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Old 12-21-2009, 07:13 PM
1,312 posts, read 4,185,558 times
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Lots of great things mentioned already! Here are the things I do to save us money:

Hubby brownbags breakfast and lunch when he works. He gets his coffee from the communal pot.
Son brownbags lunch at school, except on pizza day, which is twice a month.
Bought an upright freezer-
buy meat on sale, portion it out and freeze it.
Make a couple meals in one night, portion it out and freeze
Ice cream, bread, anything that freezes when on sale
Buy generic. Usually I can't tell the difference! I no longer have any brand loyalty
Wash and reuse Ziploc bags.
Save containers from meats, cakes, etc to reuse when needed, ie sending leftovers home with friends.
Coupons! Then match your coupons with the grocery ads. One local store goes 4 $1 coupons doublers every couple of months...I look for what's on sale that I have a $1 coupon for.

I also go to an Amish salvage grocery store about 30 minutes from me about once a month. Some things are damaged--say a glass jar broke and got juice on the whole case. Some are out of date--Kraft mac n cheese expired last month. Some is from package changes. I get great deals on all types of stuff.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:16 PM
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My husband rides the bus to work---its a free shuttle, or at least no one asks, he just hops on! They might catch up someday, but in the meantime, we save on gas and parking!
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
And the $100-200 you save by stretching out tires an additional year is easily lost when you lose traction in the snow, spin out and cause a collision.

I have a friend who is always telling me how he can get 100k miles on OEM tires ... and has his car pulled out of a ditch each of the last three winters.

Oh, no---after I had a blowout on the freeway a few years back, I replace my tires 30,000 miles. I save money other ways, so much is riding on my tires!
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:16 PM
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,458,137 times
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Things I've done:

1) Moved out of the trendy apartment into a cheaper one (but is actually nicer!), saves me roughly $250 a month

2) Vanpooling when I can. If I were to maximize my ridership (which is impossible given my job), I could save ~$120 a month.

3) Eating out less / not buying lunch as often. I used to eat in the canteen all the time, and that $8 lunch, for higher quality or at least I know how I made it, could be $4.50 if I made it myself. And at 280 work days times $3.50, you save yourself about $900 a year.

4) Get in shape. Becoming toned and more lean will mean your body is lugging around less useless fat, and you will thus eat less. You may eat more to get there, but once you do, it's usually pretty lean. About 45 minutes a day of taking the effort to walk a little farther, work a little to make more delicious food, and lift a little weight goes a LONG way to extending your life and livlihood.

5) Rent instead of buy. I only use the housing space I need for myself and my wife. Saves us around $500 a month, and in the Seattle market, it is MUCH MUCH cheaper to rent than to buy and there's less stigma to renting than buying, and ends up about the same after 10 years anyway.

6) Avoid impulse buying and only buy what you need with the occassional (like once a month) small splurge, like playing a game of billiards, going to a bar, movie and a dinner at a nice place, etc.

7) Taking public transit to commute. Seriously ... if you live in a big city with reasonable mass transit, why even own a car? Most people spend more than $120 a month on gas, why not ditch the car, save the monthly note payment, and use what you would have spent on gas to ride the bus? And, about the "freedom" to leave when you want, when you want ... oh please ... grow up ... unless you have a job which demands you be very flexible in when you leave, there's no reason why not.

Take my wife for example ... in Seattle, there's special lanes the buses and carpools can take that bypass the rat race and gets her to work in 15 minutes from where we live to where she works downtown. If we had gotten what she wanted (a Fit from Honda) the car payment would have been around $200 a month, plus parking, maintenance, gas, license fees, environmental fees, etc. Now she just pays $90 a month on the bus fare.

If you live in the countryside, or a remote suburb, or in a city with nil mass transit, then I can see why you'd need a car or truck.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by marylee54 View Post
Oh, no---after I had a blowout on the freeway a few years back, I replace my tires 30,000 miles. I save money other ways, so much is riding on my tires!
When I was living around Cleveland, I started to notice that everytime I spun out (once on I-90), it was on BAD tires. When I replaced the tires, all the sliding went away.

