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Old 10-03-2008, 11:40 AM   #1
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Default Support Group for Those Who Want to be Thrifty!!

I would like to start a thread where we can post great ways to save money. Sales, coupon websites, things you do at home to stretch the $$, etc. I know...the way to save money is not to spend it. True, but there are still things that we "need" to function every day. (food, personal items, gas, cleaning products, etc.) Not to mention, we love to have our little luxury items every once in awhile too. (stamps, lattes, purses, etc.) Where can you find them for the best price? ex. Vera Bradley is having an outlet sale this weekend in Ft. Wayne, IN 20% to 75% off!


Share a recipe. Share a website. Share ideas. Share coupons. Share sales.

Morissa

P.S. Here is one...I checked out couponmom.com and got a link yesterday to gift certificates for local restaurants. $6 for a $25 gift certificate!!!
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:46 AM   #2
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Also looking for ways to cut back as much as possible. Open to any tips.

Each time I think of spending I ask myself do I really need this. If I don't buy this how much will I save.

Tips?
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Stamper for fun View Post
Also looking for ways to cut back as much as possible. Open to any tips.

Each time I think of spending I ask myself do I really need this. If I don't buy this how much will I save.

Tips?
I would have thought this would have been a catchy thread. Guess not.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:52 PM   #4
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I recently started buying locally for groceries and such I did this to support the local economy, and have found that it is a great way to save money too. It is a pain to go to 4 different stores so I really have to plan my day, but it is well worth it in the pocket book. We have a local butcher that has great prices I find that I can get a better cut of meat for cheaper than at a grocery chain. I go to a local farmers market for fruits and veggies. I do buy my pantry stapels at costco, sams club, and walmart, but I only buy dry goods there like diapers, soups, cereal, and so on. I get my bread from the day old bread store, because we buy 4 loafs keep one out and freeze the rest.

I am horrible at clipping coupons, I am just to scatter brained to remember to bring them and use them. I do try and shop sales like the disney outlet online and we buy the kids their shirts when disney is having one of their 2.99 sales. I try to shop amazon for toys, but my DH really likes to support toysrus because he feels like the big box stores are putting them out of business.

I am really concerned about Christmas this year because this is my first year as a stay at home mom and the normal Christmas money isn't coming in. We have told the kids that this year there won't be as many presents.

I also ask myself do I really need this? and I often put things in my cart then walk around the store for a while then decide to put it back.

I am trying to put together freezer meals too. A big part of my family budget goes to eating out, and it is because it gets to be dinner time and we don't have a plan to cook so it is easier to go out then to prepare a meal. I think that I am teaching my kids horrible eating habits by doing this. I use to work at McDonalds in high school and I swore to myself that my family would not be one of the "regulars" with the kids that have the menu memorized, and I have found that my kids are there. So we have stopped the eating out. I have found it a hard HABIT to break. This is the website I found that gives a lot of information about prepping freezer meals http://www.30daygourmet.com/Welcome_Pages/about_us.asp

One more think I am trying to do is start using cash, I have found that it is a lot harder for me to hand over a 20 dollar bill than it is for me to swipe my bank card for $100. This month my Dh and I are getting on top of things then we are going to the cash put in envelopes system that I used when I was in high school . My DH was raised with a lot of money and he has horrible spending habits, I think the cash system will help him realize how much we spend on useless items. It will be a pain to go unpack the children to go into the gas station to pay, but I think our family needs a reality check on our spending.



-Isha
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #5
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I also want to cut back on Christmas expenses as I was recently laid off work. I've been pretty good at cutting back now that I have to (wish I had been better when I was working). Will be checking on the website for freezing meals/meats. Cutting back on my stamping spending too. Other than paper and envelopes I probably have enough stamps and embellishments to last a lifetime.
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:39 AM   #6
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I'd be interested in any grocery shopping tips. I try to cut coupons, BUT my son and I are on special diets (gluten free/milk free and a whole lot more) that require organic produce and specialty foods that do not normally have coupons and that are not normally bought in bulk form. I will definitely check out that 30 day recipe site.

I have definitely cut waaaay back on my stamping spending. My kids are growing like weeds, but I'm holding off on new clothes until Christmas so it will be part of their Christmas gifts (and made to look like they got a lot of gifts). My kids still believe in Santa so I can't explain the lack of $$ this year to them in too many words.

Everything I buy in a store, I think "do I really need this?" Most of the time, the answer is "no".

I have a pit in my stomach because of this economy. I'm a stay at home mom and I'm afraid my DH could lose his job soon. Before kids, I used to work in a university doing fundraising and alumni relations. I would not be able to make enough money to support my family. I may go to a local community college and get a degree/certificate in graphic design so that I have a solid skill to do from home on the computer.

Anyway, sorry to blab here!!!! Any tips would be welcome.

Wasn't there a cheap-skate newsletter on the web at one time?

