Thursday, February 12, 2015

110 Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget part 1


With everything getting more and more expensive every day, from food to utilities and everything in between we have to make our dollars stretch more and more.  Trying to  save as much as we can where ever we can.  Here is a list of some of the things we do to save money. I will do another post in a few days with more money saving tips that I didn't have room to add here.

  1.    We grow as much of our own food as we can.

2.    Things that I do have to buy from the store I buy in bulk or on sale and try to get at least a years’ worth. You can go here to see where I get most of my food.

3.    We barter for beans from one of my day care kids dad in exchange for day care.

4.    We raise our own cows for beef.

5.    We  raise chickens for the eggs

6.    We trade hay for fresh milk. (We have a milk cow, just haven’t got a place fixed so we can start milking her.) when we can.

7.    Cook most everything from scratch.

8.    Make my own butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese (wanting to make hard cheese soon) I do buy a few of these when they come on sale since I don’t have a limitless supply of milk.

9.    Make our own snacks, eg. Granola bars, Fruit Bars, fruit snacks, yogurt, Crackers, cookies, and cakes to name a few.

10. We use leftovers from the night before for lunches.

11. When we go on trips we take most of our own food. When we first started doing this the girls were so embarrassed they would hunch down in the back seat as to not be seen lol. They are used to it now and don’t try to hide ( not to much anyways).

12. I render my own tallow and lard when I can get it. I have a friend who works for a meat packing place and she can get me beef fat, the pig fat is a little harder to come by though.

13. Make a menu. It saves time and you are not scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to have for dinner. Plus with a plan you can take meat out of the freezer in the morning so it is ready.

14. If we have extra leftovers I put them in the freezer in individual containers for another lunch when we may not have something left over from the night before.

15. Make our own breads.

16. Grind our own wheat. I do use half wheat flour and half white I buy the white flour from the mill and get the unbleached.

17. I buy candy after Halloween when it is marked down. We use this in our hunting packs and I dry pack the rest of it. This is the only candy we eat during the year.

18. After Valentines and Easter I will buy the marked down chocolate. I use this to cook with chocolate chips, chocolate coating or anywhere I need melted chocolate or chips.

19. We drink a lot of tea in the winter. We keep a pot of water with tea bags on the stove at all times then all we have to do is mix it with water for tea. In the summer I make several containers of tea concentrate and put in the freezer then as we use one we pull another out of the freezer. This keeps us from having to heat the water every time.

20. When I use the oven I try to cook multiple things so I don’t have to heat the oven so often.

21. If I have extra produce and not enough to can, I will freeze or dehydrate it.

22. I Can things for meals. It is so nice to be able to open a jar of beans, soup, Mexican steak or several other things  on a hectic and busy night.


23.  We heat our house with just the wood stove.

24. I keep a large covered pot of water on the wood stove to heat water. We use it to cook with, wash-up with, and wash dishes with, almost anything we need hot water for. (Except showers ).

25. I use a few of the new energy saving bulbs. I have a love hate relationship with these. They do save on your energy bill, but I don’t like the light it puts out or the fact they are full of lead.

26. In the winter we have to keep lights on the animal’s waters and in the chicken coop to keep everything from freezing up so I have timers on these. And on the stock tank heater when we have to use it.

27.  We have most everything plugged into strips so we can just turn off the power on everything.

28. I wash dishes by hand. Instead of using the dishwasher.

29. Hang clothes on the line in the summer and on drying racks in the winter, instead of using the dryer.

30. Turn the T.V. off during the day.  In the summer all we watch is the local news at night, In the winter we do watch a little more since it gets dark and cold so early.

31. I have the solar yard lights that I leave outside during the day then bring in at night to use. I use them in the rooms that don’t need a lot of light, the kitchen after dinner, the bathroom, the laundry room, and the living room when watching T.V. We could use candles bit I want to save them for emergency’s

32. In the winter I use the outside for a fridge and freezer. If I need extra fridge or freezer space in the winter I will just set the stuff outside in a vehicle (to keep animals out of it ) to keep it cool.

33. In our area there are a several people who have to haul water. We don’t,(thank goodness) but we try to live like we do. I have small buckets in each bathroom to collect the cold water while waiting for it to get hot. Then we pour it into a larger bucket to use for flushing or watering plants. We run the water in the sink into a bucket till it warms up when taking a shower that way the shower water is warm when we start it.

34.  We use the gray water from the washer to water outside plants. The washer drain hose is hooked up to a tank outside to collect it, then we water the plants outside with that water.

35. Then as the old motto goes  “if it’s yellow let it mellow if it’s brown flush it down”.

36.  We are in the process of replacing our old windows with new ones. The old ones wouldn’t open and leaked really bad. With the new ones we can open in the summer and in the winter they don’t let all the cold air in.

