Farmwife Frugality

the guide that makes cents

Gene and I recently celebrated our fifth anniversary.  While reflecting on the past five years, I know I’ve come a long way on learning how to spend wisely and save.  I’m leaving you some tips that I have learned along the way.  Sure they may seem to be time consuming, but it is so worth it to me when I realize that it is good for the environment (recycling) and it makes people’s day.(gift giving).  I just hope I can inspire you to save, and find the wealth of fulfillment that I have found.

Recycle

            Does your husband forget to empty his pockets?  Mine does and most often it is Drywall Screws that he leaves in there.  I used to get so tired of picking up screws out of the washing machine after doing a load of his laundry.  Now I save them to package and resell!  I discovered that after a mere 500 loads of laundry I have enough screws to make 10 screw packs to market.  I dream of my husband having an office job and coming home from work with high-liters and ink cartridges in his pockets.  Think of the profits one could make off of those.

            Every time I cleaned out the Dryer Lint catcher, my contience would prick me.  Surly there’s a good use for this fluffy stuff!  I started saving it in bags.  When I have a garbage bag full, I plan to go to Build-A-Bear at the mall and buy only the “carcass” of the teddy bear and stuff my own.  You could forgo Build-A-Bear as well.  Often one of our farm cats gets hit.  All one needs is a sharp knife to skin the cat and then dry the pelt.  Presto!  You have a plush stuffed pet to take to the next Birthday Party of your favorite nephew or niece.

            Walmart Bags.   Two words, but there is so much potential.  Here’s just an idea.  My friend Kathy collected these to braid into a rug.  I gave her all my old bags.  I’m not sure if she actually completed the rug.  Strangely enough, the last time I asked her about it, I believe she cussed me out.

Invest

  After researching my family’s spending plan I learned that we spend $800.00 per year on milk alone.  Folks, that is enough to buy a Cow, milk it, drink the milk, and have enough left over to sell!  People are learning that pasteurized and homogenized milk is actually bad for you, so they are willing to pay top dollar for farm fresh milk.  Invest in a cow and milk in the profits!

Note:  I would advise not advertising the milk you sell from your farm as to not get in trouble with the authorities.

           

Charge

            The government does so why can’t we?  I would suggest charging a small 10 cent per Vehicle Fee for driveway repair and upkeep.  If your farm is like ours, there are many vehicles in and out of the lane.  With my calculations, on an average day I could make 50 cents.  On a good day 5 dollars or more!

Gift Ideas

            I never know what to do with the photos that people gave to us five to ten years ago.  Now I simply recycle them.  Paste them on normal computer paper or cardstock, fold the paper in half, and you have a card to give away.  See, if you use old pictures of people, it doubles as joy-maker; everybody loves to look and laugh at people and the styles from ten years ago!

            Last year I had one zucchini plant that did very well.  I simply did not know what to do with all the zucchini, so I made zucchini relish.  Well a year has gone by and we have not even eaten one jar of it.  I’m not even sure what it tastes like.  All you need is a fancy ribbon, or baler twine for a more rustic look, tie it around the neck of the jar and you have a practical gift.  I like to use these as anonymous gifts that you give to teachers, ministers, and employers.  They work especially well with the cards that I mentioned above, because the recipient is inclined to think that the gift came from the people in the outdated photo on the card.

Good luck and best wishes to you all.  I wish you well on all your money saving endeavors.  I’m now off to make some lye soap!