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Post your favorite frugal tips

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

We havent had one of these threads in a while. So post away!

 

post #2 of 38

I made a little magnetic sign to go on the inside of our front door that says "got water?" so that I'll remember to bring our water bottles when we leave the house.  Saves a ton on 'emergency' drink purchases when we're out and about.

 

 

post #3 of 38
I don't have any tips... but i need to be more frugal so i hope there will be many replies innocent.gif
post #4 of 38

Kind of basic (maybe too obvious?)

 

DH & I pack our lunches for work more often than buying.

 

Take the bus more often than driving or taking a taxi

 

DH cuts his own hair & often cuts our DS's hair

 

Borrow DVDs from the Library more often than buying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 38

We don't have cable, we stream Netflix with the cheapie plan.

 

Home hair cuts.  I can't imagine paying someone to do mine!

 

Homemade laundry detergent and vinegar for cleaning.  Huge savers.

 

We have ceiling fans in every room, so only run the central air if it gets about 82 in the summer to bring it back in the 70s.

 

House is in the winter is kept at 65 and we bundle up.

 

Public transportation (not sooo much now because it makes me nauseous, but before we used maybe a tank of gas every five weeks)

 

Keeping tea bags in my office so I don't have to buy it.

 

We have fabulous thrift stores in our area, so no new clothes for us.  The ones around the corner has dollar sales at the end of the season.  Got a Columbia coat for a buck last fall.  I have lived in places with horrible thrift stores and it was a very different experience!

 

 


Edited by livacreature - 4/15/11 at 9:51am
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 

I would like to get to the streaming netflix, we do it now, but there is only about 20% of whats available for instant.

 

 

Love the home made laundry detergant!

 

We have put a few bucks into insultating our home and the first years heating bills savings plus a tax deduction paid for it. Our gas bills for heating this past winter were half from the year before.

 

 

post #7 of 38

We are a family of 6 (soon to be 7 any day now), trying aggressively to pay down our consumer debt and be financially secure.  Our biggest money savings have come from:

 

~ Reuse EVERYTHING!!  There isn't a piece of fabric, worn out clothing, used wood, etc that we come across that we don't think of potential uses for.  I've cut up old t-shirts and sewn them into cloth dipes.  We currently have 2 wood pallets in our basement that we got free from WM (we talked to the manager) that are going to be turned into recycled shelving.  I've cut up old sheets into rag strips and knit them into rugs, same for old t-shirts, ala here.  I've cut up bulk cereal boxes (from Costco) into magazine type holders, and reused those wooden clementine boxes as stackable baskets for crafting supplies.  We wash out ziplocs and the bags from cereal and glass jars are reused for food storage.  Even our food waste is reused into compost.

 

~ Make your own cleaners.  We make all our cleaning products, except laundry detergent.  Combinations of vinegar, borax, baking soda, washing soda, citric acid, salt, and homemade soap make up our dishwasher detergent, floor cleaner, all purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, etc.  We also make our own citrus cleaner from citrus peels and white vinegar

 

~ Do your laundry wisely.  Rewear what you can before washing it, wash on cold, and hang dry as much as you can.  I use the dryer for diapers and the occasional load I need done in a hurry.  We have 2 drying racks set up and hang indoors during inclement weather/ winter and move them outside after pollen season.

 

~ Cut the single use products out.  We use cloth napkins, unpaper towels, cloth diapers and wipes, family cloth, cloth menstrual products and a Diva Cup, Klean Kanteens for everyone in the family, reusable snack bags, knitted cotton dishcloths, etc.  This also cuts our waste which means less trash bags to buy.

