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Old 04-06-2009, 02:52 AM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,431 posts, read 16,743,296 times
Reputation: 16460

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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
I am so on the same page as you except for a few things: bleach/comet, hair conditioner, toothpaste. But, soonerguy, we are totally on the same wavelength with everything else!

We don't use bleach because it's bad for the environment. The "earth-friendly" bleach is actually hydrogen peroxide. So, when something comes up and it needs "bleach", we just use hydrogen peroxide... but we don't buy the oxicleans and seventh generation bleaches or whatever because they are overpriced for what they are. We use baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils to clean everything in our house.

We do use hair conditioner because I have very long, thick hair that is naturally a bit wavy and without hair conditioner it becomes a frizzy, tangled mess. (I guess I could go for dredlocks! ) Luckily, though, my husband does a lot of traveling for his job, so he brings home the hotel shampoo/conditioners and so I just use those!

And toothpaste... we live in an area where there they do not put fluoride in the water. We've noticed that many people in this area have really bad teeth. I know the fluoride in the water thing is very controversial, but having lived in places with fluoride in the water, and without fluoride in the water, and having seen the difference - we buy toothpaste with fluoride and also see our dentist every 6 months - and our children receive fluoride treatments for their teeth at each visit as well. Our teeth are very healthy. I would worry that switching to baking soda in a place without flouride in the water might lead to dental problems. But if you have flouride in your water - and see your dentist every 6 months - that would be a great tip!

I have never tried thermal curtains, but they sound like a good investment. We do put up dark curtains (they are a dark navy blue color) made of a thick, heavy material. They seem to keep those rooms cool in the Summer, and warmer in winter.

We live in Oregon, without air conditioning. In the Summer it can sometimes get in the 100's for a few days. In the rooms where we do not have the curtains the heat can be awful, but the rooms with the dark curtains hung it is really nice and cool! In winter, we keep the curtains open during the day so that sun can come through to add warmth, and then we close them at night. They seem to help keep the chill right at the window (between the curtain and the window) rather than allowing the whole room to be drafty and cold. We hardly ever turn our little heaters on. We just wear warm comfy clothes and do a lot of baking! We don't buy hardly anything for Christmas or winter holidays, we make gifts... baked goods, salt dough creations, potpourri, etc... so our oven is always on anyway for that which helps warm the house... and makes it smell good!

Very old homes years and years ago, before electricity, used to hang heavy tapestries on their walls and over windows in winter to help keep the homes warmer. It really works.

I wonder if, instead of buying thermal curtains, you could sew some kind of lining in dark curtains? What is it exactly that makes them "thermal"? Hmmm...
Its a lining that reflects the heat or cold back so it doesn't influence the room temperature. I have a beautiful set of drapes in my office I found on Amazon for the price of normal ones, and as soon as I hung them over the stupidly placed picture window it became a comfortable room. They haven't met the challenge of the summer yet, but have used that type with heat and they bring down the internal temperature of a room very reliably.

They also have "blackout" curtains and shades, and basically they are the same thing. I have both. The type that are shades are a bit cheapeer and walmart has them for a good price in a lot of different shades.

As for bleach, I am allergic to it. One whiff and I can't breath. Trader Joes has an excellent product that cleans beautifully and that is all I use. It is made of essencial oils. As there are no Trader Joes in Ok and I have only a few bottles left I'd love how to make it myself, or will have to find someone to send it to me lol.

There are a lot of conditioners you can make if you look around. I used to use beer. It actually works pretty well. Apply to washed hair and let it dry then rince. But if you have really long hair it might be worth looking at a beauty supply store for a commercial type which detangles and lasts. Most commercial products are used very sparingly and are heavily concentrated.

I think the way your house maintains a temperature (especially when cold) depends as much on the construction of the house as anything. The 1952 house in socal neither lost heat nor cooling. Unfourtnately once it got hot inside it stayed that way but we had little trouble with winter. The 70's apartment had full sun all day every day and even in the winter when it got down to the 30's (which is does in socal) I only had the heat on once. Summer.... no ac and I sat in front of a fan all day....

