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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:53 pm 
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We don't watch TV so don't pay for a TV license or cable.
I wash all the plastic boxes that tofu comes in and use them for lunchboxes or freezing portions of food.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:15 pm 
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I hang my laundry to dry.
I buy clothes second-hand, and I seldom buy shoes. I help my girlfriends when they clean-out their closets and raid the goodwill pile before it goes to Sally Anne. I wear the clothes that I own till they fall apart.
I use Envirocloths to clean house so that I don't ever have to buy cleaning solution. I clean with vinegar and baking soda if I need them.
I use a Diva Cup so that I don't ever have to buy girlie products.
I don't buy birthday gifts for anyone with whom I don't share DNA. I don't buy/give greeting cards - my mom is into card-making, and she'll give me a homemade card if I need to send one. When I have the foresight, I'll knit/crochet something useful for a friend or bake cookies for them as a gift.
I buy yarn at thrift stores.
I cash-in air-miles for gift cards to buy myself books/treats/whatever. I also loiter at the library, and I borrow books from friends.
I buy in bulk and cook my own beans. I seldom buy anything pre-made or processed.
I eat lots of soup!
I cancelled my TV service.
I buy CDs/DVDs second hand, and trade them in for store-credit at the entertainment exchange when I'm done with them.
I keep my thermostat at the lowest possible setting for comfort, and I'll put on two more sweaters and socks before even considering turning it up.
Decorating is probably the lowest item on my priority list, but if I do (re)decorate, I'll buy already-tinted paint from the discount pile and accessories from the second-hand store.
I have been known to buy a sweater at a thrift shop just to unravel it and re-use the yarn to make something I like.
I park WAY out of my way if a 10-20 minute walk will save me money on parking.

Hmmm... that's all I can think of right now.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:31 am 
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I forgot to mention that I don't own a car. Living in the area of Denver I'm in is super convenient to getting around. I can walk to downtown and have lots of options for bus/lightrail. AND with my student ID I get a bus pass. Sure I pay for it with fees, but since it's not "out of pocket" it's basically like a free thing.

For fun, I do attend concerts and such, but most of the bands I like are in the $50 and under ticket price (most are actually under $20 bucks). This year I've been really trying to be choosy about who I'm seeing in concert, and have missed a lot of shows due to lack of funds.

I have the same Hello Kitty bathroom accessories from when I was in my 20s.

I share food costs with my neighbors. They love me to cook for them, so they buy a lot of the groceries I use while preparing meals, and then I get to cook loads and share with them. They always send me home with the leftovers, too.

Always bring my own bottle from home to fill up places instead of buying single-serving water. It also helps me avoid things like soda and sugar-packed juice. I do buy bottled water, but it's $1.68 for a 2.5 gallon jug and that lasts me a week since I'm rarely home.

I attend day program and they have a meal card you can buy for $7 that allows you access to lunch and dinner for a month. Of course, they rarely ever have anything I can eat, but when they do I take advantage of it.

I don't buy magazines or newspapers, I just read online content.

Also for fun, I like to walk around downtown and people watch. I take a book, find a good spot in a coffee house, order a tea (my other splurge) and spend a couple of hours just gazing around.

I haven't bought new shoes in two years and I keep reusing my frames, just putting new lenses in. I invested in a really good pair of Ray Bans three years ago, and they still look brand new.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:30 am 
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Location: ontario, canada.
graffitipassion wrote:
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?



i have a DIY zine/book i picked up at microcosm in portland. i can copy out the basics for you if you want, like toilet, counters, walls, floors, sink. (unless you've already found a good site)

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:40 am 
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Location: ontario, canada.
but really, to scrub the toilet bowl, you can combine 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 vinegar - she also recommends some drops of tea tree oil - and combine it all and pour into the toilet and scrub. this recipe is one-time use since baking soda and vinegar make VOLCANOES. :D

to clean sinks you need 1/2 vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda, which you add to a wet sink and scrub.

to clean tile/vinyl floors you make a concoction of 1 cup liquid castile soap, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 6 cups warm water and 10 drops tea tree essential oil. you can mix it all together and store in a plastic jug for later use. if you've got wood flooring (which i do) you just mix equal parts vinegar and water and she recommends 20 drops peppermint oil, mix it all up in a spray bottle and use it sparingly, working on small sections as you go.

if you have to clean a carpet, you can mix together equal parts borax and baking soda, sprinkle it over the carpet dry, and then vacuum it up.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:02 pm 
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I have been dirt poor recently.