37. Planted trees in the front and the back of the house for shade in the summer. Some are not very big yet but in a few years they will work great. I try to only plant trees that produce something. No since in watering something that doesn’t produce something. I do have a few trees that were planted some time back that don’t produce anything but shade.

 38. I got a solar oven for Christmas, so this summer I plan on doing a majority of my cooking in it as to not use propane, and to not heat the house up.

39. Keep my freezers full. If I have empty space I will put bottles of water to freeze so I don’t have empty space. Then I can use these bottles of water in the coolers to keep things cold on trips. If the power goes off it helps keep the freezer cold. I can also put some in the fridge top help keep it cold.

40. In the summer I keep curtains closed during the heat of the day. Just the side the sun is shining in on. Keep the other side open for the light.

41.  I use a Bissell ( carpet sweeper) We only have carpet in our bedroom and bathroom so I lot of times instead of plugging in the vacuum I will just use the Bissell. The last two rooms to get rid of the carpet so we can put down wood floors.


42. I make all our cleaners. 409 , bleach cleaner. floor cleaner, furniture polish, oven cleaner, shower cleaner, soft scrub ect.

43. Make my own laundry detergent.

44. Make my own Fabric Softner.

45. Make my own stain remover.

46. I use old rags for dust rags.


     47. We use cloth napkins instead of paper.

48. We use dish towels and rags instead of paper towels. I do have a few rolls of paper towels on hand for the really nasty things

49. I do use a few Baggies especially for freezer things but I get the cheap twist tie bags then line the freezer bags with these to prolong the life of the freezer bags. I wash and reuse the zip lock freezer bags. And if I do have to use a plastic bag I use the cheap twist tie bags or the fold over sandwich bags.

50. I have some bags that I made from water proof fabric that I made. I like to use these for bread and things like that.

51. For feminine hygiene I use Home made feminine Pads cloth pads. (Haven’t got the girls on this bandwagon yet lol).

52. This may gross out a few of you but it is a real money saver. The family cloth I go to the thrift store and buy a bag of rags come home and wash them (they are mostly old Tee Shirts and only cost two dollars for a large bag.) then I cut them into 8x8 squares and use them instead of TP for # 1, do still use tp for # 2 not only does it save on buying TP but I don’t have all that paper going in to the septic. Just put them in a bucket and wash with bleach in hot water. ( I just wash with my white clothes.)

53. I also cut 6 x6 squares for Kleenex.

54.  I use dog food bags for kitchen trash liner.

55.  I use wal-mart bags for the bathroom trashes.

56. I have a can in the mud room for aluminum  to recycle.

57.  I have a can outside with a lid to put tin cans to recycle. The aluminum and tin we can cash in and make money.

58. I have containers with lids to store things in the fridge.

59. I save all the envelopes from bills and junk mail to use as note pad papers.

Kids and Daycare

I don’t have any little ones so some of the things here are things I did and some are things I would do now. Some of these things are things I do with the day care kids.


60. Use cloth diapers. Make your own or for a small investment you can buy them.

61. Make your own diaper wipes. I am torn on this I have made my own but I not sure you can save money over the store brand wipes the only thing about making them your self is you know what is in them.

62. Nurse. The cost of formula is crazy and not that great for your baby. If you work you can pump and freeze. I have had a couple moms who have done this.

63. Make your own baby food this really is easy. Just put whatever you want to feed them in a baby bullet or a blender. I also had a couple kids who never had store bought baby food.

64. With minimal sewing skills you can make blankets, burp rags.

65. Look for baby furniture at yard sales, consignment shops ( be careful of consignment shops sometimes you can buy a lesser brand new then you can buy the used name brand.)and 2nd hand stores. You can also check around with friends a lot of times people have stuff they don’t need anymore and will be more then glad to let you use or buy it.

66. Make your own diaper rash ointment.

67. Use the library they have free story and craft hour.

68.  Use the library to barrow books and movies.

69. Make your own Playdough.

70.  Make your own paint.

71. Make your own glitter.

72.  Make your own folder games.

73.  Make your own bubbles.

74.  Make your own sensory boxes.

75.  Make your own Felt board and  stories.

76. Limit T.V. to 1 hour. I found that when the T.V. Is on ( which uses power) the kids will not get down and play.

77. Have 1 cup per child (that they know is theirs ) that they use through the day. Instead of dirtying several cups a day.

78. Sew their clothes and shop 2nd hand store for them. When my kids were little I made most of their clothes and what I didn’t make I got from 2nd hand stores , yard salesw and hand me downs.

79. Make their nap mats, when they go to preschool they need nap mats these are very easy to make. I have two different ones which I will do a tutorial on in the future.

80. Cut their hair yourself. There are some great tutorials on u- tube.

81. Home school they get such a better education. I know public school is free but there is a lot of cost associated with public school. Plus they don’t pick up bad habits from other students.

