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What are some things you've had to cut back on?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about this the other day. I know it can be hard sometimes to talk about money and how badly we are all doing. But I kinda wanted to see whats going on out there for everyone. Maybe its easier online than eye to eye?

I have had to cut cable. Stopped going to the hair salon and am going to a cheaper place at the mall. Stopped going out to eat. I go maybe once a month used to go 3-4 times a week. Stopped getting expensive kitty food. Stopped getting my toiletries I usually get like moisturizer etc. and am buying the supermarket store brand. Won't get new clothes till mine are raggedy and worn to shredds. I got nice socks at the dollar store for a $1 a pair...that was awesome. On the whole dollar stores have become my friend.

Curious about what you all are doing to cut back.
post #2 of 29
Yeah, that's true. but we are all pretty much in the same boat. I switched car insurance. Was paying waaaaay too much. Eat out less; cook more often. Hair cuts but not color. I need to find an off-the shelf color solution. Anyone have suggestions of good brands with true color?

Fewer purchases overall. More coupon clipping. Weighing veeeeeery carefully whether or not I need an item. Holidays will be lean.
post #3 of 29
We pretty much stopped eating out and pack more lunches for work (we both used to just pick up take-out) Clothing gets purchased or replaced only if absolutely necessary and we got rid of our big gus-guzzling, constantly-in-need-of-repair van in favour of a much cheaper little car. We're alot more careful about turning off lights and switched to those energy saver light bulbs (I'm stunned at how well those things work). We also have a programmable thermostat to drop the heat in the house while we're out. I'm getting really good at bargain hunting and coupon clipping. I also bake alot more to avoid paying grocery store prices for everything.

Basically I'm pulling out all my favourite recipes from my childhood since most of it is "recession food" and makes tons for a really low price. DH loves the home-cooked everything.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
I find myself doing that with food also. I have made alot of casseroles lately. It is just me and my sister, we can get 3 meals out of casseroles. I am finally able to see how my mom was able to feed 4 children on her own and keep it nutritious too!

As for hair color, I know that Loreal preference works well to cover gray (If thats what it is for) has a 'true' color look also. I like Feria, the color comes out beautifully. Lots of contrasts and highlights. Pretty.
post #5 of 29
The family has decided this will be a 'no gift exchange' XMas. It's just gonna be all about holiday food, fun & cocktails !

Hmmm, maybe I'll bake a bunch of cookies & give those away as gifts.
post #6 of 29
Cookies as gifts is a good idea. You may want to ask various family members if they need you to make them without sugar or with special flours, though. That bit of extra thought would probably make people feel very special.


DH and I haven't really cut back on anything, to be honest. Neither of us were raised to waste our money... though that doesn't explain my BIL, but he's getting better with his spending. We did recently waste $500 buying a PS3. Luckily I can cheat and get games a cheaper and free rentals.
post #7 of 29
Loads!

Meat
Pet supplies
Cleaning supplies
Toiletries have had to be no name brand
Prescription Medications
Over the counter medications
Entertainment. No movie rentals.
No long distance
Got rid of all of my excess phone packages such as call waiting etc. Even got rid of my long distance plan
Eating out
A couple of cable channel packages

I'm sure if I sit and think about it I'll come up with more. All I know is that it was a lot!
post #8 of 29
Not going out to eat at lunch, looking for the cheapest price for gas and not buying any more TV on DVD. I figured out that I'm actually paying less per serving using Wellness canned cat food than if I switched back to Meow Mix Market Selects. That being said I've gone from the 5.5 oz to 12.5 oz cans. Bob especially hates getting cold food, but I save $$$ over the long run. Dollar stores and Walmart are no strangers to me but I'm still careful about what I get even there.
post #9 of 29
When I moved to Alberta in 2006 to become a Graduate Student, I knew times were lean. In the end though, I made only a single major change (as I and my family have been economically challenged my whole life. I have experience in stretching the dollar!), I got rid of my car. I wouldnt have been able to do this, but living downtown in a major city makes it possible (which yes, is more expensive, but not as expensive as keeping the car and living further away!). When my partner moved out to join me, we made sure his employment was quickly and easily accessible on public transportation (which is easy to do here due to labor shortage and decent bus system) so we wouldnt have to get a car. Now, we rent one whever we want to do a major shopping trip or go away for the weekend, which costs next to nothing ($20-$25 a day). My car + insurance + maintenance costs were close to $500 a month...for just the one vehicle! If we had a car now, some of the cable/long distance/name-brand foods would immediately have to go. For us, giving up the luxury of driving everywhere was better than giving up our other luxuries!
post #10 of 29
We're in the same boat too; besides money being tight to begin with, we're still paying for my trip to the ER and my subsequent surgery from the beginning of the year. Thankfully the hospital I went to had a financial program that basically wiped out the cost of my hospital stay both times, but that didn't include all the doctor bills. Sometimes it doesn't seem like we can get ahead at all.