Forgot to add: I started making more recipes with beans/lentils so that one of our meals per week is meat free. I hope it's cheaper.....
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:40 AM   #7
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I am thinking of getting a food saver but wonder if it is any good???
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:45 AM   #8
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Hey, check out this blog/site I just discovered:

http://www.moneysavingmom.com/
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:37 AM   #9
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Catherine- Do you have a sunflower market where you live. I just started going there they have produce and meats for really resonable prices. I purchased 6 grocery bags full of produce for $25 If I had bought the same thing at a grocery store I would have spent at least $50. The meat is on the expensive side but it is really good quality. But anyways I noticed that Sunflower has a ton of glutten free products, and lots of organic. If you have one locally I would go check it out.

I also try to make at least one vegitarian meal every week. We live in New Mexico so it has its own crazy food culture so we do pento beans with cornbread. I have not tried lentals I will have to. I also try to cook something in the crock pot once a week so we can eat off of that. This week we did pasole, I often do itallian wedding soup too.

I have also cut way back on my stamp spending, I am a demo and I am having a horrible time keeping up my minimums. I am sure I will be dropped after this quarter. It makes me kind of sad but I can always pick it back up again at some point. I also have small children 2 and 4 years old but we have always done just one or two presents from "santa" and the rest from Mom and Dad and they are young so hopefully they will be understanding. We also go through and "Organize" their toys before any gift giving holiday. It allows me to get a good idea of what they have and it shows them toys they haven't played with in a long time. So it opens their options back up. We always say we need to make room for all of the new stuff they are getting. But they end up finding things they forgot they had!

Linda- I have always wanted a foodsaver, right now we used ziploc freezer bags. Every time I pick one up I put it back because I can think of about a million things to spend the money on. I keep hoping they will go down in price but they have held steady for years! I notice last year that a lot of the "Door busters" on the friday after Thanksgiving were that Foodsaver. If I remember right last year it was Kohls and Sears that had it for $49 for the first 2 hours they were open. Unfortunatly I am not an early riser, and missed out, but I may give all of those sales and crazyness a try this year as long as it is something our family needs.


Ohh Oh I have also talked my family into doing a White Elephant exchange this year instead of buying gifts for all of the adults. The kids will still get gifts, but we have a HUGE extended family and buying gifts for them is hard! Most times they open what you got them and have this look like okay what am I going to do with this? Then they realize you are watching them and break into a fake smile and say "Thank you so much" So this year I proposed that everyone just not buy anything and pick something that they have laying around the house wrap it up and do a white elephant exchange. I am really excited about it I hope someone brings something horrible so who ever get it can bring it back next year to exchange As an adult I find that the things I want are just to expensive for family to buy and if I want or need something I buy it. So I want to spend time with them but, without all of the gift giving pressure.

-Isha
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:28 PM   #10
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Thanks Isha for sharing your story. I do not have a Sunflower Market here in NJ. Never heard of it actually! So now I'm going to hunt one down....maybe there is something similar and I just don't know about it.

I was wondering if there are things you are doing in general that save money even if you do not think they are extra special thrifty things.

For instance, we only have one car. I know that's not possible for a lot of the U.S., but we live near a train and my DH commutes by train to NYC every day. On the weekends, it's tough not having 2 cars--especially with sports--but we keep managing somehow. Car insurance rates are CrAZy here so it's like $1,800 that we save per year for insurance alone. We've only had one car for over 10 years now!

I am an SU demo as well. I think that may be coming to an end. I actually did have lots of customers and workshops, but life is overwhelming right now for me and the financial pressure isn't helping!

I hope more people hope onto this thread!!!
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:45 PM   #11
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I wanted to subscribe to this thread.

I think it is a great topic. My DH and I have been really tuned in lately to what we are spending. We are both gainfully employed, but like any company that can change at the drop of a hat (more so for me because I'm in the private sector and he works for the state).

I am going to look at the freezer meals because alot of times for dinner it is just my son and I and we end up going through drive thru or ordering a pizza...all of which is eating out. We have started to clip coupons but haven't really used them as of yet. I try not to make pointless trips to the grocery store. We usually shop at a Super Wal-Mart for most items, and then go to a butcher for our meat, because it seems so much cheaper.

I look forward to reading other comments.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:59 PM   #12
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I meant to comment on the Christmas and spending less money. Each year we do baskets for the couples in the family...it cuts down on the cost because we buy the stuff in bulk. This year I'm making bath salts for the gift baskets, which can be made in bulk and then there will be candles in them with some chocolate or something. Also, my husband and I talked about it and we are only buying our son 3 large items and that is it. He gets gifts from family/friends so he gets plenty of "new" things, plus he's never been a child that is overwhelmed with presents at Birthday and Christmas (thankfully) and my husband comes from a large family of 8 brothers and sisters

Also, those that shop at Wal-mart & K-mart, Kmart is bringing their layaway back and that is something we are considering for all of the kids, because all together there is 7 kids that we buy for.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:58 PM   #13
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Catherine asked things some of us may be doing although we may not think they are big savers. I stopped using the "salon" shampoo and conditioner. I just buy the big bottles of shampoo and conditioner at Costco for a great price. It saves so much money. I stopped buying shaving cream for my legs and just use the conditioner (got this idea some place). It works fine and it costs a lot less (I could use soap but works better than soap).

