Describe Your Frugal Lifestyle - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-30-2005, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please share ways in which you and your family are living to cut costs...I am trying to make a plan for us to save any and every way that we can, so your suggestions & examples would be very helpful!!

TIA!!!
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Old 01-30-2005, 04:43 PM
 
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cooking from scratch
stocking up on sales
freezing, canning, baking with foods that might go bad
buying used or making
using the library
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Guess I should list what we are trying to do already:

- CDing - hopefully the least expensive way we can: CPFs and a couple of
Proraps
- BF DS exclusively (he's almost 6 mo.)
- no cable T.V.
- buy no-name, store brand when possible
- haven't bought clothes for myself in a couple of years...clothes just aren't a big deal for me, thankfully! (And I get my sister's hand-me downs since she will only wear something for one season and then say it is old...
- try to make sure we aren't leaving lights on when we aren't home, in that room, etc.
- use laundry mat...not sure if we're coming out to the good here, but just can't get enough for our own yet...
- do not have cell phones or an elaborate land phone plan - just basic service
- only have one car payment...wish we didn't have this, though...it is used, so that saved us some, but we've had it for less than a year, so we'll have the payment for a while - wish we would get brave and do without having two cars!

Hmmmm...guess that is about it, maybe...I would LOVE to figure out a way to save us even more money - we are just barely scraping by and I am getting so stressed out about making ends meet every month...I know there HAS to be more ways I can be frugal with how we live (which is why I wanted your opinions! )

In particular, how can I/we save on our electric bill? It was over $100 this month - I about died!!! I cannot wait for spring and summer when we won't have to run the heat!!

Also, where can I find really inexpensive baby stuff...clothing in particular...we were getting hand-me-downs from a couple, but their kids kinda outpaced DS after reaching 3-6 month stuff...I'm going to need summer things in 12-18 months and they were already in 24 mo. stuff for summer...
Consignment? How do they usually work???

Again, thanks so much for your input!!
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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For kids clothes, I suggest Ebay. You can buy in lots especially if you are not looking for name brands, you can get a lot for really cheap. Also, places like salvation army. Some consigment stores around here are pretty pricey but they do have top of the line stuff. It all depends on what is important to you.

We make a lot of our snack food from scratch now. I just finished making banana bread today. I buy hardly any prepackaged snacks anymore. I have 2 kids in school and their snacks consist of things like homeade hummous and crackers, banana bread, cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and veggies. Occasionally they will con grandma into buying boxes of snacks like goldfish and I separate them into baggies (which we reuse) so they are the right size for a school snack.

We try not to have to throw away much food. I try to have a leftover smorgasbord night about once a week. There is always at least one thing that each person will eat. We enjoy goping out to dinner so I always ask for GCs for birthdays, Xmas, etc. We do that about 2x per month.

I have some tips that are great for shortening dryer time for cloths and diapers.

I'll be back when I think of some more.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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In particular, how can I/we save on our electric bill? It was over $100 this month - I about died!!!

wow, i'm actually jealous. we live in a 2 rented bedroom townhouse (about 1100 sq ft, i think). we were very careful this month about turning out lights, etc, and our dryer was broken, so i hung all our clothes. it hasn't been too cold here, we've only been running the heater at night. our electric bill was *drumroll* $206! i was horrified. the house is 2 story, and pretty energy inefficient. the windows are all drafty...i don't know how else we can cut back. we're stuck here at least until next year...
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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I second cooking from scratch. we spend much more $$ when we buy prepackaged foods. Also, i make big casseroles, or larger meals two-three times a week, and these leftovers become lunches. A big $ saver for me is when we only go to the grocery store once a week... with a list. I know many people who just shop when they need food, and they just wander around putting stuff in the cart... when we did that, we spent a lot more money. Oh... yeah... not eating meat meals every day. (i used to be a veg, and now eat meat 2x a week) Veggie meals are much cheaper to prepare! Also, not drinking, we don't drink often, but a decent six pack of beer is upwards of $8!!
i don't have to spend a lot on clothes, as I too have a sister that gives me hand me downs (and she has tons of $ and great style!). But when we do need new clothes, I am a sale sale sale shopper. I love the clearance rack!

our phone bill is pretty basic. we do have DSL, and i wouldn't get rid of it for the world. Our cell phones are both work paid for. and our cable bill is $13 a month, for basic channels. entertainment is netflix.. and maybe a movie every couple of months.

