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Thread: Living Frugally

  1. #1
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I thought maybe with all of the financial problems I've seen posted about lately, and we have some of our own, that it would be a great idea to see some tips and tricks for saving money.

    We are making use of the stores that offer discount prices. We have both the freezer that's on the fridge, and a small upright freezer.
    Not only do we go to Grocery Outlet and Food4Less, but also to Cash and Carry....which is a resturaunt supply store that is open to the public. We have to watch ourselves closely tho, with just the two of us, it's easy to buy more than what we can use before it goes to waste. (especially with fresh vegies and fruits)

    Today, at Cash and Carry, we purchased a 13lb package of beef...looked like skirt steaks, for $1.85 per pound. That's almost $1.5 a pound less than extra lean hamburger. A couple of years ago, we purchased a grinder like this one:
    http://www.google.com/products/catal...=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLL_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=16261705129024493142&ei=6DZyS8PyHJGYsgO-xbHLAQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=image&resnum=4&ved=0CDIQ8gIwAw#

    So...for about 1.87 per pound (gotta count the plastic wrap) we have SUPER lean hamburger. We also make our own lean pork breakfast sausage, Italian sausage snack sausages and pepperoni. We just get pork butt at Cash and Carry for .89 to 1.19 a pound. Or at the grocery store on sale... Compared to say, Jimmy Dean sausage? Much better and much cheaper!

    I intend to start making use of my bread machine...and using more dried beans, long cooking rice, etc.

    So what are your money saving tips?

  2. #2
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    I love this thread! I want your recipe for pork sausage. We have a local meat market that would grind pork for us. I usually cook a meatless soup on Saturdays and serve with cornbread or batterbread. Sunday after church we have the last bowl. During the week we eat oatmeal or grits for breakfast every day.We combine all trips in the car. I have days I "spend nothing." I cook as much from scratch that I can. I don't buy any snack foods. I buy all my new clothes from ebay, except underwear. I buy that from Wmt. I buy my dog food from Tractor Supply, their store brand is good food. We go to a vet that is discount and he gives us an extra 15% discount for having 3 dogs. I call all pharmacies before filling a prescription to determine the cheapest one. Sometimes the difference can be over $50.

  3. #3
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
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    I make our own bread and noodles. I dont really like meat, but cook it for my husband. I have been getting him to eat more meatless meals. I love rice and beans with veggies in it. Love coupons and only buy on sale unless it is something we absolutely need.

    Margie

  4. #4
    Dora Taggart's Avatar
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    The name of my game is coupons...coupons and sale items...

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    I posted my favorite one in another thread, but I'll repost it here: Check your receipt before leaving the store. If there's an overring, it'll be that much easier to get it corrected. Plus, many supermarkets will give you the item for free, refunding all of what you paid for it. This can be because a sale item rang up at the regular price, or because the shelf price was incorrect, etc.

    I found a couple of good tips in this month's Good Housekeeping Magazine:

    1. If your income is low (the magazine example is less than $44,000 for a family of four, but it may vary by region), you may qualify for a free mammogram/pap smear. More info at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/
    2. You can get rebates on OTC pain relievers, vitamins, skin-care products, etc. at http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/FrameSetup.asp

    Don't forget to use your AAA, AARP and other club discounts.

  6. #6
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    We are tipped to have another power bill rise in July, so we are getting very frugal with power. Here's my tips for energy saving:

    We are fortunate to have a solar hot water system, so hot water in summer is free, we switch to a manual booster on overcast/winter days, just an hour or so to heat the tank water, then switch off. We have a wood fire in our winter living room, use draft stoppers and heavy curtains and use our own trees or found and scavenged wood for fuel. We try and turn everything off at the mains if we are not using an appliance (amazing how much the "trickle" adds up). Limit use of dryer (easier said than done for you chaps in the northern hemisphere). Wait 'til a full load before washing in the machine. We have forgone the luxury of airconditioning and have ceiling fans and in winter, when really cold we pile on more quilts or use very sparingly portable oil filled electric heaters.

    We also have to pay quite a bit for water (we live in a very dry climate), so as much waste water as I can manage gets put on the gardens and around the fruit trees. We also installed dual-flush cisterns (so you can elect half or full flush).

    Food wise, we bulk buy where possible, and also grow a fair bit. We are both good cooks so eating out is not our bag. Clothes are bought on sale or for me 'op-shop' and re-cycling boutiques are the go ('cept underwear, that's usually from Target or Kmart).

