We’re back with our third installment of cash conscious ideas, so lets-save-some-moolah-people! For our first post about all the ways we keep our wallets in check, check out Save It: Part 1. And for a slew of other money saving suggestions, see our more recent post Save It: Part 2. Who would’ve thought after 21 tips we’d be back with more… but desperate times call for even more penny pinching, so we’re here to spill the beans (and hopefully save some too).
Cheapola Tip #1- Point Taken. In tight times like these, it’s nice to use our extra credit card “points” strategically. So instead of cashing them in for something that’s not entirely necessary (like a Bose stereo or a hotel reservation), we like to put them towards something we ordinarily would have spent our hard earned money on anyway (like a gift card to Home Depot to cover a year’s worth of air filters for our HVAC or even a grocery store gift card for food and other monthly expenses). There’s nothing like an indulgence in good times, but it’s super fun to think that Visa is paying for garbage bags and other household staples so we can bank a bit more dough these days.
Cheapola Tip #2- Waste Not, Pay Not. We realized that thanks to composting and recycling, our garbage bin only fills up every two weeks instead of having to be dragged to the curb every 7 days. Thankfully there are trash services that offer bi-monthly pick-ups (for less!) which work perfectly for our reduced trash load, so we’re planning to switch over and save some green.
Cheapola Tip #3- Second Chance. Purely on a whim, I decided to take a big bag of old clothes destined for Goodwill to a local consignment shop- just to see what would happen. The verdict? I’m a consignment convert. I walked in with a bulging bag of clothes and walked out with $44 in my pocket (and still had a few things in the bag for Goodwill!). They certainly won’t take everything (color and season along with size and the trends come into play) but for two pair of jeans, some red flats that never fit right, and an old dress that I’ll never wear again, I made close to $50. Not bad for offering up closet castoffs and twenty minutes of my time.
Cheapola Tip #4- Seize The Birthday. Much like tip number one, resisting the urge to ask for off the wall “would be nice” gifts and instead requesting something you would actually spend money on might feel a tad less exciting but your wallet will thank you. And it doesn’t always have to be something boring like razors and toilet paper. I had been eying some candle sconces from ZGallerie for a while, so adding them to my birthday list ensured that I’d get them without having to enter my credit card number. Happy birthday to me!
Cheapola Tip #5- Go The Long Haul. We actually went all of March without “major food shopping” at all. Not once! Other than stopping in two times pick up some eggs, milk and produce (which came in under $25 each time), we didn’t do any grocery shopping for the entire 31 days of March! And no we didn’t stock up on $300 worth of food on February 28th or go on vacation for three weeks of the month. We just set one goal: no food shopping until we eat everything that we already have. Like most people we had random cans of beans, forgotten boxes of brown rice, and tons of frozen salmon that we avoided since frozen pizza is easier (so off to the store we went to buy more instead of eating what we had). By vowing to finish the rest of our oatmeal and veggie burgers, we thought we’d save a bit, but we had no idea we’d save hundreds of dollars that we usually spend on food for the month. Bonus: now our cabinets are cleared out and we know what we never really ate (so we can avoid it and save even more loot).
Cheapola Tip #6- Work The Land. Thanks to a super simple compost bin and an inexpensive rain barrel, Mother Nature’s doing the work for us and we’re getting free organic soil and water- just in time for planting season. And thanks to a fruit and vegetable garden that we’re in the process of establishing, we’re looking forward to gaining even more good stuff without spending much green.
Cheapola Tip #7- Order In. John’s a big runner, and he’s had knee problems in the past, so shoes with adequate support are imperative. That means he can’t exactly wear his Asics into the ground (since they’re only good for about 6 months and then they start compromising his knee-health). But all that shoe-replacing can get expensive. Of course he would never blindly order a running shoe online (he likes to try them on and trot around in them) but he knows that there are online retailers who sell the very same shoes he could buy at a big chain nearby for $20-$30 cheaper (with free shipping). So he has taken to trying shoes on in the store and memorizing the name and model number so he can find the exact same sneakers online for a lot less. He even researches coupon codes for additional savings. Gotta love shoes that go the distance and come right to your door.