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Old 01-30-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitemarehippygirl
In particular, how can I/we save on our electric bill? It was over $100 this month - I about died!!!

wow, i'm actually jealous. we live in a 2 rented bedroom townhouse (about 1100 sq ft, i think). we were very careful this month about turning out lights, etc, and our dryer was broken, so i hung all our clothes. it hasn't been too cold here, we've only been running the heater at night. our electric bill was *drumroll* $206! i was horrified. the house is 2 story, and pretty energy inefficient. the windows are all drafty...i don't know how else we can cut back. we're stuck here at least until next year...
our windows are very drafty as well, in the winter we put plastic over them, it really helps.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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Here are some of mine:


eat at home mostly
use all the leftovers
thrift store clothes for the family
re-gifting for birthdays and special events
make our own valentines
go to free events around town
use the library
welcome hand me downs and give them
put on a sweater instead of jacking up the heat
made homemade teacher gifts
Use caution when spending for the household
trash-pick (folks throw out great stuff here)


That's all I can think of now. I used to cloth diaper, nurse and make my own baby food, but we're past all that now.
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Old 01-30-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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Our electric bill is really high and I think it's b/c of our lack of insulation...can you elaborate on covering the windows with plastic, chcadee 79? Where do you get it, how do you hang it, etc.?

I try to be frugal, but I have to admit I need to do more...

The thing that has saved me the most money this year is not buying all the expensive cleaners. I use vinegar and water for almost everything and it has saved me tons. I used to spend about 50 bucks a month on all these "great" and toxic cleaners!!!
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:01 PM
 
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Can I say Garage Sale loud enough!! :LOL I am a total garage sale freak! The only 2 new pieces of furnature in our house were gifts, everything else was bought at a bargan. Most everything from clothes to dishes to books to decorations have been purchased from sales. I rarely, if ever buy new clothes for Nathan. I rarely shop at consignment stores as, in my opinion, they are overpriced (could just be our area). I never buy clothes on Ebay as the shipping is outragous for clothes...very heavy to ship, but some people love Ebay for clothes (guess I'm just too cheap ). You wouldn't believe the deals that I find and most of the time I can't buy them because I already have too much stuff. Nathan has been garage saleing since he was about a week old. The trick is to go early and go to a lot. It usually takes about 5-10 bad sales to hit the jackpot sale. You can shop later for better prices, but the selection won't be as good. When we get tired of our 25 cent decorations or have too many outgrown kids clothes, etc... we just have a yard sale of our own. I call it the grassroots of recylcing!

It sounds like you are doing good at cutting costs. Do you have an electric dryer? Try hanging some of your clothes to dry. Sometimes I dry them about half way and then hang them the rest--that way they don't wrinkle as easily.

We don't have a cell phone or cable
-- get free movie rentals from library
-- keep our heat low (61 degrees)
-- sell on Ebay and at local consignment shops (I know, double standard, but I mark low prices)
-- try to cook from scratch when I can
-- use natural cleaning concoctions
-- went on WIC when time were tough
-- etc..etc..

For plastic on the windows, you can just buy a roll of clear plastic at your local hardware store and tack it on the outside of the windows with lathing. There are kits that work for the inside of your windows that you can purchase too. I'm sure there are lots of other ways to do it too. We insulated our roof which helped a lot as this old house has almost no insulation. It helped, but the price of gas went up so we are stuck with the same sized bill (150-200 dollars/month for the coldest months).

