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Question of the Day- January 9th - Friday

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Down here in Florida it's time to start getting the ground ready for gardens in the next coming weeks. No planting yet but plenty of tilling and weeding.

With the economy being the way it's been I plan to plant a bigger variety this year than in the past.

My question is.. What are some of the things you find yourself doing
to save money in your every day life?

We plan to have more veggies this year to cut down on the grocery bill.

My family is also a big eat dinner out. With a son in high school and the other in college and living at home. We always seem to be on the go and never home to have a sit down dinner.
So we plan to try eating home more and eating out only once a week at the most.
post #2 of 14
...Nice question my friend!...
- go out less to dinner at restaurants
- to improve the number of go at the supermarket and don´t go just for one thing....
- use more this year the bus instead the car....
post #3 of 14
ive lost a really good job a few years back and only make half of what i used to, its amazing how you figure out how to do it.

first off, i found a favorite dollar store i go to once a week, you wouldnt believe some of the stuff u can find there that cost alot more in regular stores, i also browse other discount stores on a regular basis.

im good at remembering the prices of the groceries i buy, so when im at a diff grocery store ill price those items, if theres a big enough price difference ill get those things at that store, we have 3 big grocery stores right in the same area, so its easy to run in each one for a few things.

i no longer buy my coffee on my way to work everyday, i bought myself a nice travel mug and i make the coffee at home and put it in my travel mug.

i used to buy clothes whenever i wanted, if i liked it i didnt care how much it was, now, knowing how hard i work for my little bit of money, i dont buy anything until it goes on sale. i look at the prices of everything anymore, and i dont care how much i like it, if its too much i say no way!

im sure i have alot more, when i do ill post more, ive learned to much that even when i do start making more money im going to keep living like this, and have a nice savings account.

ive also been meaning to check out the salvation army as well.

...but i still dont deny myself one nice vacation per year, i love traveling, so when income tax returns come around it goes right towards my vacation for the year, this year hoping to do paris.
post #4 of 14
Excellent question

I certainly don't eat out as much as I use to, and even with cooking at home I have changed the type of things I eat making more things from scratch then purchasing them already pre-made.

I am more careful about turning things off, and lower thermostats then what I use to be.

I walk a lot more then I use my car anymore.

I look for bargains, and check sale sheets.

I try not to buy things on impulse.
post #5 of 14
I was just thinking about our budget as husband and I sat down last night to figure out where we can economize. As time are getting tighter and tighter I have had to make adjustments slowly but surely.

I already make some of my food from stuff I canned and froze from my garden last year. I have taken a closer look at my grocery shopping, cutting down impulse buying and the high priced options.

I will be joining a library.

Then we will be setting out a jar that if you forget to turn a light off or don't close the fridge door all the way etc. you have to throw a quarter in the jar. Hopefully this will start us thinking more about our surrondings.
post #6 of 14
I traveled a lot last year- mostly short trips, but the expenses added up, so I'm hoping to cut back on that this year. As for "day to day" stuff, I'm already pretty frugal.
post #7 of 14
more careful about turning the heat down and keeping the light off when we are not home.

instead of always buying new purses i switch back and forth between the ones i already have...who really pays attention to these things anyway?? lol
post #8 of 14
I live in a 28 foot trailer, how much more frugal can you get?
I pay $135 a month for parking, power and water/sewer.
post #9 of 14
I have reassessed or am in the process of reassessing all fixed costs.

I changed auto insurance
I combined Internet, cable and phone - bundling saves you money
I definitely am less impulsive at the grocery store. I have noticed my average bill has dropped about 5%
We eat out less and I cook more and find more creative ways to use the leftovers (The new rule is " No wasting food".)
I don't buy clothing, shoes, etc., unless ABSOLUTELY needed
I am doing more sale and coupon purchasing
post #10 of 14
We're pretty economical people generally, but there are definitely ways we can improve our spending. It's mostly me, as DH is a big ole cheapskate, and I have to focus on impulse buys. Grocery spending is something I've never gotten under control!
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by snosrap5 View Post

My question is.. What are some of the things you find yourself doing
to save money in your every day life?
Great question indeed I've found myself reading through the responses and thinking "yah, I could do that too".

Our main money sucking areas are: gas in my truck, and our hydro bill Our hydro bill is fairly high because of my snakes (they require supplemental heat above room temp) and our hottub.

