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Jeanna
True Blue Farmgirl

267 Posts

Jeanna
Franklin NC
USA
267 Posts

Posted - Jun 07 2010 :  2:33:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have switched to rags only--no paper towels. Also no paper napkins or plates. I use the real stuff. It really doesn't take that much more to wash the plates-since I am already washing pots and such and I just throw the napkins in with the wash. I also do not buy tissues except when someone is really really sick. We use those old fashion things called hankies. We are also growing a much bigger garden this year. I have been making my own laundry soap for sometime but have just recently switched to vinegar for my fabric softener. I also hang all the clothes I can to dry, although here of late it has been raining so much that I have had to use my dryer. But I guess the biggest thing for me is I actually stop and think about each purchase and decide if I can 1. make it myself; 2. Do without it; or 3. Already have one or something that can take it's place. I think these leaner times have really taught me a lot about life and what is important.

Jeanna
Farmgirl Sister #41

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau
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reereebee
True Blue Farmgirl

142 Posts

Marie
Clark WY
USA
142 Posts

Posted - Jun 08 2010 :  2:12:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been really inspired by all of your great ideas! I had done several prior to reading this thread, but now I have so many more ideas.
I called all of our service providers (phone, satellite, etc.) and worked with them to reduce our bills. We ended up saving about $75 per month after that.
I have committed to washing clothes only in cold water and line drying everything. So far, so good. I grow a few of my own veggies and buy the rest from the local farmers market. Most vendors at the market are willing to throw in the older produce that is about to go bad for free or very cheap! Which is fine with me because I can take it home and eat it right away, freeze it, or put it in a recipe that I can freeze (soup, casserole). I do make lots of soups and casseroles to freeze. It makes for easy suppers on nights when I'm busy. I can put the soup in a pot straight from the freezer, turn it on low and it is thawed and warm by the time we're ready to eat. The casseroles go into the oven straight from the freezer, too. This helps me resist the temptation to spend too much $$ on eating out when I'm tired.
Coupons are my best friend and sometimes companies offer mail-in rebates. Whether it's $1 or $100, I'm always happy to get their check in the mail.
Good luck to everyone in their money saving ventures.

--Marie--
Farmgirl Sister #1627

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else” - J.M. BARRIE, Novelist


Edited by - reereebee on Jun 08 2010 2:13:57 PM
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reereebee
True Blue Farmgirl

142 Posts

Marie
Clark WY
USA
142 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2010 :  3:14:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I forgot to mention in my previous post that we also do all of our own brake jobs and oil changes on the family vehicles. That is a big money saver, too.

--Marie--
Farmgirl Sister #1627

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else” - J.M. BARRIE, Novelist

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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6060 Posts

Shirley Jean (Jeannie)
Florida
USA
6060 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2010 :  5:44:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Trying not to buy any clothes. Or shoes. Keeping the cars running in good shape. Buying only what we need! Eating out hardly at all. Driving less. Keeping a garden. Baking our own bread. Reading books and spending family time. I never get my hair professionally cut or my nails done, and I am even scheduling routine doctor's appts. less often. Using coupons like crazy! Staying home. Realizing just how much we do NOT need to be happy.

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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Beverly Gill
True Blue Farmgirl

1114 Posts

Beverly
Marlborough
USA
1114 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2010 :  02:53:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just to add to my past post.......I do think many times before spending $$$$. .....do I really really want it......need it.
Also, I broke down and bought paper plates for the family-----only to use in 90 dgree and over weather, when no one wants to do dishes.
So far this summer as I wait to go back to India, it has rained alot...and there has only been 1 day where we have needed a fan on.
Love reading everyone's ideas on cutting corners.

Beverly Gill
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2quilter
True Blue Farmgirl

127 Posts

Patricia
Greenwood IN
USA
127 Posts

Posted - Jun 16 2010 :  7:23:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My friend gives me the opportunity to purchase a portion of the organic beef that her husband raises....I only have to pay for the price at the butcher, plus my pro rata share of the feed for the animal throughout the year. This is what we call freezer beef, and makes for a HUGE savings throughout the year....plus, I know where the food came from....which is a definite blessing in today's society. I'm very fortunate that my 'honeybunches' is extremely handy around the house, and he's done a phenomenal job in getting things retro fitted to make this place a home. We are shopping for furniture at flea markets, we only go out to eat for breakfast and the occasional Sunday dinner, we eat all the leftovers, and we stay home. We're not much on 'farming' yet, but I have a feeling it's coming. With today's issues with society and the economy, it's a wonder if we'll make it....but we continue to try. Whenever I get frustrated with the money situation I take out one of the MJ books and read through it again, and it never fails to give me hope that I too can make it through these tough economic times......I would love to sell some stuff on etsy, but so far, no one is interested....and I'm going to make a concerted effort to list more stuff on ebay....it's just finding the time...working full time, taking care of the house, you ladies all know how it is.....but I come from a hearty stock, and I know with friends like you, we can all help each other get through this. God bless,