-Walk or bike instead of driving or taking the bus.
-Reuse all of the bags I get my bulk items in for lunch bags, covering stuff in the fridge, the small garbage can in the bathroom, etc.
-I turn off the heater breakers in my house so the heat doesn't automatically come on when it gets cold and so that I will probably just get a sweater instead of going to turn on the breaker.
-Take limited showers. I set my phone alarm and bring it into the bathroom for about a 4 minute shower.
-Use vinegar, baking soda and lemons to clean. In the summer when I have herbs growing, I put a few sprigs in the jug to make it smell pretty.
-Buy as much as I can in bulk. When I go shopping I always check the bulk bins for items first. For example, I never knew you could buy baking powder in bulk for next to nothing! A word of warning though: most items are cheaper in bulk but always compare the price by the pound just to be sure.
-Save veggie scraps for soup stock.
-Buy processed foods less often. They make my grocery bill expensive!
-Any other unusable veggie scraps go to the compost bin. Free awesome dirt!
-Grow veggies! Research which are cheapest to grow. For example: onions, garlic and potatoes are some of the cheapest things at the store to buy, so it might not make sense to spend your resources growing those veggies. Also food stamps can be used for seeds!
-Make a rain barrel. Mine is really low tech. Near the gutter of my house, I put a large bucket with a mesh screen unsecured on top. I lift it up and scoop out water to use on my plants.
-Use coupons at stores and plan your meals so you aren't tempted to eat out.
-Repair clothes. I don't have a sewing machine but you'd be surprised what you can fix easily by hand. This includes altering stuff that you would otherwise not wear or buy a replacement for.
-Return cans and bottles if your state allows it.
-Make your own nut milk with a blender and cheesecloth.
-Hang dry clothes in the summer.
-Cut open tubes of things (toothpaste) to get the last bits. Put a little water in containers to loosen the remnants (dish soap, stuff in bottles and cans, etc).
-Don't use dryer sheets, I've found I really don't need them.
-Check craigslist for free stuff or keep your eyes open when you're walking about. I have found great stuff in free boxes!
-Check to see if someone has something you need before buying or renting it. For example: I needed a weed-eater, a friend had one that I borrowed and I baked them some cookies that probably cost $1-2.
-Sell your stuff you don't use. Check out consignment stores and ask what they are interested in buying right now so you don't bring a box of stuff they won't take. Some bookstores buy or give credit for used books.
-Roll your own coins instead of using coinstar. The papers for rolling them are free at my bank.
-Just buy 1-ply toilet paper! Also try using a certain amount of toilet paper squares when you pee (for girls I guess). You might be surprised that you use so much without thinking about it.
-If you wear glasses and know your prescription, get your glasses here:http://www.zennioptical.com/
-Invite people over for a movie or scrabble instead of going out. Make everyone chip-in for booze. Make snacks.
-Make your own stuff in general. I find jam, tomato sauce and seitan to be easy and money saving. Make recipes with simple ingredients that are cheap.
-Bring your own coffee instead of stopping at coffee shops. You can reuse jars to hold coffee and smoothies.

That's a lot, but every little bit helps.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:45 am 
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i'd like to know everyone's opinion on renting versus buying a place.
do you believe it's cheaper to rent, (when your utilities and everything are included), or to buy a place? i know that over time you'd own the place, and could sell it off, but when you rent, the landlord usually takes care of everything that needs to be fixed, and it enables you to not accumulate as much stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:23 am 
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semiautomatic wrote:
i'd like to know everyone's opinion on renting versus buying a place.
do you believe it's cheaper to rent, (when your utilities and everything are included), or to buy a place? i know that over time you'd own the place, and could sell it off, but when you rent, the landlord usually takes care of everything that needs to be fixed, and it enables you to not accumulate as much stuff.



