Here are my top ten ways to creatively save money:
1. We do not buy trash bags. I always get plastic grocery bags from the grocery store so we use those in all of our trash cans. I usually double bag the ones that go into the kitchen can. We've been doing this for months and haven't had a leak yet.
2. We do not eat out anymore. One of my children is extremely sensitive to gluten so we have chosen as a family to not eat out. The only place that I trust to avoid contamination is Chipotle and the cost to feed us all there is crazy!
3. However, there are emergency times when we might need to eat out. I've figured out that we can all share a fajita bowl if I buy side orders of rice for $.88 each. Always know the cheapest way to eat out, just in case!
4. We live on a small farm so I know this won't be applicable to everybody but always shop around for the best price of feed. There are several feed stores around us and prices vary from $11.00 per 50lb bag of chicken feed to $17 per 50lb bag. I found that the cheapest store also buys almost everything that goes into their feed from local farmers so I enjoy the cheapest and most local feed!
5. Always check in free boxes! We are part of our local home school co-op and there are always free boxes full of "treasure". Sometimes I don't find anything that we need but other times I've walked away with curriculum or other books we need.
6. This one has been difficult for some members of the family but we started buying Scott brand toilet paper. It lasts forever!! It might not be the softest but it is the cheapest! Just by switching our family of seven only goes through two four packs of toilet paper a month instead of an entire large package with 18 rolls of the soft fluffy stuff!
7. Be a creative barterer. I have a surplus of eggs right now so I'm bartering a couple dozen eggs for 5 gallon buckets of field corn. Strange trade? Not for us. Next month our little piggies come and this will help reduce our feed cost!
8. Raise some of your own food. Maybe you can't raise animals but can you grow some veggies in a window sill or containers? If the cost of feed is keeping you from raising chickens make sure you feed them all of your scraps and consider letting them free range. We have 12 hens and a rooster who are all actively laying (well except the rooster!) and we go through just a little over one 50lb bag of layer mash a month. We feed all our scraps to the hens and let them free range most of the time.
9. Unplug your dryer. Our dryer broke early in September and I haven't used one since. We have a family of seven and I've found that if I do a load a day I can keep up. I also live where I can't use our outdoor clothesline year round so I hung up some tomato stakes between a couple chairs to use as a makeshift drying rack inside.
10. Shop used first! My family knows that if we need something I will always check all our local thrift stores before we set foot in a department store. My coffee maker broke so I headed to Goodwill and found a super nice coffee maker on blue tag day for $3.75!!! It is so much nicer than the one I had! We shop used for all our needs first, yes instant gratification is nice but with a large family buying new really adds up!
This post is linked to Frugal Fridays