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Unique things you do to save money


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What's with the ads?

#1 mom31257

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

Dh is laid off and going to school, so the budget is getting tighter and tighter. We've also had lots of medical bills this summer. What are some unique things you do to save money that others might not think to try?

#2 mom31257

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:27 PM

:001_smile: Anyone?

#3 Lucy the Valiant

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:29 PM

None of the things we do are unique, but little-by-little, the "tiny savings" do make a difference in the long run.

Line drying, thrifty-meal-planning, keeping the heat turned low, the old regulars - but they do make a difference!

:grouphug: This is such a hard time for so many families.

#4 Momma4Boys

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:32 PM

dollar store (the real 99 cent store) :D

#5 KatA

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:39 PM

Switching to prepaid/use ooma for home phone? That's what we're planning on doing as soon as possible (contract). I don't use the phone very often, text most often and I can buy 200 texts from AT&T for $5/mo.

#6 PhotoGal

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:43 PM

I just found out that our library has free passes to many local museums. I thought that was a good find!

If possible, buy curriculum used and then sell it when you are done.

I made a mealplan for a whole year at once. This is really helping us avoid eating out. We always have an idea for dinner and the ingredients, so it is easier to make dinner (not give up out of frustration!).

#7 Durriyyah

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:47 PM

Dh had two motorcycles, making payments on both when we got laid off. We did a rent to own agreement with a friend for one of them. I used to give rides to a friend and she would pay me a bit more than the gas money for it. Visit family for dinner more often... Usually they are happy to provide meals a couple times a month. If you have wireless Internet at home, you could offer to share it with neighbors for a small fee. Switch to a family member's cell plan so you're not footing the whole bill. Check Craigslist for domestic, labor, or writing gigs.

#8 mom4him

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:51 PM

I wouldn't say ours are unique either but....
I use clothe towels and napkins instead of paper. I do keep paper towels for puppy clean up. I don't purchase new clothes for myself, hardly ever. I am wearing the same skirts and jeans that I had 10 yrs ago. I don't use the amount of detergent in the laundry that it calls for. I learned a long time ago that I can get along with less. I purchase some things in large quantity, shampoo, conditioner, I purchase in gallons. We don't purchase anything to drink. We drink water. No pop, juice, coffee, etc. I don't purchase cold cereal. Instead we have home made pancakes and eggs for breakfast. I never purchase mixes or premade. I cook from scratch. All I can think of for now.:D

Like one poster said it all adds up.

#9 Jenny in Florida

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:51 PM

None of the things we do are unique, but little-by-little, the "tiny savings" do make a difference in the long run.

Line drying, thrifty-meal-planning, keeping the heat turned low, the old regulars - but they do make a difference!


Agreed.

I try to keep a lid on grocery shopping costs. I plan my own curricula using materials I find free online and used for cheap (BookMooch, PaperbackSwap, thrift stores, etc.). I fight my kids and husband to keep the thermostat higher in the summer, lower in the winter and to turn off lights when they leave rooms. I use very few paper towels, sticking with cloth napkins and rags. I wash and re-use zip-top plastic baggies. I bake most of our bread. I use plastic grocery bags to line wastebaskets and dispose of dog stuff . . .

We pack lunches and snacks when we're going to be out the day. I pack lunches for my husband to take to work at least a couple of days a week.

We don't buy clothes (or anything else) for fun, only when we need them.

We read mostly from the library and try to get most of our DVDs for entertainment there, too.

I've been trying for years to get my husband to agree to cut off cable, and I think I may actually be close this time. We still pay a ridiculous cell phone bill every month, though, because we're still under contract for one of the phones.

In general, I try not to waste anything. I can usually get a few days of teeth brushing out of that tube my husband wants to throw in the trash because it's empty, for example.

Edited by Jenny in Florida, 09 October 2012 - 10:55 PM.