 

~ Adjust your thermostat.  In winter we keep the heat at 68* (though I'm trying to lower this slowly, but DH fights me) and in the summer we keep the A/C at 78*.  We also use our ceiling fans.

post #8 of 38

we exclusively line dry our laundry.  when we moved to this house we realized that the dryer wouldn't fit through the doors.  ;)  so I sold it and never replaced with iwth a smaller one.  line drying works great, n o reason to switch to a dryer, which would cost me more and enlarge my carbon footprint.

post #9 of 38

There's so many..
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post

 

~ Cut the single use products out.  We use cloth napkins, unpaper towels, cloth diapers and wipes, family cloth, cloth menstrual products and a Diva Cup, Klean Kanteens for everyone in the family, reusable snack bags, knitted cotton dishcloths, etc.  This also cuts our waste which means less trash bags to buy.


This is a huge savings each year!  I can't get the whole family on board with the family cloth, but even just using it myself and part time for the kids cuts down on the toilet paper usage in the house.  I don't buy things like paper towels, napkins, tissues, sponges (we use cotton dishcloths), sandwich bags, and plastic wrap.  I try to only buy things that we can re-use over and over and I'm trying to avoid buying new things that are plastic.  I keep the bags from frozen veggies and bread to use if we need a "sandwich baggie" for something.

 

Vinegar and Baking Soda! I don't use much else to clean than that :)  We do still use regular laundry detergent because I just couldn't get the homemade stuff to work as well.  Maybe once I get the clothes out in the sun on the line I can give it another go and see if my whites don't look so crummy.  But I cut out fabric softener (use vinegar instead) and line drying avoids the whole dryer sheets which I've been trying not to use in the dryer anyways.

 

I cloth diaper, and use cloth wipes.

 

We keep the house at 63 during the day and 60 at night in the winter, I try to keep it at 79 in the summer but sometimes get too hot and have to go a little cooler, maybe 75-77.  I deal better with the cold than the heat.

 

I try not to use things that "heat".  Very rarely do I use a blow dryer, or curling iron.  No heated dry on the dishwasher.  I did really good line drying our clothes all spring/summer/fall last year but as allergies hit in the fall it gets harder to do.  Now that the weather is getting nice I'm anxious to get the clothesline out and start hanging things outside again.

 

We have CFL's in all our lights and have for the past 5+ years.  I try to keep everything turned off for the most part or unplugged.  Things like the cable boxes, wii, and ps3 that don't get used all the time get either shut off from the switch on the back, or unplugged because I hate the humming noise they make even when they are turned "off"

 

I'm sure I'll think of more :)

post #10 of 38

It's not foolproof, but I've found a well timed discussion about things the girls need (ie, while Grandparents are visiting) helps us spend less!


 

 

 

 

 

post #11 of 38
I don't even have an air conditioner where I live (after 18 years in the South and being raised in Las Vegas, this was a HUGE shock for me) so I know I will be using fans to circulate air from open windows. That being said, in Texas, I would do that until it got into the 90s outside and I had no choice for the sake of my little ones.

I use used dryer sheets to dust with.

I save every jar and sturdy plastic container to reuse as a storage box for freezing food and storing leftovers.

Before leaving the store, I stop and go through everything in my cart, because I almost always toss something in there that, by the end of the trip, I realize I don't actually need.

I reuse plastic shopping bags as trash-can liners - no-brainer, I'm sure, but for awhile I'd gotten into the habit of buying the tiny little liners that were scented for the bathroom cans.

I'm sure there's more... but I'm doing three things at once and can't remember more at the moment!
post #12 of 38

We no longer pay for garbage service. We compost most food scraps, recycle what we can and drive the garbage and recyclables to the dump once a month.

 

I also buy freezer bags instead of sandwhich bags because they are thicker. We wash and reuse them for sandwhichs and other dry goods. I mostly use glass jars for bulk items, leftover and in the freezer too. Unless they break, they never wear out.

 

We also ditched cable in favour of netflix or watching shows online.

 

There is a farm near us that sells a lot of pumpkins, squash, apples and other things. They close for the season right after Halloween and sell all their produce for 60 - 70% off. I stock up on keeper type apples and winter squash. I wash them well, dry them and store them in the garage. Huge money saver!

 

With financial things like loans and insurance - it pays to call and ask for a rate reduction.

