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Frugal Living
Being a Frugal Mom
By Rhonda Warren 
Nov 6, 2005, 14:57

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This day and age it is very difficult for families to live off of one income. On the other hand its almost not worth the mother working when you have to pay all of your money out for groceries, gas and most of all babysitting. So a lot of moms are turning to the alternative of being a stay at home and cutting costs every way that they can.

Here are some awesome ways to save money as well as some creative idea’s.

Pocket Change
Keep a jar or some type of container handy and each time you come home, drop in your change. Every time you break a bill, put the change in your container. You will be amazed how quickly your money will build.

We sort our change weekly and either splurge on a pizza dinner (bonus #2: a day off from cooking!), or we take our little one to Chuck E. Cheese. It’s a great way to fund that “extra” weekly event without having to dip into your checking account or bill money.

When you shop, look for items that can be reused. Rechargeable batteries are a perfect example. Even though the initial purchase may be more than non-rechargeable batteries, there is a definite savings over a long period. Another option would be to purchase a nice artificial Christmas tree. Many of the current artificial trees look amazingly real and with the right lights and ornaments, you can change the look from year to year. (Hint: be sure to check out department store’s “after Christmas” sales for a great deal on fake trees! I’ve seen fiber-optic trees, valued at $200, marked down to $35 the week after Christmas.)

Entertainment with the Kids
There are things that you can do with your children that will cut the cost of spending to much money on "doing" something with the kids. Try to think of things that the kids would enjoy that either do not cost a lot of money or cost nothing at all.
For Example:
• Take the kids to the park with a picnic lunch
• Go to the library and let the kids pick out some books and movies then go home and read books to them and watch movies!
• Go Fishing, Camping, walking, swimming
• Let the kids play with the water hose or water balloons in the summer time
• Grill out in your own yard while the kids play outside making mud pies and things in their own yard.
• Go to a place like Toys 'R Us (They have this here in Indiana, not sure about other states) and let the kids play for free in their play area!
• Make the kids a tent inside of your house with a sheet over your kitchen table, give them flash lights and things like they are camping out! You will be amazed how much fun the kids will actually have!
• Go outside and blow bubbles with your children. Children love playing with bubbles and there are often times that we don't allow them to play with them because of the mess! But go outside and blow bubbles with them for a little bit!
• Let your children help you cook! My kids love stirring the cakes when I am making a dessert.
• Go for a walk with your children and let them take a baggie so that they can collect rocks, flowers and leaves that they find while they are on their walk. Then let them come back and glue them to old scrap paper that you have laying around. You will be amazed at how much the kids enjoy things like this!
• Let your children pick out things they no longer play with, set up a yard sale in your front yard. Let them know with the money you make from the yard sale you can go and get them something new. This would be something you could do on occasion so that you can still buy your children a toy from time to time!
• Go outside and play baseball, football, race and things like that outside with the children.
• Sit down and color with your children
These are just a few idea's to create some free or very inexpensive entertainment for you and your children. Being home with your children is very important, so finding ways of saving money is always a plus to keep you home with them!

Save Cans
If you are a family that drinks out of aluminum cans then it is a good things to save those cans and when you get enough of them saved up take them to an aluminum place in your area. They will give you money for the cans. This is an awesome way to get some extra money for groceries each month! We keep two garbage cans side by side, one of them is for garbage and the other one is strictly for aluminum cans.

Shop Cheap
Find stores in your area that are cheap! There are normally a ton of places like this! Here are a few example's of stores you might look for in your area:
Dollar Store
Aldi's Grocery Store
Dollar Tree
Family Dollar

Use Coupons
You can clip coupons to save money! A lot of times you can even do a search on the internet and find coupon's online that you can print out! This will save you money at the store!

Grocery List
Try to remember to write your grocery list ahead of time with the things that you need. This will help remind you not to buy things that you don't need. Try to stick to your grocery list and this will help you save money!

Shopping Tips
• Avoid Large stores! The bigger the store is the more of a chance you will buy more than you wanted to once you are in there.
• Shop WITHOUT children. This keeps things simple! You will not have things being thrown in the cart that you know you can get by without. Also the kids will not be able to give you a guilt trip about buying them a toy that's not worth what they are asking for it!
• Find stores that are less expensive and shop there!
• Buy in Bulk! If you find something that you think will keep you from having to buy the next time and its on sale now get it! It will save you money in the long run!
• Eat before you go shopping. This will ensure that you do not have the tendency to eat out while you are passing the fast food places!!