Good luck!

Mom to two boys, ages 8 and 11, and one blessing due May 8th.

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Old 01-30-2005, 09:07 PM
 
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Oh yeah, about the two car thing. We went down to one car when my husband lost his job a couple years ago. It is difficult at times, but it works. We don't have to pay car insurance or maintenance on two vehicles and it has taught us to be careful in how much we drive around. Some days, if I need to go shopping, I drop my husband off at work. Some days he gets a rideshare from friends--depending upon which job he is working. If I work, I may have to drop him off earlier, but he tries to adjust his days so that he can be home to watch our son on the two days a week that I work. It seems weird, but it has worked well for us and saved us a bundle of money.

Mom to two boys, ages 8 and 11, and one blessing due May 8th.

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Old 01-30-2005, 09:54 PM
 
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Here's what we're doing to save our pennies:

*Switched from flat-rate phone service to metered calling, since we have cell phones and make most of our calls from them

*No TV. AT ALL. Donated it to charity. Not only do we save $ by not paying for cable, but we don't rent movies, we don't pay for the electricty to run it, and we don't get sucked in to advertising anymore. (I know we all think we are immune to commercials and product placements, but it's a billion dollar industry for a reason - it works!)

*Call or write catalogue companies and ask to be taken off their list. I won't get a hankering for new J Crew clothes if I don't get a new catalog every week.

*Hand-me-downs for baby stuff

*ONE car. I use Flexcar if I need to get somewhere while DH is at work. http://www.flexcar.com/ Only pay if I use it!

*Re-gift or sell gifts on ebay (We got alot of wedding gifts we would have never used.)

*Buy staples (grains, spices, pasta) in bulk.

*Don't go shopping, especially at Trader Joes, when I'm hungry

*Grow tons of veggies in summer and can/freeze

*The obvious baby things: CD, breastfeed, no strollers, crib, monitor and other baby gadgets
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:06 PM
 
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-hand-me downs for the babe. i'm planning to make his clothes out of dh's old ones once we don't get these.
-make everything from scratch (except for earth's best teething biscuits). we spend around $200/month and eat 100% organic. we're planning to get it down to $150.
-we're vegetarians and eat no eggs and only a little dairy - this saves us a lot
-we have a roommate. this saves us about $175/month and he's pretty easy to get along with.
-no tv or internet subscription (we have free dial-up and our friends downstairs have wireless internet and we can get their signal from our apt.)
-homemade baby food
-eat out rarely
-don't buy anything new for the home - i got a bread machine for $7, popcorn popper for $3 and a spice grinder for $3 all from the salvation army and all our furniture is free from friends who've moved away
-we don't own a car. dh walks to work and i either walk or take the free bus to get where i need to go. our free bus is great...it's not as convenient as the $ bus, but it's free and ds has lots of surrogate grandmas and grandpas
-we don't buy any cleaning products except for natural laundry detergent, which we buy in bulk
-we cloth diaper. prefolds + dipes from the TP that i buy when i have extra paypal
-i sell/trade a lot of stuff that people give us that we don't really need. i use this money to buy special extras for ds and me (mostly books, diapers, and yarn)
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leomom
Our electric bill is really high and I think it's b/c of our lack of insulation...can you elaborate on covering the windows with plastic, chcadee 79? Where do you get it, how do you hang it, etc.?

I try to be frugal, but I have to admit I need to do more...

The thing that has saved me the most money this year is not buying all the expensive cleaners. I use vinegar and water for almost everything and it has saved me tons. I used to spend about 50 bucks a month on all these "great" and toxic cleaners!!!
All we do is get a roll of plastic, cut it to the window size, and duct tape it tightly around the window frame. Masking tape works well too, although not as well as the duct tape. You have to be careful taking the tape off because duct tape sometimes has a tendency to peel off the paint. If your windows are pretty bad as far as drafty, like ours are, you'll know you did it right if when the wind blows, the plastic kinda moves. lol. We get our plastic from Duron(paint store) but you can get it at HomeDepot, Lowes, Builders square, paint stores. It comes in big rolls, its 4mil plastic.
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all very much for the replies so far - I'm keeping a running tab of all the things that I can do to help us stay out of the "red" every month.

