Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Handmade Budget Living

(Photo and towels by Athena Creates)

Jared and I have decided to start a new budget lifestyle. We have some new goals (including owning our own home) that require us to start saving some money (and in this economy who couldn't use a little extra money?). I've been scowering etsy for handmade ideas to save money and save the environment. Here are some things I have found and we will be putting into practice:
  • Skip the paper towels and start using washable rags (think old t-shirts, vintage wash rags from the thrift store, etc.) or re-usuable towels like the ones in the photo above by Athena Creates to clean your kitchens, bathrooms and messes. Families spend hundreds of dollars on paper towels every year. Spend $10-$30 on a set for your family and keep them for years to come.
  • Same with napkins at the dinner table. Invest in some pretty cloth napkins like these by olofsdaughters or make them yourself with this tutorial from Design*Sponge (it's easy! I made over 150 for our wedding this summer!).
  • Pet owners, make you're own dog toys! Get creative and make it out of clothes you're going to donate anyways. One of Logan's favorite toys was a tug toy we made out of Jared's old jeans. Or if you're not crafty buy a quality handmade toy for a fraction of the price you find them for at chain pet stores like these tugs from Rescue Me Tugz. Bonus points since a portion of the proceeds go to Great Dane Rescue!
  • Prevent heat from escaping your home this winter under drafty doors and windows. Pick up some draft stoppers like the ones by Ogsplosh or make your own with this tutorial.
  • Save more on heat by turning the thermostat down at night and curling up under a nice heavy quilt. Quilts like this one make great gifts too. This one by SFO Quilter would be a great heirloom piece.
  • This holiday season give vintage or handmade! Support other etsians and make their holiday's a little cheerier. Make sure when people open the gifts you inform them where it came from and spread the handmade word!
What are you doing this fall to save money? I want to hear your tips and tricks.


BiscottiQueen said...

I cut back all the time, or at least when I can. From coupon cutting to reusing as much as I can. At home I used tupperware more then plastic baggies, but they weren't convinient for road trips or to the store... or for my husband to take to work. So I created washable reusable snack bags, sandwich bags and produce bags for grocery trips to continue to be green.

I also sign up for noticed from local grocery stores for triple coupons and such so I know I'm going to save 3x the amount on the coupons I spent hours clipping on sundays.

Lindsey Lu said...

Thanks for your tips BiscottiQueen! We clip coupons as well and only buy groceries on sale or the store brand when nothing is on sale.

Love your reusable baggies! I may have to make some of those myself! If only I could find an alternative to sandwich bags for freezing meat after I divide it.

BiscottiQueen said...

I noticed I am now using 1/4 the plastic bags I used to just from the reusable snack bag thing. It makes a big difference because I have a kid, they use the most. As for the freezer I do 2 things. I use tupperware I buy at thriftshops just for freezing, and I wash a reuse freezer bags for my 'clearance' bakery breads I buy. (I forgot to mention that)

I also buy the day old bread from clearance racks at walmart and stuff because its usually 50% off and freezes well!

Lindsey Lu said...

For some reason I have never thought to look for tupperware at thrift stores! I'll have to keep my eye out for it at estate sales too. I imagine there would be a lot of tupperware at those.

Thanks BiscottiQueen!

This Girl said...

Make your own cleaning products! It's SO much cheaper and safer than chemicals.

Lindsey Lu said...

Good call This Girl! Any links or "recipes" to share?

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