Friday, July 20, 2012

Saving Money on the Farm

 As you can imagine, keeping 4 growing children and twenty-some animals fed can be rather expensive. So I thought I'd share a few of the ways we save a little money around here.

  •  Instead of buying cleaners I use (much cheaper) staples like baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda makes a great, gentle scouring powder and removes odors. A scoop in the laundry can help get rid of that "boy smell" that's starting to be a problem around here. Baking soda also makes a great substitute for shampoo if you want to go 'poo free, which I did 2 months ago. Vinegar kills germs and cuts through grease, so it's great to use on counters. It breaks up mineral deposits, shines faucets, and cleans glass with the help of some newspaper. Mixed together, they can unclog a drain. We do still use store bought laundry soap and dish soap, but I hope to start making those once the big kids go back to school. I'm also going to start making hand and body soap for us and to give as Christmas presents to the families this year.
  •  Mike does the grocery shopping. He has this innate ability to track down good deals that I just don't have. Since he knows that I can make pretty darn good meals out of anything he brings me home, he buys whatever's on sale (with the exception of organs, I still can't bring myself to cook or eat internal organs.) He mostly buys ingredients, rather than boxed, prepared items, so that I have lots of options when it comes time to make dinner.
  •  I almost always cook extra and turn the leftovers into another meal. This saves time and money. When I make spaghetti, I double the amount of sauce we need for the meal and make what the twins call "Mama's Terrific Tomato Soup" the next day. When I make meatloaf I make a double batch and roll the extra into meatballs. bake and freeze for my Italian meatball soup. Leftover roast becomes tacos. I've found that no one in my house complains about leftovers as long as they don't look like leftovers.
  • You'll notice I mention soup a lot, yes, soup is our friend around here. We eat soup at least once a week during the summer and probably 4 nights a week during the winter. I make bean soup, lentil soup, split pea soup, vegetable beef soup, turkey frame soup, meatball soup...well, you get the idea. It's delicious, inexpensive, pretty good for you, and really simple. It's also a good way to sneak veggies into kids who don't particularly like them, like my youngest boy.
  • We shop at yard sales and on Craigslist. When the kids need t-shirts or jeans, we check the local yard sales (and I want to point out that country yard sales kick city yard sales butts.) If Mike needs a tractor part, or an incubator, or whatever he checks Craigslist. He's particularly good at this kind of shopping because he has Jedi mind powers. Really, he does!! When he leaves the room people say, "Well, crap, those WERE the droids I was looking for!" but, by that point it's too late. He often walks away with things that weren't even for sale to begin with.
 I'm going to stop now, because my children are being very quiet in the other room. Every mother knows that that means they're up to no good... 

Us? Cause trouble? Never...

Have a great weekend everyone, Blessed Be...

1 comment:

  1. Baking soda is also AWESOME for face scrub, mix with some honey let sit while it foams up, then just use in the shower. My skin has been LOVING me for it.