Friday, September 10, 2010

how cheap can you be :)

it is a constant mission to save money around our home, how 'bout yours? same goal? i thought as much.... but it's hard, why am i subconsciously drawn to the more expensive items?! a strict budget is hard and the decision to live debt-free and below our means is a daily adventure is self-control.

about two years ago my Man wanted to take over the money-managing for our family, and you know, i wasn't so happy about it. even though i knew i wasn't doing the very best job saving or budgeting, i felt like if he came in and took over i'd lose some sort of "power".... stupid, huh? we never argued over money and everything got paid (for the most part) and we had more than enough money to blow on whatever we wanted, but because we weren't on the same page as far as saving or investing or spending and without any real goals, it just wasn't working.

so i submitted to his leadership, prayed for God to give me heart to follow and that He'd give my Man much wisdom and discernment to manage the money that God blessed us with.....

and that made all the difference!

in order for me to stay home full-time there was going to have to be sacrifce (i've written about sacrifice/charity here), to be able to be used by the Lord in new capacities and give like never before, it would mean paying off doctors bills quicker, paying off those credit cards and not using them again and downsizing every area of our life.... and being open to my Man's leading and the Lord's each step of the way.

and since we've done (with God's good grace) those things, and we absolutely have taken to the teachings of dave ramsey & the total money makeover, i'd like to say that budgeting and saving money and just sometimes going without has become second-nature by now, but it's not, not even close.... is living below your means easy for your family? or do you even budget?

i spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year cataloging groceries prices from about 5 local grocers,

just so i'd have a more exact idea about what was really a sale when the weekly ads came out; plus i have become addicted to couponing!! seriously, it is a personal mission to save as much as possible with my ad prices and coupons. and this isn't easy, comparing prices, figuring is this coupon really a better deal at this store because they double or at this store with a lower original price, and so on. that reminds me i probably need to catalog prices again, you know, just to make sure things are still about the same and i'm not missin' a deal :)

what makes me really proud is to same that i have cut my bi-weekly grocery budget 110.00 so far! that's an extra 220.00 each month, that for some reason hasn't necessarily ended up in our savings account due to doctor's visits, car repairs, flooded houses, and summer utility bills....

and there's another place i'm trying to cut: energy costs. and this seems about impossible!! but i have grown to love my inherited clothesline that came with our new home!

i thought i would struggle with crunchy, stiff clothes (which i loathe!) but i have taken to another money-saving tip!! instead of using all those costly stain removers and fabric softeners in our washer, simply pour in about a 1/3 cup of plain white vinegar in with your detergent, and i also use a bit more in my fabric softner dispenser. once it's rinsed out and dried, you don't smell any vinegar at all, promise! but all my sheets and towels are just right and fluffy as i'm taken 'em off the line. perfect!!

and not only do i enjoy baking, it is a money-saver!! baking cookies, biscuits for dinner, brownies, pizza crusts and the like from scratch is better for you and much more efficient on my grocery dollars.

example: my homemade drop biscuits are a bajillion times better than any store biscuits from a can and so easy:

2 cups flour (one unbleached white and one whole wheat)

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

combine and then using a pastry cutter or a sturdy fork work in a 1/2 stick of real butter (and don't melt or soften it, the cold butter is perfect and melts beautifully while cooking in the oven, yum!). once it's all crumbly stir in 1 cup milk and you're done!!!

have your oven pre-heated to 450, and just drop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, it makes about 7-9 biscuits depending on how big you like your biscuits :), and 12 minutes later you're in biscuit heaven!

this recipe is quick, healthy (for a biscuit) and super cheap!!

okay, i know there are other ways we have been pinching pennies, but i want your input and ideas, or at least help me feel better and let me know that you struggle to control your spending and it's not just me :).... please.....

so a happy friday to you and have an amazing weekend; if you stop by tomorrow evening i'll have some thoughts about remembering 9/11, should be interesting or at least i think so :)

be blessed

Cast your burden on the Lord; and He will sustain you.... Psalm 55.22


  1. I am always looking for a good deal, too. It's like some big contest or something -- I get really excited to have saved $0.75 on something just because I looked at the ads! :) I know $0.75 isn't that big of a deal by itself, but it all adds up, plus, it's just really satisfying. :D

    Thanks for a great blog!

  2. I started saving on internet purchases by using EBATES!!!

    Everyone should sign up!!!!

    PS--Call me! <3