Organize Your Life, Not Your Stuff

Frugal Tips

Whether you want to be frugal to save  money or use more natural products- this page is for you!


I have chosen "Date Night" as the first frugal tip because I feel like a date night with your spouse is one of the most important things in a marriage. Money should not be the issue when it comes to spending quality time with your spouse. 

  • Walk in the park and eat a homemade picnic
  • Canoe or paddle boat at a nearby lake
  • Candlelight dinner after kids are in bed
  • Watch a movie after kids are in bed
  • Go to a discount movie theater
  • Go to a drive-in movie, two movies for price of one! and free snuggle time!(take your own popcorn and candy)
  • Eat dessert out at one of your favorite places
  • Walk around the mall and eat ice cream or drink a milkshake
  • Sit at a bookstore and read together
  • Go to a cafe' and drink coffee
  • Go to a local restaurant to watch local bands play. Eat dinner before and only order a drink
  • Go to the library and research your next "goal"(like traveling to Hawaii or building a treehouse,etc...) or getaway location
  • Go to a museum on its "free day"
  • Go to the zoo on it's "free day"
  • Go to a "Paint a Piece" type pottery place. Paint one piece of pottery together.
  • Watch a ball game and have a picnic on the "grass". Our ball park is only $5.00 for the grass
  • Take toys to a children's hospital
  • Volunteer for an organization, like serve meals or work in a food pantry
  • Walk around your "downtown". We live near a river and there is a riverwalk and Beale Street
  • "Blanket and the Stars"~ lay a blanket out in your backyard, with a picnic, drinks, dessert, book to read together(I suggest "The Love Dare" by Stephen and Alex Kendrick),and look at the stars and talk!


Vacation ideas:


Family Activities

No matter what you do, devote one day to "family fun day". Family time is a very important time. In today's society family time is becoming less and less. And kids don't care what you do as long as there is quality time.  When my kids look back at the fun things they did , they always recall the time where we spend little or no money at all. These ideas can be taken a step further and organize them for "Stay-Cations!"

*Some tips are frugal. Some can be frugal with saving money and buying "season passes" ahead of time. A few are the same as the date night ideas.

  • Ride bikes at a park
  • Canoe or paddle boat at a local lake
  • Canoe a local river
  • Camp in the backyard
  • Go to the drive-in movies. Take your own food- nachos, popcorn, candy, cokes,etc...
  • Go to a museum on a "free day"
  • Go to the zoo on "free day" or with a pass
  • Walk around downtown
  • Walk at the mall and get ice cream
  • Go to the library to check out books for the next "project"
  • Have family game night at home
  • Have family movie night at home
  • Go to a few different playgrounds all day/ pack a breakfast, lunch and dinner or eat somewhere cheap
  • Go fishing
  • Play putt-putt golf on the "special price" day. (here on Saturday is $5.00 for golf, 30 game tokens, and go-carts)
  • Share a dessert at a fancy restaurant. Teach kids manners while you are there.
  • Go to a ball game on the "grass" (cheaper tickets)
  • Go to a sprinkle park in the summer. Pack a picnic(we have a town nearby with a free sprinkler park)
  • Ride bikes and roller blades in a neighborhood you have never been to before. Good change of scenery!
  • Volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen or habitat for Humanity!
  • Day at the Mall: carousel rides, try on funny hats, make a scavenger hunt for objects in the mall.


 Can't afford to go out of town for a vacation? But you really want to get the family out to enjoy a mini-vacation. You can stay at home or near home!

*don't for get your cameras!

Our Memphis STAY CA-TION!

1. A day "Downtown":  * takes pictures of everything!

     ~ Walk along the river, walk on the main street(ours is Beale Street and we watch the Beale Street Flippers), Try a new             restaurant, play at a park, play in the sprinklers(like the ones on the ground where you are allowed to play in it!), get a          dessert at a fancy restaurant(teach proper etiquette!), take a trolley ride, go to a ball game. If you are able, stay in a              hotel room and swim.

