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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 1999
    A place called vertigo

    Default THE BEST EVERY money saving thread so you can still spoil your horse thread!

    Face it, horses are a luxury, and these times don't bode well for luxuries. How can we cut back in other areas of our lives so we can support our horse activities? Put your best ideas here! Here are mine:

    1. If you must eat out, check out local churches, schools, and fire halls. They frequently have pancake breakfasts, pit beef lunches, and spaghetti dinners that are cheap, tax free and support your community!

    2. Shop Goodwill - it's tax free!!! So are yard sales and flea markets! And craigslit! You are not only finding household items, tools, equipment, clothing, building materials, etc; but it's tax free!

    3. Have a yard sale - anything you haven't touched in 18 months is fair game. YOU DON'T NEED IT. Look for organizations hosting a large flea market, and rent a space.

    4. SWAP. BARTER. I called a roofer to get an estimate for my barn roof the other day, and ended up getting a free rabbit cage (I hit the old one with the mower) for a dump cart I don't use.

    5. For some reason, I can't edit my thread title!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2007
    Central FL


    I went to goodwill today and spent 15 on a London Fog trenchcoat that was in perfect condition.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003


    Ross frequently has new clothes that are as cheap as the thrift stores, though not tax free.

    I rent a room, *MUCH* cheaper than an apartment. I know that's not feasible for everyone, and I'm lucky to have wonderful housemates.

    Tracking your finances and looking for areas that you can cut back in is a good idea. Setting up automated billpay doesn't save money necessarily, but can be really convenient. If you tend to spend more money if you have cash, then keep only the bare minimum on you and one credit card. If the other way around, leave the credit cards at home (maybe even frozen).

    Give yourself a mandatory waiting period before buying anything but actual necessities. Go home, shop around online for comparison pricing, think if you really need/want it more than <horse stuff? whatever motivates you?>
    Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    At the back of the line


    Try despirately not to buy new equipment. If you wait around long enuff you can find whatever you need used at tack swaps, horse shows, flea markets, ebay, whatever. I found a whole bin of leather halters for $5 (and $2 worth of elbow grease to clean the mildew off). Saved $40 each halter. I bought a never used bit at a show for $50. The same bit from a store cost $100.

    Im looking for a specific saddle. Unforutnately they dont come cheap. Im hoping someone will put one on ebay now knowing what it is!
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2001
    Trailer Trash Ammy!


    Like I said on the other thread: LOSE the cable/satellite TV. You can watch most shows a couple weeks late on for free; get your news off NPR; and have the weather sent to your cell phone. Charter will survive without you. Trust me.

    If you don't talk on your cell much, the pay-as-you-go plans are a steal of a deal. I know lots of folks whose cell bills are $300 a month. You can cut that back to $100 a YEAR.

    Most of us have probably figured this out already, but nevereverEVER eat horse show food. If you have to have a burger, Mickey D's 99 cent menu is your friend.

    For myself, I'm still debating whether I'm going to run the central heating this winter or go with zone heating. I can think of better things to do with $900 than fill that tank!
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario


    I freeze my credit cards!! It's worked really well for me
    CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
    Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000


    Flash44, great thread! thanks!

    Here is the website for the digital TV converter box. They send you a $40 coupon good towards the price of the box. Ours ended up costing us $20. You will need a good set of rabbit ears or an antennae, but the picture is better than analog, and we get 24 channels now instead of 11. For a one time purchase price, with no extra monthly cable fees, we like it. On the down side, in bad weather, reception can be iffy, but some channels will still come in nicely.

    When you go to the website, apply using the telephone number. The onsite application form does not always go through, and until you get the "Congratulations..." screen after filing your online application, it still has not gone through. The phone filing works better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Goshen NY

    Default Hay

    -I didn't freeze the credit cards but I do leave them at home now.

    -I also bring lunch to work. Saves lots of dough.

    -I've also been paying for gas with cash, makes you much more aware of how much it is (I know ugh!) and more aware of where you're driving to.

    -Also, I did away with the debit card. Way too easy to take out $40 here and there. I have to literally go to the bank to cash a check. A PITA but I spend way less that way. You'd be surprised at how much you take out with one of those debit things...