47 Tips to Save You Money & Fun idea's

1. When making Kool-aid put it in the freezer for a little bit after making it and then shake it up. This makes a nice slushy drink for the kids. Mine seem to enjoy it much better this way. (Be sure not to freeze it for to long)
2. If you store brown sugar in the freezer it will not harden.
3. Sharpen your scissors by using them to cut fine grade sandpaper.
4. Fruit & Flowers can be preserved from decay and fading by immersing them into a solution of gum Arabic and water two or three times. Waiting between times for the solution to dry.
5. Use a nylon net brush to remove lint from dark clothing.
6. Do you want to add an inexpensive scent to your home when cleaning? Sprinkle a piece of aluminum foil with cinnamon. Put the foil into the oven leaving the oven door open as it heats. This will add a scent to your home without having to spend a lot of money. If you don’t like the smell of cinnamon you can also sprinkle a few drops of fresh lemon into the dust bag on your vacuum cleaner before you vacuum your home.
7. A shot of vodka added to the water of some fresh cut flowers will let them stay fresh longer.
8. If you like burning candles try freezing them before you burn them and they will burn longer.
9. If you catch milk on sale at the store, stock up with two or three of them and freeze them. Just be sure that you set them out to thaw in the frig a little before you want to drink it. The milk may get an off white or yellow tint to it after freezing. This is normal and it does taste the same after it is thawed.
10. Put a metal spoon into a glass before pouring with any hot liquid. This will prevent the glass from cracking.
11. Make your own ice packs. Put ¾ c of water to ¼ c of rubbing alcohol. Put into a zip lock freezer baggie and freeze.
12. Have a rusty bolt that wont come off? Take a rag soaked in carbonated water and wrap it around the rusty bolt and leave it for few minutes. The bolt should then loosen right up.
13. Collect stamps? Put the envelope in the freezer for a few hours. You’ll then be able to easily remove the stamp with a pair of tweezers.
14. The more food in the oven and in the freezer, the more efficient it is.
15. Potatoes will remove food stains off of your fingers after food preparation you simply rub the potato over the stain and then rinse with cool water.
16. Make your own ice for camping, coolers etc by filling old milk jugs with water and then freezing.
17. Keep buttons from falling off by dabbing a drop of clear nail polish in the thread.
18. Save change in a piggy bank or jar and empty out your wallet into that jar often. You will find that it adds up quick.
19. To save on electricity simply close the door to the rooms that you do not use and this will cut down on the cooling and heat.
20. Place a button on the end of your tape roll. This will keep you from having to search for the end of the tape all of the time. Especially if you cannot see good anyways.
21. Have a pet? Sprinkle pure cornstarch or baby powder in there fur when combing out and it will be much easier when combing knots or mats out of there fur.
22. Need a hiding place for money and other valuables? Paint the inside of an old mayonnaise jar white. Place the items in the jar once it has dried. And put the jar back into the refrigerator.
23. When making things like hamburger helper ad a little less meat then it calls for. This will help save on meat and I bet you cannot tell a difference.
24. Use a ½ of a dryer sheet when drying clothes. This will double the usage of your dryer sheets and works just the same. Of course they don’t want you to know that so you will buy more.
25. Dry mustard will remove onion odors from your hands as well as cutting boards. Just rub on and wipe off.
26. Use baking soda or salt as a fire extinguisher.
27. If you have left over coffee freeze into an ice cube tray. Next time you are in a hurry and want coffee. Take a cube or two out and microwave. You will then have a quick cup of coffee. And you don’t even have to waste the leftovers.
28. If you have left over bacon from breakfast put the rest in a baggie into the frig. You may find that a bacon sandwich later that day would be a good treat.
29. You can use leftover pancake mix for onion rings. Fry in hot oil.
30. If you find cookie dough on sale by more than one. Take it home and cut into slices. Place them in a freezer baggie and then you will have quick access to cookies in the future. And they will stay good longer.
31. Use an egg slicer to slice apples & mushrooms.
32. Make your own hash browns by using a potato shredder. You also can add sliced onion to them if you like them smothered in onions (like waffle house).
33. To avoid tears when peeling onions, slice first and then slip the bands of skin off.
34. Store plastic wrap in the refrigerator to prevent sticking.
35. When you spill something in your oven, sprinkle some salt on it right away and then you can just wipe it away when it cools.
36. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to your dish water to soften hands as well as cut grease.
37. Add rice to your salt shaker and it will prevent the salt from getting hard.
38. Spray Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before putting tomato based foods in them. It will keep them from stains.
39. Use the boxes from your twelve packs of drinks for kids to use as crafts and to paint on.
40. Remove odors from your frig by adding baking soda, a slice of lemon, or a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract to your refrigerator.
41. To keep your refrigerator and dryer running longer you should clean behind them every so often.
42. If you are going away on vacation and you want to be sure that the electricity has not been off while you where gone place some ice cubes into a baggie into the freezer. When you get home if they are still in the shape of an ice cube then your fine.
43. Shopping every other week instead of weekly.
44. Shop for some things in bulk. Some things are cheaper this way.
45. Stock up on things while they are on sale. Don’t just buy things when you run out or need them. Buy them as you catch them on sale.
46. Freeze loafs of bread. I have done this for years. Taste the same to me.
47. Plant a garden if you are willing and able

This article was written by Rhonda Warren, the Founder of the Inspiring WAHMS Team. Rhonda has been working out of her home since 2003. Her and her family live in a small town in Indiana. Once Rhonda lost her father to cancer she realized the importance of being home with her family. If you would like to contact her feel free to at or visit her online at:

© Copyright 2003 - 2011 by

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