I make laundry soap like these guys do.
Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.
Griff's cholesterol primer
5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
bloodorchid is always right
I try to find multiple uses for things.
My tablet is my laptop is my TV is my phone is my boombox is my scanner.
My sleeping bag is my bed and my heater.
My sweat glands are my AC (not everyone likes sweating, but I do).
I don't use any form of central heating or cooling.
My pocket knives are my steak knives.
My eating utensils are sporks.
My tupperware is made of steel and works as a nice plate/bowl, so I'm never transferring between food storage and consumption vehicles.
My apartment has a range but no oven, so I just use one large pot/pan for most of my cooking. I can use a grill in the park if I really need to have a steak or something, but that hasn't happened yet since pot roast is tenderer and tastier.
My shorts are quick dry so they can be swam in, light enough to be workout shorts, and handy (cargo pockets) and formal enough to wear around town.
My outdoor work and formal clothes are often my casual clothes, so I can cut down on wardrobe. Plus, I look classier than the average young guy when I opt for the formal clothes.
By cutting down on the number of things you own, you have greater appreciation for what you have. You are capable of spending more for higher quality and also taking the time to fix things if they break.
Rich had some decent tips on cleaning chemicals too.
Last edited by DrHackenbush; 01-28-2014 at 06:14 PM.
Here's some ideas most of which I use, but what you choose to do is obviously going to vary with what's most important for you.
Dehydrate fruit and veggies that are going bad if you don't have room to freeze them. You don't have to keep a freezer running, and most things like bananas for instance are delicious dehydrated long after there's no way I'd eat them fresh. I'm talking completely brown, mushy, maybe turning alcoholic. Dehydrated food makes handy snacks, can be tossed into soups to rehydrate, and are great if you love backpacking.
Don't pay for cable / internet. Use it at the library and pick up a book while you're there to fill the extra free time you'll have at home.
If you want a cell phone, use a pay as you go plan like pageplus etc, and don't have a smart phone. Unless you really need one for your job and then it might save you money.
If you're growing space is limited, plant things that are compact and high yield. I cut several hundred dollars worth of kale this last summer from the plants on my little deck. Just snipped the big leaves off and let the center grow out again.
Make a list of things you'd like or need to purchase, prioritize it with what's most important, and then look at it for a few weeks and see if you still need that thing. I often find I don't.
Don't go shopping for "stuff." Don't browse catalogues. I have the advantage of living in the middle of now where, and and newly amazed when I do go shopping in a city by how good they are at convincing me I can't live without some item I didn't know existed until right then.
Drink water. It's usually free (carry a water bottle and don't buy bottled water) and purchasing drinks is expensive and usually less healthy.
Furniture "shop" dumpsters and curbs. When they fail, try Habitat For Humanities Restore if there's one in your area. I seriously got half of our furniture for free and while not the latest fashion, it's not ugly and is sturdy.
Don't go see movies in the theater. Will it really kill you to see it a few weeks or months later?
Take a bus, walk, or bike when you can.
Buy a really cheep car in cash. Then you can carry the state minimum of insurance as it's not worth fixing if something does happen. For example, I've driven two cars for many years that cost me $700 and $650 each. And my insurance costs are $187 for six months. Plus (depending where you live) you can always leave it unlocked and even with the keys in the ignition. No one wants your car anyway.
Don't by anything that involves paying interest.
If you can't pay a credit card off each month, don't have one.
Wear very little makeup.
Learn to cut your own hair, or each others since it sounds like there's a few people in your family.
Be happy with your natural hair color, it probably looks best with your complexion anyway.
Use soap nuts for washing laundry instead of detergent.
Hang most clothes to dry, fluffing in the dryer if you want first.
Clean with baking soda and white vinegar and don't buy chemicals.
Make dishcloths, rags, etc. out of worn towels. Don't purchase packs of them.
Since you're growing food, I assume you already do this, but do your own cooking from scratch.
Make your own shampoo, toothpaste, hair gel, etc. if you like to experiment with such things.
Don't pay for magazine subscriptions. Your library probably has it or will get the one you want if you ask.
Don't eat out.
Don't purchase any food or snacks from a convenience store.
Make your own sandals and moccasins. I wear homemade foot ware much of the year. Except for my big winter boots.
If you do buy new clothes, shop at the end of the season and only look at the sale racks so you're not tempted to want other things.
Like, or learn to like cheap vacations and sports. Skiing is great if you live in a ski town and work for the resort. Otherwise it's expensive. Walking around the woods is pretty much free. Tents, empty roadsides, and cars are usually free to sleep in. Hotels are not. You can take great "showers" in the sink of a gas station, trust me.
Make your own gummy vitamins if your kids like them.
Keep the thermostat set low. You'll lose weight and save money. Or, what we do is leave it pretty comfortable in the kitchen / living room at our house, and off in all the bedrooms. We just sleep with big blankets, and we live in northern WY so that should be doable almost anywhere.
Turn out lights. If there's too many children who can't remember this, put a timer on them, the lights that is.
Don't use a dishwasher, or at least don't run the dry cycle.
Learn to can and buy up produce when it's in season, most delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive. Then preserve your own.
Make your own vanilla extract if you use much of it.
Find food co-ops in your area.
Try to barter whenever possible. I bet you can find some unusual way to do this. For example, I currently trade packed lunches a youngish single guy who owns a gym for a membership and crossfit classes. I'm cooking anyway and it's hardly any trouble for me to put some food in a box and drop it off for him. And it's no trouble for him to let me jump in on something he already has running. Probably everyone has some skill or resource that someone else wants.
And yeah my grandmother told me the "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" thing too. Good luck!
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
Drive a used car. A new car not only loses value the minute you drive it off the lot, but it's more expensive to insure. If you really like newer cars, buy one that is two years old. At that point, it has accumulated a lot of paper depreciation value while still being a great car.
Buy a home. This might not be true in all locales. But for the most part, when you pay rent, you're paying someone else's mortgage, taxes, maintenance, and insurance. You might as well pay for your own. After 20 years of rent, you have nothing. After 20 years of paying your own taxes, mortgage, etc., you have an asset to sell or borrow against.
Buy in bulk as often as you can.
Barter is a great thing. Do you know someone who knows plumbing/car maintenance, etc.? Exchange for taking care of their cat or doing their bookkeeping.
Even if you don't have the greenest thumb or much space, do an herb garden or grow anything that keeps you from having to buy it from a grocer.
Stay vigilant. The supplier that has the cheapest liver/ground beef/etc., might not have the cheapest bones/eggs/etc. If you have the time, stay current on these.
Rice, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers - stretch meals with not a lot of expense.
Take supplements. Do the occasional protein shake. No, it's not better than food, but in a pinch, it can save you money while giving you the nutrients you need.
"Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine
Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.
Chances are, young people will also want to move around. Rather than pay a month's rent, they could pay for a month of travel. Maybe they'll find someplace better to live than their current situation.
Only if you have a totally settled life should you ever decide to buy a home. If you aren't settled, the truly frugal thing to do is share flats, share rooms, or live with family members. You could even go "Supertramp" on us, but I wouldn't recommend quite that extreme.
Last edited by DrHackenbush; 01-28-2014 at 10:19 PM.
It depends on your state's housing taxes. In NY the tax on multiple family homes is very high compared to single family homes. That tax gets passed on to renters and the rent is ridiculously high. When I can I am buying a shack... Even if it sucks.