Another thread about buying generic heartworm preventAtive for your dogs got me thinking, what other tips do fellow corners have.
I recently received an increased trash and dishtv bill. I called them and said "hey, my bills are all going up, gas, taxes, and now you guys. Either lower it or I'm dropping you guys". And they did, my trash co dropped the price 1/3 and we cut out dish channels that we never watch to lower that cost.
Also, I have older dogs that have been getting rabies and distemper shots ever year. I decided to stop except for rabies every 3 years. Healthier and easier on the pocket.
For the dogs, I buy the large dog size flea preventatives (I use a combination of Program and Advantage)) and dose them according to the smaller dog size. By splitting pills or measuring out the Advantage with a syringe, I basically get my flea control at half price or less. Advantage makes it easy by telling how many ml for each size.
plug up an extension cord to neighbor's outside power outlet to power your house
Baaaad Clanter! What happens when neighbor follows the strange cord?
The $1 Store is your friend.
So many household products are perfectly capable of doing the job when this is the source.
Dish soap is a prime example. Hand soap and body lotion another.
Also greeting cards - usually 2 for $1 - and gift wrap.
Why pay more for something people are going to read, unwrap & toss?
For horse care I get cheap shampoo & conditioner, for horse treats plain dry pasta (2 boxes for $1) <try it, they LOFF it!
I am currently using a $1 microfiber duster to clean my stall bars and a kitty litter scoop and brush to clean up in the chicken coop.
All bought nearly a year ago. when they die so cheap to replace.
*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
I am thankful my horses do not get grain. The expense for that product has really risen. I stopped SmartPak a couple years ago because I was getting the supplements for *me* more than my horses. The MSM and electrolytes weren't needed on a day to day basis.
My dogs get rabies only that that's it. My horses get wormed twice a year, via my vet's instructions.
I check eBay before I buy anything from a store and can usually find it cheaper on eBay.
We have Smiths (Kroger) where I live and they have FANTASTIC specials! Food that is going to expire in a day or two and is often less than half what it would normally cost. I end up going to the store every few days, but I have saved SO much by doing this and it's on my way home anyway, so no extra gas expense. Plus, what people don't realize is that most anything can be frozen. Same with my local Walgreens. Every couple of days, they 're-stock' their clearance section. I've picked up 10 dollar candles for .50 and the last time I went, I picked up a bunch of clinical strength deodorants for third of retail just because the packaging had changed. Don't assume big box stores are automatic savings!!! If you have a good local store with good sales, you really can save more money than Costco or Sam's.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Groupon and Groupon Goods!!!!
I buy coupons. Yes, buy them. Someone will always have coupons that you want, but they don't need and even if you pay for them, you can save.
I don't overfeed my horses. Sounds obvious, but SO MANY horses are just plain FAT.
My horses are not shod. They don't need it, so why do it?
Avoid temptation if you know it will get you into trouble. I take stuff to consignment (horse items and human clothing),but I don't 'walk through' while the shop owner is going thru my items. I just stand there and wait. Again, sounds dumb and obvious, but it works.
I color my own hair, but get a professional cut. My hair looks GREAT and for much less than if I paid for someone to do the whole thing. I use Avon hair color. Works GREAT and I get as many compliments as I did back when I was paying 100. for it to be done.
I am small framed, but large breasted. Which makes bras expensive and hard to find. My bras tend to take a beating and that's one place I can't cut corners. So, I have an Angel card and if you do that, Victoria's Secret will send you coupons and special 'Angel card holders' only specials. I have saved BIG on quality bras!! And, another savings, HAND WASH them. They last so much longer.
I donate a lot of stuff to animal rescue. Most rescues will take gently used items or 'odd ball' stuff for their fundraiser auctions. That helps me on my taxes, with all those deductions.
I can probably think of more tips later. I can say with pride, that I am a truly cheap women!
I find I save money by calculating things out. For example I feed my horses garlic. I did a comparison of what you pay per ounce, between BJs human grade 16oz containers and Jeffers 25lb pail plus shipping. Turned out the human grade garlic at BJs is much cheaper, and no shipping, I am there anyway. I know it sounds hokey but it really works.
I also hang my clothes to dry and hate using the dryer.
LOL--I can make a penny screech from being stretched.
Food is a place most families can save a lot. The biggest one for our family is cook at home. Make a general meal plan for the week. Plan that meal plan from what you have in the freezer/pantry or what's on sale that week at the grocery store. Keep a pantry. Grow a vegetable garden--even if it's just a few pots of tomatoes or peppers on the balcony. (Gardens really don't take that long to tend to if you set them up right to start with--Square foot gardening rules!) NEVER go to the grocery store hungry!
Do all your own vaccinations and basic vet care. We do it for our horses, dogs, cats, and chickens. Learn to trim your dogs toenails yourslf if you don't already.
If you have multiple horses, and they can go barefoot, learn to trim them yourself, even if you get a regular farrier to come out every few trims to make sure the are still good.
Shop prices on insurance. We recently switched life/disability insurance providers (all a+ carriers) and are literally paying 1/4 what we were.
Don't watch TV. Seriously. If you have favorite programs, you can watch most of them on the internet. That way you avoid the commercials, which especially if you have children can cause the "gimmes".