Cheapola Tip #8- Take The Subway. Now that every single Subway footlong is $5, we can easily have lunch or dinner on the go for $2.50 a person. By splitting a sub (they’re happy to put different toppings on each half) we feel better than noshing on artery clogging Big Macs, and it’s a lot easier to save cash (and avoid a side of fries). Although we still prefer to eat at home, for those long afternoons of running errands on the weekends, Subway is often a much needed pick-me-up along the way.
Cheapola Tip #9- Refinance, Baby. We already did a post about this (and how it’s saving us some serious bank) but it’s worth mentioning in this round-up of ideas for anyone looking to own their home for a bit less in the long-term. It’s a great time to drop your interest rate substantially.
Now it’s your turn! Tell us all of you penny pinching tips and tricks. Share and share alike!
For more great money saving strategies check out this post over at My Sweet Savannah.
I know it’s unrelated but I just checked my work mailbox and in it was “The Nest” and on the cover was you guys! How wonderful. COngratulations!
I guess someone gave the magazine to me as a gift since I just got married.
The ironic thing is that we’ve heard from tons of people over the last few days that The Nest magazine has hit mailboxes everywhere… but it has yet to hit ours! We’re so glad you were able to check it out though! As for your subscription as a gift theory, we actually learned that they randomly send it to newlyweds (they must have had you in their database for using TheKnot.com) and apparently other people randomly get it too (my mom’s married-for-ten-years secretary got one in her mailbox and thought it was an April fool’s joke since she instantly recognized me on the cover- she thought my mom made a fake magazine to “get” her). Too funny! Fingers crossed that ours arrives today…
Kathleen T says
A big money-saving tip my husband is a huge proponent of is having the PMI (private mortgage insurance) taken off your mortgage payment once eligible. To be eligible you have to have paid down 20% of the value of your home – but it won’t automatically be taken off. You have to take a few steps (house appraisal and paperwork) to have it removed but it’s worth it – we’re saving about $150 a month by having our PMI taken off.
Ah, well that makes sense then! I did use The Knot’s planning checklist.
You guys look great and your house looks great in glossy print. I hope it comes today!
At the beginning of this year I made a decision to cut costs and save money, so I can save up enough for a down payment on my first home. I’m constantly looking for ways to save some dough, so thank you for all of the wonderful ideas. It’s so easy to pay full price or forget about coupons when I’m out with friends who aren’t worried about their budget.
So thank you for reminding me that saving money is easy and fun…just the jolt I needed as the long weekend approaches!
I always struggle with Tip 5, though I might give it a go again soon. My problem is that when thinking about planning out meals for the week, I tend to think in terms of recipes that I know how to cook rather than how to take the things I have, and create a recipe WITH them.
Anne @ The City Sage says
FAB tips! I totally need to get on top of using up the random bags of pasta and tried beans that are floating around in my cabinets (you’d think that after moving house twice in the last 6 months I would have done something about them, but nope! they’re still hanging around!). And great tip on credit card points too—we were saving ours for something fun, but then when the car needed repairs there was no question about how we would spend them. It was a bummer at first but it was nice not to see the bank account take a hit from the mechanics bill!
Loved seeing your purse over at Layers of Meaning :)
Claudia Bravo says
Great suggestions! I’ve also really enjoyed saving big bucks! I been able to do so through craigslist and thrift stores. I scored big when I purchased a Macys 8 piece dining set (this also includes the leaf), large oval mirror, coffee table, and large side table for under $900 dollars! Of course I spent time looking but just goes to show you that time is money!
One of my favorite new accessories is a 99 cent votive holder from a thrift store!
Again, thanks for sharing how you are able to save here and there!
Love these tips and love you even more now for helping me save moolah. I need new shoes so I might be trying out John’s method…would it be too obvious if I took a photo as I try on the shoes? :)
Love all the money saving tips, but felt compelled to comment on Tip #7 – in trying to save a buck, don’t forget to support your local businesses. If EVERYONE orders online, then there will be no place to go TRY on the shoes. Sometimes saving 10 or 15 bucks isn’t as important as supporting local specialized businesses… just my two sense :)
We totally agree with you! In fact, we love getting Burger’s organic dog food at a local pet store (we’ve gone there for two years and they’re practically family now)! It’s all about balance these days, so saving money and supporting local businesses are both on our to-do list! Plus John tries on running shoes at a huge national chain so we don’t feel that bad… hehe).
