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Share your money-saving tricks

jewelerman

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
3,107
When being money conscience:
1-only eat out on very special occasions and then use a 2 for one coupon!
2-library for books,magazines,music and videos
3- no full price movies-library,net-flicks,borrow from family, or the dollar movies never pay for a full rate movie
4-stop smoking...save a ton of money and your health
5-wear clothing multiple times to keep laundry cost down and hang dry clothing which saves money and saves on the life of the clothing.
6-wear what you have in your closet, and buy at discount clothing stores like T.J.Maxx ect.
7-buy mid-level store brands and stay away from expensive brand name food.
8-have your hair cut every 5-6 weeks rather then every 4 weeks.
9-plan to only use the car when the a multiple errands and not just a few.
8-don't give in to the junk food cravings. no more fast food or expensive name brand candy,chips,ice cream and never go to the store hungry.Pick one type of candy or junk food item to splurge on when you go to the store and not 3 or 4.
9 never use ATM machines.
10-plan meal menu out in advance for the week and then pre-prepare....saves money and time.
11-never pay interest on a credit card.
12-hate this one..but no more expensive wedding,birthday,thank you or thinking about you gifts.
13-cancel the cable watch basic television,videos or watch cable television on the computer.
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
1,528
We live below our means on the big stuff in order to not have to sweat the small stuff.

We rent a house that's about half of what we could afford.
We max out retirement savings.
We use a credit card for points that gives us cash towards our baby's college fund, and pay it off every month so we never pay interest.
We pay cash for our cars, and buy cheaper cars than we could afford. And keep them for a long time.
We research big purchases thoroughly and don't make many of them - we just recently replaced our 10 year old CRT tv with a plasma.

We could do better by not going out to eat as much, shopping grocery store sales versus just buying what we want, and not having iPhones. But I always figure by not spending on big things, we can enjoy the little things a bit more. I get more enjoyment out of dining out, fresh organic produce, and checking my email constantly than I would out of a fast car or granite counters in my rental house.
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
2,357
I've decided to get a pay-as-you phone plan. I could really do without a phone altogether but FH would freak if I did that. Anyway, I figure that if I get rid of the £15 a month I pay for my current plan, and only pay for actual phone usage - which is minimal, I hate using my mobile, and in Europe you don't get charged for receiving calls or texts - I'll be saving £180 a year!
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,630
I shouldn't give any advice because my husband and I have been pretty slack this year with how we spend money. But for most of my life we lived on a very limited budget. And we have been able to be slack because our housing and transportation costs are cheaper than the average.
Basically examine everything. Housing. Can you live somewhere lower rent without too much hardship? All established neighborhoods had to be up and coming at some point.
Vehicles. Read up on reliable used vehicles and stalk the newspapers for when they go on sale (the newspaper we found our old toyota camry, the electronic version comes out on Saturday evening, so we were able to be one of the first people to call.
Examine all recurring costs. Just talked our phone internet provider to cut our bill by $15 for the next 6 months. We don't have cable.
Entertainment, using the library, borrowing cds and books from friends, game nights, other free entertainment.
People can save ALOT on food costs, by both shopping for groceries, bringing lunch and beverages to work, and limiting eating out. We fall down hard in this area because we both like to go out to eat, and we buy alot from whole foods (most meat as well as most produce) and indulge in treats like microbrews, good cheese "green" coffee and sushi. But when we were more on a budget we only bought beer for the weekend or when people were coming over, and my husband was genius at what I used to call "prison food" i.e. big batches of inexpensive food (chili, soups, chicken and dumplings, vegetable and rice casseroles). I ate oatmeal, homemade granola, or generic cereal for breakfast. We ate in season (bought whatever produce was cheapest due to the season). Eggs are a cheap protein source.

Like Haven said a budget is key. You need to know where your money goes, and then you can decide whether it is worth having your money be spent in those areas. When I was on a monthly paycheck I actually really liked it, because we would pay all the bills at the beginning of the month and so we knew how much money we had. We knew when we had extra, but we also knew when we ran out of money and had to get creative.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
We live on a pittance compared to most PSers. We make it work on one salary and this is how.

