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Hints for Economizing

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  • #76
    Originally posted by BarbT View Post
    I have two, beautiful words for you people: THRIFT SHOPS

    I've been hooked on finding second hand bargains for 25 years -- even when I was making good money in better times. I know this may sound tacky to those of you who are used to buying "top of the line" but you'd be amazed at the great stuff you can find at these places.

    A pair of $50 Levis at Macys will cost $5 for a nearly identical pair at a good thrift store. A person watching his finances can augment or replace his entire wardrobe for very little money.

    AMEN! I shop there as well and save a fortune!


    • #77
      Invest in a crock pot - it is amazing the wonderful and filling meals you can make with just a few ingredients. And with winter coming, it is especially great to use. Uses less energy too than keeping a stove top simmering all day long while trying to cook the same stews, soups, etc., I have a great crock pot website if anyone is interested, message me!


      • #78
        As a person who is very much concern about our economic status, I always find ways to keep updates about it. So, thank you for letting me know about this issue. I am looking forward to hearing more from you regarding this important matters.


        • #79
          I come back and re-read this thread every once in a while for inspiration!! So I was browsing through it today, and thought I'd ask if anyone has found more great tips??

          One thing I've started doing that helps a LOT is matching coupons to sales... watch the flyers, and look at websites like and for great deal ideas!!


          • #80
            Originally posted by gal36 View Post
            About 10 years ago I stopped using deoderant or antiperspirant. Instead I use a salt crystal that can be bought in health food stores. They cost less than $10.00. I have used the same one for three years now. That is a significant savings.

            It took about a month to adjust. I perspired a little more but that subsided. I use it after taking a shower and it lasts all day. It does not stain clothes or leave residue.
            I do the same thing too!
            But more for the health benefits. I hear that the pore clogging aluminum could prevent your body from excreting toxins which could contribute to breast cancer.
            I got a trial size to see how it was, and I love it. It's been a year and I still have half the trial left. Although I don't think it would be strong enough for DH. I like how my underarms don't itch anymore, and if I happen to itch no more residue under my nails.
            I think my trial size was only about $2.

            Other things we do to save money (house of two people):

            1.) We invest in freezer bags and little baggies to freeze and store meat as soon as we get it. Keeping the portions small makes it fast to defrost, and saves on the amount of meat we use. If I didn't do this, we'd have rotten meat in the fridge for sure.

            2.) Buy in bulk but be sure to check all unit prices.
            We also work two different shifts, so having clean dishes isn't always an option (I purposely put all away except for two since DH refuses to do dishes).
            We do paper plates many times. But bare in mind, the biggest amount isn't the cheapest. for instance, at Walmart, the 300 ct. paper plates cost more than the 3 100 cts. Make sure they aren't changing stuff to cheat you.

            3.) Choose a place to live with good insulation. We chose an apartment that was half underground, in the middle of the complex and next to the boiler room. When apartment hunting, I also asked about electric bills and water bills if there was one. The place that was #4 on my list based on rent quickly became #1.

            4.) Save return envelopes from junk mail. If you want you can save other parts for scratch paper.

            5.) Everyone in the house doesn't need a cellphone. I have a tracfone for emergencies, but I don't use it much for talking. Most of our friends and family are on messenger, and we have the internet because it's neccessary for our jobs.

            6.) Take advantage of free deals. We got free cable for 1 year with our internet provider. It's only 20 channels, but it's better than nothing.

            7.) Keep lights off in rooms you're not using. Pretty easy to do in a small apartment.

            8.) Got too much stuff that's good? I'm talking bigger more expensive things that you don't use as much, like a shop vac for instance. If you can drop it off with a family member who has the room (and is willing to keep it for you) or to borrow. Cheaper than renting a mini warehouse.

            9.) Think light and small if you aren't settled in a place you'll be settled in forever.
            Think light and small anytime you make a purchase. Or better yet, don't buy anything at all! Just think about all the effort it will take to store and move all that junk!