2. A day at the Zoo! Go early. Take a picnic, camera, sketching pad, and notepad. Make a day of it. Really read and learn about the animals. Have the kids write down their favorite animal and something interesting about it. Take lots of pictures of the animals, kids and the animals, kids together. Choose a spot in the zoo where the whole family poses for a picture. Choose that spot every year to take a picture. You'll see such changes from over the years. Stop in different areas to fill up water bottles, take snacks on the picnic blanket, and have your lunch in a special picnic area. 

3. Local or nearby water park/sprinkler park: Pack a picnic and lots of outside toys- fishing poles, bats and balls, water guns, soccer ball,etc. And bring a change of clothes.  Spend all day doing different things at the park. If it's in a different town, take a walk down their main street in the evening. Or plan your visit around that towns festival weekend.

4. Visit a local Farm: Research farms in your area. Spend the day touring, eat a picnic, pick berries, apple,etc... Some farms have food stands, games, etc...

5. Pumpkin picking/Corn Maze: Instead of going one afternoon for pumpkin picking then going to the corn maze another day, combine it into one. Save money in the "frugal envelope system" for pumpkins, the maze, games, food and hayride.

6. The Local Fair: Save money in the "Frugal envelope system" so you will be able to plan ahead for wrist bands, food, drinks, games.  Tight on money? Stick to a budget and talk to your kids ahead of time about what if expected. Like 2 games only, one lemonade, one snack. We usually bring our own snacks and drinks, also because our kids could eat non-stop!

7. Camp-Out in the Backyard: Put up tents and plan meals to cook on a bonfire. Don't forget the S'mores and scary stories around the campfire! 

8. Backyard "Screen on the Green": Buy or rent a movie projector. Use google to find a local renter. You can have just family or invite your friends. Serve popcorn, hotdogs and nachos!  

My Favorite Tips

  • Buy used! Goodwill and thrift stores have many nice clothes, bikes, movies, books,etc.. We have found many things that are brand new. And why pay full price when you can save money.
  • Make your own laundry detergent and fabric softener
  • Make your own baby wipes
  • Grow your own garden(see "Gardening")
  • Make your own garden seedling pots -see "Gardening"
  • Make your own compost(see "Gardening")
  • Find new uses for old things. We turned an old book shelf into a shoe shelf in our garage.
  • Instead of using swiffer sweepers where you have to buy new pads, buy a rag that can fit over it  and wash it with the towels.
  • Instead of buying pre-packaged foods or convenience foods, make your own.(cakes, cupcakes, cookies,puddings,jellos,granola bars,etc)
  • Consider buy a "half a cow" from a local farmer for your meat for the year. Keep in freezer.
  • Make gifts from the heart. Picture frames out of sticks or buttons, Christmas ornaments out of salt dough(See recipes "homemade"), blanket with iron-on pictures, kids sewing.
  • Check out recipes for recipes for homemade essentials. Scroll down below this section for quick links.
  • Save scraps of bar soap in a baggie. When you have enough, pressed together to make another bar of soap
  • laundry and dish detergent only need a 1/2 cap full or 1 tablespoon (for dish washing liquid). 

 Saving Money

1. Use an envelope system. Think about what you have planned for in the future. Mine are "trip to parents in Mo", "Pumpkin patch/corn maze", "Delta Fair", "Seth's b'day", "Christmas". Every week take a few dollars and stuff into one or all envelopes. If you saved money on groceries or gas, stuff the extra the envelope for the soonest event.  

2. Start a garden! It is very simple. Yes, you can make gardening hard and expensive, but, hopefully, using my site you will be able to find frugal ways to start your garden! Start off by using 5 gallon containers for plants: tomato, green bean, okra,cucumber,herbs, etc... Make small raised beds for cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberry.  Make a bed for planting only plants for salads:Lettuces, radishes, carrots, bell peppers. 

