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27 Things I Make Instead of Buy to Save Money

Are you looking for ways to save money? You're not alone! It can be tough to keep up with when you have surprise expenses.  By changing some of our daily habits, my family started to make some of our household items instead of buy them to help use reduce waste, save money, and frankly because it can be more convenient. I added the items on this list bit by bit over the years. Please do not think you have to make everything all at once! Sometimes I don’t have to make more of something because I made a bit too much the first time and we are still going through it (looking at you Must Can All the Jam! bender a few years ago.) Other times, it’s a one and done kind of thing like sewing on a button, and sometimes I buy the item instead of making it (like yogurt) because I’m too busy with other life things to keep up with the supply and demand.   Save this list of money saving ideas to your Pinterest Boards for later! Share it with your friends!  In othe

January Meijer Grocery Shopping Trip

During the winter, when our farmers markets and roadside vegetable stands are closed, I buy most of our fresh produce at Meijer. On the money saving front, I lucked out. I planned my January Aldi shopping trip to   get us back in line with Meijer’s 10 for $10 get the 11th item free sale cycle. We got off track during the holidays.

A serious chunk of the 10 for $10 items are produce. In the event I don’t have 10 qualifying items, like this week, everything rings up at $1.00. I still save money. (You should check if your store does this. Not all of them do.)

Two bags of potatoes and one loaf of wheat bread are missing from the photo. I forgot to empty that bag on the table until after I put all of the groceries away. Whoops.

This was an unusually good shopping trip. I only paid full price for 4 items:

  • Bananas
  • Zote laundry soap to make HE laundry detergent
  • Frozen Spinach – they were out of sale frozen spinach. This is our backup when we run out of fresh
  • Fresh Broccoli – they were out of sale broccoli.
I bought 32 items. My total was $59.05. I saved $30.60 ( $18.10 in non-coupon savings and $12.50 in coupon savings.)

My best deal besides the 10 for $10 items are the small bottles of coffee creamer.  I paired a sale with coupons and bought them for $.33 each. Husband started buying flavored creamer to take to work to make their free coffee palatable. It keeps him from running over to Crimson Cup several times a day for a decent cup of coffee. This item breaks Husband’s no HFCS in the house rule. He made that rule so I guess it is within his power to give flavored coffee creamer a special dispensation.

I bought the large bottle of creamer because on our last few trips Husband wanted to try the Almond Joy flavor. I asked him to wait until it either it went on sale or I printed a coupon from my Condo Blues coupon database for it, (affiliate link) since we had creamer at home at the time. On this trip, I had a coupon and knew I wouldn’t go back for one item if it went on sale before the coupon expired. I grabbed it and made him happy. Also, Husband now has a ton of creamer and I can skip the next sales cycle. That makes me happy.

What are we going to do with this stuff?

  •  I use the vodka is to make orange essential oil from orange peels. I use cheapo on sale vodka for this and some cleaning tasks. Husband joked that the stuff I bought is so cheap it is probably strained though socks :)
  •  The coconut butter is supposed to be a vegan alternative to lactose butter. I can eat and bake bread with regular butter without any issue.  Foodie curiosity got the best of me. We'll see how this experiment goes.
  •  Sometimes I brown and drain the fat from sausage and add it pumpkin soup for interest. Cabin fever and craving comforty foods means I sometimes buy our favorite Columbus based brand when I can do a sale plus coupon and keep it in the back of the freezer as needed. 
  •  The nail art deely bobs are for me to wear at Blissdom. I stink at doing nail art and am curious about these nail polish/sticker type things. It’s a splurge because it was a sort of unplanned purchase. I clipped the coupon out of curiosity but didn't think I'd use it if a bottle of polish is cheaper (it is.) A clearance sale and a $2 coupon were the tipping point.

As for the rest of the food, we’re gonna cook it. Husband already has plans for the bok choy. Come back for yummy recipes!

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