How did you save money this week?

kathy813October 22, 2006

Being a full fledged member of living frugally I like to know what other people do to save. My most saving thing this week is stretching my food buget by eating leftovers. Many people will not eat leftovers. What do you do? Kathy

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For starters, I eat a hot bowl of mush for breakfast each day in the winter. Buying my cornmeal at the local Amish market, it's about .45/pound. Since it only takes 1/4 cup cornmeal to make a bowl of mush--that's about .05 for a meal. Don't know anything you could eat that would be as good and as good for you that would be cheaper.

My nephew and his wife are having a baby tomorrow--for $9, I made them a quilted play mat, some stuffed toys that match, and a fabric tote bag so they can take it to the playground or beach.

I'm also finishing up a birthday present for my aunt--it's a tabletop Christmas tree, all decorated. I bought the tree and the decorations last Jan. when everything was half off. I often buy the makings of my Christmas presents after the holiday--one year I bought up a lot of clearance holiday fabric and made my family quilted wallhanings.

Books--my mom, aunt, sister and a few others we know, all share books. We keep stacks of them in a common place where people can go through and borrow the ones they want--gets good mileage for the money we spend on them.

Re:leftovers. We love leftovers, and with just 2 of us now, I generally cook one meal, and we eat it 2 nights in a row. If we go out to eat, we each eat only half our meal, and bring the rest home for the next night's dinner. Actually, most folks I know enjoy leftovers, expecially if they're from their favorite restaurant. I know I certainly enjoy getting a work-free meal out of the deal. Now, just last night, DH picked up some Italian food. We had dinner last night. I've got my salad left--so will have that for lunch today, and we'll have the rest of the leftovers for dinner tonight. Since I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, I'll be doubly appreciative that we've got ready-made food waiting for us.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 12:01PM
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How did I save money this week?

Stayed out of the stores!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 12:10PM
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Would you mind telling me how you prepared your mush? We have had oatmeal and grits but never cornmeal mush. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 12:34PM
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Mush is simple.

For each serving, I use 1 cup water, 1/4 cup cornmeal and a dash of salt. I just put all in a saucepan, and whisk until the cereal is cooked and thickened (10 minutes or so). Good with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

If you make extra, you can pour the cereal into a mold (a bread pan works well), cover with saran, chill. Then the next day--slice, dredge in flour, saute in oil until browned. A nice treat, but we only have that rarely, since we don't eat fried food too often.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 1:18PM
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Adding some raisins, dates, walnut fragments etc. to cooked cereal adds a bit of zing to an ordinarily sort of blah concoction.

Can't squawk about the maple syrup - it's delicious (if rather expensive).

Did you know that about 80% of world production comes from Quebec? So the radio said the other day.

And the radio, like newspapers, is always right, of course. Likewise TV, as you all know.

Have a frugal week, everyone.

What did I do?

Stayed home (except when travelling to the library to pursue my internet addiction [instead of upgrading my computer so that I can go online from home]).

Read magazine in, borrowed books from the library.

Froze some corn from my garden.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 2:44PM
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I eat a 7-grain cereal mix --- for $3.69, I get 40 servings. Much cheaper than oatmeal in packets and it takes only 4 minutes in the microwave.

I finished canning for the year with the last bit of tomato sauce put away in the pantry.

I re-wired my own sconces rather than taking them to the hardware store.

And last but not least, after losing 35 lbs, I needed a new winter coat. I found a classic camel-colored Pendleton wrap coat at Goodwill for $5.38!!! Perfect for cold winters in Iowa and now I'm knitting a scarf to go with it.

On to making my new drapes for the living room.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 4:02PM
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My car hasn't been in a gas station for nearly 3 weeks. I've been walking. Unfortunately, I think I'll have to buy another tank of gas before next weekend. Walking has also enabled my to save a bit of money on public transit to/from work because I haven't needed a transfer to get from the train to the bus.

Bought a bushel of apples and made and froze applesauce.

That's my 2 big savers recently. We eat leftovers all the time - usually in lunches because we don't eat out often at mid-day.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 9:33PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I was fortunate to take a short trip out of state with DBF for 4 days. We took snacks and drinks in a cooler, so we didn't have to buy them individually along the way, or out of machines.

I also turned the heat 'off' b4 leaving home, and came home to find it just a little chilly 62 degrees.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 11:01PM
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I saved some money this week by spending some...

Walked on up to my area Big Lots and saw they were having a 90% off sale on many items from a pharmacy that went out of business. Bought a bunch of kool aid packets for 2 cents a piece, some gum for pennies on the dollar and best of all, medicines for the kids (Advil, Tylenol, etc). I had been waiting for a normal sale to stock up on medicines for the winter cold months, so was excited when I saw them on this sale. As you can imagine, running into a 90% off sale for things I needed is a great way to save!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 11:36PM
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I counted the change in my change jar. It totalled $55.00. I also received a free gallon of milk from Albertson's. I'm usually really good about checking prices as the cashier scans them but I realized after leaving the store that I was charged the regular price for the milk instead of the sale price. The customer service rep wanted to give me the difference but I asked her if they had a policy of giving the first item free if they get it wrong. She said yes and gave me back the entire amount. It's too bad that she would only have given the difference to someone who didn't ask for the free milk.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 12:36AM
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As I've ofen said, around here, "Ya don't ask - ya don't get!".

Congrats on being a careful shopper - thinking/remembering to work all of the angles.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 2:52PM
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Marie26, same thing happened to me few years ago, but it was at Ralph's grocery. I bought tide liquid detergent that was on sale for I think $13, according to the tag price. I paid for it, start checking the receipt when I was in the parking lot. They charged me $15. So I went back and told them what happened. It turned out that the scanned price was correct, but they forgot to remove the sale tag (sale price expired a day ago.) I asked for the $2 difference between the regular and sale price, but the customer service rep gave me the whole $15 saying "the store made the mistake, so the item is free. Here's your money back." I was so happy!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Did you give the cust. serv. rep. a *great big* smile?

I'm sure it would have en"rich"ed her/his day.

ole joyful

P.S. Some years ago, about when the price code bars were coming into the stores, I saw some frozen fish in a stand-alone freezer bunker, at a specified price written in large black letters with magic marker on a card over the bunker.

When I checked the computer-generated sticker on the pack, it listed a different price. I looked up a service rep., asking what was going on. He said that the price written on the card was the sale price that was finished yesterday. I told him that they were listing the price at the lower figure, and that was what I was to pay. He gave me an argument, but finally agreed to mark down the price.

I toured the store for about 10 minutes, then returned - to find that the card had not been removed.

So I asked to speak to the store manager, telling him that not only did I get an argument over being given the cheaper indicated price, but that the employee had not removed the card. So it was apparent that the store's policy was purposely to mislead the customers.

Which was one of the issues that troubled many of us, when the little price stickers were no longer on each item, but the price was written only on the shelf (and on the bar code, of course - incomprehensible to the [customer's, at least] naked eye). If we forgot what was written on the shelf (and how does one remember a score of prices marked on various shelves?) , and found when we got home that the computer had charged a different price at check-out ... we'd been scammed.

He apologized - but had no answer as to the deception.

Have yourself a great week.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 4:03PM
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I saved money by,
1) Sewing a baby gift instead of buying it. For $10 (I used a 50%off coupon) I bought a baby quilt kit from Joann's that had everything I needed to make the quilt.

2) We ALWAYS eat leftovers. I cook planning how the leftovers will get used. For example, on Tuesday we had pot roast. Then I used the leftover meat to make a killer chilli. Divided it up into three containers (for three meals) and froze it. So I got 4 meals from one roast.

3) I don't live within walking distance of anything (nearest grocery store is 15 miles). So I try to limit my trips and consolidate errands to conserve gas as much as possible.

