Saving money on food, home, etc..

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Gina B, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    What do you do to save money on groceries, household supplies, etc.? Share anything you can think of, no matter how silly it sounds! Don't be ashamed of being a good steward.

    Living where I do, I've found that groceries are a MAJOR source of "WHERE DID ALL THAT MONEY GO THAT I JUST GOT THIS MORNING?!"

    I'm sure it would be helpful to everyone if we shared what we're doing to stretch our money further, whether it's on insurance, groceries, bills, or whatever!

    I went shopping yesterday, but the night before I looked up sales online at two major stores (hehe, if you lived here you'd get that) and planned out meals according to sales.
    I cut coupons, and two of those coupons were for $10 off $50 or more, so that was $20 off right there by simply dividing the order into two and using two separate member cards. (I asked them first and they said I could do that)

    I'm also only buying bread for "emergency use." I bake a loaf every night otherwise. It's not only cheaper, but I know what goes in it, and what goes in it isn't preservatives or other junk, and with only four ingredients, how easy is that? (unless you add a bit of sugar, then it's five)

    The kids have grandparents who live in another country. Clothes there are much cheaper than here, so they have sent some over, and the next box will include shoes. They can get Nike's and such over there for a fraction of what we have to pay for them here! Even with the cost of shipping, there's at least a 50% lower overall cost.

    There are dentists who see people on a sliding scale fee. Generally a couple can make almost $30,000 a year and still be given a discount, more if you have children.


    Oh, I almost forgot! Spices. They can be SO expensive. I've found that by visiting different sections of the store, they can be bought for MUCH less. For example, I can buy plastic bags of some of my spices for about 75% less if I visit the "ethnic" section of the store rather than buying the glass or plastic bottles of them where the other spices are kept.

    There is also so many things we can do without!

    Do you really need a snack between meals?

    Is that name brand really worth paying for? (usually it's not, sometimes it really is!)

    Do you make it at home cheaper than buying it prepared? I've become spoiled on homemade food. It is so much yummier and usually healthier! There are many quick meals that can be prepared, and marinating is your friend for stuff that you want to taste like you spent a long time on.

    Ok, now for my weakness. I love caramel macchiato's from Starbucks! I go downtown once every few weeks, and while I'm there I always buy one if we're close by and I have enough cash on me. They're especially good iced, even when the weather is 50 below! LOL! But I was being a baby the other day and got it hot. Nursed it all day long too! Mmmmmm......

    Don't forget to include your weakness after you include your tips on how you save! :thumbsup:
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Eat out a lot...................at other people's houses.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Gina B

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    Thanks. I'll be there at 7pm sharp. :tongue3:
     
  4. annsni

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    Cooking at home really helps as does meal planning. I find it also helps me a lot to allow myself a few nights a month to do take-out (cheap take-out like pizza, a Mexican special we get that feeds all 6 of us for $20, or Chinese). Just tonight I SO did not want to cook even though I had the ingredients and a plan. I went ahead and made it anyway but it was nice to know that I COULD order take-out if I needed to and I wouldn't feel guilty for it. But knowing I could actually motivated me to go ahead and cook - it's weird.

    Gina - for the Starbucks - I started doing MyPoints and I now earn free gift cards and most of the time I get Starbucks cards. I just a few points shy of being able to get a $25 card! It's slow going - they send you advertising e-mails and you click through them. You get 5 points per e-mail. You can also answer surveys for 50 points and order things going through their site (many major retailers partner with them) and you earn a point per dollar or something like that. Just doing the basic thing, I can get the $10 card in about 3-4 months. If I work at it and make sure I do the surveys and such, maybe ordering some things through Avon or whatever, I can get there faster. I got a $25 card for DH for Christmas and now I'm up to getting another one and it's nice because I know it's fully a gift! :D
     
  5. Jim1999

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    I think Gina was tryng to show us that a salt shaker of salt is like shaking gold on the dinner when purchased in the far north where everything is flown in.

    We don't know what expense is compared to up there.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    PS, Don't waste the skin of potatoes...cook them in the skin and do eat the skins.
     
  6. Gina B

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    It's true that it's ridiculously expensive, but it's also true that everyone's ready to do what they can to save money right now, and we can all learn from each other!

    We eat the skins of pretty much everything, we just wash stuff really good instead of peeling it. Taters you do have to be careful with though, because even with buying the highest grade, you get green ones quite often. I've always loved the skins though! They used to stay on even for mashed ones, and there's nothing better than scooping out the meat of baked ones, bake the skins more so they're all crisp, then mash and season the scooped out meat and refill that skin and munch it all down. Oh yeah...
     
