer pad usage will have a significant effect on your grocery budget :smile:

I am on the lookout for a nice deal on new kitchen towels and dishcloths and hopefully cloth napkins as well. I have noticed that I'm not getting the deals on paper towels like I used to. I also think I'm going to look for dark patterned kitchen towels so the stains don't show up as much. My old towels will become rags for cleaning.

We have a JCP Outlet by the house that usually has good deals on all this stuff.

As far as the Swiffer pads I bought, I'll give a review once I get to use them. But you figure, 2 of the WetJet reusable pads cost me just over $8 with shipping. That's less than a big box of the refills.

I was also thinking - can't you usually get a bag of "shop rags" at Lowes or Home Depot? Aren't they pretty cheap? Has anyone tried them?


I'm up for this weeks challenge...got my diaper fabric in and will try to start on some towel/rags...plus I have old scrap tees that I'll cut up too...

Last weeks challenge-I did the French bread and I also made some buttery rolls Sat...they were soo so good...but not for the weight/healthy food watchers...trust me...a whole stick of butter went in...and a whole bunch of pounds have came out of it...;)

YUM...I think I gained a lb just reading about the butter. :hysterical:
My plans for "make from scratch" items besides bread is making a homemade wild rice blend. We really need to cut down on sodium for dh's sake. Not for blood pressure issues, but the tumor caused him to have what is called water diabetes (body doesn't process water properly, makes body retain sodium etc), so its time to try to make some of the boxed items we use from scratch.

Good luck on this week's challenge everyone!

katieyj
02-17-2011, 05:55:11 PM
WOO HOO This month's electric bill is in, $167. That's the lowest my bill has been in 2 years. Now to keep moving foward with that and see if I can find more things to unplug. Water wasn't that great, but I was expecting that after the pool incident.

Leftovers I always take for lunches and/or breakfast (yes I eat weird stuff for breakfast).

I'm liking these challenges :)

MoneySavinDiva
02-17-2011, 06:36:34 PM
WOO HOO This month's electric bill is in, $167. That's the lowest my bill has been in 2 years. Now to keep moving foward with that and see if I can find more things to unplug. Water wasn't that great, but I was expecting that after the pool incident.

Leftovers I always take for lunches and/or breakfast (yes I eat weird stuff for breakfast).

I'm liking these challenges :)

:BigHand: I am SO glad to hear this!!

saving-n-va
02-17-2011, 07:25:27 PM
WOO HOO This month's electric bill is in, $167. That's the lowest my bill has been in 2 years. Now to keep moving foward with that and see if I can find more things to unplug. Water wasn't that great, but I was expecting that after the pool incident.

Leftovers I always take for lunches and/or breakfast (yes I eat weird stuff for breakfast).

I'm liking these challenges :)

That's awesome! I wish I could get dh to unplug stuff. He insists on keeping his 2 or 3 computers (he's a computer geek, and works in the field) running all the time, the printers stay on all the time too. It drives me nuts.

pkchicken
02-17-2011, 07:37:03 PM
Ya know...although I read here every day,....

Well, I am such a tightwad that I actually do most of the things on the challenge already.

I still read and get inspired by all of you.

I'm not a tightwad with vacations though. Well maybe I am, I spend major time online tracking down the best deal I can find.

There must be a 12 step program out there for the terminally frugal!

pk

MoneySavinDiva
02-21-2011, 08:30:17 AM
So, how'd it go last week ladies?

Here is the new challenge for the week - freebies.

I want you all to take a moment to seek out some freebies that you can actually use and sign up for them. Check out the freebies forum on HCW for starters.

Freebies may seem like a waste of time and packaging for such a small amount of product - but if you can actually use that product I've found it to be very worthwhile. I haven't bought pads and tampons in over a year thanks to all the samples I've recieved.

So, get signing up! If you stumble on a freebie that isn't yet listed in the freebie forum, be sure to add it! And report in here with what you've signed up for!

cjpsmom
02-21-2011, 11:58:14 AM
Alright MSD-update on last weeks challenge....made 40 napkins from the diaper fabric and 3 handtowels...will be ordering more fabric for more towels later...I've already started saving on paper towels....WOOOHOOOO!!!!

Freebies...I'll try to work on it...trying to cut out some comp. time....which = more sewing time.....;);)

jenrose
02-21-2011, 12:11:29 PM
I signed up for a miracle whip sample, a kirkland signature shampoo/conditioner sample, and forwarded the link for the beechnut samples to sis & friends (I already did that one for sis a while back).

This is one challenge I can actually say I did. LOL

saving-n-va
02-21-2011, 12:23:39 PM
So do all the shampoos, conditioners, soaps etc. I have gathered from hotel living for 7 weeks count? :hysterical: And its Neutrogena products..good stuff!

The freebies have definitely slowed down lately.

I'm still working on last week's challenge since we aren't home yet, I still have to get my towels, napkins etc.

saving-n-va
02-21-2011, 02:21:17 PM
Alright MSD-update on last weeks challenge....made 40 napkins from the diaper fabric and 3 handtowels...will be ordering more fabric for more towels later...I've already started saving on paper towels....WOOOHOOOO!!!!

Freebies...I'll try to work on it...trying to cut out some comp. time....which = more sewing time.....;);)

Aweome job on the napkins and all!

MoneySavinDiva
02-21-2011, 07:06:40 PM
Alright MSD-update on last weeks challenge....made 40 napkins from the diaper fabric and 3 handtowels...will be ordering more fabric for more towels later...I've already started saving on paper towels....WOOOHOOOO!!!!

Freebies...I'll try to work on it...trying to cut out some comp. time....which = more sewing time.....;);)

YAYY! :BigHand: I love hearing that these challenges are already saving everyone money - imagine the amount we'll all be saving if we keep it up all year!


I signed up for a miracle whip sample, a kirkland signature shampoo/conditioner sample, and forwarded the link for the beechnut samples to sis & friends (I already did that one for sis a while back).

This is one challenge I can actually say I did. LOL

I got the Miracle Whip one too :smile:


So do all the shampoos, conditioners, soaps etc. I have gathered from hotel living for 7 weeks count? :hysterical: And its Neutrogena products..good stuff!

The freebies have definitely slowed down lately.

I'm still working on last week's challenge since we aren't home yet, I still have to get my towels, napkins etc.

Sure do! :giggle2:

VivaciousJewelz
02-21-2011, 07:22:26 PM
Ooooh, I can be good at this week's challenge. :smile:

saving-n-va
02-23-2011, 04:09:50 PM
I'm home!! So I can really get to work on these challenges now.

Got my Swiffer reusable/washable items in the mail. The WetJet ones are REALLY nice. The dry sweeper ones are a microfiber material, nothing fancy, but should work well.

Tomorrow I'm going shopping for dishtowels etc. to work on last week's challenge.

In the mail I had: One make up sample that I requested, and coupons from 4 different companies for sending emails to them. I haven't really seen any free samples that I want to request this week. But I do have a nice grocery bag full of soap etc from the hotel. LOL.

On my Jolly Time popcorn that I bought today, they had a "get a free shopping bag" mail in offer, I guess that counts too?

So is anyone finding any good free samples to request this week?

