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Old 03-10-2002, 07:52 AM
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Wow! You gals are truly an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing those great ideas. Keep up the great work and keep us posted!
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Old 03-10-2002, 10:32 AM
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Lightbulb frugal

Hello, friends. I must start out by saying that I love reading these and I am getting such great ideas! I am intrigued by several statements of using less laundry soap, am definitely gonna try that.
I had some more thoughts that might interest some.
1) Pawn Shops- When you or hubby need a tool for a job, shop pawn shops. Name brands like Sears Craftsman and Popular Mechanics offer lifetime warranties, so, when you see what you need in the pawn shop, it is good quality stuff at a fraction of the cost. You can also find great deals on other stuff there, too! Appliances, jewelry, etc, plus, i have found movies for 1.99. Can't beat that!
2)If you have kids that like to participate in extra-curricular activities like sports, try scouts. In our experience, we have to pay 65$ for 3-4 months of baseball, but, a 35$ fee is good for a whole year of scouts. We just found it to be a better value, and we like the scouting attitude more positive than that of some sporting parents.
3)When I have time, I browse the web for freebies. I do not subscribe to ANYTHING that needs even as much as a stamp, because there are hundreds, if not thousands of offers that need nothing but your name and address. I have not bought a calender in two years since I have been online, I can always find someone who is giving em away for free. I have a box of 'samples' that I have recieved and not paid a dime for except the internet service that I pay each month anyway. I might not need what I get right now, but, I might in the future. For example, I had an upset stomach a while back, and darling mother-in-law suggested alka seltzer. Well, I don't buy that, but, there was a packet in my 'free sample' box. If interested, do web searches under 'free samples'. You can even subscribe to ezines that will deliver the offers to your email daily and you dont have to search. THe key is do not pay for ANYTHING that is offered, not shipping handling, nothing, there are too many out there that are totally free.
4) Beans! A 33cent bag of dried beans can last several days. Find one that you and your family likes, cook em on Monday, early afternoon, and ya'll can eat em several days, several different ways. For example, we like pinto beans. So, day one is just plain beans with the meal. The next time will be beans with spanish rice in a tortilla with some ground beef or sliced steak. Then, another meal might consist of white rice served with the beans on it. Darlin Hubby taught me to add a pound of browned ground beef to a pot of beans to make it go further and give it more flavor. THere are so many types of dried beans, there is bound to be a kind that you and your family likes.
5) I know I mentioned it before, but, here it is again. Dollar Store. I bought a cheap bottle of dish soap to keep at the sink for darlin hubby to use when he washes his hands. That way he wont use my pricey Dawn, that I love to use to wash dishes with. Find where you can skimp and buy the cheap, and this enables you to be able to get the 'must haves'. (i REFUSE to use store brand feminine products, if I have to go thru that mess once a month, I am gonna use the good stuff!....lol)
Anyway, Everyone please keep posting. THese are helping me so much. I hope everyone is being as blessed as I am. Godspeed
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Old 03-10-2002, 12:57 PM
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These ideas are terriffic! Just when you think you are being so frugal you here of more wonderful ways to save $$$$.

I like the idea of spraying the inside of the clothes dryer with fabric softener. I hang 90 % of our laundry year round.

I put up 2 laundry lines in the basement for when it was rainy or too cold. That was a joke! I now have a wooden rack, a white metal rack, a 12 foot hanging pole and 6 more laundry lines! LOL

I love to save $$$$$.

I think preparing meals at home instead of eating out so much has saved us the most money of all. We used to spend about 80.00 a week eating out, plus buy groceries. Needless to say a lot of groceries were thrown out due to spoilage.

Menu plannning and keeping the fridge clean and organized so leftovers don't get lost has helped a lot!

I also like the Dial soap dispenser. We use a lot of hand soap and this is making it last way longer than before.

Aldi's!! I used to be such a snob and not shop there. Now I buy almost everything there and only buy loss leaders and a few things from the other stores.

Love this thread!
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Old 03-10-2002, 02:00 PM
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If you have children at home, make your own snacks. My ds loves Nutri Grain Bars but they are soooo expensive. I just found a great recipe over on the Recipe Exchange Forum for Faux Nutri Grain bars. I just made them and they are GREAT! And it was a fraction of the cost of the store bought ones!
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Old 03-14-2002, 06:31 PM
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A few of the things we do to save $$$

Shop at Aldi's or shop loss leaders at the store in my city that doubles coupons.

Shop around for the best prices on milk. Walgreen's usually has it cheaper than all the grocery stores, even Aldi's.

Walgreens rebate club! Every month there are several items that are FREE after mail in rebate.

We always take our own snacks when we go to the zoo, etc. I have to laugh when I see other zoo visitors lining up to pay $1.50 for A BOTTLE OF WATER from a vending machine. We buy the annual family membership to the zoo, we live near a very nice zoo. Also, pack your own food when going to State Fairs, the food at these events is always over priced. We have a couple of soft sided coolers with shoulder straps we use for this purpose. The reusable "blue ice" packs work great for keeping things cold.

Always let friends/family know when you are looking for a used household item, sometimes people will have just what you need stashed in their garage or basement, and will be glad to GIVE it to you just to have it out of the house. This has happened to us on several occasions. Also always volunteer to help your friends move, people get rid of a lot of "stuff" when they move, and are usually glad to give it to someone (you).


