Making healthier choices is the focus here. Since I’m a total nerd, I have been spending hours of my child-free and child-napping time doing LOTS of research. What for you say? For saving our household some mullah, that’s what for. You may have read the last post on ways I save money every month/year. In addition to what we’ve already been doing, I decided to get serious about what our money is doing for us, and what we are doing with it. Nick and I have strong convictions about being good stewards of the income that has been provided for us. Colossians 3:23 Matthew 25:20-21 Proverbs 22:7 Proverbs 10:4 Matthew 6:24
We are constantly re-evaluating how we can save more, give more (to others), learn new trades and skills, earn extra income from home, and how we can make better use of what we have. Recently, health has landed on the top of our priority list. With our family of seven, it’s important for us to be as healthy as we can be so we are free to serve Jesus and home school steadily.
Here’s the plan I came up with to help serve my family, and to make use of each project for home school learning. In each category I specified what the kids can learn, aside from general responsibility and life lessons.
Garden benefits Produce 90% of produce in three years, organic, our choice of variety, landscapes the yard, can make food gift (jams, pies, ect), fills our bellies :)
Learning: Plant biology in-depth, canning, freezing, drying methods, cooking (with the harvest)
Currently spending: $80/mon on organic produce
Start up costs: Raised beds, seeds, soil, plants/bushes, trees (2), tools, books= $300.00
Yearly costs after 1st year: fertilizers, new plants/bushes, new seed=$250 or less– I haven’t learned all there is to seed saving yet, but I plan to. This includes watering.
Savings 1st year= $560
Saving after 1st year= $710
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Beekeeping (Yeah, I’m serious)
Benefits: Thriving garden, gallons of honey for allergy control and baking sweetener (to replace sugar), beeswax for lip balm and salves, ability to sell extra honey for profit, very little work involved.
Learning: ecosystems, biology, measuring (at harvest), small business functions, life cycles
Currently spending $30/mons on local honey
Start up costs: Hive, bees, equipment= $200
Yearly costs to maintain= $20 or less (for smoker fuel)
Savings 1st year= $160
Savings after 1st year= $340
*can sell to make profit*
Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Homemade natural soaps shampoo, hand soap, shaving soap, laundry soap
Benefits: No more skin irritations, fun/creative outlet, very frugal gifts for…anyone, very little time involved, can sell for profit
Learning: Measuring, chemistry, fractions (cutting), small business functions
Currently spending $10/mon on NON-organic/natural soaps
Start up costs- books, supplies= $60
Yearly costs (supplies)= $50 or less (each batch makes LOTS of soap)
Saving 1st year= $60…More if you count the gift you won’t buy
Saving after 1st year= $70…more if you count all the gifts you won’t buy
*can sell for profit*
Benefits: No chemicals/all natural, waste-though not encouraged is not as big of a deal, no fluoride or abrasive ingredients, one toothpaste for everyone (even Des)
Learning: Mixing, measuring
Currently spending $7/ month on 2 types of toothpaste
Start up costs= $10 (enough for the whole year)
Yearly cost $10
More info: Lusa Organics
Homemade Lip balm/ lip stick
Benefits: Organic/natural, will not irritate my sensitive lips, can sell for profit
Learning: Cooking, measuring, small business functions
Currently spending $40/year on natural lip balm (not including lip stick)
Start up cost= $20 (to include making colored lip stick as well)
Savings 1st year= $20
Saving after 1st year= $30 or more if I use the beeswax from our hive
*can sell for profit*
Handmade Diaper Cream/Salves and ointments
Benefits: Organic/natural, great healing formulas, can sell for profit
Learning: Measuring, basic math skills, following recipes/directions, packaging, herbal healing
Currently spending $7/ month diaper creams and ointment (for cuts ect.)
Start up costs-jars, ingredients= $10
Savings/ year= $74
*can sell for profit*
Proverbs 27:9 “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.”
Benefits: Organic eggs, garden pest control (they eat bugs), composting food scraps (they eat, they poop, I fertilize), emergency meat source, can sell eggs for profit.
Learning: ecosystems, biology, composting, life cycles, into to building (coop repairs, fencing)
Currently spending $4 on organic or fresh eggs (we go through about 2.5 doz/week)=$432/year
Start up costs- ours are few due to borrowed chick feeder/waterer, brooding lamp, and a free coop. Chicks (10), feed, fencing=$48
Costs/year- feed, coop maintainence = $240 or less (this is assuming an all feed diet)
Savings in 1st year $144
Saving after 1st year $192
*can sell extra eggs for profit*
And that’s a grand total of $1092 saved in the first year and $1490 saved after the first year. Not to mention that some of these can be self-funding in two years or less thus actually making money on top of saving it. I love saving money.
I realize that this is more work (especially the garden and chickens- which needs daily care and watering), but c’mon…It’s worth it for that much money saved and that much increase to overall health right? I’m always willing to work more for the health and frugality of our household.
And you? What are ways you save money on your bills?