This is such a great subject, as it consumes so much of my life. I enjoy saving money as well as "crafting" my own cleaners, detergents, toiletries, medicines and anything else I can. I REALLY enjoy it, it really is a lot of fun.
You can save so much money every month/year by making your own:
•wipes for diapers
•diaper rash cream
Another great way to cut back costs is on grocery shopping. Our family has really cut back on junk foods and cut most processed foods out of our diet. I've heard people say that they don't know how to shop and not buy processed foods and that it's overwhelming to them. I was overwhelmed at first but it is SO EASY!! The main rule is to shop on the outside 4 walls for as much as you can and remind yourself anything sitting on a shelf isn't really needed (other than some stuff, oil, beans, flour, sugar, etc)
we try to only shop on the outside of the store because it has all the fresh foods. You have the deli/ butcher, produce, cheese. We try to keep bulk "staples" in our house because I make as much as I can from scratch. I make our dough for pizza, bread, cinnamon rolls, noodles and so on. I make crackers and baked goods from scratch. It really saves a lot of money and truly isn't too time consuming. I find waiting for the dough to double rise would be the longest, and that rises by itself.
Another great way to save money is starting a garden! Turn over that soil and sow some seeds or give already started plants a new home. Plant as much as your heart is content. We are considering options and are going with a massive choice of vegetables and fruit trees. We are excited to control the "fruits of our labor" by making sure it doesn't get any type of chemical added, all natural-homegrown produce. A handful of chickens for your yard is ideal as they will lay delicious eggs.
I realize not everyone has a yard they can garden in. I lived in an upstairs apartment a few years back, there was absolutely no space to garden there. If you have no space to plant on, look for a community garden in your area or find a family member or friend with the gardening space and see if they want to have it at their place and help/ share.
Along with gardening comes canning. Get directions on canning your veggies so they last through winter.
That covers my tips on food. In the next few blogs there will be recipes to all my homemade recipes for everything I listed above.
Diaper rash cream: http://naturalmommalove.blogspot.com/2012/06/homemade-diaper-rash-cream.html
Cloth wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels: http://naturalmommalove.blogspot.com/2012/06/homemade-cloth-wipes-toilet-paper-and.html
Cloth diaper detergent:
Cloth wipe solution: http://naturalmommalove.blogspot.com/2012/06/homemade-cloth-wipe-solution.html
Laundry detergent: http://naturalmommalove.blogspot.com/2012/06/homemade-laundry-detergent-recipe.html