Friday, April 19, 2013

How I saved money this week (and the freedom of living with LESS)

If you have been following our story then you know that we have downsized from 2700 sq. ft. to 748 sq. ft. I've given away and sold enough items to fill another house.

The older I get the less I can tolerate clutter in my own home. Your clutter would not bother me. :-)  It feels good when each item has it's own assigned place. That is my goal but I'm not there yet.

I  have 2 small closets and one antique closet/dresser. All three closets are too full. My office closet has been bothering me the most because my clothes were squished from 1 large Tupperware tub filled with scraps of fabric along with 2 Avon boxes. I've wrestled with whether to keep the fabric for the past 5 moves. I kept talking myself out of getting rid of it because I kept hoping that someday I would make some quilts.

So last Saturday I set aside the afternoon to work on cutting out some quilt pieces.  I spent hours cutting fabric and ended up nearly finishing just one square. I thought I would be so happy to get started on the quilt but by the time I finished I was not a happy camper. One finished large Depression Block (plus a lot more cut squares) = 3-4 hours of time I'll never get back = one disappointed Mama.


I'm middle aged and the writing is on the wall.. I'm getting older. I must be wise how I spend my hours because they add up to days which quickly become years. I have less time left on this earth than I've already lived. How will I spend my last days so they will count for eternity? Sewing quilts are not a sin. I just don't want to spend that much time on a hobby these days.  As much as I've loved making quilts in previous years I'm not willing to invest that many hours again.

So after struggling back and forth for several days I made up my mind that the small scraps of fabric were going. I saved some larger pieces of fabric to make some aprons and curtains for the garage. those are quick projects. I ended up with one final tub of fabric which will be stored in the garage.

My clothes are no longer crowded in the closet. I can't tell you how good it feels to open my closet doors and not have everything crammed and squished together. It feels GOOD! Really GOOD!

I've learned a big lesson through these fabric tubs. I have wrestled with them for nearly 5 years. I have invested precious time into thinking about them and debating over them. I've invested time and energy into lifting them from one house to another house for 5 moves over the past 8 years. They have stolen precious time from my life. Now that I finally got rid of them I feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted! It feels GOOD! Really GOOD!

I'm so jazzed! This next week I hope to tackle the other 2 closets. If it doesn't fit easily in the space the Lord has given me then it's out of here!

Here are a few things I did in my home this week to save money:

1. I went on several morning and evening snail hunts. My veggies had the obvious sign that snails were enjoying them for lunch. I started going out in the early mornings and turning over leaves and boards and found a ton of snails. The more snails I kill the better my veggies are looking.

2.  A friend brought by 3 cartons of home grown eggs.

3. My mother had some extra 'dragon tale' flowers. I gladly took them along with some nasturtiums to keep bugs down in my vegetable garden. I've rarely bought flowers over the years. There is always someone willing to share slips of small starts of flowers. It turns your yard into a memory garden.

4. I made a fertilizer out of 20 egg shells that I boiled for 10 minutes. I then let it set for 8 hours. The fertilizer was poured on my tomatoes.

5. I purchased a comfrey root off of Ebay for $15. I read that the leaves make a wonderful fertilizer. My goal is to make my own fertilizer from products I have at home. I think it will pay for itself in no time. I'm also hoping that it will multiply so I can sell my own roots.

6. I have 2 cats and 1 dog. They started scratching so I figured they were getting fleas. I didn't want to pay $45 for flea medicine plus it's not healthy. I purchased a flea comb and immediately caught 5 fleas off of one cat and 1 flea off the other.  I kept a small bowl of water nearby while I was combing. Once I saw a flea I would dip the comb into the water.  They are no longer scratching. The comb is not working as well on my dogs long hair so I'm not sure what to do with her. I haven't found any fleas but she does scratch occasionally. Maybe I'll give her a bath. I wash their bedding once a week which also helps keep the flea problem under control.

7. I hemmed a pair of pants I bought for $1 from Goodwill.

8. I made kale and sausage soup. The kale was from my garden.

9. I sauteed sugar snap peas in butter and garlic until they were soft. The sugar snap peas are from my garden,too. The vines are full and I've already used them in 2 meals.

10. I signed up with a local CSA. I paid $25 for the first box of organic vegetables. I cancelled after the first box arrived because it was mostly items to make salads. I love salads but I'm the only one who eats them. It's probably a great deal for organic veggies but that is why I don't purchase organic unless it's the same price as the regular veggies. I just can't afford it.

It's a busy time of year with the watering and pulling weeds in our garden. I love working in my yard.

So what did you do this week to save money in your home?