Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Saving Money


Saving Money

I feel the need to be honest about our money situation. It might look like I buy lots fabric, sewing, and crafting supplies while claiming to be poor students. I do buy stuff, but it's money from "my budget." My budget money is from doing alterations and tailoring work. Once people find I can do tailoring and alterations, they always ask me to do things for them. I almost always charge because I don't have time to do work for free. (And neither do you!) My husband and I decided that anything I earn from alteration work goes into "my budget." Like last year I did some big projects like a wedding dress and another wedding dress so I've been saving up for our time in law school.
Besides doing a couple hours of online work a week I feel that staying at home helps us save money because we don't have to pay for childcare, and I'm doing my best to learn to run a frugal household. I'm grateful for Pinterest which helps me find frugal recipes, homemade laundry soap recipes, homemade cleaner recipes, etc. Also, I'm a much happier person to be around when I don't have to work a full-time job.
One problem with being in school is the expensive textbooks. One trick we just found for my husband is getting his books from Campus Book Rentals. The books are 40-90% cheaper than bookstore prices, and there is free shipping both ways. They also donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented!. It's a great way to get my husband his books for a better price. I really wish I would've known about renting textbooks while I was still in school, like my favorite class and book, Survey of Historic Costume 5th Edition. I did end up keeping that book, but renting books for my generals classes would have been great.
Do you have any tips for living frugally or for spending wisely while in school?


  1. My husband and I save money when we go out by sharing our meal. This makes it cheaper and healthier! I also buy most of my clothes from the clearance rack so spending more than $10 for a shirt is a stretch for me. I'm hoping to improve my sewing skills to make more clothing too. Thanks for the tips and all of your tutorials :)

  2. We have been in your situation and I can say while it was always uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful, we have learned some priceless lessons about being frugal! We rarely eat out -- if we do, it's a special occasion. I almost always shop the clearance racks. We don't have cable. We don't have super-cool smartphones. I ad-match at Wal-Mart and it saves us a TON of money -- I can easily feed a family of 4 for a week on $50!

    While we are finally in a place where we don't HAVE to scrimp anymore, we choose to so that we can save our extra money for things we want/need in the future. Being frugal makes me feel so free.

  3. Local libraries for textbooks, WIC if you feel it's right for you, a nearly vegetarian life-style, and prayer. You are fantastic that your skills bring in money.

  4. I have a hard time being frugal, but one of the easiest ways is never paying full price for clothing! Every now and then, for a treat, I'll buy something that just came out for the season from a favorite store, but I've learned my lesson when, just a few months later, I find the same thing for 70% off in the clearance rack! I just did a little spring shopping and found some cute shirts that are still wearable since it's cool, but since they were from the fall line at Banana Republic, they were just $12! That's a lot better than $60! I also have a new rule...if I think I can make it myself, I don't buy it, unless it would cost more to buy the fabric. Hence, clearance rack.

  5. I hate the idea of spending money to save money, but here is a book written exactly for your situation: http://www.amazon.com/The-Frugal-Fabriholic-Quilting-ebook/dp/B003F24HOU. If you don't have a Kindle, you can get Kindle for PC and read it on your computer.

    We have just put 3 kids through college (think 12 years X $40,000 per year)and I needed to be able to buy fabric to maintain my sanity. One thing I did was get an Amazon Prime subscription and then buy everything I could through Amazon. This way I could buy furniture and and have it delivered free to my kids who live 3000 miles away. I used an Amazon.com credit card, which gives 3 points per Amazon purchase, so I am able to get fabric free with points. This sounds like an Amazon ad, and it goes against the grain not to support local merchants, but this really helped me survive the last eight years (YES, there were 4 years with 2 kids in at once!) Best wishes to you, I enjoy your blog a lot.

  6. I recently found this blog and I really like most of the tips and thoughts the author shares http://www.thesimpledollar.com/.

  7. You don't come across as someone who spends a lot of money! So don't apologize :)
    I hardly ever buy clothes, and almost never for full price, but I didn't think you were doing that anyway. This may sound odd, but my best advice for expensive food items is to go to a more expensive supermarket. I get my spices from an expensive supermarket, because I can get them from bulk spice boxes. Meaning I get as much as I need, and don't pay for packaging or brands. Normally spices range from anywhere between $3-$10 (crazy amounts of money for a little bit of spices!), but getting the same spice from bulk boxes (sorry not sure what the proper name for this is, those boxes/tons in supermarkets where you can take as much as need) will only cost me $0.04 - $0.16. A huge difference!

    Hope it helps! Is there any area you feel you spend the most/more than you can afford?


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