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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:40 pm 
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BunniesRevenge wrote:
What do you guys do for fun on the cheap? i get so bored and I am always trying to find cheap/free ways to spend my days


I remember an episode of 30 days where they try to live on minimal wage and I was so shocked that when the guy's nephews come to visit the only thing he can think of doing with them is going to the movies and eat out. Come on!

Growing up, my family had tons of ways to have fun for cheap:
- card games, board games, role playing games - it's not just for kids, it can be immensely fun if you have equally nerdy friends.
- crafts, DIY - my mother was a freegan before it had a name, and we'd spend whole weekends repurposing/decorating stuff she'd find on the streets. My cousin got a kick out of taking apart broken appliances and putting them back together.
- going to the library
- creative writing - my sister and I did a lot of collaborative writing together as kids and young teens.
- cooking, baking - then you can pack it for lunch at work and save on takeout.
- hikes, walks around the city. Always great with a dog. As a teen I'd walk around the city with a notebook and practice observation drawing. You can practice plenty of different drawing media (pencil, crayon, ink, felt-tip pens...) for really not that much money. I should start doing this again, it was really fun!
- music - singing is free, instruments can be borrowed, shared or bought second hand. Photocopying sheet music is illegal, but...

Does it all sounds stupid and dorky? It's how I have fun. I guess if you are used to forms of entertainment that require money or equipment (or booze) it can take an effort to learn to have fun with nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:03 pm
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I often think that the entertainment industry we've been blessed with in the last hundred odd years has made us irreconcilably different from all human beings who came before or who live in less "developed" cultures. It's interesting thinking about what weird things people did back before it became normal to sit in front of the TV all evening. Like building train models, for example - crazy!

Card and board games are fun. Especially UNO!

Of course it's easier to have cheap fun when it's not freezing outside. Lots of museums have free days or evenings, or at least reduced fares on certain days of the week. I second a lot of activities aelle mentioned - I suppose it's easier to have cheap fun when you enjoy nerdy things!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:21 pm 
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* I make my household cleaner from a mix of vinegar and water.
* I cut up old tshirts for cleaning rags.
* I cut up old sweatshirts and use the inside fleece side as a mop (I attach it to my Swiffer wet wipe mop thingy). I spray it w/my vinegar and water cleaner.
* I break down food boxes and let my toddler color on the blank insides. I have a basket of cardboard she can pull out and go to town on.
* I reuse plastic containers, jars, etc.
* I make 'plarn' (plastic yarn) out of plastic shopping bags and crochet grocery totes.
* I cook most everything from scratch and hardly ever purchase take-out.
* I buy store brand whenever possible. This really adds up for things like diapers, wipes, creams, ziploc bags, etc.
* I don't buy coffee from coffee shops, unless I have a gift cert, I make it at home.
* I shop at multiple stores to avoid over paying for my frequently purchased items.
* I make my own 'ice cream' saves me heaps of money and it makes a ton.
* I use the keeper. I save a ton by not using pads and tampons.
* We don't drink soda or juice. (except when I make my own juice) and we don't buy bottled water.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:20 am 
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NicoleLeeSye wrote:
* I buy store brand whenever possible. This really adds up for things like diapers, wipes, creams, ziploc bags, etc.

love how ziplock is a word irrespective of brand now. because resealable plastic bags is kinda wordy. I'm pretty sure I've rarely bought them, and when one comes into my house it gets re-used a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:47 am 
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aelle wrote:
BunniesRevenge wrote:
What do you guys do for fun on the cheap? i get so bored and I am always trying to find cheap/free ways to spend my days


I remember an episode of 30 days where they try to live on minimal wage and I was so shocked that when the guy's nephews come to visit the only thing he can think of doing with them is going to the movies and eat out. Come on!

