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#241 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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I got ds's entire wardrobe for 3 sizes from Freecycle. I was shameless about letting people know it was for a kid we were adopting from Ethiopia, and people were very generous!

Anyway, I wanted to ask about cell phones. We are probably the only family in the country that deosn't have a cell phone, and in principle I want it to stay that way. However, I don't feel so comfortable driving around with two toddlers and no cell phone. A friend of ours is willing to sell us her son's old Virgin Mobile phone for "cheap" (didn't specify the price). I looked at the VM website, and you have to buy $20 worth of minutes every three months. I don't think that I would use it that much. In fact, I really only want it for emergencies. Are there better plans out there for people who don't want to really "have" (read: use) a cell phone? Should I go with the VM phone? Or should I just skip it all together? It seems like an unncessary expense!

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#242 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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Thanks for the link macytoedt--

When af returns I am hoping to do something besides disposables. Actually this is a funny story-- when I first found out I was pg, I was sewing some cloth pads. I had them all cut out and I was sewing the first one, then I started thinking about when I was going to use them, and then it occured to me that af was late. I started to get a little concerned, so I went to the pharmacy and got a pg test. It was +, so I put away the cloth pads. :LOL

A total surprise!

Now I wonder if I could find them again. anyway, no af at all is even frugalter than cloth pads/sponges/diva, etc. :LOL

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#243 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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A reminder to check the thrift stores before you buy something. I wanted to get dd a Baby Bjorn little potty. I was all set to go to Babies r us, but I was near the thrift store today and decided to stop in. They had one for $.99. I was going to spend $9.99. So, i saved $9.00. I think someone said here they keep a running list of things they want, so when they go to the thrift they can keep their eyes out for them. I think I am going to start doing this.
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#244 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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I use a Keeper, but since I cannot get it entirely leak free I back it up with homemade mama cloth. I am interested in those sea paerls, though. They might be just what I am looking for since I get to a point in my cycle that the Keeper leaks as much as it catches during my light flow days. I was wondering how they worked. I will spend $10-15 a month on disposible pads, so it really is a money saver.
We just found out that we can do a new investment program for only $20/month. I am going to sign us up immediately, even if that comes out of my grocery money. My dh's employed does not provide *any* retiremement, and we cashed out his old 401K when we moved. I am also going to look into those college funds. We really have to get our financial stuff in order. We have a child with special needs, and I don't really know what the future will hold for him.
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#245 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 02:53 PM
 
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dharmama-

If you truly only want the phone for real emergencies, I think you actually don't even have to have a plan. I believe you can dial 911 from any charged phone and your call will be answered.

Of course there are 911 emergencies and then there are emergencies that are more family/sanity related. We have a small plan for the second kind of emergency.

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#246 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 03:00 PM
 
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I have a cell for those times when i'm broke down or something. It's a prepay. I really don't use it much. I mostly use the calendar for scheduling. I have to pay a minumum of $15 a month to keep it active. So $20 for 3 months sounds like a good deal.
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#247 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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dharmamama- rowdypea is right, any cell can call 911 as long as it's charged. DH works for a 911 mapping company, so I can say that with confidence. If you are looking for just 911-type coverage your best bet is to buy an old but functional bag phone. They're huge, but that is off set by the fact that coverage is much better, especially in rural areas. You can usually find bag phones at garage sales or thrift shops for a couple bucks. Heck, you can probably post a "wanted" on freecycle and get one for free :LOL

Regarding the femine hygine stuff, I love my cloth pads. I have a keeper too, but the pads are just so much easier. I think I posted a link to the lady I get mine from earlier in this thread.
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#248 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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We have a farmer's market near us that is more "trendy" than actual farmer's market, but they do have a store there called The Spice Rack that sells bulk spices, grains, mixes, etc. The actual Spice Rack is in a town 20 miles from here, but they set up their booth at the FM on FM days. You can call the actual store and ask them to bring things for you to pick up on FM days. I've decided to start doing some bulk buying through them. My husband takes the kids out for bagels every Saturday morning (NOT frugal at all, but I get to sleep in and the kids LOVE going out with Daddy, and he budgets it into his weekly "spending money"), and he said he'd swing by the FM on the way home to pick up what I've ordered. I've decided to start small, with things we already use: brown rice and oatmeal. They also have dried chickpeas (we use a lot of canned), so after I see how the rice and oatmeal work out, I'll add the chickpeas, and keep adding from there.

Namaste!
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#249 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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Everytime I close out of this and go back to my e-mail, there's already a new post. We need an open chat session.
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#250 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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Can someone tell me how to *quickly* (quick is key) hydrate dried beans? I've wanted to make the switch from canned to dried for a long time, and I do have a few bags of dried beans sitting around, but I always forget to soak them and then when it's dinner time, I just open a can of beans instead.

