October 29, 1929, the stock market crashed. Banks failed. People lost everything. Families were hungry. Some adults even sold their children. Men jumped from their business offices, plunging to their deaths. It was a dark time here in America. My grandparents were children at the time, and they had to make do. Ask nearly anyone who lives through that time. Being Thrifty was not just an option, it was the way to feed your children, a way to get through the day.
According to a survey by the American Chemistry Council, the average household wastes $640 of food every year. That averages out to about 16% of the food we buy. In my opinion, the way many consume or purchase food contributes to this large amount of waste. Now a days, we live in the land of plenty, many of us are not exactly concerned about starving to death.
Stop Eating Out
Let us begin with thrift lesson number 1! STOP EATING OUT, or at least do it less often. PEOPLE, LOOK AT HOW MUCH YOU SPEND IN ONE MEAL to eat out. You can make a meal that $2 a serving, yet you just spent $50 eating out for 4 people. Use your brain. $50 adds up. If you eat out twice a week, that is $400 a month. If you often find yourself short on money, evaluate your eating out habits.
But….It takes so much longer to cook.
Yes, it sure does. But, if you start looking into how to prep ahead of time, meals that will freeze well, and begin to plan for time to cook, it will be much easier than you think. Rachel Ray has a large amount of 30 minute meals on her website. Again the biggest hurdle is learning to plan ahead, make it a habit.
Don’t Fear the Leftovers
Meals can often be reused or foods repurposed for another night. If you are struggling with meeting basic needs monetarily and you are afraid of left overs, GET OVER IT. Check out the FDA guideines on left overs here.
Don’t forget you can use bones to make stock.
Also, save fat to cook with.
Kids grow fast. So, so fast. Not to mention, most children are rough on clothing. It is okay to buy some used children’s clothing. Locally, they have a swap every year. Here, you can sell your clothing at the fairgrounds, and use the money you make to buy other gently used items. JBF (just between friends) always makes sure that the clothing is only gently used. Thrift stores are great places to save money on clothing. Some places are known to be more critical on what they take in than others.
Use old cloth
Use old cloth for something new– whether it be barbie or doll clothing for your daughter or something else. Currently I am making a baby doll jumper out of a pair or old torn jeans. I will share a photo once it is finished. See, this in turn saves you money on buying your child doll clothing. Even though it may not be expensive, everything adds up over time.
Using coupons can be great, you can save a bit here and there. But don’t be fooled. Some brands are still cheaper when compared with the brand for which you have the coupon.
Refinish furniture instead of tossing it
Furniture is expensive. Have an outdated piece? Sand it down, add a coat of paint and some new handles on drawers will allow it to be a piece that pops!
Down in the comments, share how you are a thrifty woman! There is more for us all to learn!