Friday, November 9, 2012

Gifts now and Gifts Later

For each child for birthday and Christmas we give them some small toys and clothes to open AND put some money into their college fund. Compound interest over 15+ years adds up (hopefully more than college tuition inflation!). So they get some gifts to open now and some fund for the gift of college later!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stretch the Clothing Life

This tip I think really only works for the last child in the family because otherwise you can pack them away for the next child. You can make clothes last longer by making some "alterations" to them.

If your child's feet are too big for the footie jammies, cut the fabric feet off. The rest of the jammies still fit and they can wear socks in stead.

If their pants waist still fits by summer but the legs are too short, cut and hem for shorts.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest Post

"Work Smarter, Not Harder" and would look like this.
Wages used to the best of our ability.
Own outright as much as we can.
Rely on God
Keep finances and financial goals in perspective.
Save what we can honestly set aside each pay.
Measure of our earnings for others.
Advice from the Bible, books, websites, trusted people.
Remember past dollar mistakes and learn from them.
Tithe always.
Extra money save half and/or put extra on a bill.
Record what you spend.
Never give up. You may have to regroup, but NEVER give up.
Organization saves $$$ and time.
Thankful for my job and God's provision
Happy with what we have.
Ask before we buy - something else to use? Do we really need?
Realistic goals, set 'em!
Discover what motivates you to save.
Energize and stay focused with short term goals.
Reap the benefits of finances in order.
By Sheryl from Columbus, OH

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eat out your Pantry!

I had recently been told that the average American household could live off it's stored food for seven years! Well, I don't think a person could do that in our household but it does raise a good point: We should eat out our pantries!

Or at least eat them down every once in while.  Or at least eat the food before it goes bad. You know, that one can of whatever that never makes it to the front or the one box of something that is left on the self unused.

I like to do this periodically throughout the year. I dispise having to throw away food and yet I don't like to be without some food stored up either. So quarterly (or when the grocerry budget seems tighter than usual) we eat our freezer and pantry stores down.

The added benefit is that we usually rediscover a favorite, or this Omma learns to cook something new and we have a new favorite, or this Omma just has to get plain old creative with what she has on hand.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Frugal Omma Shout Out!

I am addicted to Homestead Survival. They are on Facebook: Homestead-Survival and blogger:

There is quite a bit of random stuff in there, but if you garden or are a do it yourself kind of person, you need to check it out!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Friendly Reminder

Just a little public service post here.

There were times in my life where things have been tough. There were times in my childhood where things were extremely tough where money was concerned. In fact, it wasn't until years later when I was helping my mom with some financials that I was shocked by just how bad things were.  (And my parents never ever asked for government assistance!)  You see, my parents didn't go around advertising their problems. They didn't argue about money in front of us kids. (And were horrified when others would do so.)  Sure we could tell that our parents were stressed at times and knew that were weren't getting the latest and greatest things, but we were never "in the loop."  In fact, we often felt so very blessed by what we did have because that was the focus we had. We regularly gave to others who had (or we perceived to have) less than us.  Which is really, in my humble opinion, how it should be. Children internalize things and feel responsible when they are not. Take divorces for instance, most often the child feels that they have somehow caused this.  When a child hears about how much their clothes cost, their schooling costs, etc. they feel guilty. They feel like they should do something. That they need to help their parents. And really, unless we are talking about a high school or college aged child working a part time job to help with their own hobbies and college funding, it's not the child's job!

So my point is, please please please remember not to argue about money (or anything really) in front of your children.  Even if you think they are not paying attention, they are. And they are learning more than you may realize.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Soap

This is to be used for your automatic dishwasher. It works just as well if not better than store bought brands, in my opinion.

1 cup borax (found in the laundry aisle)
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
2 packets of Kool Aid (or 1/4 cup citric acid, found at brew stores...I find the Kool Aid easier and cheaper)

Put 1 Tbl in the the wash compartment and 1/2 Tbl in the pre-wash.

