Friday, February 27, 2009

Frugal Friday

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade . . . . Who hasn't heard that one?

My household is going down by 7.5% due to payroll cuts at hubby's job (hey - at least he still has one). So, I need to cut my variable expenses by about 10% to compensate. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you already are trying to be frugal to keep costs low, an additional 10% can be a real challenge. So that's it - a frugal challenge

10 ways I can cut 10% off my variable expenses:
  1. turn down the thermostat about 3 degrees
  2. eat more beans & rice
  3. negotiate a trade for services (the lady that cuts our hair like my homemade poundcake so instead of money I give her a cake in exchange for haircuts - makes our hair cheap to maintain), I wonder if the man down the road with hens would trade cake or bread for eggs?
  4. increase my use of the crockpot instead of the oven or range
  5. do I really need half and half for my coffee or can I get by with milk?
  6. discover more ways to cook chicken and ground beef since I have a ton of both
  7. cut out all prepackaged food (I generally keep a few things around in case of emergency so we didn't have to order out - but I guess this emergency means I won't buy any more)
  8. stay away from the stores - why even bother going if you don't have the moolah to spend
  9. more pb&j for lunch and less grilled cheese
  10. try to go meatless 2 days a week instead of 1

I welcome other ideas. I already make homemade bread, pancakes, waffles, sauces, etc. I also use my clothesline and make homemade laundry soap and my own household cleaners.

What's a mommy to do?


snippity1 said... are doing a great job. I had an ah-ha this week on the grocery challenge. I was like "I spent HOW MUCH on FOOD? Complete with all the inflections in tone. I am thinking I have to do something different. One of my downfalls is that hubby's income varies. Some weeks 35 hours, some weeks 55, with no way to change the variables. I am going to do better with food costs. No way around it. That is the biggest discretionary item we have. I'll be thinking of ways you might can cut some more. Your trade idea is a good one...but don't let the IRS hear you. (they have some funny ideas about what income is :) ...)

Megan said...

My husband's company just announced a 10% pay cut and forced unpaid leave. They will be announcing layoffs next week, so hopefully, the paycut is all we have to endure. I love your ideas for absorbing the hit. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I always find snacks can be super cheap-- you don't have to cut them out- it just takes digging and luck :) Kashi bars are 2.50 at target and there are 2/1 q's out there-- i stocked up on Yogos at Sfwy when they were $1 and I traded for 1/1 tearpad q's. All those free cereal samples are handy snacks in the car. mac and chz and stuff so I don't feel as guilty about eating garbage. Mac and Chz is .45 this week at Raleys and goes on sale at WAGS for .69 all the time.

I puree veggies when they are cheap and put them in the freezer- like squash, carrots, cauli etc.. then I add them to

Also for PB&J you can make a big batch and put them in baggies in the freezer. They defrost pretty quickly and are a great snack to toss in your bag to avoid temptation when out and about :)

Jules said...

I found you by google-ing 'homemade poundcake'..I'm looking for a good recipe. Would you mind sharing? You can respond to this post via email if you have email notification. Thanks in advance!