Since living on a budget is key to us leading a simple and satisfying life, I’m constantly looking for ways to replace things that we buy with cheaper, more eco-friendly options. However, at the same time, I don’t like to compromise on health, safety and the sanity of our family. So, it isn’t easy but it sure is possible to live frugally.
Here are 6 things that I’ve since long stopped buying simply because it was easier, cheaper and better to make them at home or do without altogether.
Yes. I don’t buy magazines. I do write for them, though .**laughing** However, I much rather cut down on paper clutter and costs by reading them online. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but magazines in India are expensive and when I discovered that I could very easily find pretty much the same stuff in the online versions of my favourite reads, I quickly stopped buying the paper version.
I use cloth dusters and dishcloths. I also turn old pillowcases, t-shirts and bed linen into kitchen dusters. So, in fact, I don’t buy either paper or cloth kitchen towels. Big money-saver and super-easy way to go green.
Face and Body Scrubs
Since I don’t do regular (or irregular, for that matter) facials, I like using the occasional face or body scrub to remove dead skin cells and blackheads. However, I don’t buy them. I make my own. Very easy and economical too. For the face, I have a jar filled with a mix of gram flour, salt and turmeric. I just take a little out and rub the mix on my damp face and then rinse off with cold water. Leaves it clean and glowing (!). For the body scrub, I love a mixture of brown sugar and olive oil. Yum!
A house with a toddler and a woman with a sweet tooth can never be without chocolate sauce or syrup. I used to buy good ole’ Hershey’s for a long time till I discovered how cheap and easy it is to make your own. Don’t believe me? Head over to Small Notebook and check out Rachel’s recipe. You’ll never pick up a bottle of chocolate syrup again. Promise!
My daughter loves her play dough. She can spend hours with it. She also enjoys putting it into her mouth! So, when I introduced play dough to her, I used a home made version. Super easy, economical and eco-friendly too. Here’s what I do:
1 cup flour
2-3 tablespoons baking soda
2-3 tablespoons oil
½ cup salt
1 cup water
In a heavy-bottomed pan, mix the flour, salt and water. Place the pan over medium heat. And gradually pour the water. Use a wooden spoon to mix till the dough becomes stiff. Turn onto a plate, let it cool down and then knead it into the desired consistency. I add food coloring sometimes to brighten the white dough up. Divide the dough and add a few drops of red, green, yellow and knead the colors in. The entire activity takes me about 10 minutes and the dough lasts for at least a month. But don’t leave it uncovered or it’ll dry out.
Glass and All-Purpose Cleaners
If you’re still spending money on chemical-laden glass and window cleaners, maybe its time to change. To vinegar. I love my vinegar-water solution and use it for everything. Cleaning the glass (obviously), my toddler’s toys, high chair, the kitchen countertop, the bathroom faucets and pretty much anything that needs to be duster. Just mix equal quantities of white vinegar and water. Decant into spray bottles and use.
Check out these other store cupboard staples that I make and keep to save money and eat healthy at the same time.
What do you save money on? How do you make living frugally easy for your family and yourself? Do share!
Photo Credit: Carly Watson
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