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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:47 am 
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Location: between a rock and a hard place
-Most of our clothes are bought at outlets or secondhand.
-My younger son gets mostly hand-me-downs from my older son.
-I use veggie peels, ends, and random veggies close to the end of their edible lives to make veggie broth.
-I do buy Almond Breeze and (usually Publix brand) soymilk for drinking (and I try to find it on sale or use a coupon when I can), but I reconstitute soymilk powder for just about any milk called for in recipes. Of course, there are recipes where water works just as well, and in those cases I will sub water.
-I shop around for good deals when I have the time to go to more than one store.
-Lately, I've been trying to use what's in the pantry and only go shopping for things like fresh produce or tofu as needed, or when I run out of basic ingredients.
-I rarely go out to eat and have been bringing lunches to work to further prevent this from happening.
-I make my own hummus and a lot of my own bread. I still buy pita because it never works out in my oven (last time I tried, it turned into something that looked and tasted more like ciabatta rolls - I think it's because my oven won't get hot enough without turning it on broil), and I tend to buy tortillas as well.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:54 am 
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OK, this is the thread that convinced me that Desdemona is right. Whoever is playing the edgy, provocative, "katiecarlos" role, you're doing a fine job. Don't break character - this is too much fun!

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:03 am 
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Location: Land of Maple and Beavers
jordanpattern wrote:
PP, the only thing I can really think of is trying to eat more seasonally. In Canada, particularly in the winter, food, particularly produce, is more expensive. However, if you can try to base your meals more around cheaper ingredients (beets, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, cabbage), you can probably shave some money off your grocery bill. If you start really looking for it, you'll see the things that get cheaper or more expensive as the seasons change.

That said, I think Mike and I spend about the same amount as you guys. We eat well, and we do get some stuff that isn't just the basics, but it's also cheaper here for us for produce.


Definitely, we could stand to incorporate more seasonal produce into our routine! Most produce right now is just outrageously priced, which is unfortunate because that's just not something we can totally cut out. And although I hate to admit it, I do pick up cartons of strawberries and things like that which are shipped from god knows where, they're a nice treat to find in my lunch on cold winter days. I'm trying to work it out in my mind if it makes sense to drive the 25-30 minutes to the good farmer's market where the produce is slightly less expensive, or whether the gas to get there would equal it out.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:11 am 
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Aired her grievances, lost the feat of strength
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Yay for thriftiness!

My husband's the only one with a job at the mo' so to make that work we try to be as thrifty as possible...

I reuse jars / cartons / ziplock bags as many times as possible.

All of our glasses are old jam jars.

We use handkerchiefs & cloth napkins (although this was primarily for environmental reasons)

I make my own stock.

I'm learning to sew so I can mend the clothes that are full of holes (The other day I sewed up 3 t-shirts my husband was going to throw away!) & I'll be able to make cool stuff like cushion covers instead of buying new.

I'm making all the Christmas cards I got into gift tags so I don't need to buy any next year.

I have my tbsp's of tomato puree measured out & frozen in the freezer.

I only run the washing machine at night when electricity is cheapest. When our old washer/drier broke we only bought a washing machine & we air dry our clothes.

We have this cool shower head that uses 1/2 the amount of water as a normal shower.

I cut & dye mine & my husbands hair...I've never actually been to the hairdressers!

I just got myself a National Railcard to save 1/3rd on train fares.

I love this thread, I want to start making my own tofu & I need to use the library more!

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:18 am 
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Should Spend More Time Helping the Animals
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Location: Boston, MA
jordanpattern wrote:
If you just let your hair grow, it gets really long and eventually starts to get food caught in it when you eat, like a giant beard!


It's been a year since I got my (already long) hair cut, so now it's just ridiculous. Almost every afternoon I look down and there's oatmeal in it. So many days I'm like, JESUS CHRIST! HOW DOES IT GET THERE! (Obviously I know how it got there, but it gets my riled up every damn time.)

We keep the heat at 60*, and I walk around in a slanket and two hoodies most of the time. We would turn the heat off, but we're afraid the pipes would freeze.

Now that husband has taken away my fear of the food processor and I have The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions I'm going to try to make more of my own foods rather than buying meat analogs (which I should cut out anyway).