Diva Style says
Great tips! You guys are awesome!
Great tips, as usual. I just recently had my cable and landline services disconnected–I watch so little tv and rely almost entirely on my cell phone, so it really just made sense from both economical and energy standpoints. After crunching the numbers, I’ll be saving about a hundred dollars a month. The thought of being without a tv was a little scary at first, but it’s been really liberating.
My husband and I both run too, and I have found a running shoe brand/style that I like and when a pair wears out, I don’t even have to go to the store to try on another pair – I just order the same model/size online (free shipping!). I don’t know if John likes to try different kinds, I know people who do, but it saves me a lot of time trying on shoes when I just know what works for me and get it on zappos or shoes.com.
Sammy Jenkins says
In my town they charge to pick up recycling — or you can bring it to the ‘dump’ yourself (no charge).
Additionally, most towns around me offer mulch for free to residents.
Y’all need to write a book on living on the cheap — seriously. You’d make a ton of dough (especially in this economy).
A few tips from my in-laws (who are super thrifty as well): reuse your kitchen basics like alumium foil; recycle bread bags, yogurt cups, etc. by using them to store food in lieu of buying sandwich bags, tupperware, etc. Small things DO add up and my in-laws managed to retire in their 40s (on a teacher and engineer salary!) with how much they saved.
1. I bought 2 green bags for my grocery and make sure I don’t buy more stuff that exceeds the bag
2. I used to buy in larger sizes thinking its cheaper but eventually ended up throwing most of the time. So even if the difference is .50 cents, I don’t pick the bigger pack
3. I always set a limit on credit card. If I exceed one month, I balance off the next month with lesser spending
4. I am a shopaholic and used to buy things on sale even if its not required. Now,I do that online. I browse different things put in my shopping bag and then close the browser after a while. Just a small pleasure to solve my addiction :)
Another great way to save some moolah on your everyday items like deodorant, shampoo, glade air freshners, soap…etc, is taking advantage of CVS’s extra care buck system. I was a huge sceptic at first, but after my sister posted two or three posts about her .41 cent trips to CVS, I decided I had to try and started in January of this year! Last week I came back with some chips (4 weeks worth at that), air freshners, feminine pads, shampoo, styling products, toothpaste, easter decorations and a few other finds (all things I use!), that with coupons and a few ecb’s, walked away paying an average of .38 cents per item! My sister is way better at working the system, but .38 per item still manages to please me! :)
– we don’t have a home phone, we simply use our cell phones, saves us about 25 bucks a month :)
– since we are apartment dwellers we can’t have a garage sale, so every once in a while we have a ‘craigslist sale’ we post a bunch of stuff on there at once & sell sell sell :) over the past couple of weeks we’ve made over 250 bucks, not bad for things we no longer need or want. not to mention the pure satisfaction of de-cluttering!
– we are in the process of saving for a down payment on our first house. we are saving like crazy in order to have a big down payment so we can have smaller monthly mortgage payments once it comes time to buy.
thx for the tips :)
Thanks for all the great tips – I can’t wait to put some of these tips use! I do have one suggestion on the “Order In”. I too am a jogger and frequent a local running store for new shoes. This particular store is locally owned and the staff is all trained in fitting your feet and suggesting styles based on your running gait. In this particular instance, I feel that I should pay ‘regular price’ here versus ordering cheaper off the internet since I am benefiting from their specialized service. Please remember to support you local businesses – of all types. While we can sometimes buy something cheaper at Walmart or other mass retailers ore restaurant chain, you usually get better service at a locally owned store and those folks are interested in helping the neighborhood and the community in which they live and work. These businesses are stuggling during these tough times and we should support them since many times they are the businesses giving back to the community in other ways, via sponsoring local events and festivals, charitable donations, etc.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts – have a great weekend!
Jana definitely shares your sentiment (see above)- and we couldn’t agree more. In fact, we love getting Burger’s organic dog food at a local pet store (we’ve gone there for two years and they’re practically family now)! It’s all about balance these days, so saving money and supporting local businesses are both on our to-do list! Plus John tries on running shoes at a huge national chain so we don’t feel that bad… hehe).
