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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
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    2,623

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    This one will sound really strange -

    I put my horse in full training. When I did the math, it was actually cheaper to have someone else work the beast, and only go to the barn on weekends. Training board included all the fly spray, hoof juice, etc. Not spending $5 (or being honest, $20) every time I needed some incidental item added up. Even though I was driving farther to the training barn, I did it less often, so my gas expenses decreased overall.

    Other than that I do the same things everyone else does: drive my high mpg car into the ground, shop the cheap grocery stores, change jar, hide my credit card (except I have the number memorized, so hiding doesn't always work )



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,631

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    red mares, that doesn't sound that strange to me.

    I used to be convinced that only using foods from scratch was cheaper (which it is) but what I failed to put together was that on days when I couldn't muster the energy to cook from scratch (DH and I both have busy jobs, and three kids) then we'd go out to eat after I stared at the pantry for half an hour with a blank brain.

    So now I keep enough Sam's club insta-foods in the freezer for those days. And we have saved over $500+ a month in restaurant foods, which were happening because of my previous adherence to the "from scratch is cheaper" method.

    Yes, from scratch is still technically cheaper, and it's still technically better for you, but not if you don't do it!

    Your story reminded me of that!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2008
    Location
    Scranton, PA
    Posts
    730

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    My husband and I are 20, newly weds as well as new homeowners. Talk about an expensive combination.

    First off, hubby and his dad work an hour away from our home, they commute together and split the gas bill. That takes his fuel bill from $600 to $300 a month. I work fairly close to home and I really watch my driving. Ie; I do all my errands on the same day. I spend about $45 a week in gas.

    With our home, we hang clothes to dry instead of using our dryer. We also have a wood burner in our basement. 80% of the time it keeps the house nice and toasty. When it get extremely cold sometimes the second floor gets chilly. That's when we walk around in a hoodie and socks. I have not used the electric baseboard heat yet and don't plan to.

    We have no credit cards and the only debt we have are hubby's school loans and our house.

    With food shopping, I coupon and price match. We save between 50 and 100 dollars a week by price matching. I buy meat in bulk since hubby works at a beef processing plant. I also plan our meals for the week. It leaves food for three meals a day for seven days. That's 42 meals between the two of us for the week. We spend about 100 a week on groceries, cleaning supplies, and paper towels, toilet paper, napkins etc. so we eat for a little over two dollars each per meal. Can't beat that!

    We raised our own meat chickens this spring so the other night we had an oven roaster, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and homemade bread for dinner. Cost me about $4 and I used the left overs to make a casserole and soup. Three meals for $4. You can't beat that!

    We also don't go out a lot. Fast food almost never happens. And going out to dinner is maybe once a month.

    I joke that I'm cheap but we live very comfortably. My other money saver is when family asks what to get us for Christmas, this year I asked for some things for our home. A few pairs of sheets, curtains, etc. it's stuff I need and would en up buyin anyways. Win, win because I'm getting something useful and that I really want and need. My family gets help with ideas and they know they're getting stuff we really want.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    Cocoa, Fla
    Posts
    4,195

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    Dial-up for computer $10/month
    Pay for use cell phone vs "plan"
    Rabbit ears vs satellite/cable
    Eat-in vs dine out
    401K with Bonds/CDs vs stocks
    Classic apparrel vs "trendy" (goes out of style too fast)
    Mix N match apparrel
    Coupons or generic brands
    Quality vs quantity (lasts longer so less expensive in the long run)

    Nothing goes on credit card unless we can pay it off that month, never pay interest on a credit card.
    Buy cars based on total price, NOT price per month.
    Buy cars that get decent gas mileage and financing for those cars not more than 3 years.
    Periodically look at getting new car insurance (try to get price locked in for at least a year - MANY companies give you a "teaser" rate to suck you in - then after 6 months the price goes up).
    Sandy in Fla.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,051

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    Quote Originally Posted by red mares View Post
    hide my credit card (except I have the number memorized, so hiding doesn't always work )
    10 years ago or so I had to call them and ask to have a new card issued because I had my number memorized. Strangely I've not had that problem ever again.
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,051

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valentina_32926 View Post
    Eat-in vs dine out
    I'm not convinced this is cheaper, especially if you take home leftovers. Unless you run up a bar bill, I think in many cases it is cheaper to eat out. I've never run the numbers but there is a lot less opportunity for waste. And just think of all you save in odd ingredients hanging around. My spice cupboard alone must be worth $100, and I'm sure I've thrown out a substanitial dollar value of salad gone bad.

    And don't even get me started on growing your own food! Sure it tastes better and is better for you but economical it is not unless you're surviving on the volunteers that come up in the manure pile.
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    41,750

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    10 years ago or so I had to call them and ask to have a new card issued because I had my number memorized. Strangely I've not had that problem ever again.
    Doesn't work for me, I remember strings of numbers after the first time I read them.
    Someone used my number, the credit card company gave me a new one and first time I used it I already knew it without looking at the card.