            • #81
              A few tightwad tips

              1.Put electronic items on a power strip and turn off at night w/1 button.
              2.Those cell phone,and most chargers take juice 24/7 Feel it,is it warm ?,thats the feel of your $$$ going out the electric socket.
              3.Fact:in most houses the clock on the microwave oven takes more current than the microwave itself on a 24 hour basis.Useless info there.
              4.If you really want something-wait 3 days.If you still fell the same then,get it.
              5.insulate your hot water pipes,and certainly your ceiling.
              6.If you are really cheap you can re-use your motor oil-ask me for details
              7.Wash out baggies ,aluminum foil.etc
              8.Quit smoking to save tons of $$$
              9.Drink kool aid or water instead of pop,don,t forget to brown bag lunch instead of buying out.
              10.Inflation is over for now,your house is worth less now,but the insurance value of your house is probably still way up there.Talk to your agent and lower it.
              11.When you run the water to get it hot,use the water for cooking or plants.
              12.Low flow shower head
              13.Use electric blanket at night,and lower heat to 62 degrees
              14.Look up do it yourself sites on the computer,you will be surprised how much U can do and save big.
              15.Oil dry($4.00 for 25 lb bag) instead of expensive kitty litter,use baking soda for odor control.
              16.Rent movies ?,use red box for $1.00 a night.
              17.Men,take out the weight (tools)and junk out of your car,and inflate those tires.How would Jesus drive? Nice and slow.Make mileage a game-how much can you get? keep records.
              18.Hang up your clothes while they are still in your hands,throwing them in a pile creates dry cleaning/washing bills.
              19.Clean out refrigerator coils, keep freezer filled to save $$,even if it,s only bags of ice.vacuum furnace filters every month,I don,t buy new ones.
              20.Get an attic fan to suck out the hot attic air so your air conditioner works less hard.
              21.Buy used stuff,so what if someone else had it b4 you.Once it,s washed it,s clean.Salvation army thrift stores are really incredible places.
              22.Not using it ?? turn it off.hard habit to get used to.
              23.Get a device called kill-a watt.Once plugged in between the wall and your appliance it will reveal to you how much that thing is costing you in electric dollars every day or month.
              24.Use fans with air conditioning,Also so what if you wear a sweater in your living room in the winter,you will save big $$.
              25.Remember the 1940,s slogan "use it up,wear it out,make do or do without(yea,i,m that old)


              • #82
                A pantry

                For me a major money saver was starting a pantry and cooking for myself. I live alone and work long hours so I often found myself grabbing takeout or going to the store hungry to pick up something to get me by. Last year I started a pantry in my basement. I would shop the local grocery flyer, combine coupons and rebates, and end up walking away with $100 in groceries for about $40. Having the pantry meant I could buy and store more when sales were good. It also allowed me to eat through the winter when the weather was bad and the heating bills were high.

                I also have a small garden, I only grow a few things, but I can trade with friends and family for what I need. My hot pepper jelly can get me just about anything
                But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. Psalm 5:11


                • #83
                  okay...I'm a major cheapskate..oops, I mean that I am very frugal and conservative

                  so here go a few and I'm sure that a few are repeats:

                  -- combine trips; if you need a prescription refilled then do it on grocery shopping day, a trip to the post office on the way, schedule a doctor's appointment with other errands...

                  -- buy larger packs and ziplock baggies; a 5 lb package of ground beef makes 5 meals for the cost of 3 ( tacos, burgers, hamburger helper etc) and don't forget to re-ues and wash those baggies, they're not cheap

                  -- I grow my own veggies, melons, tomatos the seeds from the plants by drying them on a paper towel in a window sill. The next March or April you can re-use those little 6 pack plastic flower things and start your veggies early in the season by starting them in a bay window or in sunshine in the house..the crops will produce earlier and longer....

