Home » Blog » Home Decor » Organization » 15 Ways That I Save Money

15 Ways That I Save Money

Thank you for Sharing!


In this post, I am going to tell you (15) fifteen ways that I save money, so that I have more money to spend on Projects!  In the next post, I will tell you why my Free Budget Tool will help you and how you can get it, but first….

Whether you know me or not, after reading my blog posts you may be saying something like “But I can’t fix up my house/ do projects like that!  I don’t know where she gets the money to be constantly making improvements!”

Well, today I want to tell you about some of the things that I do so that we have extra money to spend.  To start off, my husband has a modest full-time job with health benefits.  I have a part-time office job, in addition to the piano lessons that I teach.  While we are able to invest in home improvement a little at a time, we would not be able to do so if I did not implement the things that I am going to tell you about.

(*This post may contain affiliate links.  By purchasing anything from these links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.  More information is available on my Disclosure page.)

15 Things I Do

  • We bought a smaller house than we could “afford.”  It has no garage, and it had only one bathroom.


    • We listened to Dave Ramsey’s advice to purchase a house where the mortgage payment is about one fourth of your take home pay.   Most realtors tell you that you can afford a house twice that much.  (In fact, when we first looked for a house and tried to use one of Dave Ramsey’s trusted EPL realtors, even that realtor tried to get us to purchase a house that cost much more than we could afford!)
    • We also listened to Ramsey’s advice that we take out a 15 year loan instead of a 30 year loan.  That goes along with the first part of his advice–If we had a more expensive house we would be forced to have a 30 year loan.
    • The peace of mind that goes along with this plan is amazing.  We know that if for any reason things got really tough financially, that we could revert to a 30 year loan and things would probably be okay.
    • We won’t need to down-size down the road when our kids get older and move out.  We’re already there!  We won’t need to go through the hassle and expense of downsizing our possessions and finding another house.

Here is our house nearly four years after we bought it.


our house after I fixed it up and painted it
  • We don’t have to buy name brand clothing for our kids or for ourselves.

Sure, I appreciate better quality clothing.  And I love finding it at thrift stores or yard sales!  Kids grow soooo quickly– it makes little sense to me to spend lots of $$ on something they will outgrow soon.

  • I yard sale whenever I can.

When I’m at a yard sale I try to think ahead for our future needs in the clothing department, for future wants like crafting, and for future home improvement projects. Yard sale prices can beat every other avenue (thrift store, big discount sales) except free!

  • I do my own pedicures and manicures.

Manicures are only practical about twice a year for me for special occasions–I do too much work and projects with my hands otherwise!  Pedicures during the summer– taking care of it myself instead of paying someone else also means that I don’t need to be concerned about sharing germs with other customers….

  • I cut my kids’ and husband’s hair.

I cut my own hair most of the time, too, but once in awhile I need a little help : )  Sure, it’s only a few dollars that I save by doing this– but every little bit helps!

  • I garden.

Another way that I save money is by spending time in my vegetable garden.  I don’t always get a lot of produce from it.  The time invested is probably not worth what I get out of it.  But along the way I’m getting exercise (yes, my doctor said gardening counts as exercise!); I’m breathing fresh air; I’m enjoying God’s marvelous creation; I learn new things about plants and/or creatures; and I get some thinking time.  Those things may be the primary reasons I garden– and the produce is just an added benefit.  Again.. every little bit helps.

  • I drive a car that gets good gas mileage.

I knew someone once with two kids that thought they absolutely needed a minivan.  Sure, I would love to drive an SUV (or maybe a minivan? maybe not).  Actually, I would like a Suburban.  But it just does not make sense to pay so much for gas.  My car is comfortable, reliable, gets good gas mileage, and it meets my needs.  I don’t want to trade for a Suburban and be cash strapped and then not be able to do projects.  What would be the fun in that??!!  So the vehicle choices are right up there with the mortgage/ house choices…..

  • I do my own taxes.

I use Tax Act.  You can try it for free, and pay their very reasonable fee only when you are done and ready to file your taxes. It is much easier than Turbo Tax.  I worked for Liberty Tax Service one season years ago…. When I answered the phone, everybody thought that I was the owner : ).  Well, Liberty Tax Service, just like Jackson-Hewitt and H & R Block (all three companies were started by the same person), use a computer program to do taxes.  Tax Act is very easy to use, even if you have a more complicated return to file. Simply log in online, and answer the questions.  It is very straightforward and they run a test to see if everything looks right to them– if not, you can add information as necessary.

****Sooo…. if you are wondering where the other 7 things are I will tell you— they are in my new Ebook which is now available on Amazon’s Kindle Store!

Did you know that you can read Kindle Ebooks without having a Kindle? You can simply download them to whatever device you are using (a desktop, mobile device, and more!) Go HERE for more information.

Kindle Ebook cover, "How We Paid Off Our Mortgage in Less Than Six Years"

I hope you have enjoyed hearing how I save money so that I have more money to spend on projects! Perhaps it has given you some helpful ideas.  In my next post I will tell you about my Free Budget Tool— why you need it and how you can get it.

Next Post

track your budget graphic







Thank you for Sharing!