Growing up, my family had tons of ways to have fun for cheap:
- card games, board games, role playing games - it's not just for kids, it can be immensely fun if you have equally nerdy friends.
- crafts, DIY - my mother was a freegan before it had a name, and we'd spend whole weekends repurposing/decorating stuff she'd find on the streets. My cousin got a kick out of taking apart broken appliances and putting them back together.
- going to the library
- creative writing - my sister and I did a lot of collaborative writing together as kids and young teens.
- cooking, baking - then you can pack it for lunch at work and save on takeout.
- hikes, walks around the city. Always great with a dog. As a teen I'd walk around the city with a notebook and practice observation drawing. You can practice plenty of different drawing media (pencil, crayon, ink, felt-tip pens...) for really not that much money. I should start doing this again, it was really fun!
- music - singing is free, instruments can be borrowed, shared or bought second hand. Photocopying sheet music is illegal, but...

Does it all sounds stupid and dorky? It's how I have fun. I guess if you are used to forms of entertainment that require money or equipment (or booze) it can take an effort to learn to have fun with nothing.



hey, you sound like you live at my house. we do all these things too :) but you left out gardening!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:15 pm 
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aelle wrote:
BunniesRevenge wrote:
What do you guys do for fun on the cheap? i get so bored and I am always trying to find cheap/free ways to spend my days


I remember an episode of 30 days where they try to live on minimal wage and I was so shocked that when the guy's nephews come to visit the only thing he can think of doing with them is going to the movies and eat out. Come on!

Growing up, my family had tons of ways to have fun for cheap:
- card games, board games, role playing games - it's not just for kids, it can be immensely fun if you have equally nerdy friends.
- crafts, DIY - my mother was a freegan before it had a name, and we'd spend whole weekends repurposing/decorating stuff she'd find on the streets. My cousin got a kick out of taking apart broken appliances and putting them back together.
- going to the library
- creative writing - my sister and I did a lot of collaborative writing together as kids and young teens.
- cooking, baking - then you can pack it for lunch at work and save on takeout.
- hikes, walks around the city. Always great with a dog. As a teen I'd walk around the city with a notebook and practice observation drawing. You can practice plenty of different drawing media (pencil, crayon, ink, felt-tip pens...) for really not that much money. I should start doing this again, it was really fun!
- music - singing is free, instruments can be borrowed, shared or bought second hand. Photocopying sheet music is illegal, but...

Does it all sounds stupid and dorky? It's how I have fun. I guess if you are used to forms of entertainment that require money or equipment (or booze) it can take an effort to learn to have fun with nothing.


Totally not stupid or dorky. Sounds like fun! I wish we watched less TV at our house -- we don't have cable or any TV channels, but we get in the rut of watching a lot of DVD's and streaming/downloading stuff to watch. When the TV's off, we're more likely to play games (Yahtzee is our favorite) and bake stuff, go to the library, walk the dog, play music, get crafty, etc.

Baby Nummers is doing this school thing right now called Reading Bingo, where each student has a bingo card they have to fill in by reading different genres of books. I overheard another mom at the PTO meeting last night say, "This reading bingo is costing me a fortune!" and I was confused for a minute. Huh? Then I realized she's buying books for her kid to read. Jeez, the school has a library, and there's a public library right down the street. It never occurred to me to buy books for my kid's reading bingo.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:38 pm 
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*bump*


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:42 pm 
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I was just thinking about this thread the other day. I already did lots of the stuff that was posted, but this thread really motivated me to use reusable rags instead of paper towel. Thanks ppk!

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:16 am 
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Have you all seen this article? It's about trying to get a weeks' worth of organic foods/budgeting only using food stamps. Pretty interesting!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer- ... 36758.html


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:21 pm 
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*bummpperz*


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:53 pm 
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I downgraded my phone plan so I only have a basic cell phone plan again. So far, I don't miss my cell phone.

When I move into my new place, I should be able to just use the wireless from Chico State, so I'm hoping I won't have to have internet at home anymore (which costs me around $30/month right now.) Not having a roommate will also save me some serious dough.

I love reading all of these money saving techniques. I always forget to freeze stuff. Freezing tomato paste = brilliant!

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Location: DC Metro
Today I took the Metro to school. Between the walk to the metro, the ride on the metro, and the shuttle from the metro station to school, it took two hours there and two hours-ten minutes on the way back. It normally takes me 35-45 minutes to drive each way. I think I might have saved a total of $2 round-trip, but I also read 90 pages of a book and proofread a student's paper!

