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Hints for Economizing

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  • #31
    Some really great tips! I'll have to check out the websites and print out what I need. Also, check out Goodwill Stores. I've found some really good clothes there and they are cheaper than at second-hand stores, but I've also shopped at them also. As for socks, our grandson is really hard on socks, so I cut off the top, turn them wrong-side out, and they are perfect for slipping your hand into for dusting, etc. We're gonna try to have a container garden this year, using heavy-gauge plastic 55 gallon drums cut in half, with holes drilled around the bottom edge for drainage. They eliminate trying to keep a regular garden weeded, and require less watering. A plus if you don't have a lot of space.
    Fortunately, our A-Frame home is very energy efficient, needing only 1 220 A.C. unit on the second floor that keeps the whole house cool, with the aid of ceiling fans, and a fan upstairs aimed downstairs to pull down the cool air. We had double-paned windows and patio door installed about 5 years ago, and that really made a difference. One propane heater keeps the whole house warm, even set at 66 when it's 32 outside. Since we have 3 levels, we aim a fan up into our grand-daughter's room to move cool air up there in the summer, and use fans in the bedrooms to move the air around. Since we are with an electric co-op, they averaged our bill for a year, and we pay the same amount each month. It can go up or down each year, depending on how much electricity we use during the year. But, this makes it easier to plan a budget since we know what the bill will be each month. We have a propane stove, so it's very economical to cook as 100 gallons will last over 6 months, even during the winter when we're using the heater. We had to get a new microwave, and got one with a ventahood, which has really helped take the heat out of the house. I know that will make a difference this summer. As for cooking, I'll often make a HUGE pot of pinto beans, enough to freeze 2 large containers, plus what we're going to eat for that meal. I'll do the same with sausage-chicken gumbo, and will cook 2 roasts at once to put in the freezer. I make my own flour tortillas, which saves money, plus they are so much better than the store-bought ones, which have a slightly sweet taste. Since I grew up eating home-made tortillas by a Mexican woman, it's worth the extra effort. Since I don't like tacos that break apart when you bite into them, I cook my own, leaving them soft. More filling, and they don't fall apart. I'm not sure about the homemade soap as I use the liquid concentrate,and a large container of it will last at least 3 and a half months, and we do a lot of laundry, having 2 teens in the house
    I'm looking forward to some more tips
    Texas Mimi


    • #32
      Originally posted by Seemomgonuts View Post
      You're welcome! She makes me miss my Great Grandma. Makes me wish I was older before she died, so that I could have learned all of this. When I was paying attention to her in the kitchen, all I cared about was cakes! So I can make awesome cakes, but I can't sew or can, both of which were her specialty! Oh well.....I bought my daughter a sewing machine, and we are learning together. I need to learn to knit too.
      There are lots of FREE helps on the net to learn how to knit and crochet. Here's a good site with lots of video lessons on various aspects of knitting. Just do a google search of "learn to knit videos" and lots of links will pop up. Surf around until you find a teacher you like. There are many learn to knit books out there too for a very reasonable cost. Wal Mart even has kits to get you started. I like the videos personally as I'm a more visual learner when it comes to crafts.

      Hope this helps!

      Here's one link to get you started:
      Last edited by Abigail; March 3rd, 2009, 01:29 AM. Reason: add link


      • #33
        Thanks for the link as I would love to learn how to knit. I do crochet, but never learned to knit. It would be nice to be able to knit sweaters


        • #34

          Can we make this thread as a sticky please. So many excellent tips.

          Buy in bulk and cook in bulk.
          Press sleep mode on computer keyboard instead leaving on 24/7.
          I don't have tv and don't miss tv. I love the classic shows. (Money saver there).


          • #35
            Originally posted by IlovemyJesus View Post
            would someone explain to me what washing soda is???? Never heard of it.


            • #36
              Originally posted by Sunny View Post

              We've got our thermostat down to 62.
              62? Wow, I'm impressed. We have ours at 65 & I'm freezing all the sweaters & multiple layers, wearing shoes on my cold tile floors & sitting at the computer with a blanket lol!


              • #37
                Thank you Texas Girl!


                • #38
                  Originally posted by BarbT View Post
                  I have two, beautiful words for you people: THRIFT SHOPS
                  You mean you are buying clothes???

                  Seriously, though, we've never shopped at department stores unless after Christmas sales that brought them down to very cheap. But I'll have to hit thrift shops more now.

                  They aren't as cheap as they used to be though. Is it inflation, or a different set up? I used to be able to get pants for 50 cents, shoes for a dollar....

                  Now, I'm lucky to find anything for less than 5 dollars there.


                  • #39
                    Up until my divorce ten years ago I was living on 10k a year with 3 children and a mortgage payment. Don't ask me how but I managed. It wasn't fun and it wasn't easy and we did without almost every wonderful thing most people take for granted.

                    Used clothing can become new quilts or patches on torn clothing.

                    Old toys can become new again to a new generation of children.

                    Yardsales are wonderful places to pick up clothing, canning items, camping items ect. and will probably be cheaper than the thrift stores. Puzzles, educational material, books, lego ect can also be found at yardsales and thrift stores.

                    You can make an apple pie from green tomatos.

                    Don't forget Fido or Kitty! Learn to make your own pet treats and bird treats.

                    Learn to plant a garden and can...NOW not later. Later may be to late.


