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stacked coinsI love how there are so many ideas for squeezing more value from our nickels. Since sharing is caring here are a few of mine.

1. Make liquid hand soap by grating up a bar of soap and adding water. A small bottle of hand soap costs about the same as a bar yet 1 bar will make 2 liters of liquid soap.

2. Dilute liquid dish detergent. Soaps today are concentrated (compared to yesteryear) diluting to about 60 % soap and 40% water stretches your detergent and a little easier on your hands. Instead of buying the expensive little packs of combination dishwasher detergent use powder and add a tad of liquid dish soap to the dispenser. Remember, one dot does a lot!

3. Wash out freezer bags and reuse. Waxed cereal bags come in handy for storage as well. I hang mine over the sink to dry. bag hanging

4. Pray before shopping. Walking in to the store I send up a quick request: Lord, help me stick to my budget and only get what I need. Prayer works!

5. When I need something I don’t have: I pray Lord, what can I use instead?  For instance, while trellising my blackberry canes I ran out of string. Rather than run to the store to buy more He showed me I could cut up an old rag in the garage into small strips. Perfect! Saves me time, money and avoids the possibility of purchasing something I don’t need while I am at the store.

cook from scratch

6. Cook from scratch. Sometimes I miss convenience foods, [alright a lot of times] but a commitment to health and budget over rules in most cases.  I do buy a few but only when on super sale i.e. Annie’s Organic mac-n-cheese for $1/box instead of $1.65.  Planning your menus will help.

7. Buy in bulk, especially chocolate. We try to eat mostly organic foods, especially produce on the dirty dozen list (see hereproduce bowl and the notorious genetically modified ones like wheat, cornmeal and sugar. Buy in bulk and protect your investment with good storage containers (like this one).

8. Be willing to wait.  Last year my daughter wanted a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas. No way was it in our budget.  We prayed and waited; about 2-3 months later she was given one! Another time, I spotted 2 wicker chairs (I had always wanted some!) near a dumpster but the legs were torn up.  About 2 months later, a friend blessed me with  2 gorgeous, vintage wicker chairs from her attic!  This has been true with car repairs and other major expenses.

waiting dog9. Learn a new skill. I learned how to make my own solar screens (a necessity in the hot Texas summers). Professional installation cost about $50 per window. I did 3 large windows for the same price with significant savings on my electric bill.

10. Subscribe to Trash Nothing Digest or check Craigslist free items: a local electronic classified ad which offers free stuff people are throwing away.  I’ve only done it for a short while but so far I scored bags of the k-cup style coffee and today I picked up 11 4’x8′ sheets of plywood!

Now, there is a fine line between picking up stuff just to have it and picking up stuff you will  utilize. Consulting the Lord about needs like these are part of praying without ceasing, including Him in daily decisions provide opportunities to see His faithfulness and experience His blessings. Start small with 1 or 2 changes and work your way up to more, pretty soon it will become a habit.

Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.  1 Corinthians 4:2

Pray without ceasing. 1Thessalonians 5:17

This blog shared at Maple Hill Hop.