The more I think about it, the more I want to just get rid of the car that we have a payment on - I really, really do, but the other car that we have is 13 years old with a "slipping" transmission, so I'm not sure how long it will last. With our luck, just as soon as we sold the newer car, the older one would die on us...grrr...I hate feeling stuck with this payment!

I'm also interested in the plastic coverings for the windows...we have an incredibly drafty front room - like 12 degrees colder!, so I would love to help "insulate" it better.

Thanks for the heads-up on consignment shop expense - for some reason I was thinking that they were more like a Goodwill type store. I don't think I will even try out the one we have in town, then - I need super cheap! Yard sales, Ebay, and the Goodwill (we don't have a Salvation Army) all sound like good ideas.

heldt123 - you asked about a dryer...we don't have one...we're having to go to the laundry mat a couple of times a week and I kind of have to use the dryers because the landlord at our building doesn't allow you to hang your clothes up outside to dry. Thanks for that suggestion, though...I know it would help if only we could do it! You mentioned WIC...would you, or anyone else who would like to chime in, mind to tell me more about how this worked? My doctor told us that we qualified, but we've tried to not use it because DH and I know that there are people out there that probably really need it more, and we would feel sort of like we might be taking away from them...I dunno. I'm just so afraid that our financial situation might be hurting our son. I would do or give anything to make sure all of his needs were met - I mean, I can do without, but DS can't. Sorry to throw this so off topic!

I'm going to sit down with DH tomorrow and us look at where we're at and the changes that we might can make...I am definitely going to implement some of these great ideas...thanks SO much, girls!!
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloth4Colin
You mentioned WIC...would you, or anyone else who would like to chime in, mind to tell me more about how this worked? My doctor told us that we qualified, but we've tried to not use it because DH and I know that there are people out there that probably really need it more, and we would feel sort of like we might be taking away from them...I dunno. I'm just so afraid that our financial situation might be hurting our son. I would do or give anything to make sure all of his needs were met - I mean, I can do without, but DS can't. Sorry to throw this so off topic!
There's a thread right now about WIC. Hope this link works.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=243357
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:21 PM
 
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achintyasamma - can you please describe your typical shopping cart to me....Dh and I are feeling a bit better as we cut our weekly bill to 100-150 for all organic...but were spending 180-200+....You are awesome only spening that much in a month.....please share tips We do eat some meat but are an on again off again veg family so it isn't a necessity....saving money is!

I don't have much to add in the way of saving money...although we did just turn down the heat in our house to 61 in most rooms but 63 in Ds's as well as lowering the temp on the hot water heater and will be getting a blanket for it. We also use mostly wood heat so that is a super bargin as we harvest our own dead and down wood each summer. Other than that I am here for advice!

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Old 01-31-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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I find a lot of ways to cut costs, but somehow things don't seem to stay cut.
My Mom is a rancher so most of the meat is free depending on how good the last cow she butchered was (if my husband didnt' like it we buy meat).
I raise free range my own chickens so eggs are free (I like 'em too much to eat the birds themselves)
I sometimes dumpster dive which saves a ton since we find a LOT of brand new items and good stuff that G.W. throws away.
I go to the produce days and volunteer at the local food center and get some produce that way.
I garden in the Spring, Summer, Fall.
I garage sale.
I visit the clothes closet as well as thrift stores.
Hmmm....that is all I can think of for now
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:50 PM
 
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I almost forgot that I also freecycle and have gotten a really cute scooter, very nice boy clothes, and some quickcrete for home projects from there.
I also do WIC
I think that that is it for now...
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Old 02-01-2005, 03:17 AM
 