                  -- a Vaccuum Sealer !! I have fresh beans, carrots, peppers, tomatos even corn cut off the cob. Zuccini and squash even store well if you just blanch it very little before sealing up. You should never have to buy produce again except specialty items that don't grow well in your area or things that don't store like lettuce or cukes..

                  -- Fish stores much longer in ziplocks if you fill the bag with water--it won't freezer burn...

                  --I keep my old tennis shoes for gardening, fishing, lawn cutting etc..and one nicer pair for casual dress...

                  -- a BIG ONE. If you and your spouse or kids have cell phones, why would you have a house phone also? My wife and I both have cells yet I had my house phone at $60 a month still on for a year

                  -- Change car insurance. The field is so competetive that almost everyone will offer you a cheaper rate--shop around.

                  -- Brew your own coffee. I have a "single cup brewer". I simply heat a cup of water in the microwave then pour it through a little plastic strainer with a filter..TADA !! Even better, if I want a second cup I only need to add a little more grounds on top and the second cup is just as strong with almost no more grounds !! If you do drink coffee out, carry a mug in your car. Most places who sell coffee for $1.29 for a 16 ounce cup will sell for 50c or 75c if you bring your own mug...

                  -- if it's on sale and you use it, buy multiples !! It's okay to get 5 bottles of ketchup, mustard or mayo when they are half price--you'll use it eventually and they store for a long long time unopened. Tuna on sale for 50c a can? Get 20-30 of them !! Chunky soup for $1.50 a can?--get 10 or more--heck, a $1.50 for a filling meal is not a bad deal today...

                  -- I buy and sell on ebay, those padded, bubble mailers?..I open the end evenly with scissors, peal off the label and just saved a buck and a quarter for packaging/mailing supplies. If the label is too stuck to remove, simply write the address on a piece of paper and tape it over the old label. ( saves on labels too!)

                  -- not everyone can do this but we get free bottled water. My wife works as a dialysis nurse and they have a water purifying system and big tanks in the back. She takes empty gallon jugs to work and refills them for free with purified water. We also use re-usable smaller water bottles which we fill from the gallon jugs, no need to buy bottles of water by the case or at the stor in singles ( and no storage space needed)

                  -- a thermos !! Saves money on coffee, hot meals anywhere..leftovers make for cheap lunches and can save $40-50 a week as opposed to eating lunch out ( probably a lot healthier too)

                  --check the flue on your fireplace..keep it closed unless you're burning a fire..

                  -- extra insulation pays for itself in the attic. Ideally you want modern fiberglass insulation but in the old days they knew that ( just like with clothes outdoors on cold days) the thicker and more layers the better--they even used old cloths and newspapers ! ( of course this also makes nice homes for mice and critters who climb in the attic)

                  -- we call it the "whole house fan" but it may be what others are calling an attic fan. It is in the upstairs hall ceiling, when we turn it on it sucks all of the heat out of the house and blows it out through the attic. Drops the indoor temp from 90's + to 80's and low humidity in 15 minutes...

                  -- cool shower before bed and leave your hair wet/damp

                  --more reading and family time.!! If you have a TV on in one room, a stereo in another, another family member on the computer..that's three people who could be using one entertainment media instead of 3 different..

                  -- if grilling, cook not just that dinner's food but 1 or 2 other meals also that can be re-heated for lunches or the next night's meal. Saves time and charcoal/propane cost..

                  Hope someone can use at least one or two of these


                  • #84
                    We have a vacuum sealer and our church garden has a bumper crop of squash and zucchini. Thanks for the blanching tip.
                    I also consolidate my trips.
                    I go to the Goodwill in the wealthiest suburb. I find clothes with the tags still on them all the time. And a lot of the clothes are designer. Half price day I got two huge bags of very nice clothes for hubby and I for 30 bucks.
                    Saving money makes me feel clever!


                    • #85
                      Here is a money saver that I have used for years and it works great.