http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/busi ... lator.html

Be sure to try different settings for Buying, Renting, and Other in the advanced settings.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:36 am 
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Location: Chicago
-No TV/netflix. I watch anything on my computer, and internet is the only bill every month because all utilities are included at my apartment.
-No car. Free bus pass from school, or bike.
-Buy whichever milk is cheapest/on sale. the half gallons are almost always much better deals than the little boxes.
-Buying fresh herbs at the store is SO expensive...I'm growing an herb garden in my kitchen. Some of my plants are in the big tubs of Earth Balance.
-Try to acquire free and discount coupons for some food items as much as possible. A couple vegan friends here are amazing at coupon clipping...I probably need to learn a thing or two.
-Write to companies inquiring about free samples. This is easiest when you have a food blog.
-A whole foods gift card and earth balance coupons are currently paying for my groceries. It's going to be a sad sad day when it is gone (which will be soon).
-All my furniture was free to very cheap. The most expensive things were my bookshelf and couch, both around $20.
-Rent may be slightly more for living alone than with roommates, but I figure all the therapy after dealing with roommates for a long time would cost more?
-Sell school textbooks back to Amazon for giftcards, then spend that money on something that I need.
-Make my own coffee in the middle of the day, only buy it if it's the middle of the day and I absolutely need caffeine, and I probably buy it with spare change.
-Set quarters aside until I collect enough to do laundry.
-Cook, most of the time. But still go and eat out every so often. What's the point of living in a vegan-friendly city if I don't go and take advantage of it?
-Never buy bottled water, napkins. Tap water tastes good and I don't have to pay for it.
-Use public transportation and stay with PPKers when traveling.
-Transfer whatever money I have left at the end of the month in my checking account to savings, so I can save up and afford plane tickets/larger purchases.
-Diva cup
-The place I get my hair cut is $8-10. And my hairdresser is awesome and vegan.
-The bunny won't even play with toys to begin with, so I give him free toys like cardboard boxes and toilet paper tubes.

Excluding rent/internet, I get by on ~$100-125/month with some left over. And try to get free groceries as much as possible if family is visiting.

/poor student cookbook author with little income these days.

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Last edited by AutumnVegan on Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:44 am 
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You guys are inspiring. I could do a lot to reduce costs and I really want to.
semi, I tend to be of the belief that owning is a better idea in the long run! We really want to buy a place...it's the saving up a down payment that's a bisque. Those $0 down mortgages are scary.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:03 am 
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semiautomatic wrote:
i'd like to know everyone's opinion on renting versus buying a place.
do you believe it's cheaper to rent, (when your utilities and everything are included), or to buy a place? i know that over time you'd own the place, and could sell it off, but when you rent, the landlord usually takes care of everything that needs to be fixed, and it enables you to not accumulate as much stuff.


'it depends' I think. In some markets, there is a vast difference between renting and buying, in the other ones, not so much. Also real estate tends to appreciate over time while your mortgage stays relatively the same vs rent going up. Also, I'm not sure if it is just where I've lived but in general your utilities aren't included with rent, they are a separate bill.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:29 am 
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Thanks semiautomatic! I'm going to go out today and get some vinegar and baking soda.

Also, he's a little blip about the calculator that root posted, but it's been mapped out with pretty little colors for convenience.

http://lifehacker.com/#!5742713/trulias ... g-decision


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:05 pm 
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Location: ontario, canada.
linanil wrote:
'it depends' I think. In some markets, there is a vast difference between renting and buying, in the other ones, not so much. Also real estate tends to appreciate over time while your mortgage stays relatively the same vs rent going up. Also, I'm not sure if it is just where I've lived but in general your utilities aren't included with rent, they are a separate bill.


thanks for your reply! i guess it's different everywhere. where i live, utilities are usually included. if not, it's usually just hydro that is a separate bill (but of course you pay extra for internet and cable and landline). i'm moving out of my parents' and into an apartment soon - i guess i'll see how well i like renting.

graffiti - good luck with your new cleaning supplies. :>
you can also use those things to make shampoo. and you can cook with them! awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:32 am 
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newsie15 wrote:
jessica_weirdly wrote:
I just started the no-poo (no shampoo) routine a few months ago. My hair looks really good (it is past shoulder length btw). So I use apple cider vinegar, put in a spray bottle. And baking soda. The baking soda gets rid of grease, the vinegar makes my hair shiny. So this will be as cheap as I can get vinegar and baking soda. If you consider doing this, though, you should know that your hair WILL look like crepe for about two weeks or so when you begin. I'm an art student so no big deal there.


How much like crepe? I am almost out of my J/A/S/O/N's shampoo and I wanted to try the baking soda bit. (I heard the vinegar can make your hair greasier, so only apply to strands.) But see, I work. in an office. where I have to dress nice (no sweatpants, to my dismay.)

Thanks.