    I rarely buy books or magazines, if I do they are usually from second hand dealers or charity shops. I also use our local library, which offers a free internet service if you need it. We don't go to movies, it is cheaper and more comfortable to buy or borrow a dvd and sit at home with a glass of wine and some home-made popcorn (cleanskins are good value or buy in bulk).

    Also regularly review insurance policies or bank accounts, watch out for better deals, term deposits with decent interest and low or no account fees for your general accounts. Use credit cards infrequently (emergencies) or not at all.

    Lastly, make frugal "fun" turn it into a game, rather than a "poverty trip". Stress (particularly over finances) is one of the biggest causes of illness or relationship breakdowns. Happy savings everyone. Sorry for the rant-fest.

  7. #7
    kysmommy2's Avatar
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    I love finding new ways to live frugally!
    I do a LOT of coupons and especially when I can combine them with store sales! For instance...buy one get one free at a store, plus I have a coupon! score!!
    I do make most my meals from scratch. Not only is it cheaper, it's much yummier! and a lot better for you than all those preservatives! I also compare the price at Walmart to the bargain price at grocery stores. A lot of times, it's actually cheaper there and I can still use my coupons.
    Many places offer free haircuts throughout the month.
    I am leinant on what type of shampoo, laundry soap, dish detergent, etc I use...whatever is on sale &/or I have a coupon for works for me!
    Also at night I turn the heat down. I lay on top of an electric blanket instead of running the heat. I am a Florida girl and this is my first full winter living in NV...so I am FREEZING! During the day I do turn the heat up and I also use afghans and quilts to keep warm. I could seriously turn the heat to 80 and be perfectly comfortable...so keeping it at 70 or 71 is about my limit suring the day when I'm up and about. When the sun is out I def warm my home by opening blinds on the side of the house that the sun is shining on.
    Also when I bake or cook in the oven...once I'm done and shut the oven off...I keep the oven door cracked to let it heat up the kitchen.
    I am thinking of investing in a wood burning stove before next winter.........
    Also...just a little side note...you CAN use a store coupon WITH a manufacturers coupon on the same item!! AND....if you do a buy one get one deal...you can use a coupon for the item you are paying for AND the free item!! seriously!
    Happy savings ladies!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    Frugal and you turn the heat to 70? GIRL that is what layering your clothes is all about. I live on SSI which is about as frugal as you can get without asking for it. I lived for several years in a cottage that was .. owned by family. One year my dear sis told me they couldnt rent to me any longer at the rate I was at so the rent went up $300 with a whole two days notice. I did not turn on the heater once that year. I used an electric blanket on the bed and on the couch where I sat. It cost about .25c a day to use one vs the heater .. when it was 30 outside the old cottage was 30 inside. My daughter used to laugh at how we could see our breath when we chat. It was what it was. I do now have a tremendous appreciation for little things like.. heat and fans in the summer. We had a fire in my new home last night. It was heaven. The pay is horrible at my husbands new job but it came with free housing which is VERY nice and free utilities and I can tell you.. the heater is one this morning. I set it at 65 and it never has to get to 30 again. Phew! BUT LAYER LAYER LAYER.. you will be amazed at how much a difference it makes.

  9. #9
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    We have a fire place and use it every day. I like to buy the wood ahead of time by the quart and not having to guess how much the electric bill is going to be if I use the heaters. We put one fire in the morning and that kepps the house warm all day and a fire in the evening and it keeps us warm all night. Also quilts, quilts, quilts. I make them, so use them. No complaints about being cold at night when we have quilts around.

    Also we have switched to generic brands on maany of our products. Most of them are actual brands that sell their left overs to generics. Same quality. My husband like shopping at Aldis's They have lesser known brands and no bags, but they prices are really low.

    Also jorge is on quite a few medications. Many pharmaceutical give away discount cards that cover the deductibles. He gets insulin from our local diabetic center and the company that makes the insulin in pens gives us the needles for free. Very few pharmaceuticals don't have programs to help.

  10. #10
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    When William and I were trucking, we went to a plant to deliver...as we walked back to the break room to get a soda and use the potty, we passed tables of employees of the plant ripping off DelMonte labels and others applying generic labels...
    Was good enough to change my mind about generics!

  11. #11
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    We do not turn on the heater. Like others, quilts, layers of clothing. It doesn't get THAT cold, but...

    I'd love to hear how to keep cool in the summer. Fans, lots of water, and cool ties. We have just a window air conditioner for the really hot days.