  7. donnA

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    I've got a couple of salvage stores I visit about twice a month, save about half on most items. What I can't get there I go to Save A Lot, then Wal MArt. For meat I buy only whats on sale and keep my freezer stocked, I visit Fod Lion a few times a month, they have the most beautiful marked down meats, they look fresh cut, save half on most of meats. Which si important because I only buy leanmeat, and really lean ground beef, like the 90/10, 93/7, 97/3 types, the expensive stuff. Cutting fat is very important to us.
    I do not buy sweets, and very little soda for my husband, I don't drink soda, or eat sweets, unless I find sugar free at the salvage store. Snacks for us is usually pop corn, or some sort of crackers, again salvage store. I save more then half on name brand flavored crackers.
    I only buy name brand if it's from the salvage store or on sale really cheap.
    I try not to buy convience foods when I can help it, but sometimes we need quick foods on the weekend becasue we're so busy, it's that or a sandwich and he'd rather not eat sandwiches for supper.
    I meal plan now. I search my cook books for interesting recipes that I either have everything or only need to buy 1 item, only cheap stuff. I can do this much easier because I stay stocked on meats , frozen and canned veggies and other necessities.
    I buy the cheap laundry items( and house hold cleaners needed) from Dollar Store, $4.50 for detergent that lasts us over a month.
     
  8. Gina B

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    That's a good thing with meats and seafood Donna! So often they'll be marked down or given to you for less because there's only a bit left. Works for me!

    Does anyone have any tips on how to save on auto insurance, car repairs, phone bills, and other things of that nature?
     
  9. tinytim

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    At a couple stores here they have a section in the meat section where you can pick out 5 family packs of meat for $19.99. We pick those out, then plan the meals around them..

    Eating at home always help.
    combining errands so we don't have to run to town as much.
    We have turned our thermostat down to 62.. yes.. 62!... you can do it if you do it incrementaly .. (2 degrees lower a week.. in 5 weeks you go from 72 to 62.. and you won't even notice)

    LEFTOVERS!
    (Although I HATE Bean cakes!)

    coupons..

    buy in bulk (as long as you know it is not going to spoil... Bulk in toilet tissue.. especially)..

    Talk to neighbors for local deals.. for instance potatoes in our grocery store now is $6/10 pound bag.. But our neighbor picked us up a 50 pound bag for $11 at a local farmers place.

    I also got 3 bushels of apples this fall for something like $3 a bushel because a neighbor was making a run to an orchard a couple counties away.

    Gina, I also like Starbucks... that is my weakness when I get near one..
    Plus we like to eat out 2 times a month.

    Oh, for some reason if I keep my tank full, I get better mileage.

    OK.. maybe more later...

    OH... re-gifting for Christmas and Birthdays...shhhhhh
     
  10. following-Him

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    Make a menu for the week and then a shopping list.

    Make a list of the things you use or run out of during the week.

    Try switching to supermarket brands. It works well for us with lots of things but sadly not coffee.

    Make full use of your freezer.

    We get a lot of our spices at Aldi or Lidl, they can be much cheaper there.

    With Spring not too far off now, why not consider growing some of your own veggies and fruit? Again, we find Aldi and Lidl very reasonable when it comes to buying seeds, plants and even fruit trees and bushes.

    We have found that a local timber merchant is a good source of kindling for our woodburner. The sell 3 bags of offcuts for £5.00, which is much cheaper than buying ready prepared kindling and is easy to chop up yourself.
     
  11. Steven2006

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    For what it is worth. I saw a special on television once that warned that those packages of meats with big markdowns are most often very old meats. The stores usually change the dates on them when they mark them down. Surprisingly changing the dates while frowned upon was not illegal in most cases because it is a suggested date that the stores can change.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    Cook from scratch. Do not buy prepared foods. They are expensive and often have too much sodium.

    Stir fry. Give me two chicken breasts and veggies and I will feed eight people.

     
  13. padredurand

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    Get your own vittles!
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    We have venison at least once a week. Our beef comes from a church member that raises beefers. A lot of our staples are bought at the Amish bulk food store.
     
  14. rbell

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    You mean seven. I'll be there in a few minutes.




    :D
     
  15. annsni

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    To save on phone bill, car insurance and the like, the best thing to do is to SHOP. Look for the best deals and don't be afraid to switch. Our phone bill was really high ($70 without us calling long distance) and so we switched to the cable 'triple play' where we now pay the same amount towards the cable bill that we did before but now it includes our phone. With car insurance, call your insurance person - they know the best ways for you to save. Sometimes it's as simple as updating your information. Oh - always do the defensive driving class - for a few hours, you save a good bit of money.
     
  16. FriendofSpurgeon

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    For any type of insurance, be willing to assume additional risk yourself (if you can) and increase your deductibles. For our home, we actually moved to a percentage deductible rather than a straight dollar amount. For our cars, we moved to $500 or $1000. The savings can really add up. While I agree with Ann (shop, shop, shop), understand that not all insurance companies are the same & I would definitely avoid changing carriers too often.
     
  17. I Am Blessed 24

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    Join Freecycle www.freecycle.org You will be surprised at what you can pick up FREE. All you have to do is use gas to pick it up.

    I have a standing offer from another Freecycle member. I get to pick ALL the apples off of her tree every year! I freeze enough apples to make apple pies until the next harvest. They don't like apples, but can't bear to cut the tree down!

    I saved on 'utilities' by using the "Freedom Bundle" from Verizon. I have Direct TV, DSL Internet and FREE long distance 24/7. I also have free local calling and I only have one bill to pay instead of three.

