|This will be explained. Read on.|
1. The biggest way we saved money this week was doing stuff that needed to be done around here. My husband built a lumber rack on the side of our "barn" (an old barn we inherited when we moved here...barn is used in a loose sense of the word...it's kind of like a big shed that is missing one side) with lumber and materials he already had around the house.
We also redid our laundry room for free. This, proudly, was my idea. We've had an old baby gate, that is a good solid piece of metal, that we moved from our old house three years ago. It's been sitting in the space between my washer and the wall since then. I've used it like a really pathetic drying rack for clothes since it was there and all (since only like four inches above the washer were useable and only about four inches in front of the washer were useable space), but I kept hoping we could do something better. And then it came to me that why not wall mount the thing with eye bolts to act as hinges, hang it at a good level and then mount a few lengths of chain from the ceiling (solidly in studs mind you) with some type of "S" hook on the end of the chain so I could simply swing the drying rack up and let it hang from the ceiling. That way when not in use I could just swing it back down to lay flat on the wall (where I could use it to hang minor things from if needed).
A couple of things worked in my favor with this idea. One: My husband thought it was a good idea (always good). Two: The baby gate in question already had hinges (my husband pointed this out to me while giving me a look like I should know that...and I should have since the baby gate was a swinging baby gate...oops), so that saved me having to find eye bolts that would work and taking apart baby gate in question, etc. And three: My husband found studs that lined up with the hinges so we have everything in good solid wood (woot!).
My husband then disappeared into the garage and found some chain and some heavy gauge wire to use and voila! My dreams were realized.
Here's a pic of it all hung up and in use...
While we were mounting that I pulled out a over the door ironing board that I've had wrapped still in the original store wrapping, no joke, since 2005. I had bought it for our old house when we moved into it thinking that it was a regular small ironing board, only to realize I'd gotten the wrong thing when I went to iron. So, I sat on it, hoping my husband could figure out something to do with it. When I was, once again, ironing on a towel sitting on top of my washer, I asked him if he could mount the ironing board somewhere. We both decided above the washer and dryer would work well because it swings down to a few inches above the washer and dryer when down and otherwise it is out of the way when up. Since I have a laundry room the size of a small closet that is half taken up by a freezer and a hot water heater and then one wall taken up by electrical panels...yeah...space is limited.
Couple that with some Rubbermaid shoe boxes (we have tons of them around from our old house..no closets, so it was one way we could stay somewhat organized) to put bathroom supplies, sponges and other things in and some creative rearranging of laundry supplies and such (including using some cloth drawers I had around here from other projects that fell through) and I have a fully functional laundry room now! So, yay for a free laundry room remodel :).
2. I was able to add a bit to my Amazon.com order this month when I found 20 boxes of pasta on the cheap (with a coupon you could stack on top of it). After coupon and the 15% off I was saving from ordering five items or more, I was able to get 20 boxes of pasta for 10.00 and some change. I was thrilled as my kids have been blowing through the pasta around here. Remember, stalking Amazon has it's upside.
3. I opened our phone bill to find that our internet had been upgraded to 100 gigs a month vs. 70 for no additional money. I am in awe at my phone company right now as it is so rare to get MORE for your money on anything anymore. But, I was thrilled as I've started watching Sherlock on PBS.org while doing dishes or knitting (it's my "mom" time when the kids are at school ;).
4. I've been drinking water more to save the more expensive beverages for the kids when possible and to conserve my tea and coffee more.
5. I finally started going through my children's dressers and pulling clothes that are too small for them. I also set aside their old too small winter coats and their old gym shoes (since they are in like new condition) to start getting yard sale materials together. As soon as it gets warm (they are actually predicting snow this weekend...blech!!!!!) enough I'll start to go through our storage van and other things to see what else we can sell. Even if we only make a couple hundred bucks during a yard sale at this point, it's money we didn't have before.
6. I've been enjoying taking the kids out to play, when possible to enjoy the nice weather and save electricity.
7. I cooked all of our meals at home which once again saved us money from eating out.
8. I knitted a couple more pot holders to replace ones that had gotten ratty and worn over the years (I finally got the pattern down so I can share that tutorial soon).
And there you are folks. My money saving accomplishments this week. How did you do?