Put 1 Tbl vinegar in the "jet dry" compartment. (Be careful not to spill the vinegar into the wash compartments.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I know I've probably posted about vinegar before, but I'm adding some more uses for it.

I clean my floors with a little bit of vinegar in a bucket of water (c. 1/4 cup to 1 gallon).

I clean my bathroom and kitchen with a vinegar blend. Take a mason jar and fill it with orange peels, add vinegar to top, let sit 10 days and then it's ready to use.

I clean my coffee maker and pot with vinegar. Take 1 Tbl of vinegar and fill the rest up with water. Run through the maker. Run just water through the maker afterwards as a rinse. Works great!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Oh vanilla, you are wonderful. How I love how you flavor the foods I bake. How I love the way you take the stink out. Huh? Yeah, you read that right, vanilla de-stinks!

Add 1 tsp to a gallon of paint, stir it up, and voila! The excessive stench is gone!

Put a little cup (1/8 cup) of vanilla in the bathroom to help mask the diaper pail smell.

Or put a little cup of vanilla anywhere you'd like a fresh vanilla sent. Yum!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Foam Soap

I got this tip from a friend so I cannot claim credit.  Go to the store to buy a bottle of foaming soap (I got soft soap, it was the cheapest). After enjoying the soap that's in there replace it with your own mixture.

1/3 soap
2/3 water

This is especially great for kids! For either getting them excited about washing their hands or to save on excessive soap usage for the enthusiastic hand washer.

You can use a liquid baby soap and then rock the bottle back and forth once (don't shake!!!). I use the regular creamy soap but you have to rock the bottle back and forth for about two minutes to get the soap to disolve properly into the water. Otherwise it will clog the pump.  I also suggest periodically (maybe once a week) rocking the bottle back and forth once to make sure the soap doesn't all settle at the bottom. 

This has really cut down on my soap expense!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Paper Plate Crafts

I like to do crafts with my kiddos. They love it, I enjoy it, and we have good times together. There are so many things you can do with el cheapo paper plates. You can cut a triangle out of it for a fish mouth and put that piece on the end for the tail. You can staple two plates together with noodles in the middle for a shaker instrument.  You can glue noodles on them. You can make masks out of them.  And the list goes on and on. AND you can get a BIG stack of them at the dollar store.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bake Bread

I make my own bread. After noticing that even the "good bread" had ingredients in it that I didn't understand I took to baking my own bread.  I use the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook for my soft whole wheat bread but you can do online searches for free recipes as well.  This is not only healthy but it is inexpensive too.  And it doesn't take as much time as you think it does.  I spend maybe 10 minutes letting my KitchenAid doing the kneeding and then it's a mater of moving it from the bowl to the pans when it's done rising and into and out of the oven. Easy peasy right?! The "hard part" is planning a little so that you have time to let the dough rise. But you can still do things around your house while it's rising! You can even go for a walk or play outside with the kids if you want. The dough will still be there!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Omma Brand Shout Out

I have a confession, I dislike cooking. I love to bake. I could bake all day (ok, I have actually done that). But I just find cooking to be such a chore.  That's why I love to use my slow cooker! And why I love to make big batches of whatever I do cook and freeze a portion of it for next week.  It's like making two meals at once!

And I have to give a shout out to who has great slow cooker recipes that you can freeze.

You need gluten free and dairy free? She has it.

You need baby food ideas? She has it.

You need vegetarian meals because you are vegetarian or are just trying to save on meat costs? She has it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Inside Out

I love hand-me-downs. I love passing on hand-me-downs. There's just something wonderful about FREE CLOTHES!

But after a few children, things start to look a little ratty.  Here's one way to help prevent that.

Turn the shirts inside out.  (And pants and dresses for girls.)  Specifically if they have a screen print or patch or embroidery on them.  This will help prevent that "cracked up" look screen prints get from too many trips through the washer.  It will help prevents snags on the embroidery on girl's shirts, pants, and dresses.