MoneySavinDiva
02-23-2011, 07:07:42 PM
I've been really bad about updating my progress for each week's challenge thus far, so here is my progress :giggle2:

Week 1 - Reduce your electric bill by turning things off & evaluating your usage!
I've been walking around the house each morning unplugging everything. Everything gets unplugged but the deep freeze, refrigerator, stove and internet router. I'm hoping to see a sinificant difference on our next bill.
Week 2 - Reduce your water bill by conserving your water usage!
I'm having a hard time finding places to reduce this as we're already pretty frugal in this area.
Week 3 - Menu Plan!
This gets done weekly.
Week 4 - Work on reducing your food waste!
Not doing so well here. I tossed a BUNCH of stuff again today.
Week 5 - Embrace your library and all of it's FREE resources!!
We've been attending the free Babytime thats held each Wednesday and lo loves it! I've also been getting a lot of kids books as well as books for myself :smile:
Week 6 - Make something from scratch that you would typically purchase pre packaged!
Most all of my cooking is already from scratch, I do need to get better at making things like potato salad and coleslaw for hubs' lunches. I'd also like to experiment with homemade crackers.
Week 7 - Reduce/Eliminate Paper towel and Swiffer pad usage!
We only go through about a roll of paper towels per month, but I did order some microfiber cloths today to completely eliminate that roll.
Week 8 - Sign up for freebies you can use!
So far I've only signed up for the Miracle Whip sample.

saving-n-va
02-24-2011, 12:28:17 PM
I've been really bad about updating my progress for each week's challenge thus far, so here is my progress :giggle2:

Week 1 - Reduce your electric bill by turning things off & evaluating your usage!
I've been walking around the house each morning unplugging everything. Everything gets unplugged but the deep freeze, refrigerator, stove and internet router. I'm hoping to see a sinificant difference on our next bill.
Week 2 - Reduce your water bill by conserving your water usage!
I'm having a hard time finding places to reduce this as we're already pretty frugal in this area.
Week 3 - Menu Plan!
This gets done weekly.
Week 4 - Work on reducing your food waste!
Not doing so well here. I tossed a BUNCH of stuff again today.
Week 5 - Embrace your library and all of it's FREE resources!!
We've been attending the free Babytime thats held each Wednesday and lo loves it! I've also been getting a lot of kids books as well as books for myself :smile:
Week 6 - Make something from scratch that you would typically purchase pre packaged!
Most all of my cooking is already from scratch, I do need to get better at making things like potato salad and coleslaw for hubs' lunches. I'd also like to experiment with homemade crackers.
Week 7 - Reduce/Eliminate Paper towel and Swiffer pad usage!
We only go through about a roll of paper towels per month, but I did order some microfiber cloths today to completely eliminate that roll.
Week 8 - Sign up for freebies you can use!
So far I've only signed up for the Miracle Whip sample.


You are doing a great job MSD! Since we just got home yesterday, its going to take a few days to get back into the swing of things. One thing I did today was turn the heat down 2 degrees and put a sweatshirt on. The temps from the basement to the top level (townhouse/ 3 levels) are a good 10 degrees different or more. Unfortunately the basement is open so we can't shut it off. But at night we can turn the temps down since upstairs is warmer than the rest of the house.

Reducing water -I was thinking about how to do this this morning. One thing will be to have a sink of soapy water to put the dishes in. DH loads the dishwasher and likes to run the water full blast -HOT and scraps off every piece of food from the plates. No necessary....so I'm going to try that and see if that helps.

I have a lot of cooking from scratch recipe mixes I want to get together. Long grain and wild rice mix, beef stew and chili seasoning, cream of ____ soup base to name a few.

And OH MY, I'm going through my cabinets and finding a LOT of expired stuff. I am getting them organized so I can see more of what I have and USE it.

Menu planning - just finished planning through March. And talked to dh and we added one day a week as a meatless day. If prices keep going up, we will have to add another. This is not easy to do when dh is NOT much of a veggie eater.

Zwella Ingrid
02-24-2011, 12:44:32 PM
I had actually started the paper towel challenge out of necessity. I've been totally out for awhile now. I've been using napkins instead which kind of defeats the purpose. I do have some rags ready to mop up floor spills. What do you all do about draining the grease off meat? I have traditionally used paper towels for that, so I'm not sure what to use other than more napkins. Any ideas?

The miracle whip sample I probably won't bother with, as I have several jars to use before they expire. I will keep a watch for other goodies, however.

jenrose
02-24-2011, 01:34:51 PM
I had actually started the paper towel challenge out of necessity. I've been totally out for awhile now. I've been using napkins instead which kind of defeats the purpose. I do have some rags ready to mop up floor spills. What do you all do about draining the grease off meat? I have traditionally used paper towels for that, so I'm not sure what to use other than more napkins. Any ideas?

The miracle whip sample I probably won't bother with, as I have several jars to use before they expire. I will keep a watch for other goodies, however.

I just dump the meat into a strainer in the sink then rinse the fat down the drain. But I'm on sewer not septic. You could do the same but with a bowl under the strainer then dump the bowl into the trash when semi cool.

cjpsmom
02-24-2011, 02:07:23 PM
Zwell-if your referring to deep frying...maybe layer newspaper under a thin layer of something...I do the sink thing too....but we're on septic....ooooops....;)

Zwella Ingrid
02-25-2011, 12:01:41 PM
Don't you have trouble with your sinks stopping up, with letting grease go down the drain???

jenrose
02-25-2011, 01:11:32 PM
Not really, however I do use the side with a garbage disposal.

saving-n-va
02-27-2011, 06:28:03 PM
Finally accomplished the "make something from scratch" challenge...artisan Bread...YUM!! And tomorrow I'm making a homemade chili spice mix, and I'll make enough for a couple batches.

I had a menu plan for the entire month of March, then hubby requested a few meals, so I'm going to re-adjust it tonight.

cjpsmom
02-27-2011, 06:38:26 PM
Zwell-haven't had trouble yet....knock on wood..

saving-n-va
02-28-2011, 03:55:47 PM
Another something from scratch - chili seasoning mix.

So......what's this week?

cody82414
02-28-2011, 04:12:20 PM
Super excited!
My electric bill went down another $5.00
Yes!!!!!

saving-n-va
02-28-2011, 05:00:13 PM
Super excited!
My electric bill went down another $5.00
Yes!!!!!

Awesome! Our water bill was $10. Of course we were only home 1 weekend, our house sitters used some to water plants and clean up after Mr. Squirrel too. But still, only $10! Back to reality this next month though.

katieyj
02-28-2011, 07:10:18 PM
I've started unplugging my dryer, I only use it once a week and maybe 2 loads. I'm not sure if it pulls residual electric, but I guess next months bill will tell. The water is hanging right around the same.

MoneySavinDiva
02-28-2011, 07:20:23 PM
I am SO excited to hear that bills are starting to lower :BigHand:

My electric bill stayed the same...our water bill doubled. Yes, doubled. And I don't know why - we haven't changed any habits for the worse. :dontknow1:

This weeks challenge is to plan a FREE night of entertainment with your significant other, kids or friends. It's important to spend quality one on one time outside of our day to day activities, but that can sometimes be expensive if we let it be.

So, I challenge you to plan a FREE "date" night with those you love. Be it a game night, a movie borrowed from the library, time at the park, etc. It just can't cost anything :biggrin:

cintinative
02-28-2011, 07:33:48 PM
oooh, I like this challenge. We have really struggled to do a date night b/c we cannot afford a sitter really. So we need to figure out a way to do as you have suggested. Anyone have success with this with children under five? =) Either way I need to figure this out.

saving-n-va
02-28-2011, 09:37:44 PM
Hubby and I used to do this all the time back in the day.

We were fortunate to live by Disney World, so Downtown Disney and all the other Orlando tourist attractions that were free were our dates.

Right now our "date" nights include curling up in front of a fire and watching a movie or our basketball team play. Which this week will be Tues, Thurs, and Friday nights. If hubby was recovered from his radiation, I'd plan a trip into DC to see one of the museums, but for now, low-energy nights are a must.

Another idea if you have kids and can't afford a sitter, invite another family with kids over, have a game night for the adults, movie night for the kids.

cody82414
02-28-2011, 10:39:36 PM
Another idea if you have kids and can't afford a sitter, invite another family with kids over, have a game night for the adults, movie night for the kids.

aside from the local library
we have a video store that has a FREE section for kids.
most of them are older cartoon movies,
but new to the kids means new:wink7:

Then we make popcorn,
turn off the lights
and have a movie 'fee ah ter' :giggle2:

it's nice too for mom and dad to just be with the kids
and doing nothing else

cody82414
03-02-2011, 04:55:41 AM
also wanted to send word of a bigger frugal move that we are doing.

