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Old 10-12-2010, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,378 posts, read 7,889,598 times
Reputation: 2927

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Cost of living got you down in Florida? Here are ways to beat it and put it into perspective.


Car Insurance-
Everyone complains how much car insurance is here. According to several reports, Florida is right in the middle of the pack at number 25. You can reduce it tremendously by dropping/reducing PIP.

Car insurance rates - the most and least expensive states for car insurance

If you do no know what PIP is, click here Personal injury protection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you did not have PIP coverage in your old state and you have it now.... that's not really comparing apples to apples. I have medical insurance and Disability through work (whether injured on the job or off) so I don't need PIP.

You can also reduce your rate by raising your deductibles if you carry Comp and Collision. Other things you may want to remove is Car Rental Reimbursement and Roadside Assistance.

And the most important thing you can do, shop around!!


Food-
Food budget got you down these days?

The first time I ever shopped a Publix was when I moved here. I like how the stores are setup... although its nothing special. What amazes me is the loyalty this company has from its consumers. Publix is one of the most expensive grocery stores in the area. TBO compares stores by shopping for 30 items at 5 different stores. Over a 52 week period Publix has the 2nd highest median cost of $76 compared to the highest, $77 by Winn-Dixie. The cheapest... Walmart $60.

Median price on grocery basket at 5 stores: $63 to $77

Want to save more money? Go through the ads and shop the sales. No coupons required. If chicken breast isn't on sale anywhere... wait until next week. Or check your local butcher. My butcher has Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast for $1.99lbs everyday. Once in awhile he throws in an extra breast at no additional cost.

You can also save money on produce by shopping your local produce stand. Again, if you become a loyal customer to your produce stand or meat market, you're likely to receive a real customer reward... discounts and/or free food.


Taxes-
Pretty difficult to save money on Taxes, but also, lets use our brains here. You can get a lot more house for your money in certain areas of Florida than you can up North. I see it all the time, "Budget is $350K" because that's how much they spend or are selling for up North. If you have a 1500 SF home up north and were happy, why buy a 2500 SF home here? Because its in your budget....right?

Part of the reason we are in this housing crisis is that people only looked at the monthly payments of their mortgage. They did not include the taxes they paid and the cost of insurance/upkeep.

You want cheaper real estate taxes, spend less on the home you buy.

want to avoid the 7% sales tax as much as possible(which is actually pretty low), buy your more expensive items online. They often have free shipping.

Do not compare the taxes you pay today in Florida to what you paid 15 years ago up North. Its not a fair comparison. If it was more than 5 years ago, quit comparing.


Electricity/Water-
This is easily the one item that YOU have the MOST control over. And you also have to put it into perspective.

Save money by adding insulation to that attic. Weatherstrip your windows and doors. Change light bulbs to CFLs. Invest in ceiling fans and pedestal fans. You should have been doing many of these things up North. Up North you would put on a blanket to stay warm. Here, when you get home from work, change into a T-Shirt or Tank Top and shorts.

Most homes here only have electricity, no gas, no oil. Many homes up North have electricity and gas or oil. When comparing energy costs, compare ALL the energy.

Sure a $250 - $300 electric bill in the summer (high energy usage season) seems high but that is ALL of your energy. When compared to my winter (high energy usage season) bills back home, its way cheaper ($175 Electric, $200+ gas).

Be honest, go through actual bills from back home compared to today. You may be surprised.

Water to me at first seemed spendy, but its because its billed every 2 months...where I live. When breaking it down its right on par.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,092,150 times
Reputation: 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaKash View Post
The first time I ever shopped a Publix was when I moved here. I like how the stores are setup... although its nothing special. What amazes me is the loyalty this company has from its consumers. Publix is one of the most expensive grocery stores in the area.
The thing with groceries is that everyone has a slightly different market basket of goods. If you've got more middlebrow tastes, you can actually do better at Publix than a lot of places because they tend to have good prices on that sort of product. We ran out of sugar last night and ended up in the Winn Dixie across the street we don't normally shop at. I noticed that Fage yougurt, which we'll go through a lot of during the week, was $2 per tub at WD. Price at Publix for the same product has been running $1.20 per tub. Heck, even when Fage was still importing product from Greece instead of producing it domestically, we were paying something like $1.75 per tub from Publix.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:01 AM
 