This is a little late to the party I guess, but have you thought about just using the shampoo less and less often? I still use shampoo but only wash my hair every 4 days. It actually never occurred to me (hair always seemed to get grimy after a day) until the stylist at my generally product-pushing salon said I was washing my hair too much! And I was like, wait, that's a thing? So I went down to every other day, and at first it was tough but your hair does adjust to the frequency you wash it. I am buying waaay less shampoo and conditioner these days, and my hair looks about the same. Plus it saves a ton of time showering, and probably hot water as well, and I only have to dry or straighten it every few days instead of every day. My hair is probably healthier too. Win win win..


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:40 am 
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Honestly, I do no poo sometimes and my hair doesn't look like crepe when I do but I either use a very tiny amount of ACV or I used brewed tea. I like using tea as a rinsing agent. If you have blonde hair, I think lemon juice is recommended as a rinsing agent.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:59 am 
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in the jbacca household we do the following:

-rags from old undies and cloth diapers
-home made pads
-garden
-dumpster diving freaks
-recycling center junkies
-clothing exchanges-these are AWESOME! we get together with friends, bring our old stuff, exchange for what we need, and donate the rest to charity. i think i've spent $150 on clothing in the past FIVE YEARS.
exchange kids clothes for credit at a reuse children's clothing shop
-2nd friday each month is family night at rec center
-my rabbi works with community grocers/restaurants and gets good produce that would otherwise get thrown away and saves me a CSA style box once a month. i have to clean all of it, but it keeps us stocked with good food
-we're poor so we have an awesome food pantry. i haven't had to buy any tofu in like 4 years.
-i use vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap to clean just about everything.
-i look for abandoned lots and dig up ferrel bulbs and plants for the yard
-i collect fallen limestone chunks from the highway for landscaping
-i get garlic scapes from an abandoned field
every fall i collect hickory nuts during my walks. shelling them are a pain, but nuts are expensive
-i quit buying veganaise and make my own from "vegan on the cheap"
- i pick my nose (JK! got your attention, right?)


PS-about housing: we purchased our home with the USDA rural housing act. we have a fixed super low interest rate for life. our payments are $545 a month for a 2br/1ba house on 1 acre of land. HUD has some good deals, but you need to know your shiitake about fixing up such a home. this one just needed cosmetic stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 10:37 pm 
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lubimiller wrote:
I never buy plastic containers anymore cause the chinese place I order from uses places containers. I have about 20 of them now.

Same here!

I also reuse containers all the time. I stole my roommates giant coffee container from the recycling pile, cleaned it, and it's now a cookie jar! Of course, all the cookies taste faintly of coffee . . . but they're chocolate cookies, so it kind of works.

I also made my own sugar scrub instead of buying it for 12+ dollars. It's so easy . . . mix 4 parts granulated sugar (don't use turbinado unless for a foot scrub, it's too rough for the rest of your body) with 1 part oil (most oils are fine, but I used coconut oil, because it's an excellent moisturizer). I added a couple of drops of essential oil and put it in an old jam jar. Even with using coconut oil, which is maybe 10 bucks a jar, I can get several sugar scrubs out of one jar, so one jar of homemade sugar scrub costs maybe 3 bucks.

I have been known to steal sugar packets from coffee shops.

I hardly ever buy alcohol.

No bottled water, I've got the Britta pitcher.

Growing my own herbs.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:39 pm 
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When we were in NYC, I refused to buy water. I brought my new Brita bottle (which has a filter on it; I got it with a coupon and on sale at Target.) I filled it up every time I saw a water fountain and with the filter, I could have used it with the sinks! With prices such as $3.50 for vitamin water or $5 for a cold tea, I was happy for this. (Had to get the tea, passed on the vitamin water.)


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:16 am 
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Guys, I bought a mop. I spent 11 whole dollars.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:16 am 
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I'm sorry to have betrayed this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:19 am 
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How Bourgeois Jordan. Coming here bragging about your fancy pants mop!

Just kidding of course....I have a mop but it doesn't like me.

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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Any other new tips? I moved and it seems like my spending is out of control. I REALLY want to pay off my student loan debt.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Ooh, I just noticed this thread. I love stuff like this. Lots of great tips in here! I'm sure many of mine have already been mentioned, but this is what I do to save money:

-I don't drive. I haven't driven or owned a car in nearly ten years, in fact! Right now I live in NYC which is exceptionally convenient for non-drivers, but during the last decade I have lived in smaller cities with less comprehensive public transit so I walked a lot as well. Even now I've been known to walk a couple miles to save on a subway fare.