4) I use the library! Books, DVD and video checkouts.... But that's an old obvious one.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 5:37PM
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Bought a box of mixed cookies at the factory, most are 5 lbs., but I think this was about 6-1/2 lbs. for $6.60.

o j (cookie nutty)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 6:10PM
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My dh is a truck driver. This week he did not eat out as much.The kids and I ate at home more too. I put $300 dollars in savings and didn't touch it.(from my dh overtime)My kids needed some winter clothes. I found a couple of items at Goodwill. (I did end up buying some at Walmart though) I recently got my cable up graded but a couple of days later I returned the digital cable box.(that reduced my bill back by $60) We do watch a lot of tv at our house. I started a price book. And last but not least I found a place with cheap gas. Im working on being more frugal. I recently borrowed the book MISERELY MOMS and told my dh to take it on the road and look at it. He called me the night that he left and said that we were going to start using Jonni's advice. Who knew! Have a great day all!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 10:48PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I baked brownies, and the oven helped warm the house.

I used some of the Black walnut meats (Found on sale for $1 a LB after Christmas)I had in the freezer. I don't know anyone who likes black walnuts besides me, so it looks like I will have to eat them all.

I may bake a spices cake tomorrow and heat the house up.

Sue...who may be on a baking binge

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:28PM
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Ole joyful,

You betcha I gave him a big smile. That was some serious money I saved! I was still smiling on my way back to my car.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 10:50PM
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I need help saving money I like to spend money I have 3 teenage kids my wife dose'nt like to spent money but when I see something I want Ibuy it I can't seem to save any money any advice would be helpful

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:57AM
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Jim--First thing you want to do is set aside an amount from each pay check to go into your savings--even if you start small (say $50/week). Put the money into a savings account, and promise yourself you won't touch it (barring an actual emergency--like a life-or-death medical situation).

how are you buying? with a credit card? If so, leave the card home, put a few $$$ in your pocket when you go out. If you don't have the cash or card to buy, you'll have to go home to get them, and that will give you time to think twice about whether this is absolutely a necessity or not.

About buying things for kids because they'd like them. Okay to do once in a while, but not good for your children, if you give them everything they might want, before they have the chance to even decide they do want it. You're training your children to expect instant gratification--and setting them up to be in the same pickle you are right now. Let them learn that when we want something, sometimes we have to wait and save up for it. You'll be doing them a favor in the longrun.

I have to ask, do you have a college education fund for your children? Sounds like the answer is no. Let me ask you this--when your kids are 25, which do you think will mean more to them? A college degree? or the fact that they had the latest Tickle Me Elmo or I-pod when they were kids? The education has to come first--it's the most valuable gift you can offer your children--you know I'm right.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 11:29AM
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Hello Jim,

Suppose, on your way to work tomorrow, you blow an engine - or tranny - in your car.

Taxi to work, car towed to garage, rent-a-car for a few days for your family to get by, big bill for repairs.

Where's the money to come from?

Do you have an emergency fund?

If you have kids in their teens, you're not a newbie to the work force.

A personal financial advisor would suggest to you that you should have such a fund, large enough so that if you didn't get a paycheque for 3 mos. at least - better 6 mos. (or a year, in these uncertain times) - you'd still be afloat financially.

If you put the extra costs to fix the car, ec. on credit card ...

... can you pay off the full amount owing by the due date after you get the bill?

If not, usually on major cards they'll charge you about 15 - 18% annual rate of interest (if it's a store-issued card, could be about 25 - 28% or so).

Not a pleasant experience. I may have never met you - but I'd like to see you finance such unexpected emergencies out of your own pocket, so those high fees that they charge would stay in your pocket rather than flying away into the lender's.

As suggested by another poster - do you have a college fund for your children? Good to have one to which you contribute regularly, for the best gift that you can give your kids is sharpened mental tools to help them build a productive life. And they should save part of their current earnings with that goal in mind, as well.

I agree that they should be taught that it's by effort expended, and often learning patience, that we should learn from a young age to work toward achieving our goals.

Money doesn't grow on trees, to be picked like apples - and they are only available once a year.

As someone else suggested - put part of each paycheque into a savings account, right when you get it, to give you more flexibility in terms of what options you have financially, down the road a bit.

Teach yourself to live on the rest.

You may be surprised at how easy it is.

It's good advice to carry a small amount of cash,and no card, with you, if you tend to buy stuff impulsively.

Remember - there is only a limited amount of dollars - if you spend one (or a bucketfull) here - there won't be any to spend "there", before the next paycheque.

And will you burn it all during the two weeks/monrh till the next one?

I don't want to live like that - I don't like a diet of chewed fingernails!

Have a great - and prosperous - week. Well ... one in which you start out on the journey to prosperity.

Good wishes for success in your enterprise.

ole joyful

If you take a step at a time, you'll find that it isn't so hard.

And, who knows - you might even get to retire early, if you get good at it.

On the other hand - being forcibly retired early ...

... without such a fund ...

...would surely be a royal pain in the patoot.

Which you can fix now - but won't be able to, if you wait till then.

Being up the river without a paddle ain't no fun.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 2:35PM
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I hate to shop, so I loved the stay out of the stores comment:) but last week a fabric store was having a big sale and I decided to get the stuff I needed to fix my son's quilt that was loved to death and finish the quilt for my sister's wedding present. Then I found a bin of very heavy fabric perfect for the seat cushion cover and drapes I need to make...for half off. Took it home to discover my machine wasn't working...ended up costing me $70 to fix it...ugh...

But I also made a big pot of "produce bin soup". I take produce I have on hand, flavored with a bit of sausage, add some pasta and turn it into soup. It's tasty, healthy and I don't have to throw out any veggies. Yes, we love leftovers, too.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 7:01AM
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I've done a lot of walking this past week and have avoided using public transport - with the exception of the weekly shopping which is just too heavy. Having to take shopping home without a car is a money saver however, it makes you really question if you need something. When you have a huge car waiting outside to effortlessly take it home you really can buy anything and everything, which isn't a good premise for an economical shopping trip.

I haven't lit the central heating yet, it's not been that cold and I can always wear some more clothing. I also bake more in this weather, gas ovens are as good as ventless space heaters in efficiency, but with the added bonus of cooking things. Cooking is of course another way to save money. The ingredients are generally cheap and you can make almost anything you want. I try to fill the oven up as well, I figure if you're only cooking something on one shelf then that oven is running at half it's potential efficiency. I usually bake something for now and something for later, like a cake or biscuits which will keep for a few days.

I also spent some money this week, but I spent it carefully. My usual (already fairly cheap store brand) washing powder went on sale so I bought 2 huge boxes. Should last until the next sale at least. I had to replace my computer keyboard too, so I went on eBay and found a good quality one for 7 including postage. When I have to spend I look around and try to find the best prices, and if it's a consumiable like stationary, long lasting food items or cleaning stuff I buy several while it's cheap.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 8:38AM
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Well, this one takes the cake.

Popped into the Christmas Tree Shoppe (it's a chain--fabulous store with great bargains). Was in the baby section and they had an adorable plaid romper on clearance for $1! I have a great nephew in Florida, so I grabbed one of them for his Christmas present. Will add a shirt and socks, but it's a cute outfit, and I'd gladly have paid way more for it. Oh, and picked up some cute mugs that were gift-wrapped with a package of hot chocolate in them for little gifts--3 for $1.

Can't beat those deals.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 9:08AM
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I'm new to this forum, but I like this section. I am the frugal person in my house. Personally, don't love to shop so that has always helped. DH is the spender! If I can keep him out of the stores & off the road (gas), we save money.