15,184 posts, read 31,126,156 times
Reputation: 18354
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
The thing with groceries is that everyone has a slightly different market basket of goods. If you've got more middlebrow tastes, you can actually do better at Publix than a lot of places because they tend to have good prices on that sort of product. We ran out of sugar last night and ended up in the Winn Dixie across the street we don't normally shop at. I noticed that Fage yougurt, which we'll go through a lot of during the week, was $2 per tub at WD. Price at Publix for the same product has been running $1.20 per tub. Heck, even when Fage was still importing product from Greece instead of producing it domestically, we were paying something like $1.75 per tub from Publix.
I agree - I shop at 3 different markets for different items and Publix is always my main store - plus they always have GREAT sales (BOGO) on items I use and actually have the best prices on others. Not to mention I have one of the nicest Publix in Florida to shop at (it's a flagship store) and they carry a lot of organics at reasonable prices.

But FloridaKash has a lot of great suggestions - Kash, do you read the Frugal Forum on this board?
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,378 posts, read 7,889,598 times
Reputation: 2927
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
But FloridaKash has a lot of great suggestions - Kash, do you read the Frugal Forum on this board?

No, no I don't. Are you calling me cheap!?
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:47 AM
 
15,184 posts, read 31,126,156 times
Reputation: 18354
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaKash View Post
No, no I don't. Are you calling me cheap!?
No, just frugal! I enjoy reading the Frugal forum, I have learned to be more frugal this year by spreading my shopping among several stores, planning menus and sticking to a list. I don't have to go out of my way to do this either, because the stores are all close together. I am so spoiled - I have the best shopping options here of any place I have ever lived in my home state of Florida!
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:00 PM
 
707 posts, read 1,293,697 times
Reputation: 361
We compared everything both to our apartment up north and down here and my parents house down here and my parents up there.

Its cheaper for everything back home.

For Example:
My parents can get a whole shopping cart of food in Rochester to feed the family of 7 for $175.00 a week but down here it costs them $275-300.00 a week.
My parents bills in Rochester for electric during winter months are $100.00 (Includes Gas) and $65.00 in summer, they never turn lights off but yet when they come here for not even a whole two months there electric bill for the house tops $200 in the summer and they turn everything off.
My parents pay $5675.89 dollars worth of taxes for a house thats smaller down here, but they pay $3897.94 up north.

New York State used to eliminate a sales tax on all clothing and shoes if the single item is priced under $110 but its now 4% until March 31 2011. So its still cheaper.


They finally got an offer that they like on the house down here and are selling it after being on the market for 10 months. (-25,000 then they planned on)

So for some it is cheaper but for others its more expensive.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
1,881 posts, read 3,136,218 times
Reputation: 16530
Cheerbaby, you clearly moved away from the least expensive, least dangerous, most idyllic place on the planet. I've never heard of prices so low in my entire life, and in every post you make it gets less and less expensive to live in NY.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
1,881 posts, read 3,136,218 times
Reputation: 16530
Shopping at Aldi is a good one, too. I don't like buying all our produce there, because it isn't always the best quality, but the meat and dried and canned goods are definitely up to par and for the most part much more inexpensive than Publix.

Publix has really good produce sales if you watch for them. I prefer farmer's markets if I can get to them.

Also, unplug extra stuff in your house. If you have a freezer in the garage that isn't full, unplug it. Computers and TVs also suck energy when they are not on. Don't turn on your outdoor lights at night if you feel safe enough doing so.

Great thread FK!
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:47 PM
 
707 posts, read 1,293,697 times
Reputation: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggi07 View Post
Cheerbaby, you clearly moved away from the least expensive, least dangerous, most idyllic place on the planet. I've never heard of prices so low in my entire life, and in every post you make it gets less and less expensive to live in NY.

We have a Municipal Village Electric in NYS which makes it cheaper.

Electric rates are .035 for the first 1000KW (April 1-November 31) and .0408 (December 1-March 31st) compared to TECO .05774 for the first 1000KW

And where I come from it is less dangerous then Tampa.

I'm not saying everywhere in NYS is cheaper then living in Florida but where I come from it is cheaper living there then here in Tampa.

Last edited by cheerbaby112; 10-12-2010 at 04:01 PM..
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:29 PM
 
Location: 1988 yugo
329 posts, read 655,166 times
Reputation: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggi07 View Post
Cheerbaby, you clearly moved away from the least expensive, least dangerous, most idyllic place on the planet. I've never heard of prices so low in my entire life, and in every post you make it gets less and less expensive to live in NY.
BINGO
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