April Frugal wins

April was a month I made a big change to move to working part time hours! With both our children in school age I felt I am needed a lot more at home. We ran the numbers and decided we are in a reasonably good shape financially that I can afford to take a salary cut.

Although we can easily manage our expenses even with our newly reduced income, We are constantly looking to find new ways to save money.

Along with several minor changes below are two new things  I attempted and had successful results. These are things I had never imagined I could do at home. But with more time to research online I felt confident enough to try.
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Cutting hair at home:

Hair cutting had always been a mystery to me. I felt this was something only the experts did. This is still true, to get a perfect and trendy haircut you still need to go to a hair stylist. They sure know what they are doing.
However a basic trim is something anyone can do at home with the proper tools. The proper tools is the key part of success.
These are the tools I bought to get started…

  1. Hair Clippers for Men Professional, Kebor Electric Cordless
  2. Hair Cutting Scissors Shears Professional Barber 

There are several You tube videos available that explains in detail how to do it yourself. It was not one video that I followed, but combination of tips from several users.
I started off cutting hair of my husband. Since he has short hair, his haircut was the trickiest as any mistakes will be clearly visible.  But after the cut he looked great! This gave me confidence, and I trimmed My my own and my two girl’s hairs as well with layers! And we all look clean and polished.
My husband gets a haircut almost every 6 weeks – and cost $18 each time + tip. Me and my girls get hair cut once in 3-4 months and costs about $35 + tip for me and $20 + tip for each of my girls. So you can see the cost of supplies break even with just 1 months haircut. This is a big win for me.

Bread making:

Making bread at home always seemed to be a rocket science for me. This is something I never thought I would attempt myself. Moreover me and my husband are following a low carbohydrate diet so we do not eat much bread. However our daughters like to eat a sandwich for lunch. So I still buy bread weekly.
I came across a Facebook market place posting of a “like new” Bread maker for sale at $5. I decided to bite the bullet and buy it. The first few attempts were not too pretty. However after trying out different combinations of ingredients I have been able to make pretty nice bread at home. Not  mention the home smell like heaven when bread is baking!
This is the very basic model bread machine I got.

After few trials I have decided that using the machine to just make the dough and then finish baking in the oven gives the best results. If baked in the machine the crust tends to get a little drier than I like.
Although I am not a fan of my kids eating bread regularly, now at least I know the ingredients that are in the bread they eat are very basic – Flour, butter, water, yeast,honey and salt. Whereas the store bought bread ingredient list can be very scary with all the additives to increase shelf life.
So over all I feel pretty happy with these two new skills that I learnt which has saved us money . Not to mention the satisfaction of learning  a new skill.
What are some of your frugal wins?

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