Deb
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Old 06-21-2002, 08:13 AM
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electric furnace costs too much!

Our house came with a wood heating stove (fireplace insert). We didn't use it at first because of the mess, until our electric bill for $700 came after an especially cold month. Now we buy three cords of wood every summer. Our teen son is responsible for stacking it and keeping the stove loaded. We can do simple cooking on the small flat top, and dry clothes near it, as it really dries out the air in the house. This costs about $300 a year, with usually half a cord left if the winter wasn';t too harsh. We haven't used the furnace for eight years now, I;m going to have it inspected this summer to see if it still works!
We have friends who spent their down payment on a house for heat one winter while renting a place with an electic furnace. Hold out for gas!
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Old 06-21-2002, 08:25 AM
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little things

Use crockpot, bread machine, etc., in the garage in hot weather.

Clean bathroom with bought-on-sale rubbing alcohol, shiniest places first, germiest places last, down to the floor. Quick and cheap!
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Old 06-22-2002, 07:56 AM
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frugal living

When our son was three weeks old, our very old washing machine broke beyond repair (taking a considerable amount of clothing with it). We replaced it with the outgoing model of the Whirlpool Calypso. The initial cost was high. However, our water bills have been cut by almost 40%, our gas bills (we have a gas dryer) have been cut by almost 50%, we use considerable less detergent, and the clothes come cleaner and therefore need to be replaced less often. We did the research, and this washer should last for many, many years.

I also make just about everything from scratch.

When items I use are on sale, I buy extras and store them for later use.

When meat is on sale at the local market, I buy extra and freeze it as is, or make it into meals for the week or to freeze for later use.

I shop at the warehouse stores with a price list in hand. Many warehouse stores have good bargains on some things but raise the price on others. If it is an item that I use regularly, I do buy the "big" package and repackage it at home if necessary into usable quantities.

I use coupons all of the time but only for items that I normally buy. I also participate in our local markets seasonal give aways. They usually require you to collect receipts and coupons for a certain number of weeks and then reward the customer with items from the store, seasonal items (ie beach chairs), and a substantial ($50 - $75) gift card. The amount by which the bill is lowered each week is earmarked for Christmas. At the end of the year, that is how much money is available for Christmas presents. Also, never hesitate to tell the manager of any problems. Most times, they will not only correct the problem but to compensate for time and inconvenience, they will often offer the customer a gift card as well.

I also tend to make many of my Christmas gifts. We have a HUGE family. Most of the aunts and uncles get baked goods. But not the everyday type. Usually, we pick a region of the world or specific country and bake sweets originating from that area. Last year we sent a variety of Greek cookies. We learned a lot as a family and had a lot of fun.

Put all of your change at the end of the day in a change jar. It is amazing how much is collected in a month.

Bring lunch from home.

Do eat out once in a while. Otherwise, frugality becomes punishment. And when that happens, a person is likely to give up. But don't go to the most expensive place in town. We go to a local pizza parlor and then for ice cream about twice a month. Both are very kid friendly (good when you have a year old cyclone) and the night generally costs less than $25 for four.

I think that I have taken enough space (I am not frugal with words). At the end of the day, frugality pays off and teaches a valuable lesson to young minds of all ages.
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Old 06-24-2002, 11:57 AM
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I have posted before about my frugal ways, but I have to toss in a new item no one has mentioned yet in this thread: eBay. I have gotten the most incredible deals on eBay... used to get them from real-life auctions some years ago.

Some of my eBay bargains have been protein powder at $1.99 for a l lb can (retail is from $9.99 - 14.00), powdered stevia for $1.99 per oz (compared to around $12 at the health food store... PLUS the seller sent me the recipe for making liquid stevia, which is even MORE expensive.. even when Puritan's Pride has their buy one get two free sale, this was cheaper), clothes... I have bought gauze summer dresses that normally retail for $20 and up for under $5, some of them for $1-2. Christmas gifts and collectibles. Household items: got a replacement Cuisinart part that retails for $35 for $3.25, a solid mahogany chopping board worth about $100 for $8, an unusual Chinese cork sculpture that is over $20 in stores was $6 on eBay. A bed-in-the-bag queen size linen set for $9, with extra pillow cases thrown in. Books - I was looking for a set of Conversations With God, Books 1,2, and 3. Retail is over $20 each (can't recall if it's $24.95 or $27.95?), I got all 3 for under $20 including shipping.

I used to love garage sales and thrift shops, but have recently gone to a wheelchair, and getting hubby to take me out to do that is no longer an option. So eBay works for me. You do have to know the value of what you're looking for and set a max limit on what you'll bid.. and be patient. There are exceptional bargains to be had there.

Rani
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Old 07-03-2002, 05:16 AM
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Pinkie Winky

Hi,

I'm new to this forum.

I do the 2 TAB. of detergent and only wash clothes for no more than 6-8 minutes. Most washers have a dial of some sort where you can set the amt. of wash time. Not only has this cut my detergent bill, but our light bill has been cut by $20-$30. I have a gas dryer and dry all our good clothes. I find our hot Texas sun will fade clothes, QUICK if I hang them on the line. I hang towels, sheets, wear around the house clothes. I found this tip on another site and I must say it has been one of the best tips I have ever tried.


I also use this same principle in my dishwasher.
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