    AND I don't use the card but a few times a month, mostly at the grocery store swipe thru.



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

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    I will preface this post with the following. I love to cook. I mean, I LOVE to cook. And I like to cook with fresh produce, quality meats, and often some unique ingredients.

    When I was single, I grocery shopped for a meal at a time. I kept staples stocked in the house, but when I needed meat or produce, I only bought what I'd need for THAT dinner because I didn't want to waste produce.

    With 2 teens with hollow legs and a husband though, I have found that menu planning is the way to go.

    I try to plan out the week's meals on Saturday or Sunday, then do all my shopping in a day. If I have a dish that needs cilantro, I try to find two dishes that will use it so I don't waste half of the bunch. I also try to do at least one meatless dish per week. I buy frozen chicken breasts in single pouches at COSTCO--actually, I buy quite a bit of meat at COSTCO if the price is right. It's not always a good deal though. You kind of have to know what the usual price is before you jump on what is supposed to be a good deal.

    Anyway...so I menu plan which really cuts down on waste. When it's just hubby and me, I make sure to make a little extra so he has a lunch for the next day rather than spending 15 bucks on lunch.

    I only go to the $$ stores for hard to find produce. I try to buy everything that I can at the cheaper stores.

    I don't do coupons. I don't have the patience. So I try to go to stores that have member cards where all of the available coupons are already factored in.

    I also buy generic when it makes sense. I will not skimp on peanut butter, toilet paper, dishwasher soap or eggs though.



    Other money saving things? I buy nice clothes and nice shoes and then keep them for years and years. I stick to classic things so I'm not following a trend that will quickly go away. I am still wearing items that I've had for 10 years or more. There are, no joke, clothes that I bought in HS or college that I'm still wearing. I graduated from college in 2001. But Ann Taylor doesn't go out of style.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,051

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    Yes menu planning works. For instance, when fresh mushrooms go on sale I know we are having:
    1. steak with mushrooms (husband favorite)
    2. chicken and rice with mushroom sauce (my favorite)
    3. baked haddock topped with roasted mushrooms (healthy way to sneak fish in diet)
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2011
    Posts
    1,153

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    Other money saving things? I buy nice clothes and nice shoes and then keep them for years and years. I stick to classic things so I'm not following a trend that will quickly go away. I am still wearing items that I've had for 10 years or more. There are, no joke, clothes that I bought in HS or college that I'm still wearing. I graduated from college in 2001. But Ann Taylor doesn't go out of style.
    This is a really good tip. I buy a lot of Lands' End - they have really good sales, especially end of season - and it lasts for years. I've gotten things like chinos and sweaters for as cheap as $6.99. I buy things that will stay in style and wash nice.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    2,983

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    I'm not convinced this is cheaper, especially if you take home leftovers. Unless you run up a bar bill, I think in many cases it is cheaper to eat out.
    just be aware of add-ons: i brown bag my lunch four days out of five because i work in D.C: TEN PERCENT restaurant tax.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
    Posts
    9,143

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    THE single biggest thing I do to save money is to have a budget for the month -- and then stick to it of course. First, I have a certain amount in my budget for "savings". Initially it was to create an emergency fund ($1000 initially, per Dave Ramsey). Now it's for projects that come up (like getting the water line run to my barn) as well as vacations, or it will be in the future. This is where I deviate from Dave's teachings as I'm in his Baby Step #2: Debt Repayment, where everything should go into paying off debts NOT savings. Because of having the farm, I keep a small amount still going to savings for farm projects. I can also use it when I'm "this" close to paying off a debt.

    In addition to my budget saying how much I can spend this month on groceries or gas, I have what I refer to as my "Freedom Account" (mary hunt). It's a set amount each paycheck that I shove into a separate checking account. As far as the bank is concerned it's 1 account, but on my written budget it's 10. It's for those non-monthly yet regular expenses that come up. Things like car expenses (outside of gas), Insurance, Medical payments, gifts, etc. The goal being to have cash to spend so I don't go over budget (ie: gifts) yet I'm not scrambling at the last minute to come up with funds.... or in the case of categories like Insurance, to have it funded initially with enough to fully pay my premiums when they're due (vs monthly payments which always come with an additional fee) and eventually have enough saved in this category to cover deductibles... which means I'll be able to raise my deductibles and lower my premiums. Win/Win!

    Along these lines, I'm contemplating making January a "No Spend Month". I think I'll make that a separate topic though.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,359

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    A curious question since my family is now in the spending stage of life. For 60 years, we've saved through frugality. Its still hard to buy frivolously. We lived well on a budget, ski trips, HORSES ( Gad! what a money drain)

    The key is spending less than you earn. Pay yourself into savings (401k saving plan etc) first of each paycheck. Keep increasing the amounts paid. If you can't do that yet, check out the various budgeting programs. I like Dave Ramsey's the best of all.

