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Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by donnA, Feb 9, 2005.
What are some things your household does to save money on living expenses? Bills, food, etc.
We buy store brand merchandise; food, cleaning supplies, ect.
I tell ya, DonnA---you're gonna find this unbelieveable but its true!! And it took me some time to finally get use to it!!
In the place of 100 watt bulbs---we now have 75 and 60 watt---and Blackbird hasn't noticed his wife strainin' to see things either!!
Hot water heater---you would be surprised how much $$$ you can save by resetting the thermostat from 140 degrees to 115 degrees!
Same way with refrigerator and freezer---just resetting the thermo's down from the #4 position to the #3 position.
The same with the air conditioner---in the summer time---set the thermo on 78 and in the winter--down to 68!
And you can believe what you want--but here's what I believe---this "bottled" water stuff vs. regular tap water??? Folks SAY---well, if its bottled---it must be good for ya!!"
You ever hear folks say that??? Admit it, DonnA--we all have!!! Where do you think those company's purchase their water to bottle from??? Duh?????
We could go on and on---I'll post some more stuff later!!
* Clip coupons!!!
* Instead of using my oven/stove, I use our microwave. It takes much more power for large appliances to reach the heating level you need. I can do just about everything in the microwave that I can on the stove.
* I add water to some items like dish detergent, shampoos or even laundry detergents. It doesn't alter the effectiveness and it lasts longer.
* I try to conserve on power more so than some people. We saved a lot of money just by turning the temp down on the hot water heater. I always keep the thermostat on the low side and if I get chilly, I can grab a blanket. Unplug things that aren't being used (i.e.-dried up air fresheners, chargers for cell phones or razors.) If it's during the day, I use natural light in the house and at night I use the least amount possible. Of course, I always turn off lights when I leave a room too.
* We make sure to always keep a clean air filter in the air unit. Old filters will cause your unit to work harder.
* I sign up for samples on the internet. Most times, companies will send more than one item and that is enough for several uses. I have received laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoos and even a box of granola bars. They always include "good" coupons in the package too.
* Line drying your clothes when possible can help on power.
* I always make sure my vehicle is running efficiently. This ensures that I am getting the best gas mileage in these days of $1.80/gal gas. Everything from getting oil changes to making sure the air pressure for your tires is right will effect your vehicle's performance.
* I always make sure to stock up on non-perishables when they are on sale. Right now, Kroger has canned veggies 5 for $1. I take advantage of those sales whenever possible.
It's hard thinking about this stuff after doing it for so long. I have got a list somewhere of Thrifty Tips. I'll see if I can find them.
I agree with everything blackbird posted except the part about the water. Sometimes tap water just tastes nasty. If that's the case add a little lime or lemon juice to each glass. I live paycheck to paycheck so I understand your woes. One thing I am really cautious with is water and electricity. I always turn out lights I am not using and I never leave water running while brushing my teeth or washing dishes. I only turn it on when I am going to use it. Otherwise it's just wastewater going down the sink!
I do the watering down detergents and shampoo as well.
Here are some more that I found:
* To keep from using expensive wax removers on your vinyl
kitchen floors, use club soda and restore the shine. It
also works on carpets to remove stains.
* Use automatic withdrawal on every bill as possible. This
not only includes monthly items but things such as
insurance. The main idea here is to SAVE STAMPS. A typical
household can save over 40-50 dollars per year on stamp
costs by using Automatic withdrawal.
* To keep drains running free and easy, and to prevent the
high cost of plumber fees. Don't wait until the problem
is there, prevent it by pouring 1/2 cup baking soda
into the drain, followed with 1/2 cup white vinegar. This
solution will foam, (this is supposed to happen). Cover
the drain and leave for 30 minutes. FLush with cool water.
Do this once a month for pennies, to save hundreds down
the line! (We do this one and it really helps!)
* When baking, oven heat can be lowered 25° if you use glass
or ceramic baking dishes, they retain heat better than
roasting pans. This helps save on your gas bill.
* A once a month trip to the day old bread store helps
fill your freezer with bread, buns, sweet rolls, and
bakery goodies, and will save you about 1/2 of grocery
* To help on keeping your mower working, before mowing your lawn, spray the underside of your
mower with cooking spray to keep grass clippings from
sticking. A buildup of debris can prevent the mower
from cutting properly and encourage rust.
* Add a bit of vinegar to your dishwasher. This will cut
the grease, allowing you to use a cheaper brand of
detergent. Your dishes will come out sparkling clean.
