See the previous post if you’re not sure what I’m talking about!
Here’s how I found all those “cheats” to use fewer supplies, whether they be lightbulbs, potting soil, toothpaste or frozen food.
What do you do automatically? If you become more aware of those choices, then you can try and change them. My frugal strategies apply:
- Find a cheaper substitute.
- Spend less for the same product.
- Do without.
Figure out what you do automatically: How much oil or fat do you put in a pan — can you use less? Can you use a cheaper oil and have it work as well? Substituting margarine for butter in baked goods doesn’t work in my opinion. For me, it seems to be how much the fat determines the taste of the dish. YMMV! How do you decide how much TP to use at once? Try delaminating 2-ply and see if it won’t cause you to use less? Worked for me! Pizza toppings: If you love a certain frozen pizza, but hate one topping (or your kid does) and automatically toss it? Can you find a way to use the tossed food? I’m not talking about allergies, of course you shouldn’t keep foods you or yours are allergic to, but preferences. You could use frozen bits of onion or peppers in soups or meatloaf, for example. Sausage pieces could be used in scrambled eggs.
Pay attention to your automatic behavior and the waste it causes. Then try to use what you’ve wasted before.
Use the internet or other resources to help: Try different routes on googlemaps is there a shorter route? Use gasbuddy to find the cheapest gas locally. Find new ways to use up leftovers. Try to make your own foods: bake bread, grow herbs, make gravy.
“If I was broke, what would I do differently?” Many times this shows me what I’m wasting or suggests ideas. I made sauted greens last night for dinner. I took the stems off because DH hates “stringy” greens. Instead of tossing them, I put them in the freezer for smoothies or to be added to soup.
Ask a pro! People who do things for work quickly find the easiest and fastest way to do things. They frequently know the cheapest way too. I found out about the shampoo concentrates at beauty supply shops by asking a hair stylist where the salon bought their shampoo? Another example: my dad, when looking for a new home refrigerator went to the biology department at the college where he worked and asked which refrigerator they’d recommend?
If this works with one thing in 5, it still counts! The idea that it has to save dollars right away or it doesn’t count is EXPENSIVE!
Every little cost-savings idea you use counts.
Each dollar is
100 pennies after all!
Posted in frugality, minimalism, organization, psychological stuff, saving money, self-interest, Supplies, workarounds
Tagged becoming frugal, cutting costs, experiment, figuring it out, frugal attitude, try, try a new idea, try a new way
I live with an anxiety disorder, PTSD. One thing I’ve learned in dealing with anxiety my entire life (well, since I was 3) is that the easiest way to cope is to keep busy! So, here’s a few ideas to help you.
- Read! I’m a book person, right? I want to get at least one book off my “to be read” pile. Even if you only have 5 minutes here or there because you’re not commuting to work, it’s “found” time!
- Cook (to reduce waste)! I have the end of a package of mushrooms which will become slime soon and onions which have started to sprout… And butter, yes, I have some butter, it’s in the freezer. (Hopefully, I can buy more.) Make something basic that can be used in future meals and also reduces your food waste: sauteed onions and duxelles are in my plans today, for just that very reason.
- Improve! Work on a home-improvement project if you have all the pieces, or have the pieces to start. We planned, after DH broke his leg, to be really conservative this year on home projects. Possible retirement was also a factor. So, we decided that we’d make use of the supplies and materials on hand rather than starting any new projects. One of those projects is painting the living room’s baseboards. I started that yesterday!
- Inventory! Do an inventory. Do you have 19 cans of chili and 2 of fruit cocktail? When availability/resources are limited, knowing exactly what you have (and don’t) enables you to shop for and store only the necessary, keeps down expenditures, and keeps products you could have overbought available for others.
- Cook (basics)! Don’t cook from scratch? Try. Fry an egg, make toast. The next time, add some sauteed onion or mushrooms, bell peppers, or what have you? Or, try boiling an egg instead. Or make biscuits from a can or . . . push your cooking towards the next level.
- Explore alternatives! Find and use alternatives if you can. Especially with baking there seem to be a lot:
- Baking powder can be made up from cream of tartar and baking soda, here.
- Brown sugar can be made up as needed from white sugar and molasses, here.
- Applesauce can be used to substitute for fats in baking, here.
- Soy flour can be substituted for eggs, here.
Posted in anxiety, Cultural Shift, domestic economy, Food, food waste, frugality, Getting Organized, home improvements, Links list, old fashioned housewifery, psychological stuff, Storage, Using up stuff, workarounds
Tagged baking substitutes, coping with anxiety, ideas for coping with cabin fever, try cooking, use what you have
If you’ve followed along here for any period of time, you’d notice that I keep trying to find “rules.” That is, I keep trying to find set answers to recurring problems.
- Can I cook in such a way that the kitchen cleans itself while I’m doing it? (See self-cleaning tab above.)
- The three ways to save $ is another.
Here’s my latest:
I’m trying to figure out exactly what to keep, toss, or buy, and have been for a long time. I decided to try and “formalize” the decision-making process because I keep revisiting the issue.
I posed the problem in a forum where I participate. The answers I got and my reactions to them got me to create a spreadsheet.
From an hour’s worth of work, I came to these conclusions: storage limits are a major determinate for me — every item I considered it was a potential issue.
- So, imposing a SPACE BUDGET should always be my first step when considering an item to keep, cull or purchase. The next consideration is whether or not what I’m considering is a durable item or a supply item?
(A SPACE BUDGET is a given amount of space allocated for a certain item.)
I discovered that I need to treat supplies differently than durable goods. Supplies tend to be things that are not used all at once. And they are things which are meant to be consumed entirely. So, for a bag of cat litter, space allocation needs to be big enough to hold the full bag, even when it isn’t.
So, this can be approached in two ways, from either the amount desired or the space needed.
- How much of a given supply do I want to have on hand at the most? — How much space would it need?
- Or, How much space do I have to allocate for this supply? — How much of the supply can be stored in the available space?
Some supplies require specialized storage, which of course makes it even more complicated.
Posted in cleaning up, Culling, dehoarding, Digging Out from Under, Durable Goods, Getting Organized, Goals, Goldilocks Dilemma, Hoarding, learning, Life Lessons, Making Home, minimalism, old fashioned housewifery, organization, pantry, Planning, projects, psychological stuff, self-interest, Storage, stuff, Supplies, Using up stuff, workarounds
Tagged hoarding to minimalism, how much stuff? how many supplies? How do you know? Figuring it out. Making guidelines.
Well, it’s different, you see. Not panicking in a clean space means that I can just clean it and leave it that way.
That is new and different, so although these points may be obvious to you, they weren’t to me!
The reasons behind my decluttering now are:
- With less stuff, it’s easier to use the space.
- With less floating clutter, it’s easier to clean the space.
- Also with less floating clutter, it’s easier to maintain the cleanliness.
This has nothing to do with sparking joy or minimalism, but is a pragmatic reality. Intellectually, of course I already knew this.
What’s different is the impatience I have with the assorted piles and boxes of stuff. Instead of being something to doggedly plow through which is uncomfortable at best and traumatic at its worst!
Posted in behaviors, cleaning, cleaning up, Culling, dehoarding, Digging Out from Under, Goals, Hoarding, learning, Life Lessons, Making Home, minimalism, New Habits, old fashioned housewifery, organization, projects, psychological stuff, PTSD, self-interest, stuff, trauma, unexpected results
Tagged cleaning without trauma, moving on, new attitudes, new data