Namaste!
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#251 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 03:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macytoedt
I just LOVE reading all these ideas...

this morning i was driving to work and got excited to post how i save money every month and wanted to share.....

it may seem drastic to someone who does not do it, but you WILL save money not buying tampons...i use the "sea sponges" aka "sea pearls"....
it may seem ackward but i you can use them alot at home if you are in your own house if you feel you could not do it elsewhere....i know there has been diss about the diva cup, i just cannot afford it yet but i will someday....some times the co-ops or health food stores have them but a website is

http://www.pandorapads.com/sponge.htm

i have to say the feeling you get when you can NOT waste the cotton, save the septic, and save money each month is like when you change a CD and you know you are doing the right thing....you know?.....

i still use tampons when the sponge cannot keep up but it is awesome for the times when you are light at the beginning or the end....i can make a box last several months....

i just wanted to put that out there since it really does cuts costs....

it might sound a little weirder but ...

i never wanted to spend money on sea pearls. : i use rolled up unbleached organic cotton baby socks and throw 'em in the wash.
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#252 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:00 PM
 
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Here's a quick-soak method I use from a great bean book I have. It's not super fast but good if you plan a little ahead.

Put the beans in a large pot, cover them with water, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes with a lid on the pot. Then remove the pot from the heat and let the beans stand, covered, for 1 or 2 hours. This is equivalent to as much as 15 hours of plain soaking.

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#253 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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Thank you, NorCal Mama! I should be able to manage to plan ahead that far ...

Namaste!
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#254 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:07 PM
 
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Here's our frugal eating-out tip: We wait until the in-laws come to visit. They like to eat out, and they like to eat at nice restaurants, and they always invite us to go out to dinner, and they always pay! Plus, we save half our entrees for a second meal at home! Two meals for free!

We keep a stack of coupons to nice restaurants as our contribution to the meal.

Namaste!
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#255 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal Mama
Everytime I close out of this and go back to my e-mail, there's already a new post. We need an open chat session.
Yesssss, my mailbox was full of new posts and I have a hard time remembering where I left off. Great tips. We did splurge today and had lunch at Wendy's. :

One thing we spend unnecessary $$ on.....snacks & drinks at older kids sports, 5 yr old is "thirsty,hungry,starving,dehydrating, insert adjective here..." and we are at basketball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse game, before we know it, to keep her sitting & quiet, not whining, we have bought pop, gatorade, chips, candy, pizza, whatever......but to lug another bag along with snacks is something hard for me to remember. Any ideas??? This is in addition to cost to get in, oldest dd high school basketball games are $3 per person....luckily they don't charge for infant,lol, but don't offer a family rate either. I understand the reason behind admission charge, keeps rowdy kids from just hanging out, but pleease!
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#256 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Here's our frugal eating-out tip: We wait until the in-laws come to visit. They like to eat out, and they like to eat at nice restaurants, and they always invite us to go out to dinner, and they always pay! Plus, we save half our entrees for a second meal at home! Two meals for free!

We keep a stack of coupons to nice restaurants as our contribution to the meal.

Namaste!
We do that, too!!! :LOL
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#257 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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I was just reading this thread for the 100th time and taking notes when I saw this..
Quote:
We have a farmer's market near us that is more "trendy" than actual farmer's market, but they do have a store there called The Spice Rack that sells bulk spices, grains, mixes, etc.
You wouldn't happen to live in Ohio would ya? We have that same store at our "trendy" fm and I love their stuff. Uber cheap.
Sorry thats my input for now. This thread is rockin though.
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#258 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:43 PM
 
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Wow, lots of great tips today!!

I used to use a Keeper but do to issues, I won't give TMI, I switched to cloth pads and LOVE them. I always used to be a tampon girl but I am so much more comfortable with pads now.

As for the cell phone issue, you can buy a rechargeable one. You pay $x for x minutes. When you are getting low, you just pay for more minutes. I am not sure exactly how much it costs and may be more per minute but I think this is what I would do if I only wanted it for emergencies. I know you can use any phone but I would want to call dh after 911 or what if you get a flat tire?
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#259 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadege5
Yesssss, my mailbox was full of new posts and I have a hard time remembering where I left off. Great tips. We did splurge today and had lunch at Wendy's. :

One thing we spend unnecessary $$ on.....snacks & drinks at older kids sports, 5 yr old is "thirsty,hungry,starving,dehydrating, insert adjective here..." and we are at basketball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse game, before we know it, to keep her sitting & quiet, not whining, we have bought pop, gatorade, chips, candy, pizza, whatever......but to lug another bag along with snacks is something hard for me to remember. Any ideas??? This is in addition to cost to get in, oldest dd high school basketball games are $3 per person....luckily they don't charge for infant,lol, but don't offer a family rate either. I understand the reason behind admission charge, keeps rowdy kids from just hanging out, but pleease!
This wouldn't be an immediately helpful solution, but maybe you could talk to the school about selling discounted "family passes" for the whole season? Ok, I realize I live in a tiny town, and the principal lives next door, so maybe "talking to the school" isn't that easy, but maybe it's worth a shot?
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#260 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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Me too, about coupons for out to eat places. I am not sure just how frugal this is but I got the entertainment book (okay so my mother got it for me for Christmas) there are SO many nice places to eat and its alwasy buy one get one. We end up taking half always home and its makes for a nice lunch for us the next day.