I have given up my Suburban.
Yes.
It's true.

Decided that since two of my boys no longer need to be bussed around by Mommy,
that I could go with something else.

DH needs a truck that can haul his horses and dogs
so I put the equity from my Suburban into a diesel truck.
Which I actually like.:smile:

The plan is to sell his standard truck to get rid of that monthly insurance rate. That truck is paid off, so the sale from that could be put to the newer truck, and would more than pay the new truck off.

Doing this trade has made our car loan payment go down by $300. a month,
and the diesel gets much better gas mileage
although diesel itself is so high.

I hope it proves to be a frugal move as I twisted DH's arm to go along with me.:wink7: I think if it was his decision, he wouldn't have fought so hard:giggle2:

cintinative
03-02-2011, 06:43:43 AM
cody, does this mean you have one car (a truck)?

I had thought about going to one car at some point because we can't afford a car payment and my husband's car is getting older (it's 12 years old now).

VivaciousJewelz
03-02-2011, 07:04:41 AM
That's awesome, Cody!

cody82414
03-02-2011, 07:43:57 AM
cody, does this mean you have one car (a truck)?

I had thought about going to one car at some point because we can't afford a car payment and my husband's car is getting older (it's 12 years old now).

:giggle2:
Well...
we still have three.
The deisel
the truck
and the car that DH drives back and forth to work. Ford Focus I think.

We just have one car payment though, so that helps.

He has the truck listed to sell now so hopefully he can sell that outright quickly.

It's an adjustment, especially for DS1, but I think it's smart for us.

I see the light coming in albeit dimly now,
with over $400. freed up in the past month,
but we have a ways to go yet
before I can quit my day job of couponing:dontknow1:

saving-n-va
03-02-2011, 07:55:49 AM
:giggle2:

I see the light coming in albeit dimly now,
with over $400. freed up in the past month,
but we have a ways to go yet
before I can quit my day job of couponing:dontknow1:

First - way to go on reducing your monthly outflow of $$!

And 2nd - Could you really give up your "day job"? I just cringe every time I have to go to the store with no coupons.

VivaciousJewelz
03-02-2011, 08:01:13 AM
First - way to go on reducing your monthly outflow of $$!

And 2nd - Could you really give up your "day job"? I just cringe every time I have to go to the store with no coupons.

Same here! I didn't have any coupons for kid's toothpaste, and I really needed it and had to pay full price! :sad3: I did end up using +UPs to pay for it, but it still felt like paying full price to me b/c I didn't have a coupon for it and it wasn't on sale. :hysterical:

MoneySavinDiva
03-07-2011, 06:22:53 AM
It's a new week, so a new challenge!

I think this week I'm going to focus on the crazy high and still rising gas prices and challenge you all to get creative with ways to save money on gas! A few ideas -

- Batch errands. Wednesday morning is errand morning here. Any errands that need ran are done that morning - post office, groceries, library, etc.

- Walk to as many places as possible. Of course, right now it is still a little too cold for many of us to do this, but it will soon be warming up and this will be an option again. When it is warm here, I put lo in the stroller and we walk everywhere except for to the grocery store (because I can't fit all my groceries in the stroller :giggle2:). It's not only a great way to save money but it is also great exercise and wonderful time spent outdoors!

- Keep your business local! I was driving 45 minutes into the "city" to do all of my coupon shopping about two or three times a month since I don't have a CVS, Target, etc. in my town. I have since decided to embrace the local businesses and stop those trips into the city. I have discovered a wealth of businesses that I had never paid attention to before. I found a home interior store that sells all kinds of great stuff for my little diy projects. A drugstore that sells scrapbooking supplies. Two secondhand stores that sell fabulously good condition clothing. etc. etc. Yes, the prices may be a little higher than if I were able to get these things at Target, Menards, Michaels, etc. But with gas the way it is, by the time I pay to fill my tank to get in to those stores, the price of the product has really skyrocketed.

- Practice last week's challenge again, and have an "at home date night" or a "free" date night right where you're at. Don't spend money driving to get to a date, instead go for a walk around town. Pop in an old movie you haven't watched in awhile. Just don't drive anywhere!

- Carpool. Be it to work, a meeting, anything. Find someone who would want to share a ride and save some money! My husband has firefighter school 20 miles away twice a week until the end of the month and he and 2 other firefighters are carpooling, so now instead of having to pay for him to drive 40 miles round trip twice a week, I only have to gas up for him to make that trip about once every other week.

Let us know how you save money on gas!

cjpsmom
03-07-2011, 09:32:19 AM
It's a new week, so a new challenge!

I think this week I'm going to focus on the crazy high and still rising gas prices and challenge you all to get creative with ways to save money on gas! A few ideas -

- Batch errands. .

- Walk to as many places as possible.

- Keep your business local!

- Practice last week's challenge again, and have an "at home date night" or a "free" date night right where you're at. Don't spend money driving to get to a date, instead go for a walk around town. Pop in an old movie you haven't watched in awhile. Just don't drive anywhere!

- Carpool.

Let us know how you save money on gas!

Okay, I pretty much do this anyway...I pretty much don't go anywhere once I get home...if I have shopping in the next town, it's done on my "Wednesday night trip"...I have been using the local g-store, FD, DG for any necessities instead of making that weekly trip (saves gas and saves on the "extras" that I don't need)...FREE date night, well...:whistle67:...check...walking to places-ain't happenin'..we live in the country and work is on the outskirts of town, sorry...carpool-again, ain't happening..DH leaves at 7:40 and I don't have to be at "work" 'til 9:30 (used to be 9 but I've changed my hours:giggle2:)...local produce stands are opening around here already, so be on the look out.

MSD-you'd be so proud of me...we just had the 3rd weekend on the SAME paper towels!!:BigHand: And I did receive another package of diaper material!!

saving-n-va
03-07-2011, 10:14:00 AM
Hubby and I curled up and watched movies, basketball games etc. several times last week. And yesterday spent the entire afternoon in front of the tv and fireplace watching games. We needed that.

Hmmm...ways to save money with gas. Well, I have a hybrid car, so that's been great right now. I think I'll let dh take my car to work a couple days this week so he doesn't use all the gas in his car. (as soon as I do that, I'll get called for a sub job and have to end up driving his SUV anyway....LOL).

Can't walk to any stores, too far away and too much traffic to do that around here. Well, maybe Walgreens if its only for a few items and warmer.

I usually do my errands in a circle so as not to be running all over. Luckily most stores are within 5-7 miles so it doesn't take much gas.

We will be going to FL in a few weeks, they just said some stations in Orlando are over $5 a gallon. Probably by Disney and the airport where all the rental car places are. (stick it to the tourist....lol).

BJs, Sams, Costco have the cheapest prices around here. We can't even get gas on base for their prices.

saving-n-va
03-09-2011, 09:16:51 AM
Boy this group is quiet. Everyone's to depressed over gas prices to talk huh?

cody82414
03-09-2011, 09:24:21 AM
Boy this group is quiet. Everyone's to depressed over gas prices to talk huh?


$4.05 here :sad3:

MoneySavinDiva
03-09-2011, 09:31:31 AM
$4.05 here :sad3:

I filled up yesterday and it was $3.39 here. I didn't check if it went up at all while I was out running errands this morning.

Kwik Star releases a flyer once a month or so which has about 10 5c/gallon coupons in it. We don't get the flyer in our mail for some reason (even though we live in the same town as Kwik Star and everyone else gets the flyer :dontknow1:) but my inlaws (who live in the next town over with NO Kwik Star) do...so they gave me theirs. Saved me a whole 75 cents off my purchase yesterday :giggle2:

cjpsmom
03-09-2011, 12:49:59 PM
$3.49 self serve....$3.77 full service...

MoneySavinDiva
03-09-2011, 12:56:38 PM
$3.49 self serve....$3.77 full service...