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Hmmm... many things I do have already been mentioned here, but here are the things I thought of:

*we own both of our cars
*we have the most basic phone service - except that we are unlisted (which there is a charge for! - wierd) and use phone cards for long distance. My in-laws sent us a Sam's Club phone card that's 3 cents a minute and I just keep renewing that one - though they just sent us another 800 minute card for X-mas!
*we did the cloth diaper thing and breast fed, but we're done with that now
*we homeschool... and with the price of even public school - for all the extras - I am sure we are still getting a bargain
* we used to not have any TV, but now we have an antennae
* I cook from scratch and we RARELY eat out
* no fast food (anyway... YECH)
* I belong to an organic produce co-op where we pool our money and get wholesale prices on produce once a week. I take turns with another member picking up our orders.
* make bread - sometimes buns too
* we eat a very healthy diet and regularly take vitamins and immune system enhancers (i.e. echinacea, zinc, etc.) that I consider to be our main insurance policy. We only carry hospital/catastrophic insurance and pay for doctor visits (only one well-visit for both my children in the last 2 years and a regular pap for me) out of pocket
* I love garage sales, church rummage sales, hand-me-downs from friends, thrift stores, antique stores (not for "official" antiques, but just fun things I'll really USE), and Goodwill, etc.
* we always pack lunches and snacks when we're on the go
* we will be gardening and canning and freezing again soon... we've only been here a year now and haven't planted the veggie garden yet, but as soon as it's in the budget...
* I DID freeze orange and grapefruit juice from our trees
*I almost always plan menus before I shop...also I practice using up remnants in cupboards and pantry... I like to see how long I can go without going to the store again. I like to practice a little "kitchen magic" and make something from seemingnly nothing!
* Leftover veggies and pasta or soup that might not get eaten for leftovers (especially if there's just a little bit and not really enough for a whole serving) get frozen and then reworked as filling in a pot pie. Mmmmm!
* I'm vegan and the rest of the fam. is vegetarian, so we save that way too
* I cut the ends of our bread into cubes and dry them and save them in a ziploc bag in the cupboard. Then I can make stuffing, croutons, bread puddings, or throw some in the food processor for bread crumbs for casserole toppings or in veggie loafs.
* I wear cloth menstrual pads
* clean with just vinegar,water, baking soda, and liquid castille soap - maybe with a few drops of essential oils (not all together, but in different combinations for different cleaning needs
*we use laundry disks instead of laundry soap. we do use ecover laundry powder for the delicates as the disks require a certain amount of agitation to get clothes clean and the intermittent cycle of the delicates didn't work very well
*we bike a lot, play together as a family, take family walks, check out movies, music, and books, books, books from the library
* I bought a grooming kit and learned how to groom my own dog (a westie) which saves about $150 a year or more.
* currently have my hair long; my mil trims it and I cut my dd's hair when it needs a trim too
*we make our own cards for birthdays and other holidays, make some of our own art (photography/paintings)
*I wash and dry baggies and keep ones that others are about to throw away at a picnic
*we use cloth napkins and I bring plastic dishes and regular flatware and our napkins on picnics with us
*we don't buy paper towels, but use rags - old diapers, t-shirts, towels, etc.
* I buy a lot of food in the bulk section. I don't always buy a ton, but it saves on packaging and for things that I only need a little of - perhaps an unusual spice, I can get just what I need
* I keep my watering cans under my sink and dump any undrunk water into them for watering plants
*we only drink water or juice and then juice mostly only at breakfast... oh, yes, we do have coffee in the a.m. and occasionally I'll have tea in the afternoon, but no soda, no milk, no artificial drinks, no juice boxes, etc.
*we have a budget and work hard at sticking to it
*we carry no debt outside of our mortgage
*and mostly practice living creatively... that's what I love about frugality... if you can be patient, you can often think of a way to make or borrow things you need... you can practice contentment and find that there are many things that you just WANT and don't really need

Well, that's what I can think of for now. I need to get to BED!!
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:15 AM
 
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I'm interested to hear the all organic under $200/month shopping list, too! I have 2 kids who eat tons so I'm sure ours would be somewhat higher.