I replace tires every three winters. I look for cheaper tires that are highly rated which can be found if you are looking around. So usually, I can replace the four tires on my compact car for well under $200 OTD.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:51 AM
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I am buying my snowboard, bindings, and boots so that i do not have to pay the rental fee each time i ride.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:48 PM
Location: Anchorage, AK to SoCal to Missoula, MT
1,539 posts, read 2,755,806 times
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How we are trying to cut back in tough times:

Starbucks is only an occasional treat, drink coffee at home 98% of the time
Before I leave the house, fill up my BPA free water bottle with ice & water
Buy hubby soda from the grocery store so he isn't spending the convenience store (gas station) mark ups on soda
Pack lunch
Starting to cook as much as I can from scratch & freezing portions of it for later dates --especially taking with me to school when the semester starts back up
Hubby cuts his own hair (shaves it mostly)
Pedicures last me almost 2 months (living in a warm climate, you gotta have nice toes and I just can't paint mine as well!)
Hardly ever eat out anymore
do netflix instead of blockbuster
no cable--the "free" channels aren't too bad
hook the computer up to the tv and watch movies (off of netflix)
gas is always bought at costco
speaking of costco, I don't shop there as much because I can't afford to drop so much $$ in each shopping trip!
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:50 PM
Location: Seattle
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A few tips:

If you like sushi/sashimi, go to a GOOD fish monger/market and buy a piece of sashimi grade tuna/salmon and cut it up thinly for yourself. You don't need to be a sushi chef to cut up sashimi you just get a sharp knife and cut it up thinly against the grain. Google it for more info. Then buy a couple rolls or something at the store. If you go to the right place you can get $50+ of sushi at a restaurant for $20 or so and the quality is just as good.

If you have an iphone/smart phone get the bar code scanner app (they are like $2) and scan stuff in the store you want to buy to see if you can buy it cheaper. Or google the product name and use google shopping to always get the best price.

Ethnic grocery stores are an excellent bet, but their quality will vary considerably depending where you live. Asian/hispanic stores are great, but make sure you are extra careful about the quality of the meats. Sometimes they are cheap for a reason. Sometimes you get a great deal - just do your due diligence.

Make sure you sign up for online mailing lists for stores you frequent. For instance, I shop at Cost Plus World Market and Fresh & Easy and they send me $5 off type coupons almost every week just from signing up for their online mailing lists.

Use places like Bing Cashback and Ebates. Both of those sites can give you 2-10% off virtually EVERY purchase you make online.

Search retailmenot.com every time you buy something online for coupon codes.

Use cash back credit cards/4% interest checking accounts for banking.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:28 PM
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Everyone has their own water bottle we fill up from a filtered tap at home. Its amazing how much we spent on individual bottles, not to mention the trash going into the landfill!

Also, shop thrift stores for furniture, clothes, etc, I've found so many great buys, you can't tell the difference from new!

Just stay away from the mall, I haven't been in a year! If you really need something shop online, you can find great buys, and it cuts down on impulse spending.

I still shop Costco for cat food, but other prices are no longer such a bargain, find Walmart and Target to be comparable

Get serious about coupons and weekly deals, also, check out CVS and their specials!
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:53 AM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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Hmm, we haven't changed much since we were pretty much frugal to begin with. We generally don't pay retail unless we absolutely have to for some reason. We give away a lot of things that we have in abundance so our friends give us what they have a lot of so there is abundance everywhere.

We always pay cash for cars and fix them ourselves. Gotta pay insurance, but it's just the minimum since if they get scratched or dented we can fix that, too.

We produce a lot of our own food. Gardening, foraging and hunting. The hens provide eggs and hatch out baby chicks which we sell.

Clothing is bought at yard sales and thrift shops and fabric is made into clothes. Yarn is spun from the rabbit's hair when they shed and since they are angora rabbits, it spins up into really nice yarn.

It pretty much doesn't matter what it is, the first thing we ask is "do we really need and want that?" Second question is "can we make it ourselves?" Third question is "who has one we can trade for?" Then we try to find it at a yard sale or thrift shop and then if all else fails, we buy one somewhere but only if it is something we need. Frequently, we just make do with something else.
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