I miss full service gas stations :sad3:

jenrose
03-09-2011, 01:24:11 PM
I can't remember exactly what our prices are right now but I think it was $3.5x. And so what does DH decide to do, drive the truck more the last couple weeks instead of his commuter car. WTF?!

cjpsmom
03-09-2011, 01:29:14 PM
I miss full service gas stations :sad3:

There's only one here but it's a local mom and pop...their prices are higher than the "commercial" stations but we like to support our local businesses....and I'm too lazy to pump it.:giggle2:

MoneySavinDiva
03-10-2011, 04:53:27 AM
I can't remember exactly what our prices are right now but I think it was $3.5x. And so what does DH decide to do, drive the truck more the last couple weeks instead of his commuter car. WTF?!

Hubs was seriouly talking about selling his commuter car and buying a cheap truck with the money. I quickly nixed that idea and he is now glad he didn't. One of the few times he actually listened to me :giggle2:


There's only one here but it's a local mom and pop...their prices are higher than the "commercial" stations but we like to support our local businesses....and I'm too lazy to pump it.:giggle2:

I'm all about supporting local businesses - good for you for paying a higher price to do so! :BigHand:

saving-n-va
03-10-2011, 09:38:33 AM
$4.05 here :sad3:

OUCH! Is that for regular unleaded? or diesel?
On Tuesday it was $3.38 at BJs (cheapest around), not sure what it is today.


I filled up yesterday and it was $3.39 here. I didn't check if it went up at all while I was out running errands this morning.

Kwik Star releases a flyer once a month or so which has about 10 5c/gallon coupons in it. We don't get the flyer in our mail for some reason (even though we live in the same town as Kwik Star and everyone else gets the flyer :dontknow1:) but my inlaws (who live in the next town over with NO Kwik Star) do...so they gave me theirs. Saved me a whole 75 cents off my purchase yesterday :giggle2:

I am now shopping at a grocery store that has a deal with the Shell stations. You buy certain items and get anywhere from 10 cents to 50 cents off per gallon for buying them. And you can save them up and get over 50 cents off.


Hubs was seriouly talking about selling his commuter car and buying a cheap truck with the money. I quickly nixed that idea and he is now glad he didn't. One of the few times he actually listened to me :giggle2:



I'm all about supporting local businesses - good for you for paying a higher price to do so! :BigHand:

Glad he listened!

DH took my car to his interview today. It was up in the DC area and he needed gas in his car. So he's in mine which gets way better gas mileage.
I LOVE my Camry. (and it is American made in TN or KY...I forget which).
I'll probably let him take it to work tomorrow too. I don't have any plans on going out.

Of course we will be spending more on gas this month just because we are driving to Florida next weekend. :smile::BigHand:

cjpsmom
03-10-2011, 11:32:14 AM
Oh but it will be soooo worth it savings....:)

saving-n-va
03-13-2011, 01:56:17 PM
I had a good idea for one of the weekly challenges.....now I forgot what it was. :dontknow1: :rolleyes24:

To save money this week, dh took the car to work or dr. appointments on 2 different days. (hybrid vs. small SUV)

And I still haven't gotten my new kitchen towels etc yet. Its been a weird week with very little "umph" to go out.

MoneySavinDiva
03-13-2011, 06:06:18 PM
This week's challenge is back to the kitchen - and kind of touches on week ones challenge again.

Utilize your crockpot more!

A crockpot is a moneysaving machine! Not only does it use waaaaayyyy less energy than the oven/stove/microwave, but it also allows you to be able to buy cheaper cuts of meat. It will tenderize and make those cheap (even freezer burnt, forgotten about) meats sooooo juicy and delicious!

There are TONS of crockpot recipes, blogs and cookbooks out there, and MOST non-crockpot recipes can be converted to the crockpot.

saving-n-va
03-13-2011, 06:46:57 PM
This week's challenge is back to the kitchen - and kind of touches on week ones challenge again.

Utilize your crockpot more!

A crockpot is a moneysaving machine! Not only does it use waaaaayyyy less energy than the oven/stove/microwave, but it also allows you to be able to buy cheaper cuts of meat. It will tenderize and make those cheap (even freezer burnt, forgotten about) meats sooooo juicy and delicious!

There are TONS of crockpot recipes, blogs and cookbooks out there, and MOST non-crockpot recipes can be converted to the crockpot.

Woohooo!!! Love my crockpots! (yes thats a plural!). I had scalloped potatoes and ham in the crockpot on the menu last week, but forgot to get potatoes. :hysterical: My menu is super simple this week since we leave for Florida on Friday. So I think tomorrow I'll use it to warm up some beans/soup or whatever from the freezer for dinner, then try the scalloped potatoes and ham on Tuesday. Wednesday is leftover/clean out the fridge.

Great challenge MSD!

VivaciousJewelz
03-13-2011, 07:03:10 PM
Paid $3.43 for gas down in Stafford, VA (about 45min south of DC), and that was the lowest I've seen here in awhile.

Love this week's challenge! I took a huge paycut with this new job and I'm thinking about making a beef stew tomorrow that will hopefully provide me w/ enough lunches to last the rest of the week and maybe some weekend meals. I'll have to go recipe hunting for sure.

VivaciousJewelz
03-13-2011, 07:04:22 PM
Woohooo!!! Love my crockpots! (yes thats a plural!). I had scalloped potatoes and ham in the crockpot on the menu last week, but forgot to get potatoes. :hysterical: My menu is super simple this week since we leave for Florida on Friday. So I think tomorrow I'll use it to warm up some beans/soup or whatever from the freezer for dinner, then try the scalloped potatoes and ham on Tuesday. Wednesday is leftover/clean out the fridge.

Great challenge MSD!

Oooooh, that sounds sooo good! What kind of ham? Like a whole ham w/ the bone and everything? (Forgive me, I'm ridiculously challenged in the kitchen! :giggle2:)

saving-n-va
03-13-2011, 08:51:20 PM
Paid $3.43 for gas down in Stafford, VA (about 45min south of DC), and that was the lowest I've seen here in awhile.

Love this week's challenge! I took a huge paycut with this new job and I'm thinking about making a beef stew tomorrow that will hopefully provide me w/ enough lunches to last the rest of the week and maybe some weekend meals. I'll have to go recipe hunting for sure.

It was $3.39 at the BJs in Woodbridge today. I'm surprised Stafford is more than Woodbridge since its farther away from DC.

Beef stew is EASY, toss your meat in the beef stew seasoning, cut up your veggies. Spray crock w/ Pam, add veggies first, then meat. Add about 1 cup of water. Put the lid on on cook it. You can add more water if you want, but might have to thicken the broth up at the end.

The Au Gratin potatoes (since I'm adding cheese) and Ham recipe is a "dump" recipe too. Layer ham, sliced potatoes, cheese and onion (2 layers) sprinkle each layer w/ paprika, add a can of cream of mushroom soup on top. Cover and cook. Haven't tried it yet, but it has good reviews.

katieyj
03-17-2011, 04:16:12 PM
Yes! Yes! Yes! :BigHand: Just got my electric bill, down to $142. That's another $15 or so from last month. Continuing with shutting things off @ the power strip. I did put a timer on my much older TV in the bedroom, so it goes off now instead of staying on most of the night. Also started unplugging the dryer when not in use. Of course I haven't had to use heat or AC yet, and being in FL that won't last too much longer.

The water bill was down about $7 this month, so I'm happy there too.

I do use the crock pot a great deal, and grill alot too. But since it's just me, I don't cook meals every night, I finish up the leftovers for lunch and dinners. I try not to eat heavy after 7:00 so that means eating a larger lunch and smaller dinner. Who knows maybe I'll losee a lb or 2 along the way. :beg4: LOL

MoneySavinDiva
03-17-2011, 06:09:57 PM
Katiej you are rocking this challenge! I'm so glad to hear your results - such inspiration to keep on trucking!

