hmmm... maybe not a favorite.. but I just modified some of ds long sleeved winter clothes for summer by taking off the faux under shirt. It was easy and took me 5 minutes per shirt! Now he has 5 rompers to wear out instead of just 2.
Post your favorite frugal tips - Page 2
Thats a great idea! Im gonna see if DS has any shirts I can do this with, I am a beginner sewer but its worth a try!
- call every bill you have every 6 months to get a lower payment, lower apr etc
- i turn off the ac/lower the ac during the day when DH is gone, he has to be SUPER cool but I don't mind it being a bit warm
- budget and meal plan, including 'fun' money because IMO if you don't treat yourself you end up going crazy
- buy items used and repurpose, everything from clothes to furntiure
- sell stuff i don't want/need
- automatic savings (directly from DH's paycheck)
- making sure your grocery list is ENOUGH, for a while I would cut it so much that we'd run out of food for snacks, etc making me more likely to go out
- order water when going out
- drinking water at home
- Trader Joe's! Saves us SO much, our family of four can normally be under 70 bucks for the week
- make your own cleaners
- playdates instead of lunch dates
- restaurant.com (with coupon code) for every date night
- always searching for a coupon code for online stores
- printing coupons for stores I'm going to
- Bed, Bath and Beyond for toiletries... a lot of them don't carry stuff like that, but some do. I can get Dr. Bronner's for 9.99 plus 20 percent off, same with Organix conditioner, Burt's Bees, Say Yes to Carrots, California Baby
My two cents on making sure we get as much as possible out of the foods we bring into the house is this: almost every leftover we put in the fridge gets a masking tape & Sharpie label. I am MUCH more likely to eat what is in a container if I don't have to open it for inspection. Since we usually eat a lot of the same things, I put the labels on the cabinet and wind up re-using even though (much to the embarrassment of my fifteen year old son when he has friends over). I am also lucky that DH will pretty much eat anything, short of diaper contents...
I haven't had credit card debt since I killed it years ago, but when I did, I called and requested lower APRs...as long as you have a reasonably clean payment history, they typically will comply. I also used Dave Ramsey's materials to learn how to better manage my debt and finances.
ETA: When I say I used Dave Ramsey's materials, I meant a book I got at a yard sale & his free radio program. He also has "materials" that you can buy for a lot of dough and classes of his you can take, but I sure didn't do that stuff.
Edited by McGucks - 7/31/11 at 11:39am
I discovered a neat trick for greeting cards. I'm not much of a greeting cards person anyway, but I had to make a bunch of thankyou cards after the baby was born. I used folded A4 printer paper, and got DD to crayon a picture of a baby on the front of each (after convincing her not to make them anatomically correct... I wasn't sure the old ladies from church would appreciate that!). She's three, so they weren't the most artistically awesome cards ever, but the babies were recognisably babies (well, people...), and the ladies LOVED them. I'm moderately crafty and could probably have made some respectable cards myself, but it would have taken ages and it's not really my thing. Plus, this was a good reason to spend some quality art time with DD, AND I didn't have to keep said art on the fridge for the next year and a half to prevent her outrage when I got rid of it. :p I highly recommend it.
This isn't super-frugal, but when DH and I occasionally go out for dinner, I try to use an online deal. I get a couple of "deal a day" emails; most of the deals are rubbish or irrelevant to our interests, which is probably just as well, but occasionally there'll be a 50% off voucher for a restaurant we haven't tried. We also tend to share a meal, because we're small eaters and it gives us room for a starter or dessert - which is still cheaper than two mains. And we unashamedly doggy-bag, because DD loves our leftovers. :p
We also do the "buy gourmet food and cook it at home instead of eating out" thing. Still not super-frugal, but cheaper. Even really expensive, delicious, vacuum-packed rib eye steak costs way less than buying two steak meals at a restaurant, and we have our steak-cooking down to a fine art (in fact, DH sometimes won't order it when we go out because he's afraid it won't be as good as ours!). We've "avoided" many a meal out that way.
I also try to reuse cloth for sewing. It's easier with very small kids - you can get a little dress out of an adult skirt, or a baby shirt out of a man's shirt, very easily. I do kind of undo my good work here by occasionally splurging on quilting cottons, but at least I save on buttons and things. I made a mei tai out of fancy quilting cotton, but interlined it with denim from old jeans; I used new but on-sale fabric for baby rompers, but used nice wooden buttons cut from a button-infested cushion cover I got for $2 at an op-shop; that kind of thing. It saves some. Buttons in particular are really expensive to buy new; I recently found out that op shops sell them in little baggies for 50 cents.
We cloth diaper using flats. The majority of the ones we have are flour sack towels from Walmart that I get a 5 pack of for $4.87.
I'm switching the kids and I over to family cloth.
We put foil on our south/west facing windows to help block the heat from coming it. We can set our thermostat as low as we wanted to and from 3-8 or 9pm it doesn't dip below 78 in the house.
Eating "cool" foods in the summer to not add to the cooling costs.
Putting the crock pot outside to cook supper.
We buy memberships to the zoo and children's museum once a year so we can go without paying admission for the rest of the year.
Packing food with us when we go places.
If we eat out we use coupons.
We clean with baking soda and vinegar.
The kids are no-poo (and I'm working on switching over).
I've cut our grocery bill down a lot by couponing and matching coupons to sales. I've done a couple of blog posts about it:
We are a military family...and maintaining 2 households. Here are some of our ideas:
-Craigslist!! Both to buy and sell...we sold our old washer & dryer before buying new, more efficient ones.
