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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Some really good ideas here! While I am not on the breadline, I am trying to save some money so I can get some much needed work done on my house.

I never buy prepared meals and I don't buy lunch at work, but take left-overs or stuff I've batch cooked at the start of the week.
I only get my hair cut at Christmas and at the start of the summer (though I do have long hair - it's probably harder if your style is shorter).
I buy a lot of clothes/books/furnishings second hand or in charity shops.
I re-use plastic containers/bags until they fall apart.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:24 pm 
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First and foremost, working from home saves me a ton of money.
I use the library! For books, books on tape, and movies.
I go to the Asian market and buy fresh tofu in bulk which is tasty and much much cheaper.
I keep the thermostat at 70 and our heat rarely comes on, thanks to the people below us.
I belong to Planet Fitness, which is only $10 a month.
My seitan is make from scratch (flour and water).
Two words, pedal power!

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:27 pm 
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I cook almost all my own meals. I seldom drink much alcohol. I haven't paid for a haircut in years. I borrow books from the library and I get my clothes from thrift stores and free boxes. I take the bus everywhere. I live in a cheap rental house with roommates. Until recently I was using a 10-year-old computer. I got my new computer for free. I don't buy cosmetics or anything like that. I listen to Pandora and Grooveshark instead of buying albums. I make gifts for friends and family instead of buying them. No car, no television, no landline. And no health insurance right now, but I need to fix that.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:28 pm 
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I never buy plastic containers anymore cause the chinese place I order from uses places containers. I have about 20 of them now.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:30 pm 
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I love being thrifty, it runs in my family. Plus, the thriftier I am, the less I need to work. I'd rather have the free time! Most of the things I do have been mentioned already:

I ruthlessly sell books back to Powell's unless it's something I'll need to refer to (knitting book, for example).
I sell my clothes to consignments shops (whatever they don't buy, I give to Goodwill).
I re-use empty jars, especially refilling them with bulk items so I don't have to keep buying more jarred food.
I make most of the presents I give: knitting, sewing, baking, jewelry.
I don't have cable.
I don't have a land line.
I don't upgrade things until I have no choice. My phone is years old and scuffed up, for example. I drool for an iPhone but don't want to spend the money on one (plus it would mean a higher monthly phone bill).
I ask for things for birthday/Xmas that I might have bought for myself (iPhone this Xmas maybe) especially gift cards for clothing stores.
I shop thrift/consignment stores first, then fill in the gaps by using my gift cards. (I have to dress professional for work, it could be expensive.)
I have a love affair with my local library.
I do have a car, but it's 8 years old and paid off, and I plan on driving it for as long as I can, until it completely bites the dust (it's a Subaru, I'm hoping it will last 200k miles).
I stopped buying kleenex and paper towels (more for environment, but it's also thrifty) and use handkerchiefs and rags instead. This is a more recent change and I can't believe I didn't do it sooner.

God I could go on and on. Love this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:33 pm 
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I can't live without TV or now my high speed internet. I only have basic expanded cable. No premium channels.

I can be pretty frugal. Not that I have always been super smart with my money.

I don't purchase new much. I'm a thrift shopper. And I don't do that as much as I used to.

I've never had high electric/gas bills. Or cooling costs in the summer.

I probably spend too much on food.

I air dry my clothes always in the summer. Sometimes in the winter. I reuse my plastic baggies for work lunches until they are falling apart. (that's more to save the plastic though)

I don't know, I've just never been wasteful. I was raised by a cheap European mother. Grew up on rummage sales, garage sales, thrift shops.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Y'all have given me so many ideas! I don't have as many tips but here's the main things I do:

~I live with my parents and totally mooch off of them (that's gonna end in a few months)
~Get a haircut once a year (I'm beginning to look like something out of a Waterhouse panting)
~I cut out all luxuries like clothes shopping, entertainment, eating out, etc
~Create dishes from whatever I have in my pantry rather than go shopping. (That's how I created refried black bean and broccoli salad)
~I try not to do much driving unless I have to. I wish I lived in an area where I had a wide variety of public transportation options.
~The biggest one is before I buy something I ask myself if I really need it. Most of the time the answer is no.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Location: between a rock and a hard place
Other things I do:

-We don't have a land line.
-I cook and freeze dried beans and almost never buy canned.
-I only buy fake meats like Gardein if they are on really good sale, and even then I don't buy much.
-I keep my thermostat on 68 in the winter, 78 in the summer. I sometimes turn the heater down even lower, and it's been turned off for the past 3 days, but I'll have to turn it back on tonight because it's supposed to cool down a lot. Most people think I'm nuts for keeping the a/c on 78 in the summer in Alabama, but as I've gotten older I have started to hate excessive air conditioning, even when it feels like a sauna outside.
-When my youngest child outgrows his clothing, anything still in great condition goes to a children's consignment sale. The sales are held twice a year - once for spring/summer, once for fall/winter.
-I reuse jars, Florida Crystals containers (which are perfect for storing dried beans), and Earth Balance containers. I have half a pantry shelf of jars that are ready to use.
-I need a car where I live to get to work, but my car is small and fuel-efficient. I also drive cars until they either die or reach a point where paying to get them fixed is not worth it.
-My rent is reasonably low especially considering the amount of space (and especially storage space!) I have. The kids do share a bedroom, but they have for most of their lives and still like it.
-I dry my clothes (except jeans and towels) outside when the weather is warm.
-I don't buy Kleenex (we use TP instead) or paper towels (that's what my 9 million rags are for).


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:38 pm 
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I really want to air-dry my clothes, but I don't have a place to put a line out front. I know they sell those racks that stand up on their own, but I also don't trust the neighbors to not steal my clothes. I hate how much I spend on laundry (It's about $15 every two weeks). I might start hand-washing the big things like jeans and shirts and just doing the underware, sheets, and socks at the laundermat to save some cash.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:45 pm 
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One of the things Nate and I did when we moved was to buy an energy efficient washer and dryer. As much as I love the idea of hanging my clothes to dry I know that with a baby on the way this is probably not the best thing to rely on.

I have also found that my laziness helps me be frugal, for instance, I really want to make some bread, I need to go to the store but I am too lazy to go to the store.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Oh, that's another thing, to save money I just never do laundry.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:55 pm 
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happyfaced wrote:
Quote:
I have a cookie sheet full of frozen TBSPs of tomato paste in my freezer, but I don't really want to spend the $3.50 on freezer bags to store them it in.


we put our TBSPs of tomato paste in a big lidded mason jar that we store upside down (for a better seal) in the freezer. less plastic needed! yay!


This is such a good idea. I freeze everything because I only have time to cook once a week and so much produce used to go bad in the refrigerator before I could use it. No more fuzzy tomato paste, woo hoo!

I buy lemons and limes when they're on sale and freeze the juice and sqeezed-out halves to zest when I need it. Other things I do to save money where said by others except maybe groupons/living social deals ect.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Oh, that's another thing, to save money I just never do laundry.

to extra save i just wear the same thing every day


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Oh, that's another thing, to save money I just never do laundry.

oh yeah, i don't wash my jeans, ever. actually, i take this back. last week a cow gave me a bath so i washed those jeans, but i have other jeans that i have had for years and have never washed.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:19 pm 
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littlebear wrote:
Fee wrote:
Oh, that's another thing, to save money I just never do laundry.

oh yeah, i don't wash my jeans, ever. actually, i take this back. last week a cow gave me a bath so i washed those jeans, but i have other jeans that i have had for years and have never washed.


Yeah, I don't wash stuff unless it smells noticeably or has noticeable stains or other debris on it. I almost never wash my pants.

I have also totally turned our entire studio into a giant drying rack for clothes to avoid paying for the dryer at the laundromat.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:34 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
littlebear wrote:
Fee wrote:
Oh, that's another thing, to save money I just never do laundry.

oh yeah, i don't wash my jeans, ever. actually, i take this back. last week a cow gave me a bath so i washed those jeans, but i have other jeans that i have had for years and have never washed.


Yeah, I don't wash stuff unless it smells noticeably or has noticeable stains or other debris on it. I almost never wash my pants.