#10 LucyStoner

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:55 PM

We have reduced our income by 1/2 this last year. Part of the reason we could is because we have long lived fairly frugally. Nothing is unique but we:

Eat less meat/more vegetarian meals
Wear it out/use it up/do without
Liberal use of library for entertainment
If it is not available used, we do our level best to just not buy it at all. Today I realized everything I was wearing besides my undies was bought used or come by free.
Wear clothes longer between washes (within reason- not suggesting you stink yourselves out of your house.)


Take a hard look at where most of the budget goes- transportation, housing and food usually and see where you can trim. Be willing to move to a smaller place if need be.

#11 Lily_Grace

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

I borrow single use items, or go in halvsies on the rent of them. My neighbor is one that can magically pluck out from her garage whatever I was going to buy at the store so I go there first. If she has a set of 12 children's teacups, it doesn't make sense for me to buy them for one activity at co-op. Same goes in reverse for my house -we have scouting and homeschool stuff, most of which has been compiled into an online database so it can be loaned out. Her kid is just getting into scouts so he comes over to browse merit badge books and work with p-cord.

We plan a week's worth of meals around piggybacking ingredients. Feta/spinach stuffed chicken lends itself for a greek salad two nights later, the pita pockets/flatbread on the 4th night use up the chicken and tzadziki sauce, and the inbetween nights are hamburgers and chili, respectively.

One biggie - I found out when peak electricity hours are for my area and we do laundry, watch movies, etc. during off-peak times. The same activity can cost me twice as much depending on what time of day I do it so it makes sense to keep things minimal during those hours.

#12 mom31257

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:58 PM

One biggie - I found out when peak electricity hours are for my area and we do laundry, watch movies, etc. during off-peak times. The same activity can cost me twice as much depending on what time of day I do it so it makes sense to keep things minimal during those hours.


I had no idea that there were times that could be charged more per hour. Is that something my utility company would be required to tell me if I asked?

#13 womanintheshoe

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:59 PM

Our paper towels are cut in half. People give us strange looks when they see it but hey, it cuts costs just a bit!

I don't know if this is strange but the water is not left on during a shower. Get in, get wet, turn water off, wash hair, rinse, turn water off, wash body/put conditioner in, rinse, done.

#14 Lily_Grace

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:09 AM

I had no idea that there were times that could be charged more per hour. Is that something my utility company would be required to tell me if I asked?


I don't know if they're required to tell you but they should be able to let you know if there are peak hours/what times. It would probably be on your bill, too. It's just like in the summer electricity bills will be higher because of the change of price in kilowatt hours. Everyone is running their AC so the company charges more to keep up with the demand.

Our company rep volunteered the info when they came out to set up the house when we moved in. From 9am-7pm M-F are peak hours. We run one load in the morning when I get up at 5:30, lay it out to dry or wait until 7 to pop it in the dryer. Weekends have about 3 loads a day going so that we can keep caught up.

#15 happi duck

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:02 AM


In general, I try not to waste anything. I can usually get a few days of teeth brushing out of that tube my husband wants to throw in the trash because it's empty, for example.


:iagree:

I also cut the tube open to use every bit!

#16 missmoe

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:16 AM

I rarely use laundry detergent. :001_smile: I do use a drop or two if something is stinky or a quite dirty.

#17 Jpoy85

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:22 AM

I use dishcloths instead of paper towels. Bath towels for any animal messes. We use cloth napkins. We make our own laundry detergent. I use Cloth pads for that time of the month as well as a Diva Cup. We use a window A/C and fans in the summer rather than central or wall unit A/C (we live in an apartment). We use a washable kitchen sponge. I meal plan.

Ill think of more.

We use to cloth diaper and breastfeed, that helped save money when they were babies.