Was it worth it? Probably not.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:11 pm 
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BunniesRevenge wrote:
can we add onto this thread?
What do you guys do for fun on the cheap? i get so bored and I am always trying to find cheap/free ways to spend my days


Along with the things that have been mentioned...

-A lot of libraries have passes for free or reduced price admission to museums and such. Check to see what yours has available!

-Look online to see what's going on where you live. Art openings, free movie nights at libraries/colleges, concerts in the park, free or cheap classes at community centers, cheap plays, etc.

-Outdoor things. Biking, hiking, swimming, bird-watching, and gardening all rock.

-Go to your local animal shelter! Walk the dogs and pet the kitties and small animals! The animals get some love and attention, you get an awesome afternoon out, and it's a win-win for everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Location: Florida
I am currently finishing up a fellowship, which is essentially a very low paid glorified internship. To deal I:
    Shower every other day unless I’m really dirty/sweaty
    Keep house at 62 degrees (and we still spent almost $2000 on oil this winter in a 2 bedroom house, ouch!)
    Buy in bulk
    Shop at multiple stores to save money
    Conveniently I hate coffee so that’s a cost savings right there!
    Dual flush button on toilet
    Use veggie scraps to make broth
    Groupon
    Rarely eat out (it’s hard to anyway as a vegan)
    I really wish there was a bus I could take but I live in a rural area and 18 miles from where I work and can’t find anyone to carpool with.

Thanks for all the other great ideas on this thread. I'm definitely going to start making my own bread!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Lately, I've been riding my bike! Sure, I'm dropping a bit of cash getting some work done to it this week, but it saves me roughly $80 a month in public transit expenditures.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:56 pm 
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Driving 55. It's the speed limit on my way to work, but I normally speed. I have driven the exact speed limit for over a month and I am saving real money on gas! Worth every minute.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:14 pm 
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This is an excellent thread. I'll be shortly moving to a new (larger, nicer, QUIETER) apartment with a higher rent, so although I'm already fairly frugal, there are definitely a few additional things mentioned here that I can do to offset the extra expense.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:48 pm 
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I love this thread. Figured I was pretty thrifty, but instead realized how much of an amateur I am at this!

Things I do that everyone else mentioned, too:

-Cut hair once a year and go to Cost Cutters for it.
-No cable, no internet. I tethered my BlackBerry to my computer so I can just use the internet that way. Sure, having a cell phone is expensive, but I can do anything on my phone that I could do on a computer, and I absolutely have too many doctors and such to not be able to contact/be contacted by. It's my one luxury.
-Switched to dried beans/lentils. And stopped using so much pre-packaged food. The only prepared things I buy now are tofu, bread/crackers and alternative dairy products.
-Never buy new clothes, although my tshirts are beginning to get full of holes so I might break down and get a few new ones. But I buy from shirt.woot so most of my shirts are $10 + free shipping!
-Don't go out to eat, have Netflix instead of seeing movies in theaters, check out books/movies from the library
-When I get my loan money from school, I never take the whole amount offered and I pay off the interest that accrued the previous semester
While I know that living off loans isn't the ideal, it is not possible for me to work as well as attend school and I try to make good choices about how I spend the money and how much I take out. I'm going to start trying for scholarships and grants, too.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Revival!!! Yayyyy!

Plaid Princess...I think we are about to be in the same boat with the living-off-loans thing.

