What would/did you cut back on?

Azarae_DuskeMay 6, 2003

My kids will be gone for 3 months this summer & I really want to save as much $$ as I can since I will be going back to college in the fall and working less...

So...what would be the first things to look at cutting back as far as possible??

I'm thinking the food bill will be much smaller(for the humans anyways :) and the electric ought to be less also..

The girls have the entire upper level of the house for their rooms, maybe I could close all the vents to save on a/c (if we use it), etc.. or will it make them musty smelling?


Azarae D.

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I have saved a lot by bringing my own coffee to work in a thermos and making my own lunches. Takes a little more time but I figure I'm 'earning' about 50 - 90 dollars a month by doing this.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 9:13PM
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Hi Azarae,

Do you have adequate venting in your attic? Best at eaves and peak, both. Have you ever been in an unvented attic in summer? Consider baking cakes up there.

If you close the rooms up, they'll get hotter.

Better to vent them at least some, so that the air can keep moving.

If the temperature is somewhat cooler at night, have them open at night to cool the rooms down, then close early in the morning, reopening them when the heat in the rooms gets higher than outside air.

Better to open windows on shady side, if possible - though you'll likely be better off with cross ventilation, if possible.

Try various methods to see which work best.

Not long ago we'd have been pleased to have you ship some of your warm air up here near the Great Lakes.

It gets quite humid around here on a number of summer days.

Good wishes for a memorable summer.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 7, 2003 at 5:58AM
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I second the idea of bringing your own lunch and beverage to work. Especially with the kids gone it will be less frantic in the mornings and you'll have more time to prepare your lunch and take it with you.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2003 at 9:35AM
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Hi: Good luck at college. I would close off the upstairs from the a/c. Open the top of a window in each room to provide some vent for the hot air. (People did not always have a/c, don't forget) Make sure you unplug everything you're not using. Then, since your just cooking for yourself, save money by using all the stuff in your freezer and pantry. If I did that, I could eat for free for 2 months. Have fun. Monica in TX

    Bookmark   May 7, 2003 at 10:37PM
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The car.....I wouldn't have to be the driver taking kids here and there. Get videos , CD's , etc. from the library for some evening entertainment. Definately eat up what you have in the house before buying more groceries...buy ONLY what you need..and be creative with what you have already on hand. If you pay for water, that will go down - showers, laundry...oh I can see you piling up the pennies already.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 12:09AM
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I'd grow more of my produce!!!
I'd drive a lot less.
I'd fire the housekeeper.
I'd cook at home more and eat out less.
I'd buy far less convenience or predone foods (i.e. shred my own cheese, etc).
I'd drink plain water and not bottled water or soda. (well occasionally I'd have to have a diet coke!)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 2:05PM
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could you cancel cable for a few months? (don't know if there are set-up charges that would eat up the savings)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 2:30PM
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Fire the housekeeper! What housekeeper!?! LOL

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 2:55PM
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We were just discussing that!! The kids will be without cable while they are away & since we've only had it 5 months, I would gladly get rid of it again(for good!).

Hehe, I already told my incredibly fussy DH that there would be no "cooking" of big meals this summer so he'd best fend for himself(I don't plan on buying much of anything for groceries).

I just can't wait to work a bit of overtime this summer & sock it away also!! I'll miss the kids but I know it will be worth it in more ways than one!

Thanks for all the ideas everyone!
Azarae D.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 7:22PM
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I'd take the opportunity to garage sale some of the kids stuff when they aren't around. Things you know they won't use again...outta sight outta mind. Give their rooms a good going over while no one is around. Needless to say also look for things you can add to the pile....Garage sale it or team up with a neighbor and sell what you can.....put any money into the bank pronto...no celebration pizza except homemade.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 7:36PM
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This may not suit everyone - some people have long distances to got to work/school, but I got rid of my car in March. It was costing me nearly a whole month's salary per year to insure and keep it running. Now I have a bicycle and I've already started saving up money (and losing weight).
Buy as much of your food on sale or special offer as possible.
Buy generic or store brand food, it's generally just as good as the brand name items, and nearly always cheaper.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2003 at 6:25AM
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One thing about working overtime: you don't have time to spend money!

i was never so rich as when I worked till 11pm for two weeks out of the month!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 1:15PM
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You may want to use your time this summer to also put up food for the winter. This can be very inexpensive if you offer to help your friends pick their produce(we always need help but everyone we know either doesn't know how to cook it or doesn't want to be outside in a garden). They will give it to you for your help. Then you blanch, cool, and freeze and voila--no grocery bills when the kids come back.

use your car sparingly. Cancel all subscriptions. Walk and exercise so you are healthier (being sick and out of shape costs money).

Start a garden (seeds are as little as 10 a package now or seed trade on garden web.

Write the kids a postcard every other day and call only once a week when the rates are best (or get a sams phonecard for this purpose).

Yes on the yardsale!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 9:08PM
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Due to MAJOR life changes(divorce,illness), my income was reduced by WELL over 50%. Talk about sticker shock! Plus, I had a daughter in college & she's getting married in August.

I cancelled the newspaper(I can read it online),cancelled all magazine subscriptions(I can read them at the library for free or borrow from family),cable TV(OH how I miss HGTV), & changed banks to one that has free everything.Dollar stores are a blessing! I've consigned a lot of clothes & had a garage sale for what was left.

I rely on free clinics for medical needs(medicine, tests, etc) & that consumes a tremendous amount of my time.But, I have no choice.

I rely on the internet for my entertainment value & the $10 I spend a month for that is worth every penny. Free internet services are just to cumbersome with all the popup ads & they're SOOOOOOOOOOOO slow. If I have to print a document, I save it & head to the library & use their printer for free.

I've even grown my hair out. Long hair doesn't need trimming every 6-8 weeks like short hair does. I HATE having longer hair, but I can't cut my hair myself.

I love to garden, so I attend local plant swaps several times a year & get so many great plants that I could never afford otherwise. Plus, I've made some wonderful friends!

I live in Texas & summers here are scorching, with heat indices over 105 already. I'm trying hard to adapt to keeping the thermostat set on 80 & running the ceiling fans a lot higher. I'm struggling with this one, let me tell you! My electric bill went from $70 to $172 in 1 month. OUCH!

I dont need much in life & I'm a simple gal. I'm grateful that I've been able to make ends meet.But OH how I miss some things from my "former" life!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2003 at 10:51AM
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I still maintain that food is the key.

We're snowbirding up here again, just me and mom, and I went grocery shopping ther first week for "menus" I'd planned... darn near 30 days worth if we didnt' get a pizza!

Well a month and a week into it, we still have a month's worth of food in the freezer without having to buy more (other than salad stuff).

She sees this or that on sale, I have to remind her that we do not need it. We have enough. I think when I get back home, I'll quit being such a sucker for the sale ads!! If I'm not planning on eating it, why do I need it???

    Bookmark   July 1, 2003 at 1:20AM
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