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Budget Reduction Strategy #4

19 Feb

I do love to DIY. Everything. But I also like simple and cheap. A lot of recipes call for different butters and special ingredients. Someday, I’ll own all the special stuff. Today, I want results without the money.

I use coconut oil as lotion. This last time I was feeling fancy, so I whipped the oil until it got fluffy. It spreads easier, but is still pretty hard. I use it just out of the shower every day. It soaks in and leaves no oily residue.

I just started to do oil cleansing when I wash my face at night. I use jojoba. You’re supposed to mix it with castor oil, but I didn’t have it until now. I’m going to try it 75% jojoba and 25% castor. I’m going to try it just because I have it all, but the jojoba worked great on its own. Actually, I hear olive oil works great too and that’s already in the kitchen. But I don’t particularly want to smell like olive oil.

Toothpaste– this one takes a little getting used to. I’ve read all the warnings about fluoride, so I definitely wanted to stay away from that and it’s hard to get a toothpaste without it. I use equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. I add in peppermint oil. I do miss the minty feel of commercial toothpaste, but now when I try to use it I am overwhelmed with the mint and can hardly stand it. When I want to feel all clean and fresh, I just put a few drops of straight peppermint oil on my tongue.

Still on my list:

  • shampoo and conditioner
  • hair gel
  • makeup- blush and eyeshadow to start with
  • chapstick

Budget Reduction Strategy #3

18 Feb

I make my own cleaners. I love this one. I feel all domestic when I make my own supplies. I feel powerful. I’ve gone through a few recipes, but I think I’ve settled on this one:

1 part hydrogen peroxide

1 part Dawn dish soap

1 part baking soda

I’m not sure if Dawn is so important. But that’s what the recipes say, so that’s what I started with. I’m moving on to another type as soon as I finish this bottle. And then, I’m going to try making my own liquid dish soap to use in this recipe.

I’m using this on everything- kitchen, bathrooms, showers, oh and laundry stains. Multi purpose. This may be all I need.

I also make my own laundry detergent from the Duggar family recipe. I wish their show was on Netflix so I could watch it (we don’t have cable).  I’ve been using this recipe for about a year and a half. It’s awesome.

I have a few more things on my list:

  • dishwashing detergent
  • liquid hand soap from a bar
  • something for the glass shower doors- that soap scum is tough

Budget Reduction Strategy #2

15 Feb

Who buys their own books anymore? Not this girl! I love to read. And I love new things. Did you know that the library in your local city is part of a larger group of County libraries? I didn’t either. But then I found out that on the County website there is search and request option. I order my books and when then come in, I get an email announcing their arrival. The books are all set aside in a special section, so I can run in and run back out. I LOVE this option. Sometimes I have to wait a while for the books to come in, but it’s not usually that long.

When the book I’ve been checking out looks like it should be a serious relationship, I jump on Amazon and put it on my wish list. When I order something on Amazon and need just a little more for the free shipping, I add one of my ‘can’t live without you’ books.

The number of books that make it to my forever list is pretty slim. But my little black book of just dated books keeps growing and growing. I love no cost and no commitment. Except for marriage- I like that costly and forever.

Budget Reduction Strategy #1

14 Feb

Eat well. Stay in budget. I eat strictly organic, unprocessed foods. And it can get pricey.

I generally shop at just a few stores: Azure Standard, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and a local farmer.

Azure Standard has all the bulk foods I need: beans, flour, herbs and spices, oils, vinegars, canned things, jarred things, nuts, fresh and frozen produce, dried fruits, dried coconut, grains. I buy everything I can in bulk. They ship once a month and it comes on a big truck. Everyone who ordered meets at the drop point and helps to unload. You have to sign up for a free account to see the pricing.

Costco: I buy organic chicken breasts, whole organic chickens, organic carrots, organic spinach, mushrooms, organic butter, organic heavy cream, organic frozen green beans, organic frozen berries. Then I stock up on toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, aluminum foil, Ziploc bags, and cheese.

