Frugal Living Hacks

If you want to save money but are unsure of the ways to do so, I’m going to share with you some of the things I do at home to save a few pennies.

1) Make Your Own Laundry Soap

I use a recipe from Happy Money Saver that will get your laundry soap to last 504 loads. With few ingredients, it’s surprisingly more expensive than a bottle of detergent alone, however its cheaper in the long run considering how long this lasts, you’re essentially paying pennies to use it.

That’s it! My husband and I made this last year, and we’re still going strong on our detergent. We wash our clothes on average of once per week.

I also this recipe for DIY Dish Soap, here it is: Homemade Dish Soap

2) Grow Your Own Food

I’ve tried and failed growing herbs from seed, so if you don’t have a green thumb like myself, there’s still hope for you yet!

One of my favorite and easiest things to regrow from the grocery store are green onions. Just cut the tops off after you’ve used them and put the bulbs with the roots attached in shallow water and watch them grow (they grow so quickly)!

Plant onion and garlic bulbs in soil when you’re done with them, they will also regrow themselves. Another easy trick for celery is to also root it in water and transfer to soil when the stalks begin to grow.

I would grow more food, but I’m confined in my urban apartment for now. If you have the space, use it!

3) Preserve Unspent Food

I always buy herbs only to use a small portion. In order to make them last longer, I put them in water so that they don’t get soggy in the produce bag and in the fridge. If I can’t use them all in time, I have often cut them up and put them in olive oil or butter and freeze them in an ice try for future use. You can also blanch the herbs by quickly dropping them in cold water then drying them off before putting them back into your fridge or freezer to keep them fresher longer. I will often freeze fruits if I can’t finish them. Bananas are great for banana bread, and other frozen fruits are a great addition to smoothies.

4) Reusable Towels

A bad habit I let creep back up on me is buying paper towels, but they’re so wasteful! I recently purchased these reusable towels. Any towel in place of paper will work, you can find them at the thrift store or buy them new, whichever you prefer. Paper towels make for a quick and easy clean up, but when you’re done cleaning with the reusable towel, just throw it in the hamper (or a separate hamper) and wash them. It’s literally that simple. Even if paper towels are $1.00, think about how much you buy them, that $1.00 purchase is likely to add up to more than $12.00 a year which is enough for a meal or another purchase (or better yet, into your savings)!

5) DIY Cleaners

In a previous post, I shared a recipe for an all purpose cleaner, here’s the link: DIY Natural Cleaner This is a simple and easy way to use what you have on hand for cleaning products without having to buy them.

6) Saving Money on Electric and Water

I made a blog post a while back about how to save money using your electric and water. ICYMI here’s the link: How to Save Money on Your Electric and Water

7) Using the Library or Hoopla

This might be hard to change for avid readers, because I love bookstores, but… books often lead to clutter, and you pay for them and possibly never read them again. Take a chance and save money by going to the library. I know you can’t keep the book if you fall in love with it, but if you really wanted to read it again, check it out again or make the purchase. Hoopla is a great app that I use on my kindle to get free books. I can rent up to 10 titles a month and check them out again and again. You can even check out movies and music on there. Your rentals automatically return themselves and if you didn’t finish your book before it returns, once you check it out again, it picks up where you left off. Save money on your books by using these two free resources, and learn something while you’re at it.

8) Don’t Drink (anything but H20) 

I’m not saying it’s not fun to go out, but at home, my husband and I never purchase any beverages. We drink nothing but water at home and make sure to use our DoTERRA essential oils with it! That gives us flavor and health benefits. The only thing we drink besides water at home is an occasional glass of milk. We have a cow share and get a 1/2 gallon of milk per week and a pint of cream every other week. Hashtag, support your local farmers! Going out and being able to drink a soda or some adult beverages is a treat, so we don’t keep much around our house. It saves us money at the grocery too, and we’re cutting down on waste by not buying those products.

Just to clarify, I know some people buy bottled water, and that’s not what I’m encouraging you to do. By drinking water, we use a refillable 5 gallon jug that we fill with reverse osmosis water from our local Whole Foods. We use our glasses, stainless steel tumblers, or water bottles to drink from.