I'm hoping to see much improvement in our electric bill now that it's warm enough that I can use my clothesline again! I've just been waiting (rather impatiently) for all the snow to melt back there so I can get to it :giggle2:I think the first load will be going out tomorrow! :BigHand:

MoneySavinDiva
03-17-2011, 06:15:17 PM
I almost forgot - to go along with this week's challenge, I found a crockpot conversion chart, so you can make ALL of your favorite meals in the crockpot now - no excuses! :nono77: :giggle2:

Crockpot Conversion Chart (http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blcrocktips.htm)

cjpsmom
03-17-2011, 06:35:12 PM
I haven't done well with this weeks challenge.:sad3: I will though...promise.

On a brighter note...power bill went down $66.31.:BigHand: I love this time of year.:smile:

MoneySavinDiva
03-17-2011, 06:42:48 PM
I haven't done well with this weeks challenge.:sad3: I will though...promise.

On a brighter note...power bill went down $66.31.:BigHand: I love this time of year.:smile:

It's alright, I've bombed this week too. With lo being sick, I'm lucky just to have something edible ready by supper, nevermind having it together enough to be in the crock by noon. Next week...:fingerscrossed:

Glad to hear your bill is going down too! :dance7:All these success stories are good motivation!

katieyj
03-18-2011, 05:05:26 AM
I'm loving this thread!! Another thing I do to try to cut costs on meat, there's a store that has BOGO on meats, I split these with a friend and then break down the large packages. Of course we're both single empty nesters, so it's easier to make these deals go further. But I always have a freezer full of chicken/meat/seafood and don't spend much on groceries.

cjpsmom
03-18-2011, 05:13:09 AM
katie-I've been hittin' my local store in the morn when they mark meat down (esp day after big sale) and have been getting meat at better prices than when its on sale.

msd-I don't know how much of my bill is actually due to cutting things off since right now we don't need a/c (yet) and it hasn't been that cold (only run it to take the chill off in the morn) but I do still cut everything off....can't hurt....

MoneySavinDiva
03-18-2011, 07:34:27 AM
I found another chart that will be helpful with one of our challenges. This graph (http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/organics/food/fd-basic.htm)shows that as a country we waste more food than anything except for paper/cardboard products. I don't know about you guys, but that is huge motivation to me to waste less food!!

MoneySavinDiva
03-18-2011, 07:38:42 AM
I'm loving this thread!! Another thing I do to try to cut costs on meat, there's a store that has BOGO on meats, I split these with a friend and then break down the large packages. Of course we're both single empty nesters, so it's easier to make these deals go further. But I always have a freezer full of chicken/meat/seafood and don't spend much on groceries.

Stocking up on meat is a great way to shave your grocery bill - and how smart of you to split with a friend so everything gets used!!


msd-I don't know how much of my bill is actually due to cutting things off since right now we don't need a/c (yet) and it hasn't been that cold (only run it to take the chill off in the morn) but I do still cut everything off....can't hurt....

Yep, can't hurt. I have been unplugging EVERYTHING but the router, refrigerator, deep freeze, washer/dryer and stove but haven't been consistent enough with it every day to see a real difference. Hubs and I got into the debate the other day if unplugging things like lamps really save....I need to do some research. I've heard it does, but I want some stats to back up my argument :wink7:

cody82414
03-18-2011, 08:16:17 AM
Hubs and I got into the debate the other day if unplugging things like lamps really save....I need to do some research. I've heard it does, but I want some stats to back up my argument :wink7:

My DH is the very same way.
But I see the wattage that we used at the same time a year prior
and compare it to now
and I see the difference,
so even though he thinks I am frantic about unplugging
it makes me feel better to save $10. a month.

MoneySavinDiva
03-18-2011, 09:32:23 AM
My DH is the very same way.
But I see the wattage that we used at the same time a year prior
and compare it to now
and I see the difference,
so even though he thinks I am frantic about unplugging
it makes me feel better to save $10. a month.

I feel the same way. And right now, $10 a month to us is HUGE!!! Come May, things won't be quite as tight...but for now, the pennies that I'm saving by unplugging are making a difference. Pennies make Dollars! :smile:

MoneySavinDiva
03-20-2011, 06:50:07 PM
It's Sunday - time for a new challenge! :BigHand:

This one is kinda similar to one the "make something from scratch" challenge a few weeks back - that one was just really broad and there are a lot of "made from scratch" things that I want to cover individually - so if this (or any future challenges) are repeats for you from that week, I'm sorry!

This week, let's consider making our own stock/broth from scratch.

This is actually really easy to do, is practically free and is healthier because YOU control what goes in your food!

You can make your own beef, veggie and chicken stocks with minimal effort! All you need is veggie scraps, bones (from chicken for your chicken stock or beef meats for your beef stock), water and some seasonings if you like (I personally don't add seasonings to my stock - I figure that the recipes I use the stock's in have their own seasonings anyways.)

Basically, you toss the veggie scraps, bones and water in your crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4...I've done this once with success). Once it's done cooking, fish out (or strain over a large bowl) the bones, skin (I add chicken skin when making chicken broth), etc. and then put the stock in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, scrape off the lovely layer of fat and then package as you wish. The broth will be rather gelatanous when you pull it out of the refrigerator - that's okay!! This broth can be canned (with a pressure canner) or frozen. I freeze mine in two cup portions as most of my recipes call for even numbered cups of broth.

This is sooo much more cost effective than purchasing stock - most of the time it's a free option since you're using up what would otherwise be considered food scraps! Save chicken bones/skin/scraps from whole chickens, chicken parts, whatever you buy, in the freezer until you're ready to make stock. Same goes for veggie scraps and beef bones/scraps. I actually have found that we don't eat that many beef cuts of meat with bones, so I have discovered that I can purchase soup bones from the meat counter for about 50 cents...still, 50 cents for several cups of broth is a huge savings compared to buying canned!!

So...do you make your own broth? Are you going to try? I'm excited to hear everyone's thoughts on this one!

saving-n-va
03-21-2011, 07:44:28 AM
I already make my own broths. Love it. One thing I am going to try differently next time is to can it vs. freeze it.

Since we are out of town this week, can't do the challenge. But I am making my dd some freezer meals as a thank you for dog sitting for the last several months.

saving-n-va
03-21-2011, 07:49:23 AM
Also you can add a bit of vinegar to the water to help draw out the marrow etc in the bones. Broth is very good for you. I did a lot of research before I started making my own. Wow!

Something I do is I keep a freezer bag and I add my onion, carrot ends, and celery scraps to the bag as I make other meals. Then when it comes time to make broth I use those veggies. I'll add more if needed of course. You can do that with the bones too.

froggie3
03-21-2011, 08:02:36 AM
I made 27 cups of chicken stock/broth the other day from the bones from chicken breasts. I paid .99/lb for the chicken and got 12 meals of blsl breasts and the stock...my freezer is overflowing right now.

jenrose
03-21-2011, 08:05:47 AM
I have ham bones in the feezer that I keep forgetting to do the broth out of. I'll have to do that soon.

But today I need my crockpot for dinner so I won't be today LOL. Speaking of which I should go get dinner in the crockpot.

MoneySavinDiva
03-24-2011, 12:10:54 PM
I already make my own broths. Love it. One thing I am going to try differently next time is to can it vs. freeze it.

I'm looking for a pressure canner so I can can it vs. freeze as well - it would definitely be a lot more convenient canned!



Also you can add a bit of vinegar to the water to help draw out the marrow etc in the bones. Broth is very good for you. I did a lot of research before I started making my own. Wow!

Something I do is I keep a freezer bag and I add my onion, carrot ends, and celery scraps to the bag as I make other meals. Then when it comes time to make broth I use those veggies. I'll add more if needed of course. You can do that with the bones too.

I've heard the vinegar trick, but never tried it! Next time I will!


I made 27 cups of chicken stock/broth the other day from the bones from chicken breasts. I paid .99/lb for the chicken and got 12 meals of blsl breasts and the stock...my freezer is overflowing right now.

Wow! How much water do you use when you do this? I had a 10 lb bag of hindquarters and I only got 15-ish cups of stock out of it.


I have ham bones in the feezer that I keep forgetting to do the broth out of. I'll have to do that soon.

