Posted on February 15, 2016
5 More Ways Our Family Saves Money
Image source: www.freeimages.co.uk
Following on from my Ways Our Family Saves Money post, I thought I would share 5 more ways our family saves money. We do not the buy the cheapest possible versions of everything we possibly could, particularly for wholefoods, but we do save money on as much else as we can.
So here are 5 more ways our family saves money:
1. Homemade laundry detergent.
For several years now, I have made homemade washing powder. I don’t think the cost savings on this are massive if you would normally buy a generic value brand washing powder such as Asda Smartprice or Tesco Value, but if you would ordinarily buy a brand name powder, you would save lots of money making your own. It also has the advantage of you knowing what all the ingredients are, and you can choose to add your own fragrance using the essential oil of your choice. However, making washing powder rather than liquid means that you cannot wash your clothes at temperatures lower than 40 degrees C, as the soap will not melt.
Here is my recipe for homemade washing powder:
1 Box (550g) Borax Substitute
1/2 500g Bag of Washing Soda Crystals
2 TBSp Soap Flakes
20 Drops Essential Oil of your choice
2 TBSp Oxygen Bleach (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together well in a plastic box and use a couple of tablespoons per wash.
However, a much improved option for me over the homemade washing powder is homemade laundry liquid. I got the recipe from this post from Jamerrill of Free Homeschool Deals. I have been using Jamerill’s recipe for almost a year now, and am really pleased with it.
Using less than the quantities I used to use to make a small box of washing powder, (although more of the soap flakes), I can now make a huge 16 litre (5 gallon) bucket of washing liquid, which lasts me just over 6 months! It also has the added benefit of being able to be used for low washing temperatures, as the soap is already melted. The only change I make to her recipe is to substitute 500g of soap flakes instead of the grated Fels Naptha soap bar, which is not available in the UK unless you spend huge amounts on Amazon or eBay to import it! Sadly I recently heard that Dri-Pak have stopped making their soap flakes (they now only sell them in liquid form), so I think for my next batch I will have to find a suitable bar soap for grating.
I also make homemade fabric softener, using the recipe provided by JES at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth. It costs me about 50p to make half a litre, and contains no nasty chemicals, just the pleasant essential oil fragrance. JES also a shares a lovely free printable of labels for laundry items, including the Eucalyptus fabric softener.
2. Haircuts at home
We currently do not spend any money on haircuts for our family. When I met my husband (20 years ago!), he had already bought himself a set of Wahl hair clippers, which amazingly still work fine! I use these to cut his and our son’s hair. I will admit that I am a bit limited in the number of ‘styles’ I can do for them (or they have allowed me to do!), but they both insist they would not prefer to go to the barber’s.
The girls and I all have long, straight hair, so it is pretty easy for me to cut our hair. For the past couple of years, I have found this 5 Minute DIY Layered Hair Cut technique on Practical Stewardship the easiest to use. It seems to work well, and I am able to use this way of cutting my own hair too, in the mirror. I have just recently heard from a friend about the ‘Crea Clip’, which you can see lots of demonstrations of on You Tube, and is similar to this Hair Cutting Tool. I think this would improve the look of our hair cuts, and would not be too much of an outlay, to keep things frugal!
3. Buy reduced produce and meat to freeze
As I mentioned in my Friday Night Curry and Onion Bhajis Recipe, I buy meat from the reduced section at our local Co-op, and freeze it when we get home. I am not able to do this as much as I usually would at the moment, as our small chest freezer is not yet moved to our new house, but I still manage to buy a selection of things every couple of weeks. For meat and fish products, it is a good idea to check that they are about to go out of date, rather than already out of date, as this happened to me a few times, and my money was wasted. If there are fruit, vegetables or dairy products that are reduced (and are freezeable), I may also buy them, and of course the date is not so important on them. A friend let me know that you can even freeze over-ripe bananas, then use them for baking.
4. Get rid of disposable products
Now, I am not going to pretend that we use no disposable products at all. We use kitchen roll for wiping up stuff that I would not want washed off rags or towels in the washing machine, we bought disposable plates, cups and cutlery when we first moved to the island, and although we use cloth hankies, we buy paper tissues for when we have colds. However, it definitely saves more money, the more we can avoid buying things that cannot be reused.
We used cloth nappies (diapers!) for our older three children, although not for our youngest daughter, due to circumstances at the time. There are literally thousands of places you can buy washable nappies, so I will not link to many. My favourite company for them was Twinkle Twinkle. We actually gave our washable nappies away on Freecycle a few years ago, so you could even get them for free!
Washable feminine products is a subject that I personally have no problem with, but I know that not everyone will consider them. If you are willing, they are a huge money saving choice, and of course you are avoiding both toxic chemicals next to your skin, and a lot of extra waste being thrown away. Often the companies which sell cloth nappies will also sell cloth feminine products too.
5. Grow and Make Your Own
As I talked about in My Health Goals for 2016, I want to grow a lot more of our own food this year. Of course, this will be restricted by space, money to build raised beds, and perhaps, like last year, by the weather (who am I kidding?), but even growing just some of the foods that would cost quite a lot to buy will be a help. Things like salad, and berries in particular, I would like to no longer have to buy. I would also like to plant some nut trees, although obviously that will cost more to start off with.
The eggs from our chickens are probably not a cost saving, if you compare them with the cheapest caged eggs you could get from the supermarket, but compared with organic, free range eggs, they probably do not too badly.
Sarah from Delivering Grace has a helpful post on Feeding a Big Family, and you can see my Crofting and Homesteading Board on Pinterest, which has lots of ideas for saving money by growing your own food, here:
We also make a lot of things from scratch that we used to buy, such as sourdough bread, naan bread, yoghurt, pizza, and now even baked beans, using the recipe from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions. Yes, it takes longer than opening a tin from the cupboard, but it’s worth it.
These are just 5 more ways our family saves money- do you have any other frugal suggestions to add?
May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Roses of Inspiration, Titus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Hearts for Home , Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up, Faithful at Home Fridays, Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.
This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.