    Don't keep a balance on credit cards. They're the devil to pay once a balance accumulates. But, using the reward cards, they pay you to use them. 3% on gasoline, 2% on everything else adds up quickly... $50 bucks every couple of months... yeah!



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,051

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    Quote Originally Posted by tle View Post
    Along these lines, I'm contemplating making January a "No Spend Month". I think I'll make that a separate topic though.
    I'm with you on this. It helps me adjust to my new pay amount... insurance at least is going up.
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    4,231

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiningwizard255 View Post
    I saved a ton of money by switching to Geico. For real, haha. I went from paying well over $100 to around $70 for the same insurance. I had a minor fender-bender (my first, blah) this summer that I was at fault for, and Geico was super easy and friendly to deal with and no rate increase.

    I, too, saved a TON of money by switching to Geico. Over 20%!!! And I'm in FL, where auto insurance rates are bananas - I previously had Progressive, and was paying over $260/month for my car - a HONDA CIVIC.

    Aside from that, I really just try to be responsible about spending. I usually go to the bank every Sunday and take out between $60 - $100 and that's my spending money for the week. I used to not even have a debit card - I had cut it up and thrown away the bits. I have a new one now, and have found myself being slightly irresponsible with it, so it may be going back in the trash.

    I don't use my credit card unless its an emergency (and an "I need a new pair of shoes" emergency doesn't count, unfortunately).

    The biggest money saver I've experienced? Quitting drinking. Sure, I'll go have a glass of wine with dinner occasionally, but I dont keep alcohol in my house, and I don't "go out drinking" anymore. It was like getting a raise!
    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.



  16. #36
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2009
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    Near the cupcake shop
    Posts
    2,224

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    Saving money would imply that I have some. As a new business owner, it just isn't a luxury I have right now. I just focus on paying my bills!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2006
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    762

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    Our biggest two things that helped were first: making a budget before the month starts and spending all our money on paper before the month starts - we live well for two full time college students, but the budget can run tight when we decide that going to see a movie is really really important without figuring out where the money is going to come from (things like that).

    Second, we cut out all the 'fat' in our spending -- for example, we're really too busy to have cable TV, but we were paying $70/month for it...and only watching two or three channels. Got rid of it, now we pay $8 a month for Netflix and have lots of options!
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2007
    Location
    Bremo Bluff, Virginia
    Posts
    1,409

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    A lot of good tips here.

    On Sunday, we make a big pot of something for dinner (soup, chili, pot roast, etc.) that can carry into the week as lunch for work. No money wasted in cafeterias, fast food, or microwave meals.

    Whenever possible, laundry goes out on the line, not in the dryer. Most of the time, my laundry is sorted into "Line" (towels, shirts, jeans) and "A pain to hang on the line" (socks, undies, certain toddler clothes).

    No cable/sattelite tv.
    No booze during the week.
    Pay as you go phones.
    Clothes off the clearance rack.
    Trim my own horses.
    "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    7,057

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    I'm not convinced this is cheaper, especially if you take home leftovers. Unless you run up a bar bill, I think in many cases it is cheaper to eat out.
    no, I really disagree. Unless you're eating off the "$1" menu at McDonalds, it always costs tremendously more to eat out- at least double the cost, and often ten times the cost, of making the meal yourself. Eating out is always very expensive, because you are paying for not only the raw ingredients, but for the time of other people to prepare the food for you. Plus most meals made at restaurants are extremely unhealthy vs. what you'd make for yourself- they like to pile on cheap unhealthy carb sources (potatoes, pasta, bread, rice) to make the portions look huge, and add on the fat to make it taste better instead of using herbs and spices cleverly.

    If you're doubtful, try doing a week of eating in, track your expenses, vs. a week of eating out, and you'll see a huge cost savings from eating in. And, if you're clever in your grocery-buying and cooking strategies you can end up eating a very healthy diet that costs remarkably little- buy frozen produce instead of fresh, buy the "unpopular" cheap nutrient-laden kinds of vegetables like kale and turnips instead of pre-bagged salads; buy whole chickens instead of chicken breasts; buy unpopular cuts of beef, like chuck or shank, instead of T-bone steaks.
    You can't buy a restaurant meal for less than $10/person in most cases, but often you can cook a similar meal for less than $2/person.
    If you're worried about time, study the many uses of the crock-pot, and quick cooking methods like stir-fries.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

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    I don't think that it's cheaper to eat in than out if you're cooking with a lot of fresh produce and good meat. I have tracked. I think that when you cook with good foods that you can't buy in bulk like a restaurant can, you definitely spend more.

    Now, if you are just going to have pasta and noodles and a salad? Sure. And wendy makes a good point about buying things like the whole chicken and roasting it vs buying chicken breasts. (I hate chicken, fwiw) But the trade off there is time.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



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