But today I need my crockpot for dinner so I won't be today LOL. Speaking of which I should go get dinner in the crockpot.

What do you use ham broth for? I've heard a lot of people say they make it but I don't have any recipes that call for it.

MoneySavinDiva
03-24-2011, 12:12:58 PM
I got my gas bill yesterday and it went down $40 from last month :BigHand: I lowered the thermostat by 2 degrees when we're home - more when we're gone for long periods of time. I think what really helped though is that it's been in the 40's and 50's outside rather than subzero! :giggle2: Either way, I'm just thrilled it went down!

froggie3
03-24-2011, 12:16:47 PM
Wow! How much water do you use when you do this? I had a 10 lb bag of hindquarters and I only got 15-ish cups of stock out of it.


I had 20lbs of chicken breasts before I took the meat off the bone, I don't know how much water I started with...just filled it up. I ended up moving mine to a pot on the stove though because the breast bones filled up my crockpot and left very little room for water...I should have done 1/2 at a time but I was being impatient. LOL

How much vinegar? I've never heard of that. I really want a pressure canner too, but we have to wait to get a house....right now we have very little storage space and what we have is filled or close to filled with stuff.

cjpsmom
03-24-2011, 04:56:35 PM
What do you use ham broth for? I've heard a lot of people say they make it but I don't have any recipes that call for it.
It's a wonderful base for soups-my main use...but you can pretty much use as you would other broths...rice comes to mind...but veg soup is my main thing.


I got my gas bill yesterday and it went down $40 from last month :BigHand: I lowered the thermostat by 2 degrees when we're home - more when we're gone for long periods of time. I think what really helped though is that it's been in the 40's and 50's outside rather than subzero! :giggle2: Either way, I'm just thrilled it went down!
:giggle2:and :BigHand:

katieyj
03-28-2011, 04:13:54 PM
I saw in another thread, that if your thermostat is faulty, it can cause you to have a high electric bill. Since summer is coming quickly and goodness knows you can't live in FL without air, I'm going to have mine checked out and see if it needs to be replace. Which I suspect it does since someone brought home a used one and put it in. I also had to order a new pool pump (I know there goes my electric bill), but I read alot on it and got an energy efficient one. I'll put that on a timer to try to have it run more efficiently. Just thought I'd throw the thermostat thing out there.

saving-n-va
03-28-2011, 05:13:45 PM
MSD I got my canner at Walmart. Its not too big (compared to other canners). It will do 5 qt or 7 pints at a time. It was just under $70 last year. Anything bigger and I don't think I could have reached into it without a step-stool. :giggle2:

I picked up extra carrots and onions (didn't know I already had some) so I think I'm going to make some broth maybe later this week or early next. (lots on the to-do list this week). And since strawberries are starting to show up I might make some jam soon too. Farmer's Market opens this weekend! :BigHand:

I've been a bit out of the loop on this thread the past week or two, I'll try to be better.

MoneySavinDiva
03-28-2011, 07:08:05 PM
MSD I got my canner at Walmart. Its not too big (compared to other canners). It will do 5 qt or 7 pints at a time. It was just under $70 last year. Anything bigger and I don't think I could have reached into it without a step-stool. :giggle2:

I picked up extra carrots and onions (didn't know I already had some) so I think I'm going to make some broth maybe later this week or early next. (lots on the to-do list this week). And since strawberries are starting to show up I might make some jam soon too. Farmer's Market opens this weekend! :BigHand:

I've been a bit out of the loop on this thread the past week or two, I'll try to be better.

I'll probably need a step stool anyways - I'm super short! :giggle2:

MoneySavinDiva
03-28-2011, 07:12:11 PM
This week is another kitchen oriented challenge - as well as another spin off of the "make something from scratch" week. I'm feeling a little frazzled today so I decided to go with something easy :giggle2:

This week, I encourage you to go to the grocery store, and instead of buying a can of beans, buy a bag of dried beans and make them yourself! It's super easy -

1) Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Pull out any split, shriveled or otherwise "sad" looking beans. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2) Drain beans, place in crockpot and cover with fresh water 2-3" over beans.
3) Cook on low for 10-12 hours
4) Drain and let cool
5) Store as desired. I measure 1 2/3 cups of beans into a plastic baggie and freeze. (this amount is equal to a can of beans since there is no liquid in ours being stored). You could also pressure can beans.

This is a SUPER frugal kitchen choice - beans are already one of the cheapest foods in the store, and by making them yourself you're saving even MORE money!

saving-n-va
03-28-2011, 08:12:17 PM
I'll probably need a step stool anyways - I'm super short! :giggle2:

I'm 5'4" (if I stretch tall!) so a footstool is a vital part of my kitchen. LOL


This week is another kitchen oriented challenge - as well as another spin off of the "make something from scratch" week. I'm feeling a little frazzled today so I decided to go with something easy :giggle2:

This week, I encourage you to go to the grocery store, and instead of buying a can of beans, buy a bag of dried beans and make them yourself! It's super easy -

1) Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Pull out any split, shriveled or otherwise "sad" looking beans. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2) Drain beans, place in crockpot and cover with fresh water 2-3" over beans.
3) Cook on low for 10-12 hours
4) Drain and let cool
5) Store as desired. I measure 1 2/3 cups of beans into a plastic baggie and freeze. (this amount is equal to a can of beans since there is no liquid in ours being stored). You could also pressure can beans.

This is a SUPER frugal kitchen choice - beans are already one of the cheapest foods in the store, and by making them yourself you're saving even MORE money!

DONE! LOL. We had pintos and rice for dinner. I put them on high for the first 90 minutes, then down to low for the last 6-7 hrs in the crockpot.

One thing I would suggest is to spread the dry beans out on a cookie sheet in a single layer and pull out any debris (dirt bits, rocks, bad beans) then wash them (I wash mine twice).

I'm going to attempt to can some at some point. That way they are already cooked.

loladooder99
03-28-2011, 09:12:24 PM
I'm 5'4" (if I stretch tall!) so a footstool is a vital part of my kitchen. LOL



DONE! LOL. We had pintos and rice for dinner. I put them on high for the first 90 minutes, then down to low for the last 6-7 hrs in the crockpot.

One thing I would suggest is to spread the dry beans out on a cookie sheet in a single layer and pull out any debris (dirt bits, rocks, bad beans) then wash them (I wash mine twice).

I'm going to attempt to can some at some point. That way they are already cooked.

I get beans from wic and i swear I probably have atleast 10lbs of beans laying around. All i can think to do is refried beans and chili or in soup. What else is there?

VivaciousJewelz
03-29-2011, 05:35:16 AM
I hate any kinda bean except a green bean... :hysterical: Maybe I just need a good recipe.

saving-n-va
03-29-2011, 05:45:55 AM
I get beans from wic and i swear I probably have atleast 10lbs of beans laying around. All i can think to do is refried beans and chili or in soup. What else is there?

I make pintos or black beans with rotel, cumin, garlic and onion, and a bit of salt and serve them on top of rice. You could toss in some smoked sausage too.

White beans and ham. White chicken chili, Minestrone, if you have garbanzo beans you can make hummus, black bean dip, baked beans w/ ground beef, bbq sauce, green peppers and onions. (YUM)

Here are some more ideas..

Bean Bible :: Bean recipes, baked beans, bean soup, bean facts, anything and everything about beans! (http://www.beanbible.com/)

froggie3
03-29-2011, 06:01:50 AM
This week is another kitchen oriented challenge - as well as another spin off of the "make something from scratch" week. I'm feeling a little frazzled today so I decided to go with something easy :giggle2:

This week, I encourage you to go to the grocery store, and instead of buying a can of beans, buy a bag of dried beans and make them yourself! It's super easy -

1) Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Pull out any split, shriveled or otherwise "sad" looking beans. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2) Drain beans, place in crockpot and cover with fresh water 2-3" over beans.
3) Cook on low for 10-12 hours
4) Drain and let cool
5) Store as desired. I measure 1 2/3 cups of beans into a plastic baggie and freeze. (this amount is equal to a can of beans since there is no liquid in ours being stored). You could also pressure can beans.