We live in snowy Colorado, so I KNOW you can line-dry your clothes inside. Walmart/hardware stores/etc. sell clothes drier racks that are collapsable. They hold about a load or 2 each.

We do once-a-month shopping at Sam's Club, Big Lots (TONS of organic stuff there for dirt cheap!), and order from a buying club.

Use a diva cup, cloth diaper, make lots of things from scratch including breads, soy/almond & rice milk, snacks, etc.

umm... oh yardsaling nerd big time. I can't wait for summer to have a yard salin' mamas thread here!!

We buy cloth prefolds as seconds from the diaper service for $2/dozen.

Study and practice the basic philosophy of the book The Complete Tightwad Gazette.

We are too rural to ever get books returned to the library in time, so all the other mamas around here just swap books with each other.

that's all I can think of for now! HTH!

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Old 02-01-2005, 04:26 AM
 
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Use a clothes line to dry your clothes. It's also a great excuse to get outdoors and the kids love to help with this. Especially if there's a line at their height that they can hang their things on.

Also, freecycling.

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Old 02-01-2005, 06:11 AM
 
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Well lets see:
We keep our stuff to a minimum, and so we can live in a really small house, plus we dont need to buy stuff
We live in town, which saves gas and allows us one car
we garage sale like crazy, and curb side shop!!
Stay out of stores!
Make our laundry det, or buy it cheaply
dont have a tv
library
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Earth Angel
achintyasamma - can you please describe your typical shopping cart to me....Dh and I are feeling a bit better as we cut our weekly bill to 100-150 for all organic...but were spending 180-200+....You are awesome only spening that much in a month.....please share tips
i go shopping twice a week and have a budget of $15 each time. my limit for perishibles is $10 and non-perishibles $5. on mon, tues, and thurs they mark down produce from the previous week as the newer stuff comes in. yesterday i bought 7 small zucchini for $0.79, a bunch of swiss chard for $0.29, 5 roma tomatoes for $0.79 and 6 clementines for $0.79 all on sale. then i bought a bunch of bananas for about $2, 3 potatoes for $2.19, 2 carrots for $0.70, a quart of milk for $1.65, and baking yeast for $2. I have a 7% discount because we're members who occasionally volunteer, so my total came to $10.71. I should have bought honey, but i forgot, so I may go back today for that (another $2.50 or so). I'm sure there's a trade-off nutritionally between eating swiss chard that's been in the store for a week and eating the one that's just arrived, but it's worth it for us because we're on a limited budget. when i go next on thurs or fri, i'll buy more fruits and veggies and some grain and legume depending on what we're low on. we've also been using up 25 lbs of organic millet that i bought from this place that sells bulk organics at a good price (it's near pittsburgh if any of you mamas live near there). once that runs out we'll have to spend a little more on grains, but i'll probably just make a trip to visit my friend in pittsburgh so i can go there again. once ds starts eating more solids we'll have to spend more too. right now i'm spending about $125/mo, so i'm thinking $150-180 is probably where we'll stabilize.
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Old 02-01-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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Thanks for the info achintyasmamma....I pm'd you The grocery bill right now is the biggest hurdle for us...and we just feel that we can't skimp and not eat organic...anyone else able to save bundles like achintyasmamma and would like to share secrets???
What kinds of organics do Sams and Big lots have????
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:33 PM
 
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I would also say bartering. Be prepared to do so when you can. Right now my older dd gets free piano lessons next door while I tutor the neighbor's 2nd grade daughter.