I agree with the emergency fund. I have been out of work since July (by choice) and we are still doing "okay" because we had the fund. Actually 2 funds. I decided that working 50+ hours a week to make really good money was no longer worth it for my family. Now that I've taken some time to finish my degree and "discover" myself I'm ready to get back into the workforce. Only this time, I will make less and work less. A good compromise in my book.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 1:25PM
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DH and I ate out and used his birthday Gift Certificate which was in April. We saved $25 counting a tip. I have not been in my car except one time this week to drive 12 miles round trip so I saved lots of gas. I buy things like canned salmon and canned corned beef at the Dollar General for $1 or $1.50 but I'm not sure how much it is at the grocery. I eat Ramen Noodles for lunch or a snack and get them at the same store for a package of 6 for $1.00. They are about $1.50 at Walmart. We bought a smoked ham for Thanksgiving and cut it in half after slicing some off for sandwiches and breakfast meat and froze the other half for Christmas. We'll also use the bone for beans and some scraps for another pot of beans. I cooked a beef roast and we ate hot roast beef sandwiches a couple of days later. I make my own salad dressings, both 1000 Island and Ranch and that saves quite a bit.


I like this thread too.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 1:48AM
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12/22/08 Thought I would recycle this thread for this week. I thought my computer bit the dust, so I called a little computer repair shop in town. During our conversation, I learned that the problem was the monitor. A new monitor was $214 including tax. I purchased a used monitor from the shop for $30. I saved (or didn't spend) $184. I bought my used computer from him over a year ago, so I know they are reputable folks. If this monitor had been defective, he would have swapped it out for another one. Also, I compared prices on aspirin, and saved almost $5 by buying the store brand instead of the name brand. After all, it is all made from the Willow tree. Did anybody else save money by comparing prices or anything?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Cleaned my own carpets vs. paying for Stanley Steamer to come out.

For the 2nd year in a row, finished Christmas shopping on budget and all with cash! Yippee!!!

DH has put together a plan for paying off our 2 credit cards in the next 18 months followed by car loan and home equity loan shortly thereafter! (Credit card balances are due to dh buying and fixing classic cars . . . so even though it's officially unsecured debt, we consider the credit cards sort of as car loans. I know he would have been better off paying wiht cash, but he's too impatient!)

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Bought a new camera - on sale- and received a new printer free(after rebate). Maybe I should wait until I have received the rebate to post! LOL. Epson printer.

Cleaned my computer and fixed on/off button.

Resisted sales flyers of buy$$$ save $. However did take advantage of one that said $10 off ANY purchase of $10 or more. Except for sales tax, got it free.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 2:57PM
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On Sunday ... church, groc. store (milk, staples), delivered cigarettes to a friend, got medicine for swelling feet (several tasks in one trip) ...

... and, en route home, chose slightly short-cut more or less cross-country road ... and about 100 ft. in, meeting snow plough, kept to right ... and got stuck in a snowdrift.

Snow plough cleared out the corner, waited for cars on the highway, while I was diggng snow with my helpful little shovel that smart drivers carry with them in winter, and expressing my unhappiness with the falling snow and the cold wind driving it ... then the plough driver drove past me and my stranded car, dropped the wing that pushes the snow way back, about four feet in front of my car ... and went his merry way, ploughing the snow from the road!

A guy in a red truck offered to hook a tow rope on to my car ... and pulled it out easily.

While talking later with my neighbour (retired) farmer, laughing over my bad choice ... we agreed that sometimes taking the shortest route turns out to be less than ideal!

We also considered that the snowplough driver's action may have related to his employer. Though it was a country road ... it's an area that was recently absorbed by the city. We have a suspicion that had it been a county-owned plough, that the driver likely would have pulled out a chain and pulled me out.

When I told the story to my landlord (who came down from his place a couple of miles away to plough my lane), he agreed, saying that the rural operators have pulled him out ... and a while ago, when they got stuck, his neighbour, with a large tractor, pulled one of their machines out.

What have I done now to save money?

Stayed home. Played on computer. Listened to nation-wide, government-supported, commercial-free radio. But - make no mistake ... they give the various governments here a bad time, on occasion: mostly laughing at them.

Those who take themselves very seriously ... don't like being laughed at!

Speaking of saving money ... I think that I shouldn't tell what I've decided on as my Christmas gift to myself ...

... an investment advisory service ... that costs $500.00 ...

... and that's for one year's service.

Looks like I've already predetermined my self-gifting Chrismas game for next year!

A lot like my daughter's to me of about three years ago - Auto Club Membership ... which I've used, I think, slightly less than once per year - and one of them was to tow son's newly-purchased van home: I suggested that, as it was during the first year, he should subsidize his sister's gift of the membership.

Is it only husbands who suffer "selective hearing loss" ... I suspect that it may afflict others, on occasion, as well!

Being of an advanced age, however ... I guess that I'd better keep the auto club membership.

The investment advisory - doesn't deal in credit cards: send cheque or money order, please. So I won't need to worry about paying interest - at inflated rates - on credit card balace not paid in full within a couple of weeks.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 8:36PM
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OJ, our auto club offers a cell phone that can be as cheap as $10 a month (if you only use it for emergencies). When you got stuck on that country road, you could've used a cell phone to call your auto club to dig you out. But more importantly, I think you ought to call whoever is that snowplow driver's boss and tell him about your experience. It only takes a short time for a snowplow to pull somebody out, and since you got stuck because of moving over for him, he should've helped you. It's not like people can't see that we older folks might need a little help with things like this! What if you'd had a heart attack and collapsed out there in the snow? Would he have bothered to help you then?

But really, I've gotten in situations where I've been what my mother used to call "penny wise and pound foolish" -- spending more money trying to be frugal than I would've spent if I hadn't. What is it they say, "Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the bug"?

miscindy, your DH is a keeper! Paying off debts is the first step in getting in control of your lives. I have one of those husbands who is not frugal. When I married him, he came into our marriage with lots of debt and we were dreadfully poor in our early marriage because of that and because he thought he had to have a new car to drive around. It took me several years to understand that if we were going to survive financially, I was going to have to take the wheel. Not really something I wanted to do but when you can't afford to take the kids to the doctor because DH spent your last dollar on a new TV, something has to give. We've been married for a long time now and have had many arguments over money. But we do not have debts. Our home is paid for. We have one credit card that gives us a small percentage cash back on our purchases, and I pay if off every month. DH still makes impulse purchases and it still hacks me off, but he just tucks his head in and weathers the storm. He still prefers to pay someone to do something that I think he could do himself. And I have learned to never talk to him about something we should buy "someday" because he'll go out and buy it today. I don't even read non-grocery sales flyers unless I need something that I think will be in there.

Over the years, I have learned to do a lot of things to save money. I know how to hang wallpaper, mud and tape wallboard, paint, mortar and grout floor tile. Last time I needed a new computer because mine had gotten out-dated, I purchased a used one from my local computer repair guy. He often gets trade-ins when he installs state-of-the-art computers for some of his customers, which he thoroughly cleans out and resells. It's safer for them that way because he makes sure their old hard drive is completely wiped clean. I've had it for 4 years now and it's still going strong. I work on my own computer. I have found that if you befriend your local computer repair-person, they will often tell you how to do things on the phone for a small consultant fee and sometimes entirely free. I have learned so much from my guy that I was able to keep all ten of the computers running where I worked (before retiring), except in extreme cases. The one big thing everybody needs to learn is, if a download is free, you'd better research it fully first as a lot of free downloads carry things with them that you don't want. Often, when you uninstall them, the things that came with them don't uninstall. I also am really careful about opening attachments that people send me with their e-mails. If I know that person to be very inexperienced, I will often not open their attachments. A dead giveaway is when they start sending you virus alerts that are often fictitious. Once someone even sent me instructions on how to go to my registry and clean out a viral infection. You don't mess with your registry unless you know exactly what you're doing. It was a hoax. Luckily, I researched it first at and told her, and she had to e-mail everyone else she sent her e-mail to. She learned an important lesson that day. Marketing research is really a big business and they want to know what you do on your computer, where you go on the Internet. That's why you get 'cookies' planted on your computer when you visit sites such as this one. Most of them are a little more than annoying and some of them can slow your computer down and 'hold the door open' for some of the more awful stuff. So run your virus scans often and be sure to get all your Microsoft upgrades. Also, a tip about printers. Manufacturers will often practically give the printer away because they make their money on the ink. So before you buy a printer, find out how much the ink costs per ounce. I prefer the printers that use an ink cartridge for each color. When you run out of yellow you just pop in a new yellow cartridge. When the color ink is all in one cartridge, you have to replace the whole thing when one color gets used up. Also, check your print preferences and make sure that you're actually using black ink when you print something that has no color on it. Some printers will use black ink automatically then. But if you have even one character in your document that is any color other than black, your printer will mix all the colored ink together for anything that is black. A big waste of ink since black ink is cheaper. Also sometimes you can choose 'fast/economical printing' which will use less ink and is still quite readable. If you print something off the internet and it has a colored background, you are wasting ink. So much better to highlight what you want to copy and paste it into whatever Word-processing software you use. Then you can save it and maybe not have to print it at all. If what you are copying is just words and no pictures, you can highlight it, do a right click and choose 'copy', and then when you paste it into your document see if you have an option that is called 'paste as'. If you do, you can choose 'unformatted text' and the paste process will just insert the text into your document, using the defaults of the document, and not bringing background colors, pictures, advertisements, etc.

