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.

Meat

*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

Breads

*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

Beverages

*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

Clothing/Laundry

*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!

Water:

*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?

Blessings,
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Kristi

Kristi is a homeschooling mom of three and a native Californian and lives in Riverside County, Southern California where she and her husband garden and care for their 7 fruit trees, 2 chickens, 3 rabbits, 2 dogs, and 3 cats – all on .18 of an acre. Eventually Kristi’s family would love to move to a larger parcel of land, but for now, they are contented to learn all about homesteading right where they are at, as Kristi ekes out every bit of knowledge she can and blogs about much of it at here at her website, The Mind to Homestead.
About Kristi

Kristi is a homeschooling mom of three and a native Californian and lives in Riverside County, Southern California where she and her husband garden and care for their 7 fruit trees, 2 chickens, 3 rabbits, 2 dogs, and 3 cats – all on .18 of an acre. Eventually Kristi’s family would love to move to a larger parcel of land, but for now, they are contented to learn all about homesteading right where they are at, as Kristi ekes out every bit of knowledge she can and blogs about much of it at here at her website, The Mind to Homestead.

Comments

  1. 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. 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. 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. Oh absolutely! I think it also increases my confidence that I can actually do all the things that I want to as well! It’s awesome. :)

  5. 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

  6. 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. :)

  7. 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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