 

Even if you are making a one time purchase, if there is bulk pricing; consider asking friends or family if they want to buy too. You will get a better rate the more you buy.

 

Rhianna

post #13 of 38

I have a new tool to clear the hair from drains: I used the metal hanger from an old (about to be recycled) pendalex folder.  That hook on the end cleaned my drain in about two minutes flat.  Disgusting, but the drain runs clear!  Don't know what other people do to clear out hair but it has to cost more than free!

 

 

post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 

adding more.

 

Wait for or watch for or know when saless happen. We were in need of a techno upgrade- we do it about every 4-6 years so right now, for about 6 mos, we are "cool" techies LOL. So new laptops, new tv which DH watched for months and got a steal right before the super bowl. Since we moved 4 years ago, we needed new sofas that fit in the new space. We waited until the kids were a bit older, plus we watched sales like a hawk. Now we have a new tv and new furniture  that was on super super sale. We also knew exactly the style etc since we waited so long. We also got to use the space in our house first so we could see what we really needed.

 

Again patience and waiting is huge. iphones seems like a great fun, but wait 6-12 mos and pay a fraction for it. Both DH and I have smartphones. His was bought new and his new job paid for most of it, plus pays the data plan and some of the usage. I bought my smartphone for $0. IT was free but I pay for the data plan etc. DD wants an ipod. I am doing the rounds of some teens I know, neighbors and nieces/nephews seeing who is gettin a new ipod. I can buy their used one from last year.

 

For meals, find some "Creative" meals that you can make with what you have on hand. Some of our best meals have come out of neccesity and then we make  them frequently.

post #15 of 38

I use baking soda and vinegar for most of my surface cleaning needs (not dishes or laundry but sometimes shampoo).
I rent movies at the redbox for 99 cents.

I look for free activities in town instead of attending events that charge an admission price.

I make my own soup broth when I see sales on brothy type organic veggies - then freeze it. 

I carry snacks from home whenever we go places.

We drink water for the most part - juice or sodas or other types of drinks are a treat.

We snack on fruit rather than prepared crackers or things like that.

I use rags and towels for cleaning rather than paper towels.

Mama pads instead of disposable feminine products. 
I buy lettuce in bunches and rinse and bag for salad later instead of buying bag lettuce. 

We use the library a lot for books and movies
I actually don't clip coupons because that encourages me to buy products I might not have otherwise purchased. I do load up coupons to my store card just in case I happen to buy an item that has a coupon attached to it. This can be done online through the store websites.

 

post #16 of 38
Thread Starter 

As I said, we buy our beef and pork by the sides. A full of pork in the fall, our side in the winter. I havent found a great chicken source yet, but we found a local amish chicken we like. So when the whole chickens go on sale, we stock up. I bought this week, 3 whole chickens, cut up theighs (made chicken and dumplings) and chicken breasts on sale cut up already since as the weather gets  warmer,  we eat more of these. DH cut up the chickens, we bagged up the carcus parts for a large stock pot i will do in the next few weeks, plus all the different chicken things. Store in the freezer.

 

I love the idea of buying in season produce, chopping up and storing, I have done that for years. We do that with our fall harvest and can all the tomato. We have done it where we ran out of tomato the following mid summer, when its time to start over!

 

 

 

 

post #17 of 38

We don't have cable, we just stream Netflix using the cheap stream-only plan

I used cloth diapers and cloth wipes before DD was PLed and will use them again for #2 although we need to buy new ones

we use cloth napkins and never buy paper towels

we make our own laundry detergent, use vinegar instead of fabric softener, dryer balls instead of dryer sheets

I pack DH a box of snacks to take on the road on days he goes out of town for work so he isn't buying crap at gas stations

We just got new tires put on the car that help with gas mileage and they've already saved us a ton of money since DH travels for work

Cleaning supplies consist of baking soda and vinegar

We try to buy bulk items and things that can be frozen or kept for a long period of time

