Tips for Stretching the Budget

This is going to be a quick one, short and sweet sharing some of my best tips for stretching the budget, as well as a few other ideas that I’ve heard of that work for other families. Maybe you do some (or all) of these, or maybe not.


*Determine that each family member needs to eat only one serving of meat and determine how much meat you need for one meal (if 1 serving equals 4 oz, a 4-person family would use 1 lb of meat per meal)
*Make more sides to fill in that space that used to be occupied with meat
*After your roast/whole chicken is cooked, set aside (hide?) some for another dinner and only set out what you are willing to allow to be eaten up

Fruits and Vegetables

*Grow your own! (you saw that one coming, right?)
*Can/preserve your own, rather than purchasing canned fruits and vegetables
*Watch sales and purchase fruits and vegetables are deeply discounted


*Determine to never purchase bread again and bake your own sandwich bread, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, hot dog and hamburger buns
*Make your own tortillas
*Buy your flour and other grains in bulk and learn how to store them effectively


*Tea bags – use more than once – they are usually good for an extra cup of less potent tea
*Juice – make your juices from concentrate, rather than buying it bottled
*Iced Tea/Sodas – make your own at home
*Drink water


*Wear clothing more than just once, and more than twice if possible
*Spot clean tablecloths, rather than washing the whole thing
*Spot clean your clothing, rather than changing
*Be mindful of not getting things as dirty
*Hang your clothing out to dry
*Darn your own socks instead of buying new ones
*Repair holes in your clothing

Soap, any kind

*Save all of those little soap pieces that end up sticking to the inside of your tub/shower until you have a whole bunch, then use them to make laundry soap
*Fill up your sinkful of dirty dishes with soapy water and a few drops of dish soap, rather than globbing your dish soap onto your sponge every few dishes. This saves on water too!


*If you purchase bottled water, consider buying a Brita water filter or a home filtering system. You’ll pay so much less for filtered water!
*Turn off the sink when you are brushing your teeth
*If you use your sprinklers, put them on a timer
*Shower once per week (ok, just kidding!)
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, just something to motivate you to think this direction if you aren’t already. Besides, I said this one would be short and sweet!

What do YOU do to stretch your resources?

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  1. says

    Hi Angell!

    I’ve read the Tightwad book, but I’m going to look into the other one. I actually sold my Tightwad books, can you believe that? Now I wish I had them back. LOL

  2. says

    I wish I could get my Hubby on board about the dish soap. When he does dishes, he runs the water the entire time, and uses about an inch and a half of soap from the bottle – ouch!

    I’ve started menu planning a main dish, two vegetables and a fruit or starch, so that those home-grown, healthy veggies and fruits take up most of our plates and our tummies. I’ve also learned that a single serving of chicken or beef can be stretched to feed the three of us for something like fajitas or quesedillas, much like you’ve mentioned here.

    Just today, I was putting all the laundry together and decided to ‘go through my 5 year old’s basket. Many of the clothes in there had been worn half an hour or something like that, so I filded them and had her put them away for another wearing.

  3. says

    I was just thinking…ever notice how stretching your resources increases your talents? You’re gardening, canning, sewing, etc. Is growing new talents a side effect of stretching your resources? (hee hee)

  4. Cynthia says

    People think I am crazy for not having a dryer. When we moved we left our old (not to mention dying) dryer behind, with the mind set of getting a new one once we settled in. It’s been a year, and I do not miss my dryer at all. In fact its made us more aware of what can be worn more than once before washing and I find myself doing less laundry. I love hanging our clothes out to dry, and on a rare rainy week I hang everything in the garage. I am looking forward to hearing about how to make my own soda!! :) btw I love your blog

  5. says

    Aww thanks. Glad you can get something out of it. :)

    I LOVE hanging my clothes, it’s just so therapeautic for me for some odd reason. I use my dryer for towels, but our clothes hang outside daily. I know what you mean about wearing things more than once–I’m learning about “conserving” laundry, and it’s nice to know that I’m conserving energy doing it. :)

  6. says

    I LOVE to hang out my laundry. I bought a retractable line last summer but our drill bit the dust and I haven’t gotten a new one. Even though we have a nice, big clothesline with four lines I still have the first one. I plan to use it on the front porch this winter or during inclement weather…as long as it’s not blowing.

    I would love to learn to can. No garden this year. Tiller needs repairing and DH isn’t here to fix it. I was thinking about raised beds but not in time to get things going. When it cools off I might try to do some preliminary stuff before winter so things are ready next spring.

    I like to bake…need to really get myself in gear for it. I have a few recipes for hamburger and hot dog buns. Trouble is I need to actually sit down and plan my menus to include baking the breads earlier in the week. I’m organizationally challenged so that will be a miracle.

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