New ways for the extremely frugal to save $5 a month - Page 4
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  1. #46
    Registered User AspiringToBeFrugal's Avatar
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    Some more ideas for us (some inspired by you!):
    ~ Two meatless meals a week
    ~ Meal planning ALL week
    ~ Eat from my stockpile (pantry and freezer)
    ~ Unplug unused electronics
    ~ Reserve a new (not yet released) book at the library rather than buying it from Amazon.
    ~ Persuade DH to stay at his mom's rather than a hotel when he goes home for a cousin's graduation this week
    Every little bit helps.


    July Goals
    15 No Spend Days - 4/15
    5 Eat Out Days - 2/5
    20 Exercise Days - 3/20
    Read 3 books - 1/3
    Only $275 for groceries - $0/$275
    Make a price book
    Make $200 - $88/$200

  2. #47
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    About the decaf coffee thing: I tried it. First I should say that while I'm NOT allergic to caffeine, I have a cardiac sensitivity to it, so if I consume caffeine, not only am I bouncing off the walls, but I get tachycardia and palpitations - not fun! Well DH drinks a big mug of coffee in the afternoons, I put 2-3 tbsp of regular grounds in for him. I just ran water through again for another mug afterwards for me. I agree that it is decaf. Not only did I not get the "bouncing off the walls" thing, but my heart didn't do anything weird. And bear in mind that I haven't had caffeine more than 2 or 3 times in the past 3 years, so I would have noticed!

    However, it was really thin / weak... I think next time I might also add a bit of my decaf grounds to pump it up a bit flavor-wise.

    In Athens we can get store brand coffee at €2 for 250g, which I think is about 2/3 of a pound. So that looks like it's quite a bit cheaper than what you can get in the US (and yes, I'm in shock, that never happens!!). I found a generic brand back in August for €2 for 500g (more than 1 lb!) but I haven't seen that brand in a while. DH drinks a lot of coffee, so I think I'm going to start doing this trick of running it through again, but with maybe 1 tbsp of decaf on top too.

  3. #48
    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
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    Cell phones -- we use tracfones. They get good reception and the price is right We bought the ones with the promo deal for double minutes for life. Neither one of us does texting. We buy the 60 minute card for 19.99 plus tx to get 3 months of use. Then I go online and find a promo code current promotion number, and then go to the tracfone website, and add the minutes there. So we end up with 60 X 2 plus usually 30 free minutes = 150 minutes for 3 months. He uses his a lot for his job, so maybe once a year, I get a card with more minutes so he does not run out. My train of thought is to keep things basic. We don't need extra phone frills, we don't use.

    Check online for bargains.
    We have a good pair of WAHL clippers that the blade set now costs $ 29.99 plus 8% tax locally. I went to ebay and made a offer to a seller, and bought new in package blade sets for $ 14 each. I ended up buying 4 sets and the shipping was $ 8 total. So I paid 1/2 of what I would have spent downtown for the blades. And not sure why, but these blades are better than the ones I bought locally and they are the same brand name.
    -------------------------
    I bought advantage for the dogs on ebay, and again, about 1/2 what I would have paid locally.
    -------------------------
    I buy my black printer ink on ebay. Most of it is expired ink so I get a LOT better deal. My computer is HP and a dumb one that could care less if the ink is expired or not

  4. #49
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~Anyone who wants to learn how to recycle clothes into new clothes should check out the forums at Craftster. Members post step by step tutorials with pictures to make all kinds of clothing articles.
    I haven't been there in a while but I think I will visit this month to get inspired. I need some new summer clothes and making them from what I already have will probably be a $5 challenge for me next month.~

  5. #50
    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    Thank You!!!!

  6. #51
    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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  7. #52
    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    I get cheap/free clothing at yard sales and remake them all the time. . . old wedding/bridemaid dresses become Christening gowns, ring bearer's pillows, princess dress ups, fairy costumes, etc.

    I used to remake my boys stuff, into girlie stuff (had 2 boys, then a girl). I'd add lace to pockets and seams of jeans, cover up football motifs with kitten appliques, etc.

    There are tutorials available to turn men's button down shirts into toddler dresses: button shirt to toddler dress recon *MINTY FRESH TUTORIAL* - CLOTHING

    Use the sleeves for pants: luvinthemommyhood: there's no such thing as leftovers - the pants

    Or take an old sweater and make a toddler dress: Smashed Peas and Carrots: Sweater to Toddler Dress Repurpose Tutorial

  8. #53
    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    I love this blog! This is where I want to be on my sewing skills. It seems like something of a pipe dream since my skills are very basic, but it's what I hope to be able to one day achieve.

    2009 December | New Dress A Day

    Can you imagine just how much money you could save if you could do this?