This is a SUPER frugal kitchen choice - beans are already one of the cheapest foods in the store, and by making them yourself you're saving even MORE money!

I was just wondering if you fully cooked them to freeze or not...and now I know. Here is my question though...would you have to flash freeze before food saving?

MoneySavinDiva
03-29-2011, 06:38:50 AM
I was just wondering if you fully cooked them to freeze or not...and now I know. Here is my question though...would you have to flash freeze before food saving?

I don't have a foodsaver, so I'm not sure on the rules when it comes to using one...but I don't flash freeze when I freeze them in baggies, I just lay the baggie flat in the freezer. Then, I pull them out the morning or night before I need to use them and let them thaw in the fridge. Works like a charm :smile:

As for more bean recipes that a few of you were asking for, I use beans in a lot of Mexican dishes (enchiladas, Mexican Lasagna, etc.) as well as my chili. They make a great add in to casseroles (added protein!). If you go to Allrecipes and in the ingredient search type in beans I'm sure all kinds of great recipes would come up!

jenrose
03-29-2011, 08:40:33 AM
I had never cooked with beans before. Then I did the Santa Fe Chicken Caserol with the Santa Fe Philly Cooking Cream. It has black beans in it and it is now one of my favorite dishes. LOL

saving-n-va
03-29-2011, 08:43:58 AM
I had never cooked with beans before. Then I did the Santa Fe Chicken Caserol with the Santa Fe Philly Cooking Cream. It has black beans in it and it is now one of my favorite dishes. LOL

We made the enchiladas with the cooking cream. YUM! I just got some FREE ones yesterday, I'll give that casserole a try. :-)

MoneySavinDiva
03-30-2011, 11:25:53 AM
I got my electric bill for February yesterday and it went down $11 :BigHand: I was sparodic at best with remembering to unplug the TV and lamps each morning - but apparently even the few days that I remembered to do it helped! I think it also helped that I started unplugging hubs' fire pager while he's at work and letting it live on it's battery (he doesn't get reception on it at work, so he leaves it home) all day. I also unplugged the printer - I was letting it be on all the time since it's wireless, but the little antannae thing broke, so I can't use it anymore - so it's unplugged all the time now too! Once we snap back out of this cold spell, I'm seriously stopping use of the dryer and hanging stuff out to dry again and that will hopefully make even more of a difference - until we have to start using the dehumidifier in the basement 24/7 again :rolleyes24:

We also got our water bill yesterday - back down to just a few dollars over what it normally was - so last month's double high bill was just a fluke. Actually - I know exactly what caused it to go up so much last month - our new toilet had it's water settings all screwed up when it was installed, so it was running about once every 15 minutes. Had FIL (our contractor) come back and adjust the settings and it doesn't run anymore - and the water bill reflects that :smile:

Spongebear
03-30-2011, 01:36:37 PM
:excited8: My gas has gone down $60 and my water bill went down $20. Hopwfully the gas bill will go down some more. The water bill just needs to go down $10 for it to be what I use to spend.

cjpsmom
04-02-2011, 03:04:10 PM
I can handle the bean challenge...pintos soaking now for the crock tonight...

jenrose
04-02-2011, 03:22:22 PM
I just received the following forwarded email and thought you all would like it. Get back to basics.


THE GREEN THING

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn't have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn't have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But they didn’t have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she’s right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind.. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that old lady is right; they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
But she’s right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But they didn't have the green thing back then.

jenrose
04-02-2011, 03:24:06 PM
Oh and I finally got around to doing the ham bones in the crock pot. They are in there now. I think I'll use the ham broth when making mashed taters and such when we have a ham for dinner.

I haven't tried my hand at any soups or anything yet since DH is really the only onen who will voluntarily eat soup in my house.

cjpsmom
04-03-2011, 06:19:07 AM
jen-yea!! for ham stock....and them boys eat soup, it's good for them...;)

oh and on the green thing above...teehee...I can't help but think those were better days...more hard work but better days...imo

cjpsmom
04-03-2011, 06:19:32 AM
they didn't have computer booty issues either....HA

cjpsmom
04-03-2011, 06:20:34 AM
Woke this morn to a wonderful aroma....pintos are smelling awesome!!!! Mexican pizzas tonight!

cjpsmom
04-03-2011, 04:38:25 PM
Beans are wonderful...waiting to finish my pizzas...I am putting 2 pints (filled 1/4-1/2) in the freezer, two servings for eating now, a small serving for ma, I am saving two small amounts of juice (in case I need it when thawed) and I'm freezing the rest of the juice (thinking a veggie soup made with it..maybe a ham bone simmered in it first)...now that's frugal.

MoneySavinDiva
04-07-2011, 06:07:51 AM
I'm running behind on this...so a simple challenge for this week - if you use dryer sheets, cut them in half (or even thirds). I have cut mine in halves or thirds before and both work well and get the job done!

saving-n-va
04-08-2011, 06:47:29 AM
Still haven't had time to can broth or beans but its on my list as soon as I get schoolwork done. Advice -- be sure to label your broth if you freeze/can it. I was in a hurry and didn't label a freezer container, thought it was broth...when I opened it (luckily I didn't dump it into the food) it was cinnamon applesauce. :hysterical:

My canning list is getting long...

Dryer sheets - well I don't 1/2 them usually - we use the unscented kind and I need the whole one to control the crazy static we get here. BUT I do try to save them once used and take them to the RV where we use them to clean bug off the front of the RV. I will only 1/2 them if I have less than a full load of laundry.

cjpsmom
04-08-2011, 08:40:56 AM
OH OH.....I already cut them in half...and sometimes I'll take the leftovers by the handful and throw them in with like jeans or such...sometimes you don't get all the goody out of them the first time...;)

loladooder99
04-08-2011, 10:08:49 PM
I did the dryer sheet thing today. Works good cause I hang alot of my clothes around my apartment to dry and put smaller loads in the dryer of things that can't be wrinkled. I do the dry bean thing all the time but thats cause i get beans threw wic. I can't find a chili recipe though thats spicy enough for me.

MoneySavinDiva
04-11-2011, 09:46:45 AM
oh and on the green thing above...teehee...I can't help but think those were better days...more hard work but better days...imo

I have to a agree with you on this - "back in the day" they really knew what they were doing when it came to saving money and "being green" which both go hand in hand (as the article very clearly articulated!!). I'm always telling my husband that they just had it so RIGHT back then as opposed to how we are trying to "efficiently" do things today. Jen, thank you for sharing that article!

For this week's challenge - well it's a little different than most weeks have been or will be, but it's something that I think is important to remember all the same in this world of frugal living. I want us all to take a look at the frugal activities we're doing and to make sure that we're not just saving money "for now" to only end up having to spend more money later. Let me explain...

This weekend, I received a few hand me "up" shirts from my younger sister and I also purchased several used shirts at garage sales for myself. After I had washed them in a load with several of my other shirts I had already owned, I realized that comparing the "new" white shirts from my sister and garage sales to the white shirts that I had already owned, the previously owned white clothing was very dingy looking and not very white at all anymore. It occurred to me that while I am saving money by washing all of my laundry in cold water - in the long run I'm not really saving at all because I'm going to have to purchase new white clothes that aren't dingy looking. So really, it would probably save me money to be using hot water for my whites.

Another example I came across this weekend was our eating habits. I strive very hard to feed my family whole, local and fresh foods instead of processed and boxed foods. I read a great article on a blog (and if I can find it again, I'll share it with you all) that eating a diet like this may cost us more money right now at the grocery store but in the long run - we're going to save a significant amount of money in healthcare costs. There was a graph pictured with the article that showed as our grocery budgets went down - healthcare budgets went up at the exact same rate. And until I find that article again, a great book to find (I requested it at my local library and they ordered it!) is "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan - a great read!! And I think we all know that eating like this and couponing is VERY possible! Let the naysayers say that all couponing gets you is processed food - we know they're wrong! My husband, baby and I all eat a very balanced and healthy diet for only $30-$50 per week!