Food tastes so much better from the garden.

I cannot wait to start growing tomatoes again. Last year wasn't a hot year for me growing tomatoes not sure what happen.

Right now my dad and I have three rows of onions, three rows of leeks and three rows of shallets. They are growing so well. Planted them three weeks again and they are 8 inches now its not even warm yet.
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#261 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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subscribing. I've been paring down for years now. I always feel that I need to do more.

Shane - Homeschooling mom to three boys (12, 1-, 8) and living the open life with my husband.

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#262 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just read a really interesting blog entry, so I thought I'd pass it along. Stuff: Nice versus Really Nice.

Welcome Shane! Good to have all the "newbies" on board!
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#263 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 05:40 PM
 
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Can we talk about free or cheap things to do as a family? We have a pass to our children's museum. I guess I'm not very creative because more often than not we are browsing in stores or the mall to pass the time. I bet you can guess that its not very frugal to hang out in stores.:LOL Anyhow its cold and wet outside or we would be at the park, taking a walk or lounging by the big pool that we have in our apartment complex. I need ideas. I probably get out of the house around 3 hours a week and I have serious cabin fever. Oh we also go to my inlaws and play games like Life and eat their food.
Also what are some free/cheap dates? Valentines day is coming up and I'm determined to have a date with Eric this year. Last year I locked us out of the apartment before we could go anywhere.
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#264 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 05:44 PM
 
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I would love some family fun ideas. The only one I have to throw out there is the library and our local Barnes and Noble also has a cool children's section with a train and stuff for the little one to play with, plus story hour.

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
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#265 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 05:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weebitty2
it might sound a little weirder but ...

i never wanted to spend money on sea pearls. : i use rolled up unbleached organic cotton baby socks and throw 'em in the wash.
: Ok you win for crunchiest frugal tip of the month!

I use a diva cup, but because of how low my cervix is the first 2 days of my cycle I need pads those days. I can't get a perfect fit with the diva and have a bit of leakage.(so I use both) After that I don't need the pads and I love how I don't even feel the diva or need to empty it too often.

I always pack waterbottles when we go out, the kids only drink water so I hate paying $1 a bottle from a vending machine! I bought a bunch of water bottles cheap on clearance for 0.75 and use those. I keep a backpack ready and just add the waterbottles when we head out. Easy to keep with us because I can just grab it on the way out of the door, snacks, diapers etc. are already in there.

I tried making my own cloth diapers out of old receiving blankets etc. but I stink at making diapers so I started buying some. I bought almost everything from the tp and a few I bought new on sale. I did buy my ubipfs new on ebay, I mean the fitteds and covers I bought used .
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#266 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloKitty
I would love some family fun ideas. The only one I have to throw out there is the library and our local Barnes and Noble also has a cool children's section with a train and stuff for the little one to play with, plus story hour.
My dh is a librarian and I get sick of going there real quickly these days. Sophie loves it there because she thinks that she owns the library and their guinea pig.:LOL She walks behind the circulation desk and in the back rooms. Its kinda cute. I love libraries. I've been reserving dvds ala netflix style and eric just brings them home when they come in. That might be an idea for some.
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#267 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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Another dry beans idea:

I cook beans in my crock pot then freeze them in sandwich bags inside a gallon sized freezer bag. Each smaller baggie is about equal to one can of beans.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#268 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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I do that with my refired beans make a big batch and freeze the serving size I want. Plus mine taste so much better then the can.
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#269 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 08:11 PM
 
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Free family fun:
besides the library (check your to see if they have sortytimes, game nights, or craft sessions)
go to one of the fast food places and play in their play area. You don't *have* to buy food there.
Check your local museums to see if they have free admiddion days- many do
during the spring/summer many communities have free outdoor concerts
make up a scavengar hunt for the neighborhood and invite some friends over
take a hike
go for a bike ride
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#270 of 509 Old 01-12-2005, 10:35 PM
 
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Selu Gigage-

Thanks for the link. That was a very thought-provoking essay. I'm just beginning to really feel like the price difference between "nice" and "very nice" really is just what the author said--a premium. And the vast majority of the time it's not worth it.

If there were a forum for frugality, I would post this question as a seperate link--

Does anybody have any "thriftsperation" Like inspiration for being frugal?? A frugal theme song, quote, etc to get you through the tough times? I always think of the poverty desxcribed in the book Angela's Ashes and then I feel so lucky and like I live in the lap of luxury. Which I do, all things considered. It's just not the one on tv.

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