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The Bible charges us with being good stewards over what we have (Hebrews 13:5). We often ask for God’s help during tough times – or if we really want something bad enough – but sometimes God’s answer is right in front of us:

Be An Expert Over What You Have.

Between 2010 and 2012, there were times when I was unsure if and how much money would come through. Then I got to thinking how well I “managed” all the areas of my life – money included. I have always been a decent money manager, but hey – regardless of that, we all end up saving in some areas and splurging on what it is that we just can’t resist. Years ago, I had even found a way to save on coffee by buying in bulk and roasting my own versus purchasing at the grocer (visit my coffee site here – purchase if you’d like **shameless plug**). Sooo, without further adieu, here are…

3 Fabulous Ways To Add Padding to Your Cash Flow

Cook Dinner/Eat @ Home. I have always loved cooking, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVED fine dining, hanging out, artistic ambiances and eclectic experiences. Well, this lavish lifestyle adds up quickly for someone who’s just an average Jane! Gradually, I started cooking more and more at home, and found that it rekindled my love for cooking. It also opened up a whole new opportunity of experimentation. Before you knew it, I was turning average dishes into what my fiancé terms as “Restaurant Quality!” And after a while, I was becoming a couponer – looking for deals EVERYWHERE! If you don’t consider yourself a chef or even a decent cook, don’t worry (you should talk to my sister Angel about my earlier “soup days” – NOT FUNNY…). Here are a few recipes from my cooking blog.

Soon after my rekindled cooking love, my fiancé and I made a conscious decision to only eat at restaurants with supreme customer service and that served fresh food. Why? Because some of the food these days are just not very healthy options and are not good for digestion.

Not only can cooking at home be centered around family or an intimate dining for two type of experience, but it can also introduce fresh new recipes and a much healthier lifestyle. Both are so much more rewarding (AND you know what’s IN your food!).

Car Pool. Urgh! I’m a grown woman who likes to have the option to get there and leave when I want to! (riiiight??) But sometimes when we are all going the same place a couple of times a week, it just makes plain sense to save a dollar here – and there. When hanging out with friends or family, suggest that one person drive. Next time around, have your friends’ backs and you drive.

My fiancé and I have both been blessed with pretty nice cars. We are both busy bees, but many times we have engagements that require both of us to be in the same place at the same time which doubles the cost of our gas bill! For two people on the go, we have learned that we can save our pennies to put to better future use!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent. This is by far one of the easiest, yet most cost-saving tips I can share. I’ve always been one to experiment with making my own stuff (I used to make candles and scented oils when I was a kid). But this particular experiment came after having a conversation with a girlfriend who decided to make her own laundry soap. So when money got pretty tight, I started thinking: “How much am I spending on laundry detergent every 2 or 3 weeks?”

About $4.99 – $5.99 for 1.13 gallons! I used to spend more, but started purchasing the less expensive brands to get more for my money.

Since I always have baking soda in my cupboard (and it is so versatile!), and I love a great deal on soap, option #8 was going to be my most lucrative ROI (return on my investment). See other methods of making your own laundry detergent here.

Ingredients

2 gallons Water (hot)
1 bar Soap (grated)
2 cups Baking soda (yes baking soda this time–not washing soda)

Instructions

  1. Melt grated soap in a saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until melted.
  2. In a large pail, pour 2 gallons hot water. Add melted mixture, stir well.
  3. Then add the baking soda, stir well again.
  4. Use 1/2 cup per full load, 1 cup per very soiled load.

Total Cost: $1.295!! That’s less than $2.00!

  • Water: $.50 (depending on your monthly rate & gallon usage)
  • Soap: $0.53 (depending upon your soap selection)
  • Baking Soda: $0.265 (@ $0.53 per 16oz package)
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