    We block rooms off that we don't use all the time. The only time our utility room door is open is on laundry day.

    We also are buying 1-2 of the new energy saving light bulbs a week. Someday, that's all we will have. They last longer too.

    We can't do much about the thermostat. DH has to take Coumidin every day and he is always cold. Since he had Empyema Pneumonia last year and was in the hospital for three weeks and off of work for two months, we have to keep it warm for him. We did buy replacement windows and that has helped.

    We recycle all of our aluminum cans and get paid for it! We drink a lot of diet soda.

    We both HAVE to eat 3 snacks a day because of diabetes, but they are not sweet. They are mostly fresh fruit (which we buy cheaper at Farmer's Market in season) or canned fruit packed in water.

    We are going to join Sam's Club and start buying in bulk since we have plenty of storage space in the basement (only non-perishable items though).

    I buy groceries on the day that they mark down the meat (we have a freezer). I watch the paper for sales and coupons and I also print out coupons online.

    With just the two of us, sometimes it's cheaper to eat certain meals out than to buy the ingredients.

    I pack DH his lunch and snacks and send a thermos of coffee to work with him. That saves a LOT with him not having to eat at the cafeteria or buy his coffee from a vending machine.

    There are also food pantries, but we do not go there because there are people who are much needier than us.

    DH calls before coming home from work each day to see if I need anything, if I do, he picks it up on his way home, thus saving gas. My car hasn't been driven in over a month.

    Car repairs? The only was we can save on that is if it's something DH can repair, otherwise it goes to the shop.

    Insurance? Shop around and don't buy any option you don't need. Also, be a good driver and you get a cut every year on your car insurance. Having all your insurance in one place is cheaper also.

    Putting a brick in your toilet tank will displace water and it will use less water with every flush. You'd be surprised at how much money this saves in a year. Take quick showers instead of filling up your bathtub. Don't do laundry until you have a full load.

    Use coffee filters for drying mirrors and washing windows. They are much cheaper than paper towels and they're lint free! There are many things those filters can be used for instead of something more expensive.

    Wet an old rag and fasten it to the end of your broom with a rubber band to get those cobwebs instead of buying special dusters.

    Use a crock pot instead of your oven when possible. The meat is more tender, it saves on electricity or gas, and the house smells good all day!

    I could keep going, but I'll stop now. :)
     
  18. abcgrad94

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    I'm cooking almost everything from scratch these days. I even stopped buying boxed cereal and started making my own granola for the kids instead. It takes more time and effort on my part, but I am seeing a big drop in grocery spending this way. Last summer, we bought vegetables and fruits from a local farmer and I learned how to can everything, even jams and soups and chili. It's so nice to grab a jar of homemeade veggie soup when I don't feel like cooking.

    Also, I menu plan for the whole week, including snacks, and put the menu on the fridge door. If we decided we want Friday night's meal tonight, no problem. I just swap the meals.

    I just ordered a 1/2 beef for the freezer, including the liver and heart and tongue. We won't eat those organs, but I can cook them with rice and give to the dog sometimes to help stretch a bag of dog food. Warning, do not try this with leftover turkey! The dog will get gas and stink you out of the house for a few days!

    Make friends with a hunter and trade some of your beef for his deer meat. (or whatever wild meat he has) If you find someone willing to do this, you are very lucky, as most hunters like to keep their venison.

    Look around. Learn about your local plant life. Wild dandelion greens grow free and are good in salad. Sometimes you can find wild berries, too. Many flowers are edible and make a pretty garnish to salal or soups. Go fishing. If you're really broke, check out the real estate listings and see if any have fruit trees. The owner might be willing to let you pick the fruit free of charge if you ask. My in-laws let me have all the apples I wanted from their apple trees, just so they didn't have apples all over the yard. I ended up with about 25 jars of applesauce for a little work on my part. My brother lives in a nice subdivision landscaped with little crabapple bushes. I made jelly out of the crabapples growing next to his driveway.

    Grow your own herbs at home. Even if you have a black thumb, it's really hard to kill chives!

    Go ahead and let the kids snack. Popcorn and homemade popsicles are very inexpensive. Jello is cheap, too. Ask your grocer for overripe fruit, especially bananas, and make fruit smoothies in your blender. If you freeze the fruit first, your smoothies will taste like a milk shake. Cheaper and healthier than going to the ice cream store!
     
  19. THEOLDMAN

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    Great post Padre---I would add "grow your own "
     
  20. padredurand

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    Notice the balanced diet? Poultry, red meat and fish! :thumbs:

    Hill up some potatoes and some root vegetables and you've got the fixings for a nice stew! I remember spending my late summer and early fall days in Grandma's summer kitchen. that woman would can anything! I think she owned stock in the canning jar company or something. Grandma would put up, as she would say, enough food to feed an army.

    Ball and Mason jars, Foley Food mills, snapping beans and shucking peas were part of my youthful vernacular. I didn't know folks could buy veggies in a tin can at the store until I was in my teens!
     

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