#18 scrappyhappymama

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:27 AM

I buy almost all of my boy's clothing and shoes at consignment sales. The only time we buy new is for socks/underwear or a real need that I didn't find ahead of time at a sale. Usually each season there are a few gaps (right now one of my boys still needs a winter coat) and I will go to consignment stores or sales looking for that one item. But usually, I buy ahead a year or season for my oldest son and for any gaps caused by worn out clothes/shoes for the younger ones.

I don't think this is too unusual, BUT I also sell at several consignment sales throughout the year, and I use the profits from my sales to buy my boys' clothes there. So, each year I spend some money from our budget, but the majority of what I spend on clothing comes from what I've sold. I get the clothing and baby gear to sell from items we no longer use, markdown days at thrift stores, garage sales, buying clothing in big lots from other folks, etc. Only nice quality stuff sells at consignment, so I have to watch for the gems at these places, but I find many. We also do a lot of donating clothing to goodwill, if it is not nice enough to resell.

I also buy the majority of our curriculum used online or at area curriculum sales. I resell whatever we don't use, and often am able to buy the new (to us) items I want with the proceeds of previous sales.

#19 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:52 AM

What we do is grow most of our own food, never buy new clothes (apart from underwear), only ever pay cash for things, and then think about it for a week before buying,as we have had very low income for a long time we have done without some major things, like I don't have kitchen cupboard doors, we have cars that are over 20 years old,so the kids can play Basketball I referee basketball games.

#20 contessa20

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:25 AM

I put a nightlight in most rooms of the house. Then, when going in just for a few min. there is no need to turn on the lights. A nightlight shone just enough light in a bathroom to go in and do your business, or in the kitchen to grab a drink.

Collect water from the dehumidifier to flush toilets or wash dark clothes.

No paper product use, except toilet paper. We use cloth napkins and washcloths in the kitchen and for other messes. No paper plates or disposable plastic ware. I use a Diva Cup, which saves a ton of money.

Learn some driving tricks to get your gas mileage up. I love that my car tells me how many miles per gallon I'm getting and I've made it into a bit of a game. I went from 20-something mpg 2 yrs. ago when I got the car, to 30.2 mpg now. I also make it a game to see how little gas I can use in a week.

I make all of my own cleaners and learned how to open up one of those Swiffer Wet Jet containers to use my own cleaning solution inside.

Don't waste water. Use a timer in the shower and use leftover bits of water (from cups or water bottles) to water the animals. Use leftover water from boiling food to water plants outside. At one time I even put a bucket in the shower to catch some of the stray shower water that would otherwise go down the drain. I used this to flush toilets, water plants, wash dishes, and water animals.

#21 BugsMama

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:11 AM

We don't have TV service, or home phone. We have pay as you go phones (you know, the plastic "dumb" phones!) which save us a bunch from what we used to pay.... and, we actually pay attention to eachother when we are out to dinner!

We do have internet at home, and with that you can call (skype), watch TV (hulu) and do anything else you need.

#22 brownie

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:26 AM

We're not struggling but we are savers!

Same here on the laundry detergent. You don't need to use the recommended amount usually. In fact your clothes probably have a lot of soapy residue if you do. I also cut my dryer sheets in half until it gets so dry in winter that the clothes start coming out clingy.

You can buy coupons on ebay when you see a sale coming up for something you use alot of. Then combine the coupon with the sale. Sometimes you can get stuff for a few pennies that way!

Garage sales/church sales even for Christmas stuff. Little kids don't know the difference. If your local homeschool group knows you are struggling you may have someone offer you outgrown clothes for your kids.

We almost never eat out unless we have a coupon/gift card. Are cable bill is the lowest package, we have walmart cell phone packages. We've talked about cutting cable and the land line entirely but haven't done it yet. Keep unnecessary lights off (we take a light bulb from the kids' rooms when they forget :)...that teaches them quickly. )

Brownie

#23 Heigh Ho

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:45 AM

We do our own car and small engine work.. Saves a tremendous amt and allows barter for other things...stone masonry, etc that we don't have the diy skills for.

