Monday, February 8, 2010

All I Need to Get By

One thing I learned from my mom years and years ago, was to shop for bargains, save money, clip coupons and don't be ashamed of homemade or second hand. Trust me, being a girl who wanted the real deal Holly Hobby dress but instead got a handmade original, I learned to be proud of what I wore and how I wore it.

Since being unemployed (yes, the months drag on), I've learned some tricks to saving money. One of my goals for this year was to either buy used, on sale or as a markdown.

You see, I also discovered that I have stuff that I really don't use or need. I have beautiful vintage bowls and art glass and figurines but when it comes down to it, I would almost hate to leave my daughters or Boo with the mess of what to do with it all when surely carnival glass isn't their "decorating scheme". So with that, I've decided to tighten the belt on a few things.

1) If I don't wear something within 6 months, out it goes. I can pick out quite a few blouses that I haven't worn in a year because I no longer like them or they just haven't been a part of my fashion statement.

2) If I do buy something old, new, used, or on a bargain, I must give up something in return. I usually donate my clothing and other items to charity thrift stores here or pass them down to someone that doesn't mind hand me downs.

3) Find someone that has a baby younger than Baby Boo to pass along every sock, outfit, toy and accessory to. Not only do they appreciate it but Baby Boo doesn't even realize when it's no longer here.

4) Buy in bulk and then freeze in quantities that can be used for two more meals. For instance, a huge roast can be cut into threes for Boo and I.

5) Buy cheese in a 5 pound bag and separate and freeze in smaller quantities. I cook with cheese and use to spend quite a bit until I started doing this.

6) Use ground turkey instead of ground beef. It's better for you and the taste is almost the same as ground beef.

7) Have one vegetarian meal a week. Thanks to apricot-tea (my daughter) I've discovered some really delicious recipes.

8) Barter or trade your services with someone else that may be able to help you out. For instance, my neighbor used to cut my hair. She was a licensed cosmetologist before my daughter obtained her license. I would tutor her kids in exchange.

9) Make homemade cards. They are much more heartfelt and I think, appreciated.

10) Trade used books with others that may have a book that you want to trade a book for as well. I buy most of my books used at thrift stores or at the library where the books are 50 cents. I love the opportunity to swap books instead of having them pile up in my bookshelf.

Do you have any tips to share?


Veronica Lee said...

Buy refills - they are much cheaper, trade DVDs with friends. Love your list.

About the prawn recipe, it's sweet and savoury and definitely NOT spicy - it's a hit with my non-Asian friends! You can substitute Bovril with vegemite or marmite. My US friend says you can get them in World Market or Safeway stores in the US or any British or Australian import shops.
Vegemite goes very well on buttered toast!!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Every time I go shopping, before I make a purchase I ask myself, "Does this bring me joy?" It doesn't matter if I'm considering a new blouse, a decoration for my apartment or an item in the grocery store--if it doesn't bring me joy, I don't buy it.

When you ask yourself this question, you'd be surprised at how much you buy just because it's on sale or because you think you need it. But when you ask, "Does this bring me joy?" and the answer is no, it's a lot easier to put down and walk away.

On the other hand, if the answer is yes, then you can buy it in confidence, even if it's a little more expensive than you expected to spend. If it brings you joy, it's worth it!

P.S. I also apply this concept to eating--if it doesn't bring me joy, I don't eat it. That way I can really enjoy the things that do bring me joy, and without guilt.

Frau said...

Great tips Simone!

Buckeroomama said...

I love your list --so sensible!

We try to borrow books from the library now instead of buying each and every time. If it turns out to be a book that we might read more than once, only then do we buy a copy for ourselves.

As for buying things? I do the want-need test. Do I really need it or do I just want it? :)

My name is PJ. said...

We do all of those things except the bartering. I'm not sure I have a barter-able skill, but I AM sure that if we, as a society, could get back to bartering, it would benefit everyone.

Trade or share clothes with friends - it's like shopping, but it's free.