9) Buy Used Shoes and Clothing

I love the thrift store. My husband and I determined the other day, that the only thing we have bought new recently were pants. I find almost all of my shoes and clothes at the thrift store. It really helps us to save money, because my husband has a bad habit of buying clothes and only wearing them a few times before he finds an excuse to get rid of it (ugh, men). Especially with growing children, why buy new clothes that they’re going to grow out of? Clothing is one of those border line items between necessity and materialistic, because truthfully, we can wear whatever we want, we’re just picky about how we look. I find so many good brands at the thrift store. I spent $5.99 the other day on G.H. Bass boat shoes that retail for much higher. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a good way to ensure your hard earned money goes towards something more worthwhile while saving on money on material goods.

10)  Share a Car or Use Public Transit

I know this might be physically impossible for some of you, but if at all possible you can car pool to work or use public transit. My husband was in an accident several years ago, and ever since then we’ve been a one car family. We not only save money on car insurance, but also gas, and car maintenance. It’s a PITB sometimes to share a car because we fight over privileges, but it seems to working for us.

On the off chance we do end up purchasing another vehicle in the future, there’s a lot of factors to keep in mind when making another purchase and those are:

Longevity, how long will this car last us

Condition, how well has this been maintained

Price, always looking to spend under certain budget

Utility, what can we do with this car now and into our future

Insurance, what will the price be like to add this vehicle

Maintenance, how much will this require in repairs

Fuel, what will it cost to fill up the tank

Asking these questions will help narrow your search and you will be able to find what you’re looking for. Neither of us have ever purchased a new vehicle. Our current Jeep is running on 11 years and over 200,000 miles and still strong.

Best of luck and happy saving!

 

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Tips for a Sustainable Lifestyle

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I came across The Golden Standard on Instagram recently and was inspired by her post on how to Live Like a Bee. I did a blog post a while back about my tips for conserving water and energy, and I wanted this post to be similar, but instead I’m going to talk about some products that I currently have or have been wanting that help provide sustainability to my lifestyle.

Pour Over Coffee

I bought this one on Amazon for only $30.00 for my husband’s birthday. I personally don’t drink coffee (too much caffeine for me), but I primarily bought this so my husband didn’t have to keep buying filters and throwing them away. He tried the reuseable coffee filter on our standard machine but it just didn’t work as well as the pour over. There is a stainless steel filter that is easily washed for contiuous use. It’s so simple and easy to use and makes quick coffee without having to waste water and time for drip coffee.

Bonus Tip: I use all the spent coffee grounds for compost.

I’ll do a blog post on my compositing tips for urban apartment dwellers soon!

I also plan on making some DIY body scrub, so look for that recipe in the upcoming future!

Reuseable Facial Pads

I haven’t bought these yet but they’re on my Amazon wish list. These facial pads are easy to wash, as they come with a mesh bag that you can easily throw in your laundry. They come in a pack of 16 which is almost two a day for a week or will last you daily for two weeks. I didn’t know something like this existed until I searched for it. I was getting frustrated having to throw away spent facial pads. It was important for me to find a sustainable solution to my daily face routine.

I make my own makeup remover and I’ll share that recipe in another post.

Menstrual Cup

This applies to females only, but… how many of you get upset at the cost of tampons, and even more upset that they’re constantly thrown away as ‘money down the drain’ and I mean that in the most literal sense. I thought about buying a Diva Cup, but I heard the LENA was better. It’s easy to use (according to the box), but I’m waiting for my next menstrual cycle to try it out (I can give more feedback then if you’re interested)! Tampons need changed regularly and you are at risk for toxic shock syndrome if left in for too long. With a menstrual cup, you can leave it in for over 12 hours with no side effects or risks.

Washable Menstrual Pads

I’m like 99.9% sure my readers are women, so if you’re a guy reading this, I’m sorry. These Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads are made for any type of period on any day. I don’t like using pads, but I wear them on the occasion that I may have leaks. I love the idea of washing these to reuse. It’s a one time cost that will literally last a lifetime. They come in a pack of five, so if you’re looking to use these in lieu of tampons (or a menstrual cup), then you would need to buy more. There are a lot of suppliers out there, which means there is a lot of fun fabrics and styles to choose from.

Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo Bar is a good alternative to buying your shampoo in a plastic bottle then throwing it away. Ehtique also makes an Eco-Friendly Conditioner Bar. I never knew about these until I came across The Golden Standard’s Blog. I thought this idea was fantastic and as I recently ran out of shampoo and conditioner, I immediately had to purchase these on Amazon.

