Sarah sent us the book "The Tightwad Gazette" after reading our desperate plea for help. While sometimes I feel the author is a bit out of touch when she says things like, "I can feed my family of 6 on $150 per month;" I have to remember the newsletters (later compiled into a book) were first written in the early 90s. Aside from the numbers, there are some great tidbits in there.
One thing we are already doing (thanks to my sister in law's inspiration), but it's nice to hear we're not the only crazies out there, is to re-use plastic zipper bags. We wash them out after each use (if it needs washing) and then hang to dry on our back porch where we've strung a little baggie line. I know this saves money over the long run, but it also helps keep junk out of the landfill. We don't re-use if the bag was carrying raw meat or anything else that might pose a health risk. Funnily enough, I've found the best bags to re-use are Target brand freezer bags. They last the longest. Bonus, they're cheaper.
Second inspirational idea from the tightwad, is to have birthday parties on an extreme budget. I decided to try that for Kedzie since he turns 1 on the 30th! Here's what I came up with: I made this little invitation to send via e-mail (FREE) and it's to be a potluck dinner. (Just family (less craziness), since he's only turning 1).
The decorations are half made. I made this banner from Soulemama's inspiration in her new book "Handmade Home," and I may make some type of party hat for Kedzie.
(These pics are from the joint birthday party we had for all the babies in my mama group. It was a great time.)
Last idea I'm going to share with you all, is a Price List. This is something I've always wanted to do but figured it was a bit overboard. What Ms. Tightwad suggests is to go to the grocery stores you frequent and price check everything that is your regular. For us that includes things like: yogurt, milk, Pirate's Booty (Kedzie hearts their veggie booty), etc. I've updated her list and began making a price list for each store in my iPhone. I always have my phone handy, less paper, and I can compare all the prices right there. Genius. I'm sure this price list would work for other non-food items. Let me know what you come up with.
I'll continue updating as I glean other Tightwadian gems from the gazette.
THANK YOU SARAH!