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Frugal strategy number two

August 31st, 2009 at 01:10 pm

I don't drive...that is in some respects an obvious way to save, no insurance for me, no car, no gas, no car related expenses.

But there is more to it than that.

For one thing, I can't sign my kids up for tons of classes, nor take them tons of places every day. Not that I have anything against 'stuff'. Just that I have to be very choosy so that most activities are done when my husband is around to drive, or when a wonderful friend will drive me (in return for gas money) I know many a broke person who thinks nothing of spending hundreds a month on different children's classes. I believe children need a great deal of 'down time' to create their own play, too much driving form one class to another takes away that time.

Another more useful result of not driving, when I am out of something, I HAVE to make do, I do not live less than 2 miles from a grocery store, or any other store for that matter. So if I am out of something, I must improvise.

You can sub for just about anything.

Out of one kind of tape, use another, or use glue, or creative folding, or a stapler.

Spaghetti sauce on rice is perfectly edible. Seriously, make it spicier and it is called 'Spanish rice' Really rice can be a base for anything you would put on pasta, or potatoes, and vice versa.

Most dishes can manage without a spice or two, baking as well. and most items in a recipe have a decent trade available. google em Smile. When cooking it helps to know the type of taste you need to replace (sweet, hot, acid, whatever) or chemical habit of the item (binding, rising, ect)

Crafts are great examples, use a bobby pin instead of a paper clip, or a paper clip instead of a 'brad'. Look at what you have, not at what you think you need, I am always surprised at how inventive I can be when neccessary.

When I teach the kids a new game, or math concept, or science, I often find instructions calling for certain 'manipulatives' (items you can move). If I know the point I can sub. For example, 'teddy bears' are often used to count or graph. I have a bucket full of miscellaneous animals to count, and duplos are uniform in size enough to graph. No cash spent.

Need some shapes for tessellations? google and print em. Science is a little more random, but so long as you know what you are trying to do, you can fake it at least part way.

Not that any of my inventions will be winning awards, nor being paid for. But that isn't the point. Making a craft with the kids or playing a game, or cooking isn't about making money. It is about having fun without spending.

1 Responses to “Frugal strategy number two”

  1. Joan,of.the.Arch Says:

    I love your style. Through making do and creativity your children are learning much more than if everything just appeared like magic in front of them, complete and ready to go. Your kids probably enjoy being problem solvers.

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