And just get the word out when you are looking for something. I just mentioned to like, 3 people that I was looking for a queen size bed for younger dd's room so we could have out of town guests sleep in there too and voila! Got the bed, the frame, box spring, mattress, sheets, skirt and shams for 80 bucks. And the bed was less than a year old! Now THAT was a DEAL!
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nitemarehippygirl
In particular, how can I/we save on our electric bill? It was over $100 this month - I about died!!!
the house is 2 story, and pretty energy inefficient. the windows are all drafty...i don't know how else we can cut back. we're stuck here at least until next year...
One of the best things we did with our drafty little apartment was to put plastic on the windows and put a rolled up rug in front of doors. That should help a bit
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:17 PM
 
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I figure our food bill is around$200 a month. But we shop by the TWG method of buying on bulk on sale. So for staples, it's quite sporadic when I buy them.
umm... OG's. Sam's sells 505 salsa & green chile sauce. They are big bottles and go bad sooner than the over-processed non-og junk, so we have to split it up and freeze half. They also sell organic coffee, organic cereal (although we don't really do cold cereal, but i think it's called optium... or something like that), and they sell Silk Vanilla soymilk. I'm sure they sell a few more organic things. It wouldn't be worth getting a membership just for these things, obviously. But you can always go into one of those warehouse stores and just look around and check out prices. Then ask someone who does have a membership to pick somehting up for you. I split a membership to Sams with another mama (we had to fudge the application a little to say that we lived together ). But it only came to about $15/year.
Big Lots has really random and completely unpredictable OG things. You just have to go and look. Bring your price book though, cause some stuff is still a rip off! Recently we bought Muir Glen ketchup for $1.49/bottle, and Hain crackers for 59 cents/box. One of my friends went there a few days ago and bought boxes of Stretch Island fruit leathers with 12/box, and they were $1.99/box. Definatly worth stopping in if you have one near you. Another random thing I only buy at Big Lots is kitchen sponges. The absolute cheapest ones I can find. I think 33c/sponge.

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Old 02-02-2005, 02:00 AM
 
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This frugal thing is new to me-- I left a really good job to stay home with DD, and I'm really glad I did it, but the transition has been rough. Here's what we're doing so far:
one car
cook from scratch, plan for leftovers
eat vegetarian
cloth diapers
use sand (free down by the river) instead of cat litter
DH rides a bike to work
stop using paper towels, napkins, cups, etc.
give up junk food
no cable, no cell phones
stop buying beer/wine
give up expensive entertainment, host potlucks instead
buy quality, long-lasting clothes, and then wear them until they're worn out
turning stuff off when we're not using it
scavenge
grown our own (as much as possible-- we have no yard)
buy used
do without all the usual "baby equipment" people think a baby needs, unless a relative buys it for us.



Actually one of the greatest money savers for me this year has been the enormous amounts of useless stuff people bought for DD (I have a big family, and so does DH). If I kept it, this kid would have had enough clothes for three of herself, and tons of other crap besides, including a crib we'd never use, videos I won't let her watch, swings and bouncers and playpens and porta-cribs and all that other junk. I judiciously kept what I really wanted, and took the rest back, and used the money and store credit I got to buy all my holiday gifts, so that Christmas this year cost us NOTHING. And we still have a good $30 in store credit at Babies R Us for when Julia needs larger clothes.

I'm fortunate in that I rent my place, so even though I'm paying rent, I'm not paying for heat, water, repairs, and maintenance.

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Old 02-02-2005, 03:54 AM
 
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I am really big into the saving money thing. It is almost like a hobby with me, "Oh boy! Let's see how much I can save this month!"
Here is my list:
-all baby items received free from freecycle (I love those posts of "13 gallon bag girl clothes infant-3T")
-heat set at 60 and moved bedroom into basement to take advantage of "underground warmth"
-no payments for any of our cars (2 received for free)
-lingo phone for relatives in hometown to call us for free
-no eating out or snacking
-bulk buys from Sam's (I buy everything there)
-no dryer, cable tv

I am such a nerd.

*formerly apecaut*, Mom to A, Calliope (stillborn 40 weeks 6/22/07), A and O
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