#24 MSNative

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

Learn some driving tricks to get your gas mileage up. I love that my car tells me how many miles per gallon I'm getting and I've made it into a bit of a game. I went from 20-something mpg 2 yrs. ago when I got the car, to 30.2 mpg now. I also make it a game to see how little gas I can use in a week.

I make all of my own cleaners and learned how to open up one of those Swiffer Wet Jet containers to use my own cleaning solution inside.
.



Would you be willing to share details for the bolded above? :) Thanks!

#25 Cinder

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:02 AM

how to open up one of those Swiffer Wet Jet containers


I just learned about this earlier this year, but we don't use the Wet Jet often so I haven't had to try it yet. This video shows how. I noticed one of the commenters mentioned just running the cup under hot water for 30 seconds instead of in a pot of boiling water. I'd try this first so you don't have to have a spare junky pot just for this purpose.

#26 Jenny in Florida

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:09 AM

I thought of another one: I trim my own hair.

I color it myself, too.

#27 sparrow

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:48 AM

We do a lot of the same things that others have already posted, but we also do some unique things when actually saving physical money.

1.) We save our change. Since we often use cash, we often have change. Each night, we put the change in a container. Over the years, we have saved nearly $1,500 in change alone. Dh and I look forward to change rolling night. Beer and a movie :D.

2.) We save dollar bills with the initial of each family members' first name. We haven't done this for a while, but I think I'm going to start again. Each dollar bill has a Federal Reserve stamp and a letter representing the Bank of Cleveland, Bank of Chicago, etc. There's a letter stamped inside. If there is "T", and you have a Tom in the family, you save that dollar. We saved more than $50 in a jar, in less than 6 months, with this method. The kids loved getting change and going through looking for initials!

#28 Slipper

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:15 AM

Whenever we go to the doctor with an illness, I ask for any samples of medicines they might need. If the dermatologist recommended a special soap for my daughter's eczema, they might give me 3 small bars and tubes of liquid (plus coupons) rather than one. Once, I had all three girls sick with some hideous virus. The doctors office gave us 12 sample bottles of triaminic (or was it dimeatapp?) and as many of ibuprofen.

It may be a small thing but when you buy bags of fruit or onions/potatoes, weigh the bags to see which one weighs the most. Most bags are sold by a certain price and weight, but not all bags weigh the same. It may mean the difference of only one extra item in the bag, but it's a fairly simple thing to do for that one extra piece of fruit or potato.

#29 Chris in VA

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:21 AM

I trim my own bangs most of the time (sometimes I go in to have them cut, when I've messed up really badly the time before...).

We've never had a new car, and my husband does all the maintenance on them, including brake jobs, belts, timing, tires, oil/air filters, oil changes...he can't do front end alignments, that's about it. He is self-taught--that's what comes from driving a junker for a first car. :001_smile:

Hubby, in fact, does most things around the house--he fixed our air conditioning last year by himself, by reading a book and crawiling under the house to put in the right part. Ick. The man is undaunted by spiders.

#30 dakarimom5

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:33 AM

I see that a lot of people don't buy underwear from thrift stores. I do, and here's why. I used to go to Store X and they would have tubs of socks and underwear, from where people would open the packages. One day they were all gone. When I asked where they went they told me that they just donate them to one of the thrift stores in the area. So now I go to that thrift store and get new underwear for less than I was paying from Store X. I always look for stains and to see if the "tagless" sticker is still there. I bleach them when I get home anyway.

Saving money for us means no haircuts that I don't do myself, cooking from scratch, shopping sales and using coupons, mama cloth, clothes closet for all my children filled with hand-me-downs and $1 clothes from thrift store. I also only buy clothes and shoes from the thrift store and only on a good sale day. Total amount for 4 children's winter wardrobe....$25 plus $20 for shoes.

Our central unit went out last year and it will be $4000 for a new one. We bought a window unit and a radiant heater and are quite comfortable.

