Thursday, November 03, 2011

50 Ways to Save Money ~ Dave Ramsey Part 1

Ok, So I've always been good at managing money, but maybe not good enough. My parents never gave me a free ride with anything and I worked very hard from about age 13 leading all the way up to our wedding day to earn my own money. At almost 28, I have still never bought anything that I didn't pay cash for (our business is a different story). After we were married, I took 5 years to save birthday money and a few dollars here and there for our wooden kitchen table. (which I love and use daily) but then we hit a hard time soon after and then I felt really foolish for buying it. Most of you know that we so desperately want to move out on some land with our children soon! We do not want a luxurious/extravagant house but we do want one that is adequate for homeschooling a large family. Sometimes it is soooo frustrating being a homeschool mom of 4 because I am unable to make any money to make this dream come true! I work harder now than I ever have in my life but all I can do to make money is save money by cutting every possible corner and PRAYING. Here are some idea's I am trying to implement to save money. Maybe some of you can give me some fresh ones! Some of these idea's I have been doing for a long time and others are more recent. I realize some of my idea's are extreme but hey...I really want this land and house and we only have 8-10 years left before the boys graduate high school and get jobs or start college, then it will be too late to raise them on it. That makes me sad:-( That is the only reason I want a place to start with. If it was just Daniel and I, I might try to go and buy our cute little newlywed townhouse back:-). It was right next to a farm and made me feel at home.

50 ways to Save Money

1. I don't buy much clothing for myself, I don't put on nice clothes unless I go out somewhere to avoid wearing them out. I mostly wear workout pants mostly bought from the Goodwill or Ross around the house.

2.  Buying our food in bulk including our meat (just started recently)

3. Make do with less clothing per kid and stay on top of the laundry.

4.  Do your shopping at thrift stores as long as you can steer away from the junk. I buy all our glasses at a thrift store 10/$1  

5. Using cheap store brand diapers (yes they sometimes leak but the savings is definitely worth it!)

6. Keeping our heat turned down as low as we can stand it and bundling up

7. Making our own soaked whole wheat bread

8. Taking advantage of yard sales in the summer but only bring as much cash as you NEED to spend

9. Not buying conditioner for my hair and the girls (just started this)... (Jan 2012 update, I was unable to brush the girls hair without conditioner, It was torture for them, Therefore I am now the only one going without conditioner)

10. Not buying any bottled water anymore (we have now discontinued our Shenandoah bottled water service)

11. Eating as much free deer meat as we can get (Been doing this since we were married thanks to my dad!)

12. Not participating in any activities that cost money other than swimming

13. Planning out meals and grocery shopping trips ahead of time

14. Not going overboard on Christmas. 3 gifts per kid is it for us!

15. Not paying for haircuts for anyone in our family

16. Plan ahead and buy winter clothing in January and Summer clothing in August. Saves so much $!

17. Getting any free books for the kids that I can find

18. We won't pay more that $10k for a reliable family vehicle even if it means I can't find the color I would like:-).

19.  When something breaks, We do without it if possible.

20.  Rarely eating out.

21. Using as little gas as possible by leaving the house no more than necessary

22. Grocery shopping only once a week and no more

23. Rarely ever serving an individual serving of meat, Instead I am strerching almost all of our meat into casseroles and soups.

24. Not hiring any household help and doing all of my own cleaning and laundry

25. Not buying any beverages at all other than raw milk

26. Eating lots of oatmeal (bought in bulk)

27. Hurrying in the shower to use less hot water or take showers at the community center

28. Let Grandparents babysit kids

29. Not buying baby wipes

30. Always pay tithe and give $ to those in need.

31. Making my own laundry soap

32. Making my own body wash

33. Making my own salad dressings

34. Making my own vanilla flavoring

35. Making cleaning products

36. Making my own yogurt

37.  Gathering up all the change around the house and rolling it up to take to bank

38. Making kitty eat scraps instead of buying cat food when possible

39. Leaving the garage door cracked open to avoid buying cat litter

40. Not hiring babysitters for the whopping $8-$10/hr they expect nowadays

41. Using less household products

42. Eating less, Snacking less

43. Using less butter and cheese

44. Learning how to make more meals out of beans

45. Not going shopping other than for necessities

46. Heating our living room with wood

47. Having kids share school books

48. Not buying any cold cereals or granola bars

49. Saving all of Isaac and Grace's clothes to give to James and Mercy

50.  When you need shoes, Buy hiking shoes for your husband and kids instead of regular shoes, They are made to be rough in and last so much longer than all other shoes!


Expenses that are currently killing us and I need idea's to fix it! 

Health insurance (Daniels is free but for me and the 4 kids it costs $435/mo!
*update - We switched to Christian medical sharing and are now paying less than $300/mo!

Our Old Fashioned electric ceiling heat (costs around $500 a month in the wintertime!) (Jan 2012 update: due to our wood stove we have managed to get our power bill down to $300/month!)

Homeschooling (costs about $300-$400 per child in books and materials per year) Approx $100 per month for us.


Our mortgage ($840/month plus taxes and insurance, Ends up being about $1100 per month

Food (even though I cut every corner I can with food, I will not sacrifice my huaband and kids health, meaning we spend about $200/week on food for 6 people with very little eating out. $850/month.

Cell phone bills total over $100 month

City Water Bill is $50-$60/ month.  (Can't wait to get on a well!)
*update- the town of Christiansburg raised their rates and now pay approx $80/mo. :-(

Life insurance is $120 month (we keep alot because living parent would need to stay home with kids)

Gas costs $300 month

Internet/ home phone totals around $100 month

Vehicle insurance on 2 cars ? I need to check our most recent bills.
*update - we now have only 1 vehicle. This has been very irritating but it works out because Daniel can get to work via his company truck. Just makes evenings tough if we want to go separate directions.


OK, I don't want to be ridiculous about this which I realize I might already be. I just want to be a good steward of all that God has given us AND accomplish our dream of buying land and raising a large family. Now let me hear your idea's for saving money!

Live like no one else is so tomorrow you can live like no one else does~ Dave Ramsey