I am sure a lot of my readers are in the same boat as we are.. things are TIGHT. Now that I'm home I feel like one of my jobs is to be frugile and make cuts where ever possible. Our study was SO good today that there was no way I COULD NOT keep some of this information from you guys. So.. I will give you a ton of my and my fellow MOTTT'S-ers ideas on how to save money. In turn I would ask YOU, oh "more left unseen" reader.. to list some of your money saving ideas. We're all in this together, gals.. lets have fun doing it!
*Print in "rough draft" quality. Pages come out kinda grey instead of black but it will save on ink.
*Fill your ink cartridge refills at Walgreens.. I had a coupon the other day and it was $10 for black and white cartridge and $15 to refill a color.
KID STUFF Savin's
*For those of you in the midwest that have a Meijer close by.. their pre-natal vitamins are FREE! Just found this out today.. prescription WILL be changed immediately.
QUESTION & ANSWER BOOK: http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&attid=0.1&thid=11e46dd414d6ee32&mt=application%2Fpdf
*I know some get weirded out by used children's clothes.. but holy cow can you save a ton buying used! I know I've told you all about the Children's Resale I'm apart of but if you don't live close to me or don't have anything like this close to you.. GARAGE SALE SHOP. We have a town-wide garage sale weekend and last year I found THE MOTHER of all garages sales. The gal had two little girls with clothes exactly in the seasons for Adie and threw her boxes out in the garage where we had to dig through them. Not as organized as I would have liked BUT everything was $.50 because she didn't want to price things. And all she had was Gap, Ralph Lauren and Old Navy items. I will dig all the way to China to spend $.50 on quality kids stuff. Also, if you hit a garage sale like this where it's perfect seasons and your taste in clothes give the chick your phone number to contact you when she's having her next sale. May take some "stepping out" on your part but heck, for good clothes it's worth it!
*Did you know you can make your own Baby Wipes? Um.. I AM SO TRYING THIS!!!
Most of ya know we buy junk houses. It's a hobby, provides a super cheap mortgage, it's a way to keep moving up to bigger houses as our family grows and selling them has also provided a savings account for us since living on a teacher's salary doesn't give us much room to save in our budget! Now, most of you have no interest in doing what we've done BUT I will give you some tips on how I've decorated each house on a budget.
*Here's some framed fabric in Adie's room inside a frame I painted white. Added some ribbon to hang it up and wala.. a no sewing, NO TIME flat wall hanging that matches her room perfectly.
*Darin just recently put up our light scones beside our bed in the new room. You see them all the time on HGTV but actually finding them in the stores? Impossible. Well, we didn't check Home Depot because it's 45 minutes away but lets just assume they didn't have them. =)
Here's the box of what we started with.. a $12.98 bathroom light fixture with a glass globe...
Darcy no likey.. looks too much like a bathroom. So we flipped it up-side-down and got a $5.98 shade to go on top of it.
We now have lamps beside our bed for $20 a whop. LOVE them too..
*Don't be afraid of auctions, craigslist.com and Goodwill/Salvation Army furniture. I know I have gotten in the mind-set before that I DESERVE new stuff. Maybe because when I left my parents house they were buying newer furniture... it's what I was used to. Um, my parents were married 30 years and both worked at the time! THEY deserved new stuff! That's not how they started their marriage!!! Used stuff is just as cool and the art of FINDING it and making it look new is the best part. The below picture is our dining room table and four chairs purchased for $25 at my grandpa's auction.Did it look like this when we purchased it? Um, good heavens no. It was pea green. Darin sanded the top down for me (um, found out it was MOHAGANY!) and stained it and I painted the chairs and the base of the table black. We also have couches in our living room that I sewed covers for about $100 worth of fabric. You guys can do it.. I KNOW it!!!
OTHER RANDOM Savin's
*Did you know that ALL YMCA's offer scholoarships? They look at your income and give you a discount accordingly. Like even on swim lessons and stuff. Totally looking into this. =)
*Verizon Wireless gives 10-12% monthly discounts to teachers. Woah.
*I know I've got some of my past gymnasts reading.. Hi Jeni, Kristin, Laura and Sarah!!! (Sorry if I forgot someone or didn't know you read!!!) This is KEY for a college budget. When you go out to dinner, forget ordering the soda. They are like $1.99-2.49 a whop now. Since college I made my own lemonaid at restaurants. Order water with extra lemon and squeeze the lemon juice into the H20 and add some sugar or sweetner from the table. I drink a ton more water this way and only God knows how much money I've saved in 10 years of doing this! (And another tip.. my dad has ALWAYS taught me to tip as if I got a soft drink.. the server does just as much work with you ordering water so be nice to your servers!!!)
*On another tipping note.. I have a degree in Hospitality/Tourism from Purdue. Went through quite a bit of restaurant courses and did you know you are supposed to tip "PRE" tax? Yep! Take the amount of your bill BEFORE tax was added and tip accordingly. Here in IN tax is 7% so I take whatever my tax is and times it by 3 to tip 21%. Perfect equation for tipping AND it's the pre-tax amount.
*To any readers out there that are married, working, childless and hope to stay at home some day with your future children... live like you are living off one income. Take your income and pay off school loans, car loans, and put the rest of your earnings in savings so that you KNOW what it's like when you will live off one income. Not to mention your debt will be paid down (getting rid of some monthly payments) and it won't be a huge transition when you quit your job. Darin and I did this and man, are we glad we didn't spend what we made when I worked!
*Laundry - today someone gave the statistic that the most expensive thing to run in your house is the dryer.. let's go old style and string up a clothes line in the basement and line dry our clothes, ladies! I'll do it if you are doing it!
I hope this post helped a little bit. I was all riled up when I came home and like I said... there was no way I COULDN'T share this stuff with you!!! Now, if you'd like.. leave a comment and share some of your money saving stuff with us all. We'd love to know what you do to save a buck!!
Last but not least.. just wanted to share a little "ah-ha!" moment I had the other day. I was going through my prayer journal to see my past prayers and how God had answered them. About a year and a half ago I had MANY prayers that my scrapbooking would create some income for our family. I had a few pages published and really wanted some more to be... I know some of my prayers were a tad self-righteous. (Ha.. I LOVE seeing one of my pages in a mag!) I think after about 5 entries of my scrapbooking prayers, my prayer then changed to "God, please let my hobby create some income for our family." Do you know what happened when I actually pushed my own ideas out of the way and let God use me? People started calling me to take their kids pictures. And those people told other people about their pictures and they called me for a shoot. He created Darcy Holsopple Photography. He DID use my hobby for income for my family... just not the hobby I assumed He's use.
Guys, God provides.. He'll never promise that things will be easy and that you'll always have enough money.. He promises to PROVIDE.. just ask Him to!!!