For the hydro: ( within the next 2yrs, our hydro rates will be switched to time of day usage prices, cost is more pricey during peak times. So we've thoroughly explored hydro in the last year to prepare for this)

- my snake room: we bought thermostats (prior we used dimmers) after a piece of heat tape malfunctioned. I wish we had bought the thermostats prior though. Now the heat tape is exactly the temp we need it (the dimmers controlled it but not as well, so sometimes the tape would run hotter than needed) as well as we have a night drop on it, so the temps go down at night.

aside from the initial expense of the thermostats, this saves us on hydro. (we figure in about 1.5yrs, the hydro savings will pay for the thermostats which were around $500 for two)

- hottub: most people run their tubs at 102-104F. We run ours at 100F. Plus we have an extremely well insulated cover. We try to go in it when its on a heat cycle, which saves us running the pumps. (the heat cycle runs the one pump on low)

If its just me in the tub, I do not open the cover all the way, which helps keep the heat in.

- we turn off our lights, and have power bars on most appliances. TV's/VCR's/Stereos, draw power even if you have them turned off. Most of them, when turned off, are really just on standby (which is why the clocks stay on). So now we have powerbars, and everything is turned off.

- we turn our computers off instead of leaving them on all day. If I'm downloading, I make sure to turn the monitor off.

remember, generally speaking, it takes less hydro to turn something on and off, than to keep it on. Mythbusters proves that one (ex. your lights. If you are leaving the room for 5mins, turn the light off. Some people think the act of turning it on requires more hydro than if you just left it on. Not true for most things)

- all fluroscent bulbs

For the gas issue:

- try to do all my shopping on one day instead of multiple trips.
- I avoid certain driving techniques that burn more fuel


- we buy alot on sale. (meat especially, when it goes on sale, we spend the extra to stock up, rather than having to pay full price)

- we eat alot of stews and chili which I make enough to have leftovers that I can freeze.

- I try to make enough food to have leftovers the next day.

- we have a garden, and I plant more than we can eat, so that I can freeze it

- we don't go out for dinner often... maybe once every couple months

- I use frozen or canned veggies when they are not in season

- I bake the kids school snacks.

- buy certain things on clearance (like over ripe bananas for banana bread)

- most grocery items are noname brand. Hubby refuses anything but Heinz ketchup...(so we buy that in the tin cans, its cheaper than bottles)

- canned catfood: I buy the large cans, and freeze it in kitty sized portions.

Other savings:

- I try to think to myself, is this a want or a need? If its not a need, I don't buy it for the most part.

- we clothes shop at secondhand stores, or sale items unless we can't avoid paying full price. Again, we don't buy brandname.

- we priceshop and coupon shop. Also get freebies mailed for filling out surveys, or free sample items.

and lots more. Didn't realise my post was gonna turn into a book
We've done alot of thinking about budgetting since I had to stop working due to workplace injuries. I still get paid a % of my wage, but its not what I was making and hopefully I can have some surgeries that will allow me to go back to work. Once that happens, I will no longer have an income untill I find a job. So alot of our savings right now, is in prep for when the time comes that I am able to return to the workforce. (I will never be able to do my previous job, so I will have to look for a new one)
post #12 of 14
We go to Winco and Walmart more for food.
we have a garden.
We are looking into getting solar.
My lights in the front yard are solar.
post #13 of 14
I always have lived frugally so some of this stuff is new and some of it is stuff I’ve always done to help save money.

Mainly I’ve just started considering my purchases and whether I really need something very carefully before buying anything at all.

I go on one big shopping trip instead of several small ones for groceries etc. Before I go I make a list of what to get using the sale flyers and coupons. I buy store brands when possible and I usually hit two different grocery stores in the same trip to get the best prices. What I need that I can find at Aldi I buy there.

I keep the thermostat low and started wearing warm clothes and using blankets at home instead.

Started bringing my lunch to work instead of going out. Since I live alone and cooking for one is hard, I always have enough leftovers to take to work instead of letting them go to waste.

Cut back on my cell phone minutes and texting so I could reduce my plan. I don’t take non-urgent calls until after 9 (like to just chat with a friend).

I rarely buy new clothes but when necessary I buy them at discount clothing stores and I sew/repair my clothes to make them last longer when I can.

All florescent bulbs in the apartment. I turn off all lights except for whatever room I’m in.

I’ve cut these things out:

Hair cuts at the salon – When absolutely necessary I go to the local beauty college ($20 instead of $65)
Coffee/Starbucks Stops – I bring coffee from home and/or take advantage of the coffee at the office.
Going out to eat – I go to my parents’ house one night a week (and sometimes they take me out to eat). When I do go out I wait until I have coupons.
Unnecessary driving – I plan my errands on routes I am already taking and make less trips to see friends, etc.

I joined a gym. I know that is technically an expense but it gives me something to do that doesn’t involve shopping or spending money for entertainment and I spend more in 1 month doing that than I did for the whole 18 months gym membership. And I save a little bit on natural gas and water bills because I shower while I'm there. Besides its good for you (so maybe save on medical bills later? ).
post #14 of 14
For me I've been shopping a lot less and buying more things off Trademe.co.nz!!

I've been renting more books from the library rather than buying them.

I've been walking more to the shops rather than driving.

Good luck everyone!
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