Five years ago, when my family and I went back to the USA for our furlough I was introduced into the world of couponing! I had family and friends giving me coupons, taking me to coupon classes, and if I went shopping with anyone their Smartphone was immediately pulled out to see if there was a coupon to scan! It was quite overwhelming at first, and while I didn’t get as far as climbing into a dumpster to look for newspapers that had “carelessly” been thrown away, I did become pretty good at couponing.
Upon our return to Bolivia, to our dismay the prices of things had doubled or tripled in price. I started thinking, “how can I save money here when there aren’t any coupons”? My first plan of action was to see what I was spending the most money on and how could I save us a few dollars. I immediately realized that I was spending a fortune on cleaning supplies and of course food.
I started asking some of my other missionary friends, Bolivian friends, and Pinterest steps in how to cut corners and save time and money! Here are a few ideas and cleaning recipes:
Did you know that vinegar is a great disinfectant? Instead of purchasing bathroom cleaners and kitchen cleaners, you can have one cleaner for both. It’s very simple!
1 cup of vinegar
3-4 cups of boiling water
5 drops of tea tree oil
1 drop of dish detergent
Pour all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and you are ready to start cleaning! A bottle of vinegar spray last me about a month! It is also safe for my children who want to help me clean! No harsh smells or accidentally bleaching their clothes.
I also realized that I could add water to my dish detergent, liquid hand soap, and fabric softener doubling the time that they usually last. It has made no difference in how it cleans or the smell/softness of our clothes!
The outdoor markets in Bolivia are so much fun to go to and they have a great variety of things to purchase! I have started buying my vegetables in large quantities and freezing them. Not only is the price lower but it also cuts down on my time in cooking.
Any time we eat out in any restaurant here we typically receive noodles, rice, and french-fries all in one plate. Thanks to a friend for sharing this idea with me, and so that we don’t have a carb overload, I usually get all the fries and take them home. They are easy to cut up, put in a freezer bag, and then used for hash browns later on!
There are many ways to cut costs and be frugal! I would love to hear your ideas on ways that you save money whether in the USA or in the country you live in!