I, too, hate to shop so it isn't hard for me to stay out of the stores. If I stay out of them, so does DH, and that is where the real savings lie. It's all I can do to go grocery shopping without being grumpy the entire remainder of the day.

We used to like to go to garage sales during the summer, but we didn't do very much of that last summer because of the cost of gas. Now that I've had some time to stand back and look at it, I realize I've bought a lot of stuff I didn't need because it was such a great deal. This spring I will be having a garage sale of my own and will be clearing out some of those things and trying to get my money back that way. Sometimes I have bought something at a garage sale that is better than the one I have, so then I turn around and sell that. As I always have seedlings that come up in the spring that are more than I can use, I will also pot up a lot of them and they will be sold at the garage sale, as well. Last spring I had a plant sale during our city-wide garage sale event and made $300 just on plants. People just went crazy for those tomato plants I had raised under lights in the house. If the cost of gas is still reasonably low by summer, I will probably go to a few garage sales, but I will be asking myself whether I really need what is there. Sometimes I can get nice jeans for 50 cents to a dollar a pair and good t-shirts about the same price. That alone makes it worth going as we go through those things pretty quickly. Going to garage sales is a good way to meet people and build your network. People that I have met at garage sales have traded plants and seeds with me, shared information and steered me towards others who have certain things I need, such as manure for my garden. --Ilene

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 8:19AM
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Wonderful Ilene. And good tips about computer downloading and emails.

I want to add that any dollar spent on something one doesn't need, is a wasted dollar. The 10 off purchase I made was a needed blouse. The camera is needed for my art which I sell. The printer is just as you described single color cartridges.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Great job Calirose! I totally agree about the wasted dollar. Don't know how many times I've bought something because it was on sale, or cheap at a garage sale and then thought, WHAT was I thinking? Plus, after awhile, all the 'stuff' makes it harder to keep your house clean and makes you feel distracted.

Your purchase of a camera also reminded me of another savings. Digital cameras, the ones that you can upload the pictures to your computer, are fantastic! Kodak should've never allowed that one out of the bag. Now you can take as many pics as you want, and if they don't turn out, it doesn't cost anything to throw 'em away. If you want to share a hard copy with someone, you can print them off yourself or e-mail them someplace where they will print them. (I've found that to be best if I want the picture to last awhile because if pictures I've printed get wet, the ink tends to run a little. Plus I think it's actually cheaper than using up your ink.) There's no film to buy and no developing charge to pay and no waiting! Digital cameras have done more to increase the sharing of pictures than anything I know, and we can do it in so many more ways! When digital cameras first came out, I bought a Sony that has a rechargeably battery pack and stores the pics on floppy discs. It's a dinosaur now, and I have a newer one that stores more pictures on a tiny card and gets 'way better resolution. But I find myself using the old one more. It's just so easy to use and upload, and the display screen is bigger, easier for me to see what the picture is going to look like. Funny thing too is that it was more expensive than my new one, but then I bought it when digital cameras were state-of-the-art. And I guess that's another thing -- if you can hold off buying the new technology, it will become cheaper. We had one of the first VCR's -- a Motorola -- 20 years or so ago. It cost $1,000. Ouch! Now they're practically giving them away.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 12:06PM
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Good ideas about buying too much at garage sales. I find myself doing that as well.

I tend to buy, thinking 'so and so' will like that', etc., but lately unless it is something really special, I pass it by. I have also warned my husband to help me remember to buy only things we can use.

Now I do keep an extra of all the small appliances. I absolutely detest having to go buy something new, I just saw at a garage sale for a couple of dollars.

My problem is buying things for my 'I'm gonna' stash. The 5 big bags of sweaters I bought at Goodwill for $3 a bag. I did get several sweaters for myself and about a half dozen, still with tags, for my husband, but 'I'm gonna' make some quilts, covers, whatever you call them. You cut them up and sew them together in a big patchwork.

Then there's the garbage bag full of 100% wool jackets, skirts and pants 'I'm gonna' felt!

I so admire anyone who knows about computers. I've had one about 10 years now, and I'm still terrified of doing anything with them. Being frightened does keep me from clicking on those 'offers', etc, though.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 10:33PM
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OJ, I would definitely call about that plow issue. Could be a contract worker but in bad weather there's no excuse for driving by a stranded motorist. There's rationale for not pulling you out, what with the sue-happy society in which we live, I could understand some reluctance there, however they have radios and or cell phones and could have at least stopped to see if you want them to call for help. I think that was deplorable.

This is one of the reasons I finally justified a cell phone. Prepaid phones cost as little as $3-$5/month to have and you get some time for that. As long as you're not long-winded on the phone, it's far more valuable than a car club to me. And especially if I'm traveling, I feel far more comfortable now to have it with me. And with the time you've paid for to have it for insurance, you can reap some benefit. For instance, when I'm out and I think maybe I'll stop by someone's house, I can call them first before driving over there. If they're gone or going to be leaving, knowing ahead will save the cost of gas driving over there. Back when gas was over $4/gal, it paid for itself in savings! Now that pay phones are becoming non-existant, if you need to contact anyone, it's the only way. Plus there's been times I knew someone wanted something and while I was in a store if I saw it on sale I call and see if they still want it - I could pick it up for them. One time it was a yes, another a no, but this way I didn't waste the time getting it when they had already bought it and in the other case I saved her about $10. Then I just kept it in my vehicle until I saw her again so no special trip was needed. Another time, I broke down twice while heading on a 150 mile trip. I didn't need the phone for the repairs, but I was able to call the motel and tell them what happened so I wouldn't lose my reservation for that night. I was delayed by about 5 hours and would have lost my room during a busy time had I not called. And since there were no rooms available I'm sure I wouldn't have had a place to stay that time unless I wanted to travel 40-50 miles.

The point is, cell phones have a place. And these days with cell phones so cheap, it's really foolish to not have them for a lot of people. Granted, there's a lot of people who SHOULDN'T have them, but a lot of people who should.

I had a frugal holiday season. Didn't get trampled. Relaxed and enjoyed myself. Hope all of you enjoyed your season too.

I might stop at a garage sale occasionally if it's on the route I'm traveling. And there is a city-wide sale in a suburb near me that I'll go to some of them during their summer celebration. That way it's not a lot of gas and you can hit a lot of them. And most of those people are truly looking to get rid of the stuff so they have good prices. I do not find garage saling to be worthwhile otherwise. So many people have one just to make money and prices are too high and you have to drive a lot to get to them. The one or two "deals" you get then are offset by the expenses. Could just as well buy it new if you truly needed it.

