1.) A “No Spend” Week Once a Month.
This idea is new to me. As in, I tried it for the first time this month. I’ve read about other people doing them, but was a little skeptical. Mostly of myself. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and how well it went. It was a total success and I plan to aim for a “no spend” (this is apart from necessities like gas and groceries) week at least once a month.
Maybe I’ll even work my way up to a “no spend” month. Or year. Haha. A year? Who am I kidding.
2.) Cloth Diapering and Home-made Wipes
I’ll be honest when I say I’m not 100% sold on cloth diapering for two simple reasons: convenience and the fact that we have the hardest water known to man. BUT cloth diapering does save money if done right.
Right now I use a combination of Econobum covers w/pre-fold inserts, Bumgenius 4.0, a Rumparooz, a Simplex and a couple Thirsties Duo AIO. After five months of cloth diapering, I can say my absolute favorite are the Thirsties Duo AIO. They address the convenience thing. Also, I use Rockin’ Green’s Hard Rock detergent to combat our hard water issues and it seems to be working well.
I threw in making home-made wipes just for fun. I bought a pack of flannel wipes off Amazon and adapted a wipe solution recipe I found online (there are tons!) and – voila – saving a few more pennies each month.
3.) Home-made Instant Oatmeal Packets
Matt eats oatmeal for breakfast just about every day. He likes it a certain way and, because of this and the $$$, the instant oatmeal packets are out. So, I decided to make my own.
This has helped save us on portion size and pennies. They’re also super easy to make – takes me about 2 minutes to prep them for a week.
4.) Alternative Cleaning Supplies: Blue Dawn, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, Borax 20 Mule Team & baking soda.
I use these everywhere: the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc. For just about everything: stain removal, detergent booster, cleaning mirrors, scrubbing tubs, de-scaling the coffee maker, etc. I haven’t spent money on typical cleaning supplies in a long time.
This week I’m trying my hand at home-made dish washer detergent (which incidentally is priced like liquid gold at the grocery store). If it goes well, I’ll pass on the recipe.
5.) Grocery Shopping at Crest
Thanks to my sister (thanks, Lid!), I am now a believer. I’ve tried the couponing thing. Maybe it’s just me, but I mess it up every time. And I’m not about to plan all my meals around sales (I’m too much of a foodie for that) or buy 50 boxes of mac ‘n cheese just because they’re .02 each. Sometimes I buy in bulk, but I find that going into Sam’s Club is roughly equivalent to combining a flower market and the running of the bulls: it doesn’t end well.
So I tried Crest. And I’m in love. I have not been able to get our two-week grocery list for as inexpensive (at such high quality – loving their produce) anywhere else.
Bonus: it helps me if I only go to one store to shop. And it’s even better if that store is not an “everything and the kitchen sink” store like Wal-Mart where I can find practically anything I could never want or need. Crest scores on both counts.