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I need some good ideas... - Page 2

post #21 of 27
i don't know the answer about ibr and private loans, but it sounds like you should look into consolidating your student loans. that in itself can lower the monthly payments. i would also seek a temporary hardship forbearance at least on your student loans (if your dh doesn't want to do that with his).

yes, you definitely are on the right track. you are frugal. but cutting a bit here and a bit there does add up quickly. you could easily find $100 a month to put into savings (or pay off your mw faster and then put $200 a month into savings).

for more food ideas, i think pizza is a great one. i'm vegetarian and i've noticed that when we order pizza at the office, i have to fight the meat-eaters off of my pizza (which may be cheese, "veggie", green & black olives, pineapple & jalapeno, etc - it doesn't matter, they always want my freaking pizza!). so you can get away with just a little meat or possibly no meat on the pizza.

soups (keep in mind i make all of these without meat, but in most cases, people do use a little meat, or chicken/beef broth, or a bone to flavor it):
potato soup
split pea
chicken wild rice
i know he doesn't like beans, but lentil stew is so freaking yummy, has he tried it?
minestrone
vegetable soup - i often put barley in, but are you GF? or was that another thread? anyway you can use any grain, or pasta, or potatoes or whatever to make it heartier
black-eyed peas with onions, peppers and canned crushed tomatoes
black bean & corn chili, with sour cream & fresh cilantro on top

it's definitely smoothie season - if you put nut butter on the toast, that makes it a teeny bit more satisfying.

will he eat egg-based meals without meat? like egg salad sandwiches, quiche, omelets?

you said he doesn't like mexican & italian. what about middle-eastern, north african, indian, thai? there are a lot of meals that can be satisfying meat-free or with very little meat (and simple to cook).

ultimately, it is cheaper to have meals everyone likes at home, if it keeps you from going to a restaurant. i agree with that. but there still may be room for improvement or he may learn to really like some new foods that use less meat or no meat. ooh, one other thing i think is really satisfying . . . hearty veggies like sweet potatoes or squash. if you're going to serve something that stretches the meat, having a side like that can help the meal be more filling.
post #22 of 27
Consolidate your student loans with the fed gov't. It's super easy to do and will qualify you for ibr, income contingent and forbearance. I bet you can forebear for a year and catch up and after that drastically lower your monthly payment. DO NOT DEFAULT on your student loans; but as long as you don't do that, then student loans are one debt that I don't worry about b/c of income contingent and forebearance options. If you are lower-income or broke then it's better to pay the income contingent and then get it discharged after 25 years then kill yourself trying to pay if off fast. Also, with IBR, if you work for a non-profit or city entity then you can pay income based for 10 years and get the remainder discharged. This might be something to look into when you go back to work.
post #23 of 27

Coupons

NAK

You asked where you can find coupons: They are usually in the Sunday paper in inserts, you can also find them online. Here is one site:

www.coupon.com

Just as a warning, it takes awhile to start saving money by couponing. You need to build up a stash but once you do you save a ton. Also for coupons, they are best to use when there is a sale on the product, that is when you really start saving. This is my favorite coupon blog:

http://moneysavingmom.com/

If you search it there are tons of posts about sales, cheap cooking, coupons etc.

This is my favorite book on how to lower your grocery budget, it's helped us save a ton.

A way you might be able to save on eating out is to learn how to make the dishes you and your husband order when you go out that has saved us a ton of money.

One other thought I had was about pictures, could you e-mail them to relatives, that could save you a lot. If you don't have a digital camera, the library might have a scanner you could scan them into.
post #24 of 27
the way I get photos to my mom (laziness/inablilty to actually get to the post office with the kids here not really lack of money!) is to upload them to walgreens. She/I have an account there, I upload them, she has them printed and picks them up. But really I could have them printed and all she would have to do is pick them up. I'm not sure at what point you pay for them but at whatever point-it's like 25-30 cents a photo. Walmart, costco and a variety of other places do this-you just designate the pick up place. Would something like that work for you?
post #25 of 27
Seems as if you got some great suggestions. Certainly go for the student loan forbearance and I would cut the sponsorship of the child for a while and at least reduce the church donation and eliminate the extra on the mortgage. That would free up more money to pay of the midwife quickly and get you back on track. Learning to eat and shop even more frugally will take you some time so everyone can adjust. Try making stews and gradually reducing the meat in them. I would gently and creatively force the bean issue over time. They are not only cheaper than meat, but have fiber and are much lower in fat. Maybe you could make a stew with beans and meat and just make sure that your dh gets more of the meat in his serving. And hey, I always figure that when you have kids, making cookies and other baked goods is not only a frugal snack but keeps everybody happen and entertained for a while in the kitchen. And you could reduce the amount of pictures and extend it to every other month and there is a bit more savings. If you get a forebearance on your student loan, pay off your midwife and get a bit of $ in the bank, you could probably get that insulation taken care of before winter and that will help there as well.

As far as garage sales, it is easy to blow too much. Keep a list of what you are looking for and don't buy anything else. I have also found that garage sale clothes are often not the best deal because if I can't try something on first, I don't really know if I like it or will actually wear it. Kids clothes are different, though. Both of my kids happpily wore 100% yard sales clothes for years . DD is 11 and now needs a few new things. But even with kids yard sale clothes, possible to get too many. Keep an inventory and know what is needed so you don't go over.

Also, maybe you could find a way to cash in on the college town thing? Do laundry for a couple of students or something like that? Check out the dumpsters at the end of the semester and collect stuff you could sell on-line or at a yard sale?

You can totally do this. It is really a question of being extra frugal for 6 months or so to catch up and get ahead. Convince your husband it isn't forever and do it on a month to month basis.

PS I would try to get some $$ in the bank as well as pay of the mid-wife during your "super frugal" time. It really is imperative. Maybe get the forebearance and keep her payments the same and just get your baby emergency fund.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenbeanmama View Post
This may sound like a silly question, but where do I get coupons? We get the free shopper weekly that has sale prices in it, but the few times I have coupons, it's for name-brand things that I wouldn't normally buy. Where can I find coupons for stuff I'd actually use?
Sometimes if you call the manufacturer and say how much you love the product they will send you coupons.
post #27 of 27
Do you have prescription coverage with your health insurance plan?
Instead of paying OTC for Prilosec, see if you can get a RX for it and then just pay the $3.00 co-pay and have it delivered monthly through "wal-mart" pharmacy...Please no flames.
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