Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spinning Straw into Gold...Thrifty Thursday



Ever since I was a wee girl, I have been fascinated with the spinning wheel. I've always wanted one for my home. They just seem so magical to me!

Lately, I've been dreaming about the many ways I could use a spinning wheel to turn straw into gold around here. "Gold" seems to be in short supply around here these days, if you get my meaning! With Chilly's medical needs increasing, food prices going up and the economy in the dumper, things are getting a bit dicey on the financial homefront.

We've always been a pretty thrifty bunch even in "good" times. I've always loved thrift store shopping, yard sales and coupon clipping. I LOVE a good sale. (Yes, I'll admit it...I am one of those people who will buy something just because it's on sale!) Lately, however, we've had to take our thriftiness to new levels and I must say, we are getting pretty darn creative!

Here are a few of the ways we've spun straw into gold around here this summer....
*Spent more time at our local library. Our library has newly released DVDs that you can check out for 3 weeks at a time. You can check out up to 10 at at time! We are avid readers at our house too. Libraries should be national treasures, don't you think?


*Started making Chilly "brown bag" it to work. I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of getting up at the crack of dawn (keep your snarky comments to yourself about that one...giggle giggle) to make a lunch to go, but it's saved us a TON of moo-lah. Not to mention, Chilly (a 41 yr old recovering bypass patient) isn't out being tempted by artery clogging fast food on his lunchbreak.


*Using white vinegar as fabric softener. I add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a gallon white vinegar. I add it to the rinse cycle and voila! Our clothes come out soft and lightly scented. A gallon of white vinegar costs about $2 so the savings here have been huge! It's also chemical free which is great for Irish dancer girl who is very chemically sensitive! I also put out a clothes line and started line drying lots of our clothing. Our clothes smell so fresh and with our AZ heat, they dry very quickly!


These are just a few of the things we are doing to increase our prosperity around here...

How are you spinning straw into gold these days? I would love to hear your nifty thrifty tips!

Have a wonderful Thursday!

26 comments:

Randi Troxell said...

great ideas! we recently just got a library card to use instead of buying expensive new books! and we ALWAYS brown bag at my house... i just fix everything the night before b/c i refuse to wake when hubbys does!! 5 am is too early for this bird!!

heyLyss09 said...

I'll definitely be trying that fabric softener once (and if) my washing machine ever gets fixed.

I've been trying to cut down on takeout. I've been shopping for lunch food on Sundays and bringing enough to work with me on monday to leave in the fridge for the week. It's been working out well so far.

blueviolet said...

I actually do a lot of walking instead of driving. I live so close to everything I need that I often just stroll down the road to run my errands. Plus, our library is about 1/10 of a mile from my house.

Kathy B! said...

I always pinch my pennies regardless of the economy. I think I might be cheap, although I prefer to think of myself as frugal!

My latest find is Redbox for DVD rentals...

Mama Dawg said...

I don't know how to do anything but be thrifty.

I brown bag it as well. Plus, I can't stand the taste of fast food anymore. Ever since we moved to the country and are far, far away from fast food (nearest McD's is 30 minutes away) and can't eat it often, it's become disgusting in my mouth.

So, I bring leftovers or salads or sandwiches for lunch. I've not only saved money, but I've lost weight as well!

Hillbilly Duhn said...

For starters, you're going to hate me, I have a spinning wheel, almost identical to the one in the picture. Mines missing the foot pedals though.

Secondly, we already take bag lunches, but I never thought of the vinegar and lavendar idea. That is priceless. I may have to try that. I always have white vinegar on hand for many things, cleaning the floor, the sink, etc...

Loved this post!

Linda @ My Trendy Tykes said...

hmmm....I have to remember that vinegar tip!

Kristina P. said...

I really love the vinegar tip!

Cara said...

OOh, I hadn't thought of putting fragrance into my vinegar! I use vinegar & water for all of my cleaning, & I use it in place of fabric softener. I also make my own detergent, shop the farmer's market for veggies & fruits during the summer, shut the AC off at night & keep it set at 76 during the day, am slowly switching out all of my regular lightbulbs into the CFL's, cloth diaper my son (and big girl gets them at night in place of pull-ups) & have just started using cloth wipes. My biggest money suck? The dishwasher. Ugh.

