With summer ending, back-to-school in full swing, Fall and the Holidays fast approaching, this is the time of year where we in the Page Household shake off lazy summer spending and start to grip our wallets a little bit tighter, focusing a little more on squeezing every penny out of every dollar.
One common misconception about frugal living is that it's complicated, hard, mundane, and you need a masters in rocket science and math to navigate through it! I thought I would start popping in occasionally to lead by example, and share a few (random) things that my family is doing RIGHT NOW to save money. (And be sure to catch my regular quick tips on Instagram and Facebook too!) I decided to call it Saving with the Pages…because…well…it sounds cool. And almost rhymes. So why not.
The good news? These tips don't take any form of rocket science. Or math. Glory alleluia! Here are 3 quick ones to get us started…
3 Simple Things we are Doing to Save Money RIGHT NOW!
1. Bleach and Dye
Hutch and Priya both go to the same school, which requires navy and white uniforms. Although it is boring with a capital B, it makes for some easy school shopping! Last year a neighbor handed down a bag of navy and white clothes for Hutch. The navy pants and shorts were faded to bits, and the white shirts had some spots on them, but were otherwise in good condition (no holes, frays, etc.). Most people would toss them in the donate pile because of the spots and fading, which I was tempted to do. Instead I held onto them and I'm glad I did!
I bought some blue fabric dye, gathered all the faded navy clothes – leggings, shirts, pants, shorts, even dresses and skirts…
…and dyed them to look like new again!
Same with the white shirts, I stain treated and bleached the heck out of them. Most of the spots came out completely, others were faded to the point of hardly noticing (see how I do my laundry for more). By being resourceful it helped me save probably 75% on back to school shopping, so we could put that money toward saving up for updates if we get the new house.
(P.S if you're interested, I'll do a post detailing how I dyed the clothes. It was SO easy! Just let me know in the comments if that's something you'd like to know about!)
2. Double and Freeze
I posted this picture on Facebook yesterday, explaining that I had a ton of rice, cooked diced chicken, black beans, corn, salsa, cheese, tortillas, and cilantro leftover from the weekend (I organized a big blog retreat and provided food). Instead of tossing it or letting it go bad in my fridge, I decided to make loads of individually wrapped freezer burritos for quick meals on the run. Though this isn't a new tip of mine, y'all loved it anyway!
I mixed all the ingredients in a huge bowl (minus the cheese), tossed it on a tortilla, added cheese, rolled it up and wrapped it in foil, then froze in gallon bags. I can bake an entire sheet of them (foil still attached if I wanted!) or unwrap and nuke them in the micro. This not only saves food from going to waste, but also keeps us from having to run through a drive through on busy nights. If you're going to take the time to cook, make double and freeze it! No need in doing 2x the ma
Psst…get my 30 page freezer meal e-book for tons of great recipes like this!
3. Make my own baby food
No, I don't like cooking. And no, I don't like doing things that are an unnecessary amount of work (#LazyGirlProblems). But I do like to save a buck…so I figure out how to do the best things with the least amount of effort!
Baby food is one of those things. There are recipe books you can buy, hours you could spend, and gourmet baby meals you could slave over.
You can do what I do and rummage through your fridge for any kind of fruit and/or veggie, add it to my blendtec twister jar with a little water if needed, blend it up, dump it in a bowl or empty baby jar that I'm OCD about not throwing away (or spoon it to her straight from the twister…), put a lid on it and refrigerate what's left and BAM. Baby food in literally 30 seconds. (And remember, you can buy a refurbished Blendtec for a huge discount!) Daivy prefers chunks of food to eat with her own hands for dinner. But heck, you can even blend up whatever it is you're eating and turn that into baby food! Taco soup? Blend it. Spaghetti? Blend it. No need to buy fancy chicken and rice in a jar…chicken and rice for dinner? Blend it! I even have this inexpensive squeeze station which will put it into disposable pouches for me, and basically saves my life (especially when feeding baby on the run).
When I'm home I make an effort to try to blend something up quickly for her first, rather than reach for the store-bought stuff. And Daivy is clearly stoked about it.
So there you go! Those are some quick and painless ways we are saving money right this second. What are YOUR current savings methods, big and small? Be sure to share with the rest of us!
Have a great week,