Each room in our apartment is individually heated, so we turn the heat down in the living room and bathroom at night

post #18 of 38
The bold-ed items save us the most money.  Sometimes, you really do have to spend money to save money. thumb.gif
 
  • keeping a greeting card box-- stock up on cute cards when they are on sale or off-season... then grab-n-go as needed
  • programmable thermostat
  • closing doors to unused rooms
  • clumping kitty litter from Costco (44 lbs for $6.99)... crossing my fingers that the price point doesn't rise!
  • packing meals and snacks for the road... sometimes this means packing a large cooler... no worries... we eat great food on the road!
  • growing flowers to have fresh-cut blooms in the house
  • drinking our delicious well-water or iced herbal tea
  • using cloth 'Ziploc'--  I sewed them from fat quarters, scraps, and ripstop nylon (the only artificial fiber/cloth I buy).
  • paying extra each month on the mortgage and truck note
  • automatically setting aside savings before spending
  • spending the money on big purchase when a deal is found (hesitation leads to regret)
  • keeping a clean/tidy house, so the buggies can't find any crumbs... and I don't have to think about natural/professional ways to exterminate them
  • generator for power outages, so we don't lose our freezer stash
  • extra-large sump pump... to which we plan to add a battery backup 
  • de-humidifier for the basement... maintains the value of our investment (furnished basement)
  • extra insulation in the attic (huge $ saver!)
  • gardening w/ our own compost
  • eating traditional foods
  • heated floor in the bathroom (as it is the one room that NEEDS to be reasonably warm)
  • ceiling fans, screen doors
  • unplugging unused electronics
  • homemade soap
  • vinegar for cleaning/deodorizing/sanitizing/cutting soap scum
  • making my own bone broth and utilizing cheap cuts of meat
  • safety razor with double blade
  • craigslist!!!
  • swap meets
  • buying in bulk
  • bundling homeowner's and auto insurance
  • pet health care policy through Banfield.  Our pets receive consistently awesome care.  They have check-ups twice a year.  Sick visits are free of charge.  We have been exceptionally pleased with their surgical interventions.
  • Costco membership
  • choosing the health insurance policy that best suits our needs (In our case, this is the top-tier policy.  The savings on diagnostics, hospitalizations, imaging, and procedures has kept us out of debt.)  
post #19 of 38

I thought of one to add here as I was printing coupons

 

Reuse printer paper as you can and use cheap paper/notebook paper to print on if you HAVE to print but the paper quality doesn't matter.  If you don't have to print...don't.  When I google directions, I copy them and paste them into an outlook appointment, then my PDA syncs up with it and my directions are in my pda, just like if it was a smart phone (but it doesn't make phone calls.)  I do print up a menu each week, but I print both sides of the paper...I print this week's menu on the back of last weeks and next week's is on a new paper.  Coupons, I always print at least 2 per page, even the one off type that print up your whole page.  Also, keep the print default settings on the lowest quality.  If you have to print something high quality, you can go in and change them for that print, but then remember to change them back, it saves the ink.

 

 

post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavamamakava View Post

I use baking soda and vinegar for most of my surface cleaning needs (not dishes or laundry but sometimes shampoo).
I rent movies at the redbox for 99 cents.

I look for free activities in town instead of attending events that charge an admission price.

I make my own soup broth when I see sales on brothy type organic veggies - then freeze it. 

I carry snacks from home whenever we go places.

We drink water for the most part - juice or sodas or other types of drinks are a treat.

We snack on fruit rather than prepared crackers or things like that.

I use rags and towels for cleaning rather than paper towels.

Mama pads instead of disposable feminine products. 
I buy lettuce in bunches and rinse and bag for salad later instead of buying bag lettuce. 

We use the library a lot for books and movies
I actually don't clip coupons because that encourages me to buy products I might not have otherwise purchased. I do load up coupons to my store card just in case I happen to buy an item that has a coupon attached to it. This can be done online through the store websites.

 



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