Indoor Drying Rack/Room

It didn’t take long after moving out of my parents’ house and in with my then-fiancé, now-husband to realize how expensive everything is. Groceries, household needs, rent, utilities, etc.

The utilities were the WORST!!! Mainly because they varied from month to month. Two ways we thought of to save money: no dishwasher and use a dish rack; and using our spare bathroom as an indoor drying rack. We did have a clothesline on our balcony, but Management made us take it down. You can read about that in this previous posts here and here.

Using a second bathroom as an indoor drying rack is a good way to save on the electric bill. We have since moved out of our first apartment, and the house we are renting has the space for a clothesline underneath the carport and we use the second bathroom as an indoor drying room on the days that it rains continually.

This was our second bathroom at the apartment.

IMG_0094

This is our second bathroom at our house now. These racks also get moved out onto the pool deck for drying purposes, when it isn’t raining.

Drying Racks (2)

Drying Racks (3)

Drying Racks (1)

 

We also have a clothesline under the carport. This is a cool picture I got one morning. My husband’s work clothes had been on the line since the day before and the morning dew was steaming off them.

P work clothes on clothesline (1)

P work clothes on clothesline (2)

P work clothes on clothesline (3)

 

So even if you’re in an apartment, if you really look, you can find a way to have a clothesline. And if you don’t have one, I recommend it, especially is you live where is it sunny and hot most of the time. Why pay to use electricity to dry your clothes when Mother Nature will do it for you for free?

© Cori Large June 7, 2015

 

Ways to Save While on Vacation

When my then-fiancé and I took a trip to New Orleans last year, and I learned some hard lessons about money while there. My mistakes ended up causing us to over spend. It didn’t ruin the vacation, but I was just disappointed with myself because of my choices.

Here are the four big lessons I learned, some may be common sense, but still:

  1. If possible, stock up on granola bars, juice boxes, and small water bottles for sightseeing to avoid impulse buying of “snacks” while sightseeing. I’m not talking about not sampling the local cuisine. Go for that! I’m talking about running into gas stations and getting food that you can get back home. If you’re flying out to your destination, hit a grocery store to get previsions.
  1. If you are going to sample the local cuisine, when you’re at restaurants, see if appetizer platters offer tastes, and get a couple of those. You’ll usually get more food for the same amount of money.
  1. Check out local coupon books and pamphlets in the lobby of where ever you are staying. Don’t be afraid to use a coupon. In the economy, we all need as much help as we can get.
  1. Lastly, and this is where I learned the biggest lesson: Really consider who you are purchasing souvenirs for. This ate up a lot money and I regretted the promises I had made.

© Cori Large March 24, 2013

Ways I’ve Found to Save Money

Back Story: These are ways I’ve found to save money. Some of them may be repeats from a previous post or well-known ideas. If you would like to adopt them, please feel free!

Hand Washing Dishes

After we stopped using our dishwasher, our electric bill dropped by $20 a month. Granted it’s just the two of us and I understand that dishwashers are a God-send for moms, but I’m doing without it for now.

Using a Clothesline

A clothesline or a drying rack. We have both. A clothesline rigged under our carport and a drying rack in the bathtub of our spare bathroom. (This only happens when we don’t have long-term guests.) The clothesline is weather-dependent, but it’s great when you can use it.

Using the Dryer—the smart way

Contract your electric company and see if they have peak hour pricing. For example, if your electric company’s off peak hours are 9 pm to 6 am. Go ahead and wash the clothes, but don’t start the dryer until after 9 pm.

Coupons (you knew it was coming)

I used to coupon for every conceivable item I ever thought I would buy. It took up a lot more time and effort than I really wanted to put in. The TV show Extreme Couponing has made some shoppers feel inadequate because they are not getting $2000.00 for pennies. Honey, anything you save at the grocery store is awesome!

I now only cut coupons for items I know my household with use, and I don’t mean ALL of the laundry coupons. I mean I use specific types of laundry detergent because I have sensitive skin, so those are the only coupons I cut out. It has saved me a great deal of time, and I’m not wasting money on buying items my household doesn’t want or need just because it’s on sale and I have a coupon.

Cash Budgets

This is still a new concept to me, but I’ll try to explain it the best I can. I withdraw a specific amount of money at the beginning of each month. It gets divided between the cash budgets for the month: $300 for groceries, $100 for home stuff including health & beauty, $20 for fun for each myself and my husband, $50 for pool and grounds maintenance, $50 for Christmas gifts, and $20 for birthday gifts. There are other items in the budget, but these are just the categories that I stick to using cash for so I won’t overspend.

Buy Generic

Look into purchasing store brands instead of the name brand. Just because the name brand is on sale and you have a coupon doesn’t mean it’s still a better deal that buying the generic store brand.

General Shopping

My husband and I have gotten to the point where we only buy something is we absolutely need it. If we can borrow a tool or piece of kitchen equipment, we do that instead. Or try to find another way to do something if we don’t have everything we need to do something.