We are a family of 5 (3 kiddos) living on one income. I am a stay-at-home Mom. I am 28 and proud to say we already OWN our home!! We also own both cars!! (nice ones too! heehee!) . We DO NOT feed our children “junk” and eat only Organic and NO high-fructose corn syrup. It’s all about cutting corners, and budgeting! We don’t buy things we don’t need and if we can’t pay for it with cash, we DONT need it!! Kudos to you both for being responsible!!
Ellen, I’m not sure if you are at the same email address since this post in from 2009 but I would love to hear some of your specific tips on how you save money by being a stay-at-home mom and feed your family organic food. Great job! :-) Sherry and John-I love your tips and blog!
Great post! We will start applying many of your tips, so thanks guys. You seriously should write a book. : ) A few things we’ve done are:
1. Since it’s just two of us at this point, my husband and I save any and all plastic grocery bags that don’t have holes and re-use them as trash bags. I haven’t had to buy trashbags for months now.
2. We live in an apartment and a few months ago purchased the energy saving light bulbs for all our light fixtures. I was skeptical at first, but after seeing the $30 or more drop in our monthly bills, I totally see that they’re worth the extra money at initial purchase. Plus, they last sooooo much longer (years) and you don’t have to replace or purchase bulbs as often. (And like you guys suggested, we try to turn lights off in rooms we’re not in.)
I also appreciated your encouragement to split meals together, like Subway’s subs. What a healthy and inexpensive meal out! Thanks guys!!
Thanks for the great tips! I also go through running shoes like crazy and do the same thing you do. Once I found a model I liked I stick with them every time (asics kayano). They happen to be $135 and so I shop for them online to get a better deal, usually last years model. Another place to check is Ross. I just bought a pair of kayanos last week for $25! How’s that for saving $110?!
suzanne cabrera says
Great tips! I’m especially a fan of #5….perhaps I’m obsessive, but there is something so liberating about emptying the cabinets!
also.. if you arent already a member of MyPoints.com you should join- its free, and you build up points by answering surveys, online shopping, etc. Its super easy… i only do a little online shopping and i read their emails and do the click thrus which only take a sec… but my points build up and you can cash out your points and get gift cards for tons of places… i let mine build up each year and cash them out before christmas for target giftcards.. i usually end up getting at least $100 worth of gift cards and it takes no effort! my mom who does more shopping online than me usually gets around $300 in gift cards!
David W. says
John & Sherry… you two rock! I really love this post and I am so glad I found your site.
If I may add something to the discussion started by Jana and Leslie….
Your local business owner and staff have heard of the internet. If someone has assisted me in a shop with an item that I know I can get for less online… I will simply say “I would like to give you the business but I was looking at shoes (or whatever online) and I know I can beat this price… can you do anything with your price”. If the merchant is willing to budge or perhaps throw something else in… they get the business. If they are unwilling to budge on price… they don’t get the business unless they have extraordinary customer service as described by Leslie above.
As a business owner myself.. there is nothing more frustrating than to lose the business of a customer that I have worked with to a competitor (online or otherwise) over price if that customer has not asked for a better price.
Moral of the story… we in North America have to get more used to asking for a better price… especially now.
The tip about eating what you have is such a good one. I am inspired by your month of March menu. I can’t tell you how much stuff is in our freezer. Meal after meal–and we are just SO bad about taking the darn stuff out to defrost it in time. I am going to convince my husband (it won’t be hard–he is otherwise very thrifty) that we should challenge ourselves to Just Eat It. The freezer stuff and cupboard stuff, that is.
Carrie L. says
Love any money saving tips!
After reading an older post, I have been following your “no spending money during the week.” I have been packing my lunch(We always make extra dinner to provide the next day’s lunch), which saves a ton. I have been avoiding lunch break shopping trips as well as online shopping. I fell into the online shopping trap at work. But, a little conscience effort was all it took to save all that money.
I also cut coupons! I love getting my Sunday paper and clipping coupons for everything from detergent to spices!