Yes that was some good advice on the computers. As far as emails, the best policy is to assume it's NOT TRUE until it's proven to be true. It's easy to check but people are lazy. They want to believe it so they fire it off to everyone they know and often send viruses and other malware to their friends. Some friend, huh?

I do have to laugh with you there OJ, I know there's been a lot of times I took a shortcut and wound up taking the long way around! Then of course took a lot more time too! Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Y'know OJ, you just rattled my pea-brain a bit... I haven't put my shovel in my vehicle yet this year! We didn't get any serious snow until just recently and I didn't even think of it. I usually have a fall-time winterization around the house where I put winter clothes, shovel, battery charger, etc into the vehicle, swap the mower and blower from the shed to the garage, fill the windshield washer with de-icer, put out extra mats for traction on the sidewalk, bring in freezables, etc. I had a bad autumn and kind of did minimal. Didn't get the a/c taken out until after I was using the furnace! But a basic staple in Minnesota is a wintertime shovel and of course jumper cables! I can't believe I forgot that. I guess that's what happens when you get old. So beware Joyful... this could happen to you someday!!!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 3:00AM
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Heck - eating leftovers is standard practice, around here.

What troubles one's frugal heart is the stuff that develops fur in the fridge, before one gets it out to use it.

My neighbour - the one who gave me the red and green "Merry Christmas" baseball cap (whose saga I related yesterday over on the KT) had me over to have Christmas Eve supper with their family, including kids and grandkids - sent home a plastic container of stew to keep me fed for a while in future (part of which I've used).

A friend, who had son and me for Christmas dinner last year, felt poorly so said not this year (son has developed lady-friend, as well) ... but was feeling better on Christmas-eve-day and invited me for Christmas dinner with him, newly-retreaded daughter and her companion.

As instructed, I took ice cream ... we ate the last of one tub, I brought an unopened one home and left another.

He'd told me to bring an (empty) plate, as well - which I forgot - but he sent an aluminum pie plate of turkey and fixings home with me: untouched, as yet.

So - I've done well, food-wise, this week!

I'm to have Christmas with son and his companion on Monday (her day off).

Have a happy weekend, everyone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 2:53PM
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lexi7, good idea reviving this post. Maybe we should have a new thread once a week or month. Care to start it?

I mentioned my digital camera - still haven't received the rebate but I am watching closely and keep checking on it. I am also waiting for a rebate from Sears for the delivery charge on my dryer. Last look, it was waiting for 30day return privilege period, which is now up. BTW, I got a tremendous on the dryer. Price at Lowes was 378 and 55 deliver charge; Price at Sears 378 and 65 delivery charge, however Sears would rebate the charge, Lowe's wouldn't. Both stores are less than 10 miles from my house. However on the day I happened to shop, Sears was also having a 10% off sale. When ringing up, another credit was applied. Final price pre-tax was about 273 + delivery. Now just to get those "rebates"!!!!

Another point on computers which was mentioned, learn from a tech about computers before attempting to do any repair on them. They need to be grounded, a static discharge will damage them. So don't feel bad about being afraid, just educate yourself.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 1:05PM
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stayed home........LOL

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 3:12PM
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My message was to be the same as "stargazer"'s, immediately above.

Well ... much the same ... I went yesterday to the Old Farts' Coffee Club at church, then bought a large bag of cat food ... some milk ... and gas ... more milk (good price on choc.) ... and paid 10 cents per sheet for 17 sheets above the 10 that I get free at the country library - 20 cents per sheet from sheet one at the city library, which I often attend (but they limit me to 1.5 hours/day). Library high-speed internet *much* faster than accessed from home!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

When you're retired ...every day is weekend!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 2:56AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I always check the sale table in Lowe's garden section. They are the only store/nursery I know of that puts their less than fresh and beautiful blooming plants on sale. This week I bought a $10 pot of ground orchids for $5.00.

Several weeks ago I bought three trays of snapdragons at 10 cents a plant -- just because they had gotten in new stock of blooming snapdragons and these were not blooming. That's of no matter to me as in Texas we plant them in the fall to bloom the next spring and summer. I think a tray hold 18 plants

It was kind of a fluke but I got 5 nice big fresh apples for free :-) I noticed apples being put out at the grocery store and asked if I could have the empty boxes for my daughter who is moving. The employee had been tossing bad apples back into one of the boxes and I said "I'll even take your rotten apples and put them in my compost pile."

Well, when I got home I found that the spots on the apples were miniscule and we ate them!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 8:58PM
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It is challenging to come up with more ideas to save and conserve. Here are a few ideas.

We've been watering down the liquid hand soap at the kitchen sink 50-50 for some time now. I've also been doing it with the shampoo. It works just as well and wastes less/lasts longer, sort of like the foam soap idea. We have also made it a point to use up the huge number of mini motel shampoo bottles I collected when I worked out of town. It is truly amazing how long I can go with just a little shampoo, the short hair does helps. Ditto for the toothpaste squeezed to the last drop!

We've been using bath towels typically twice before washing them. The sniff test is to tell if they are suitable for reuse.

If it's yellow, let it mellow. We have the old 3.2 g/f style and have greatly reduced water use with this. We do make sure to flush before bed so it's not such a olfactory jolt in the morning. The wife hates this form of conservation and I told her that when there is extra money I will replace them with the new 1.1 g/f power-assisted style. I hate to replace perfectly usable stuff, but the water bills keep going UP.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 10:51PM
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SonIL has been out of work for almost a year (California's economy sucks where we live). He literally got the only job in town but needed "business casual" clothes that he doesn't have.

For my DD's B-Day yesterday, we went shopping together - for her DH. We will trade B-Days for them this year. I'll get her something in July. Anyway we hit the malls. Bought 3 pair of fashionable slacks at The Gap for $12.99 each. Marked down from $50.00. Banana Republic netted two button down shirts @$9.99 and a wool dress sweater for $16.00. We splurged at Nordstroms on a $32. button down shirt that originally cost $96.

All the clothes are mix and match and he was thrilled. It was seriously cheaper than Walmart!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 8:50PM
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golddust-Awesome deals! I'm sure you got him some great clothes! DH and I got a couple of new shirts ourselves at JCPenny a few weeks ago on "clearance"-that's our favorite "brand!" :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 1:14PM
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Got a little bonus check unexpectedly this week! Was able to use it to pay extra on credit cards and take some to buy some new shirts for work. I need to dress nicely and my wardrobe is quite small. I found 4 great tops, a sweater and a jacket on the clearance rack for $10 each (regular prices were $30-$50 each. I was really excited! :) My MIL went with me and she found 3 nice tops as well.

I never, ever pay full price for clothes or shoes!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 8:16PM
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I thought that I'd posted about this week, but don't see it.

Daughter'd bought my air ticket Detroit-Phoenix, after some talk of my driving down - not willing to admit that "No" from both daughter and son means ... "No". She bought shuttle bus from London to Detroit, as well ... so it was $15.00 for the checked bag, out of pocket.

Then when I put stuff into the tray, including shoes, watching others ... I rang the bell, kicked off red light, etc. More metal ... so took off belt, dumped in keys, bags of Canadian and U.S. change, and ...

... there was old uncle's farmer's pocket knife, that I often carry... and had forgotten about. The inspector was nice about it - I could take it back to the car (which was in London). Too bad that the checked bag had gone through.

Still rang the bells and whistles ... they took me to one side, slight frisking revealed the back brace that a friend loaned me after the heavy fall on the ice at his place on Christmas night. So they checked the soles of my socks, rubbed a chemical-laden swab of cotton three times over the palms of each hand ...

... and liked my smile, I guess - anyway, they let me go.

I'd spoken of those things in my earlier message, but had neglected to mention some other realities relating to the topic.