-We only buy used cars, flat-out with cash. We never have car payments. We still carry full-coverage on our vehicles though.
-Shop around for car insurance every 6 months. If you find a better deal, ask your current company if they'll match it.
-Buy a home well below what you qualify for in terms of mortgage. Pay ahead whenever possible.
-Eat/cook at home.
-Always make a grocery list. Start with the meals that you plan to make for the week and create your list around it. With some practice you'll be able to do your list in 10 minutes. Grocery shopping is quicker, easier and cheaper.
-Buy in bulk if possible. If you plan on having a pork chop dinner, also plan pork fajitas. Buy a pork loin and cut it yourself.
-Always have back-up food. Keep the staples for a couple quick meals on hand. This will reduce the temptation to call in an order or grab fastfood. Some frozen pasta and a jar of sauce takes less time that it would to get Mickey D's and it only costs about $5 for a family of 4.
-Buy clothes in 2nd hand shops or at end-of-season sales. I don't remember the last time I paid more than $15 for anything except bras and shoes. (don't skimp on bras and shoes, you'll hate yourself for it.)
-We get pizza from carry-out once a week at a cost of about $10.
-Play at home. A library card will get you free books and movies. A couple nice lawn chairs and a grill make a great backyard relaxation zone. Rediscover things like playing ball, roller skating, hiking. Great for your body and free.
-Always take a day to do all your running around. Shopping, pharmacy, bank, whatever. If you HAVE to get all of it done, it's a chore and you're not there to enjoy yourself perusing shelves and windows. You won't even want to.
-Keep yourself healthy, it's a whole lot cheaper than going to the dr.
-Drop unnecessary costs like movie channels, voicemail, etc. Get a movie from the library and get a $10 answering machine.

MOST IMPORTANTLY!! Don't look at cost-cutting as some horrible thing that you're being forced to do. View it as a service you're doing for yourself and your family. Set a goal for how much money you want to save and why. If you have an inspiration, it's much easier.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
27,318
There are some great tips in this thread!


The single biggest and quickest money-saver for us has been to plan ahead for big gifts - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays.

Last year we planned what we'd be getting each person at the beginning of the year and bought things whenever sales came by, shipped well in advance by tortoise post and saved a boatload! This year we'll be home making Christmas/Channukah gifts again - more huge savings there. I'm going to do extracts - vanilla, almond, citrus - which all need a couple of months to brew and stew, so I'll definitely have to plan early for that.


We buy branded cleaners. Pricier than Comet and dollar store stuff, but we've decided our time and energy is better spent elsewhere. I also cut my own hair, and DH's. We've been actively trying to eat well, and since I'm currently between jobs I've got lots of time to play with stuff. I'm finding that healthy food really does cost less, when it's well planned!

-We're buying fruit and veggies from farmer's markets whenever we can. Stuff lasts way longer than the Safeway Specials, and since we're generally able to eat about half of what we expect before it needs to be tossed, we've got pretty good at only buying half at a time! Meats and cheeses are always Safeway - or Costco - specials though, they go into the freezer if they're near expiration.
-Cat food, litter, toys and treats also from Costco. I've been good about skipping the side trips to Petsmart, though I'm always tempted!
-Lately I've been boiling eggshells, grinding them up and adding them to our rice. I don't think it's a money saver, definitely not a time saver, but I really like the idea of all that extra calcium - in such a pain-free way, you can't taste it at all, and it barely changes the texture!
-Speaking of rice - our rice cooker is now half filled with rice, half with barley. Better for you, tastes fine, tons cheaper. Doesn't look pretty, but oh well.
-We were gifted several pasta makers and rollers for our wedding that are finally getting some use! I made zucchini pasta the other day, no processed flour at all, and it was fantastic :lickout:
-We still have tons of jams and marmalade left over from my obsession last year - again, a big time and $ expenditure up front, but worth it in the long run for us, and I know exactly what went into everything.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
33,444
I cut my own hair and the dog's.
We tried many cheaper dog clippers and none worked on their thick coats.

Our new Oster A5 ($150) goes through it like warm butter.

It does't take long to exceed $150 when taking two dogs to the groomers around here.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
Yssie|1311974626|2980085 said:
The single biggest and quickest money-saver for us has been to plan ahead for big gifts - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays.

Last year we planned what we'd be getting each person at the beginning of the year and bought things whenever sales came by, shipped well in advance by tortoise post and saved a boatload! This year we'll be home making Christmas/Channukah gifts again - more huge savings there. I'm going to do extracts - vanilla, almond, citrus - which all need a couple of months to brew and stew, so I'll definitely have to plan early for that.

