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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:03 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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I just read through this thread and really enjoyed it. I am preparing for a severe income decrease in the next 6 months, and I'm marking a lot of the sites people mentioned here. I'd be interested in any updates on how people are doing. Someone mentioned keeping to $1000 for food for the entire year, etc. How's the budgeting and planning coming along?

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:01 am 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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I was the $1000 person, and regrettably I completely fell off the wagon. The budget wasn't particularly hard to stick to. I didn't feel deprived or anything. I just got distracted with a new job and a new relationship (eating out way more than I would by myself, wanting to cook fancy impressive date night dinners, etc.) and stopped budgeting. I know I'm spending too much now and need to reel it back in. I just don't feel particularly motivated...


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:06 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Hey, stories about how we fall short of goals are helpful too! I am SO used to living without a budget (well, without any kind of food budget), so I know it will be particularly hard to adapt to restricting myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:56 am 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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It takes a lot of will power. I'm still definitely a bargain shopper and try not to buy things if they're not a good deal, but these days if I really get it in my brain that I want to cook a particular meal, I will go buy the ingredients for it and not second guess it. When I was budgeting, I was always super aware of what I had already and based all of my meals around those things. It was a much more efficient way to cook, and I need to get back to that. I still don't waste food, but I am accumulating way too much in my pantry and freezing too many leftovers and not eating them fast enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:31 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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That's kind of where I'm at. I don't waste food, but my pantry gets overfull, my freezer is bursting, and if I want something I just go make it or buy regardless of what I have on hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:29 am 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Pre-PhD I was awesome at budgeting. From 18 to 26 (I'm 29 now), I lived on such a meagre budget and counted pretty much every penny. So when my PhD started (it's full-time job with benefits in the Netherlands), all budgeting went to hell because it was such a relief to just go to the market and not have to count pennies all the time. I'm in the last year of my PhD now and want to budget, and am having a hard time motivating myself to do so. I'm giving myself a few more months to flip flop and then intend to buckle down with some of the ideas mentioned upthread.

Invictus: I also find stories about falling short of goals, mucking around and maybe (or not) getting back to them helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:10 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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I'm going to try and ease into it. I'm starting with a $50/wk budget. That's just for me and doesn't include random other household goods, just food, so I think it's going to be well more than enough. I cook 90% of my food from scratch, so that'll help. Then cut it every month by $5 a week until I reach a personal budget/happiness balance.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:11 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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It's all about food, as far as budgeting goes for me. I'm pretty moderate otherwise. Oh, and I give away too much money probably too.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:27 am 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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My biggest problem right now is produce. I can't just go buy broccoli for dinner. I end up with broccoli and whatever else looks good at the market/store. Then I end up cooking more new meals with the fresh produce that needs to be eaten, and generating more leftovers to freeze. Then I buy more produce because I want something fresh, and the cycle repeats.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:54 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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We're still on a weekly food budget, planning our meals, and shopping once a week, but our weekly expenses have crept up a little. That said, that means spending $95ish per week instead of $75ish, which results in about $80/month extra between the two of us, which is still a lot less than we were spending without a plan and when we were making several smaller trips.

Part of the issue is that I more or less refuse to deprive myself of the amazing summer produce out there, so instead of buying cheap staples like carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and greens, and apples and bananas for fruit, we're buying more seasonal stuff, particularly tomatoes, berries, and other stuff from the farm stand. I'm giving it a pass.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:27 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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jordanpattern wrote:
We're still on a weekly food budget, planning our meals, and shopping once a week, but our weekly expenses have crept up a little. That said, that means spending $95ish per week instead of $75ish, which results in about $80/month extra between the two of us, which is still a lot less than we were spending without a plan and when we were making several smaller trips.

Part of the issue is that I more or less refuse to deprive myself of the amazing summer produce out there, so instead of buying cheap staples like carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and greens, and apples and bananas for fruit, we're buying more seasonal stuff, particularly tomatoes, berries, and other stuff from the farm stand. I'm giving it a pass.


That's the way I feel. We try to stay within our food budget, but if splurging a bit means I'm going to eat some healthy, yummy produce (as opposed to blowing 10 bucks on fries and snacks), then I'm for it. Right now we are awaiting a new fridge to be delivered and to counter the cost of the new fridge, we are dropping our dining out budget a ton. The goal is to waste less and eat at home to stay within the food budget while also justifying the bigger fridge (which inevitably means a slightly higher energy bill).


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:15 pm 
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the CSA box we signed up for is about $30/week and would be the perfect amount if we didn't also have a garden. (live and learn) last month, we went over budget on groceries (too many special things. that new wholefoods was a siren.), but this month so-far we've been really good. we severely reduced the post-CSA budget to $100 for the month (this will force me to do fewer special meals, and just the simple ones that use up all this darn produce.) so-far, so good. i am also going to force myself to freeze some greens for the winter. we don't eat enough greens when it's cold out, and i want to change that.
next year we're only going to subscribe to the half-bushel instead.

i know i've posted about this in another thread (if it wasn't this one) but we switched from EEBA (now goodbudget) over to YNAB. EEBA just didn't have enough categories and the way i was handling credit card debt just didn't make sense. of course YNAB isn't free, but it makes so much more sense for people with debt.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:27 pm 
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Queen Bitch of Self-Righteous Veganville
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Yeah, i've been pretty liberal with the berries and mangoes this summer and I got a juicer, so there's that. But our grocery bill comes out the same because, for the monetary reasons, I make a conscious effort to buy less things like Amy's meals, gardein, stuff like that on our regular grocery trips and saving that stuff for our out-of-town health food store visits where we pick up stuff we can't get here anyway.