Lots others, too, but those are the main ones right off the top of my head. Also, don't be afraid to try to fix stuff. It's already broke, so what are you going to do--break it? I'm only 40, but aside from the animal stuff and my real estate background, I can do roofing, drywall, basic electric installation/problem isolation, build just about anything I need out of wood, basic plumbing, website building, some computer networking,etc. All because I wasn't afraid to try something new, or to try to figure something out on my own. Just your attitude can save you tons of money!
I chat with the people at my barn, and see when they need the vet out, that way we can all split the trip fee. It's not much, but for little things (like a coggins or something) most of the time the trip fee costs more than what I'm having done.
Same with the farrier, if we can get a few of us together and make the trip worth it for him, then we normally don't pay a trip fee there either.
I also stay on top of everything for the animals, medical wise, because the way I see it, if I keep up with shots and what not, I'm saving myself a BIG sick animal vet bill in the future.
I don't buy anything 'extra' unless I can get it from Ebay or on sale (thank you Horze!!). I hardly ever shop local unless it's an emergency, because even with shipping off the interwebz, shopping local is way more expensive. I think that most everything Willow wears is second hand or a sale item. My show clothes are cobbled together and I don't think that anything is a fancy name brand, but still looks clean and fits well.
I also do a lot of thrift store shopping for clothes for the family, use coupons for fun adventures and ALWAYS ask for AAA or military discounts for vacations or hotel stays. We pay for 'fun stuff' (vacations, going out dinner, shopping) in cash so we can't overspend. I shop around for the cheapest gas prices in the area and try to plan my errands so I can hit everything in one trip.
Whoever mentioned the dollar store is right on. They've got little buckets there you can use for 'treat buckets' or to dump grain or whatever the heck people use the tiny buckets for.
I got a "floor scrub brush" with short stiff bristles that is exactly the kind of horse brush I haven't been able to find in tack stores and it's been getting quite a workout since my horse is shedding. It also works pretty well to brush his feet clean.
Also a cleaning cloth with microfiber on one side and this scratchy material on the other for rubbing the pony down. Scritch with the one side, shine him up with the other.
Once I found these foot scrubby things that are like the slick 'n easy grooming blocks. Not quite as effective, tbh, but useful in a pinch.
Also those scrubby sponges with the microfiber fingers for bathing. I remember they pop up on TOTD sometimes for like...$18 (no, seriously) but you can totally get them at the dollar store in the auto section (for $1).
My horse loves gumdrops too so, uh, sometimes I just get my "horse treats" there. Also ginger snaps.
Baby wipes and 'leather cleaner' wipes for in a pinch at a show.
Plastic "shower caddy" for grooming totes.
Plastic containers of all sorts for organizing a tack room.
Oh! And silk flowers to decorate jumps with!
Scissors to trim Mr. Pony's mane (I keep it pretty much roached and touch it up periodically with the scissors).
Seriously, Dollar Tree is like your best friend if you look at stuff with the aim of, "what can use this for at the barn?" instead of "what do they intend people to use this for at home?"
I used to buy dog toys - then I worked out that their most favourite toy was a tennis ball. $1 shop - gets you 3 for $1. Buy in bulk - but they dont go through them that fast so I am still using last year's purchases. 2nd most fav toy? A stick that I picked up
Old whips become sweat/water scrapers. Wash down in stock iodine.
Have a vege garden and generally grow heaps of what freezes well - so tomatoes, spinach, zuchinni, bok choy, peas/beans (although we have done appalling with peas this year!). All can be used in winter soups, mince and stews.
Cook using a crock-pot (have a lovely mince on at the moment at home). Always make enough for 2 days (at least) - so, tommorrow, we will be having shepherd's pie .
Check locally - often, your local butcher is actually cheaper and may know where the meat is sourced.
I raise my own beef (I prefer to know where it came from and I can tell the difference between what is in the super-market and my prime Hereford 2-year old beef. Even after it has been in a crock-pot.) But one thing I learnt from COTH - how to cook a pot-roast in the crock-pot! I have used a crock pot for >20 years and that was one thing that I had never tried. Now I have, my next beast going into the freezer, I will have the rump 1/2 and 1/2 corned and left whole for using as a pot-roast.
Vinegar/water makes a reallly good cleaning product - strips the grime off my windows .... and you do get used to the smell
otherwise: buy treats in bulk. Never eat out at lunch, no coffee shops. No cable, iphone, etc. I have an ipod and home DSL for my laptop that works just fine. Find free podcasts for meditations/workouts/etc. I use smart paks barn buddy program and board at a full service barn that is close (save gas) and all inclusive so I don't have to buy extra gain.
I'm thinking of selling my horse and just hitch rides here and there for free. Which would be totally feasible, except no one will want to buy my fruit loop of a horse! Maybe I'll try giving her away to a velcro-butt pony clubber...
Because THAT would be the biggest savings. We never eat out, always cook at home, no extra expenses really except food, but we do have kids. 2 of them, one in college, one still in HS.
Not having a horse would save us about $6,000 a year if not more...*sigh* I can't not give her grain, but I decided not to renew her insurance policy this year. Of course as soon as the weather breaks and I can actually RIDE the beast I won't think about selling her anymore.
I tried to convince my family to get rid of cable / TV.