If you have something someone wants - furniture or something significant, trade for something of theirs you want.

Take turns babysitting each others kids so everyone gets grown-up time or date night, etc. at no additional expense.

Buy all your paper products at Costco or Sams. You're going to use them and the larger amounts are so much cheaper.

To be honest, aside from all the green changes we're making in our lives, the biggest improvements come through working with others and sharing.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Sweetie...
I love this list, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts.

You know in the olden days they bartered for just about everything as not many had any money. I think we will be going back to those practices sooner than most think.

I love what Vegas Linda Lou said about "Does it bring me Joy"? I am going to remember that next time I go shopping. Just a simple enough question to ask yourself.

Thanks for sharing today sweetie. I am still praying about a job for you. I know he is listening to us.

Have a beautiful day. Country hugs and so much love...Sherry

Ina in Alaska said...

Many great tips and suggestions here! Eating vegetarian definitely saves money.

I also freeze milk. That works very well and the icy cold milk as it is almost defrosted tastes fantastic.

Every garbage day I part with something that really has to go and has been hanging around the house or garage. It all adds up to a clear space eventually. And the husband never misses it!

You and I are Saver Sisters, I do many of the things on your list and enjoy it too. I always look for a used book before buying a new one. We have a wonderful used book store in Anchorage, Title Wave, where when you bring books in you receive credit for books. I hardly ever pay. And I love what people give away at the used clothing store too. Many are new items! xoxo

Kwana said...

These are all great tips thanks.

Mari said...

These are great tips, and I do some of them already. I need to work on getting rid of something when I bring something into the house.

Life with Kaishon said...

These are so great : ) I love your list. Now I need to go and clean out my closet! If only I didn't have mounds and mounds of paperwork to do today... MAN!

Nezzy said...

I do a lot. I do cook my entrees up in large quantities then freeze them in the serving size we need. So easy to pull out an entree, bake a potato and toss a salad...wha'la a meal in no time. I throw hardly any food away. Plus no seconds are on the table for temptation.

Ya'll have a terrific day heaped full of blessings from above!

Ace said...

A big one for me is staying organized and knowing what I have. All too often I buy something only to find out at home that I already had one tossed in the cabinet behind the toilet paper, towels, and shampoo bottles.

Deborah Ann said...

I'm afraid I'm not very thrifty, don't really have any tips to share. I do shop at thrift stores, though, and I do love a good bargain. I clip coupons, but I usually forget to bring them to the store...

Danica said...

Great tips! I need to start using your tips. I'm not very thrifty as much as I want to be.

ethelmaepotter! said...

You're already doing everything right. Don't worry; you're fine.

Arizona Mamma said...

I love all of these tips. Especially the item in, item out.

As for clothes I haven't worn in 6 months, I am not ready to do that...I am still waiting to fit into them all. I should be there within a couple of months, so I don't want to get rid of them yet ;)

We always use ground turkey! I never, and I mean never, use ground beef. Just preference really.

Suz said...

I have been very bad about getting rid of clothes I haven't worn. I must do better. You have convicted me.

I also plan on selling some things on ebay or craigs list. I, too, have things that no one will want to deal with when I am gone.

I have too much STUFF and I really don't need so much STUFF.

Your post was a good reminder to me. Thanks.

lagirl/Sweet Tea said...

My Mantra - "Never. Never. Pay full price."

I think Libraries are one of the best deals around. Love it!

Respectfully Yours said...

Hello there, thank so much for the visit. I am following you now. I hope my posts brought you some fun. I will keep you in my prayers, I hope you find a job soon. Thanks for the tips.

Farila said...

I was born like that.. Bargains, savings and everything like that interested me until I had kids. For them I changed but for myself I am still .......... I trailed off here for lack of proper word. ;)
I usually never buy things because my husband thinks he gets the best bargains in Dubai where he works. So he shops for me.

Rona's Home Page said...

I only purchase meat if it's under $2 a pound.


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