                      Homemade Window Cleaner

                      In an old window cleaner bottle put
                      2 - 3 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol
                      2 - 3 Tbsp. vinegar
                      2 - 3 Tbsp. ammonia
                      a couple of drops of liquid detergent
                      and a couple of drops of blue food coloring
                      Fill the rest of the bottle with water

                      This cleaner can also be used to clean walls, stoves, counters etc. You may want to double or triple the strength though, it depends on the heavy duty job you have.
                      1 John 4 : 4
                      Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.



                      • #86
                        I just wanted to say I love all these ideas and tips everyone has shared. Some of them bring back memories of the late 1950's when my father died and my mother found herself raising 5 kids alone. She sure could make a dollar stretch! We had chickens for eggs, a cow for milk and I learned how to make butter, buttermilk, etc. My mom would take me along when she would buy chicken feed in the purty print sacks and let me pick one out and then she would make me a dress/skirt out of it. She had an old foot-pedal Singer sewing machine and could sew very well.

                        I suggest finding a set of the old FoxFire books by Eliot Wigginton that are old folklore and how to live off the land (back in the olden days.) These books are full of wonderful how-to ideas. You can find them on ebay too. They are a treasure.
                        John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.


                        • #87
                          to save water - in Iowa- we had a very hot weather and no rain- I used the water left over from the pets water bowl to water the flowers- instead of throwing it out. the plants don't car if Willis and Vanna drank from it.

                          Why so many people are so willing to accept government handouts but unwilling to accept the free gift of salvation of Jesus Christ?


                          • #88
                            I periodically reread this thread for inspiration to help cutting costs. Like most people we are finding the paycheck is smaller than it used to be and the cost of living keeps going up. I really don't know how people without the hope of Christ make it in today's world. I would be one big stressed out mess were it not for the fact I know He is here for me.

                            Over the last several years I have been taking a hard look at the STUFF I accumulate and have been getting rid of the things I no longer love or are no longer useful. I am finding that it is helping my home look better, be more peaceful and it also is helping the budget.


                            • #89
                              Nobody has mentioned these...

                              Paper towel packages are now smaller and lighter, and product thickness is reduced. Tear off only small sections of paper towel as needed instead of wasting one whole perforated piece. Air dry the larger wet, used, but still clean, pieces and reuse them on a dirtier job next time.

                              Tear off plastic wrap only enough to securely wrap around container edges. Keep reusing on other containers until the piece gets wet or soiled.

                              Cut open toothpaste tubes (at the bottom, then press shut after use) and plastic containers of hand, face and body creams (cut in half, then transfer the remaining cream). You can get 1-2 week's worth of product out of containers opened this way.

                              In bathrooms, use nightlights with a switch. Get in the habit of turning on the 4-watt nightlight instead of the overhead bulbs when only minimal light is needed.

                              Keep a thin rubber spatula on hand for scraping all of the contents out of slender plastic containers such as salad dressings.


                              • #90
                                Credit cards: (mentioned above)
                                Here's the thing. A national financial guru on the radio sez absolutly no CC's, period, end of discussion. His reasoning is research shows people spend more if paying with plastic than the cold hard cash, and banking moguls are betting on you paying big fees and interest. Over the case of the last few years; I have paid ZERO interest and fees and it pays a percentage back, 1-5%. Playing Monopoly with my son, I showed him this example; say I borrow $100 from you and then I have to pay you $5 for using your money or $105 back. Imagine if I borrow $100 from you I pay back the $100 and you pay me $5 for doing it . . . Dad, can you do that? I put everything I can on the card, use their money for a month and write one cheq a month.

                                The only things for which we might borrow money are: 1) Home purchase 2) Car purchase 3) Emergency house repair (assuming it costs more than our savings). We purchase nothing else...and I mean nothing...unless we have the cash in the bank.

                                We carry no CC debt (it took our first 3 married years to erase it all). Now we put almost all purchases on a rewards CC. We build up several hundred dollars in rewards cash, which we typically use to buy gifts.

                                Works great...a CC that truly pays us.
                                Matt. 7:21
                                2 Cor. 5:21