April 24, 2009

Simple Living

I've been on a quest to simplify my family's lives. In the process I've learned a few tips on how to live "simple". So, here are a few of my tips that help me save time, money, and energy. Please feel free to leave some ideas or tips of your own and bless us with your wisdom.

Top 20 Living Simple Tips

1)buy second hand-I've been able to save a truckload of money and still have been able to cloth my family very well. They actually get to wear designer labels that I would never pay for full price. I just shop at thrift stores and garage sales to find clothes and housewares for dirt cheap. I've gotten a coffee table that was very expensive for only a few dollars, curtains from Pier 1 for only a dollar, king sized sheets for one dollar a set, etc etc...

2)buy in bulk-I've found that I can save a lot by buying what I need in big loads. You can save a lot off than individual packages too. This saves me time and gas, instead of running to the store because I've run out.

3)a place for everything-I've learned to save time by knowing exactly where everything is. I use tape and a marker to label my cords and cables, so that it saves time when I need clean behind something. If it comes unplugged or disconnected I know what it is from. I label shelves for sheets to know king from queen and twin from full on the shelves. I have a closet designated just for cleaning supplies: brooms, mops, vacuums, cleaners, etc..A filing caninet (second hand) that I keep manuals, coupons, bills, reciepts, etc...

4)home management binder-This has been my saving grace! I put everything related to my family in it. You can read about it in my post Home Binder

5)errand day-I save as much errands as I can for one day. It saves me time and gas from making several little trips. I try and schedule appt for that day each week. For example, errand day is Thursday, so each week I know to let people know I'm available for appt anytime on that day. While I'm out, I take care of any running around I have to do.

6)pay bills online-Most bills can be paid online now. My bank has a free bill paying service online, so no more going to each site to make payments.

7)bundle services-Some companies have more than one service and they give discounts for the more you have from them. Our home phone, internet and cells are with one company and they save us a lot.

8)clip coupons-I know it sounds like work, but it really can save you money. Only buy what you use. Don't buy it just cause it has a coupon. I spent seven dollars on my twenty one dollar bill with coupons.

9)concerve-I use blankets on my windows behind my curtains in the winter to keep heat in and I have screens on them to let cool air in for the spring and summer. Weather strips on my doors to keep air/heat from getting out/in.

10)let go of excess -Some things are just not that important to my family. Cable is something we don't have because we really only watch basic cable shows. I buy used movies from amazon or pawn shops and this way my kids only get to watch what I feel is best for them. Plus I have a cd storage case for all of our movies to save on space.

11)pack lunch-I pack my husband and my lunch to save money on paying for fast foods. Plus, It is more healtier because I cook homemade foods a lot.

12)family night-We love family game night at our home. Every Friday we play board games or games we've made up. No technology on those days. Just old fashioned fun! Movie night is on Saturdays and we love getting on our couch or the floor and being together.

13)homemdae cleaning products-It's safer and I don't have to spend much money on them. For my list of products I make at home check out my homemade cleaning products post.

14)line dry clothes-I really love the "real" smell of outdoor clean. Plus, the kids help on this one. They like being outdoors with mom.

15)garage sale-Make extra money and declutter your home at the same time. How great! If you have the time ebay it.

16)eat at home-Start eating at home more, it is not only better for you it really does save you money.

17)cloth diapers-These are a great way to save on disposables. Too messy? Then buy lower priced ones like store brand.

18)sew it-I've saved a ton by fixing my own clothes lost buttons,hemming pants, or adding ribbons, beads, etc to my girls clothing (they love this!) I wish I could do more sewing. One day I'll learn.

19)buy off season-I love after holiday sales, you can really save on decor for the home up to 80% off. Summer clothes, shoes, etc are cheat during the winter and vice versa.

20)do it yourself-Stop paying for things you can do yourself: wash and vacuum your own car, do your nails yourself, steam clean your carpets by renting one, grow your own veggies. I even groom my own dog, including clipping his nails and brushing his teeth. I also give him his shots and antibiotics if needed etc..

Please post any tips that you may have. Let's help each other save time and money. How do you live simple?

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