So - this week I want you to ponder on what you are doing that isn't really saving you money. Our goal here is to save money and to make the most of what we have - but we need to think long term here rather than just the here and now. The sharing of that article came at a perfect time - lets think about how our parents and grandparents would have done things - most of them lived on meager budgets but still had a great quality of life. Let's all strive to save money - but in the "right" way - the way that isn't going to cost us more in the long run.

saving-n-va
04-11-2011, 10:08:28 AM
Interesting challenge this week. I'll have to do some pondering for this one.

cjpsmom
04-11-2011, 02:52:29 PM
Hmmmmmmmm

cjpsmom
04-11-2011, 02:54:36 PM
I forgot....y'all'd be so proud of me...I loaded the dish washer without using the water!!....nevermind that I rinsed them before I let them sit....still, this is HUGE!!!:)

jenrose
04-11-2011, 02:55:22 PM
I forgot....y'all'd be so proud of me...I loaded the dish washer without using the water!!....nevermind that I rinsed them before I let them sit....still, this is HUGE!!!:)

:hysterical: This is SOOOO Me! :hysterical:

loladooder99
04-11-2011, 03:31:22 PM
I just noticed this thread recently but so far I've already been doing week 1-4 & week 6-15. What does the library offer thats free? What about hanging clothes. I hang dry my clothes in my apartment that I don't wear out and for towels i let them dry almost the whole way then put them in the dryer so they aren't so crispy. Anyone do these :

-Use less detergent (soaking clothes so they get cleaner)
-Use vinegar in wash and to clean with (what do you use it on?)
-Make your own freezer meals (what do you make)
-I keep the lights off all day and use the sunshine till its dark
- How high do you keep your thermostat. My husband freaks if I keept the air at anything above 73 (i try lol during the day I keep it hotter and turn it down when he gets home)
-Taking short showers
-I don't use paper towels except for draining grease and even then i use a brown paper bag if i can get a hold of free ones under neath one paper towel so i don't use alot of paper towels.

katieyj
04-11-2011, 03:46:06 PM
Well I don't use dryer sheets because I hang up about 75% of my wash, so I use liquid softener. But, I did by a downy ball to put in the washer when I start it, that way I don't "miss" the cycle and have to re-run the washer to add the softener.

Now for this weeks challenge, I thought about this one when I stopped to pick some things up at the store. I needed some cinnamon buns and thought I had the Q's with me. But no I had left them at home. So I thought, was it going to be worth the gas and time to get the Q's (totaling $2.00) or best just to get them without the q. So I bought them and I'll use the Q another time.

loladooder99
04-11-2011, 03:55:24 PM
Well I don't use dryer sheets because I hang up about 75% of my wash, so I use liquid softener. But, I did by a downy ball to put in the washer when I start it, that way I don't "miss" the cycle and have to re-run the washer to add the softener.

Now for this weeks challenge, I thought about this one when I stopped to pick some things up at the store. I needed some cinnamon buns and thought I had the Q's with me. But no I had left them at home. So I thought, was it going to be worth the gas and time to get the Q's (totaling $2.00) or best just to get them without the q. So I bought them and I'll use the Q another time.

I do the same thing kind of. I try not to go to the store too often just to use coupons unless the savings pays for the gas plus some. Gas is so high it cost me atleast 65 to fill up. One of the reasons I stockpile that way I save in the long run and don't have to run to the store to pick up something I've run out of.

MoneySavinDiva
04-12-2011, 03:54:23 AM
I just noticed this thread recently but so far I've already been doing week 1-4 & week 6-15. What does the library offer thats free? What about hanging clothes. I hang dry my clothes in my apartment that I don't wear out and for towels i let them dry almost the whole way then put them in the dryer so they aren't so crispy. Anyone do these :

-Use less detergent (soaking clothes so they get cleaner)
-Use vinegar in wash and to clean with (what do you use it on?)
-Make your own freezer meals (what do you make)
-I keep the lights off all day and use the sunshine till its dark
- How high do you keep your thermostat. My husband freaks if I keept the air at anything above 73 (i try lol during the day I keep it hotter and turn it down when he gets home)
-Taking short showers
-I don't use paper towels except for draining grease and even then i use a brown paper bag if i can get a hold of free ones under neath one paper towel so i don't use alot of paper towels.

Thank you for the ideas for future weeks.

froggie3
04-12-2011, 04:37:48 AM
Last weeks challenge(dryer sheets), we don't use dryer sheets. We were using liquid softener and I would mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with water(in the bottle) to save. Now we are using the Purex crystals, and I fill it 1/2 way to the 1 line and it works great. I am loving the crystals over any other softener.

That article/email definitely makes a lot of sense. Our grandparents didn't have all the convenience so what they did wasn't "green" it just was the way it was. I WANT to live more like that.

I didn't can beans(because we don't have a pressure canner, though will when we get the house) but I did cook up 3lbs of dry pintos and made refried beans...now the freezer is stocked with enough for 4 or 5 meals!!

Shelly527IN
04-16-2011, 04:59:59 PM
cody, does this mean you have one car (a truck)?

I had thought about going to one car at some point because we can't afford a car payment and my husband's car is getting older (it's 12 years old now).


Wow....the newest car I've ever owned was 10 years old! The one I have now is a 1989. I've never own one from the 1990's or 2000's! :hysterical:

5kidsmama
04-16-2011, 06:03:28 PM
totally late to the party, but wanted to comment on the 1st week, electricity....

your biggest savers will be to check the temp on your refrigerator, see if you can raise it a degree.

I hang my clothes on a small rack, in the winter, i hang overnight. The dryer uses around 3-5 kwh.I strive to hang at least 1/2 my laundry

and turning down the thermastat as much as you can, your air handlers are electric. We keep the heat on 65 turn it down to 82 , and the air at 74. and change it if we are gone for hours during the day

cjpsmom
04-17-2011, 01:26:07 PM
I do the same thing kind of. I try not to go to the store too often just to use coupons unless the savings pays for the gas plus some. Gas is so high it cost me atleast 65 to fill up. One of the reasons I stockpile that way I save in the long run and don't have to run to the store to pick up something I've run out of.
This is basically what I've been doing lately...I may not have the bigger savings but I definately use less gas.



your biggest savers will be to check the temp on your refrigerator, see if you can raise it a degree.

:hectic:
This is such a losing battle for me...why did they put those knobs where everybody can see them.:hectic:



On this weeks challenge...been thinking....I think my "biggest waste trying to save" would be both the dryer sheets and I used the dryer and dishwashing det to use the dishwasher....what I should be doing is hanging my clothes (which has totally no appeal to me) and handwashing dishes with liquid det. I got for free.....spoiled, I know.

saving-n-va
04-22-2011, 09:07:14 AM
I forgot to think about what I do that I think is frugal but probably isn't. LOL.

I think sometimes we forget to add our "cost of labor and time" into the formula. Our time is important and sometimes its better to go buy something than to spend the time trying to do it yourself.

Make sense?

cjpsmom
04-22-2011, 12:02:39 PM
Total sense...

angeliainwonderland
05-14-2011, 06:35:44 PM
Kinda of behind on this but don't the swiffers have tabs that you put cleaner cloth in? I reitired mine while back but I always used an old tshirt that I sprayed with pledge. Worked perfect. Use it few times then throw in the laundry.
Dryer sheets : I do cut em in half. ( learned that on another thread on HCW)
Use a used dryer sheet to do a quick dusting. Really grabs the dust.

tiger_fan3
05-25-2011, 02:36:00 PM
Any new challenges???

jenrose
05-25-2011, 06:57:30 PM
MSD Has been offline for a while dealing with real life. I'm sure she will be back soon with a new slew of challenges to keep us all busy.

cjpsmom
05-26-2011, 04:18:04 AM
We miss you MSD! We'll be here!!:)