When life hands you scraps, make quilts!
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MissLiss
Farmgirl Legend Schoolmarm

322 Posts

Melissa
Corona CA
USA
322 Posts

Posted - Jun 26 2010 :  10:39:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We make a game out of trying to reuse as much as we can. I know this sounds funny, but I buy a lot of cute dresses and leggings for my daughter so that as she grows, the dress becomes a tunic, becomes a top and the leggings start a bit baggy, then fit, then turn into capris. It sounds funny, but a growing kid can cost a lot in clothes. We also have tried to find as many free things to do in the community as possible. Ours has free movies in the park once a week during the summer, a free wet-play area for little kids and we got a zoo membership for the family for the cost of one trip. So now we have quite a few things to keep us busy over the summer that will cost us nothing out of pocket. We find that is a big expense with us. We do really good with our budget for a long time, then we all get a little stir-crazy and HAVE to go somewhere/do something! That's when we end up all going to the movies and buying snacks and everything and before you know it, we've blown $50 in one trip to the movies! So our biggest saver is the free entertainment stuff to keep at the ready for those emergency "I have to get out of the house" moments that seem to pop up during the summer. Oh and here in California, water is VERY expensive, so we've removed our grass and planted drought tolerant plants and use bath water/wash water/any leftover water really to water them. It saves us about $100 a month over our neighbors. That's a lot!

Melissa ~ Farmgirl #724
Mother Hen to The Knitty Gritty Farmgirls of the Inland Empire
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marjean
True Blue Farmgirl

3811 Posts

Marsha
Deltona FL
USA
3811 Posts

Posted - Jun 27 2010 :  06:38:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well I finally broke down and canceled the cable and found a company that will provide phone and internet for $90 less a month. This will save us $1500.00 year. We are buying a new TV which will pay for itself within two months verses what I was paying each month for phone, internet and cable tv. I'm so happy.

Farmgirl sister #308
handmade cards, vintage organizer bags and more at www.jeanpatchbymk.etsy.com
http://jeanpatch.blogspot.com
www.fullerdirect.com
id#0920150
www.watkinsonline.com/rjaramillo
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duckmama
True Blue Farmgirl

54 Posts

Robin
Minnesota
USA
54 Posts

Posted - Jun 29 2010 :  3:38:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can alot of our own and local produce. We buy cars outright and do most of our own maintance. We burn wood and bio-disel in the winter. House temp set at 55. I have made insulated drapes and roman blids for all the windows. I buy only underware and socks new. I shop the remants area at local fabric stores. Only have internet, phone and tv through the computer. I raised my boys this way. I remarried a few years ago, and that has caused my husband to have a sharp learning curve. He is slowly (read baby steps) going green and lean.

Duckmama

Driven 2 Distraction

Designing Green
Living Green
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Fiddlermom
Farmgirl in Training

47 Posts

Melissa
Logan AL
USA
47 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  07:45:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love all the ideas girls! We cut firewood for people in the winter, but we don't heat with wood ourselves. I've always wanted a wood stove and my DH said we would get one this winter! I'm so excited! I guess it's the farmgirl in me that dreams about sipping hot tea next to the stove! That should cut down on the electric bill. Bring on the ideas ladies, cause I need them!!
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FebruaryViolet
True Blue Farmgirl

4810 Posts

Jonni
Elsmere Kentucky
USA
4810 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  08:04:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Even with all this heat, we only turn on our a/c at night (so that we can sleep)...the house stays fairly cool during the day if we keep curtains pulled, lights off and don't do any cooking in the oven--fans help circulate the air. I expect to see a great difference in our Duke energy bill...and if I don't, then I'll know it's all a big energy conspiracy :)

I'm planning menu's for the week, using up what we have in the cupboards/fridge/crisper for impromptu meals (how's blackened chicken with penne pasta, red peppers and tomato garlic cream sauce sound?)