I also wanted to add that for all our married life we have never bought anything on credit or had a car payment. The only thing we owe on is the house.

#31 susankenny

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:41 AM

I've been watching Extreme Couponing on netflix. I'm thinking about giving coupons a try (not that extreme..but why shouldn't I use them?).

Other than that, I live on a tight budget, meal plan, and I always spend every dollar on paper before I actually use it.


Susan

#32 jrn

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:42 AM

I do much of the same things the others have mentioned. And will add some of them that I don't already do, thanks!

I shop at a local dent and bent store. It's usually 1/3 to 1/2 the price than at a regular grocery store.

I use much much less laundry detergent and diswasher soap than recommended on the bottle. I've had a dishwasher gel last me a year!-- and yes my dishes and clothing are clean. :)

We carpool whenever possible. I also plan my errands to conserve gas.

I get free samples online where ever possible. You'd be surprised how many days of shampoo use you can get out of those little trial packets.

I make my own liquid hand soap.

I use script cards that my church/school sells. A portion of the earnings goes to the next years school registration fees.

We also shop at an area Habitat for Humanity ReStore. My dishwasher recently died and we picked up an old working dishwasher for $25!!!!

Edited by jrn, 10 October 2012 - 09:45 AM.


#33 Baseball mom

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:13 AM

I've been watching Extreme Couponing on netflix. I'm thinking about giving coupons a try (not that extreme..but why shouldn't I use them?).

Other than that, I live on a tight budget, meal plan, and I always spend every dollar on paper before I actually use it.


Susan


I was doing the coupon thing for awhile. No way was I an Extreme Couponer but we got a nice little stockpile. I also didn't take hours to do it. I would get the paper with the coupons and do a quick flip through. Then cut them out and put in my binder while watching tv with the family or at the table with kiddos while they were doing school work. Then later I would bet the sales papers and go though. Make a list of what I needed or a good sale then pull those coupons. All in all I got a great stockpile. I have sure enjoyed not having to run to the store when I run out of something. I stopped couponing for awhile because we ran out of room to hold everything. I didn't want to get so much that it ended up being wasted.

#34 Ruby Rose

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

...we have cars that are over 20 years old...

I read that and said, "Say what!" Then I realized my dh's car is 17 years old! makes mine look spry at a mere 7 years old. :lol:

#35 ocelotmom

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

We almost exclusively buy meat below $2/lb. We get lots of 50%-off meat (we either use it that night or freeze it - have only had it go bad once). We buy meat in bulk whenever possible - we have a chest freezer, so we do the fractional cow thing, but also bulk from the normal store. Pork shoulder roasts last week were $2.99 on sale, but $1.69 if bought in 20ish lb pack. That's a level of bulk where even a regular freezer will be ok, and it's really not hard to cut it up myself.

If you look at the USDA food budget charts, it says to subtract 10% for families of 7 or more, presumably because buying in larger quantities tends to be less expensive. So pretend you're cooking for at least 7 people, even if you're not - look into once a week/month cooking and things like that.

We moved to a relatively low cost of living area. Luckily, we have jobs that allow us to go pretty much anywhere.

We buy almost nothing new, and when we do, it's usually on sale with prices comparable to thrift store prices. The kids have no expectation of new presents for birthdays and so on (and are perfectly happy to get 30 used books instead of 1 new one, for example).

#36 missmoe

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:16 PM

Going to add that I actually don't buy very much at the grocery stores. I buy direct from farmers and participate in a co op.

#37 momto3innc

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:40 PM

Most things we do have already been shared, but here's a few:

--cut my boys and husband's hair myself. I do pay for mine, but not much and not often.

--groom my dog myself (it was SO expensive the couple times I paid and it's pretty easy)

--paper napkins, dishtowels

--all our clothes from Goodwill or local thrift store--which I then resell on Ebay and that pays for the next time I need clothes. We live in a nice area and people get rid of virtually new (often new with tags!) Gymboree, Gap, etc... It's crazy to me how nicely my kids are able to dress for such a small amount of money.