Things I've cut back on?
- I buy store brand everything when I can.
- I dig through all the supermarket ads to see who's got what I need the cheapest.
- I've been shopping at Aldi's for all my dry pantry goods - they have basically knock-off brands of most things at half the price, and milk has been $1.99/gallon there - way less than the supermarket.
- Snacks are a thing of the past around here, unless I have the extra goodies to bake something.
- I haven't bought myself clothes in years. I'm just going to keep fixing them until they're more strings than clothes.
- One of the supermarkets I shop at has $.10 off a gallon of gas for every $50 you spend...I can't always shop there, but when I do, I let it add up and then we can fill at least one of our cars for cheap. We also don't drive anywhere except places we absolutely need to go (work, shopping).

There's a lot of things I've either cut out or cut back on; I say that we don't always eat what we want to eat every night, but we always have something, and nobody's hungry. (Pasta is my friend! ) I've managed to feed 3 people (and now a cat) on $60 or less a week sometimes.

Xmas shopping is pretty much out of the question for us this year. I'm SO glad my son has grandparents/relatives that spoil him!
post #11 of 29
Wow, what haven't I cut back on???

Changed all the lightbulbs from 60 watts to 40 watts.
Burn lights only when needed.
Moved from the cooler upstairs of the house to the downstairs bedroom where it is warmer.
Turned off the heat pump completely and only use my woodstove to heat the downstairs of the house.
Turned off the heating element in my dishwasher unless I really need to make sure something is sterilized (cat-related food bowls and things mostly)
Do all of my laundry on one day per week instead of one load a day. Wash smaller loads so they don't take so long to dry and hang things out that will take a longer time to dry in the machine
Reduced my cell phone plan from 1200 minutes a month to 500 minutes a month
Reduced my DirectTV plan from having HBO and Cinemax to their economy plan without them
Reduced the features on my home phone
Clip and use coupons
Shop the grocery sales
Enrolled in one of the grocery story Valued Customer programs to get further discounts
Buy store brands as often as is possible
Cook at home more frequently than going out to eat or getting in take out
Switched from my expensive hair care products to Suave (works just as well IMO)
Switched from my expensive skin care products to soap and warm water on a washcloth
Switched the cats from the more expensive clumping litter to a less expensive brand that again, works just as well IMO
Switched my cats from the more expensive food they were eating to a less expensive brand they eat just as readily and do just as well with eating
Stopped buying the expensive flavored bottled water in favor of using my well water and just refilling the old bottles.
Gave up coffee
Gave up sweets (I just don't let myself go into the bakery department at my grocery store anymore)
Buy my clothes at Walmart or Target instead of Kohls or Nordstrom's
Gave up Vickie's Secret underwear (Walmart has just as pretty stuff at far lower a price)

That's all I can think of at the moment, but I am sure there is more.
post #12 of 29
I havn't cut back on anything. I've always lived frugally. I save on some things so I can have money for the things that are important to me.

gayef, you don't need to give up the VS under garments... just wait until there's a sale and stock up! You can pretty much get VS stuff at Walmart prices then.
Also, TRESemme hair products are fairly inexpensive salon quality products... and they don't test on animals. Added bonus!
I run errands on the way to/from school, so I don't have to go out of my way.
I turn off the lights when I'm not in a room.
I shut down the computer when I'm not using it.
I drive nice to save on gas and repairs... coast to a stop, accelerate slowly, etc.

My guilty pleasures are eating out and keeping the apartment at 75F.
post #13 of 29
I haven't had to cut back on much but...
-instead of buying video games, we rent one every once in a while
-no more name brand unless it's weight watchers or something like that
-instead of fresh veggies for the rats and myself, we tend to get frozen stuff
-we're having an $800 wedding
post #14 of 29
Since moving to Australia i have noticed a big difference, i fruit and veggies are much more expensive, cosmetics are expensive, shampoo and stuff i buy tressemme, its a huge bottle and lasts for ages.

I only buy things on special, the kitties cat food is on sale once a month so i stock up, i switched their kitty litter to a good cheaper brand... took me a while to find it though!
I shop at aldi for two reasons, it reminds me of being in Germany and it is much cheaper. although its very Australianized..
I've only been working for a month now and I am actually getting less than $200 a week, FH dad and i love to go bargain shopping, he takes me to all the cool places. Yesterday i bought a lot of things for our wedding plus hair extensions for under $120
Fh works full time and has money saved in the bank for furniture and to buy a house, and my money is more like play money, we are actually doing really well in our circumstances, but if the inlaws werent around, I don't know what I would do.
Now im getting my drivers license, I really need it. but we wont be buying me a car for at least two years imo.
post #15 of 29
I cut back ages ago!