The garden is doing "ok"...not great, with all this heat, but "ok". Still able to salvage potatoes and some good onions.

Taking advantage of "free" meals--I know that sounds callous, but there are so many family gatherings and picnics this time of year, that even though we might bring a dish, we still leave more than full, and often take leftovers home for the week.






Musings from our family in the Bluegrass http://sweetvioletmae.blogspot.com/
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kathyinozarks
True Blue Farmgirl

263 Posts

Kathy
Lebanon Missouri
USA
263 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  09:16:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
this turn of our economy really hurt us big time moneywise, I had just retired from 25 years with the phone company end of 03, things were going well, debt free except for some addtional land we bought here in Missouri, had the last of our Illinois property sold-and then when the economy went bad-it blew the sale, and we are now long distance landlords-not good-and it has put us back in debt.
We heat only with wood. We wanted to do this when we moved here, to save money, and good exercise for us as well. we both have medical issues so we do need the central a/c, to save money on that I set it at 80 to 82 degrees, when its 90s and 100s here that still feels cool-lol
I am blessed with an area that loves resale shops and garage sales-so I buy most of what I need for us and my crafts thru those. I also go thru the house and fill a box or bag with things I don't need any more and take to the resale shop or giveaway to the salvation army.
I do can and freeze, I bake gluten free for me, and healthier for my husband so I cook and bake everything from scratch-I always have-but I know this must be better quality and usually cheaper too. we also hunt our land for meat

A retired country girl,living in our woods in the ozarks http://kathyinozarks.multiply.com/
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kathyinozarks
True Blue Farmgirl

263 Posts

Kathy
Lebanon Missouri
USA
263 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  09:56:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh and I just remembered what saves me lots of money-making all my own laundry supplies-soap-wet and dry, bleech, fabric softner-go to my blog link-check photos-click on the soap-and my recipe there. I have been doing this for 2 years now and will never go back to purchased. I don't have all that plastic to recycle, I get a clean wash, and sooo much cheaper-I love it

A retired country girl,living in our woods in the ozarks http://kathyinozarks.multiply.com/
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graciegreeneyes
True Blue Farmgirl

3107 Posts

Amy Grace
Rosalia WA
USA
3107 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  10:49:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
we too are using what's in the cupboard. I laughed to my husband the other day that "here's that rainy day", we have had full to overflowing cupboards and freezer for a while, so I am putting to use all those old church and community cookbooks with their crazy casserole recipes.
Amy Grace
(Jonni - your cupboard dinner sounded 4 star divine!!)

Farmgirl #224
"use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"
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sue5901
True Blue Farmgirl

122 Posts

Sue
Wellingborough
United Kingdom
122 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  2:26:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went through a period of my life when I had very little money and two small children and I learnt quickly to stop paying for anything I didn't need to pay for. Even though I am now in the best financial posistion I have ever been I still have never owned a dishwasher or dryer never had A/C, nor bought any paper products except Toilet Paper. I simply have never felt the need for them.

There are lots of great tips on here already - a couple more are

I turn off ALL electrical appliances at the plug - if you leave anything on standby it uses almost as much electricity as leaving it on.

When it is time to cook a meal - I don't think what would I like and go to the cupboard and find the ingredients, instead I go to the fridge and cupboards and see what leftovers I have or what needs eating up and work out what I can cook from that.

Also strangly - I am very wary of buying goods on sale - unless I was planning to buy them already it is costing me money - not saving. I also would rarely buy things in bulk as I found I simply used more of the item and that ate away any savings and usually i spent more than if I had bought smaller quantities and used it sparingly. Other people may be more disciplined than me at this but it never worked for me.

