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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

Seven Frugal Things I Did and Did Not Do in October

I put together a list of the big and mostly small things I do to keep my budget in check.
Unfortunately, when you write about budgeting and saving money as much as I do, I think people get the idea I’m impoverished or don’t like to spend any money at all. 


We save some to splurge later and splurge to remind us to save. That’s why I’m including a list of what we didn’t do to save money to give you a more balanced look at how we manage our tradeoffs.



7 Ways I Cut My October Budget 

1. Performed in our old costumes to at the Renaissance Festival. My 10 year old costume fits again! It is a little snug but I didn’t have time to go all out and make a new dress.

This is what a self rescuing diva princess looks like.

Going to the Faire is like going home for Husband and I. That’s where we met, he proposed, and we made lifelong friends. Now I have the whole the winter to price, shop, and go to town creating the replacement costumes we need.

2. Flipped a liquid soap bottle upside down to get the last bits out. This isn’t new to anyone. I’m sure most people do the same. I said I’d list small things and so here you go.

3. Bought Lunapads reusable cloth panty liners (learn more about them here.) This one is a little TMI, sorry male readers! Here’s the thing, while there can be an ick factor involved, it is less when it is before or at the very end of the time you don’t want to run out of such products. Now I won’t.

I wash them in the same load as the household clean up towels I use in place of paper towels.

4. Came in under our monthly grocery budget by happy accident. I was still kicking myself for flooding the house and just wanted to get in and get out of the grocery store as quickly as possible to make the task easier on myself. Learn how I stuck to the seven simple grocery habits that save money here.

5. Printed our 37 page insurance estimate on scrap paper. The insurance company emailed their estimate for our water damage claim. When I saw the PDF was 37 pages, Instead of eating up a chunk of good paper just to see what the insurance company had to say I wisely grabbed a fistful of the scrap paper I use to print test layouts, etc. on the blank back side before printing final copies on regular printer paper.

This is our working copy we are writing all over while we are still working with our insurance company on what should and should not be replaced.  I’ll print the final copy for our files on regular paper later.

6. Donated some old DIY supplies to the Habitat Restore. I got a receipt so we have the option of taking it off of our taxes as a charitable contribution. Funny how one little garage search mission eventually turned into a massive cleaning and reorganizing the garage project. 


Garage Chaos Before

My apologies for the blurry Instagram pictures. I was on a roll and I didn't want to lose momentum by going into the house and searching for my Big Girl Camera.

I also donated household items to Goodwill, will sell some on eBay, sent a box of scrap wood to a friend to use for kindling, dropped items off at the city hazardous waste collection site, put a mound of stuff in the recycling bin, and only after that did I fill our city trash can.


Organized Garage After 

Any guess how long I can keep it this way?
All of the photos in this post are from my Instagram feed. 
Follow me on Instagram @condoblues pretty please?

Like items are organized into zones (paint rollers and brushes, coolers, spray paint, etc.) I labeled the shelves to keep myself honest about putting things back where they belong instead of putting them in a “better place” that I eventually forget.

I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or proud my reorganizers and labels were free since I already had them. I’m going to go with proud, since I decluttered my scrap wood stash by building what I needed instead of buying it. Making sawdust always makes me happy.

7. Made a few dinners in the big crockpot (we have three) so I have extra leftovers to freeze for Holiday frenzy Time so I don’t end up shopping stupid and over my grocery budget like last year.

7 October Splurges

1. Bought an antique TV cabinet at the Habitat Restore to use as a guest bathroom vanity instead keeping the original. It will need a lot of love but it is going to be an awesome piece!

2. Went Doomsday Peppers on Pumpkin Spice stuff .

We like pumpkin spice.

3. Put an old toilet up on Freecycle instead of selling it. The Restore wouldn’t take it. I didn't sell it on Craigslist because it is cracked and I just want it gone.

4. Bought out Halloween costumes from Etsy instead of making them or creating them from costume items we have. I love costuming and usually make our costumes. I found exactly what I envisioned for our Rocket Raccoon and Groot Halloween costumes on Etsy. I didn’t have to draft the patterns! We will be wearing these costumes for future Halloweens.

We found Star Lord and Gamorra at the party too!

5. Made some planned purchases at the Renaissance festival. It is tough when your apothecary is only open two months out of the year!

I also started learning more about making herbal teas, remedies, and health and beauty products. Both the silly like the thought that putting Queen Anne’s Lace in your pocket makes you invisible (PS: it doesn't work. My jester character got into a lot trouble with this one.) to the things that are actually helpful. I developed my addiction extreme enthusiasm for handmade soaps, health, and beauty products.

6. Took Lacey to the groomer. It is cheaper to do it myself but sometimes Lacey gets mats in places she won’t let me brush. The groomer also does things I don’t know to do like cut her nails.

They like Lacey so much they gave her a snazzy new bandanna for Halloween! 
Being the dog mom that I am I took this photo and put her on Instagram.

Some may see this as a frivolous expense but it is worth it to us. Our vet does grooming. It was during a grooming appointment that the groomer realized something wasn't right with Blitzkrieg and asked for our permission to take him to the the vet side of the practice. That’s when our vet diagnosed Blitzkrieg’s lymphoma in time for him to start effective treatment. Blitzkrieg's oncologist said a significant number of their patients were diagnosed by their vet after the groomer noticed something funny.

We vowed right then and there no matter what kind of dog we have they will go to the groomer a couple of times a year.

7. Play noble characters at the Renaissance festival instead of peasants. The peasant characters are fun to play because both of them have a few screws loose. The costumes are cheaper to make because they use plain fabrics and don’t need the accessories the nobles do.

The nobles are a different type of fun to play because our characters are married to each other. I don’t know how it is for Husband but I like having the chance to be the women in the pretty dress with a houseful of pretend servants when my daily life is spent in painting clothes cleaning the garage for three days by myself.

Baron and Baroness Heresford

I’ll admit it. I’m an independent woman who likes to dress up like princess sometimes while Husband escorts me around the grounds like he likes me or something.

I can’t put a price tag on that.

How did you do this month?

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