Saving money by “working” for my family

I love working to provide and prepare things for my family. Since I don’t bring in a regular income, I do my best to save us money and provide healthy meals on a budget. Typically all the things I do on a regular basis are spread out throughout the month/quarter, but this time they all seemed to come in the same week. Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve been doing.

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It was time to make Laundry Detergent. I do this about every 6 months. Generally it takes 15-20 minutes and saves us a ton! The cost to make the detergent is approximately $7. Compared to what I used to pay for detergent, I figure I’m saving anywhere between $80-100 over the 6 months. I think that’s pretty good for 20 minutes of my time!

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This was also the week I needed to fill the freezer with ground chicken. About 18 months ago I started grinding our own meat. It not only saves us money, it also tastes way better than ground chicken bought at the grocery store. I also feel really good about the meat we are eating. I know it is 100% white meat, and I am able to trim as much fat off the meat as I want before grinding it. I typically grind 5 lbs of chicken, cook it and then freeze it into meal size portions. It takes me about 30-40 minutes every 6-8 weeks. I buy boneless skin-less chicken breasts that are $1.99 per pound or less when on sale. It costs close to $3 per pound for ground chicken and ground turkey; and the last time I bought ground beef (over a year ago) I paid more than $4 per pound! That’s a pretty big savings!

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Granola bars are always on my list of things to make! We go through these pretty quickly at our house, generally needing to make them every 3-4 weeks. I began making these when Little Mouse tested positive to a dairy allergy, and couldn’t find granola bars in the store that didn’t contain milk. We love these ones so much that I now only buy granola bars at the store if we are desperate and I know it will be a few days before I have a chance to make more. To be honest, I can’t say these are cheaper than buying them at the store, but I do know they are much healthier. Again, I can’t tell you enough how much I love knowing exactly what we are eating!

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It was also time once again to fill the freezer with shredded chicken. This is so easy, I just fill my crock pot up with chicken, season it with salt, pepper, and garlic, and cook it on low all day, or on high for about 4 hours. I then shred it up and freeze it in meal size portions. My crock pot will hold around 5 lbs of chicken. We use this everyday for lunches, and occasionally for dinners. The 5 lbs of chicken cost roughly $10 and lasts about a month. By cutting out processed lunch meat, I’ve been able to save my family around $30 or more per month. I love knowing exactly what my family is eating. Once again, I am able to save money and eat healthier at the same time! And, $30 of saving for 20 minutes of my time is really good! Stay tuned…, I will be writing more about our decision to cut out processed lunch meat soon.

It’s not very often all of these things end up on my to-do list the same week. Along with other to-do list items needing to be done, my week was pretty full. It was all worth it, knowing that I was able to save my family money, and provide healthy food options for us to eat. I will admit that although these things may not take very much time, they do require planning ahead. Once I realize we are running low on meat in the freezer, granola bars in the cabinet, or laundry detergent, rather than just adding the items to my shopping list, I have to plan a day and time to “work” to get these items ready for my family. I may not bring in a regular income, but I have found ways that I can still work to save us money on the things we use the most!

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4 Responses to Saving money by “working” for my family

  1. Elsie says:

    I’m so proud of you !!! using your abilities to help financially by making and creating nutrional foods for your family. God has blessed you with a wonderful talent to be a homemaker and special chef and baker to bring love and happiness to many people right there in your Home of much love. I enjoy learning of the many ways you are able to to put your talents to work and to be able to share. Grandma lc

  2. Can I come and live at your house? That meat and those granola bars look so tasty! So much money being saved without any quality being compromised, in fact quality being improved 100% – this is the way! 🙂

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