If You Want To Save Money–Think Outside The Box


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My 13 year old daughter is obsessed with sewing lately. She has been begging me for quite some time to go to the craft store and buy enough stuffing to stuff enough handmade alphabet pillows to spell her name in pillows.

If you want to save some serious money you need to become a creative thinker and start thinking outside the box. Learn how .

We had an inexpensive solution for the fabric–I pick it up at yard sales when I see it as I know either she or I will use it up in one of our crafting projects.

She also needed  craft stuffing and that is when the project was beginning to look like it might get expensive. Craft stuffing isn’t horribly expensive, but it isn’t dirt cheap either and she needed enough to fill 8 pillows, one for each letter of her name.

I was racking my brain for the best way to save money on  craft stuffing–oddly enough I found it in the grocery store.

Saving money with out of the box thinking example use spider webbing for pillow stuffing

What you are looking at is 23 bags of Halloween spider webbing–I paid just $0.12 cents a bag. Meaning that entire pile cost me $2.76, which is less than what one bag costs full price before Halloween when they had it for $3.99 a bag and certainly way less than it would cost to purchase craft stuffing.

I should let you know at this point that I first bought just 2 bags of it for her to use in another pillow project she tried when it was marked down to $0.25 cents a bag a week earlier and we found it worked just as well as regular craft stuffing.

I seriously doubt my daughter will be using all of these bags for her 8 letter pillows, but considering she is on a sewing kick right now and I love to support her creative endeavors, I figured I would pick up all they had  and let her go to town. She is already planning out what she is going to make after she finishes her letter project.

How To Use This Story To Save Money

This isn’t the only instance where my out of the box thinking has saved my family some money. In fact, when my out of the box thinking is combined with my husband’s we have saved CRAZY amounts of money–like paying $10,000 for a 2000 square feet home and renovating every room back to like-new conditions for way less than most people would think possible.

Even if you don’t have a daughter who loves to sew and needs inexpensive supplies to keep her habit going and renovating doesn’t interest you–this article can still save you money.

Here is how to apply this money saving principle to your own life.

Whenever you have something to buy don’t just go out and buy it. Take a while to brainstorm other materials that would work just as well but cost less.

3 Ways To Spark Out Of The Box Thinking

1. Search Pinterest For Ideas

If you are stumped, try visiting my favorite place for creative inspiration: Pinterest. Enter your problem into the search engine and see what pops up. If at first nothing comes up, change the wording of your search to be a little less specific but still particular enough to apply to your problem.

2. Wander The Aisles

Another way my husband and I have saved a tonne of money is by taking a few extra minutes to walk the entire aisle of the hardware store when we need to fix a problem in our home instead of just going straight to the item we know will fix it. By doing this we have found alternative fixes that have saved us a significant amount of money.

My kitchen countertops are the perfect example of this. I really wanted granite countertops, but they were way out of my price range. As my husband and I were wandering the aisles for a cheaper hard surface alternative we found granite tile in the exact color I wanted my countertops in and they were 50% off. I love how the project turned out and it was a fraction of the cost of a slab granite countertop.

3. Engage In Disengaging Activities

Sometimes my best out of the box thinking comes when I am able to disengage my brain and just let it wander. For me this happens most often when I am out walking or running but for others it might be while you wash the dishes or while you are taking a shower.

To take full advantage of my disengaging brainstorm activities I will often write my, “Oh my, that is brilliant!” thoughts down in the notes section of my iPhone and then take a picture of it (because somehow my brilliant self often deletes notes by accident s0 my photos have proved to be a great back-up filling system).

How has out of the box thinking saved you money? I would love to hear about it in the comments below. 

Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Saving Money Tips on Pinterest.

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52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Week 46


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As I said last week I worked ahead this month to make sure that I reached my goal despite a busy end to the month.

week 46 beforeWhat I want to do first in the attic is make room to actually walk and sort through things. Last week I cleared enough space to put a recycling  bin, and a giveaway box.  This week I wanted to make a walk way through what is the biggest of the 3 wings of our attic.

I again snapped a picture before I began and then started up a podcast that was longer than 30 minutes and dug in.

week 46 doneBy the time the podcast finished I didn’t quite have a walk way through the entire wing but I was really close.

week 46 giveaway pileweek 46 giveaway pileI gave quite a bit away from this section of the attic and am feeling very good about my progress.

What area of your home did you declutter this week?

Grab the plan and join along as we declutter our homes one inch at a time.

You can also join The Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group where you will find  the support you need to keep decluttering one inch at time.

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Why The Tiny House Movement Has Me Wanting To Purge Deeper


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Lately I just can’t wait for Friday night to arrive! As soon as the house is tidied up for the day I hit the couch with the iPad set up on a stand in front of me and my knitting needles in my hands.

Other nights I skip the couch and head straight to bed where I prop up the iPad and snuggle deep under the covers–to watch episode after episode of Tiny House Nation & Tiny House Property Hunters on the FYI app.

Tiny House Living shows are altering my thoughts on possessions and clutter in a good way.

Yes, I am one of those people who is caught up in the Tiny House craze and it has me wanting to purge my home of possessions, even more than I already have during this year of decluttering an area of my home each and every week.

Why The Tiny House Movement Has Me Wanting To Purge Deeper

The Movement Shows It Is Possible To Live With Less

In the show Tiny House Nation the show host always visits the couple who they are building the tiny house for and laments over all the stuff they own and starts right away encouraging them to scale down their possessions.

Some soon to be tiny house owners have just a few things to get rid of, others have rooms and rooms of stuff to purge.

Yet at the end of the show when the TV crew visits them after 30 days of living in their new tiny home few seem to miss any of the possessions they donated, sold or threw away so that they could fit in such a tiny space.

In fact, at the end of more than a handful of tiny house living shows I hear the new house owners say, ” You won’t believe how much more stuff we have tossed since moving in,” but in the beginning of the episode they didn’t know how they were going to live with less.

The Movement Stresses Relationship Building Over Empire Building

When watching Tiny House Property Hunters I hear the house hunters say again and again that they are choosing a tiny home because it gives them more hours to be with those they love.

A tiny home comes with either a smaller mortgage or no mortgage, which means less hours need to be worked to pay it–and a tiny house is less square feet to maintain. Less maintenance frees up work hours.  Less square feet also means you have less room for possessions and therefore own less and spend less time cleaning, sorting, and maintaining your possessions.

All these things give you more time to spend building memories with those you love.

 Why These 2 Elements Of Tiny House Living Have Awakened A Desire In Me To Purge Deeper

I thought after 52 weeks of decluttering an area a week I would feel like I had truly simplified my possessions as much as possible. But after starting my tiny house TV show obsession I am looking around my home going, “We still have way too much.”

If a 300 square foot home can appear homey and spacious, surly my 2000 square foot home can too! And that has been my goal all along–to have a home that has a spacious feeling. But even after almost 52 weeks of decluttering, I have not yet reached my goal.

We still have things in boxes on the floor because they don’t have homes. I need to purge the cabinets we have deeper so I can give everything a home.

More important than a light and airy home environment though is my desire for more time to spend with loved ones.

I want to spend less time moving junk and more time outside moving with the ones I love (running, biking, kayaking, rollerblading, exploring, camping). I want to spend less time maintaining items and more time maintaining strong relationships  with those I love, as well as building new ones.

Which is why next year I am going to do another decluttering series to help me get rid of even more possessions. I am not giving out all the details yet, but let me tell you this series is going to challenge me to purge deep.

Have you become obsessed with tiny house living too? Is it changing your thoughts on how many possessions you truly need? Let me know in the comments below.

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