Saturday, March 27, 2010

Self-Reliance and Dressing For Less

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So far on this blog I have focused solely on gathering food for our families. Today I want to focus on another area of self-reliance, and that is the managing of money and using our resources wisely. In the January visiting teaching message Sister Beck says,

"Self-Reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems. Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to over come challenges when they occur.....

"How do we become self-reliant? We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well being"

After reading that quote I realized that there is much more to self-reliance than just having food and supplies stored away. There are other areas that we need to focus on as well, money and budgeting being one area.

One way to save a lot of money is to shop smart when you buy clothing. In the April's Ensign I found a great article by Jane Choate called "Dress For Less". I think next to clipping coupons this is my next favorite obsession. Jane lists 8 great ways to save money and providing clothing for your family on a budget.

  1. Learn to sew and mend.
  2. Swap
  3. Put the word out (Let family and friends know that you would love clothing they aren't using anymore.
  4. Sell used clothing (Consignment Shops, Online)
  5. Be thrifty (shop thrift stores and garage sales)
  6. Cyber-shop (there are many online deals and sales)
  7. Shop outlet malls and discount stores.
  8. Get on the mailing lists of your favorite store.

As you can see there are many ways to save on clothing. We are lucky here in Utah in that we have great thrift stores. Deseret Industries is like a treasure hunt and I have found many items of clothing for my children and myself there. I also utilize consignment stores. A wonderful children's store "Kid To Kid" allows you to make some money by selling your gently used items. I also sell clothing that I don't use to a consignment store. It is really easy and I can rotate my wardrobe without spending a ton of money.

Number 8 on the list above is probably your best money saving idea. Save all store coupons that you get in the mail or online. Wait for an end of season sale and combine that with your coupon and you have a recipe for amazing savings. Old Navy is notorious for their clearance sales and combing the clearance with a store coupon allows me to buy a year ahead for my children without spending retail prices. That is just one example and many stores have great sales. Keep your eyes open and a lot of times patience really pays off!


MEATS AND FROZEN FOODS. We are in luck this month because there is a lot of meat on sale and also some frozen veggies on sale. Look at your 3 month menu plan and purchase the amount of meat that you will use. Keep in mind freezer space and your budget. Meat will stay good in the freezer for up to 1 year if it is frozen properly. Using a Food Saver machine will help in keeping your meat fresh while in the freezer. It sucks all the air out to lessen the chance of freezer burn. Look over the grocery list as there a few frozen deals.

NON-FOOD GOAL: TOILET PAPER AND PAPER TOWEL. These are 2 items that I personally do not want to be out of. If you don't know how much your family uses try this. For 1 week put all toilet paper tubes in a container and add it up, multiply by 4 to get a rough monthly estimate and then you'll know about how much your family uses. I also want to include napkins in this months goal. I buy our napkins at Big Lots for $1.00 a package.


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