My car's power steering motor has been non-operational for some time and the garage had found a used one somewhere ... some time ago. Having strong arms, I hadn't taken the car in to have it installed ... I fear that now they'll charge me not only storage on the pump ... but interest on the money laid out months ago (not really) ... and a few weeks ago I'd heard a creaking in the front end when I turned, so took it to the garage ... front coil spring broken, sharp end about 1/4" from the tire, so lucky that it hadn't sliced a long slit all around it. Could drive it O.K., so have done so.

Then I heard a creaking around the back, and he says that some work is needed on the suspension there.

Plus - exhaust is getting noisy ... and he could stick his hand into the muffler ... so that system needs replacing.

They're to do all of this while I'm down here, so I'll have to mortgage the (figment of the imagination) farm on my return, in order to get the car back.

The prospect of walking till spring dosn't sound too appealing, somehow.

Daughter took me to an old copper-mining town, Jerome and to Flagstaff on Sat., stayed overnight, visited the Grand Canyon Sunday and she's back with her nose to the grindstone, today: I sat near her and read a book, much of today. After dinner with a friend, who loaned me her laptop, we hooked it up with cable from her office and now she's busy there and I in the guest room.

She coordinates the work of several folks holding webinars with folks recently laid off from work, helping build their spirits, consider extra training, preparing resumes, for interviews, etc. She's putting in long hours: big increase in demand for their work.

She bought a lovely 2-br. plus den (her office) condo in the northern area of Phoenix last spring. I'm sure that she's going to continue to enjoy it.

I'm looking forward to the week. Too bad that she put a date on the return portion of the air ticket.

I hope that you all have a great week (marked by frugality, of course).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 2:12AM
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I haven't read this whole thread in a while, but here goes:

In a bucket, collect the water that usually runs down the drain while you're waiting for the water to get hot in the shower. Use that water to flush your toilet. (PS - I have a 1.6/f toilet so I don't do this, but my friend does in her old-style toilet.)

We have had absolutely NO problem with our kohler 1.6 gal toilets since we installed them in 1999. I don't know what a power toilet costs, but I'd bet it's a lot more than an ordinary one.

We use our bath towels repeatedly. It's only water on the towel, right?

I cook many things in the pressure cooker because it uses so little gas and the food tastes great. Yesterday I cooked two pounds of soaked pinto beans with only six minutes-worth of gas in the PC. Last night we had tostadas and burritos for dinner, today we'll have ham and bean soup and more tostadas. Beans and eggs, beans in salads, etc., for several days. Yum!

I can't tell which costs less to use - the pressure cooker because it takes so little time, or the slow cooker (which I also love) because it takes so little energy, but for such a long time. Does anybody know?

OJ, my hub is from SE of Tucson, stuck in Wisconson for the last million years (or so it seems to him) and hating every ice cold second of it. Boy, I wish we could get back to his area this year. I'm glad you're there, keeping warm.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 10:25AM
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I've been car sharing to work which saves us both money. Also trying to walk a lot more of late... only use the car when I absolutely need to. Making sure I don't eat out much and looking at special offers when grocery shopping.

It's a big improvement for me than before!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:22AM
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I received my rebate ($100) from Epson on my printer.

Something I always do is stock up when beef goes on sale. Here that means ribeye at 4.77/lb and pot roasts at 1.79. Still watching for brisket to go down - I want to try that as ground beef. When we lived elsewhere, we had a meat market that I passed each day on way home from work. Easy to pickup those specials.

Served soup twice this week, great with this cold weather!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 12:11PM
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Hey ole joyful. I hear you about flying today. My last experience was when I was by myself and had to lug 4 bags from rental car to shuttle bus to check-in, go through security (no shoes) and be swabbed because my extremely expensive GPS equipment looks suspicious (self insured and cannot/willnot be checked), lug the GPS and laptop to gate, have person at gate send me back to security because they didn't check something on form, and then fly in a cramped small jet not designed for anyone over 6' tall and 200 lbs. Driving is so much more pleasant!

Saved $3-$6 buying 6 boxes of cereal at a closeout store versus regular supermarket. Our local version is called Big Lots. They have a lot of junk, but also some good stuff at lower prices than anyone else. Just make sure to check the dates with the food.

Found out I gave $2 more than I should have to Wal-Mart for chainsaw bar oil. Low everyday prices, yea right. The same gallon at a local farm-supply store was $6, instead of $8. Basic oil has gotten pretty expensive.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 12:20PM
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Forgot to mention, I restrung window blinds that had a broken cord.

Also, I bake biscuits and cook sausage each week for DH's breakfast (his choice) instead of him buying fast food. he reheats in m/w. I usually have almond muffin (no wheat flour - just ground almonds) or oatmeal. Almonds in cooking section were 6.49lb; but on sale in produce for 2.99 lb.

jr- we no longer have a Big Lots, but it sure did have some good buys.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 12:42PM
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A friend told me to start using oats to bulk things up as it doesn't change the flavour. Used it for a shepherds pie last night and it worked a treat! Only had to use half the mince :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 8:39AM
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For anyone who needs to update or improve their wardrobe: don't forget to go to thrift shops. I usually buy all my posh work shirts there for about $3 each (plus the cost of dry cleaning) and I also found a sequined gown there, perfect for a black tie event, for $4.50.

Just an idea. To get the best deals, it's a good idea to go frequently as the turnover of stock is fast and you need to buy it when you see it as it probably won't be there next time.

I love thrift - most of my gifts (which look brand new) come from either sales at normal shops or what I have found in thrift shops. No one can tell the difference as I take a lot of trouble to make sure the item looks like brand new off the shelf.

Thrift shops are also wonderful places to buy kids' clothing (esp younger kids who aren't that picky about their clothes in most cases) and for children's books. The shop I go to has hard backs for a dollar and paperbacks for 50 cents. Can't beat that.

Just an idea.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 10:13AM
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I used a pressure cooker for years and the instructions said never use the PC for beans, you can have an explosion. I love pot roast ans meat loaf cooked in the PC.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 5:42PM
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Switched cell phone carriers and saved $80 on monthly bill. Switched our cable/internet plan and saved $50 on monthly bill. Saved around $30 with grocery coupons this week.

If Spring could hurry and get here I can quit using gas heat and save $260 a month- gosh it hurt just to type that.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 8:47PM
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We don't buy any sweets, snacks, or meat. We buy walnuts and almonds at Costco. DH does the cooking - makes nearly everything from scratch. We do buy store brand spaghetti sauce and salad dressing. (DH likes variety in his salad dressings.) We eat "Old fashioned" oatmeal for breakfast, topped with walnuts and a banana. We make a big pot of oatmeal so we just heat it up weekday mornings.

We rarely go shopping. If I need a suit for work, I usually buy it on eBay; much cheaper if you buy only when there is NOT a bidding frenzy.

We've been married 16 1/2 years and still take showers together - saves water. Hot water heater is permanently on the "vacation" setting. I wash all the clothes in cold water.

Night temp is 65 degrees F, day is 68 if we are home and 65 if we are not. Have a programmable thermostat. Also have a down comforter on the bed, flannel sheets, flannel pjs, and rag wool socks. (It gets COLD here.)

We pay only $15/month for internet access and don't have cable TV. We watch too much TV as it is - cable would just make it worse.

We do our own electric and plaster repair, our own painting and gardening, etc. even though we both work full time. We are lucky to have a dry cleaners that charges just $2 per item, but send only the wools to the dry cleaners. I wash and iron everything else. Ironing is great for keeping warm on cold days!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 10:22AM
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Stargazer, I cook all kinds of beans in my PC once or twice a week - for, like 40 years now! Takes six minutes or so under pressure. The instruction booklet on my current PC gives the timetable. You can google recipes if you're interested. You can't beat a PC for lots of foods. I wonder why yours would explode?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:57AM
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I've been shopping the end of season clearance sales. In many cases, I have found brand new clothes for next school year cheaper than I could get them used at the thrift store.

