Courtesy of Hotcouponworld.com
So, on my last post I shared a little bit about our situation. I'll give you a little more insight into the how's and why's! After the HUGE pay cut, we started to really take a look at what was a necessity and what wasn't. It was hard to decide how and where to save. But we sat down together and really crunched the numbers. We wrote down every bill we had and every dime of income we had coming in. Boy were we surprised! It was amazing that we had been making it before the pay cut, but it seems that it would be impossible to do it after the cut. *I cried!* I was so heartbroken.
But, after I pulled my self together and put on my big girl panties, I remembered that God was in control! And I could either give in to hurt/pride/worry/fear/etc. or I could step up and trust my Lord!
Now I know that it sounds as if "trusting" God was this super easy thing to do, but it wasn't! It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. You see, I have this thing called control issues=)
So trusting God was like....um, death!?! Silly, I know....even crazy! I could trust God to keep my family safe. I could trust God to heal us from sickness. I could trust God for everything...except with my money! Which really is His money. *It took me a minute to realize that one!*
And after a little Father/daughter time, God taught me to be obedient and still. See I was so busy complaining/whining/venting/begging/ (should I go on, or do you get the point?!!) that I didn't see God move right in front of me. And 3 years later I finally see that even in the darkest hour, the hardest week, the most unpredictable moment, that God was in control the whole time. Things always seemed to fall into place. But because of my distrust and disobedience....it took a while.
Talk about frustrating!!! To realize after all this time that it was your stupid pride that kept your blessings from being brought forth...well, it's just pure T maddening!! However we all know that there is a purpose and a plan for every thing we face, even the hard stuff.
So, I told you a little more of the why...so here is the how!
After we sat down and did a little number crunching we realized that there were some serious changes to be made. I knew that it was my job as the wife and mother to make necessary changes inside of the home. Again I turned to the Internet! I looked for every way possible to save money in my home. Here is a list of things I have done/changed to save money. And so far I love everything I have changed!
1. I make my own Laundry Detergent (here is a post I did on making your own...complete with step-by-step pictures, courtesy of my darling friend Cindy Lou=)
2. I make my own bath soap (here is a wonderful link with step by step instructions)
3. I make my own liquid hand soap (All I do is grate some soap: homemade or store bought, add water, shake, and let it sit a while. It's not terribly thick, but when you have 2 kids that waste....it works plenty!
4. I make my own febreeze and wrinkle releaser. (All you need is a clean spray bottle, 1/4 cup of liquid fabric softener, and water...mix and spray! LOVE IT! To use it as a wrinkle releaser, just spritz the clothing and toss in to the dryer for a moment!=)
5. I make my liquid fabric softener last 3 times as long by dividing it up into 3 bottles (just old fabric softener bottles I've save over time) and then fill them up with water. That stuff is so concentrated that you could probably break it down more than that!
6. I line dry our clothes in the spring, summer, & fall.
7. We installed a wood-burning heater/stove. (LOVE IT!!!!! Best thing we ever did!)
8. I shop thrift stores for everything!
9. We stopped using paper plates and paper towels.
10. We hunt/fish.
11. I mentioned before we raise hogs.
12. We plant a massive garden and can what we pick.
13. We only have one vehicle (other than our farm truck, but it's mostly just for working around the farm)
14. We make the least amount of trips to town as possible!
15. I clip coupons.
16. We had our land line phone turned off. We only have cell phones now.
17. I called and raised the deductibles on our car/homeowners insurance. Allstate has this thing where for every year you are accident free they will knock $100 off of your deductible. They will go as high as $500. I bumped our deductible up to $1000. Now our monthly payment is cheap and if we do have an accident we will only pay the $500, which is what we would pay anywhere else.
18. Buy in bulk!
19. Sell your unwanted books at Cash4Books.
20. Earn free stuff (I've been saving mine for Christmas presents=) at Swag Bucks!
21. Get free money at Inbox Dollars just for reading their emails!
22. Make homemade gifts! (I'll be doing another post later about this; complete with links!)
23. Sell unused/unwanted items on eBay.com or amazon.com
24. Sign up with money saving blogs/websites/etc. Here is a list of some of my faves!!!
25. Make a Household Notebook! I love mine! It keeps me sane=) Here is a link to a blog that even provides a few printables for a notebook.
26. Use your crock pot! It's your best friend. Here is a link to a blog with 365 days of recipes.
27. Pay your bills online...and save that stamp!
28. Cook from scratch (I mentioned this in my last post. I'll share some cooking from scratch recipes later). I love to cook, so this one is easy for me!
29. Meal planning is a huge money saver!!!!!!!!!!!! (I also mentioned this in my last post) I made a list of meals that we eat and put it in my Household Notebook. Then each week I pull out my list and pick meals for the week. Then it's easier to make my grocery list. I plan to try to do this monthly versus weekly.
30. Get your whole family involved! The changes that are taking place don't just affect you! They affect everyone in your family. So make it a family affair. Kids love to feel like they are helping and making a difference.
So, there is a list of 30 ways you can save money, complete with links! I hope that you were able to find at least a few things helpful. I'll do my best to add more as I find them. I know we are all looking for ways to help out and pinch pennies in this sad economy. But, please don't forget that regardless of how bad things look our Abba-Father, Jehovah Jireh (God our Provider!), is in control!!!