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:40 am 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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Rowan wrote:
Oh gosh, doggle medication! Bries drops are 100.00$ a month. I'm tempted to ask my doc to prescribe me extra eye medication to give to her (as we both have glaucoma). Sadly that would probably be less than legal.


is she on travatan? that's one of the drops my dog with glaucoma gets. we get it from canadadrugpharmacy.com and it's 1/3 the price!

i definitely spend way more money on my dogs than on myself. ways i save money: all my clothes (except underwear purchases once every few years) are either from thrift stores or homemade (out of thrift store fabric or unraveled sweater yarn), i cut my own hair, make my own cleaning products, hardly ever eat out, and keep my thermostat at 55 degrees. my life would be all suffering if it weren't for my sweet warm snuggly dogs and partner!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:44 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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ndpittman wrote:
jordanpattern wrote:
If you just let your hair grow, it gets really long and eventually starts to get food caught in it when you eat, like a giant beard!


It's been a year since I got my (already long) hair cut, so now it's just ridiculous. Almost every afternoon I look down and there's oatmeal in it. So many days I'm like, JESUS CHRIST! HOW DOES IT GET THERE! (Obviously I know how it got there, but it gets my riled up every damn time.)


Yes, you get me! It drives me nuts. I'm getting mine chopped off on the 10th (I found a hairdresser with a great portfolio but who started her own place and keeps costs down by getting clients to wash their own hair and doing away with froufy treatments and stuff - so I'm still keeping the cost relatively low), and I'm pretty stoked not to have to worry about it. Plus, I'm pretty sure the money I'll save on conditioner will justify the cost of the cut in about a month.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:50 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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I always ~think I'm doing things frugally, but I'm not always so good about it (probably because i compare myself to the other people i know, and next to them i'm practically a monk). Now that i'm about to be living on my own on a serious budget, I'm planning to:
Stop using so many canned beans and use all the dried one i have.
Get a rack to dry clothes in my apartment instead of paying for the dryer, and hand wash my skivvys.
Stop buying lunches, and take leftovers.
Institute a baking day, and stop buying bread and cookies.
Take a (free!) class in urban foraging. I hate seeing fruits and berries falling and going to waste on sidewalks because i'm not sure if they're edible. I may start offering to pick people's fruit trees for them in exchange for some of the haul!

I already get all my clothes and shoes second hand (or free, often a result of a friend with a bit of an impulse buying problem), ride a bike as long as the roads aren't too scary, use a diva cup, and make all my holey socks into rags (the best for cleaning the floor, it's like being in a cartoon!), and visit the library often.

good thread, i have so many new ideas now....especially the TBSP's of frozen tomato paste, that's brilliant.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:53 am 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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Posts: 945
Location: Nashville
I go to the library every week for books and dvd's.
I don't have cable, and use my netflix constantly
don't have a landline, just use my cell.
luckily, I work in a spa/salon, so my nails and hair are free/barter
Kroger marks their almost expired food down daily and I go several times a week and plan meals around deals


love this thread!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:53 am 
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Baking In The Flavor
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I don't get my haircut as often as I need to
I dye my own hair at home because salons are too expensive
I go 3-4 different grocery stores so I can buy things at the cheapest price
I buy a lot of bulk items
We don't have a home phone, we just use our cell phones
We only pay for super basic cable (which is like 10 channels)
I read the news and do crosswords online instead of subscribing to the newspaper
I try to plan weekly menus around items I already have in my kitchen so I don't have to spend a lot of $ on groceries
I bring my own lunch to school
We hang our clothes on a drying rack instead of putting them in the dryer (except in the winter, because everything freezes)
We rarely eat in restaurants

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:57 am 
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kp pickles wrote:
I hate seeing fruits and berries falling and going to waste on sidewalks because i'm not sure if they're edible. I may start offering to pick people's fruit trees for them in exchange for some of the haul!


I was taking a walk in a nice neighborhood the other day and I saw many citrus trees so heavy with fruit that their branches were sagging. Thanks to Fallenfruit.com, most of the fruit over-hanging the fence was gone...but the fruit on the other side was unpicked.

There should be a website where people who have fruit trees can post that they welcome people to share in their harvest. Or it would be great if they just picked ALL their fruit, and put their leftovers in a basket by the road with a sign. Then they could post online for people to help themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:00 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
kp pickles wrote:
I hate seeing fruits and berries falling and going to waste on sidewalks because i'm not sure if they're edible. I may start offering to pick people's fruit trees for them in exchange for some of the haul!


I was taking a walk in a nice neighborhood the other day and I saw many citrus trees so heavy with fruit that their branches were sagging. Thanks to Fallenfruit.com, most of the fruit over-hanging the fence was gone...but the fruit on the other side was unpicked.