Start out small then add to your planting s every year!

**do not plant hot peppers with tomatoes, the tomatoes will turn out hot!

3. Pay Cash for everything! Before you buy something, wait until you have the cash. It will stop overspending and stop impulse buying. Only take cash for what you have on your lists. Make a list before you go anywhere. Take cash for only the items on the list. Another way to stop impulse buying! If you see something you want, write it down on your notepad. Think or pray about it for a few days.

4. Save on Clothing: Shop at Goodwill and Salvation Army or other thrift stores.  Many items there are brand new with tags! Shop at "Plato's Closet" for up-to-date style clothing for teens. Turn in your child's clothing for cash at "Plato's Closet", use the money to pay for your child's new clothing(or new to them!). Shop yard sales during the summer. Have a yard sale during the summer, and use that money to pay for your kids clothing.  Get with a few friends and have a clothing swap. Save money(using the envelope system above) to shop at the consignment sales at churches. 

Alternative to tampons:

Diva cups at


bread crumbs

salt dough ornaments

play dough

doggie treats

organic pest control

Homemade Health and Beauty

teeth whitener


shaving cream


facial exfoliate

moisturizing hand soap

facial toner


                                                                                                  foot deodorizer

Stain Cleaning Caddy

You could spend a lot of money on stain fighters. But did you know you already have them in your home? No need to spend extra money of fancy name brands. Just make a cleaning caddy. Most of this stuff can be found at the dollar store.

  Caddy materials:

1. One basket with handles or cleaning caddy

2. a few spray bottles
3. Large address labels
4. hydrogen peroxide
5. shaving cream
6. alcohol
7. vinegar
8. baking soda
9. Alka- Seltzer tablets
10. cotton balls
11. white cotton cloths
12. toothbrush
1. Using Microsoft Works or another office program, design and print name and uses(below) labels for each product.
2. To make it look better you can put a few in the spray bottles.

List of Uses:

 Peroxide:(* keep stored in brown bottle or the chemical make-up will break down)

1. ketchup
2. laundry whitener
3. Kitchen counters-sanitize- 1/2 water, 1/2 peroxide in spray bottle (only make what you can use.) 
4. finger and toe nail fungus- 1/2 water , 1/2 peroxide
5. houseplants- 1 ounce in one cup of water. Spray plants to keep them healthier and greener.
Shaving Cream:
1. Grease
2. cleans dirty hands (like when camping)
3. bathroom mirrors
4. bathroom faucets
5. Carpet stains- like chocolate, Scrub with toothbrush
6. Cleans jewelry
7. Squeaks from door hinges(apply to hinge)
8. new baseball mitt- put some on the palm, sit for 4 hours

1. Ball point pen
2. mirrors-cloth dipped in alcohol
3. permanent markers- cloth dipped in alcohol
4. windows- 1/4 c alcohol and water in spray bottle
5. frosted car windows- spray bottle with alcohol and spray on frosted window, then wipe
White Vinegar:(room temperature)
1. cleans cabinet doors
2. water spots
3. soap scrum 

4. caked-on greasy dishes: 24 oz bottle- 1/2 water , 1/4 vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap.(spritz and sit a minute)
5. windows: 1/4 c vinegar and water in pray bottle
6. fruit flies- Apple Cider Vinegar and dish soap in a bowl. Sit on counter.

1. Stained coffee pot (fill with water and one tablet)
2. clean a vase- a few tablets with water
3. stained glass cookware- fill with water then add up tpo 6 tablets
4. clogged kitchen drain- drop a couple of tablets down the drain, then 1 c vinegar. Wait and few minutes. Then run HOT water for a few minutes
5. clean toilet- add a few tablets to the toilet bowl water, wait 20 minutes, then flush
6. dull jewelry- drop in water with tablets. Wait a few minutes, then take jewelry out and pat dry. 

Baking Soda:
This Site had the most uses for baking soda. Please check this out. Life Hackery