Hygiene Products.

82. We make our own Toothpaste

83. We make our own Deodorant.

84. We make our own Lotion.

85. We make our own soap.

86. We make our own Hair Spray .

87. We make our own Mousse.

88. We make our own shave cream.

89. I get my razor blades from the dollar store. They have razors that fit the old handles which, I have several of.

90. We make our own shampoo.


    91. Mend things that need mended. Small rips, buttons, ect.

92. Patch larger holes. Some of Andy’s pants are more patch then pant lol.

93. I make a lot of our own clothes. From Shirts, dresses, Prom and homecoming dresses, Skirts, even underwear and tee-Shirts.

94. Again shop 2nd hand stores and yard sales.

95. Darn your socks I can do this but sometimes it is more trouble than it is worth .But if money is super tight it is an option.

96. Crochet or knit your own slippers, sweaters, craves, ear warmers, blankets and whatever you can think of. I do a lot of crocheting but hate to knit I know how but do not like it.

97. I alter things if they don’t fit correctly.

98. I make my own Starch for ironing.

99. I make my own fabreeze.

Medical .


100. Stay in shape. We try to stay as physically active as we can. I do have a few extra pounds I am trying to get off.

101. I use plants and herbs that I am grow and forage for medicinal purposes.

102. I make a lot of my own capsules of herbs and some vitamins that I can buy in bulk.

103. I use a lot of essential oils. Store bought and some that I make.

104. I am taking a class on herbs so I can increase my knowledge if all we can rely on is herbs.

105. I make our own cough syrup, cough drops, salves, and ointments.


106.Get out of debt. We are working on this. When you have payment to make you are usually paying interest which is pretty much money thrown away.

107. We try to keep our vehicles serviced oil changes, tune ups, tires inflated, ect. To help get the best gas mileage possible.

108. We try to combine all our trips to town to get everything done in one trip.

109. Use antenna T.V. that is all we have ever used.  We did get netflit this winter.  We tend to watch more t.v. in the winter and was renting movies all the time, but always had to get them back in time or have a late fee. So I think we are saving a little by having the netflix. Will have to see how it is in the summer.

110. I sprout wheat for chicken feed. We buy wheat in bulk from the mill. When I sprout it it is more nutritious and doubles in size.



So there are some of the 110 things that we do to save money. I will do another post  in a few days on some more money saving things we do. So what are some of the things that you do to save money.






  1. Wow, what an amazing list! We do a lot of these things but the disposable bathroom ideas is a challenging thought to me still ;) Thanks for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  2. Good morning, this helpful post was *featured* today at the Art of Home-Making Mondays! Thank you for sharing these ideas with us and hope to have you link up some fresh posts today :)

    1. Jes,
      Thanks for featuring me at Art of Home-Making Mondays! and thank you for hosting.
      Have a great day.

  3. Thank you for sharing this!! I'm sure I will be able to use a lot of it!! I just happen across you site, Looking forward to reading old and new post!! God bless


    1. Thanks for stopping by I hope you can find some useful info here.
      Have a great day

  4. Lots of great ideas! The hubby and I are really working on getting rid of our debt, so I'm always looking for other ways to save. Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!

    1. Amanda,
      Thanks, I to am working at getting rid of all debt so I am always trying to find a way to save a penny.
      Have a great day,

  5. I'm loving this! Great ideas. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7 at our party. I can't wait! Lou Lou Girls

  6. These are some great ideas you've shared. They are very achievable too. I came across your blog through Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Shiralee,
      Thanks for stopping by. I know some of my ideas a extreme but after doing them for a while you get use to them. And when you start seeing the savings it really feels good.
      Have a great day,

  7. What a lot of great ideas! My family and I were just discussing using rag cloths instead of Kleenex and I never thought of Paper Towels! I have a friends that uses T.P. squares too. At first I thought it was gross, but then I realize how much we spend on T.P. a month is probably around $45.00 but I have yet to convince my family.... perhaps they'd compromise on using it half the time? But, really it is just like a cloth diaper bucket when you think about it. Thanks again for posting. I'm looking forward to perusing your blog.

    1. One of Seven,
      Thanks, And thanks for stopping by. I was the same way at first I thought the family cloth was gross but after I thought about it a while I came around (I still have a hard time getting the girls on board with it) and I just use it for #1 and it does save a lot of T.P. especially on the little ones who only have two drops to wipe up. I don't know if you have access to bags of rags from the thrift store they are mostly t-shirts which are great to cut up for this. Can't wait to read about your life in Alaska.
      Have a great day.

  8. Bunch of really useful ideas! Thanks for such a great post!

    1. Marina,
      Thanks, I am always looking for ways to save money.
      Have a great day

  9. Thanks for great post. Keep up the great work

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