Christmas is less than a month after our wedding. My mom already told me she's picked out the LV purse she wants...I told her she'll be getting a nice card and something homemade. I'm going to make cake in a jar for people. It's basically a jam jar filled with alternating layers of cake and frosting. Then you put a pretty bow around the lid and attach a spoon. Easy and cheap. I'm a big baker and people are always asking for my baked goods, so I think they'll go over well.
 

PinkTower

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
1,129
kelpie|1311626168|2976535 said:
*Homemade vegetable soup and bread (I eat it everyday when my husband's not around, he thinks it peasant food)
*Drive a used car till it dies
*Search for coupon codes before you buy anything online
*For guys- get a $30 buzzer and get at home haircuts
*Dilute detergents
*Go shopping and fill up your cart with whatever you want then put everything back
*Get a cash back credit card (I use AMEX bluecash), put everything on it and pay it off every month
*This is crazy but I rolled over my old 401k into a IRA, sold all mutual funds, picked my portfolio by myself and no longer contribute to my retirement. I have made 20% return in 9 months by managing it aggressively whereas I used to contribute about $4500 a year and often got negative returns. When I thought of how the bank collapse went down I realized the average joe is way better at picking stocks than investment firms. The secret is to only buy companies that actually make money.

It all equals more money for my gem collection. We all have our priorities...I drive an 19 year old suzuki sidekick. :bigsmile:
Kelpie,
Do you live in the US? I was wondering how you go about moving from a 401k to an IRA. I emailed the company., (mine is Transamerica) and it sounded really difficult. Thanks.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Yssie|1311974626|2980085 said:
There are some great tips in this thread!
The single biggest and quickest money-saver for us has been to plan ahead for big gifts - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays.

Last year we planned what we'd be getting each person at the beginning of the year and bought things whenever sales came by, shipped well in advance by tortoise post and saved a boatload! This year we'll be home making Christmas/Channukah gifts again - more huge savings there. I'm going to do extracts - vanilla, almond, citrus - which all need a couple of months to brew and stew, so I'll definitely have to plan early for that.
This is a GREAT TIP!

DH and I have a couple bins in the garage filled with gift items. We buy things when we see them on super sale, and then we just go there first before the holidays and birthdays. We find the best scores for kid stuff, but I also have a stash of really luxurious bath products that I happened upon in a great little shop a couple months ago. They're all handmade and wrapped in handmade papers, and I've found they're great gifts for people I'm not super close to, like colleagues and such.

I love hand making gifts for the holidays, though. I'm still obsessed with those sock monkeys I made a couple years ago--those things are so darn adorable! Too bad I've already given one to all of the kids in our family.

I love the idea of making extracts. Did you use a book? Is there an online resource that you like? I was just thinking about making my own vanilla extract because it's so darn expensive.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
27,318
Haven -

I adore sock monkeys! Especially the ones that are just a wee bit - wonky. A friend's mum knit them for us all once, I still have it some eighteen years later ::)

Recipes - I don't venture much past allrecipes.com and cooks.com, I'm afraid! Things have a tendency to blow up, dissolve, or otherwise deconstruct in the kitchen when they get too complex. We go through a lot of almond extract too, and peanut oil, and they're so expensive - but I will be getting a book for that one, as I'm reading that in using bitter almonds cyanide is part of the output..

Edit - Vanilla is SUPER easy, just needs to sit for a couple of months before you can use it - I forget where I copied this from -
Split 7 vanilla beans end-to-end with a sharp knife. Add these to a .750 liter (1/5) bottle of 80proof vodka or alcohol of your choice.
Let stand for three to four weeks.
When bottle is 1/4 full add three to four more beans and more alcohol.
Let stand for another week.
Seeds may float in the syrupy liquid but unless you are giving the finished product as a gift, don’t remove them–they only add to the flavor.
*Use one-forth to one-third the amount called for in most recipes as this has a very strong vanilla flavor.
*The vanilla beans are good as long as they have a vanilla scent.
*When they have lost their scent, discard and replace with fresh beans.
*The beans are safe to use in other recipes afterward
*If you choose to remove the vanilla beans from the alcohol, dry them thoroughly and place them in a canister of sugar to make vanilla sugar.

If you have a World Market nearby they usually have vanilla beans, or you can get them online, and I much prefer a mix of dark rum and vodka (some recipes say a teaspoon or two of rum/brandy, I go with a half and half mix w/ Myers's )
 
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