We are big fans of organic, local fruits and veggies and found that local, less popular grocery stores (Vitamin cottage, Sprouts, Sunflower rather Whole Foods, etc) have great sale prices and that their normal prices are much lower.
Thanks for the great tips!
Love the tips! I have another eating out suggestion if you have a Don Pablo’s near you. My husband and I just discovered that Mondays are fajitas for two night for $15.99 and Tuesdays are all-you-can-eat tacos for $6.99! If you’re splurging on drinks too, beer is $1.99 and margaritas are $2.99. The meal is really filling and it’s a nice cheap way to enjoy eating out without spending too much.
Would you be willing to share some of the online sites you use to find discounted running shoes? I’ve had success at DSW Shoe Warehouse when shopping for my favorite brand, but their stock is unreliable. Thanks guys!
Wendy- John just googles the brand of sneaker that he wants and sees what comes up (since he’s always looking for something very specific and knows the name and model). He also sometimes uses websites like Nextag.com to compare prices (and also has success on Amazon.com so don’t forget to try there). Hope it helps!
Anne- Of all places I actually dropped in on Plato’s Closet and they totally exceeded my expectations. A great friend of ours also owns Clementine in Carytown and they do consignment too so they’re worth a try as well!
As a fellow Richmond dweller, I’m wondering at what consignment store you had such great success selling your clothes? Pray tell!
Beth Ann says
I am in the process of re-shopping our homeowner, auto (2 vehicles), and personal property insurance – I am finding that by switching to another reputable national insurance company we are going to realize an annual savings of over $700! HOLY SMOKES! I naively thought that we had the cheapest coverage because the agent talked of the ’10 year claim free discount’ of 20% that we would soon be eligible for. It has taken me about 2 hours to make all the phone calls and review the information – breaking my savings down to $350 an hour? Put a suit on me and call me a high priced attorney!
Sammy Jenkins says
My county has a website for moms — and one of the message boards is a gardening ‘seed’ club — members trade the extra seeds & plants they have. And some even trade the vegtables (I haven’t had to grow my own zucchini for about 3 summers).
#6 is my summer staple cheap-o trick! There have been entire weekends where we’ve made meals only from what is available in our neighbors huge organic garden. He does it as a hobby and loves to share. Thankfully we love tomatoes because our Jersey soils makes an over abundance of them!
Thanks for the tips! I try to keep our pantry inventory low to reduce the “carrying costs” too – can you tell I work in inventory? :-) I try to shop once per week and only buy items I need for meals I am making that week! It’s much easier to find stuff with a slim pantry too!
Your post reminded me that I wanted to start a compost bin… I went out at lunch and got a bin from HD! I’m hoping to get it started this weekend! do you have any more tips on that since you have had yours going for a little while now?
Oh, and I meant to add–we stopped using paper towels, which means not only do we save $, but we’re helping the environment too. I haven’t found any jobs a towel or an old rag can’t take care of! It’s a lot cheaper (and easier) to wash a few more loads each week than to go out and buy a big package of paper towels!
I think that you have listed some really wonderful money saving tips. Eating through everything stocked up in the pantry or freezer is an idea I often have, but don’t commit to!
The only tip that I wasn’t so sure on is the birthday gift requests. I think as adults most people are not being given lots of gifts, maybe just from your husband or something.
You might actually be surprised about the return of the wish list (even just for little things like books from extended family members)! Check out the comments on my birthday post below to see how it seems to be gaining popularity again!
We’re doing #5 too right now! We do still need to go to the store to supplement the food into meals, but we have found it a huge money saver and we love, love how we are emptying the freezer! I was embarassed when I wrote down everything we had in the freezer for dinners. I made THREE apple crisp from the vacuum packed apples from a friend’s tree and we had two whole chickens in there! Wow – it is de-cluttering, saving money and putting actual meals on the table. You’ve got to love that!
Ok my list.
Wash clothes in cold water. Hot water does not clean them better and it’s hard on your clothes. Cold water is cheaper too.
Wash an entire load of clothes not half, they both use near the same amount of water, be water frugal.
Put a bucket in your shower to scoop up water for watering plants, cleaning tools, etc.
