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A savings rant and a savings list

February 18th, 2013 at 08:41 am

First of all, I'm starting with a rant...I am so tired of hearing people around me griping they don't have enough money. I know so many sites suggest you find friends who share your views, it is extremely difficult to find folks who share the same views on money...I think I have two friends who are as frugal as we are. The rest...well, they say they are saving money, but rely on credit to pay for things and then whine when things get tight. I hate to lose friends, but it would be more fun if we shared the same money views. It is refreshing to communicate with the SA "friends" because we all have the same goal: use what we have to best benefit for us.

One couple in particular gripes about being short on cash, yet they eat out at least once a day. We sometimes get together to eat and I suggested we trade off and fix something at our homes and have the guests bring something to save money. After all, the real reason we get together is to socialize. We even tried it with our having the main dish and asking them to bring something, but that's as far as it got. I'm not saying one shouldn't ever eat out, but usually the stuff made at home is as good or better than what you can get in a restaurant.

I hear people I work with complain about not having enough money and feeling the squeeze, yet they go out and get something for lunch and stop and get drinks on the way to work or send someone out to get pop or tea. This happens almost every day. I'm sure they haven't added up how much they spend and although a dollar here and a couple dollars there doesn't seem like much, it all adds up.

I have been trying to think of some of the ways we save money and compiled a list of 25. There are probably more, but I can't think of them. Do you have any to add?

Ways we have been saving money:
1. Using the library for books, magazines, and DVD’s
2. Eating at home and using leftovers Cooking from scratch whenever possible (I have a Crockpot and know how to use it! Wink
3. Mending
4. Brew my own coffee and take in a Thermos
5. Brew our iced tea
6. Take a container of water for lunch instead of buying a bottle each day
7. Buying pre-owned things (not only good for the pocketbook, but good for the planet)
8. In the summer, DH grows herbs and tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, and green onions
9. Pay our credit cards off each month – and do not charge anything we cannot pay off
10. Save money in accounts for things like Christmas, vacation, and mad money which is whatever big project we are saving up for
11. Take care of the items we already own
12. Buy Christmas cards after Christmas for next year
13. Only run the dishwasher and washer with full loads
14. Try to fix things instead of replacing them
15. I shut off lights when I’m not in the room
16. We weather-stripped doors.
17. Grocery shop with a list
18. We do not hit the mall for entertainment. We go to the store for the things we need and leave and we try to hit sales.
19. I made a lot of our Christmas gifts…I like to cook and bake and bought cute baskets and napkins and gave these as gifts.
20. Buy staples on sale whenever possible and put in pantry…then use them!
21. We used to exchange gifts with another couple and it was getting pricey…we bit the bullet and asked if we could either set or limit or discontinue…the couple agreed to just exchange cards.
22. Reuse things like plastic bags and foil whenever possible. I try to use glass lidded dishes whenever possible so I don’t need to use as much foil.
23. I try to make some of my cleaning supplies…I have been making our own window cleaner and a friend gave me the recipe for laundry detergent. It is scary how much we pay for products that contain so much water!
24. Reuse things like the backs of envelopes we received for lists and a great way to store coupons for the grocery. This also allows us to shop more than one place and make a list for each place to find the best bargains.
25. We use the freezer…I try to keep homemade chicken broth on hand and we buy meats on sale, then “shop” the freezer.

11 Responses to “A savings rant and a savings list”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I keep my hot water heater turned off when I am not using it. It saves a lot on electricity. I have not been to a mall in 14 years!

  2. freeme journey Says:

    Here goes...

  3. freeme journey Says:

    Ways we have been saving money:
    1. Using the library for books, magazines, and DVD’s AND swop with friends

    9. Pay our credit cards off each month – and do not charge anything we cannot pay off - TRY the cash only i.e. take only what you think you need and then you can't spend more (even the specials cost money!)

    12. Buy Christmas cards after Christmas for next year - DD and I make our own

    13. Only run the dishwasher and washer with full loads - STOPPED the dishwashed, detergent and water usage too expensive

    15. I shut off lights when I’m not in the room - WITH DD I put in energy saving globes - these you don't switch on and off - once they are on they stay on

    17. Grocery shop with a list - SHOP only when there are 10 items or more, below that - get inventive with what you have

    18. We do not hit the mall for entertainment. We go to the store for the things we need and leave and we try to hit sales - MAKE the mall out of bounds except for birthday outings.

    21. We used to exchange gifts with another couple and it was getting pricey…we bit the bullet and asked if we could either set or limit or discontinue…the couple agreed to just exchange cards - VOUCHERS for house sitting when they are away, baby sitting, whatever makes sense to give one another a break from the toils of daily life.

    22. Reuse things like plastic bags and foil whenever possible. I try to use glass lidded dishes whenever possible so I don’t need to use as much foil - THIS was my limit I admire you for doing this

    23. I try to make some of my cleaning supplies…I have been making our own window cleaner and a friend gave me the recipe for laundry detergent. It is scary how much we pay for products that contain so much water! VINEGAR is magic and bicarbinate of soda are great ingredients too.