--I coupon some--we eat mostly unprocessed but there are some good deals I can get or I may get a few things just as treats that we wouldn't normally eat that are free. We've started doing more gardening too.

--family babysits for free

--we do cash for a decent amount of stuff, debit card for the rest. No credit cards.

Basically, we just try not to spend money unless it is totally utterly necessary. We evaluate every purchase pretty hard before it's made.

#38 Mrs.Gregg

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:41 PM

I purchase items in bulk. I learned from the bulk area food manager of my local grocery store that if I purchased items in the bulk section in the same size that it comes to them (and they do need to put it out) that I can save an added 5%. So I've been purchasing my rice, beans, cheese powder, pasta etc this way.
Meal plan, piggy back ingredients, plan lunches and breakfast too.
Use your library and try to cut your out of the house errand day. Or group errands by activities.

For example my kids attend a co-op in one area of our town. My bank, library, grocery store and post office is also in the same area so I group errands for that day on that side of town.

We us cloth napkins, and instead of paper towels we use kitchen towels. I purchased 3 for $1 at a local dollar store and just stocked up.

Cook from scratch, cookies, snacks, etc.

Form a free clothing swap group.

#39 ^39..lmn

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:11 PM

.......

Edited by ksva, 13 October 2012 - 05:37 AM.


#40 crazyforlatin

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:22 PM

Rather than hiring people to fix up the house and broken appliances, DH has managed to do most of everything on his own.

Wood bookshelves cost a bundle, so rather than paying a few hundred dollars, DH built them for us. It took weeks, but we saved money and he gained experience.

#41 contessa20

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:29 PM

When we had 3 cats and 2 dogs, I realized I was spending thousands on vet bills every year. I drastically reduced that by eliminating the vet unless there was a specific problem. We took the animals to local rabies clinics for $5 rabies shots which lasted 3 years. We bought the booster shots at our local farm store and gave them to the animals ourselves.

We also learned how to trim the dogs' nails, clean their ears, etc. A lot of this info is on the internet. We also learned by watching the vet over the years


Ooooh yes, this is a biggie! I have exotics and the vet bills for something minor can be astronomical. Instead, I read and learn how to deal with common ailments for each animal. Then, I know ahead of time where to find the meds. without going through a vet. For instance, rats are susceptible to mycoplasma infections and upper respiratory infections. These are typically treated with antibiotics like Baytril, Amoxicillin, and Doxycycline. All three are typically only available through a vet, unless you know where to look. Baytril can be purchased through a bearded dragon rescue and doxy can be purchased from a fish supplier. They come in forms that must be reconstituted at a specific ratio for the animal in question, but that's easy.

I just sat for 2 rats for 2.5 weeks and was instructed by the owners to take them to the vet at the first sign of illness. Well, what do you know, one of the rats came down with a severe upper respiratory infection. I did as I was told, given that they were not my animals, and spent over $100 for a 15 min. visit and some meds. EVERY medicine that they gave me I already keep on hand for my own rats and because I read and learn extensively about my animals, I already knew what was wrong and what they needed before going to the vet. It seemed like such a waste of money. I have saved literally thousands of dollars in vet bills just by doing a little research.

#42 southcarolinamom

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:30 PM

Here's a few things we do that helps us "limp along" until more work comes our way:

1. Shop at the Dollar Tree (where everything's a dollar!)
2. Shop at Aldis for groceries
3. Borrow DVD's from the library instead of renting them
4. Buy gently used curriculum, and re-sell it as soon as the last child is done
5. I had our life insurance premiums changed from a yearly premium of $300, to monthly amounts that are deducted automatically from the checking acct. It's much easier to handle $30 a month than $300 all at once! We did this with our car insurance premiums as well.