But I can't cut back on my chocolate.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
Gave up coffee
I would die!!! That is one thing DH and I can't live w/out.

We've had to cut back some, but not as much as some people due to a contract job that DH has been doing for the last few months so that's helped a lot.

But,

Store brands instead of name brands
grocery shopping is only for necessities, not "oh, this may be good for dinner some night". I actually remember to take the list with me now, along with coupons!
Since it's gotten cold now, heat is turned down to 66 and at night we build a fire.
I cook a lot more, and buy meat in family packs so we have lunch/dinner for the next few days.
New clothes? What's that? (I did splurge the other day and bought a Christmas sweatshirt for cheap at Walmart...and felt incredibly guilty about it.)
Christmas shopping is limited to immediate family members (and my SS of course).
We didn't renew our cell phone contract and opted for Tracphone instead where you pay as you go.

I'm sure there's more, I just can't think of it now.
post #17 of 29
We definitely do not eat out nearly as much as we used to.

I still get my hair colored but so does DH so that is not going.

I used to get waxed but my appointment in December will be my last.

I still shop at my local grocery store which is a family business and it is fairly pricey. I do watch what is on sale and buy that. I won't give up buying their beautiful fruits and vegetables. I love to cook and I like using the fresh stuff. I do go to a chain supermarket to get staples and I get paper products and cleaning stuff at Smart and Final.

I get my clothes at TJ Maxx and in second hand stores (I started that years ago because I like doing it). I just haven't been doing much shopping lately.

I am not giving up my health club membership because I actually use it 6 days a week.

The kids are not going to get a present for the 8 days of Chanukah and more will be clothes.

DH is trying to telecommute 2 days a week because his office is 50 miles away.
post #18 of 29
We have had to cut back drastically since I am still in college.

We only buy our pet food now in Petco since they have every 10 bags get one free. We also reduced the amount of wet food they get; once a day in the morning now since canned food gets to be too much.
I try to make my own toys for the cats and my birds now since it costs me pennies in a dollar store or craft store.
Went to all my doctors and asked for generic prescriptions so I can pay about $5-10 at Wal-Mart on them.
Downgraded our phone plans and tv plans.
Buy frozen veggies and fruits since they last longer and more effiecient since I am the only one who eats them.
Stopped buying food on campus and eating out.
And the only clothing we both bought this year was new underwear at Marshall's
Lastly we postponed our wedding an extra 4 months to help us save and help our family save to come to it.
post #19 of 29
I like saving money and budgeting. Husband has home haircuts and I wear mine short and don't color it. Always go to grocery store full and with a list. Shop the ads. Never go out just one place when leaving home if possible, bunch trips up. Only have a cell phone and on a cheap plan. Keep the house cooler in winter. Make portion sizes a bit bigger for dinner then bring the next day for lunch or freeze. Always bring lunch to work. Change the bulbs to more efficient ones. Turn off lights when not in use. Unplug things that aren't being used. Go to the library for books and movies. Save money by not eating out a lot. Hang clothes to dry if possible. Exercise and eat right daily for less medical bills. Don't buy overpriced junk foods like drink soda or buy high calorie fillers prepackaged chips, cookies, etc. When possible do things ourselves, like fixing the faucet, all laundry - no dry cleaners, lawn care, and other around the house stuff.
post #20 of 29
For our income level we have always lived quite within our means so we really haven't made many changes.
I did pick up a 13 hr/week pt job with a loaf of bread every day I works (2 loaves). I don't have to take cash draws out of my business checking account.

We still have not turned on our heat-the wood stove has been keeping the house comfortable despite our cooler fall temps.

I have always done alot of cooking so Neil has something to take to work for lunch-I take a yoghurt smoothie and of course can snack on free rolls!!

If I want something I still buy it but my needs are small this time of year so not lots of shopping going on!! I did stretch out the length of time between hair cut/color I'll probably get it done in February (5 months).
post #21 of 29
I get DVD's and books from the library rather than renting or buying. I have a relative cut my hair instead of going to the salon. I shop only when I really need to save on gas. I try to stay out of malls...too tempting! I still spoil my kitty
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
We get books and rentals at the library too. We also get an online dvd service. Its 8 bucks a month and we can watch unlimited movies from the computer and get 1 rental at a time as many a month through the mail. We can see the latest rentals w/o paying $5 a piece for them-yikes!

We went down to one car. My sister had worked from home, she is now filing for disability. So one car works for us. She drops me off at work in the am (which is a mile away from home) and does errands or goes to the library etc. Than picks me up at 4:30-5. The car is paid for and our ins. is super low becuase we have had no accidents and have good driving records. I pay about $400 a year. We are careful of what trips we take so we don't waste gas.

I definately pay more attention to size vs. cost when buying things. Sometimes it pays to get the bigger size and sometimes it doesn't. I also get frozen vegg instead of fresh, unless it's for salads. But haven't figured out how to use frozen fruit?? i think i'll start a thread on that.