  9. #54
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~I'm 1/3 of the way through my challenge month. Time for an update.
    1. line dry 3/5 loads of laundry
    2. only drink coffee that has been made with reused grounds-made 1 pot(4 cups)in the last two weeks
    3. cut tv time in half-less than 3 hours a day for everyone-includes video games and exercising-Failing with this one, but I suppose I'm saving quite a bit not having a laptop anymore
    4. drive 30 miles less-When the tank is low, I don't go!-Only have 1/4 tank and $20 left for errands and visiting for three weeks.
    5. make a dozen bagels and 16 hamburger rolls instead of buying at Aldi-1/2 accomplished!
    6. make 2 pairs of lounge shorts for ds instead of buying at Goodwill
    7. cut off and hem ds' too short jeans for summer shorts instead of buying at Goodwill-Done
    8. alter two of my long sleeve tees into tanks for summer instead of buying at yard sales
    9. drink 3 less alcoholic drinks- 5 or less for the next 3 weeks, easy!
    10. towel dry dishes in the dishwasher instead of running the heating element-Complete success here!
    I've saved over $1 a day so far!~

  10. #55
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~More $5 ideas:
    11. Use 3 less therms of natural gas- Between our new, more efficient washer, using the quick setting on the dishwasher, using a bit less water in the kids baths, cooking with residual heat, and shorter showers, I think we can do it! Last year's usage was 30 so I'm trying for 27.
    12. Use 30 less KWH electricity- I need to be more diligent about turning off fans and lights in rooms we aren't in- I also need to pay more attention to the vampires.Last year's usage was 550 KWH so I'm trying for 520.
    13. Online Bill Pay- I'm going to open an online checking account to pay bills for free. I will save stamps and the cost of paper checks and will earn a small amount of interest every month. I should get my $5 savings!
    14. Give up olives on my pizza and whipped cream in my coffee
    15. Pancake night once a week. If I average $4 for family dinners and a pancake dinner is about $2. 4 dinners will save $8~

  11. #56
    Registered User peanut's Avatar
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    ~ I finished my e-book and found another that I already have out from the library. I'm liking this way of doing things.

    ~ I haven't eaten breakfast, lunch or supper out that I've paid for! Go me!

    ~ DH was gone to a conference and I was very careful about lights, etc. while he was gone.

    ~ I had to listen to music off my laptop and a small Dream Machine because my big system isn't working!

    ~ "I want a desk where I can sit and write and take notes... I've been scouting out a location on the main floor in the sunshine." In the end I decided to turn the basement guest room into my writing area, like it was before we had the boarder move in. It's basically all set up, complete with empty bookcase just waiting for me to put my writing books in!

    ~ I only had tea a couple times, and once was a huge pot for company. So no opportunity to use the bags twice.

    ~ I didn't order any samosas and I am going to order some REACH TV dinners tomorrow...but only because I've been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and I think those meals are low enough calories I can handle them. They ring in between 250 and 400 calories each. I want to get used to the smaller portion size I need.

    ~ The car didn't stay parked while DH was gone. I failed at that one!

    ~ Turns out I didn't need a new iron. But my old one will cost $75 to fix. It was $150 to start with, so we're going with the repair.

    ~ The personal shopper has already saved me some money. She went through my discard pile of clothes and pulled a bunch out, saying I could still wear them, I just had to know how...and proceeded to show me/tell me.

    She also suggested a consignment shop for others. I've had trouble with the local consignment shop taking my clothes, so I haven't taken more in. You know there's something funny going on when they turn down really expensive stuff.

    At any rate, the personal shopper told me she will focus on core pieces for my wardrobe, with a few accent pieces. That's it. I really didn't give her any more than my normal annual budget for clothing...$500 for the clothes. Her costs and shoes are separate.

    ~~~

    All in all, not too bad on this challenge! I like this little mini challenge. I can do it relatively easily. I can remember 2 weeks at a time. One month is stretching it for this old brain!

  12. #57
    Registered User Imarachne's Avatar
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    I'm recording all these ideas !!

  13. #58
    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    I"m bartering - swapping garden produce for yarns, magazines, books, tools, etc.

  14. #59
    Registered User Joshin's Avatar
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    Great ideas! I've been running low on new ideas lately, too, so this thread is a big help.

    One thing I'm experimenting with is homemade seitan (wheat meat). I made some yesterday from whole wheat flour and used it in a teriyaki stir fry instead of chicken. Shockingly enough, we couldn't really tell the difference. It does need heavily spiced or sauced dishes, since the seitan doesn't have a lot of flavor.

    DH is a full blown carnivore, but he said this had a good meat texture when he chewed it and to keep using it. With meat prices so high, this should save us quite a bit of money this summer!

  15. #60
    Registered User chevy_chick95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshin View Post
    Great ideas! I've been running low on new ideas lately, too, so this thread is a big help.

    One thing I'm experimenting with is homemade seitan (wheat meat). I made some yesterday from whole wheat flour and used it in a teriyaki stir fry instead of chicken. Shockingly enough, we couldn't really tell the difference. It does need heavily spiced or sauced dishes, since the seitan doesn't have a lot of flavor.

    DH is a full blown carnivore, but he said this had a good meat texture when he chewed it and to keep using it. With meat prices so high, this should save us quite a bit of money this summer!
    I would love to try this, any recipes you'd share?
    Mom to Duramax
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    2014 Goals
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