Eco-Friendly Toothbrush

I know, I know, you’re wondering what the hell is an eco-friendly toothbrush? Well, you probably don’t think about it, but plastic just gets thrown away and ends up in a landfill, and more often than not, also our oceans. I purchased a pack of Bamboo Toothbrushes that are recyclable! They last longer than the plastic ones. The bristles haven’t been damaged yet. I know you’re supposed to replace your toothbrush every so often, but I’ve been using these for months now without incident. Well worth the money and the environment.

If you have any tips / tricks for DIY, self-sufficency and sustiability, comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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DIY Natural Cleaner

I hate buying cleaning products from the grocery store. Just like many products, you never know what’s in them. Pro tip – if you can’t pronounce it… maybe don’t buy it? If I can make something myself with the ingredients I have on hand, then I’m saving money, keeping it simple, and can make it again and again at a low-cost. I know the ingredients in my cleaner, and I’ll never have to worry again about the chemicals that might in the store-bought ones.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar (Substitute Isopropyl Alcohol if you hate the smell)
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 10 Drops Lemon Oil OR 10 Drops Wild Orange

That’s it! See how easy that was? I use this as my all purpose cleaner. It’s great for wiping down kitchen counters, wiping down the stove top, bathroom vanity, etc.

If you’re interested in a DIY glass cleaner for those other surfaces, check this out…

  • 1 Cup Isopropyl Alchohol
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 TBSP Cornstratch

That’s really all you need! These are basic essentials that everyone has on hand, and if not they only cost a few bucks at the store. With how little of product you need compared to other cleaners, the money you spend on the ingredients will stretch further than continuously buying new cleaning products.

If you’re interested in these amber glass spray bottles, you can find them here

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I Quit!

What Ever You Decide To Do Make Sure It Makes You Happy

Quit what you ask? My job. The one thing I thought gave me peace of mind and security, until I realized, that’s the completely wrong way to think about your job. I worked in real estate for the past two and half years, but something in me had shifted. I wasn’t happy at my job, and that’s the truth. It’s not to say that I didn’t like what I did, but it wasn’t exactly something I looked forward to everyday. I didn’t see the value in what I was doing, at least not for myself. After reading countless blogs about what to do and how to do it, I knew right away that I needed to find something that was going to give me fulfillment. Being the true pisces I am, I needed to find an outlet to harness my creative energy.

I recently signed up to be a wellness advocate for dōTERRA because it’s a company and a product that I believe in. I see the added value in it because I use them everyday. I’m not making any money from the oil business, but I plan to work hard on it. I’ve seen the connections you can make and how vast the network is all because of a product that is used create and promote a healthy lifestyle.

I really enjoy blogging, and now that I’ve quit my job, I have more time to focus on my writing. I look forward to creating meaningful friendships through the process of word and social media. I’ve had the opportunity last year to meet some local bloggers from Instagram and I’ve made some pretty good friendships out of it. I want the year ahead to be filled with meeting more people to find what else we have in common, and how we can help each other grow in our womanhood and business.

Quitting your job isn’t easy, and I have had some serious doubts and regrets, but I absolutely needed to make sure that my happiness comes first, no matter how selfish that sounds. It’s not about money, it’s not about vacation days, paid holidays, health benefits, etc. I ‘m giving all of that up in pursuit of my own happy, whatever that may be.

In addition to being able to work more on my blog, I find myself with more free time than I’m used to. I set aside some goals that I thought could help me along my journey.

  • Knitting
    • I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit, and I’ve heard it’s great for relaxation. If I can knit myself some scarves, hats, gloves, socks, then I’m set and I can save myself from buying them in the future, they would also make gifts for family and friends.
  • Photography
    • I own a really nice camera, but I’ve only used it a few times! I want to get better at photography and maybe make it a new hobby or side business.
  • Reading
    • While reading isn’t going to increase my pocket book, it’s good for the mind. I plan to read more than what it is listed as my current reading goal (20 books). I say double or nothing!
  • dōTERRA
    • I’m so excited to get this business started. I already ordered 125 pv (point value) of product, and will receive a free Melaleuca Touch for the month of February. With every 125 pv per month, dōTERRA sends a free item. Once enough LRP (Loyalty Reward Points) are earned, there is more in free product. Win-win for me!

Any words of advice, comment below, and if you wish to connect, send me a message!

Have a happy week 🙂

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