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I am a single mother of two kids. The income I have comes from what little I make from my full time job, my job working in my church's nursery on Sundays, and Child Support for my oldest. I am constantly learning new ways to stretch my meager dollars. This is what I do to stretch what I have:
Your ideas are great ones for sure, and some indicate you may be living in the USA vs me here in Ont. Canada.
I am adamant about the recycling and am always angered by the amount of trash on the side of the street. When I walk my dogs I carry a plastic bag that I put the little "poop & scoop" bags into; I also pick-up garbage as I go and take it home for proper disposal.
We always flatten any cans, plastics etc., to prevent them blowing off down the street and also to allow for extra space in the recycling box.
I saw a show about our "energy footprint" and one item which caught my interest was the amount of extra humidity added to a home by leaving laundry on indoor racks to dry (during the non dry winter months). This puts extra strain on the A.C., can cause mold problems and adds to allergies etc. Like many folk I thought it was best to air-dry vs using the dryer. Now - I use the dryer in the evenings, and never on the hottest cycle; it kills the fabrics.
When my kids were very young (I was a Single Mum) and my finances were very tight... I kept all leftover vegetables cooked for meals and put them into a large ziplock baggie in the freezer. When there was a large enough quantity...the kids and I would buy a cabbage, some other veggies and make a big pot of soup, some homemade biscuits and have a great "value" meal~
My daughter was likely the only one at her Gr.8 graduation with a beautiful, in vogue dress, which we paid all of $6.00 for at a second hand shop. Yeah! Why not...she wore it once and I believe too many folks get just ridiculous about the prices they pay for kids clothing.
Thanks for sharing your tips. I always appreciate reading more and knowing others' are paying attention to what really matters. We are far too instant and disposable, a society for our own good.
Cheers from Oshawa Ontario
I am 64 and I have always used my clothing (anything) till they are no longer wearable. When they become too ragged to wear I will take the buttons, zippers and anything else I can salvage for other things and then I take and make rags for my husband to use when he is working on our vehicles. If I have large enough pieces and they are in good shape they are saved in a box until I have enough to patch together to make a quilt. I take old ragged towels and make wash rags or dish rags. I have never had a dishwasher and we always put just enough soap into the water to clean the dishes. Nothing goes to waste in the house. Bread bags are saved for freezing food that we separate when we buy it or for leftover vegetables. I pick up wallpaper sample books and use them in my crafts which saves buying paper to make things with.
You can wrap Christmas gifts with the comics of the newspaper if you get the Sunday paper for the coupons and if you have a sports fan save the pages from the sport they like and wrap presents in that.
Those are very good tips! I admire you single moms who are showing their children that frugal and thrifty are NOT "bad" words!
As far as holes in socks have you thought about learning to darn? My mama taught me when I was very young (now 64) and the money it saves is amazing! It is also very relaxing. You don't have to buy a darning egg, either. Just use the old fashioned light bulbs as your darning egg. You can find instructions by doing a search online. Kudo's to you!
I love the idea of "soup". As a way to get veggies into the family diet, I' e always served soup before the meal, and find that our portions are more reasonable. I grow a lot of vege's in summer and feeze them. I know what I am serving is healthy.