My Frugal Life: Learning From a Frugal Mother

I remember as a child, my mother would save small soap pieces and put them it hot water and mush them up, making liquid soap. We would use it to wash our hands. There were other things she did, such as saving any food containers.


Now, as an adult, I do the same thing. I lost my job last year and now I have 3 part time jobs but none of them add up to many hours. In order to survive, I have to buy food in bulk whenever possible. I use my kept glass jars to freeze my food. My Frugal LifeI make large pots of soups, cabbage, beans, and etc. and freeze them. I also make my dog food for my 2 dogs. They gobble it up. I use plastic and glass containers for making homemade lotions, bath salts, candles, and anything else I can think to put in them. I save all my cans and give them to my local SPCA for them to take to recycle and get the cash. I save cereal boxes, coffee containers, oatmeal canisters, and most any other thing I can think of a use for or can search the internet and find a use for.

I don't drive anywhere if I don't absolutely have to. I plan my shopping on the days I have to work and already out on the road. I take all newspaper and cardboard to my local recycle center if I do not need it for a project. I have very little trash to dispose of. I use as little electricity as I can. I have switched to the energy saving light bulbs and cut off my water heater about twice a week. The water will stay hot enough to use for about 3 days if you cut the water off while soaping up. When the hot water runs out, just cut it back on and start the cycle over again.


I encourage everyone to do as much recycling, re-using, and cutting back as much as possible. We all need to do our part to save our planet.

By Tricia

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October 30, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, and even though it's wintry now, when garage sale-ing I always take a peek in the free box. I get lots of tupperware type stuff that way. If it's scratched, I use it to hold dog food or store sewing pins, that kind of thing.You can often find things you need, but don't want to spend on when you are living a time to be frugal, like pencils or a few paper clips or a small tablet, a spare pair of scissors suitable for visiting children or a paint sticks which can be used for garden markers, or to poke down a yucky drain. Bits of varnish or paint can complete a tiny project at home you've been postponing.

I planned my walks around tasks, and bus/max trips like a general to maximize time and money. In Portland bus fares were based on time and if I worked it right I could come and go on one fare. Here in

CO, fares are based on direction and sometimes I can loop around in such a way my transfers last til home, not usually, but I still try to cluster tasks to minimize costs.

As far as the energy savings stuff I'll bet you remember when kids were in bed between 7:30 and 9:00 at the latest and the entire house went dark and everyone got a decent nights sleep.No such thing as television on all night and people going to sleep any and all hours. Laundry was hung to dry except for jeans in winter. Dishes were done by hand, and kitchens were closed between meals which meant fewer dish loads. Animals ate our scraps plus a little food. Cat boxes were boxes of dirt from our yards or they went outside. We made toys for our pets mostly.

You might want to try a straw box cooker or also called fireless oven or hay cooker. Lots of ways to make them. I'm waiting for an opportunity to do when nobody is home so I don't hear criticism.They were used a lot in Europe during WW 1&2 when there was little fuel. Everyone should know the principle anyway.

Directions on web.

When I was in Africa, I learned an adequate way to wash/bathe. We had to heat water, so each of us got about one gallon. Dip your washcloth into the warm water, soap your washcloth well and scrub yourself

wherever you need scrubbing and when done pour the water from your neck or head down, and off goes the suds. It worked well enough and any similar technique

would save a lot of water.

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