I found a thrift bread store where I can buy bread for around half price. Some of the nicer whole grain breads are only $1.70. They have a card where I can get 'credit' for the dollar amounts I buy and then I can get free items from a select group. I got a free coffee cake and a box of donuts. I don't usually buy that kind of stuff, but the kids and dh enjoyed it.

I ended up in Wal-Mart yesterday. I found it interesting that some of the name brand foods were the same price as or cheaper than the Great Value brand. I like to compare prices anyway, but someone who normally doesn't might pay the higher price.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:59AM
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I parked almost 2 blocks from my doctor's office and walked because it costs $5 to park in the parking structure.

I remodeled a curtain instead of buying a new one.

I put sheets and towels on the line to save dryer gas.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 10:20PM
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I checked my sales receipt, found 13 items over priced and made the store refund my money. The number of scanning errors once surprised me, but now I expect it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 10:38PM
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Made sauerkraut soup from an old cookbook from MIL - used the juice and kraut (homemade of course)from last night's ribs and kraut supper instead of making new stock. Mended some old tea towels which maybe thin but still serviceable. Added water to the bottle of liquid detergent to get a couple more lighter loads out of the jug. Refused to use the dishwasher more than once every couple days. Not anything ground shaking but it saved me a few coins and that is all that matters.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:31PM
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DH and I are still eating the potatoes he grew in the backyard garden last year. He dug them up and stored them in our un-heated basement in a burlap bag. They are still good in February. I peel and soak three or four,then cook them in our pressure cooker, then mash them. Delicious with lots of butter!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:47PM
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I started shopping on line. It saves me money in that a person can look at products and make decisions without having to drive all over town or to the mall.

One site I use gives you ten dollars to spend there. $10.00! with no obligation to spend another nickel! More than 90% of their customers KEEP COMING BACK! This is an online catalog store that REWARDS their shoppers! This is not; I REPEAT NOT one of those participation sites.

I have saved more than 25% on my purchases with the rewards the've given me so far.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:19AM
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Well, we made an offer on a piece of land higher than the last offer they denied, but still a good deal. The offer was also denied, so we saved tens of thousands of dollars by not counter offering and paying more than we wanted to. Our 1st offer was our final offer.

I also bought my son a long sleeve shirt from the clearance rack at Target for $1.98! I would have bought more, but at that price there was only 1 left in his size or the next size up.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 4:56PM
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We use a bucket to catch water in the shower.Both while waiting for it to get warm and while taking a shower.Use it to water houseplants and flush toilet.

"If it's yellow,let it mellow......" This is something we've done for years in my family.

Cut off the water heater over night and part of the day.Saves electricity.

Thermostat is set at 58 at night and 62 during the day.I spend most of my time in my bedroom,so this isn't a problem.

Baked oatmeal prune was out of raisens and wasn't going out to get any.So,I used what I had.Cut the prunes up into small pieces.They taste great.

Using foods in freezer and pantry.Including a few packs of powder milk mix,to use in morning cereal.It's not to bad and it was free.

Requesting samples from online sites.I have recieved some great things in the past,including coffee,laundry detergent and nice size bottles of shampoo.

I'm cancelling an appointment I have,because 1) I need a break 2) Need to save the gas and 3)I need to do We don't have a dryer and I didn't plan my clothing this week,so I don't have clean jeans for tomorrow.

My friend is having a party Friday night,and I'll ride with another friend to save gas.I'll also take a container for leftovers.Yummy ;)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:15AM
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Hey Everyone,

I am sure everyone here is as worried about his or her financial problem as I am. I have found a great forum called

Its a great place to discuss various issues regarding recession in America.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 1:12PM
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Made a great meal,or I should say a few meals,out of a can of black beans and a can of southwestern beans & corn.Chopped up a tomatoe that had to get used,part of a white onion,part of a purple onion and orange bell pepper that had to be used or composted.Added salt,pepper and hot sauce.We can eat as is or serve over rice.Meals for a couple days for sure.

Recieved a nice size tube of body lotion in the mail today.I love free samples.

Saved seeds to start.If they don't produce fruit,at least I'll have a nice plant.

Planning to take cuttings this week and pot to increase my houseplants and to have plants to sell and give to friends.

I'll be sure to check out the forum mentioned above.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 1:05AM
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Roxanne, I've made a bean dish similar to what you mentioned. It's delicious, isn't it? And good hot or cold. I prefer it cold on a hot summer day, with a slice of toasted whole wheat bread. YUM.

I'm notorious for tucking small amounts of things into the freezer. Every now and then I have to clean out the freezer and see what I can use up. I might find egg yolks, saved from when I made 7-minute frosting. I'll make a nice chocolate pudding and use them in that. Some things can be assembled into a "TV dinner" -- a little left-over rice, a frozen piece of meat, a few little tads of vegetables, mixed into a medley. Left over mashed potatoes and/or potato water go into potato rolls. Mashed potatoes are good mixed into canned mackerel or salmon, rolled in flour and fried. A good pot of soup will use up all the liquids I saved from canned vegetables plus lots of other things. Add egg noodles or home-made fluffy dumplings to frozen chicken broth and some left-over chicken for a meal. Bits of bread, the center and leafy parts of celery and a couple of frozen tomatoes go into a meatloaf. Sometimes we will eat for several days on those bits and tads of things I've saved that other people would throw away, or, in the case of chicken broth, not go to the trouble to make.

When I make soup, it seems like I can't make just a little bit. I could eat soup every day in the winter, with a nice corn muffin or some whole-wheat bread, but DH and DGS tire of it quickly. So I ladle the extra into wide-mouth pint canning jars. I'd really like to can it, but so many people say now that's not safe. So I leave some head space and freeze it. When I'm in the mood for soup, I put the frozen jar in a little pan of cold water, then heat it slowly on top of the stove until the contents of the jar show evidence of thawing. Then I pour the water out of the little pan and dump the contents of the jar into the pan and finish heating it up that way. If I have planned ahead, I'll just set the jar on a kitchen towel on the counter and let it thaw. But I usually don't know I'm in the mood for soup till I'm already hungry. DS lives alone and doesn't cook and he never turns down the opportunity to eat when he comes over. He loves soup.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Frugal is our life style so hanging out clothes and sheets on the line works just great. I do my own painting in the house and that obviously saves a great deal. I make my own bread as well. I freeze and vacuum seal leftovers so I can pull them out later on and don't have to cook. Our thermostat goes to 52 at night then to 61 in the day. Our electric bill is way down and we just put on a heavy sweater. These are old fashion ways that work great today.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:26PM
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Ilene, for the leftover soup... depending on what kind of soup it is, you can either make burritos, enchiladas, or a pot pie with the leftovers, and save the broth for something else. I do that with DH's chili, and with chicken and beef stews sometimes. You could make mini pies, individual servings, if you felt creative and a little bored!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:49AM
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This made me feel good~~
Our local Goody's store was selling out. I went out and they were on the last few I got $90.00 worth of slacks for my grandsons for only $1.50 total. Also got my daughter a pair of $45.00 slacks for only 50 cents. The last half hour,they sold all the items you could get into a basket for $10.00.....needless to say, some had baskets so full they couldn't even see over them....but all for $10.00!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Ya know, Jeepin, I almost missed your post, and it was such a good idea! I think I'm going to make some enchaladas today. In fact, I think I've got enough enchalada sauce tucked away in the freezer for just such an occasion. I'm glad you posted.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:13AM
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I needed some flower pots, so I checked when I was at Home Depot yesterday (which is unusual, since they are way out of my price range).

