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3 Things We Stopped Buying And DIY Instead

If you’re anything like us, frugality is a must in our day-to-day lives. We want the biggest bang for our buck – it’s how we stay on top of bills and save for meaningful experiences ahead!

Sometimes that means cutting back on buying certain items and finding DIY solutions instead. It might not always be easy, but once you get into the rhythm of things, you’ll learn to appreciate those extra dollars saved each month.

Today I want to share with you a few things we do a little differently than the typical home in America, and part of it is to save money, and part of it is because we like peace of mind around here.

I love the peace of mind of knowing my mortgage is paid off, and that extra monthly payment is gone.

I like peace of mind when I know where my food was raised and where it comes from.

I encourage you today to find a little time this week to save money.

I’ll be sharing a few other articles to go along with this one on things we make or DIY ourselves to save money around our homestead too.

raise chickens

Things We Do Ourselves in the Kitchen to Save Money

The first thing we do is raise our own chickens. Yes, people wonder whether it saves you money. And it sure does if you go to the store wanting organic pasture-raised birds.

The real kicker is that every year we’ve raised our meat birds, we have gotten them at Tractor Supply on Clearance for $1. This past year I got them for $0.25!

We give our chickens lots of table scraps and veggies from the garden– because I’m that crazy lady who grows a second garden for my animals.

I always buy store-brand chicken feed for the birds as well. With meat birds, you don’t raise them for long before they are ready to go.

We butcher and package our birds using a food saver ourselves. Check out our video here.

This saves money.

This brings me peace of mind when I know I always have chicken in the freezer for dinner.

Save money on groceries by making your own food.

But the downside is time. Eight years ago, when we looked at our finances and started this debt-free journey, I heard a quote I will never forget.

“You either have time or money for your goals.” It wasn’t exactly those words. I can’t even remember who said it during one of my blogging training videos, but it was inspiring and a little bit of a wake-up call.

If saving money is your priority, it may be easier to squeeze in time to make your own snacks, dinner, breakfast, etc.

If you are new to meal planning, check out how to make a frugal meal-planning binder. Or if you are exhausted and need help coming up with meals, your family will eat, especially if you have many dietary restrictions. Grab my favorite MEAL planning app here.

canning tomatoes preserve your food


It was hilarious that 2020 was the first year since I’ve been canning that supplies were SOLD out at all our local retailers. This wasn’t regional, either.

Amazon was selling canning supplies for triple the cost. Suddenly everyone had time on their hands. I wonder how many people stuck with it three years later now.

Canning will save you money if you grow the food yourself. You probably won’t save money canning if you aren’t picking up bushels of veggies or fruits at Farmer’s Market.

I grow about 25 tomato plants a year, so I can items. If you want to grow a bunch of food for cheap, start with seeds. For those of us who have long winters, starting seeds indoors is a fun way to kick the winter blues and get excited for spring.

Canning our spaghetti sauce, salsa, and pizza sauce saves us money because I grow the plants from seeds and then use the seeds again next year from the previous year’s harvest.

I reuse my canning jars and only buy new lids each year. Thank Goodness I stocked up in 2019 when they all went on clearance at select stores.

What has happened over the years with canning is it’s created a memory with my children.

At this point, I enjoy the time with the girls so much that I would still do it even if it cost us MORE money.

We love working together and enjoying a bowl of Salsa we all made together.

You don’t get the same experience with a $1.19 jar of Salsa from Aldi. The Aldi can is good, but it’s not homemade.

If you want to get started with canning, check out my Home Canning Planner and Journal on sale for only $5! The price increases after the canning season, so grab it now.

canning planner and journal

Eating Leftovers

To stop eating out and going through the drive-thru quickly for a snack or meal, make your own meals, but use leftovers instead of a quick meal.

To get leftovers, you have to cook meals. Cooking at home is such a money saver. It may seem complicated to break the habit of eating out a few times a week but try to see how much money you still have left in your account.

My favorite lazy meal-planning tip is to make a couple of bigger meals at the beginning and end of the week. Let’s say you want to make a big pot of goulash for our family of four; we most likely will have leftovers. You can plan that for others to have for lunch or another meal.

Don’t shy away from getting creative with your leftovers. If you have leftover taco meat, use it in a casserole and mix it up for sloppy joes. Get resourceful and try to use what you have.

If you are new to meal planning, check out this beginner’s guide.

I hope some of these tips have inspired you to think outside the box and find what items you can do yourself to save money.

Remember, you either have the money or you have the time. If living a debt-free life is something you want to achieve, make the small changes now.

To start your debt-free journey read this.

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