Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This re-post in an Addendum to add additional solutions from comments for easy future reference.

The list of practical solutions listed below is a continuation of my post under this heading on my Penless Writer blog. If you have not already read that post. Please go here and do so.

Some practical solutions for getting our home & lives in order to weather the difficult times that may lie ahead in our lives and world:

  1. Begin to tighten your belt.

  2. Cut back on spending where ever, and how ever, you can.

  3. Start making extra payment on any credit card debt you have.

  4. Make extra principle payments on your home and/or automobiles.

  5. Refinance if the interest rate drops to 4% like they are discussing.

  6. Begin to lower the thermostat in the winter & raise it in the summer.

  7. Watch food ads closely and stock up when things are on sale, and just don't buy some items when they are not on sale.

  8. Start growing some of your own food.

  9. Put out some rain barrels.

  10. Recycle and reuse as many items as possible. We have become such a "throw away" society.

  11. Use your sewing, knitting, etc. skills. Both for your own use and perhaps to sell items.

  12. Have a garage sale and sell all the STUFF you really don't need or are not using.
The list could go on and on. I hope many of you will leave your suggestions in the comments. I will go back and add all of them to this list for easy reference in the future. Thanks!!!


Suggestion added by Mari:

  1. Trading talens - using the barter system (my personal thought on this is we will see more of the barter system during really tight times)

Maxine added:

  1. Saving glass jars to use for refrigerator/freezer storage. For freezing be sure and leave some air space at the top as the food can expand and break the jar.
  2. Use these glass bottle to take chicken noodle or vegtable soup when taking in foor to a friend. That way they don't have to worry will returning an emply dish.

Joy added:

  1. Match coupons with sales. Her store doubles up to 50 cents.
  2. Using electric blankets allows you to lower the thermostat and uses far less electricity.
  3. Making a compost bin.

Joyfulsister added:

  1. Use cash instead of debit card and you're inclined to spend less money.

Humble Wife added:

  1. Learning to cook more foods from scratch.

Kathy added:

  1. Wants to learn ways to economize in the homeschooling arena.

Thanks to these 6 who left these 9 great additional tips and solutions.


  1. Great recommendations, Susan

  2. You're right, the list could be endless. I have been so stirred to do nearly all of those you mention, yet having to walk by faith because of our own financial situation (thankfully real estate is picking up for Sunny, now just got to get those listings sold!). So, I'm chomping at the bit to put more ideas into practice. And constantly knowing that He is our Provider, not only financially but in the ideas He gives us to be more frugal.

  3. You are so right on both counts, Brenda. I had hoped to make an extra principal payment on our home during February but some extra expense, like a trip to the dentist, and way too many birthday celebrations made that impossible. We aim as high as we can!!!! Yes, bottom line, He is our provider, as He is our everything else.

  4. Those are all good ideas. Trading talents is a help too. My brother-in-law just did a little maintenance to a friends vehicle. The friend is a painter and he painted their front entry and hall.

  5. GREAT tip Mari. Thanks, I'll add it to this post when I update it.

  6. What a helpful list. And you are right that it could go on and on. I love Mari's suggestion of trading talents. Our society needs more of that.

    I do save glass jars when they get emptied. They're great for refrigerator/freezer storage. Also, they are nice to have around if you know a sick person or family that you want to show love to. Make a pot of chicken noodle or vegetable soup and give a quart jar (or larger) of it to them, telling them to throw out the jar when they're done. That way, they don't have to worry about washing and returning a dish to you, a double blessing.
    Don't forget: If you use a glass jar in the freezer, don't fill it all the way. The contents expand and could break the glass if too full.

  7. Maxine, I'm a glass jar saver, too!! I never thought of putting the food item in the glass jar when we bless someone by taking in food. That is a wonderful idea!! This hint will be added when I update this post.

  8. Good list Susan.
    I always try and match up coupons with sales too and stock up then. Our grocery store doubles up to .50.
    My goal is to get a rain barrel this year. I started a compost bin last year so that is my next item to add to the back yard. Right now I'm using a 5 gallon bucket. :)
    We are currently refinancing our home mortgage. I think we're getting 4.625% We were pleased with that, but if it goes down further I'll be a little mad we missed it.

    Our paper had an article about saving money and mentioned using electric blankets. You can turn the thermostat down further at night and use an electric blanket which uses far less electricity.
    But it may make for a cold trip to the bathroom during the night. :)


  9. Joy, 4.625 is a great rate for sure. We use an electric blanket and love it, and yes, you can turn the overnight house heat down lower. Gotta have nice fluzzy matts on the bathroom floor for sure!! Especially if it's ceramic tile like ours are. We've had a compost pile for some time. Funny, how when you've been use to using something you even forget you once didn't do that.

  10. Hi Susan..
    Carry cash instead of a debit card that way you can set a budget of what you will spend and seeing money leave your hands tend to make you more aware of your spending, unlike using the debit card which you don't see the cash and tend to spend more.

    Works for me lol.

  11. Perfect to share that we are not afraid. It is a time to rejoice and look to HIM. The list is great, and only suggest learning to cook more foods from scratch. It is never the time to learn to do something in a crisis.

  12. Those are such great ideas, Susan. As I homeschool I am also thinking about how to economize in that arena as well. Stewardship can also be a heart issue: I think that perhaps better stewardship is something that some of us(and I name myself), should've been practicing all along. For that, I do repent and ask the Lord to help me be a better steward for His glory in our coming days.