Churches offer free movie night’s. Often showing the latest movie outside on a big screen. It’s like a picnic atmosphere, great movie and many churches sell popcorn for 25 cents with the proceeds going to charity. It’s a family friendly cheap night out.
For me a trip to the beach is free. Free entertainment. Enjoy what your area has to offer in the way of nature, activities etc. that are free.
So is a walk in the park.
A bike ride on the trail is free too.
Give up the gym membership, there are tons of free ways to get exercise.
Call your cellphone provider and tell them your contract is up (if it is up or coming up for renewal that is) and ask them what they can do to retain a longtime good customer. I did this and t-mobile gave me unlimited minutes for the same price as I was paying. No more over limit charges. Just because I asked.
My friends and family have all agreed that in lieu of gift giving for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. that we exchange gifts of kindness. “Happy Birthday Joey, for your birthday my husband and I will be over to do your yardwork the week of April 20th” It’s awesoem to have someone come do a chore for you or provide a service to you.
Especially when you are trading your services all over the place. My husband often moves furniture for people for holidays, etc. In return we receive someone’s assistance on roofing projects etc. IE: NO ONE is spending money and everyone is receiving a gift. The gift of time and attention is priceless really.
Regarding buy one get one free deals, often you only want one. If you can hunt down someone else who wants one then you can split the initial cost of the first one and you both win. IE: Buy one bottle of bleach and get one free for $1.99..means I get one for half off. (just an example and that’s too much to pay for bleach)
Buy generic. It’s proven that for most products people cannot tell the difference in taste testing or trials. In my area Publix is the best place to find storebrands and generic types of products for less that are just as good.
Share paint from home projects. I recently bought a gallon of paint to paint my bathroom. There was some leftover. I gave it to a friend who simply wanted to re-fresh the look of her closed pantry/closet. She saved money on paint purchasing and in return she called me up a week later to share her leftover wood from a project. In other words….share and others will share back. Do not throw away perfectly good items..ever. Someone can use it if you offer it around. (p.s. I saved a bit of the paint for touch-ups if I ever need and she still got a fresh pantry re-do.
Consignment shops exist for more than just clothing.
Seek what you need on freecycle.com or craigslist or for less on ebay.
Frequent thrift shops and yard sales. I have a friend who buys things for cheap at thrift shops and yard sales and re-sells on ebay. He earns around $500 a month for his efforts. He uses that money to pay his Financial Aid payments. He sends in whatever he earns per month, even if it’s over the actual payment.
My husband works for a moving company. We have tons of stuff that the elite just didn’t want to move into their new home. Carpet cleaner, end tables, the list goes on and on. Check curbs….they’re loaded with stuff.
All great tips! I particularly resonate with 4, 5, and 7. Thanks for sharing your wisdom once again!
I think it depends on the family. I know for mine my parents and inlaws still buy gifts for all their children and vice versa. I can see it not applying to a small family or someone who no longer has living parents or close relatives. However, some people just switch gifts with all of their family members per tradition. We no longer switch gifts with my or my husband’s siblings except at Christmas. We all have kids so we just do the kiddos for birthdays.
These are all great tips! Thanks!
Don’t forget about using http://www.ebates.com to get cash back on purchases! But please use this link so I can get credit: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=6G2JyB%2BRcFz30lqY3m1dcw%3D%3D
I implemented : Cheapola Tip #5- Go The Long Haul, after reading this.
We just bought our first home and are moving May 16th. I told boy wonder that I didn’t want to carry food over to the new place, that we need to eat up. He’s not too excited :)
I read all 3 segments this afternoon, and reading your blog gets me super-ass excited about my upcoming adventure. Thanks for being awesome!
Anna See says
This is such great advice. I’m a little frightened by what is lurking in my pantry, but maybe it’s time to find out!
Mrs J says
Hi you can actually get a Subway card to help you earn points. For every dollar you spend, you earn points and you can redeem them for food. Their footlongs are worth 75 points, I think. We have redeemed footlongs already and it’s so fun to get free food!
