Since we have been slowly changing our lifestyle to a more whole foods, natural style of living, people have asked if it's an expensive style of life??
Honestly, we're spending less than we ever have.
I know it is surprising, but it can be done. How? Well, that's what this post is all about.
Here's how we save $:
1. Buying bulk.
buy bulk for a lot of our food supplies now. Bulk yeast, beans, flour
(no mill yet for us- hoping soon), spices, meat, butter, and cheese.
of our items come from a farm store that carries local meat and Amish
dairy products. Which means healthy, less processed foods for us and
How do we store our excess? We divide
and freeze our meat in meal sizes. I cut or shred our cheese before
freezing otherwise it tends to crumble when you thaw. I try to store dry
goods in canisters, unless we use it quickly then it sometimes stays in
its original packaging.
2. Make your own.
make our own dishwashing detergent, stain treaters, and laundry
detergent. All with things you can find at your local dollar store or
Walmart. Big savings!!
We've just started making our own hand soap and it's great too!
also just started wool dryer balls. They cut down on drying time
(saving electricity = $ savings) and static, so no more dryer sheets.
4. Make from scratch.
don't buy any bread, at all. I bake all our bread, and we primarily eat
whole wheat sourdough because it is so healthy. I simply make two
loaves at a time and freeze one for later.
We use dry
beans and cook as much as we can from scratch (removing can goods one by
one). It takes a little more time, but the quality of the food is
We have reusable bags to take in lunches that I handmade. In fact find my tutorial here or if you don't sew, find my Etsy store here (shameless plug).
I wash and reuse ziplock bags. They don't keep forever, but we use them more than once and save!
I have a reusable mop head that I crocheted. Simply toss in the wash, and use again.
an old t-shirt ready for the bin? Don't throw it out, tear it up for
cleaning rags or make t-shirt yarn from it. Finding another use saves
you from going to the store!
Plarn. Yep, whenever we
get plastic bags from the grocery store (we try not to, but we've all
been there when we forget our reusable bags), I make plarn. I can then
crochet it into a bag or rug...really, anything. Tough and recyclable
this is a great way to reuse and then recycle!
Dryer balls- see #2.
diapers and wipes. Better for baby's bum and your wallet. We bought our
diapers, but made our wipes from flannel receiving blankets.
Up next for us, cloth napkins and un-paper towels.
6. Clean more naturally!
use a lot of vinegar now. White vinegar kills germs, is a great rinse
agent for your dishwasher, and softens your clothes. So we clean and
wash with vinegar...and no, we don't smell of it, come by and smell me
if you want. ;). Oh and buy in bulk here too!
7. Meal plan
We plan our meals to keep from eating out so much. Are we perfect?
No, in fact far from it.
we eat out much less, and every time you cook from home you save.
Having a meal plan helps you stay at home and helps your sanity when you
wonder what's for dinner.
8. Save electricity.
Yes, an age old technique that works!
We don't leave lights on. We turn off things we are not using. We air dry or line dry our clothes as much as possible.
made apple butter, jam, jellies, and froze veggies last year at their
peak time. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I bought
This year we'll be freezing again, but also canning more
veggies. I'm hoping to not by any can goods from the grocery and very
10. Grow your own.
We're lucky, we've got 4 acres to grow a big garden for us. So this spring and summer we'll have lots of yummy in season veggies and fruits, all grown ourselves. (in season = better for you)
But if you don't have a big yard or no yard for that
matter, you can still try for flowerpot gardening or even just a small
11. Roast your own.
total coffee snobs. But I don't want to pay Starbucks prices, so I buy
green coffee beans and roast my own. Look for a post on that.
12. Buy used.
now buy most of our items used. Consignment sales for the girls'
clothes and toys. Our items pretty much the same. It's fun,
affordable, and I don't feel guilty about splurging.
13. Gift Cards
don't want my girls to miss out on any opportunity. So when I wanted
to keep both of them in Kindermusik, I added that to their Christmas
list. Thanks to their grandparents they are both going to classes at no
cost to us.
In all honesty, do our kids really need
more toys? No. But an experience is totally worth it, and their
grandparents are generous to give it to them.
I haven't consigned anything of the girls yet, but once I know we're
done with babies, I'll be selling our stuff off. Someone else can use
it and we get money back.
15. Free Stuff
We take advantage of free stuff to do in the area. We're proud
members of Bible Study Fellowship, an international bible study for
adults and children- that's totally free!
We also visit the library for books and story time.
Finally we participate in church. Our church is very active with
concerts, talks, charity events, and even family movie night each
month. What's better than fellowship and fun?
When we go out to eat or I go craft shopping, I always utilize
coupons. Micheal's and Hancock's especially are great for coupons. I
never pay full price for yarn or fabric. :)
Now I'll add a disclaimer to all this goodness- there are
a few things we don't save on with whole foods. So in all honesty,
here are the things we pay more for:
1. Milk. We buy
un-homogenized milk. I wish we could get raw, but that's even more to
buy a share in a cow. We can't afford that now. In fact, it might be
better if we just get a cow.
2. Eggs. Right now our eggs are more expensive than the ones
from the grocery store. We buy pastured eggs from a local farmer. I'm
hoping that with the addition of chickens to our family we'll be marking this one off the list.