Saturday, January 24, 2015

Living on a Budget

As I've mentioned before, money is a bit tight in the Bocock household. We have to make due with my husband's paycheck and whatever I can scrounge up working from home due to only one car. We're in a lovely limbo of not being able to get another car until we make more money, and we can't make more money until we get another car. To get by, we've worked out a game plan! I've been adding to this post slowly over the past few months and have been trying to think of the small things we do that you won't read in a basic budget article.

  1. Go green to save green.
    1. Unless store bought cleaning products are given to us as a gift, we only use combinations of vinegar, baking soda, bleach, and dish soap to clean. Check out some recipes for greener cleaners here.
  2. Buy groceries for longevity. 
    1. Although we do eat milk and eggs on occasion, we also buy powdered milk and use oil + water as an egg replacement when we need to. There isn't a real (and cheap) replacement for those things, but when the paychecks can't stretch far enough, we can continue to make full meals by opting for replacements.  Another example is buying flash frozen food, like chicken, over raw. 
  3. Bake your own bread.
    1. It's super easy and only takes a few ingredients. Plus, it's super versatile! Check out my recipe for artisan bread, plus a bonus tutorial of making bread bowls here. And while you're experimenting with bread, you might as well throw out that Bisquick and look up recipes for waffles, pancakes, biscuits, etc from scratch.
  4. Live in the dark.
    1. I spend more time with the lights off and the windows open then I care to admit. I keep our power bill so low that our friend Brandon (who lives above us) asked our landlord if he's billing us correctly. Of course he is. I wouldn't even be surprised if too much is on our bill since the hot water heater is downstairs.  
  5. Reuse leftover candle wax.
    1. If you're a candle addict like I am, Dollar Tree candles can only hold over the scent-itches for so long. Purchasing a pumpkin spice Yankee Candle may not be in the budget. But you know that burnt out one from last year you threw in the back of the closet? You can still use that! Either melt the wax into a smaller jar and toss a wick into it, or pour the melted wax into ice cube trays and use them in your warmer! You can even toss in some spices you have around your house, like cinnamon or nutmeg, or coffee beans to enhance the scent. 
  6. DIY your heart out!
    1. If you want to get a new bed frame for your bed, save some cash and make it. If you want some new art in your living room, create it. You can have an elegant looking house for pennies on the dollar if you do it yourself
I may do a sequel to this post if I think of any other tips me and lover boy have come up with over out time trying to get by. If you have any suggestions for me to add, I would love to hear them!

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