* If you are painting: watch for sales, and when you're in the store, ask about
"mis-tints." These are cans of mixed paints that were
either the wrong color, or weren't picked up by the customer,
and the store just wants to be rid of them. You may get a
high quality paint in a color you can use for a very cheap
* Reducing your drying time will save you money and will
also help your clothing last longer. Hang up your dress
clothes after just a couple of minutes in the dryer,
rather than a full drying cycle. Concentrated heat will
speed up the deterioration of the fibers.
* Get a water heater timer at your local hard-
ware store (costs around $20), and program it so it only runs
during the times you're at home and awake. You'll slash
quite a bit off your utility bills yearly.
* It's a lot cheaper to buy ground beef in the value packs
(6-8 lbs.). Then when you get home brown all but a couple
of pounds and freeze it in one pound packs. These are
great for quick meals and it doesn't take a lot of time
and saves money (and freezer space)! Then when you decide
to make casseroles, sauces, etc. the meat is already done.
* Banking institutions often will drop or lower checking
fees if paychecks are directly deposited by your employer.
* Turn off the oven, hotplates and iron a few minutes
before you need to stop using them - they will stay
hot for a long time. Heating devices use more power
then anything else.
* Why spend money on expensive cleaners when all you
need is a tube of toothpaste? Try it to: polish silver
and gold, remove crayon marks from walls, remove ink
spots from cloth, remove fruit punch "moustaches" from
kids, deodorize smelly hands, remove scuffs from shoes,
and fill holes in walls.
On the bottled water note-on some brands of bottled water, it is actually just city water that is bottled.
, I think my hotwater is to hot.
I keep my house cooler in winter then 68 degrees now.
I buy my canned goods at Save a Lot, meat only on sale and never not on sale.
I also shop a salvage food store, and get real good bargains, including stuff I can't afford to buy at regular price.
tap water for us, we save bottles to take it on the go with us.
I don't buy name brand, so coupons are out for me. Plus I don't buy pastsa and rices like I used too for coupons.
I get all those samples too!
I like to,line dry clothes in summer, but it has rained all winter here. It costs me about $5. a month to use the dryer though.
Chipsgirl, get a water filter.
Dina, agree it is.
We buy a case for about $3. at the first of summer, and keep the bottles to refill.
If you have to eat out, don't do the combos. We order from the .99 menu. We do drink bottled water and we don't care if it's only tap water. We have well water and that stuff will turn yer teephs eringe.
Yea, but it looks like new fangled bottled water messes with your spelling.
Gib, your right about the well water, dude! Viv and I buy in bulk as much as possible, and when things are on sale. We will sometimes hit the dollar store, too. Store brands are the norm in our house. If we want to "splurge" as people like to do, we go to the store and buy a whole ribeye or some other kind of meat and have it cut so that we will have many more "good times" cooking on the grill, etc. For what it cost us last year to go out for our anniversary, we could have bought a variety of meats and still been using them today. We save cans if we buy soda, separating the pop top from the can and keeping them in a separate container. We also refill all our own printer cartridges with the refill kits. We use an AT&T phone card instead of having long distance on our phone, and we save a lot that way. No monthly charges from a phone company, and none of those other unnecessary fees. We bought a card three years ago with 1200 minutes on it at 3.9 cents a minute. We've "recharged" it each year with more time. We've still got over 300 minutes on this one, and aren't supposed to purchase more minutes until March or April.
Gib, I never eat anywhere that might have a .99 menu, becasue they have food I don't care to eat. I always drink water when we eat out, saves money and no calories. We eat out about twice a month, and usually go where we can eat veggies, and I prefer mine raw if possible.
Most well water these days is not drinkable becasue of ground pollution, which is proabbaly why yours tastes bad.
We have well water and it tastes great. Just had it tested so know that it's clean too. Maybe it depends on where you live or how far down you drilled? We went 396 ft. My hint is more of a "pet peeve" than a money saver. Almost all restaurants now offer free refills so ALWAYS order the smallest (and cheapest) drink size available and then refill! I finally convinced DH of this. You don't have to order the large drink for $1.69 when you can get the smallest drink for .89 and refill it as often as you want!
Our water is not polluted by man made materials, rather iron content. Our trees, swing and sidewalk are orange because of the iron coming through the irrigation.
Is that what that orange is then. I see it a lot.
We have a water softner that helps keep the levels down, but only have it filtering the water coming into the house. We have not acquired a taste for it yet.
Some areas here have a lot of sulphur in the water. I've heard it is really bad tasting.
Here where we are, if the sidewalks are orange, you know that the person who lives there waters their yard with well water and not city water. The orange here is from Sulfur.
Can't say that I know what it tastes like, but I know it smells BAD.
Wow I just noticed this thread, there are a lot of handy ideas. Thanks!