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
*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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