This house is from 1930, has walls over a foot thick and once the air leaks were plugged, the one gas heater and in my office a small ceramic heater kept it comfortable when it was 11/19 degrees. I dress warm too of course. It will be interesting to see how things work in the summer.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:15 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,088,545 times
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I like to eat out but in this economy who has the money?

My favorite sandwich place is actually the deli in the grocery store I go to, Publix.

I discovered its pretty easy to make them just as good at home with a large size tortilla, white or whole wheat, cut up your own vegies, meat and cheese and you got yourself an awesome sandwich. I find that I taste whats in them better when there isn't SO much bread.

I have also find that if your a KFC fan, you can get 8 pieces of chicken for 8 bucks right now, thats the same if you buy it at the grocery store deli areas. That is if you can stand the MSG they load the chicken with, maybe a treat just everyonce in awhile.

If you HAVE to have frozen meals for impatient children, Banquet at Walmart is selling their smaller meals for .88Cents at my grocery store, they are pretty good and if you look at the price versus weight, its the cheapest of any of those kinds of meals.

I also purchase fruit juice in single large bottles as well as soda because you get a better price when you check out the price versus weight. If your kid needs snacks for school, don't buy the prepackaged ones, they charge more because they have had to break it down to smaller packages. By your snacks and package them up into the smaller size yourself.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,110,589 times
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Don't buy expensive candy bars, expecially that garbage that's sold as "Easter Candy" or other holiday candy.

Instead, buy the big bag of chocolate chips at Costco. The chocolate is much fresher than the stuff they sell as Easter Candy, and it's definitely less expensive.

Mix 10-15 chips with dried cranberries (or other dried fruit, I happen to like the cranberries). Tastier than a candy bar, healthier, and if you're like me you'll find eating the chips takes more effort and as a result you'll eat a lot less. If you eat them one chip at a time you'll be satisfied by just a few chips.

If you like this idea, buy the chocolate at Costco when it goes on sale (about 2-3 times per year). They send out coupon books, and when we see the chips listed we stock up.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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And if you just have to have a chocolate bunny at Easter, you can buy a bunny mold at a kitchen store. Melt the chocoate chips, pour in the mold, and voila!
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:52 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,431,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
Star...as I was reading through this..it's the breeze that keeps the clothes soft...

I'd, also, like to address the posters who think we are should be chasing dollars rather than pennies. How do you think we come up with those dollars? We need to chase down 100 pennies.

Somethings we can't control. If your rent is $650 it's going to be $650. You might find a cheaper place, but then you might end up spending more for heat/cooling because they don't have good windows and insulation. Things that we spend in our homes is something we can control. Not every suggestion is for everyone, it may not be worth your time, but someone else may have the time, and it's worth it to them.

Something I think we need to keep in mind is the sharing of ideas gets people thinking of other things that might work for them. And, the purpose of saving money is to have the money to do/get the things that are important to you.

The only thing I can think of to add to the list is shopping in non traditional places. I have found that spices are cheaper in the health food store and drug stores than at the grocery store. The overstock type stores usually have some good deals on oils, spices, pastas etc.

Exactly, the recommendation to save on every day items is made with the assumption that someone will have done their best with the fixed, big ticket items like mortgages, auto insurance, television, phone, internet & cell phones.

All these other ideas are to save money beyond that.
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
973 posts, read 2,912,232 times
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"Don't be afraid to ask for a discount at the store or for a service."

I admit that I used to feel weird about this but now, WTH!

Recently, I bought 2 skids of sod at Lowes and they wanted to charge $60 to deliver. DH mentioned to the manager that another store was offering free delivery (even though they didn't carry the sod we needed) and the manager agreed to knock off the charge. Saved $60!!!