I have also totally turned our entire studio into a giant drying rack for clothes to avoid paying for the dryer at the laundromat.

Yeah I have jeans and cords that I have never washed, and others that I have only washed because something spilled on them that was too big to spot clean. I have an energy-efficient front-loading washer, and when I use it I always use the "quick" cycle which is only 25 minutes, and I always use cold water. Saves on water and heating bills, and everything gets perfectly clean.

I also have sweaters that I've never washed, because they're never next to my skin, e.g. I always wear them with a t-shirt underneath. Some of the lighter colored ones I wash occasionally when the sleeves/wrists start to look dirty.

It's part thrifty, part lazy, part environmentally conscious. But it totally works.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Here's what I did yesterday, and it saves me tons on spices. There's a place in Texas called Central Market that has every spice you could possibly think of in self-serve bulk containers. So I stock up whenever I'm there and then put them into containers when I get home. For example, the Grains o' Paradise was only about $1...and since I don't need more than a little, since I don't know how to use them...it's perfect! The paprika is about $4 a pound, so you can imagine how nice that is. I got enough for a year for also about $1.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:41 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
Here's what I did yesterday, and it saves me tons on spices. There's a place in Texas called Central Market that has every spice you could possibly think of in self-serve bulk containers. So I stock up whenever I'm there and then put them into containers when I get home. For example, the Grains o' Paradise was only about $1...and since I don't need more than a little, since I don't know how to use them...it's perfect! The paprika is about $4 a pound, so you can imagine how nice that is. I got enough for a year for also about $1.

Image

This is awesome. I have thrift envy and spice envy all rolled into one Envy.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:43 pm 
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fupapack wrote:
Fee wrote:
Oh, that's another thing, to save money I just never do laundry.

to extra save i just wear the same thing every day


I do this too in winter, although not really to save money. Does anyone bother you about it? No one has said anything to me, but I work in IT (and I'm a man), so the standard of hygiene and dress is typically low.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:56 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
Here's what I did yesterday, and it saves me tons on spices. There's a place in Texas called Central Market that has every spice you could possibly think of in self-serve bulk containers. So I stock up whenever I'm there and then put them into containers when I get home. For example, the Grains o' Paradise was only about $1...and since I don't need more than a little, since I don't know how to use them...it's perfect! The paprika is about $4 a pound, so you can imagine how nice that is. I got enough for a year for also about $1.

http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z125/graffitipassion1/Spicesedited.jpg


Where did you get the stacking jars? (I clearly fail at the saving money thread.)


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:58 pm 
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I don't do this as much as in my college days, but steal toilet paper from places I don't think are hurting.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:00 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
For example, the Grains o' Paradise was only about $1...and since I don't need more than a little, since I don't know how to use them...it's perfect!


I'm jealous. Grains of paradise are a common ingredient in medieval cookery. I usually just substitute cardamom, but it's supposedly not the same.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:01 pm 
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hoveringdog wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
For example, the Grains o' Paradise was only about $1...and since I don't need more than a little, since I don't know how to use them...it's perfect!


I'm jealous. Grains of paradise are a common ingredient in medieval cookery. I usually just substitute cardamom, but it's supposedly not the same.


I can get them at my co-op. Want me to send you some?

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:03 pm 
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I walk unless I'm going a distance of more than 3 miles, and that's mostly to save time. I'll walk much longer distances if I have two or three hours to kill.

(this is my pithy contribution as I've not been nearly as thrifty as I could be...but I'm jotting down notes).

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:05 pm 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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jordanpattern wrote:
hoveringdog wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
For example, the Grains o' Paradise was only about $1...and since I don't need more than a little, since I don't know how to use them...it's perfect!


I'm jealous. Grains of paradise are a common ingredient in medieval cookery. I usually just substitute cardamom, but it's supposedly not the same.


I can get them at my co-op. Want me to send you some?


I'll have to check out the spice store we have here in town. I'd be surprised if they didn't carry it, but they're closed on the days I have off. I just need to get sufficiently motivated to stop by one day after work.

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