12 Thrifty Tips for a Happy Life

We all need a few thrifty tips from time to time. Some of these you may already know, some you may not.  I just hope they’re helpful to you!

Thrifty tips for your pets

Thrifty Tips For Your Pets

1)  If you have water for pets outside, add a little Apple Cider vinegar to their water.  It will help keep the green algae at bay during hot summer months and is good for their health, as well.

2)  Do your pet blankets and pillows smell rank?  First, take them outside and shake as much hair off of it as possible.   Then put it in the washer with 1 cup of white vinegar and the recommended amount of laundry detergent.  

Here’s another thrifty tip for your pet’s bedding. Add liquid fabric softener during the rinse cycle.  Then hang outside on the line to dry.  The smell should be gone.

thrifty tips for yourself

Personal Care

3)  This is one of my very favorite thrifty tips! Take care of yourself.  Life is hard; money is tight; time is fleeting.  Find something you love and treat yourself on a regular basis. 

I don’t mean going out and buying that luxury car you’ve been drooling over, but something simple. 

Do you love a good cup of hot tea?  Buy yourself a special mug, your favorite flavor and a package of Biscotti or a box of chocolates, and savor not only the moment, but your accomplishments for the day as well.

thrifty tips for decorating


4)  When thinking of thrifty tips, think outside the box.  Do you love teapots and don’t have anywhere to store them?  Try making a lamp out of one. 

Tired of looking at hubby’s prized deer head over your mantel?  Start a collection of hats, and show them off on the antlers. 

I saw a precious picture where someone mounted an old doll house on the wall and used it to store bath towels.  How cute is that????

5)  Can’t afford to redecorate?  Try rearranging.  Pick a room and go in armed with cleaning supplies.  Remove all knickknacks, wash them and leave them to dry in the kitchen. 

Pull out furniture, dust them and vacuum behind them.  Wash down the walls and baseboards.   Rearrange the furniture.  Instead of replacing all the knickknacks, either go through the house and choose other items from different rooms.

One of the best thrifty tips is to use what you have. Search the attic for items you still love but didn’t have room for. Your ‘old’ room will be refreshed and different!

thrifty tips for laundry

Thrifty Laundry Tips

6) After you wash your sheets, towels and bedding, hang them outside on the line on a sunny day. Not only do they smell better than any dryer sheet, but the towels are also more absorbent.

7) ‘Snap’ your towels a couple of times before you hang them up and they won’t be so stiff. In addition to fresh smelling laundry, you’ll save a little money, too!

be thrifty by making it yourself

Make it Yourself

8) Whether it is dinner, cookies, gifts or items for the home, it is usually less expensive and better quality if you make it yourself.

For the home, you can make knitted dish cloths, pot scrubbers or even a drying mat.

Handmade gifts are always appreciated, and can be created with a more personal touch. From a throw to stocking stuffers, handmade is always a better option!

And who doesn’t like a homemade apple pie? The frozen store-bought versions rarely ever measure up to a delicious dessert made by hand and with love.

being thrifty means keeping good records

Record Keeping

These may not seem like thrifty tips, but being thrifty isn’t only about money. It is also about saving time!

9)  Keep a calendar for scheduling.  My list is posted on the refrigerator so I can see what my day entails at a glance. 

I know routines get boring sometimes, so on occasion, I add something that’s fun.   It may be a junking venture or just something simple like a picnic by the pond – just as long as it’s out of routine and something fun!

10)  Keep good records, especially when it comes to money.  We have a calendar for each month, and on it we post any farm sales on it, whether it is for eggs, vegetables or craft items. 

At the first of the month, we change out the calendar and take the old one to the office to post our income.  Our expenses are kept in a folder, and right after we post income we post expenses into the proper categories. 

At tax time, all we have to do is print out our spreadsheet and half our work is done!  We also have a notebook where we keeps records on the farm animals, including dates of births, vaccinations, etc.  

We also keeps track of parentage, dates that eggs go into the incubator and the results.  Keeping scrupulous records is one of the smartest thrifty tips I have.

Afternoon tea party with Teddy

Celebrate the Small Things

11)  Don’t fret the mistakes and setbacks.   Celebrate them!  You only make mistakes when you are actively engaged in a project, and setbacks are just another form of learning. 

Instead, pat yourself on the back for trying, and dig in and try again.  Take me for instance.  When I pick hornworms off my tomatoes, it’s a definite setback for me, but treat time for the chickens!  See, even they celebrate my setbacks and thrifty tips!

12)   Take time to celebrate your accomplishments.  Don’t just come in the house, tired, dirty and exhausted from working your fingers to the bone.

Stroll around outside and see everything you accomplished; walk through every room in the house and embrace the great job you did making your home a clean place to live. 

celebrate you with homemade cookies

And a Bonus Thrifty Tip!

Smile, tell yourself ‘Good Job’, and then go take a shower and indulge in a cup of hot tea, some fresh tea cakes, or even a piece of chocolate.  After all the hard work you did today, you deserve it!

The form you have selected does not exist.

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. Hey Julie!

    I love tip number 5 (rearrange to re-decorate). I am seriously always doing this in my home to give rooms a refresh! My poor husband has had to move our upright piano about 4 or 5 times, and he has told me “No more!”, haha, but I do have fun moving the little things around to freshen up a room.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us on the Embracing Home and Family Link-up party! Please join us again on Friday!!


    1. Hi, Cherelle! I think we have the same husband! 🙂 Mine let’s out a loud groan when I tell him it’s time to rearrange! Now, when he knows I am in ‘that kind of mood’, he suspiciously finds things that have to be done (and right away) outside. Thanks to you, I can now tell him ‘at least I don’t have a piano anymore’! I will definitely join the Hop again. I am loving reading all the great posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.