Also was buying a package of coffee at $8.00 for a little bag of French Roast. Stopped that practice and now I buy Maxwell House French Roast Dark for $7.99 on sale -- 34.5 oz. plastic tub. Truly not that much taste difference. I guess I could save more money if I stopped drinking coffee.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:38 AM   #14
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You might want to check your auto insurance policy to see if you have a commuter car listed and how many miles per year your estimated miles driven is. If you are now driving a shorter distance to work, now work at home or are no longer working you might want to talk to your insurance company.

I know a lot of people use their cell phones often but there must be someone out there like me who uses their cell only when urgent. I have a cell plan at $20 per mo with a second cell for $10 per mo (which my DH does not use because he uses his work cell) and with taxes it comes out to about $35/mo. I reviewed my cell phone bill and I really don't use it much. I looked on the website for a plan pay as you go type. I realized that I can buy a $100 prepaid which is good for one year and at $.25 minute I can get 400 minutes. I added my minutes used and I only talked approx 260 minutes the past 12 months. So why pay $360 ($30 x 12) plus taxes when I can pay $100 plus taxes.

I chatted with a rep on the phone co website and she told me that if sign up online I would need to get a new phone but that if I go into the store I won't have to (i am hoping that is accurate). I am beyond the 2 yr service contract so there will not be a cost to change over. I haven't had a chance to go to the phone store but will be doing so soon.

Got new account disclosures from the bank on our checking/savings account plans. Actually took the time to read through it and realized I get a free safe deposit box (the smallest size). I've had my accounts with the same bank for years and have a box that is the next size up which costs me $28 per year. I don't have all that much in my box so I need to get a new small box for free. Doesn't sound like much but in four years that is $100.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:40 AM   #15
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What a great idea! Thanks for starting a thread.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53queenbee View Post
I am thinking of getting a food saver but wonder if it is any good???
I have one because I live by myself and think it is great. Supposedly, you can re-use the bags, but I've never done that. I shop at Sams or take advantage of specials of meat and repackage everything in mostly two-serving packages. That way, I can have a leftover.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:02 AM   #17
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Have you tried the small hand-held food saver from Reynolds? Very inexpensive-bags are reusable.
I definitely try to consider "want" vs "need". The media is great at making us think we need things. I have way too much stuff. I am just as attracted to "pretties" as the next one but... Paying cash is a huge deterrent. Paying my credit card bill off in full every month keeps me from just swiping and going. Knowing where my money is being spent helps. A number of years ago we got debt-free and determined we would stay that way. I now barter for my piano lessons- a home-cooked meal for a lesson. Works great for both of us. My husband is good at saying No and I have learned. Take advantage of sales and stock up. I always have extra stuff so I seldom totally run out of anything. I watch the sales and buy plenty if it is something we will use. I am not too proud to get clearance stuff.
As a pastor's wife I do a lot of meals for people-in my home or elsewhere. My food budget is small compared to many I know and I feed a lot of people. I also re-gift when I can. Freecycle is a great place to get free things and to pass on what I can no longer use.
Be creative. I have tons of stamping supplies and just don't really need a lot more. How many sets of similar stamps do we really need?

Last edited by justamom; 11-12-2008 at 11:03 AM.. Reason: spelling errors
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:52 PM   #18
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Hi All,
I am glad that I found this thread. Everyone is right this is a great topic. I was raised by a single mother with 4 girls. I thank mom for the way she taught us that thrifty is a way of life not a buden of life. Now I can "squeeze the buffalo off of the nickel". I have a daughter who is a missionary and she too is very thrifty. She taught me need vs. want. It is amazing what we can do without in our spoiled country.

I am big on turning off lights, keeping the heat low and bundling up. We shop thrift stores and the nearly new stores. If you have a Big Lots near you, shop there for food items. Yes everything you buy has an expiration date on. You can tell how long you have until it is no longer useable.

As for Christmas...if you talk to your family and extended family and let them know in advance that you are concerned about finances and saving. You would be surprised how many of them feel the same way. We are dawing names this year. Ten dollar limit on what you can purchase. Then we are concentrating on the real reason for Christmas not the commercial one. A birthday cake for Jesus. Why do we have to spend so much? Because the media says we have to? They don't pay my bills.

One thing I will add, what my grandma would say "use it up, make it do, or do without.

I look forward to seeing the things everyone comes up with.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:59 AM   #19
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Wow! Things have been happening since I was last here.

A tip I find very useful when I grocery shop is to pre-plan meals. (M - Tacos, T - Italian Chicken w/rice & green beans, Sat. - Leftovers, etc.) I spend way less money when I know exactly what I need. I don't do a lot of impulse shopping this way. I actually purchase less "snacky" stuff, too. (Pretzels, novelty items)

For toddler toys and clothes, I tend to hit stores like Once Upon a Child. They have super high standards for what they accept and are always name brand. I can get several outfits for less than half of what I would pay normally. Of course, I buy new, but I like checking the gently-used store first. Why spend the extra money? Toddlers go through toys and clothes way too quickly!
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