My Frugal Life: Raising Five Kids

As a single mother on a dotted budget line, I have learned how to provide for my family on very little.

Clothing

I strictly shop Goodwill or garage sales. I always try to find the half off price items you are needing in Goodwill. You can always try to barter a lower price with your garage sale lady. I never pay full price for any clothing item nor do I shop at any outlet malls. You can find brand new clothing items easily for $1-$2 and the new "designer" brands the kids want.

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One word of advice: Only shop for an item you actually "need", otherwise you will end up with an overabundance of clothes and you will spend an inordinate time washing, sorting, dealing with them, etc., not necessary! When you are done with your clothes, find a family to pass them on to, so they can reap some benefits from your frugality.

Food

I primarily shop at Kroger. One, it gives me gas discounts for my purchases and two: you can buy very, very low cost items with the red manager specials. You can stock up on meat or any item your family needs with these bargain prices. I also grow a garden and ask for others' unwanted or unused produce (Freecycle) and can. There is nothing better than home canned produce. No unwanted additives.

Utilities

If you have to buy oil or gas for your furnace and you have funds, buy during their summer discount when it is not needed, you will get a lower price.

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This may not be encouraged, however I have resorted to using candles for lighting and have saved over $20 just in lighting costs. Using a clothes line for 90% of your drying saves an incredible amount of electricity. In the winter, install a retractable clothes line (or rack) for drying, it will save you electricity and it will put moisture in the air.

If you live in the country as I do, most people require a water softener for rust and/or lime problems. I try to find salt bags that have been broken and get a discount on them.

These are just a few of my ways of my frugal life. Enjoy!

By Kellyb from IN

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September 17, 20110 found this helpful

Great except for the candle. One energy saving light bulb is cheaper in the long run than any candle you can buy and lasts much longer.

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Ask the electric company. Candles put out smoke and residue which you breathe.

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September 17, 20110 found this helpful

Also if just want a little light, get night lights. They burn practally no electricity.

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September 18, 20110 found this helpful

Or you could buy solar spotlights and put them in the yard during the day and then bring them in at night to use around the house for free light. Better than candles as they won't catch on fire.

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March 25, 20140 found this helpful

I use a camping dynamo lantern to light me upstairs, along passages etc - though it isn't strong enough for reading or close work, so I use an energy saving light bulb for that.

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