Category: Frugal Living Tips

TMR Frugal Living Tip #8- Use Grits on Ant Hills!

grits-on-ant-hills

Today’s thrify living tip is to use instant grits on ant hills. This really does work.

I only use this method on black ant hills. I am not sure about fire ants as we only get black ants in our yard!

It’s safe for pets and kids plus it’s non-toxic! So NO spraying poison around your yard!

Trust me in South Louisiana, we get a lot of black ant hills especially after lots of rain.

What happens is the worker ants will bring in the grits (thinking it’s food) and feed it to the queen which then explodes in their systems.

The best way to use this method is to wait for a dry day, and when you are expecting rain sprinkle the instant grits around the ant hills. I do not sprinkle directly on top but just around the perimeter.

I say go for the cheap dollar store brand. I seriously doubt the name brand makes any difference except for in your pocket book!

Let me know if this method works for you!

Check Out Your Stores for Clearance Items

I went shopping at a local store that were clearancing clothes plus take an extra 20% off the already reduced prices. I bought $210 worth of clothes for my son and paid $52 with tax for all of it. I bought winter clothes for this year but did snag a couple of summer shirts. Here is a list of what I bought all size 7. The Levis were on sale plus I 2 20% discounts (the extra one and I had a coupon good on any item including clearance). I used the other coupon on the other pair of jeans.

Set of 2 Cars PJS ($5.32 for both pairs since it was a special set deal)
Spider Flannel PJS
Levis Jeans
South Pole Jeans
Lee Khaki Carpenter Pants
Nike S/S Shirt
2 Different Adidas L/S Shirts
Nike Wind Pants

Then I had bought 4 tops at Dillards for $17.23 with tax.

Ralph Lauren S/S Top
Shrek L/S Shirt
Charter Club L/S Shirt
Silver Surfer S/S Top

Lastly I stopped at Wal-Mart yesterday and picked up 4 pairs of shorts on sale for $3 each. I am well stocked for next summer and this winter. I paid a total of $82.xx for all these clothes. It never hurts to check out the clearance racks of your stores since you never know. Sometimes I found unmarked sales like yesterday at Wal-Mart. I spend around $100 a year on his clothes and shoes. I do have several pairs that I got on clearance from last year waiting in my closet. I only stock a size ahead of what he wears. I will buy size 8 clothes when the winter goes on sale in January next year. I used to buy more of his clothes used but it’s hard to find his size, and I still feel I’m doing really well with the clearance racks. I never pay more than $4-5 unless it’s a nicer dress shirt but usually under $8 for one or two of those. We need more summer clothes than winter so his winter clothes can usually last for 2 years in a row.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #7

Today’s thrify tip is cook more meals from scratch. Even with the higher costs of food, it’s cheaper to cook a homemade meal than to eat out. I even started making my own breads instead of buying them at the store. They taste better and are more filling. I plan my menus by the week but some do a monthly plan to save more time. I prefer a weekly basis since I have a better idea of appointments or things that come up during that week. It’s also easier to cook with dietary restrictions in mind.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #6

Today’s thrifty tip is completely turn off or unplug your electronics and appliances that aren’t in use. I don’t mean the stove, fridge, or washer/dryer but things like your stereo, TV, microwave, and computer. I started doing this for the last few months and have noticed a difference in my electric bills. They still use energy even when you turn it off as it’s in standby mode. I have my computer on a power strip with a switch and have put my tv and dvd player on a similar strip. Now I just turn off the strip when I’m done with these items at the end of the day.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #5

Today’s TMR tip is to clip coupons. I know some people don’t have time or might not use that particular brand. If you really want to save on brands that you already use, then you should start clipping. Even organic coupons are more readily available than in the past. I admit I don’t use a lot of coupons for food, but where I really save is on our health/beauty items and OTC meds.

Another tip is to print your coupons online. There are several great websites you can use like coupons.com, RedPlum, Smartsource, and Coupon Network. You can find them on the blog at the top under Coupons. I also like to use online coupon finders like coupons by answers.com for more great coupons and deals online. This all helps me to save more money.

Back to the Basics Using Cash

I am a big Dave Ramsey fan and started using a cash only system. I was already doing a cash envelope system before I read his book, The Total Money Makeover, but I became more disciplined after reading. It’s rare in today’s world to find a financial book telling you to use cash only and no credit cards. After we dug our way out of debt, we swore off using credit cards forever. I was very happy that he felt the same way he did about them.

The main reason I like using cash is once it’s gone in a certain envelope then we stop spending for the month. I do over budget in our food envelope for those great sales. On average we spend $250-300 a month in food. It was closer to $200-250 for a family of 3, but with costs on the rise then I upped our budget. I also had to increase our budget for gas. It was a $100 a month but not it’s up to $150 so not terrible but not having debt does make it easier to swallow.

We have $1200 worth of expenses monthly which includes everything from food, gas, utilities, gifts, household items, insurance, clothes, gas, and spending money. We put about $1,000/mo in savings. We have different things we are saving for like newer car, repairs, vacation and remodeling for the house. I have it marked how much money is in each category.

The main concern I hear is what if I have an emergency? That is why you put 3-6 months of living expenses into a liquid account so you don’t need a CC. I have a debit card linked to that account as well as checks so I don’t have to walk around with thousands of dollars on me. That’s the other concern I hear often. I might get robbed if I carry cash. I never walk around with lots of cash and most of the time have $5 or less on me. When I do plan to shop then I bring a certain amount with me and sometimes a little extra so I get take advantage of an unadvertised deal.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #4

My tip for today is yet another laundry tip. I have a lot of these and not sure why but it seems pretty easy to cut back in this area. There is very little effort involved unlike many other tips I have read. I cut all my dryer sheets in half. I do hang most of our laundry on the line but there are times when I do use my gas dryer. A box of sheets will last twice as long and not as overpowering as the whole sheet. I also only buy when I get a box for under 50 cents but by using half the sheet I save twice as much on each box.