In our new-found starving student poverty, I have turned to frugality as a means to increase our expendable income. So I thought I would share some ways that I am trying to save money.
1. Getting back into shopping the grocery sales, just without coupons this time. I used to be way into couponing, and moving to Florida ruined that for me. And since newspapers are so darned expensive here, I am just going to go without the coupons this time. Some websites I find handy are couponmom.com and pinchingyourpennies.com.
2. Turning off the water between soaping up my hands and rinsing them off. Though after discovering that our apartment complex averages out the water usage over all the apartments, I figure this one doesn't matter any more.
3. Making gifts for Christmas rather than buying them. Or foregoing the gifts all together.
4. Making reusable gift wrap from old clothes and things I have laying around. I'll make up a bunch of drawstring bags or zippered and buttoned pouches, then on Christmas we just gather them all up to use next year. Imagine, no piles of wrapping paper to clean up and throw away! Mother Earth will love me for this one.
5. Using reusable bags at the grocery store. Though honestly, I always forget to take them in. But I really should since they give me a discount on my tab for each bag I bring in.
6. Reading books from the library rather than buying them. I've actually done this one for a while.
7. Using less of everything. My basic rule for this is half. I'm using half as much shampoo, half as much dishsoap, half as much hand soap, half as many baths for my kids (okay, I'm kidding on that one) and I've not yet noticed a difference in the cleanliness of anything. This means all much stuff lasts twice as long.
8. Make homemade bread. I found a good recipe from King Arthur Flour that hasn't failed me yet. I also make my own crackers sometimes, and one of these days I'll get around to making my own granola bars and such.
9. We don't eat breakfast cereal. Now, I do keep a box or two of cereal on hand just in case, but my kids would much rather eat oatmeal, bananas, yogurt, etc.
10. Bunch all my errands together on one day. I never drive somewhere without trying to make multiple stops of it. I wait to go to the bank until I need to go to the store in that part of town and so forth.
11. Using Craigslist and Freecycle to get things I need cheap or free! Right now I'm drying apples (that I got for free from my in-laws) in a dehydrator that I got for free from Freecycle. I love free.
Okay, so that's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there are more things I'm not thinking of right now. But that's a good list for now.