-Never carry credit card balance
-Costco for milk, eggs, diapers, meat, and rotisserie chicken (we can make a $5 chicken last for 2-3 meals for 4 people!)
-Sears outlet store to buy appliances
-Don't buy pop, juice, juiceboxes...except as occasional treat.
-Groupon, but only for restaurants we really love
-Coupons for stuff we use/need, then wait for sales
-Shower at the gym
-Make coffee drinks at home, no Starbucks/Caribou
-Pack snacks/drinks/lunches for road trips
-Check out movies & DVDs from library
-Weekend breakfast at home
-Hubby and I pack lunches almost daily, keep snacks at work instead of hitting cafeteria or vending machines
-Extra insulation in attic and crawl space
-Pay extra money each month for mortgage
-Paid off car loans ASAP, drive "older" cars (2003, 2008)
-Reuse glass jars, ziploc bags, grocery bags for garbage cans, cloth rags instead of paper towels
-Only do full loads of laundry & line dry when possible
-Cook dinner at home as a family activity, freeze leftovers
-Eat off salad plates instead of dinner plates...you eat less but still feel full from eating a full plate!
I do this with chicken bones and leftover carrots, potatoes and milder veggies... then I throw it all in the crockpot and have a great stock base for another meal or two.
great idea gonna have to do this.
I try to almost never use the oven, it costs so much money. I use the toaster over and crockpot and rice cooker for a lot of things. I have a secondhand bread machine that cost $5 and I don't think that uses much electricity.
I hang my laundry as much as I can.
I coupon and save the most on non-food items like batteries and toilet paper. I also got a lot of stuff cheap through the Frontier co-op.
I get my kids toys and clothes from the free table at the dump, yard sales and rummage sales. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to find clothing in my size too.
I use a moon cup.
Instead of buying books and movies we borrow them from the library. I also like to upload CD's from the library to my iPod. Plus it takes up less space in my house!
I sewed insulating curtains for our bedroom windows.
Cut ground beef 50/50 with lentils - works great in sloppy joe's, chili, taco meat
Cook your own beans. We freeze in 6-8oz containers and always have one thawed and ready for easy protein source.
Use 2 oz and 4 oz Nalgene containers or 4 oz mason jars to replace disposable drinkable yogurts and juice boxes.
Make own hummus (again w/ the 4 oz mason jars for easy picnicing/ lunch packing), Betty Crocker recipe is good.
Buy dog food at Costco.
Keep cars as long as you can.
Procrastinate on most purchases.
Stay home/ in your neighborhood more often.
Whenever you see good shoes a few sizes bigger than your kids at thrift store, buy them and save.
Swap childcare and pet care
Edited by jtbuko - 9/11/11 at 5:15pm
Hi! I've been hanging out here a lot lately and getting some great tips. Here's what we do:
-Pay-as-you-go cell phone and we don't use it that much. This does mean that we are still paying for a landline, but we just bundled and that might save us some money.
-Buy the large handsoap refill containers and Costco and use them to refill the smaller pumps in bathrooms and kitchen.
-Put liquid dish soap in old wine bottle with spout - 1/3 soap and the rest water. I don't do this to save money but I just realized how much it stretches the soap.
-Buy most clothes second hand.
-We purchased half a pig this summer and should have pork for a long time.
-Groupon can be a good resource if you can resist the pedicure and massage deals. I got my hair cut and colored last spring for $45. I just purchased two hours of bowling for 6 people for $20 - that includes shoe rental. That will give me and my friend an afternoon out with the kids for $10 a family.
-I"m on a challenge not to throw anything in the fridge away, so I've gotten pretty creative with leftovers.
- Harvest rain water and put a lever on our shower head that turns of the flow of water while we are soaping up.
-I'm going to start making hoola hoops for ds's birthday party gifts - I already have all the supplies.
-I stay out of Target. It's amazing all the things that I all of a sudden need when I go to that store.
-Using restaurant coupons, we eat out once a week.
Well, it's not a lot but I was interested in seeing what I could come up with!
there are some good ideas in this thread.
heres what i can think of that i do:
-compost and garden
-use glass wide mouth mason jars for tupperware (so much cheaper and easier to clean)
-wash and re-use ziploc freezer bags for sandwiches
-cook all meals and pack all lunches
-no paper napkins or towels
-watered down dishsoap in a handpump by the sink
-i dont use cleaning products other than dr bronners and baking soda
-wash only full loads of laundry
-never buy anything new - thrift stores, yard sales, craigslist, side of the road for EVERYTHING
-no car, bus and walk everywhere. i do have a motorcycle for occasional runs into town or work on nice days
thats all i got right now and i really have to pee ;) back later!
We don't buy any ziplock bags for sandwhiches, we invested in some BPA - free airtight little plastic boxes for the kids sandwiches/fruit/pudding for school which get reused over & over again. They have three boxes each which I fill each morning for their lunch. It has saved so much money in the long-run. They won't get replaced for a very very long time & they hoepfully won't be lost by my DC! My older girl has had her set for 3 years now!
Send children to school with packed lunches- so much cheaper then school hot meals.
Invest in a panasonic breadmaker- This has saved us so much money! We never buy bread from a shop/bakery now!
Invest in Kleen kanteens for everyone so you never have to buy drinks out & about. Also pack you own snacks.
We rent DVD's through Love Film and never buy them.
Don't buy magazines.
Don't go to the cinema, wait for the film on DVD.
Buy popping corn to make your own pop corn, great cheap snack.
Cook as much as possible from scratch. Make your own pizza and topping etc etc.
Don't watch adverts and don't go shopping for a hobby, so then you won't be tempted by stuff you don't need.