I haven't been too good with saving money because my Mom has been in town visiting and she likes to go out. So the only thing I've been doing is insisting we go to places that are cheap or go to places at happy-hour only. I'm really persistent about not wasting too much money if I'm forced to go out to eat. Sometimes I feel embarrassed that I'm always the one suggesting a different, cheaper place...but whatever. It's my money!!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Location: ontario, canada.
- make everything from scratch (food...and i'm starting to make my own soap and toothpastes, too).
- i cut my own hair (and dye it. dying it def isn't a necessity, but i like it coloured and i can do a good enough job of it).
- i'm moving to the city and walking everywhere/taking the free bus (with student card) - getting rid of my car. which is dying. :(
- buy foodthings mostly in bulk.
- i don't do a lot of leisure shopping. i maybe go once or twice a year to kensington market to spend a good amount of money (like $100-200)
- only go to the bar on ladies' nights so i don't have to pay cover
- decline invitations to spend time with friends so i don't have to waste the gas driving all the way into town and home again
- recycle and reuse everything i have - turning t-shirts into pillows, etc. essentially, DIY saves money. plastic bags for trash can liners.
- no cable, no phone line.
- pick things up from freecycling...like chairs for the apartment i'm moving into
- shower once every second to third day, unless i have to be somewhere
- no fancy shiitake in my life. i don't need to get my nails done or hair did or anything did.
- paint on top of old paintings of mine so i don't have to buy new canvas + stretchers
- i stopped washing my car a couple of years ago. well, i sometimes hose it down and scrub in the driveway, but that's about it.
- borrow books from the library, along with movies and music.
- i don't buy cleaning products; i use vinegar and baking soda.
- don't eat out very often, i always make things at home (like lattes or teas, etc)
- use the divacup
- i only drink tap water (plus it tastes better and i like room temperature water)

thanks for starting this thread. there are sp many good ideas here, you clever forkers.
just have to say, though, i'm amazed that so many of you manage to spend so little on food every month.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:43 am 
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-I buy most of my spices in bulk from a local Indian market. NOTHING in the store is priced, but whenever I've been rung up the price has been crazy-reasonable, so I've never complained. I've gotten a little over a pound of spices, a box of henna powder, incense, and enough ramen, frozen dosas, and frozen samosas to feed me for 5 days all for about $12. Score!

-I don't buy clothing. I don't see the point in buying more if what I have is still perfectly fine.

-I've always lived in apartments with many other people. Given the rents around here, I can't afford to live any other way. It does save in a lot of ways though. Bills for internet and utilities get split up, we have a lot of communal items that we don't need to buy individually (oils, spices, cleaning supplies, cat food, litter...)


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:32 am 
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If I want my hair cut, I cut it myself. I'm growing it at the moment, anyway, but I still cut my own bangs.

I rarely go out/eat out, etc.

If I want to go to a gig, I try to exploit my status as a rookie music journalist to get in for free.

I make from scratch almost everything that I can make from scratch, tofu not included, as that shiitake seems too complicated.

On the rare occasion that I buy myself clothes, they come from ebay and normally cost no more than £1 - 2.

Most of my tights have holes or ladders in, but I wear them anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:43 am 
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I do a few things other people do like make my own bread, make coffee in a french press at home or work rather than buying cups of coffee, don't own a car and try to walk as many places as I can or cadge lifts from friends.

I didn't see sprouting beans mentioned? I buy dried beans in bulk and things like lentils and mung beans sprout really easily and are so much cheaper than buying beansprouts, plus sprouting vitamins them up! I also soak almonds before I eat them which makes them bulk up to about double the size so they go further and I think they taste better like that too.

A few of my friends live in walking distance. Although we do sometimes go to pubs and to see bands and therefore end up spending money, we also invite each other round for drinks/meals/to watch a DVD.

I sometimes brew my own ginger beer, as root ginger and lemons are often very cheap in the market and I buy sugar in bulk for this purpose plus all the cake and cookie baking I do. The ginger beer can get quite alcoholic, I once had one pint of some that had been fermenting for a while, drank it, poured a second... when I woke up I was curled up in the corner of the room.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:26 pm 
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semiautomatic wrote:
- i don't buy cleaning products; i use vinegar and baking soda.


I really need to do this. Does anyone know a good website that will show me how to clean using just stuff that's around the kitchen? I know vinegar is super good for killing bacteria, but what kind do I use? What dilution?


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:40 pm 
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My job is 45 minutes from my house and I've been couch surfing so I've been spending too much money on food and gas. Reading this thread gave me some great ideas on ways to cut back though! One thing I already do is cut my own hair which saves a lot of money, and I've stopped dyeing it so I can get away with using cheap shampoo and conditioner instead of color protection salon products. Chris and I have been watching things on Netflix instead of going out to the movies. I'm teaching myself how to sew and making Luna cat toys from fabric scraps. My belts keep breaking so I've been tying strings around my belt loops. One of my hobbies is photography and since it's all digital it's something fun and free to do.

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