There should be a website where people who have fruit trees can post that they welcome people to share in their harvest. Or it would be great if they just picked ALL their fruit, and put their leftovers in a basket by the road with a sign. Then they could post online for people to help themselves.

check craigslist! i was looking at the CL up here last week and saw where a few people had posted that they had fruit trees that needed picking and you could take as much as you wanted!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Another thing...borrowing!

I learned my lesson about 6 months ago when I went to the store and bought a shovel and gardening gloves. Then I found out our landlord had tons of gardening tools. He also has a hose in the back of the apartment that can be used for washing cars!

Then the other day, I was thinking of going to Radioshack to buy a USB cable to update my Ipod. I remembered my new "borrow when you can policy" and asked around my house to see if anyone had one. My roommate brought his out for me! I almost blew money for something I could have borrowed. It's surprising how easily my mind slipped into a "I need to buy one" mode.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Level 7 Vegan
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littlebear wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
kp pickles wrote:
I hate seeing fruits and berries falling and going to waste on sidewalks because i'm not sure if they're edible. I may start offering to pick people's fruit trees for them in exchange for some of the haul!


I was taking a walk in a nice neighborhood the other day and I saw many citrus trees so heavy with fruit that their branches were sagging. Thanks to Fallenfruit.com, most of the fruit over-hanging the fence was gone...but the fruit on the other side was unpicked.

There should be a website where people who have fruit trees can post that they welcome people to share in their harvest. Or it would be great if they just picked ALL their fruit, and put their leftovers in a basket by the road with a sign. Then they could post online for people to help themselves.

check craigslist! i was looking at the CL up here last week and saw where a few people had posted that they had fruit trees that needed picking and you could take as much as you wanted!


Great! I'll give it look. Thanks littlebear!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:07 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
kp pickles wrote:
I hate seeing fruits and berries falling and going to waste on sidewalks because i'm not sure if they're edible. I may start offering to pick people's fruit trees for them in exchange for some of the haul!


I was taking a walk in a nice neighborhood the other day and I saw many citrus trees so heavy with fruit that their branches were sagging. Thanks to Fallenfruit.com, most of the fruit over-hanging the fence was gone...but the fruit on the other side was unpicked.

There should be a website where people who have fruit trees can post that they welcome people to share in their harvest. Or it would be great if they just picked ALL their fruit, and put their leftovers in a basket by the road with a sign. Then they could post online for people to help themselves.


Maybe you can put up a note in a local store. You could either offer to pick some fruit and then make them jam or something in return. Or it could be a list for people with fruit trees to sign up on if they are willing to let people come and have some.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:10 pm 
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BananaNut reminded me: I have subscribe to the NY Times, but at the Education rate, so it's a fraction of the cost. Of course if I read online it'd be free, but I'm in publishing and feel the need to support print for some reason. Seriously though, I get 7 days for $28 a month.

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 Post subject: Shameless Money Saving Tips
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:13 pm 
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While this is the antithesis of "Consume!" I thought it was the most appropriate place for everyone to share their weird, shameless money saving ways.

Here are my best:

1) Buy vintage linen handkerchiefs on Ebay for like $7 a bag, never buy tissues again. Look adorable when you pull out a lace trimmed handkerchief out of your pocket.

2) Coconut Oil. It replaced my Earthbalance, Eye cream, lotion, neosporin and, I suppose, any laxatives I might have needed. Apparently it supports your immune system too. All for one huge $10 jar.

3) Avoid sales. This may sound silly but sales lead to spending money on things I wouldn't normally buy. I just wait until I actually need something, then look around for that one particular thing. (Obviously this isn't full proof and I have way too many impulse purchases, but I think it works mostly)

4) Strategic gifting. What did my parents get me for Christmas? Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, socks etc. etc. everything I would normally buy, but now I don't have to AND they got me the nice stuff cause it was a present : )


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 Post subject: Re: Shameless Money Saving Tips
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:14 pm 
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I'm going to combine this with the current money saving thread!

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That commercial didn't make me want to go out and buy Dove, but this thread did make me sniff my armpits. They smell like apricot. - designedtobekind


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 Post subject: Re: Shameless Money Saving Tips
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Level 7 Vegan
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Olivia wrote:
.

2) Coconut Oil. It replaced my Earthbalance, Eye cream, lotion, neosporin and, I suppose, any laxatives I might have needed. Apparently it supports your immune system too. All for one huge $10 jar.