Sue

Dance like nobody's watching!
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graciegreeneyes
True Blue Farmgirl

3107 Posts

Amy Grace
Rosalia WA
USA
3107 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  4:25:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sue - I no longer buy in bulk either, there were a few times where the food I had ended up sitting around so long that it wasn't worth it for the original expenditure. And I had to chuckle - we had a memorial gathering for my grandma recently and every single person mentioned having an "Ethel moment" where they looked in the fridge and thought "what would Aunt Ethel/Grandma/Mom do with this" and used up what they had rather than starting something new - Grandma has been an important touchstone for me in these tight times, she was truly farmgirl frugal.
Amy Grace

Farmgirl #224
"use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"
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Oggie
True Blue Farmgirl

526 Posts

Ginny
Machias Maine
USA
526 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2010 :  5:02:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a story to tell you all. My parents grew up during the depression and raised us kids as frugal as possible. After all, they had six of us. Anyway, we used everything over and over to the point of almost being ridiculous. Here's the story - my mother once used a plastic bag that a loaf of bread came in from the store (normally she would bake it) for one solid year! Us kids were so sick of seeing it that finally someone threw it away, just to throw it away! But what we learned was if plastic bags don't have meat in them just re-wash them well and hang them to dry. Hang them on the line or even on your refridg with a magnet inside to keep it there. So we always brought home our lunch bags and zip lock bags and reused them over and over. Also, we took our own lunch to school and work which saved.

A great way to save money is to write a menu for the week and go buy only what you need for those meals. You will stick to the menu and save money. And, try and make your menu around whatever is in season or on sale at your store that week. Then at the end of the week have a left over night and even if only one person eats the left over corn and another the left over peas, you've eaten it all up.

At night we have a night light on in the kitchen, bath room, and dining room instead of lights so when we walk from the living room to the bath room we don't have to turn on any lights. It's amazing how quickly you gain cat eyes! We too unplug everything from the source and make sure all computers are off at night. They take a lot of energy. During the winter we have the house at 65 if we are home, 55 if we are in bed or not home. While we burn wood we also have oil back up, but last year we may have used 200.00 worth of oil. Around our neck of the woods the big holiday present was those snuggies! While I think they are kind of silly, I do admit, I always have a blanket over me while I am sitting watching TV, reading, etc...

We are lucky in that we work next door to each other so we have one car and it's paid for. We only go to the city a couple of times a year and try to purchase locally all that we can or on line. We do have cable TV because it is our only entertainment but it is the lowest rate we can get. We never rent pay per view movies. If we want to see a movie we get it at redbox for $1.00.

We got rid of the cell phone because we rarely use a cell phone. Our daughter has one and we got a second one on her account for $10.00 a month because if we use it, it's because we are in different towns and that's rare when you live, work, and play with your DH. After all, we didn't need a cell phone for the last 50 years of my life, I can live without it now! If you have a land line and NEVER call long distance, call your phone company because most have a very low rate for just having a local phone.

When we print something on the computer and it's "wrong" or we don't need it, we then cut it up and use it for notes, grocery lists, and such. I will even bring paper like that home from work! Before we put our wood stove into our fireplace we would burn all of our paper trash in the fire place saving our need to pay for bags to take to the dump.

We don't buy books but read a great deal by going to the library or borrowing a book from a friend. When paperbacks are $8.00 these days, what a waste! If the library doesn't have what you want, ask them to order it or get it from another library.

Life is Beautiful with Bunnies
www.thedewhopinn.ning.com
http://www.etsy.com/shop/thedewhopinn
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CCChristen
True Blue Farmgirl

180 Posts

Cynthia
Lockwood CA
USA
180 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2010 :  06:52:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We live on a farm in an old farm house, witch I love. Were we live is about 8 minutes from our ranch, were we plan to move to as soon as we complete out Line Shack. The Line Shack is going to be a place for us to have on our own place but we are builting it one board at a time one nail at a time all by ourselfs in our spare time, We are useing new and old products so its quite an adventure.And builting green is a priority.
On our place we are raising our own beef and pigs, we cut all our firewood there, the house we live in has no heat and no ac. Winters are cold and summer in the 100s but we make it threw so no big power bills.
At home we have chickens and a garden the garden part is hard there are so many critters here. But we try.
I don't buy packaged food, I dont by much plastic, or Paper products, we dont eat out very often. We eat at home. And when we go to town we make it count.
These are some of the ways we try to cut coners.

Happy Trail
Line Shack Farmgirl
1570
Cynthia
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girlfriday
True Blue Farmgirl

50 Posts

Jessica
Dallas TX
USA
50 Posts

Posted - Jul 15 2010 :  8:27:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love all your ideas! I read through them all and the only thing I didn't see listed is bartering! I barter for as much as I can, even placing ads on Craigslist to trade my kids clothes for other clothes that fit. (ie large lot of 12 month boys clothes...would like to trade for 6 girls clothes)

Buying used on craigslist is great too, and freecycle.org is also a great resource for free stuff!