    25. We use the freezer…I try to keep homemade chicken broth on hand and we buy meats on sale, then “shop” the freezer - TAKEOUT from the freezer is our easy way out when I am tired after a long shift

    NSD = No Spend Days amazing the impact on the balance of my wallet!!!

    REDUCED TV - the less TV I watch the less I want or need - advertising!

    TURNING off the power outlets for the TV, microwave, computer etc.

    Hmmm... can't think anymore Smile Smile



  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    #1 - can also use library for music/CDs.

    #22 & 24 - We don't buy plastic bags or envelopes. Lord knows we receive more than we could ever use. {We also generally do not buy wrapping paper - junk mail (Ads) will do. Reused gift bags work too}.

    Good List!!

    The only thing I can think to add is to "use half as much or twice as long." Always use half as much (or less) cleaning product recommended. If something needs to be replaced every 6 months, then every year is probably fine (the biggie for us is our fridge water filter. It's expesnive, and frankly once a year is probably excessive). Clothing does not need to be overly washed in our low-humidity climate. It's absolutely ridiculous to wash clothing every use when sitting at a desk all day and never breaking a sweat. All that stuff just really adds up over time. Less energy, less water, less detergent, and clothes last longer.

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Great list. With contributions it could get a mile long. I'll add---

    Line dry all clothes.

    Home wash supposedly dry-clean only items.

    Re-use worn out, thin knit pants or leggins as long underwear or pajamas.

    Wear layers, wool socks, even hats or scarves indoors in winter to set thermostat lower.

    After brewing hot tea or coffee pour into a thermos to serve hot later.

    Save newspapers, junk mail, office paper, old bills to use as base of weed suppressing garden mulch or to compost.

    If you need to paint, watch the "oopsies" and paint returns at hardware store for a good color or color which can be adjusted to your liking. Can save 75% of paint cost.

    Add insulating curtains, window quilts, or semi-permanent window insulation.

    Make a hobby of day hiking in nearby parks and wild areas.

    Walk when and where you can.

    Learn how to cook, then keep on learning.

    Make friends with new immigrants who will, in my experience, teach you things (especially food related!) from their own countries about being thrifty.

    Wash your entire fiber-fill pillow by hand in a tub rather than buying new. Washing gently can freshen and restore loft.

    If like me, you need dress clothing only for short spells and in climate controlled places, hang to air rather than wash after light, short use. When you hang it, clip a clothes pin on it to remind yourself it has already been worn once.

    Turn old shirts into cloth carrier bags. No need to spend even the dollar the stores charge around here for a new bag.

    Decorate with found natural objects.

  6. snafu Says:

    Adding to items mentioned: know the discount days at gas stn. outlets and fill-up on the way home on discount days even if only a top-up.

    Insurance: review annually for best coverage + best price, lower deductible when practical, one carrier for different policies for discount & since they charge a fee for monthly or semi annual payments I've divided the sum by 12 & set aside 1/12 ea. month. The last few years, with sum save I've put it on the best card for cash back benefit. CC bill paid i full when due.

    Creating a menu plan of meals my family likes is a huge money saver and needn't be stifling. I tried a challenge - giving myself $ 400. listing when specific items regularly go on sale. For example best deal for cars February & October' rain gear is on sale in March.

    Don't use shopping for entertainment, understand the difference between 'needs' and 'wants.' Do a little research on major purchases to know whether you're buying 'bells & whistles' you'll never use or got dismal ratings on Consumers or on-line satisfaction sites.

  7. snafu Says:

    I can't seem to get the editI option to function. My Mac is acting up dropping phrases


    Creating a menu plan of meals my family likes is a huge money saver and needn't be stifling. I tried a challenge - giving myself $ 400. listing when specific items regularly go on sale. For example best deal for cars February & October' rain gear is on sale in March

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Joan- dry cleaning!! That is a good one too. My washer has a "handwash" setting that I use for extreme delicates. Call me lazy! Our motivation on the dry cleaning is simplicity, and also being extremely sensitive to the drycleaning chemicals. But it sure saves time and money.

  9. SavingsQueen Says:

    Can you really wash items which are dry clean only on gentle? Like a wool or rayon blazer for instance?

  10. creditcardfree Says:

    I agree with all the ones you mentioned, and here are a couple additional ones.

    I only get a haircut every two months. I only go to Great Clips type salons with a coupon.

    Wash in cold water.

    Use the last bits of soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup and toothpaste, ect.

    Eat frugal meals, such as eggs or beans. Less meat meals, less convenience foods.

    I don't buy or wear jewelry. I have my wedding ring and one pair of earrings I wear everyday.


  11. Jerry Says:

    It's true, though... frugal people are NOT a dime a dozen in today's world. That's a shame, because if there ever was a time in modern generations when that mindset was needed, it's now! It can be really hard to find people with similar financial patterns when you are trying to make decisions that will lead to a better future for yourself and your loved ones. People often either will view you as a stick-in-the-mud, or strange, or just plain stingy. Hey, as long as you have the insurance that you are doing what's right for YOU, that is the main thing. Hang in there, and thank goodness for fora like this one!
    Jerry

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