Friday, January 30, 2009

Combatting The Economy- A Mother's Way

Busy Bee Change Purse

I have been thinking a lot about how to save money. Actually, not just lately, I have been for a few years now. I don't know of anyone that I come in contact with that isn't concerned about the rising prices on just about everything and the looming fear of loosing jobs in this troubled time.

I am among those that are fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my children and hold down the fort. Sometimes, it feels like that fort is being attacked from all directions and it is easy to become discouraged. As a homemaker, it is my job to make the best with what we have and stretch those pennies. As time has went by, I have discovered very like minded individuals across this country that are trying to do the same. I thought that it would be good to pass on this list of helpful websites and blogs that have helped me here and there over the years and a few things that we have done to save some money.

You might have already read my tutorial on how to make homemade cloth napkins. I know what you are thinking, that is something tiny as far as saving money. But, hey, every little bit adds up. If you think hard enough, you will come up with a lot of things that you could do to save some cash for a rainy day.

  • One major thing that we have found is that if you can buy and store anything in bulk, you will save a lot. Buying in bulk may not be cost effective or even practical for small families but for our family of 6, it is practical- very practical. In our society, we have all kinds of options available for buying in bulk. Most people don't have to drive far to find a Costco, BJ's (I miss BJ's- they are closing), or Sam's Club (all here in the southeastern United States). I'm sure you could add more to the list from where you live. The main thing to remember is that if you shop at a large warehouse store, do you shop there enough to justify the membership fees? Our local BJ's Wholesale Club practically knew us by sight as we visited almost every week. So, our membership fee made sense to us. Had we only shopped there once or twice a year, the membership fee would be a waste of money.

  • If you have a large family, take advantage of Food Co-ops. Years ago, I thought food co-ops were groups of paranoid people that were afraid of food sold in retail stores. I pictured everyone wearing flip flops and long hair. Why I thought that, I have no idea but I have changed my perspective of people buying from co-ops. As a matter of fact, I am now one of those that buy from a food co-op about once a year. I can't find a good co-op on my side of the states so I buy my wheat from Azure Standard. They are awesome as far as a tremendous variety of products available at a reasonable price. I would buy more from them but I can't justify the expensive shipping fees that they charge to get my product shipped all the way from Oregon.

  • Take advantage of your local farmer's markets and stands. My great uncle farmed all of his life and sold his produce to neighbors, friends, and the local grocery store (back in the 60's and 70's- stores bought from local farmers from the trunk of their car). Why, you don't travel far down any street in the summer time and not see a sign posted telling you of produce for sale somewhere nearby. Right off of the top of my head, I can think of a farm up the street from me and a huge barn that sells fruits and vegetables in the summer time not more than 5 minutes from my house. You will see that buying local is not only good for the local economy, the food tastes better as it is fresher- not to mention the better nutrition that you will get from that locally farmed food.

  • Don't stick to just one grocery store to buy all of your food. Shop around. Look at sales papers. Check grocery web sites. If you are coupon savvy- which I am not-, clip, print, trade, and save coupons. I won't go into the coupon thing but I'll list some great sites to help you get started if that is your thing.

  • Plant a garden. You would be surprised as to how a few extra vegetables coming into the house makes a difference on a grocery budget. We still are eating off of the corn on the cob that we put up last summer. it has made a difference in helping to save money. I have free corn- the grocery store has corn that is sometimes over $1.00 an ear! Two of my kids can eat three ears a piece. Add that up and you will see that it would cost me over $10.00 just to buy corn on the cob for one meal from the grocery store!

  • If you are crafty and can justify the cost of supplies, make something to sell on the side. I opened an etsy shop to sell baby quilts online and things just kind of grew from there. A person does have to put down ground rules before venturing into a business. Establish how much you want to spend on materials and keep an eye on your profit. If you are going "in the hole" by running your business, then it is just not worth it. I had a monetary goal to make every month from the sales in my shop and so far (this month not included), I have reached that goal. Keeping an eye on the big picture is a must as far as determining if something is worthwhile to pursue or not.

Having said way more than I had intended to, here is a list of helpful places that can help you save some money, eat healthier, maybe make some money, and overall, combat the scary economy.

The Family Homestead - My most favorite site in the world. Crystal Miller led me on an adventure in homemaking and I have learned so much from her.

The Nourishing Gourmet - Recipes and information on feeding your family nourishing foods

Janes 4 girls $800.00 annual budget- Where a single mom of three feeds her family on only $800.00 a year. She shows step by step and purchase by purchase as to how and what she gets using sales, coupons, rebates, and other freebies. (this is a great site but is slow to load on my computer)

Money Saving Mom- Advice and information on stretching the grocery budget, recipes, encouragement, coupons, and freebie deals. She also lets you know of the weekly CVS deals and has a link on how to play the CVS game and get free stuff from CVS.

A Year of Crockpotting - An awesome blog where one lady makes a dish in her crock pot everyday of the year.

Hillbilly Housewife - Recipes and information on feeding your family frugally.

SueGregg- Recipes and information on healthy eating- check out the blender waffle recipe- they are the best things you will ever put in your mouth- (except chocolate.....)

Heavenly Homemakers - One woman's daily musings on how she feeds her family healthy and nutritious meals- has lots of recipes and information.

Passionate Homemaking - An encouraging site for healthy recipes and products that you can make yourself (ie: homemade deodorant).

Organizing Junkie - Just what it says- helps you to become more organized and offers tips and information for running your household.

Azure Standard- A Food Co-op in Oregon that has almost any natural food that you could think of.

Whole Foods Market- My most favorite grocery store in the world. Shop there and you will see why I say that.

Etsy - One of the most popular places online to sell hand made items

This list could go on and on. I just wanted to give you somewhere to start if you are looking to save some money this year. It takes some work but after awhile, saving becomes second nature.

Please feel free to let me know of your favorite sites to combat the economy in the comments. I love finding new places to learn more.....

And for those of you that were expecting some silliness-

I promise that I will be back to my old self again soon.
I'm off to see what's outside my windows -
but first, I need some chocolate ......


  1. Hi, I'm liking this post but the link about the single mom isn't right. Care to check on it?

  2. Thanks handsdelight! I got it fixed. You should be able to get there now.