Flea Market Produce

This tip may be regional: Fruits and vegetables can be cheaper at the flea markets. This is the case where I live.

Garage Sales/Thrift Stores

Look for gently used household items and clothes at thrift stores and garage sales. You’d be surprised at what you can find at garage sales and thrift stores. But remember!!! Just because it’s cheaply priced, doesn’t mean you need it.

Free Books, Movies, etc.

Utilize the library and/or other used bookstores for books. You may have to wait a little while sometimes, but you’ll pay less or nothing at all for books. Libraries are also great places to get movies and music.

For full disclosure, my husband and I aren’t living paycheck to paycheck like a lot of people do. We’re very fortunate for that and we know it. We’ve had distracters tease us about our ways, imply that we’re cheap, and flat out tell us we’re being dumb. Well, we live in America and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.

Our goal is to save as much money as possible to hopefully buy a house with cash. And spending money on nonessentials is the quickest way to make that not happen.

So for those of you who are saving for something specific (a house, car, vacation, pay off a debt), don’t let the naysayers get you down. It won’t last forever. Every penny you find of the street helps.

Good luck!

Gazelles, Baby Steps, and 37 other things Dave Ramsey taught me about debt by Jon Acuff

Summary:

Title is self-explanatory.

Opinion:

Oh, my God! This book was hilarious!!! Don’t have to have read The Total Money Makeover to find this book funny, but it helps. Jon sarcastically and humorously expounds on questions that are on all our minds: Does Dave only own blue shirts? What is the appropriate attire for attending Financial Peace University? New ideas to improve the Ask Dave Ramsey app, and much more!

Recommended very much!

© Cori Large November 2013

The Simple Life: thoughts on simplicity, frugality, and living well by Amy Dacyczyn, Joe Dominques, Vicki Robinson, and others; edited by Larry Roth

Summary:

This book is a compilation of essays from those that value a simpler and more frugal lifestyle. Topics range from everyday living to dumpster diving to not getting hosed by the funeral industry to living cheaply during the college years.

Opinion:

I’m currently trying to change my lifestyle to be simpler and much less consumerism chaos. I got some great tips from the book and have included those below.

© Cori Endicott September 2013

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Summary:

Dave Ramsey teaches readers how to conquer their pile of debt, build an emergency fund, and save properly for the future. He makes it very clear that this isn’t a get rich quick scheme; that it will take lots of hard work and dedication. His motto, Live like no one else, so you can one day live like no one else, may not make sense at first, but when you do finally comprehend it, you will feel inspired.

Opinion:

Truth: for the longest time I thought Dave Ramsey was some other financial guru who likes to hear himself talk. I was given the audio book as a gift from someone who had tried his method and it worked for her family. He does have good ideas, thought I’m not a complete convert. Once fiancé listens to it as well, we’re going to discuss what we’d like to implement in our financial life.

Dave Ramsey’s website had a lot of helpful tools. He also has an afternoon radio show on AM 540 where he takes phone calls and tries to help people through their financial questions on air.

© Cori Endicott March 8, 2013

Clothesline Update #1

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how fiancé and I put up a clothesline. My idea was that it would save us money on our electric bill. Right now I’m having to get used to only doing one load at a time. I’ve been used to getting all my laundry done in a day. Don’t have the space for that goal YET! Maybe one day.

We received our next electric bill. Unfortunately, we did not save anything. However, this can be attributed to that fact the weather dropped to the 40s and we had to turn the heater on 4 days in a row. Never again! I’ll pile all the blankets we have on the bed instead of turning the heater on.

Here’s a picture!

2013-03-17_09-45-51_711

Now onto Month 2 with clothesline! Hopefully the weather will cooperate in more that one way (no rain, not cold) and I’ll be able to report success next time.

© Cori Endicott March 2013

Clothesline

When fiance and I moved into an apartment, one of the things we asked about was putting up a clothesline. I was looking at it from a money-saving perspective. Fiance grew up with a clothesline so he had no problem with it.

We were told that we couldn’t attach anything to the building structure or anything in anyway fly off the balcony. We ended up copying another tenant’s idea that seemed to be within the parameters.

We hooked paracord around one railing and strung it across the 12 foot space and back again at an angle to create a V-shape. It’s hooked at both ends so we can take it down when needed, AND there’s not damage to the railings!

We set it up yesterday (3/3/2013) and put the first load out. It happened to be a really windy day. I was worried that the wind would pick up too much and I’d watch helplessly as the clothes flew away.

Before bed, we brought everything in. 60% of was dry and ready to be put away, the rest was hung up on hangers and put in the spare bathroom. I didn’t want to leave it outside overnight, mainly because of my fear of stuff flying away.

Our goal is to completely line dry our laundry this month to see how it affects our power bill. No pictures yet, but I’ll get one to add it.

P.S. I have a big rosemary plant and aloe plant that my shirts were catching on. It was amusing. 🙂

Next Newer Entries