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Old 02-28-2009, 11:40 AM
 
1,450 posts, read 3,707,976 times
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Let's start a budget thread! Unless, of course, one already exixts, which I can't locate

I just thought it would be nice to share our cost-cutting tips, everything from saving on food bills, cutting down on utility costs, smart shopping, couponing, low-cost pet care, etc.

In these economic times we need all the help we can get so lets share our tips & suggestions!

For our first topic---ways to keep the electric bill down! Electricity in Texas, thanks to deregulation, is among the highest in the nation. When I tell my out-of-state friends what our electric bill is they think I'm exaggerating, only wish I was! It looks like we're in for another long, hot summer along with sky-high electric bills. I would appreciate any ideas to conserve electric and keep the bill down.

So, let's start a new thread!
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:43 AM
 
1,450 posts, read 3,707,976 times
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Here's what I did to save money this week---we found a low-cost pet vaccine clinic being sponsored by a local Boy Scout group. Annual vaccines were $20 per animal for all shots, including rabies, and all the other shots a cat needs. We loaded up our herd of 4 kitties and stood in line for about an hour, but for $80 have all kitties set for the next year. Last time we took them to the vet for routine physical and shots it was something like $150 per cat! That's a lotta kitty food!
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:46 PM
 
901 posts, read 2,612,366 times
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Default I hope this helps

Here's what I have done recently:
-bring my coffee to work every single day
-bring my lunch to work 3 or 4 times a week (mostly pb&j)
-buy some items in bulk
-cancel my gym membership and swith to home DVD workouts
-take public transportation (which I've done for years)
-stop buying $hit that I don't need
-Limit resturant trips to 1-2 times a month
-Had the heels on my shoes replaced for $12 instead of spending $90 on new ones
-paid off all CC debt, since interst seems to be going up

There was a thread about a week ago asking what people were doing to cut costs. You could try and find that for more ideas .
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
5,554 posts, read 5,870,151 times
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I too have stopped buying things I don't need. I've also cut down on eating out. I put as little as possible on my credit card so I can pay the monthly balance. I am a book collector (addict) so if I see a book I like at Barnes and Noble, I order it used on Amazon. (Some go as cheap as $.01.) I hire my trusty handyman who does everything - electricity, plumbing, installing windows. I go to thrift stores if looking for something specific like linens or clothing.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:58 PM
 
812 posts, read 2,079,879 times
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use fan and raise thermostat to 79 degrees in summer. when sleeping, aim portable fans towards feet, cools body down fast.

buy powdered milk-generic.

buy a cow and deep freeze. lol

shop at dollar-tree. lol
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:33 AM
 
3,636 posts, read 9,240,010 times
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If you go to the discussion forums on simpleliving.org, you will find a valuable resource of such ideas in many areas.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
794 posts, read 2,975,283 times
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I have completely stopped eating out for dinner with friends and I've seriously limited my lunch outtings with coworkers as well. I'm either bringing my own lunch or getting something smaller/cheaper from the downstairs cafe. I have paid off most of my debt. I've gone down from over $14K to barely over $1K now. It should all be paid in another month or two. Of course, I'm beginning to wonder will that have a negative impact on my credit as well. It seems creditors don't like people who don't have debt or aren't paying on it. So i guess I'm screwed either way.
I'm also trying to keep up with the car maintenance so that I don't have to buy another car in the near future (if not longer). I currently have a seven year old Buick with 85K miles and it's still running great. Hope to keep it that way for a while. I got 155K out of my last car but it was an import. Only got rid of it because the transmission kept failing on it.
I pretty much only buy the bare essentials as far as groceries go. Just enough to get by for a week or two, nothing extra. I also try to buy in bulk when possible on certain items.
Having paid off most of my debt, I am taking a lot of my extra money now and putting it into savings.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,568 posts, read 5,842,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darylwi View Post
I have paid off most of my debt. I've gone down from over $14K to barely over $1K now. It should all be paid in another month or two. Of course, I'm beginning to wonder will that have a negative impact on my credit as well. It seems creditors don't like people who don't have debt or aren't paying on it. So i guess I'm screwed either way.
First of all. I do not believe that is true. Even if it was, who cares? Look at it this way. Assuming it you earn X cents a minute after taxes per minute. For each $10 of interest you would have to work 10/X minutes.

As an example X=10c. Then $10/$.10= 100 minutes almost 2 hours of work to pay for nothing.

You can also use the same formula for other stuff.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
412 posts, read 1,084,410 times
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I've never been one to eat out - I always pack my lunch & get the coffee pot ready the night before so I don't even have to think about it the next morning.

Things I have cut back on in the last year is:
Stop buying my kids stuff they don't need!
Stop "overbuying" groceries just b/c it is in bulk and has a better "per unit" cost. I have learned to scale back on my grocery shopping, causing a lot less waste. I try to only buy what we "need".
We don't eat meat often - only a few times per week (meat is an expensive grocery item). I've learned to be ok with stuff like a grilled cheese sandwich & soup for dinner.
I only cook the exact amount we are going to eat so no leftovers end up wasted.

For the past few years I have been focusing on paying off all debt. At one point I calculated that I was paying over $100 in interest every month between credit cards, car loan, and student loan. I have spent a lot of time working overtime & taking on 2nd jobs, but the good news is I am almost done paying off the car & cc (the student loan will take a bit longer).
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
1,849 posts, read 6,136,408 times
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Saving on electricity is going to depend on your home situation. Do you have an electric stove? If you do use the microwave most of the time instead of the stove. If you use a coffee maker turn it off when the coffee is done. Heat up a cup of coffee using the microwave instead of keeping the coffee maker on. Do you use an electric dryer? Hang out your laudry to dry when you can.

Heaters and air conditioners use lots of electricity. Turn down the heat when you go to bed. Use blankets to keep warm, or warm P.J.s. Use a swamp cooler instead of the air conditioner, or turn up the A/C. Open windows when it's nice outside.

If you own a home you may be able to use another form of heating like a fireplace,wood stove or pellet stove.
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