Tranquility said...

I didn't know vinegar would soften water for clothes washing! How interesting.

Hillbilly Duhn said...

ps. um, how much do you add to your rinse cycle, like a cup or half a cup...a fourth of a cup???? Of course, I could figure it out on my own, but I'd rather save myself some money and know the answer without having to rewash clothes cuz I put too much in!! LOL!

The Rambler said...

Great tips for saving money. We just started doing the brown bag thing too!!

Polka Dot Moon said...

I'm a coupon cutting, brown bag packing, library frequenter, that loves your fabric softener idea! Will try cause I already have the Lavender E.O.!

Denise

And I also save all of my padded envelopes, tissue paper, and scraps of fabric for use in my Etsy shop!
Great way to upcycle things!

Kado! said...

1st off...our library movies are always due back in 2 days....and I ALWAYS forget ....then there is a $1 a day late fee charge......I have been very upset before when i realized how much I owed them for a movie my son put in a different room...so now I won't let the kids check out movies there...only books!!! We netflix it...no late fees...LOL!

...and I pack my husbands lunch too....but i pack it the night before when I'm putting away the dinner...he usually gets leftovers from dinner or a sandwich...so i make it then and put it in the fridge....if I made him a lunch at 6am....I can only imagine what I might put in there....my brain is not working at that time in the AM!! LOL! =)

Kado! said...

Ohhh...i can't wait to try that laundry tip...THANKX!

LadyStyx said...

I'm one that must own the book, BUT I've taken to getting them strictly from Amazon and look for the "used" section. I don't need anything brand new (unless it's a gift) especially if it's a Dummies book where I'm gonna write on it anyhow. Most of my music cds are coming from the second hand store too. Lunches are always packed the night before and hubby just grabs a plastic container of food to go for lunch the next day.

Devri said...

That vinager tip is the BEST! I knew you were my friend for a reason! lol

LORI said...

OKAY, YOU KNOW I'M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO SAY "THE CRACK OF DAWN" NOW WITHOUT LAUGHING, DON'T YOU???! BUT STILL, MUCH BETTER THAN "THE DAWN OF CRACK"...MUCH MORE OMINOUS MEANING THERE. I'M SURE, MY THRIFTY FRIEND, YOU ALREADY DO THIS, BUT I'LL SHARE ANYWAY. WHEN FRUIT IS ON SALE (AND I MEAN A REALLY, REALLY GOOD SALE, HERE), I BUY IN BULK, WASH, FLASH FREEZE, AND BAG. WE ARE A FRUIT SMOOTHIE LOVING FAMILY, AND IT'S SO MUCH BETTER AND CHEAPER THAN BUYING FROZEN FRUIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WINTER! I DO THE SAME WITH GROUND BEEF AND CHICKEN WHEN IT'S ON SALE, BUT WE DON'T PUT THAT IN OUR SMOOTHIES, BECAUSE IT WOULD BE JUST GROSS.

Sneaky Momma said...

I will have to try your fabric softener idea. I am allergic to everything, including most laundry detergents. It sure would be nice to be able to use fabric softener! :) Thanks for sharing!

Mother Mayhem said...

Being thrifty isn't one of my strong suits. I spend too much moola in the bargain bins! LOL

...Mrs. Southern Bride... said...

We started making our lunches too...saves us quite a bit! :)

Kelly said...

What great ideas Dawn. I really liked the vinegar thing. I never knew you could do that.

Hope you find a pot o gold sometime soon.

Kelly

Jennifer said...

I had no idea about the vinegar! Thanks for the tip!

Yaya said...

Good tips!

Unknown Mami said...

We go to the library for DVD's too and books of course. We also save all of our change in a jar and cash it in for treats.

LT said...

Gold is in short supply here too! You hit on most of my thrifty shopping tips. I love the thrift store, especially now as we are about to go into school season. I also pay a lot of attention to other bloggers posting about huge sales at places online like Old Navy or A Children's Place and shop the clearance with free shipping codes! Plus I always shop the mark down sections in my local grocery store, the meat section alone has saved me a ton of money!! We also are a big "brown bag" family! And yes, it so much healthier for us both.
Awesome post!!!

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