    -Also, selling tons of used tack that I have not used on ebay. If I haven't used it in 6 months, I clean it up and sell it. You can check out my latest stuff. My ebay name is pines4equines. I have a breast plate up for sale, girth, a really nice half pad I never used and some slobber straps/reins. I will be listing some really nice stirrups and Passier stirrup leathers next week.

    I really haven't reduced my horse spending in regards to feed and health care/feet but have stopped getting the extra fru-fru stuff.
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers!
    Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get


    some good ideas here

    I'll add:
    *Treat yourself to a movie - but always go to the bargain matinee, at least $2 less than full price

    *Use coupons! But only for things you actually already use.

    *Grocery shop for store sales - where I go the BOGO price is good if you only buy one of the items. Store brands are usually the same as Name brands - check ingredients. This is especially true for OTC drugs.

    For the barn:
    *Sugar cubes are a cheap, traditional horse treat. Dry pasta is even cheaper.

    *Murphys Oil Soap is a good tack cleaner - look for the generic version

    *Mix up a brace/liniment with equal parts mouthwash (generic Listerine), Witch Hazel and Rubbing Alcohol

    *CLEAN your tack after use - sweat & dirt break down stitching and age leather
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    West Coast of Michigan


    *Stop smoking and eating fast food. Save your own life, save some money in the process.

    *Don't carry cash. Keeps you from buying that pack of gum, little trinket or bag of chips you really don't need anyway.

    *Walk, don't drive, whenever possible. Even driving that extra 500 feet closer to the grocery store uses gas, and deprives you of a great opportunity to exercise.

    *If you're idling in traffic for more than 30 seconds, turn the car off. This may or may not apply to diesels, which idle more efficiently than gas engines.

    *Keep your car/truck/trailer tires inflated to the top end of the recommended pressure, and CHECK THEM. New tires are expensive, and proper inflation spares the tires AND saves gas.

    *Consider a bed cover for the pickup--improves mileage in many cases.

    *Shop the local farmer's market for fresh food, or grow your own.
    Click here before you buy.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005


    Biggest money saver would be to QUIT SPOILING THE HORSE.

    Most of what most people do in line of "spoiling their horse" is really just self-indulgence -- a way to be extremely selfish under the guise of being a "good horse mommy".

    There is no inherent virtue in living on Ramen noodles to keeping a horse living high on the hog. The horse would be just as happy (probably even happier) just being a horse.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2007


    I've found some good ideas for saving money on the Thrifty Fun web site. I now make liquid soap out of my old soap bars with a recipe I found there.

    I plan to take my old clothes to a consignment store and sell them instead of donating them to Goodwill.

    I also hang clothes on the clothesline instead of drying them in the dryer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Boston Area


    Don't over supplement! It's easy to get sucked into believing that your horse needs extra everything!

    Buy used tack, blankets, etc.

    Take fewer lessons.

    Trailer pool when possible and split the costs.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Columbus, OH


    My horse is no longer getting hand-fed treats. He doesn't seem to miss it.

    I used Google Maps to identify a route to the barn that takes about 10 minutes longer than the fastest highway route but allows me to drive more slowly, drive less mileage, and there's almost no stop signs so I'm cruising the whole way. It's saving me a bundle over taking the interstate.

    I live in an apartment so I have limited control over insulation, but I've done all I can. I not only put shrink plastic on the windows, but this year I'm also going to hang clear vinyl shower curtains under my regular curtains to help block the drafts. I've insulated all of our electrical outlets and insulated our basement pipes. We run the dishwasher and washing machine at night when the utilities are cheaper.

    DH and I used to run a space heater in our bedroom so that we could turn the heat way down at night. These days we are using an electric blanket, which seems to work better for us (and the cat loves it)!

    If you drive an SUV or station wagon, for God's sake, take the crossbars off your roof rack!. It took me about 3 minutes to take them off my Subaru and upped my mileage by nearly 1 mile per gallon. If I ever need them back to mount something up there, I'm sure it will take all of 3 minutes to put them back.

