Saturday, January 23, 2010

Frugal Living Practice

I have mentioned in recent posts that I am trying my hand at new endeavors to live more frugally and simply as a family. Let me start off by saying that it is a slow process. I have tried to start with just a few items and then add on as time goes on. The first things that I really wanted to try hard to do was not use paper towels, napkins, or paper plates anymore. So far that has gone pretty well. The next item on my agenda was baking our own bread. First, let me say that baking bread is an art and I am no artist. This has given me some trouble. Over the past two week I have baked probably 5 loaves of bread (white, wheat, and banana). Nothing has risen like it is supposed too, but it tastes good. I have made muffins from scratch and they turned out well. Going to try another loaf tomorrow and from scratch biscuits on Monday. I already bake alot so cookies, brownies, cakes, and pies are not a problem. Next on the agenda is pizza crusts and making our own pizzas from now on. Going to try that this week also.Something else new I tried today was making my own laundry detergent out of borax, ivory soap, and washing soda. Used it once already and it really got the wash clean. I can't claim this as my own - got it from a friend. Here are some of the other items on our living simply and frugal list to try soon:
  1. canceling cable
  2. raising chickens for eggs
  3. paying off remaining credit card debt (not much left)
  4. going to the grocery store only twice a month
  5. not buying anything new - consignment shopping for clothes, etc.
  6. making all gifts

I am sure there are many more things I will add to this list as time goes on. But I feel like this is a good start. If you have any good ideas of things to try let me know. I would really like to know of a recipe for dishwasher detergent.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget to recycle your organic waste for the chickens. That will save you a lot over buying chicken feed and the birds love it.

Debbie S. said...

We took long distance off our phone service and just use our home phone for local or toll free. We use our cell phone for long distance. You can also sell any homeschooling books or curriculum that you're not using. Ebay is really easy for that. We have a local homeschool store that will pay 25% of retail. I usually go around April, before all the other moms start bringing their books in, otherwise the store gets too much of some things and won't take anymore. This is also how I buy alot of my books for the following year. I buy used from this same store.

I also sell clothes to the consignment shop.

Anonymous said...

Those are great choices! Frugal living is just so so liberating!

Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

We're also trying to become completely debt free- which is why we aren't moving around as much as we'd like. I purchase very little brand new, but when I do, I always search out deals. Coupons are wonderful! Learn to play the coupon game and maximize the sales at CVS & Walgreens. When I was at my peak at home (when we still had room) in one month I shaved enough of my grocery bill to buy a cheap brand new freezer and stock it to the brim.

I buy all of our books at thrift stores, used book stores, and used to swap them through Using the libray doesn't work for us. I buy much of our homeschool curriculum secondhand when I can.

I also make our own laundry detergeant, but I use Fels naptha- doesn't matter which soap you use, just found this easily. Making the soap is so simple, I make it right in the camper and it lasts us forever!

I also clean with vinegar and tea tree oil. And, no paper towels!

The Zoo Keeper said...

I found a good thrift store in Cornelia and the one for Circle of Hope is very good. We may need to do some shopping together (minus children...I spend more when they're with me.).

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Great list! We've got chickens, paid off credit cards, and cancelled cable and the home phone (just cells now). I'm bad about buying new, though, now that we're not as broke as we used to be. I buy used when I can (especially books), but I could certainly stand to improve!

Dana said...

Quick tip for pizza dough, especially if you are having trouble getting bread to rise or you just want something a little closer to the convenience of a frozen pizza: Do a quick search online for "no rise pizza dough." There are several recipes, but it essentially makes a pretty good pan type pizza without the rising time. Just knead and top and bake.

Or make extras and freeze them. I used to try to do that but it never worked out so well. I think the problem is that pizza equals convenience in my mind.