  12. #12
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    We have our furnace on a timer. At night we have it set to go down to 58. During the day it is set to 67. I lay under lots of quilts or fleece when I am sitting down and use an electric mattress pad at night. Usually if the 3 cats are next to me, it's like having 3 little heaters. I do tend to dress in layers but hands do tend to get cold at times. Our budget heating bill has gone down every year because of our savings. The timer is under $40.00 and easy to wire. There are usually 4-6 changes you can program in for the heat and/air if you have it. We saved enough in the first 6 months to pay for it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Maksi's Avatar
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    I save money to make my own sausages,the ones in the store is also much to salt!) my own bread(I don't have a breadmachine), most of my own clothes. I buy general brands and if something is on sale I buy a lot and store it.
    In summer we can eat from our vegtable garden where are also fruits. I love my garden!

  14. #14
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    Well we turn the heat way down at night and when put a wool blanket on the matress then made the bed it was so much warmer at night. And one on the top also. and long flannel PJ's.
    Generic brands and coupons. We found some of the generic brands just as good as and some better than what we was buying. We stock up on thing when on sale. Have almost quilt buying red meat so high. We put our extra auto on park insurance and we called the phone company and said we are thinking of shuting it off, they put us on a lower program. I buy big bags of fresh vegis at CostCo's and cook and put in the freezer. They don't stay ther long and are just like fresh. Just the 2 of us so I cook for 6 and we freeze the extra or have 2 days in a row. And a snack. Make bread in machine. Only flush toilet if a big job or company. LOL Save's many gallons of water. We put the lid down, again just the 2 of us. Turn lights off if not really using it. Put up okey curtains between kitchen and living room. On a spring rod, makes a huge diff, the sky lights in Kitchen I made a cover for both windows also on spring rods. Made a diff too. We have not eaten out for months. And like one of the other ladies said more brown long cooking rice and dry beans and soups and stews. Wash only full loads or turn the water level way down for a smaller load and do one load rigth after the other so the dryer is still warm and I hang a lot in the down stairs bathroom. Never put under clothes in a dryer they last longer. Mae heavy curtains on pressure rods for all the livingroom windows at night when no sun shining through.
    and I probably do more I am not thinking about right now, oh like only going in the car if ther is more than one thing to do then I map it out and do as much as I can in one day. I used to go to Joanns and quilt shops at least 3 times a week no if I get to go once every 3 weeks or so to use a 40% or 50% off coupon for a skin of yarn or a yd of fab for something.... This not working for 1year 4 months has put a crimp in my life and husband been out of work since last Aug. Less than half what we was used to. So we are cooler LOL, skinner, more time to walk, and trying to figure out what else to do to save a dollar. We plan on a huge garage sale this spring. I have a lot to get rid of. Some things still in boxe's. My husband folks passed away 1 year and 2 months apart and we have a lot of ther things. We gave so much away and still have too much. So I also have been very busy with my stach I have build for so long and getting an ETSY site set up.... If you are one still working and would like a nice gift for yourself or a friend or family please PM me at ConnieF To all those out there, we are all in this together and we will make it through it. We must have faith and trust in God.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maksi
    I save money to make my own sausages,the ones in the store is also much to salt!) my own bread(I don't have a breadmachine), most of my own clothes. I buy general brands and if something is on sale I buy a lot and store it.
    In summer we can eat from our vegtable garden where are also fruits. I love my garden!
    Maksi,
    Can you please show us how to make your own sausages? I would love to try something new.

    panda

  16. #16
    Senior Member Maksi's Avatar
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    Yes I will, wich suasages do you want? It will takes a while because I have to translate it first and for some products I don't know the English words. I have to look them up in an online dictonairy.

    I have a basic sausage for meat.
    A basic sausage for pasta's, wich you can also use for home made pizza's. I even make my own teriyaki and tandoori sausage.
    Some basics for salads
    Clarrified butter in China and India they called it ghee and in Maroc they call it smeg. You kan save it for years out of the fridge.
    And Hollandaise sause and bechamelsausages. Tell me wich sausages you want and I put them the recipescorner when I'm finished translating.
    I LOVE to cook and it is a challenge to me to make as much home made as I can. About ten years ago I only made my own bread, stews and soups and al the other was right from the store in an can or package. But I think that home made is cheaper.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bailey's mom's Avatar
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    I love all of your thoughts~!

  18. #18

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    Maksi,
    Please post a "basic sausage" recipe first. Could it be the one you can add any herbs or chilis or any other flavors?
    I am soexcited to try your recipe.
    I know of ghee, that is the butter made from the milk of water buffalo and is used in Indian curry, right? I love spicy food so much , that is why I know of it.

  19. #19
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    OH yes...post your recipes!!

