Friday, March 23, 2012

How Far Can You Go?

Penny Pinching can strain any sweet Elastic Mom to the point of pinched lips and frustrated frowns. As much as cooking from scratch is a wonderful way to USE WHAT YOU HAVE, it also taxes one's time resources. The rewards are worth it though, extra nutrition and added flavour, but what if that is not enough?

Here are a few more budget stretching ideas when shopping:

* The best way to save money at the shops is to STAY OUT OF THEM. No temptation to splurge can grab you then.

* The best time to go shopping is JUST AFTER A MEAL. A full tummy won't demand snacks and sweets.

* The best way to shop is WITH A LIST that you stick to.

* The best way to pay for shopping is CASH rather than card, this will stop overspending.

* The best question to ask your potential purchase is "CAN I LIVE WITHOUT YOU?" Then wait a while to think over your decision before buying on impulse.

* In my home, I am the best PERSON to do the shopping, my husband is not all that skilled in frugality.

Another excellent way to save is to WEAR THE CLOTHES YOU HAVE, and only buy more when they wear out or you grow out of them. My current monthly clothing budget is zero. I honestly don't need anything new.

* Most of us have MORE clothing than we wear.

*Clothes that you no longer love can be DONATED, SOLD OR SWOPPED for something that you do love.

* MENDING AND RECYCLING damaged clothes can stretch their lives. For example, I recently turned an old pink sweatshirt into a cute cushion cover and my daughter converted her denim jeans into a handbag.

* SEWING, KNITTING and CROCHETING are satisfying skills that can clothe your family.

* On the other hand, FACTORY OR THRIFT SHOPPING may prove even more economical than homemade items.

Here are a few more ideas:

* GROW YOUR OWN food in whatever form your lifestyle allows, be it sprouts, herbs, fruit, vegetables, eggs, honey, milk and even meat.

* Collect, pick or catch food in the wild by FISHING, HUNTING or FORAGING. Mushrooms, venison and fresh fish are delicious treats, as are peaches picked along the roadside, sour figs from the dunes, mussels and clams from the seashore, pine nuts from the forest, rose hips and bramble berries.

* Don't pay others when you can DO IT YOURSELF, or persuade your children or even husband to do it. Washing cars, mowing lawns, house and garden chores come to mind first. But what about paying others to teach your children crafts and skills, when a good book and the necessary materials can help you to teach them yourself.

*Cutting back on extra mural activities can save barrows of money. Remember to replace the forgone activities with other fun ideas. Take a look at my fun free fitness post.

* Gather up unused clutter and SELL IT at garage sales, car boot sales or over the internet. Even sold for ridiculous prices, unused goods will be worth more to you as cash than clutter. Recently we sold some old toys and books at our local farmer's market. My children earned a generous amount of money, and the children receiving their goodies were thrilled.

* Refuse to bow to the peer pressure to provide extravagant, expensive gifts for Christmas and children's birthday parties. HOMEMADE GIFTS are usually just as welcome. Over the past few years I have given knitted hats, homemade soaps and cosmetics, boxes of fudge, tubs of my ice-cream, jams and preserves, sewn items and many more much appreciated gifts.

I know that these ideas are old news, but I hope that they spark some inspiration for you Elastic Moms reading my blog.

You might also enjoy the tips in my Stretching Further post.


  1. Some truely great ideas there.thank you.

  2. When life gives you lemons you can make lemonade, lemon curd, lemon meringue pie, Moroccan preserved lemons, salad dressing, lemon and poppyseed muffins...

    ... or you can grab a glass of tequila, a pinch of salt, and have a party.