Similar Posts


  1. Girl, we may be sisters from another Mister!!! I have a number of intellectually-challenged clients that I aid with independence, and I’ve taught them all the Ramsey “envelope” system – put it into the envelope. Guess what? When it’s gone, it’s gone! Done until next month!!!

    We put our house on a 7 yr. ARM, and when we wound up with a small payout (my physician father caught CoVID in the early days, prior to vaccine, and did pass away after 7 agonizing weeks on life support… it was horrible… my Mom is a long-hauler…); anyway, we received a small payout from his estate and, again, when my husband’s father passed away (dementia), we put it ALL towards the mortgage principal!!! SO MUCH LESS INTEREST!!! Anyway, we might NOT have the entire thing paid off in 7 years, but it has a no more than 2% annual rise, and we met with our loan officer and if nothing else changes, we’ll have it paid off within 9. And own our1900 sf home and an acre and a half of land for a STEAL in rural Disco, WI, less than 10 minutes from the rural, though highly popular tourist central town of Black River Falls, WI, the County Seat and the Seat of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Everything we need close by, 2 large cities each within 45-60 minutes for anything that we cannot secure locally.

    We garden – I canned 72 quarts of tomatoes last year – on track to do at least that – if you look in the dictionary at the term “heavy-laden” you’ll see pictures of my Roma tomato plants! CRAZY!!!!

    Purchasing clothing at Savers, Goodwill, yard sales, and hitting them with a paste of Oxy Clean and hot water will get out nearly ANY stain,!!!

    And we barter services!! My husband is a contractor – we recently lent one of our “kids” money for a security deposit; he, in turn, is working it off as my husband’s assistant and heavy labor to save Keith’s back. THAT is a no-brainer!!! But I’ve traded a jar of homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam for a dozen ears of sweet corn from our Amish neighbor! We gave our neighbor a 3 storey extension ladder since our roofing days are over, and he charged us only TEN CENTS a BOARD FOOT to mill 1,300 board feet of raw timber we had into lumber. It takes a neighborhood, even in the rural country…

    I have 2 vehicles (I discovered our 1st winter here, I cannot climb the hills to get home from town in my Civic! lol) – a 2004 Honda Civic, Siobhan (I finally had to let go of my 1997 Civic, Brigid, whom I drove for 22 years…) and a 2006 Jeep. HOWEVER, I flip-flop my insurance coverage, limiting coverage to 3,000 miles for the summer for the Jeep while I’m driving Siobhan, and then reverse, 3,000 miles (it’s the minimum for State Farm) for Siobhan in the winter, when I’m driving the Jeep with all-wheel drive. My husband/I do the repair on our vehicles for 95% of the time – we do a few good turns for the local mechanic, and he allows us to pick his brain when things get janky on the vehicles – my husband drives a 1998 4Runner, that has never failed to start in the winter. Buy foreign (built in America), they simply last, the parts are inexpensive to replace, and there are easily-available Chilton’s or Haynes’ manuals, in addition to youtube.com videos, that will make most basic repairs WAY less expensive than paying a mechanic!!! I’m a 50-something Chicago girl – if I can do it, you can do it! lol

    Last, TaxAct is my FAVORITE tax program!!! I was a professional accountant for years, and a Financial Manager, as well, for several non-profits including some Madison, WI VERY large churches (million dollar budget!). There are plenty of programs out there but, dollar-for-dollar, to purchase a tax program, even for a business such as ours? It’s SO MUCH less expensive than paying an accountant, and there are loads of walk-throughs to aid if you’re confused about things like valid business expenses, etc. PLUS, for our “kids” (I raised a neighborhood! lol) who don’t have to file long-form, their online version is cheap – free for Fed, a small fee for State. And they’re super-good about updates, when the IRS adds/changes anything related to tax code.

    Honestly, the only other thing we do regularly is shop Aldi! Also, we have a local “convenience store/gas station” called Kwik Trip – they have potatoes/onions/bananas ALWAYS at $49/lb (that’s the recent increase). But they run specials – right now bananas are $.29/lb. Then, they run routine “deals – milk for $2.99/gallon, no matter the grade; butter for $1.99/lb; eggs for $2.49/dz; 5 oz steak fillets $1.99/ea; 6 oz bacon-wrapped pork fillets $1.99/ea, etc.! Shop the deals, and stock that freezer!). But I spent $79 at Aldi today, and when I went and literally put the same items in a virtual cart via the Walmart app, even some with the same brand? Almost $200… I feed myself and my husband, random neighbors, folks at the Sr. Cooperative where Keith works, neighbor kids routinely, and we regularly have out-of-town company for a week at a time, a couple of times per month… for about $300. Always, always, know where you can purchase food the least cost per pound, so even if you pay a bit more for it in bulk, you can prep and cook/freeze it (like, I buy 10 lbs of ground been, cook/portion/freeze; or 10 lbs of chicken, throw in a crock pot overnight, portion/freeze) so I’m always feeding my family at the lowest food cost… It TRULY makes a difference!!! Go back to our parents’ roots, or grandparents’ – buy dried beans/peas/lentils! They are, pound per ounce, the least expensive protein source you can buy!!! Lentils can sub in for ground been in just about any recipe, and you’ll fool even a meat-eater!!! Honest! I pre-soaked and canned black/red/pinto beans, so I don’t have to soak overnight – they’re just grab-and-go, now… It took zero time… These are all things that can help with the rising food costs, and are not only inexpensive, they allow YOU to control fat, calories, preservatives, salt, etc!!! SO MUCH BETTER for you!!!