MaryB in Richmond says
Appliances eat a lot of electricity, which means they eat a lot of money. Suggestions I have used: Make sure the fridge and freezer are always full, so once you’ve eat up all that food put bags of water to freeze in the freezer, and containers of water to chill in the fridge, because the appliances are more efficient when full. Also don’t forget to vaccuum the coils on the back of the fridge, as well as making sure the return “grill” on the front is clean. We got rid of the ‘extra’ fridge in the garage which should save a bunch of money, partly because it was old and definitely not an EnergySaver!
I just refinanced, too, and whooo baby! Big savings and it was SO EASY I couldn’t believe it took me so long to get up my nerve!
East End says
Why are you paying for trash pickup? The city of Richmond takes mine for free, and even provides a huge bin.
Your “slow” grocery month reminded me of an expat blog that is interesting – I think it’s called These Days in French Life. She’s a food writer living in the south of France and is currently living an entire year without spending any money at all on food. To me, she is a bit extreme in her foraging and eating, but some of her ideas are worthy.
Hey East End,
We’re actually not in the city of Richmond (we’re in Bon Air, in Chesterifeld County just outside the city lines). Oh yeah, and the “no spending money on food” phenomenon here in the states is called being a Freegan (they actually like to live completely off food they find tossed out on the streets and pick up furniture on the curb (something we’re totally down with, the first thing… not so much). To each his own grocery bill I guess!
MaryB in Richmond says
Just thought of something else: “They” say that your TV eats a lot of electricity when it’s turned off, so we bought a power strip and fixed it so the DVR is plugged into the wall (so we don’t miss “Burn Notice!”) but the TV, DVD and VCR plug into the power strip that we (are trying to remember to) turn off when we’re not watching the TV.
What with our electric heat pump heat, and the crazy summer/no, winter!/summer/winter! weather we’ve been having I don’t expect to be able to really see a difference on our electric bill for this and the stuff I mentoned above, but it seems pretty accepted that this will make a pretty significant difference!
Thanks, everyone, for the great tips…and Youngsters, thanks for getting the cheapskate party started w/ your post.
I’m a reformed shop-a-holic, and I’m really enjoying life as a cheapskate! When I married my hubster, I was so wasteful, I bought my shampoo at Neiman Marcus and thought nothing of dropping piles of cash on stupid stuff. Yikes. It makes me feel a little sick to my stomach just thinking about all the $$ I wasted….
Anyway, my darling hubster loves to save money. I’ve learned alot. I call the story of our marriage, “From Kiehl’s to Suave in 10 Short Years.” :-) [I don’t really use Suave, but it sounds better than Pantene, and it gets the point across :-) ]
Another tip I like…buy a LARGE container good quality dish soap (I love the smell of Palmolive) and cut it in half (or even more) with water…you get twice as much for the money. (You could do this w/ shampoo too.)
I love to buy the Olay cleansing cloths for my face, and I buy them in bulk then cut them in half…my friends do that w/ dryer sheets too.
Also, instead of buying the stuff to put in my dishwasher to keep water spots at bay…I’ve learned to use white vinegar instead to do the same job. I use white vinegar alot as a “green” cleaning agent around the house. I was worried at first our house would smell like a tossed salad, but it doesn’t.
Thanks for all the great tips!
Happy Easter everybody!
As part of a 31 day blogging challenge by problogger.net, I built on your fabulous list. Would love for you to check it out!
what companies do bi-monthly trash pick up? In Mechanicsville, I pay about $50 a quarter. It’s pretty cheap but we still we don’t take the bin to the curb every week because it’s not full. thanks!
Very good question indeed! We have yet to make some calls to determine which ones offer the service here in Chesterfield, but we do know that Duck’s doesn’t (we checked them out a few weeks ago). But we’re sure in this economy we’ll be able to hunt someone down who’s happy to get our business! Stay tuned…
Nicole Greene says
WOW – how do I EVEN begin to comment on this post. Well, let me start by saying that I just started couponing and Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University. As a previous retail store manager, I LOVE TO SHOP, but now I “admire and not acquire” and determine if it is a need vs. want. We also no longer have cell phones, cable or TV at all. Our entertainment is from the library or outside (moving from CO to SC has helped that a lot due to all the free outdoor things to do). Plus I could spend all day long in my Craft Room scrapbooking and there is ALWAYS yardwork to do.