Creative Ways We $ave - Part 3.

Are you ready for it? Are you ready for five more creative ways we save money?

You'll recall that for the last two Wednesday's we've shared with you five things we do to save money and perpetuate our sustainable/eco-friendly lifestyle. In case you missed it, here's Part 1 and here's Part 2. Read those first, then come back.

I'll wait.


1. We pack our lunches in reusable containers. 
This saves money for us in two areas - the cost of dining out for lunch and the cost of packaging. And, it's more sustainable. Lunches are usually leftovers or something healthy that can be quickly put together the night before and packed in a lunch box before work. I even have some old silverware that we pack, instead of the plastic stuff that gets thrown away after one use.

We love to dine out, and do that for supper on occasion. I figure we could spend close to $40 a week for each of us to purchase our lunch from a restaurant each day. That would add up to more than our total grocery budget for the month!


I'd rather snarf the leftover tator tot casserole for lunch with a real fork, thankyouverymuch.

2. We rarely buy in bulk from stores like Sam's or Costso. 
Nope, there's no typo there. We do not frequent bulk food stores. And yes, I know that's one of the biggest money-saving recommendations out there today.

Let me tell you why: There are only two of us in our home, so we don't use as much as a large family. To spend more money on more food would be a waste for us. When we do need a lot of an item, I usually buy it from one of our local Amish bulk food retailers. The prices are much more affordable, and we don't have to buy quite as much as a large family would, but still meet our needs. Plus, it feels good to support a semi-local business, rather than a chain super store.

There are some things we get in bulk, like pork and beef. Read about that here.

3. We make dog treats. 
This is something that saves us just a little bit of money each month, but you know that every bit counts. Buying dog food, treats, toys, and routine vaccinations and veterinary care add up quickly, especially with two dogs. We don't cut corners when it comes to veterinary care or dog food, but we can be frugal with toys, and make our own treats.

The recipe we use is from a woman who we had watch our dogs when we went out of town or let them out when John travels and I work late. It's so easy!

The Petsitter's Peanut Butter Dog Treats
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. milk
1 T. baking powder 
Directions: Mix peanut butter and milk, add dry ingredients and mix well. Roll and knead onto a floured surface. Cut into shapes. Bake at 375* for 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Store in the fridge to preserve for a few weeks, or the freezer for a few months. 

4. We walk. 
But not everywhere, and not all the time. However, one thing we love about our town is the awesome Main Street and town center that is only a few blocks from our home. We walk down there all the time for dining (on occasion) and free live music in the summer. We also have a convenience store within a block or two of our home and a Dairy Queen. Need I say more?

When there's not a reason to walk downtown (but there's always a reason to walk to the Dairy Queen), we just take the dogs for a walk around our historic neighborhood. The homes are beautiful and full of character. Going for a walk is entertainment for us - and it's free. Boom

5. We seek professional advice before big home improvement projects. 
I think it's important to make calculated investments as a homeowner, especially when those investments are home improvement projects. Here's an example:

John and I would like to remodel our bathroom, and add a half-bath and laundry to our second floor. This is a large renovation project that will be very expensive, even if we do the bulk of it ourselves. In order to be better prepared for this project, last week we called a realtor (the same realtor who sold us this home) and asked her to explain to us the sale value and assessed value of our home. We also explained our renovation ideas to her, and she gave us her professional perspective on if this renovation would boost the sale value of our home (because we know it will impact our assessed value). She gave us some great advice, and some options for the renovation.

It's important to know if the renovation will improve the sale price of your home, if and when you want to put your home on the market. In our case, if we complete this renovation, we have to do so in the most frugal manner possible, because the housing market in our area will not support a costly renovation should we choose to sell in the next 1-3 years. If we choose to sell in the next 5+ years, we might be able to do a more expensive renovation and get our money "back" in the sale price.

It's all a numbers game when it comes to big renovations and the housing market. Thankfully, we don't intend to sell our home in the near future. Regardless, it's We essential to seek professional advice before starting large renovation projects, whether that person is a trusted realtor or contractor.


That does it! These were our last 5 tips for saving money. Hopefully they are tips you haven't heard before, or at least provide you with some rejuvenation for your own frugal, sustainable path to financial freedom.

As always, leave us some comments below. We love hearing from readers (although John doesn't write these posts, he always reads the comments and provides insight!).

Over and out.


  1. Great tips!
    Thanks for linking up at Wildcrafting Wednesdays!

  2. What great tips and ideas! I am new from southern charm! I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully follow me back. Nicole

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