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Abigail View Post
                      There are lots of FREE helps on the net to learn how to knit and crochet. Here's a good site with lots of video lessons on various aspects of knitting. Just do a google search of "learn to knit videos" and lots of links will pop up. Surf around until you find a teacher you like. There are many learn to knit books out there too for a very reasonable cost. Wal Mart even has kits to get you started. I like the videos personally as I'm a more visual learner when it comes to crafts.

                      Hope this helps!

                      Here's one link to get you started:
                      Thank you! I'll check that out!


                      • #41
                        Shop around for auto insurance. I shopped and saved $440 a year and coverage a little better too.

                        My mother used to save all those littlbe bits of hand soap left over and when she had a small bowl full, melted them down and made a larger bar of soap.

                        If I need a floral arrangement, I make it myself. I have made arrangements for less than $25.00 while at the same store I bought the supplies cost well over $100.00

                        If needing college textbooks, check to see if there are used ones. If lucky can be half off. But not always.

                        Have a yard sale on things you no longer need or can use. If your kids are too old for the crib and you're not going to have another. Why keep the crib?


                        • #42
                          I have a couple of thrifty tips!!
                          *Ask around or put up notes at senior centers for unwanted veggies or fruit. Many elders have established fruit trees and dont need all the fruit for the two of them. Offer to trade services for gleaning their fruit trees. I got many bushels of apples for washing some windows for a elderly neighbor. She said I could have as many as I wanted if I prune the trees for her this winter!!
                          *Learn how to preserve what you glean. I love my dehydrator!! Learn to make applesauce, jams, jellies, etc.
                          *Edible landscaping!! Plant blueberries instead of nonbearing shrubs around your house. Replace your Hostas with rhubarb, plant dwarf fruit trees instead of ornamentals, Large nut trees for shade trees. Blackberries instead of a privet hedge!! Your would be surprised how much food you can produce on a city lot!! Learn-educate yourself-think outside the box.
                          *Get to know some farmers and trade/barter. I bought some older laying hens whose production dropped from a neighbor for a dollar each. I dressed them and have been cooking them in a stock pot 3 at a time and then pressure canning the meat and broth for later use. Yeah it's messy, but if you are willing to do the dirty jobs other people are not willing to do, you can save a bundle.
                          * look for recipes to make your own mixes. You can make your own cream soup mix, bisquick, pancake mix, muffin mix, spice mixes, etc. That saves a lot, and they are fresher and are not loaded with preservatives and MSG, etc. Learn to make your own noodles!!!
                          *Buy everything in bulk and design a storage system. You can store a lot in flat tubs under beds. Buy even baking soda, sugar, and salt in Sam's sized bags and use out of small jars in your pantry or spice rack.
                          *Contact your sheriff dept and let them know that you would be willing to take salvage tags for deer. They will call you. If a deer is hit on the road, they will often dispatch it and bleed it out for you if they know someone is interested!! I know it sounds gross to eat road kill, but hey, venison is great, its meat, and meat is expensive protein! Talk to the game and parks service about salvage tags for depredation permits too. If an area is overpopulated with deer, they allow landowners to kill a certain number, they often go to waste. I know one landowner who has a permit to eliminate 30 deer and can't get anyone to take them!!!

                          Thats all I can come up with right now...I know some of these are pretty radical ideas, but we never know how far we will have to go to make ends meet and keep our loved ones fed. Hope these give you some ideas!! I'm sure I will come up with more later.


                          • #43
                            --have learned to make my own bread and do all my baking 1 day a week so I use the oven less.
                            --use electric skillets and crock pot for more meals so that oven and stove are not in use so much-this has made a huge difference in heating bill.
                            --I work from home and have found that wearing a hat, thermals, thick socks AND shoes helps me stay warm and often I can avoid having to turn heat on or up during the day. Shoes make a big difference in keeping me warm as they reduce even further the amount of heat I am losing through my feet by contact with floor.
                            --During the day, I go around and open the blinds and curtains on those windows in which I get full sun...once sun moves in position, I close up blinds and curtains again.
                            --Use depression era recipes, make stews, soups and even spaghetti pie in bulk to freeze and just re-heat later for quick, cheap meals
                            --invested in a book called "Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis's's from that depression era and is filled with all sorts of practical household tips about how to preserve produce and meats, how to make your own cosmetics and soaps and how to sew, mend, etc.
                            --hang thick blankets or quilts on walls to help hold in heat as well as on windows
                            --rigged up a removable "clothesline" indoors and haven't had to use my dryer all winter-saves my energy bill two ways: 1-no dryer+less electricity and 2-I have baseboard heat and will turn it on and place clothesline creates a moist heat that not only keeps me from having to iron but the moist heat makes my kitchen and living room (open floor plan there) feel 10-15 degrees warmer...we all know how much hotter it feels in summer when the humidity is high! lol this one thing has saved me over 25% on my heating costs


                            • #44
                              unplug anything not in use, even something like cell phone chargers if plugged into the wall but not actually charging your cell phone, will still put out some electric


                              • #45
                                Yeah, walk through my house at night and it looks a starship with all the LED lights from all the appliances and units and such. I have no street lights, but there is still plenty of light to walk around in the dark house at night without bumping into things.

                                I think they constantly drain the electricity. I have been wondering about turning off some of the circuit breakers each night when I go to bed to shut all those things off.