Let's face it, kids are hard on their clothes, but we can do little things to stretch the life of clothes. Like turning them inside out and air drying.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Used Parts for Appliances and Cars

This is a post for those of you handy-women or handy-men out there (or those of you married to one).  I'm very blessed to have a husband who does all our car repair work.  He also does most of the fixing around the house too.  I'm a rather handy gal myself but the ways of the car elude me.  Not to mention it's rather difficult to fix the washing machine with a tot and a preschooler climbing on me.

So where do you get that random part needed for the washing machine or car?  Well you could go to the store and buy one. OR you could go to your local junk yard.  Wait wait! Don't run away! I think we all have a picture of a big nasty place piled high with garbage bags when we think of a dump. I'm not talking about that.  I'm talking about the junk yards that hold large appliances and cars.

Did you know, most people will toss BOTH the washer and dryer if only one of them isn't working? (Most not be overly frugal people right? ^_~) Well if you need a part for your washer or dryer you can harvest the parts off the ones in the junk yard for a good price.

We upgraded our seats in our vehicle to leather by buying them from a junk yard.  Now our vehicle has safe head rests for every member of the family, front and back seats.  And yes, we sanitized the seats.  Which is much easier to do with leather than cloth I might add.

Obviously use your common sense with buying parts from the junk yard.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I have black out curtains in the children's rooms.  They block out any street lights, cars going by, random neighbor's oversensitive motion sensor flood lights... They also keep the the heat in better thus saving energy.  The best part is, I only bought one panel for two windows.  I cut it half and hemmed it.  One half panel covers the whole window when closed.  Plus, for little ones there isn't a long draping curtain to tug on because it is out of reach!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sticky Stuff

I love to cook with honey.  It's a good substitute for sugar too.  Use 3/4 cup honey for 1 cup sugar.  But that measuring cup....always gets really sticky with honey.  So I spray the measuring cup with butter first.  The honey comes out easy peasy.  Also works great for other sticky items like molasses.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


There are so many great uses for cardboard! Don't just recycle the cardboard but use it!  Here's some ideas:

  • garage - my son loves using boxes as a garage for his matchbox cards, you can also use them to build parking structures
  • doll house - don't forget the girls, cardboard can make the house and everything in it
  • put under those older cars you have (also a money saver!) in case it drips a little to keep your garage looking nice
  • paint them! great for crafts
  • large boxes can be a play house for the kids to play in, you (adult) can cut out windows for them
  • organize - cut slits and put together as a grid to organize a drawer into compartments
  • burn it in your fireplace or outside fire pit
And when you are all done doing that, then recycle the cardboard.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rinse those Dishes

Here's something you can train your family to do to help you out.  Rinse the dishes before you put them by the side of the sink to be washed.  You don't have to use a lot of water to do this, just enough to get that ketchup or syrup off before it becomes one with the dish.  Saves you time in scrubbing them later on and your family will feel good knowing they are making their Frugal Omma a happier person. ^_^

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Air Dry

We all have laundry that piles up (didn't I just wash this?) and it takes time, money, and energy to do it.  Here's a tip, air dry as much of your laundry as you can. In fact, I sort my laundry this way (because I also wash everything in cold water it doesn't matter if whites are with darks). Some goes in the dryer (because I only have so much room on my clothes lines) and some gets hung up to dry.  I air dry as much as I can because it saves on electric cost, extra wear on the clothes and thus not having to buy clothes as often, and it gives me satisfaction watching my kids run through the sheets on a summery day (which I'm missing now that it is winter).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Peanut Butter

Ah peanut butter, what a wonderful food. Full of wonderful protein, great for sandwiches...and so hard to get off the container! I use a spatula to ensure all the wonderful peanut buttery goodness makes it out of the container and onto my sandwich.  It also makes cleanup of the container for recycling so much easier.