#43 anneofalamo

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:35 PM

We don't have cable or a TV. Big savings

I cut everyone's hair but the girls.
They go to the Beauty College, and I do mine until I totally jack it up and have a sweet lady that fixes it about every 6months for low price.

Menus! This is really huge, food waste is expensive. Buy what you need and use what you buy. Taking a roast and using it 3-4 times is like a video game to me. I win!! woot

Online banking saves postage.

Birthdays are low key, one present, and favorite meal at home, with dessert of choice. We do parties for age 5, 10 and 15.

Learn new recipes.

LIbrary, library oh how we love the library and parks! Adventure awaits and there is so much free!

#44 fairfarmhand

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:45 PM

we learn to fix things ourselves. So many things don't need a repairman, and you can learn to take care of them on your own. My dh did some googling last night and bought the "book" at Auto Zone and fixed his truck for less than $100 this morning. He's fixed my dryer, put in our house A/C unit, fixed my washer....probably saved us thousands through the years. When you are broke you must be resourceful.

#45 ballardlm

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:36 PM

There is so many good tips on here! I don't know if what I have to add is worth anything but here you go.

- I give my husband and son haircuts with a clipper cutter. It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
- I wear my hair long so that it doesn't need to be cut very often. When it has to be cut I go to the beauty school. A haircut there is only $8. I trim my bangs myself.
- I recently started planning and grouping my errands and was shocked at how much money I saved in gas. We saved $50 in 2 weeks just by me consciously planning out my errands.
- We also shop thrift stores for clothing, but don't discount the clearance racks at places like Walmart and Target. You can often get stuff just as cheap as a thrift store, especially for kids.
- I am part of a babysitter swap group. Whenever my husband and I want a date night, I get a free babysitter. I just have to return the favor :001_smile: This would be really easy for you to arrange with a neighbor or good friend, you don't have to be part of an official group. HTH

#46 ocelotmom

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:46 PM

- We also shop thrift stores for clothing, but don't discount the clearance racks at places like Walmart and Target. You can often get stuff just as cheap as a thrift store, especially for kids.

Not just cheap places, either. I once found a pair of adorable overalls at BabyGap for $1.50.

But yes, much of the clothing in our local thrift stores is WalMart (since that's essentially the only local new clothing store), and it's often more expensive than the end-of-season sales.

#47 besroma

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:26 PM

We eat almost every meal at home.

We keep peanut butter crackers or a can of nuts in the car for when we get hungry while running errands so that we are not tempted to spend money for fast food.

I don't grocery shop when I am hungry, because if I do, I buy things I normally wouldn't.

We buy very little processed food.

I make my grocery list largely based on the meats on sale each week.

#48 Aggie

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

I make our own soap, laundry detergent, and dishwasher detergent. I use the laundry detergent for hand soap and dish soap. :)

I use baking soda and vinegar for house-cleaning and hair washing, baking soda for toothpaste.

Our local grocery stores have *great* sales.... meat is 1/2 price, produce can go for $2/bag. Our meals are planned around what is on sale, and I stock up when I can. One of the greatest finds was a can of cashews for $1.

We usually don't buy processed foods. No bread, chips, or pasta.

When I cook meat in the crock-pot, we use the broth for soup for the next few meals. Add some lentils and veggies.

DH cuts our firewood. We try to buy all appliances and computers refurbished.

#49 goldberry

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:31 PM

Feta/spinach stuffed chicken lends itself for a greek salad two nights later, the pita pockets/flatbread on the 4th night use up the chicken and tzadziki sauce.


Is it too off topic to ask for this recipe? That chicken sounds awesome!

Also, the mom who meal-planned for a YEAR? Do you have a document for that? I am TERRIBLE at meal planning and spend way too much on groceries because of it.

#50 Tap

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:11 AM

Polishing leather shoes can make them look new again. Especially shoes that are designed to have a bit of a shine.


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