Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A whole new level of frugalness

I haven't always been frugal.  I've always worried about money because we've never really had any but we had credit cards, right?!  Isn't that what credit cards are for?  To buy things you can't afford?  Yeah, well that got us into trouble for too many years.  We have only 1 credit card left and it's in my husbands name.  I haven't personally used a credit card in a year and a half.  It's been interesting living on cash only.  Liberating and scary all rolled into one tight little ball of nerves.  So, I've come up with more and more ways to be more frugal, out of necessity.

A whole new level of frugalness needs to be achieved in the coming months.  Things are tight now and come September they're gonna get much worse.  You see, because of the foolishness of those evil demon plastic cards, we took out a home equity loan to pay off the first round of debt.  We've been paying interst on the thing for 5 years and now the draw period is coming to an end and repayment starts.  Not only that, we now have a brace payment every month.  So, I have the daunting task of cutting back at least another $250 per month.  Now, I've got some perfect ideas, but I have a husband who has some say in those decisions, unfortunately.  If I had my way, we'd switch from our $80 per month satellite tv to $35 cable.  He won't budge.  I'd also take his Jeep off the road and have 1 car.

Instead, I've got to come up with other ways to cut back.  Things I have total control over like hanging the laundry instead of using the dryer all the time and calling around to get better insurance rates, paying the bills on time so there are no nasty late fees.  I've also started making my own laundry detergent and when all of my dishwasher tablets are gone, I'm planning on making that as well.  My mission is to cut my grocery bill by a third.  I save so much money already on groceries that I'm not sure how I'll accomplish that one, but I'm certainly gonna try!  Luke is turning 2 in July and is showing an interest in the potty so another goal is to potty train him this summer so I can cut out diapers except for night-time.  I'm having the kids do more eco-friendly crafts like making magazine bowls.  I've gotten re-usable snack bags and sandwich wraps instead of using plastic baggies.  All may seem like little things, but they all add up!

So, what money saving tips do you have for me?


  1. Following you from MBC!

    I have to laugh over your blog title - I am also surrounded by boys (even the 2 dogs and cat are male).

    Our electric rates have continued to escalate tremendously over the years (as well as property taxes, homeowner's ins., auto ins., and more), so I hang as much laundry to dry as possible and it does make a difference. If you don't already, after you run the dishwasher let them air dry as well. We had to replace our dishwasher over a year ago and went with one that doesn't even have a heated dry feature (Bosch). Using a crockpot helps and you can even set it up to cook outside if you have an outlet and a covered area - keeps the house from heating up even more.

  2. I'm following you from MBC, under 200 club as well. I like your idea of making your own laundry detergent/dishwasher detergent. Do you have a recipe you use for the laundry? I would think it would be much better for your family to use homemade - you have more control over fragrance and chemicals in the mix. AT least for the little guy.

    I don't know if you had thought of it - but you might consider switching Luke to cloth diapers now that he's interested in potty training. It might make it easier since he'll be 'feeling' like he's wet and he won't want to feel that. Plus it would save you some in diaper cost for disposables. There's the initial cost of course, but it might be worth it.

    When you get a chance I'd love to have you follow me - I'm at

    Thanks! Tina "The Book Lady"

  3. Hi there! I'm a new follower. I wish I had some tips for you. How about I come back and borrow some of yours instead? :) I stink at finances.

    I'll be back to read more later. Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Hiya.
    I found you from Trendy Treehouse Follow-Me-Friday. Come by and say "hi"

    As for my tips/ideas:I am hoping to sell my extra stuff on e-bay and consignments to raise some xtra cash. This is the blog I got the idea from:


  5. Hey, I'm a mom of four boys and found you on Blog Hop Friday. Excited for some financial encouragement. It's a hard journey. You can find me at

  6. Im a new follower from Blog Hop Fridays (seen your link in the link section.) Great blog by the way! :) can't wait to read more! :)

  7. Hi there! Following from MBC! Visit me when you get a chance!


  8. Thanks for the info ladies! I do plan on switching Luke to those cloth training pants as soon as the kids get out of school. I think he's still a bit too young, but what the heck...
    If any of you are interested in being a guest blogger for my new Frugal Friday, please email me.