I found some beautiful pottery ones on the clearance table, with the original price of $33. I asked the cashier to scan one just to see what the price was--it was $3.00. Needless to say, I have several nice pottery pots in the garage just waiting! :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 6:25PM
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Skipping out on the convenience of drive thru coffee during my carpool... now I brew the SAME coffee at home and I reuse the cup I got from Dunkin. Saves more than I want to admit publicly that I spent before.
Getting spring water from a local public, free spring instead of buying bottles of water.
Gave up diet soda!!!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 7:21AM
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When we do weekly veg shop ie carrotts cabbage etc i remove outer leaves or stalks as wil be thrown in bin when we get home.Fresh veg is weighed so removing these saves money

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Had a good-sized garden last year, this year landlord cultivated a large area, so now it's, between the two of us, much over double the size. The new part is 62 paces long (about 180 feet) and there are six rows.

He got out the tiller on Friday evening and got rid of a mess of weeds and I cleared quite a few along the edges of the rows on Sat. Thought that I'd pull some Lamb's Quarter weeds, pinching off root with thumbnail, to take to church today for people to cook up like spinach for greens but didn't have time.

I had enough squash that grew from discarded ones that I'd thrown on the garden so that I didn't need to buy seeds of that variety, and I had radishes that grew from seeds dropped from last year's crop, as well as tomatoes and beans.

Apart from some complaints from my knees due to spending so much time on the (granted, soft) ground ... and some from several muscles and joints that I'd forgotten that I had, as my knees need help from my hands when I've been on the ground for a time ... it's been a busy and a good week.

And, while not frugal now, there should be a large quantity of vegetables in the fall.

I take many of them to a couple of churches that I attend, asking that folks add to their offerings ... and the second church is talking about building a sanctuary, so have had a building fund running for a time, with various people thinking of money-raising projects.

Actually, it was through such a project that I got to meet Iva Mae face to face.

Some have gone to the Food Bank and other social agencies, as well.

Have yourselves a glorious week, folks - summer is at hand.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 11:04PM
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Went out "rummaging" last Saturday. Spent a morning of pleasant talk time with DH while enroute. Got a little exercise getting in and out of the pick-up, walking up and down the street (there was a neighborhood sale on one block). Bought some nice t-shirts in several sizes (DH and I wear XL, DGS wears L, DS and DD wear 2X) for 25 cents each. They were all glad to get them, and I have stained up most of the t-shirts I currently have, painting and gardening. I always watch for things that might make good Christmas presents for my family. They like to get rummage sale stuff because they know I have a set amount that I spend for Christmas and they'd rather have more stuff than just a few. I found a Cuisinart food processor, clean, didn't look like it had even been used, with the book, both blades and also two stems and a julienne and grating blade, for $10. I tested it out before buying and it works perfectly. DD will be so happy to discover that under the tree! I found a large, brand new, still-in-the-box George Foreman grill for $10. (no book, though) Used it to grill hamburgers last night. The weekend before I found a nice Fossil watch, still in it's original box, for $10. One of the DGS' will be the recipient of that. The weekend before that, I found a brand new Eureka Hot Shot steam cleaner that I had been wanting, still in it's original box with all attachments and the book, for $5. Sometimes, I don't find a thing I want. But even then, I get out and meet people and I enjoy my morning.

Out of the garden this week, I got cabbage, beets and beet greens (they were yummy), plenty of romaine and a few onions. Last month we had baby lettuce, watermelon radish and asparagus. The beans are beginning to form and I have some green tomatoes on my plants. No squash this year as I still have some in the freezer. Next year, though, I'm going to dehydrate some like Grainlady does. There are tiny cucumbers on the vine and the dill looks like it'll be making umbrels right on time. I'll be using MIL's old recipe for garlic dills this year, that you can make a jar at a time. The sunflowers are heading up. I garden without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Every fall I collect my neighbors' leaves that they bag up and put on the curb for garbage collection. I save the leaves by sticking the bags under my porch, where, as long as they are there, they insulate the foundation along the east side. They keep the wind from blowing things under there and they keep weeds from growing along the edges. Then, as I need them, I use them for mulch all over my garden. I happen to have come into several bales of hay for free and I find that if I put a little "slice" of hay on top of the leaves, it keeps them from blowing away. By the following spring, that mulch becomes healthy soil. I did get some cow manure from a local rancher this spring but I think I will not do that again. Lots of weed seeds, though not nearly as bad as the horse manure I had several years ago. Cows must be more selective in what they eat than horses are. I get heavy cardboard from a local furniture store. The boxes are large and some of them are sized perfectly for fitting down into the spaces between my raised beds. Bermuda grass is a problem here, it gets into everything and chokes things out, sending it's long, sinewey roots clear to China. The only way to control it is to shade it out.

I have to admit, I did splurge on seed buying from Baker Creek, as they are offering free shipping till the end of June. but I got things that you just can't pick up anywhere, and even if the package of seed costs $2.50 and $3.00 (isn't that outrageous?), I use my seeds very carefully and so just one plant that produces well will more than pay for the seed and the rest is "just gravy". A package of seed, stored carefully, will be viable for years.

We always batch our trips, so when we get done rummaging we go by the grocery store and buy whatever we need, usually on sale. I hear gas prices are going to be going up again, so even if you do happen to have a 'gas guzzler' vehicle, you will get more for your $$ if you learn to do as many of your errands at the same time as you can.

DGS got a ticket for not wearing his seatbelt! The officer told him it would be only $20 but what he didn't tell him was that if he waits for the court date and appears then to pay it, he will have to pay court costs too. Luckily we discovered in time and informed DGS of that, so he went to the court house and paid his fine and avoided paying court costs. Let this be a lesson to him, wear that seat belt!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 10:23AM
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I was laid off a few weeks ago and have had time to do more for money savings. So this week-
Made a new cover for our porch swing from a goodwill sheet total cost $3.99.
Picked up free mangoes from the state park where I volunteer. Made chutney,canned it and still can get more free mangoes to freeze etc. Would have gotten free lychees but found out I am allergic to them.
Canned tomato sauce.
Cooked all of our meals from scratch and ate leftovers for lunch.
Shopped for groceries and restocked the pantry (much needed)and will save $$$$$.
Made pizza from scratch- teenage son loves this!
Made homemade laundry soap, diluted softener with vinegar and hung all the weeks laundry up to dry. No cheating with the dryer either :)
My garden is done for the year- a few minor exceptions and am planning the fall garden now. I am glad I get 2 growing seasons a year but the heat right now is terrible!!!
Best of luck to all!!!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 6:41PM
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Jo, so sorry to hear about your being laid off. But glad you're making the most of your time. I've been laid off twice. The first time, I was actually relieved to get the axe as I was not happy where I was working and DH brought in enough income that would tide us over till I found something else, even if that took a little while. The second time was not so convenient. By this time I had a disabled husband and desperately needed the insurance that job provided. Couldn't afford to keep COBRA. I think they would've fired me if they could have, I saw signs that they'd been examining my computer and searching my desk. So I guess it was good to leave there, too, it's just that financially it was not such a good time. Sometimes a lay-off is a chance to go off in a different direction that might end up being a very happy decision!

Good luck to you in whatever you choose to do from here on.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:06PM
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Hi Ilene- Thanks for the kind words :) they are needed and appreciated!!!
I may be able to go back to work in August though I don't know if I want to work there anymore.
I understand about the computer and desk because that was happening before I was laid off. I love the park and would enjoy working there even at the low rate of pay they offer. Unfortunately , due to the economy they don't have openings.
Either way I have money saved, in part, because of this forum. All will be well no matter what!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 1:41PM
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Today I hung laundry outside, made a cream of vegetable soup to use up some asparagas ends and bits of vegetable that were aging in the crisper drawer, made bread crumbs from dried crusts I'd been saving and made grapefruit juice from a couple of very ripe grapefruits no one was bothering to eat.....and the peel went into the compost. I never seem to think of the savings these activities involve until I ponder the title of this post.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 5:09PM
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I gave myself a haircut. Since I like my hair short I figured the #1 guard on my clippers would do just fine (and it did).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 10:59AM
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