I'm definitely guilty of over-filling the pantry/stockpile because of really good clearance or Big Lots finds, so we go through short periods where I buy almost nothing from the store and we try to eat out of the pantry. I mostly do that with snacks, Brian has enough various boxes of crackers to last a month.

Does anyone else here use SavingStar? I didn't mention it previously because the offers are less vegan friendly than they are, but they now have a 'healthy deal' each week that's 20% back on produce. The only catch is that you have to read the details - like if they say loose apples, you can't get one of those bags of apples and get the discount. It's basically coupons that are tied to your store card, so if you don't have a printer and/or loathe the idea of coupons, it's an easy way to save some $$$. I've promised myself two new cookbooks when I get to $20 (i'm at $15 and some change right now).

https://savingstar.com

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:53 pm 
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there's also ibotta and checkout 51 (apps on idevices where you have to take a photo of your receipt.) i've been meaning to check it out now that i have access to a device with a suitable camera (my old touch was rejected by a different, now defunct, app)

i've seen bloggers mention that so delicious has a deal on one of them (ibotta, i think) maybe i'll be the guineapig and check them out and report back.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:55 pm 
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Queen Bitch of Self-Righteous Veganville
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I have the Ibotta app but I never remember to use it because you have to take a picture. That's why I like SS, you just activate what you want (they have a phone app too) and then it's tied to your store card. I think the app also has a barcode scanner so you can scan a product and make sure it's included in the offer, i've definitely bought something and then didn't get my credit.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:46 am 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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ok, so i totally forgot to check out ibotta last month, and then just yesterday i learned about another one, so now i have all three on my ipad and i'm checking them out. here's a quickie run-down that i typed up for vegan coupons:

berry cart is a mostly vegan rebate app. (you take a quick poll and learn a little about the product to activate the offer, and then you snap a picture of the receipt to get the rebate.)
https://www.berrycart.com/rf/QE2UL8uK [[[heads up PPKers, i get $2 credit if you use this link, feel free to delete the referral code if you prefer.]]]
(right now, they have nadamoo ice cream, beyond meat, field roast, 2 degrees saffron road, sunbutter, califia, beanitos, sweetriot, and a bunch of other stuff)

ibotta is slightly different [i'd say maybe a little more inconvenient]. it seems like each rebate is associated with a single store, but it looks like there are a lot more options. (or it might just appear that way because you have to do a lot more clicking and weeding out.)
(right now, for whole foods, they have bread(any) earth balance, just mayo and zbar. for wegmans, there's zbar, bread, wonderful pistachios, OJ, rotel)
it looks like you can get bonuses if you work as a team (go ahead and use my referral code if you'd like to join the vegan coupons team.) https://ibotta.com/r/ogmcqfb (i don't know if you can join a team if you're already a user, though. let me know the outcome if you try.) [[[and i didn't know this before i signed up, but i totally would have used MBM's referral link if i had known. :-( sorry. looks like it's a $5 credit, too. like above, feel free to delete the code if you'd rather not use it.]]]

and another one that seems a bit more simple is checkout 51. no need to "claim" an offer by answering questions, but it looks like they're only valid for one week (expire on wednesday) but the foods are more mainstream. this week i see bread, yogurt (hey, it says "any" couldn't hurt to try vegan brands) bananas, blueberries (and then a bunch of cleaners and supplements) imagine chunky style soup, wild garden hummus, canned beans, jalapenos, salsa.)
unfortunately, i won't be able to tell you about products that are available outside the philly area, but i'm sure most of the offers will overlap the entire country.

if you already use some of these, let me know how it's been working for you. (it seems a little inconvenient, but at least unused offers won't clutter up my purse like paper coupons do.)

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:37 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
if you already use some of these, let me know how it's been working for you. (it seems a little inconvenient, but at least unused offers won't clutter up my purse like paper coupons do.)


I'm interested in knowing that too.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:34 pm 
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SC, I will sign up later using your code!

Also, I hit $20 on my SavingStar account so I cashed out and went with the amazon gift card so I could get some cookbooks, and it said 2-3 business days to process but I got the code emailed to me the same night. So it does work, and you can get your payout via paypal or a bank deposit.

https://savingstar.com/

It's not very vegan friendly, but they often have a Larabar deal, Cascadian Farms, Food Should Taste Good, or things like Old El Paso somecents/any three products, and i've noticed that lately they have more deals overall. When I started using it they only had about 10 offers at a time and that was before they did the produce offer. It took me something like six months to hit $5 and 8-9 to get the other $15.

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The tree is his penis // it's very exciting // when held up to his mouth // the lights are all lighting // his eyes start a-bulging // in unbridled glee // the tree is his penis // its beauty, effulgent -amandabear


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:48 pm 
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thanks. :-) i like that savingstar has 100% back deals (friday freebie. which sometimes i'll add to my card if i'm planning on shopping that weekend, and if i can't use it i'll give it away.) they also have "healthy offer of the week" that comes out on tuesdays.

i'm trying to remember what i've done in the past. i think they had a "buy $15 (or so) of kleenex and get $5 back" once before. i know they had one of those for goya. i stocked up on beans that month. that was really nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:58 pm 
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Yeah, I always get the Friday Freebie as long as it's at least vegetarian (for Brian). Kroger also has that, the difference is you can only download the offer on that day but then it doesn't expire for a few weeks. One time the freebie was a coconut water drink that was like, $2.50 so that was pretty awesome. Every now and then it will be something involving meat but not too often.

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The tree is his penis // it's very exciting // when held up to his mouth // the lights are all lighting // his eyes start a-bulging // in unbridled glee // the tree is his penis // its beauty, effulgent -amandabear


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