    Learn to cook more things from scratch and/or replace convenience foods. For example, the tomato sauce recipe at was not only more delicious than the canned sauce I used to buy, but is SUPER cheap. I can make enough to fill two glass spaghetti sauce jars for less than $1.00 total. I also found a recipe online for homemade Shake n' Bake that tastes even better than the original (hint: use chipotle chili pepper in place of regular chili pepper for a wonderful effect on pork)

    It's not for everyone, but I am saving gobs over my old "Wally World/Sam's Club/Generic" plan for food and household expenses by joining a subscription service called The Grocery Game. For a few dollars a week, they offer you a list of items on sale at your local grocery/drug stores, but not ALL of the sales--just the ones that are statistically better than average (they keep a database that allows them to identify rock-bottom prices over time). It was a big adjustment for me to move to this service, and at first I hated it, but my grocery bill is now $40 a week for DH and I--and we still eat like royalty. Compare that to the old budget of $85 weekly! I get a lot of dirty looks in the grocery store when people see me breezing through, not having to comparison shop the prices--I just grab and go, confident that I've gotten the best possible price. I will never pay more than sales tax ever again for toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, or conditioner. I walked out of Kroger yesterday having saved 46 percent over retail, and I walked out of CVS pharmacy with nearly $50 worth of goods for $14 out of pocket. Try it.

    I've been making my own laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent for the past six months. Google for the recipes--it's SO easy. For example, my laundry detergent is just equal parts borax and washing soda + shredded bars of generic Ivory soap. I just pour a few tablespoons of powder in each load and away it goes.

    Speaking of the washer, stop washing your clothes in warm water. It's not doing a thing for them other than making them feel a little softer. If you need to take out stains or sterilize something, use hot water. Otherwise, wash it all in cold water.

    I hung a clothes line and have been trying to use it when the weather's good. Synthetic fabrics, in particular, seem to dry quickly and wrinkle-free on clothes line. Don't have a yard or think it's too cold outside? String it in your house overnight or during the work day. I'm planning to hang lines in my basement during the winter, which will dry the clothes and help combat the dry winter air.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2004


    I've been thinking of stringing a line in the basement but worry that the clothes will absorb the basement smell. It doesn't smell bad, but it does smell like a basement.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2001
    Los Angeles, California


    Quote Originally Posted by Flash44 View Post
    1. If you must eat out, check out local churches, schools, and fire halls. They frequently have pancake breakfasts, pit beef lunches, and spaghetti dinners that are cheap, tax free and support your community!
    This made me remember a scene in an old old sitcom called the Charmings where the mother in law was strapped for cash and she was reading the obituaries of stranger for wakes to eat at. She would of course never arrive empty handed "She brought a bundt cake."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2004


    Great thread Flash, and I like your #1 tip...hadn't thought of that, but will try to remember to check for local church suppers instead of the same out take out!

    I haven't gone crazy with the cost cutting yet, but it may be on the horizon.

    I do go with generic everything now, from canned veggies to shampoo. I'm not missing the brand names. Diapers are the only think I've found I can't go generic on (rash - sensitive baby) but potty training is in the near future.

    I switched hairdressers and have gone "back to my roots" to cut color processing charges.

    I talked my brother in-law into growing hay (under the guise he could sell it and make some money...of course I've been taking it all).

    Got rid of all credit cards except 1, and that is emergency use only.

    Use e-bay to buy and sell. Got my car seat and stroller at huge savings there, unloaded some unwanted tack that didn't budge by using the horse classifieds.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 1999
    A place called vertigo


    Wow, I never thought about crashing weddings, wakes, or other large type corporate parties!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2008


    The dollar store and dollar tree for cleaning supplies has saved me some!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by Griffyn View Post
    The dollar store and dollar tree for cleaning supplies has saved me some!
    You beat me too it.

    So I'll SING it!

    Doooooollllllar Stoooooooore

    I find many of the SAME brand stuff at the supermarkets at the dollar store- so not kidding. Made and distributed from the same places- same expiration dates. Absolutely no difference in the products.

    Of course there are also 'off name' brands too which is hit or miss in quality but in general:
    Cleaning, storage, paper goods, shampoo/soaps, some can and jar goods- all the same stuff.

    Some dollar stores sell local produce as well which is super sweet.

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