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Old 10-08-2007, 10:24 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,061,744 times
Reputation: 692

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Just wanted to share this clip of an article in the L.A. times on reducing spending:

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Strategies for a tight food budget

Dear Liz: I recently came across a column in which you advised a waitress who flunked out of law school to reduce her food budget to $150 a month in order to free up money to pay her bills, including student loans. Liz, that food budget is completely unrealistic. No one can eat on that little.

Answer: Actually, the original column suggested that if her food budget were much over $100 a month, she should look for ways to trim her grocery costs. I assumed she'd be able to eat at least one meal per working day at her restaurant.

Is it tough to get by on so little? Good heavens, yes, but it's not impossible. Here's how you do it:

* Make dried beans, rice and ramen noodles your staples. Meat and fish will make occasional cameos, rather than daily appearances.

* Eliminate prepackaged foods as well as sodas, alcohol, candy and snacks from your grocery list. The closer to nature the food is, the better, and there's no room in your budget for empty calories.

* Choose fresh fruits and vegetables in season, and haunt farmers' markets toward the end of the day to bargain for unsold goods.

* Double or triple recipes when you cook and freeze the excess for later. Having meals you can quickly heat up in the microwave will reduce the temptation to order in or eat out.

You'll find plenty of resources on how to reduce your food budget on the Internet and at your local library. One cookbook/how-to guide to try is "Dining on a Dime,"
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:39 AM
 
Location: NJ
2,212 posts, read 6,174,764 times
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It's actually great advice as food costs are soaring and people frequently spend more than they imagine - it is quite easy for a family of four to spend $600 - $800 a month on food. There is a family, the Economides, who manage to stretch the food bill for 7 to $350 a month - they bill themselves as Americas cheapest family.

Budget foods, high in beans, lentils and grains, are actually also very healthy and can be very tasty, such as chili made with very little meat, grated vegetables and lots of beans over rice.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:47 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,061,744 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
It's actually great advice as food costs are soaring and people frequently spend more than they imagine - it is quite easy for a family of four to spend $600 - $800 a month on food. There is a family, the Economides, who manage to stretch the food bill for 7 to $350 a month - they bill themselves as Americas cheapest family.

Budget foods, high in beans, lentils and grains, are actually also very healthy and can be very tasty, such as chili made with very little meat, grated vegetables and lots of beans over rice.
It's so easy to overspend on food. I don't eat much, but I'm still spending $300 a month for just myself. I'll have to work on that.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:18 PM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 801,414 times
Reputation: 553
Excuse my shoes they don't quite fit
They're a special offer and they hurt me a bit
Even my trousers are giving me pain
They were reduced in a sale so I shouldn't complain
They squeeze me so tight so I can't take no more
Theyre size 28 but I take 34
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:06 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,061,744 times
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Shuke,

What a poet you are! Thank you for sharing those lovely lyrics with us. :-)
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:52 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,665,019 times
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Have you guys read this?

The Cheapskate Guide: 50 Tips for Frugal Living | zen habits
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:23 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,061,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinxor View Post
Great website, Jinx. The author has a "family of eight." Yikes. With a family that large, you better learn to be frugal! Many great ideas though.

Does frugality take all the fun out of life, though? It's a real culture shift for sure.

Greenie
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,665,019 times
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I think it enhances the fun actually. I can tell you when I wasn't so concerned with spending, i ate out at whatever struck my fancy, sometimes spending $70-$100 on a meal. If you asked me if I recall the meal -- um ... no?

I now have many good times cooking (the biggest savings for me). Also, instead of buying a lot of clothes, I've toned down my warddrobe and just wear the same kind of clothes, mix and match. As a guy I suppose it's easy, t-shirt, polos, button-ups, jeans, khakis and suits.

It is a culture shift, but a positive one, I think. When my friends are putting their vacations on their Visas, I can go on vacation and know it's paid for. A lot of them seem to always have emergencies, like stuff going wrong with the car, needing to go to the dentist or whatever. Well, when you only got $5 in the bank account and your rent is almost due, everything is an emergency. If you budget for things before they happen, these no longer become emergencies but planned expenses. It's a lot more fun to be able to pay for a car repair than to spend a few days making phone calls borrowing from friends so that you can get your car out of hock.
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:30 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,061,744 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinxor View Post
I think it enhances the fun actually. I can tell you when I wasn't so concerned with spending, i ate out at whatever struck my fancy, sometimes spending $70-$100 on a meal. If you asked me if I recall the meal -- um ... no?

I now have many good times cooking (the biggest savings for me). Also, instead of buying a lot of clothes, I've toned down my warddrobe and just wear the same kind of clothes, mix and match. As a guy I suppose it's easy, t-shirt, polos, button-ups, jeans, khakis and suits.

It is a culture shift, but a positive one, I think. When my friends are putting their vacations on their Visas, I can go on vacation and know it's paid for. A lot of them seem to always have emergencies, like stuff going wrong with the car, needing to go to the dentist or whatever. Well, when you only got $5 in the bank account and your rent is almost due, everything is an emergency. If you budget for things before they happen, these no longer become emergencies but planned expenses. It's a lot more fun to be able to pay for a car repair than to spend a few days making phone calls borrowing from friends so that you can get your car out of hock.
Hey Jinxor,

I hear you on the expensive dinners. I'm shocked now when I think at how much money I used to throw away on going out to eat and drink. I'm in Beverly Hills this week. Just went for a walk through town, and saw the same old stuff -- luxury cars on every block, women in tight jeans and heels with $1000 purses and Gucci sunglasses. Is everyone rich or crazy?

Greenie
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,665,019 times
Reputation: 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post
Hey Jinxor,

I hear you on the expensive dinners. I'm shocked now when I think at how much money I used to throw away on going out to eat and drink. I'm in Beverly Hills this week. Just went for a walk through town, and saw the same old stuff -- luxury cars on every block, women in tight jeans and heels with $1000 purses and Gucci sunglasses. Is everyone rich or crazy?

Greenie
My lil sis and her husband live in West LA. They have never owned a car that was older than 2 or 3 years old (rotating between bimmer and benz). I have no idea how much purses and sunglasses cost but certainly each item is more than my paycheck. She spends $300 or so getting her eyelashes extended or glued on one by one or something like that. It seems like everyone in LA is rich and crazy.
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