I am going to switch to pay as I go for my cell phone in the new year once my contract is up. Would love to get rid of it but my car is old and I don't want to be stuck on the side of the road without one....been there, done that!
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooy View Post
-instead of buying video games, we rent one every once in a while
For those who rent, even occasionally. Sometimes you're not saving any money this way. Often it's set up so that a person does end up getting late fees. For newer games that's already $7-9 to rent, then that charged to you again. Buy used and look for good store sales. Make sure the store guarantees what it sells will play.
The same can be said for movies. Depending on where you buy dvds, the sale and whether they're used, you may actually pay less to buy them then to rent them.

This is also a cheap way to get gifts!
post #24 of 29
We cut the cable, the home phone and never go out to dinner or the movies anymore. Also, I look through the sale paper from the grocery store and make up our menus for the week using the items that are on sale. The only thing that we haven't cut back on is the kitties food and treats.
post #25 of 29
We only really have cut back on eating out for dinners. Even if its 7:30pm when we get home, I'll usually cook something now, and he eats leftovers for lunch. We honestly haven't felt a crunch though. It could be because we don't have our mortgage payment until January/February, just car insurance, cell phone, groceries, and gas (Bi-Lo FuelPerks are AWESOME We currently have 20 cents off per gallon accrued). Eating at home more was more of a healthy choice than a money saving one.
post #26 of 29
As much as I can--but then again, I'm rarely extravagant, anyway (read, "cheap"). I've been taking lunch to work more; I stay away from eBay, and no longer buy clothes; I have enough. I'm buying fewer books (I hate this). The past year or so, I made a rule that I must buy as much as possible at yard sales, Goodwill, etc., and have been good about it.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
Wow, what haven't I cut back on???

Changed all the lightbulbs from 60 watts to 40 watts.
Burn lights only when needed.
Moved from the cooler upstairs of the house to the downstairs bedroom where it is warmer.
Turned off the heat pump completely and only use my woodstove to heat the downstairs of the house.
Turned off the heating element in my dishwasher unless I really need to make sure something is sterilized (cat-related food bowls and things mostly)
Do all of my laundry on one day per week instead of one load a day. Wash smaller loads so they don't take so long to dry and hang things out that will take a longer time to dry in the machine
Reduced my cell phone plan from 1200 minutes a month to 500 minutes a month
Reduced my DirectTV plan from having HBO and Cinemax to their economy plan without them
Reduced the features on my home phone
Clip and use coupons
Shop the grocery sales
Enrolled in one of the grocery story Valued Customer programs to get further discounts
Buy store brands as often as is possible
Cook at home more frequently than going out to eat or getting in take out
Switched from my expensive hair care products to Suave (works just as well IMO)
Switched from my expensive skin care products to soap and warm water on a washcloth
Switched the cats from the more expensive clumping litter to a less expensive brand that again, works just as well IMO
Switched my cats from the more expensive food they were eating to a less expensive brand they eat just as readily and do just as well with eating
Stopped buying the expensive flavored bottled water in favor of using my well water and just refilling the old bottles.
Gave up coffee
Gave up sweets (I just don't let myself go into the bakery department at my grocery store anymore)
Buy my clothes at Walmart or Target instead of Kohls or Nordstrom's
Gave up Vickie's Secret underwear (Walmart has just as pretty stuff at far lower a price)

That's all I can think of at the moment, but I am sure there is more.
All of the above

I've had to cut back on ALOT!!!!!
More then I've ever wanted to...
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Yeah, that's true. but we are all pretty much in the same boat. I switched car insurance. Was paying waaaaay too much. Eat out less; cook more often. Hair cuts but not color. I need to find an off-the shelf color solution. Anyone have suggestions of good brands with true color?

Fewer purchases overall. More coupon clipping. Weighing veeeeeery carefully whether or not I need an item. Holidays will be lean.
Pure Henna if you like reddish tone, henna and Indigo for browns and black... there is a long hair site (forum) that gives you all the instruction... DO NOT buy mixed hennas from the stores - you need to go to an india store to be safe... Awesome color, no damage, cheap - Been doing for the last 2 years...
post #29 of 29
After Mike became so ill, I joined the Gleaners. You volunteer so many hours and then you get points towards food from the farms in the area. We don't eat out any more, no more exotic coffees. No more expensive cuts of meats. Cats eat better than we do. We are a one car home now instead of two. Turned off the jacuzzi, turn off lights, heaters, computers. I now shop at thrift stores and volunteer at one as well.

I have a bad cat virus going in the home now, everyone is sick with URI the vet is working with me in payments to deal with this. I'm scared I am going to lose the one boy in Isolation at the vet, but will still go the extra mile to try and save him. On the cats I don't cut back.
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