My old roomie left two jars of Coconut oil. I didn't know it was so versatile! I should of thought of the lotion thing, though. I love the smell of coconut!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:27 pm 
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baps wrote:
Reading this thread makes me realise I am rubbish at being thrifty and I must try harder, especially since I've had to take a massive paycut this year!


Seriously. This thread has made me realize how not good at saving money I am. I need to step it up!


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
There are a lot of good ideas in here!
Things I already do:
No car (huge one and makes it so I can afford so much more)
No cable/netflix/any sort of tv
Oatmeal and tea for breakfast (used to be a bagel and latte)
Stay in for a bottle of wine with a friend instead of going to the bar
Really plan out what clothes I need rather than mindlessly shopping and mend as much as possible
Cook as much as possible, but realize that convenience food from Trader Joe's or WF is cheaper than eating out


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Level 7 Vegan
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Pi. wrote:
Cook as much as possible, but realize that convenience food from Trader Joe's or WF is cheaper than eating out


Yes! I'm starting to realize that while it's all good to soak your beans and buy produce from the ethnic market for cheap down the street and plan meals like that, some days you are just not going to be able to do those things. And those are the days you should have something easy and frozen in your fridge or freezer. Otherwise, you end up having to get food from a restaurant or you go shopping really hungry and make poor choices.

I made the mistake of not eating at home before going to a movie (matinee, of course). I got so hungry right before the movie started that we had to pop into a trendy diner next door to the theater. I ordered their house salad ($4) and it was a small bowl with only lettuce. I'm not kidding. No carrot shreds, no beets, nothing. It was supposed to have croutons, but I had to omit those. I wanted to cry because I couldn't believe I was about to spend $4 on a tiny bowl of lettuce.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:44 pm 
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-I use coupons. I have a huge stash of them I keep in my coupon binder. When there is an amazing deal on something I buy a bunch and stockpile.
-I get biannual haircuts
-We only use dried beans, not canned
-We make our own veggie broth from vegetable scraps
-I almost always take leftovers to work for lunch, even though almost everyone else in my office buys lunch from the cafeteria and it makes me stick out like a sore thumb
-We don't have a car and rely on public transportation and/or walking
-I use the library for books, the only books I buy are cookbooks that I know I will use a lot
-No landline
-Only eat out once a week, usually with a certificate from restaurant.com (if you wait for a 80% off sale, you can nab a $25 certificate to a restaurant for $2!)
-We hardly ever go shopping for clothes/shoes/etc

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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graffitipassion wrote:
I made the mistake of not eating at home before going to a movie (matinee, of course). I got so hungry right before the movie started that we had to pop into a trendy diner next door to the theater. I ordered their house salad ($4) and it was a small bowl with only lettuce. I'm not kidding. No carrot shreds, no beets, nothing. It was supposed to have croutons, but I had to omit those. I wanted to cry because I couldn't believe I was about to spend $4 on a tiny bowl of lettuce.


Along those lines... I never thought of it as a money saver, but I almost always have a mini-Cliff bar in my bag. It's saved me from having to get a desperation "salad" so many times. Or it keeps me from eating chips out of the vending machine at school. I bought a box of them over the summer and am still on the same box.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:04 pm 
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I've cut my own hair for years. I haven't paid for a haircut in at least 12 years.
I make sure I waste 0 food. If I buy it, I eat it. My grocery bill is usually $20 or less per week.
I don't have netflix or cable. I don't go to the movies.
I am not using heat this winter unless the temps drop to around 20 degrees and I have to worry about pipes freezing. It is cold but I am surviving and saving about $150 a month.
I air dry all my clothes.
I make my own laundry and dish detergent. I only use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. Good for the environment and the budget.
I stock up on stuff that is on sale if I know I will use it, like cat litter or canned tomatoes. I don't but fancy ingredients most of the time. Even if the tofurky links are on sale I rarely purchase because I can make stuff for cheaper.
I don't buy any plastic bags, ziploc or garbage. I use paper bags I get at the store for trash and use tupperware for any food storage. I try to keep a zero plastic bag policy in my house.
I don't replace electronics unless they break. I used my old cell phone for 6 years and still haven't upgraded to anything with internet capabilities or anything else. I only use my phone for phone calls.

I wish very much that I could live in a sort of commune with others and have a very eco-friendly house with practically zero waste and be self sufficient. As I have gotten older I don't like having stuff and don't enjoy spending money on material goods.

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