  20. #20
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    We can/freeze vegetables from the garden all summer. Grow what you can in the summer, you will be surprised what you can get from a small plot.

    Dry your own fruits and make your own fruit sauces. Sunshine is free all summer. Takes a bit longer than a dehydrator, but is cheaper.

    Shop for meat early in the morning. The meat that is going out of date is up to 50% off and can still be frozen. Whole chickens are cheaper than pieces, and the carcass makes great broth that can be frozen.


    Keep a freezer bag in the freezer and add small amounts of leftover vegetables, even if it is just a spoonful. When the bag is full, add some broth and make vegetable soup. My mother call is garbage soup, I call it freezer soup.

    I like a shower, DH likes a bath. When I shower I close the drain to save the water, then he gets a bath. This works especially well when we are are on water restrictions which is happening more and more these days.

    We keep our house cool (usually about 68 during the day) and if I get to feeling cool, I light a scented candle. There is something about it that just warms the room.

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    A crock pot or two or three is the best money and time saver you can have. I can throw in whole potatoes wrapped in foil in one, meat in another and the evening meal is off my mind. Also a pressure cooker is a great help in being frugal.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Keaghank's Avatar
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    I buy really cheap items and try to be creative... for instance, ramen is cheaper than pasta, so I will make a pasta dish with that instead. I do lots of soups and homemade bread.

    Make sure your freezer is full - it will run better and be cheaper. I keep old milk jugs fill of water to fill up empty space.

    Put that plastic stuff over your windows and a rug or something against the doors to keep the drafts from coming in.

    Luckily we have a programmable thermostat so I can have the heat way way way down while we're at work.

    For those of you in MN - Rainbow has doulble coupon days on Wednesdays.

    Walgreen's has a 'club card' for about $25 a year that offers discounts on prescriptions and rewards on whatever you buy in the store.

    Redbox for movies - and get on their email list. They will frequently have free movie codes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member RatherB Quilting's Avatar
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    For those that freeze extra foods, a thought to ponder, though it is a financial outlay of money...is a foodsaver vaccuum sealer. My Hubby and I purchased one of these for our Co-Christmas present this year. I am afraid I am terrible at putting things in the freezer and having them come out freezer burnt and then they don't taste good or they just get tossed. Lost so much money that way. We have started freezing our meats and they look fantastic. I also cook up bulk dishes like lasagna, manicotti, perogies and such and freeze them in lunch sized packets. After you use the bag, if it's big enough, (and hasn't held chicken or meat) we wash it out and reuse it till it's too small to seal anything in ;) I am planning on stocking up on summer veggies and freezing my own veggies. With an infant around the house, we unfortunately can't turn down the heat drastically like we used to, but we have already saved money on food by not throwing out freezer burnt meats and by having lunches frozen instead of buying!

  24. #24
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    The Foodsaver is a wonderful tool! I buy big quantities chicken, pork chops, steaks and even the big bags of breaded fish or chicken nuggets. Separate it out into portion sizes that you will use in one meal and vacuum seal it. I write what it is or cooking directions on the part above the seal on the bag with a Sharpie since that part of the bag gets cut off. And I don't reuse a bag that had raw meat/fish in it, but I do wash out and reuse bags that had other food in it.

    Take whole strawberries in season and put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. When they're frozen, take 5-6 of them and freeze them in a bag. When you want to make a smoothie, take 1-2 scoops of ice cream, some milk, half a banana and a package of frozen strwaberries and put it in the blender. mmmm!

    I also vacuum seal walnuts and almonds that I get at Sam's/BJ's to help keep them fresh longer.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Rose Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter7x
    The Foodsaver is a wonderful tool! I buy big quantities chicken, pork chops, steaks and even the big bags of breaded fish or chicken nuggets. Separate it out into portion sizes that you will use in one meal and vacuum seal it. I write what it is or cooking directions on the part above the seal on the bag with a Sharpie since that part of the bag gets cut off. And I don't reuse a bag that had raw meat/fish in it, but I do wash out and reuse bags that had other food in it.

    Take whole strawberries in season and put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. When they're frozen, take 5-6 of them and freeze them in a bag. When you want to make a smoothie, take 1-2 scoops of ice cream, some milk, half a banana and a package of frozen strwaberries and put it in the blender. mmmm!

    I also vacuum seal walnuts and almonds that I get at Sam's/BJ's to help keep them fresh longer.
    Frozen fruit blended up also makes a great daquiri (probably not spelled right!). I picked a ton of blackberries last summer and we are still enjoying them! (mine is without the alcohol, right now !)

    Rose Hall

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