I always tip well for great service but if I receive poor service somewhere, I'm no longer hestitant to ask for a discount. At more than one restaurant, if I received particularly bad service, I spoke to the manager and often they would offer a discount or free meal before I even asked. That's $$$ back in your own pocket. Mind you, I'd NEVER do this just for a free meal. Wait staff have to work hard for their pay.

Another time, the cable, phone and internet service had been on the fritz for 2 days straight. I called the provider and requested a discount equal to those 2 days to be taken off my bill and they did. No point in paying for a service that was essentially unavailable for 2 days.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:55 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,749,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
As for bleach, I am allergic to it. One whiff and I can't breath. Trader Joes has an excellent product that cleans beautifully and that is all I use. It is made of essencial oils. As there are no Trader Joes in Ok and I have only a few bottles left I'd love how to make it myself, or will have to find someone to send it to me lol.

There are a lot of conditioners you can make if you look around. I used to use beer. It actually works pretty well. Apply to washed hair and let it dry then rince. But if you have really long hair it might be worth looking at a beauty supply store for a commercial type which detangles and lasts. Most commercial products are used very sparingly and are heavily concentrated.
I think I know the Trader Joe's stuff you're talking about. If it's the same stuff we've used in the past it is good! It is similar to the Ecover stuff we've used. Have you heard of Dr. Bronner's? You might try looking for it - the unscented Baby Mild liquid castille soap. It is super concentrated - a teeny tiny bit goes a very long way. We have washed everything in it... laundry, dishes, our bodies, hair, pets, floors, you name it. It's really good stuff. It comes in other varieties like peppermint, tea tree, etc. But we always get the baby mild unscented and add our own essential oils to it if we want to. You dilute it a lot with water. Here's a link: Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Retail Store: Classic Liquid & Bar Soaps And another thing I really appreciate about Dr. Bronner's is that you can buy it in bulk - just save your container and refill it! Yay! Reduce waste and reuse your containers. Love that. (It's cheaper when bought in bulk, too. But you dilute the stuff so much and a bottle of it lasts so long that it actually is very cost effective even when you buy a new bottle of it.)

One hair conditioner that I really love - but that is expensive - is Matrix Biolage. That is very good stuff! And you're right - you just use a tiny amount so the bottle does last a long time. It's great for long, thick hair. Makes your hair shiny and silky. Matrix - Hair Products - Biolage I haven't checked the ingredients yet to see if there are any harmful ingredients in it...
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:06 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,749,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FromVAtoNC View Post
And if you just have to have a chocolate bunny at Easter, you can buy a bunny mold at a kitchen store. Melt the chocoate chips, pour in the mold, and voila!
This sounds like a fun thing to do with your kids! Thanks for sharing this! I bet you can find an egg mold, too... maybe some flowers... you've given me some great ideas! We always buy the organic, fair trade dark chocolate bars when they go on sale. We try to stay away from the milk chocolate. The darker and the purer the better! We like the crunch it has, and then how it melts in your mouth... it's so delicious. It can be bitter, but we serve it with a good crusty loaf of bread, like a good baguette, sliced, and some fresh fruit. All the flavors come together and it's a great chocolate feast. It doesn't cost much money, yet it feels rich and decadent. Anyway - the bunny mold will add a special spring touch. Fun!
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,525 posts, read 20,087,519 times
Reputation: 22531
I once did home care on a man who made daily pilgrimages in his neighborhood to retrieve used coffee grounds. He'd take them home and run them, once again, through his coffee filter. And wouldn't you know it, this man could well-well-well afford to buy a can of coffee!
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,110,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I once did home care on a man who made daily pilgrimages in his neighborhood to retrieve used coffee grounds. He'd take them home and run them, once again, through his coffee filter. And wouldn't you know it, this man could well-well-well afford to buy a can of coffee!
I don't go to quite such an extreme--I do buy my own coffee. (Then put the used grounds in my garden.) But I wanted to note that frugal living isn't just for the poor. We are comfortable, probably some of you would think we're well off. But one reason for that is we've always lived frugally. Small savings that don't seem like much at first really add up over the years.
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