Proud Farmgirl Sister #1727!
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Amie C.
True Blue Farmgirl

2099 Posts


Finger Lakes Region NY
2099 Posts

Posted - Jul 19 2010 :  02:04:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm refinancing the mortgage on our house. Interest rates are around 4% right now, which is significantly lower than the rate we bought our house at 7 years ago. I called the realtor we used back then, and learned that for the same monthly payment we can knock 7 years off the life of our mortgage. Or, we could opt to start a new 30 year mortgage and pay about $150 dollars less each month. Either option involves very little money down-about $500 in fees to process the refinance. If you own your own home, this could really be a good way to reduce your debt or lower your monthly bills.
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ddmashayekhi
True Blue Farmgirl

4257 Posts

Dawn
Naperville Illinois
USA
4257 Posts

Posted - Jul 19 2010 :  06:09:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been making my own cleaning products for the past 3 years. Grow vegetables, buy only on clearance, not just on sale. I also cut coupons out and use them faithfully. Buy bulk when it is more affordable, make lunches for school/work, eat home, give baked books to family and friends as gifts. We try to be careful about how much electricity we use and condense all car trips to avoid using so much gas.

Dawn in IL
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Turtlemoon
Farmgirl Legend Schoolmarm

378 Posts

Tanya
Port Orchard Washington
USA
378 Posts

Posted - Jul 19 2010 :  08:59:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We just listed numerous items on craigslist last night, cleaning house of things we just do not use as well as daughters Beetle which will not go to college next month with her, (gotta pay for school somehow) Many of the above items i could list and repeat as well. The library gets lots of use, we canceled cable and have not had a home phone for years. Our nights out for entertainment are the free comedy night at a local sports bar which is free, so for the cost of two drinks it is fun with friends. We also go out once or twice a month and our band plays, so it is a night out that we get paid for. As always we all trade in the neighborhood as well. One neighbor catches salmon and hunts, i in trade bake breads, make pickles and jam in trade. I help them with computer work, he in turn shares his vast collection of tools when i am missing one. it all works well.

Raggedy Ann stuck in a Barbie Doll World

http://www.etsy.com/shop/moonhonu
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nancyjewells
Farmgirl at Heart

2 Posts

Nancy
Eatonville Wa
2 Posts

Posted - Aug 03 2010 :  8:03:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone i am new to this forum. I had to write because someone was saying bartering wasn't mentioned. We barter all the time with my sister-in-law, she wanted a pond built and she traded a half a beef. Sounded good to me. Filled our freezer. Usually my DH hunts deer or elk but elk is alot of work. We are getting older.L.O.L. We live on an acre and a quarter and we garden every yr. I think I have canned everything under the sun. We have done Tuna canning parties w/friends and end up w/ so many jars each.I crochet washclothes and get unique bowls or containers at thrift stores and make gifts , I would like to sell online but I just don't know how. I drive school bus and in between routes I groom small dogs. We have raised 2 grandkids for 11+ yrs. We still have the 12 y.o. boy.
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nancyjewells
Farmgirl at Heart

2 Posts

Nancy
Eatonville Wa
2 Posts

Posted - Aug 04 2010 :  09:49:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like so many of you farm girls really know how to pinch a penny and I have learn some new tips, Thank you so much. We do have horrible bills but not at our doing and we have decided to cut corners also, We have decided to bring in a foster child, it would help them for sure and help us financially, these children have no one. Hopefully I can sell some of my crochet gifts and give them also as presents. You all have inspired me.
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7170 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7170 Posts

Posted - Aug 06 2010 :  6:11:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey there girls! Great ideas! Thank you! I'm new to this forum, too. :) I just want to strongly, strongly recommend the Tightwad Gazette books I, II & III by Amy Dacyzyn. I think they're out of print, but you can probably find them at the library or on ebay. They have an abundance of ideas and advice that have helped me tremendously during these lean times staying at home to raise and homeschool my son. They have just about everything you could ask for - recipes, recycling, shopping tips and price comparisons, decorating, patterns, holiday ideas and so, so much more. You'll laugh, you'll be intrigued, you'll learn, and you will save if you choose to implement even a few of her ideas! Even though I couldn't bring myself to do everything (one thing I appreciate is her understanding that everyone has a "squeemish factor"), these books are on my favorites shelf - and I've given plenty of them as gifts to others who were seeking to save. Hope you get to check them out! - Nini

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!
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