-I cut my own hair, and back when I used to dye it, I did that by myself too.

-We don't have a cable TV subscription. We do still have Netflix, and between that, the over-the-air channels we get with an antenna, and other free TV streaming sites online (like Hulu) we have more than we could ever really watch. Plus we can check out DVDs from the public library for free.

-I very rarely buy new books these days. Obviously the library has loads, and now the NYPL has a huge e-books section which I can download from home (no wasting a subway trip to go to the library). I know that many other public libraries also offer e-books too.

-All of my clothes come from thrift stores or clearance racks. I keep an eye on online clearance sales too, because once in a while an online store will have a clearance sale combined with free shipping combined with a percentage discount etc. and you'll get some really great deals. For example, the other day I got a pair of sneakers for $3.49.

-I shop at multiple stores for the best deals and clip coupons. Also, a lot of stores (like CVS, Rite Aid etc) have rewards programs where you get a coupon for a few $$ to take off your next purchase when you buy something, so you can keep shopping those types of deals and endlessly rolling them forward. If you're curious how to do it just google the phrase "coupon matchups" and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of blogs on the topic. Of course most of them are not catered towards vegans, but from time to time vegan food products will be on sale and there are always sales on basic things like toilet paper etc.

-On the topic of coupons, I keep an eye out for groupon-y type deals for things like buy-one-get-one free movie tickets so we can actually get out of the house occasionally. There will also sometimes be deals along the lines of "$5 for a $10 Starbucks gift card" and I try to jump on those so I can have a coffee out occasionally too.

-I buy more "exotic" ingredients online if they're cheaper than my local health food store/Whole Foods. If you're able to buy in bulk, Amazon has some great deals on natural foods type items. For example, I buy two-packs of giant bottles of agave nectar on there. I buy nutritional yeast and other stuff like that from iHerb. I constantly rave about them because their free shipping starts at $20, which is pretty low, and the prices are often less than my local stores. iHerb was also a lifesaver when I lived overseas because they ship worldwide and carried stuff that was hard for me to find locally (like vital wheat gluten).

-I rarely dine out and make most of our meals at home. Simple enough. I also tend to sub more expensive ingredients (for example, I make "pesto" with walnuts instead of pine nuts because it's much cheaper).

-On the rare occasion I go out for drinks with friends, I try to have just one alcoholic drink, because that shiitake can add up fast and for me the point of going out is more about seeing friends than getting totally forked up.

-I get free magazine subscriptions when they're offered online (just follow freebie blogs to find out about them) or by using my airline miles.

-I don't wash my hair every day/re-wear clothes etc.

-I use Ebates when I buy stuff online. Basically you get a small percentage of cash back from your purchases which does add up! Unfortunately they only offer cash back for a few categories on Amazon, but there are tons of other sites on there that offer it.

-With credit card debt, I've done the "transfer the balance to a 0% APR card" game many times. You really need to do the math to make sure it's worth transferring, but I am certain I've saved myself at least $500 over the years by doing this. Of course the best way to pay off credit card debt is to never get any in the first place. :P

newsie15 wrote:
Any other new tips? I moved and it seems like my spending is out of control. I REALLY want to pay off my student loan debt.

If you're really having trouble curbing your spending, here are a couple suggestions:

-The envelope system. Give yourself a set amount of spending money per week and only give it to yourself in cash. Don't walk around with credit cards because it's easy to overspend.
-If you have trouble with spending money online, give yourself the "Do I really need it?" test. If you see something you want, force yourself to wait at least 48 hours before buying it to avoid crazy impulse decisions.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:28 pm 
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These are specific to my own situation, but: As a student, I make sure to go to every event where free food is available and I eat as much as possible. When it's my turn to buy post-talk refreshments (which are reimbursed. More free food!) I exclusively buy as much of the most cost effective things I can find, and then keep all of the leftovers for myself.


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 Post subject: Re: The things we do to save money
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Tea wrote:
These are specific to my own situation, but: As a student, I make sure to go to every event where free food is available and I eat as much as possible. When it's my turn to buy post-talk refreshments (which are reimbursed. More free food!) I exclusively buy as much of the most cost effective things I can find, and then keep all of the leftovers for myself.

Hah, that reminds me of being in grad school... whenever our department would have "special" evening lectures there would be a wine and snacks type reception afterwards As you can imagine, I enjoyed quite a bit of free wine that way. :)


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