Trader Joe’s: They have great prices on organic fruits and veggies. I also get organic tortillas, cereal for my husband, some pastas, organic milk, and anything else that I need to fill in for the month.

Local farmer: this woman is great- I get all my farm fresh eggs from her and she is currently growing us a cow! I don’t get a lot of produce from her because it can be a little pricey, but it is always amazingly delicious.

And finally there’s the Farmer’s Market. Every Thursday morning there is the most delicious abundance of fruits and vegetables set up at our local Community College. I have to make sure to only carry a certain amount of cash on me- because I will spend it all. All of it. Every last dime. I often have to make a second trip to the car because my arms get too full. I’ve been going for about 8 years now, and now that I know the farmers they give me great deals. They are the nicest people and I look forward to seeing them every week!

My real goal is to have my own greenhouse. Twitch promised to build me one as soon as we finish getting his shop up. Dang 40’x60′ building. This is going to take a while to save for it, but because of building codes, we have to be careful what we put on our property until we get it all up and permitted. I just wanted a little hoop house, but Twitch doesn’t do anything halfway. I’ll end up with a gigantic permanent structure and a misting system. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome and totally worth the wait. But ug! the wait!

Eating well means that we eat less. Our nutritional needs are met through the high vitamin and mineral content of our produce and meat, so we aren’t eating as much as we were before. For the most part- we don’t eat processed and packaged foods. I LOVE cooking from scratch. We never go to the doctor. We aren’t on any meds. Eating well is really doable- but I can get carried away. Because I love food. And I love cooking. And I love buying new and yummy ingredients. So I still have some work to do in this area, but with these resources staying within my budget is doable while still eating clean.

Weekly Money Check Up

20 Aug

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was tickets to Texas! Headed over to visit with the familia and meet our newest niece!

2. Today I am thankful for starting a new fitness challenge. 10 weeks of busting it.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was make homemade applesauce with granny smith apples from Myra’s tree. I love when I get to feel all Pioneer Woman.

4. I will consider this week a success if everything for the trip goes smoothly. We haven’t packed or done any prep work. I still need to pack up Tart for his staycation with his cousins- Tator Tot and Timber. No, dogs aren’t people. But seriously they are.

5. This time of year makes me unbelievable that I am not going back to work!! Instead of dreading the return to the grind, I get to geek out on new pencils, colored markers, and daily planners. I heart the fall.

Weekly Money Check-UP

13 Aug


1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on savings! Now that we are debt free (woot!) we are saving up for a huge shop for Twitch. My entire paycheck and part of his are being funneled into savings so we can pay CASH for his shop!

2. Today I am thankful for library books. So awesome that I can be completely non committal and not feel bad for getting liek 10 books and only reading parts of half on them.

 3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was take Pop Tart to doggy training lessons. It wasn’t supposed to be free, but my very generous aunt surprised me by paying for his lesson!

4. I will consider this week a success if I do my Physical Therapy exercises every day this week. Rehabbing a knee and ankle.

5. The last thing I won was a gift card to Harley Davidson. I went to breakfast with biker dudes at their monthly club meeting. Never seen so many men in leather giving each other hello hugs. Then it was in to Mimi’s for brunch. The irony was not lost on me 🙂

Weekly Money Check-Up

6 Aug

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on food. Costco always is a big bill. I also got lots of Summer fruits and veggies from the Farmer’s Market and a local farmer.

2. Today I am thankful for the news that my family is flying out to California for Christmas! I’m so excited they are going to be here!!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was throw a going away party for my sister. She’s flying back to Texas today for the school year, and we got to spend hours yesterday just hanging out and laughing.

4. I will consider this week a success if I pull out my Summer list and get some things checked off. I love lists! I love checking things off lists too!

5. I am trying to incorporate more real foods in my diet. I am on the GAPS diet for healing and it seems like just when I get really good at something, I let something else go. Like getting in lots of probiotics, but totally forgetting about the healing broth and supplements.