    I know this got long, but the other 2 quick tips I have are 1: I downloaded the Fetch app. You “snap” a pic of each/ANY receipt – minimum of 25 pts per receipt. More pts based on brands that help subsidize the app. I got it at Christmastime. By June, I had 50,000 pts – enough for a $50 gift card valid at hundreds of merchants: amazon, ebay, Walmart, Home Depot, etc., etc., etc. restaurants, you name it. Free money, folks! 2. I also invest in Stash.com… It’s literally $50 off the top of each paycheck, and I’ve committed each deposit into an IRA set up for my husband; because we pay taxes on it, now, we won’t have to when he retires and we withdraw… I never see it, so I don’t miss it. But that tallies up to at least $1,200 a year – it’s like free money, because it’s taken out after payroll taxes are paid, so I never see it. I just work with what Keith’s paycheck is… And it’s in an IRA, tax-deductible, since we pay the taxes on it, and it was a PAINLESS way to actually invest for his retirement, since he’s self-employed and works part time (un-benefitted).

    Sorry, again, for the length of the post, but if you’re posting good tips, I absolutely want to encourage folks that they truly do work!!! And, there are easy ways to work with what you have – I spend probably 1/3 of my time teaching my “kids” how to live and work within their monthly food share amounts – I’m, like, if I can feed the world for $300/month, you and your husband can live with $360/month in FoodShare!!! Seriously! Quit it with the more expensive pre-paid crap! It’s not good for you, you’re paying for convenience, and guess what?! You cannot afford it!!! Make mac-and-cheese – you don’t need microwave mac, just cuz it’s faster!!! You don’t have 8 minutes??? PLEASE!!! These are things anyone can do – you make it a habit, and you can pocket that additional money towards important things, roll towards an extra mortgage principal payment (even $100 will be $100 less you pay interest towards!), gas for your car, an extra car payment, or just into the all-important Ramsey “Emergency Fund…” Good luck, folks!!!

    1. Thank you so much Crissie, for sharing all of your tips!! I’m so sorry about your father…

      I’ve not thought of getting deals at a convenience store– I picture them as overpriced– but I see what you mean about certain foods there. I’ve seen/ been to Kwik Trips in our travels.

      So glad you enjoyed my post and don’t apologize for the long comment– I loved reading it!

  2. So were do your kids sleep, store their clothes etc, have some private time?
    How do you as a couple have some private time?

    Nope. Nuh-uh.

    1. Hi JKH,
      Could you clarify your question? My kids sleep in their bedrooms, and store their clothes in there too, of course! They both had junior loft beds with storage underneath in our rancher.
      Life changed on us— we decided to get more land– and because of our frugal way of living we were able to recently get a house with a lot more space and land– and a garage. You can read all about it here: https://www.b4andafters.com/the-story-of-how-we-found-century-farms/


  3. Good for you, Liberty, for paying off your mortgage and buying a smaller home so that you could do this quickly! Having a paid off home is a huge benefit and allows so much more freedom and security in life. I agree with everything you’ve said!

    Our home has 2 bathrooms, but 1 was out of order for at least 7 YEARS. Knowing the room had to be demolished and rebuilt, we just closed the door and forgot about it. Three of our neighbors only have the 1 bathroom and they all raised 4 kids in the house, so we knew we could do it.

    The bottom line was that we knew our most important priority was having me at home – and a bathroom remodel didn’t fit the budget. Then one year my DH began watching YouTube videos on it and decided he could do it. It took him one year and saved us $15,000!

    1. That is fantastic, Janine! I love YouTube and it’s great that he did that for you guys! Sometimes I would love a larger kitchen area and living room, especially when we have guests. But I won’t have to deal with that for awhile now, will I?! And in an unsure economy situation– it is really nice knowing we shouldn’t have any problem caring for/ heating/ cooling etc., our smaller home.

  4. Liberty,
    I really enjoyed reading your post on how you save money. You can apply a lot of your way of thinking to how to live once you retire….We have paid off our mortgage, i stopped paying a huge amount of money to have my hair colored but I do still pay for hair cuts, I don’t get manicures and pedicures, we went down from 2 cars which we had for 12 -13 years to one car which we bought pre-owned, I buy very little in the way of clothing because I have a closet full of classic style clothes that I can wear out, I only buy if it is on clearance or sale and Joe does our taxes…..Looking forward to your next post….

    1. Thank you, Debbie. Yes, I remember reading some of those things on your blog, that you mentioned. Maybe I wasn’t clear, but the rest of my list is in the eBook. Kindle Select doesn’t allow more than 10% of the eBook to be published elsewhere, so that’s why I cut out some of the list….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *