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Money Saving Tips

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:35 am

Kroger now has a deal that if you buy a $300 or higher gift card, they'll add 10% to it, so you'd have $330 on the card for $300. If you combine that with coupons, which they double up to 50 cent coupons, along with other weekly store specials, you can save a considerable amount. I'm single and rarely spend more than $35 on a shopping trip, but I'm really considering getting a $300 card and using it strictly for food items at the Kroger across the state line (just 3 miles from me) where there is no tax on food items. And if I buy it with my Pay Pal debit card, I'll get another 1.5% cash back bonus.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:37 am

I use only 1/2 the cup measuring laundry soap (cleans just as well!), and I cut my fabric softner sheets in half, using only 1/2 sheet per full load of clothes.

Little bits of leftover veggies go into a freezer bowl each night...when the bowl is full, pull it out and whip up a pot of homemade veggie soup!

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:38 am

Never go through a Drive-Through,

Not at the Bank, not at Wendy's or Starbucks.

You are wasting Gasoline.

Response to above tip:

I think that's only the case if you have to wait in a line. I was told that it takes more gas to restart my engine than it does for the short time I spend at the drive-thru at my bank. I rarely have to wait for more than one car ahead of me.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:42 am

I have one of them toaster ovens that's the same size as a microwave...I even bake cakes and bread in it! Only time I use my full-size oven is if I'm making a full-size pizza or cookies. (and I usually make pizzas on whole wheat pitas instead of making the big crust...and I can do that in the toaster oven)

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:43 am

Our grocery store has GIGANTIC shopping carts and then they also have TINY quick-moving shopping carts. (they're a blast to shop with, are way more easy to move about with, too, if the aisle is crowded!)

I always grab the smaller, quicker ones, and tend to buy less because of it. Works for me!

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:46 am

The Gas Company disconnected my gas when I couldn't pay my bill during a financially rough time back in 2006. I did finally get the bill paid, but they wanted a big reconnection charge and a $150 deposit to turn it back on and since I didn't have it, I dealt with the inconvenience. This "inconvenience" meant I couldn't use my stove or my clothes dryer and had no central heat, so I started cooking with an electric frying pan, a crock pot, my microwave and a toaster oven. I got pretty used to this arrangement and to washing my clothes and just hanging them up to dry, and so I've continued it long after I've had enough to have it reconnected. When the cold weather came, I had no problem putting on a sweater, using a small electric heater to take the chill off a room and using an electric blanket at night. This added about $20 a month to my electric bill, but I didn't have a gas bill to pay too, so it saved me about $100 a month in the cold weather. Well, here I am in 2008 and I still have not had the gas turned back on. My toaster oven is about the same size as a small microwave and is big enough for most anything I'd want to cook and doesn't heat up my kitchen like my stove oven did.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:48 am

Another good idea is to really look at the specials you buy, and MAKE SURE you got those "specials" at the grocery store upon going to the register, Wally's or what have you. Anymore, I shop on sale, and am obstinate about looking at what has been ringed up . The overworked cashier doesn't like it, but now they see me coming. I am pleasant about it, as well.

In the last 2 weeks, I had one cashier not understand that the 2 items bought together = a $5.00 discount, and another try to blow off a store computer glitch that was worth %8.00! Stand your ground when specials are offered, check your register tape, and don't be intimidated when they tell you to "go to Customer Service" to get it fixed if there is a mistake. I always say "No, I will talk to a manager right now!" Politely, but firmly. Anymore, it is always fixed at the regisiter for me.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:53 am

It is a waste of money to preheat a large oven when in the counter top, I don't have to preheat at all. Plus an oven will put heat into the house and cause your air conditioner to over work. Counter top doesn't put out much heat at all. We haven't used out oven since we got the counter top.

Before we got the counter top oven, when I had to bake something in the stove, I made several meals so that I didn't need to heat the oven as often.

We also use the microwave as much as possible. It uses less energy to heat veggies for 1 minute then it does to get the burner hot enough just to warm the veggies on the stove.

George Foreman Grill(picked up at garage sale for 5 bucks!) has been invaluable. It cooks 4 chicken breasts in less then 5 minutes. We cut them into strips and make chicken fajitas. Same for steaks. You can also boil a chicken breast done in 5 minutes in a microwave. I make chicken and veggie soup fresh in less then 10 minutes.

Use dryer at night only and hang up the blankets and sheets to air dry. We hang them up in our laundry room and bathrooms and they are dry in just a few of hours.

Unless your clothes get really dirty, use half of the recommended laundry soap. Half a dryer sheet works as good as a full one.

When boiling noodles: Once water comes to a boil reduce heat to medium, it saves energy and the water doesn't boil away then instead of pouring the water down the drain, put a strainer in another pan, pour it all into the strainer, lift the strainer out and save the water in the fridge for the next day's cooking when you need water. That saves A LOT of water.

Recommended by our vet...cut your pets food servings by 1/4 and replace that amount with green beans. They can use the fiber it fills them up and they love it.

When we are in a real pinch I also make soft food for my pets. I moisten down the dry food using fresh chicken broth (from when I boil Chicken) or water used to boil noodles and add mashed potatoes to the mix. When times are really in a pinch for me, it DOES stretch their food and they LOVE it! 1/4 potatoes, 1/4 beans, and the rest soften dry food.

Unplug anything not in use.

Stretch juice by mixing it with tea 1/2 and 1/2.

Leave your thermostat at a comfortable temp. Do not lower it during the day when it is warm and raising it at night when it is cooler. My dad was a refrigerator and air condition technician and says keep it at one temp, its less wear and tear on your AC and uses way less energy.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:53 am

Instead of using your dryer, hang your clothes up or outside to dry. Put them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them when completely dry.

We heat with a coal stove in the winter and the clothes dry in no time when hung on a rack and placed nearby!

If you don't have room for a garden, check out local farms. We have an organic farm and you pay up front,then go once a week to get a big box of freshly picked organic fruits & veggies.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:55 am

If you are going to eat out, MOST of the time it is less expensive to eat a late lunch than dinner.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:55 am

Once in while I treat myself to Chinese take-out and it comes in nice plastic tray containers with clear domed lids. I use these containers for storing crafts supplies and thread.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:57 am

My hubby replaced all bulbs with those funky twisty ones. I was so skeptical. UNTIL THE POWER BILL CAME... OVER $45 less each month, and STILL GOING! I was amazed.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:58 am

I am a total bibliophile, so I shop for books at thrift stores, garage sales, FOL sales, scholastic book sales. I hardly pay more than 1$ for a book unless it is a hardcover.

If you have painting projects shop the "boo-boo" paint pile. Any hardware store, even Walmart has paint that they mix for customers that decide they don't like the color. Our farm is painted with about 40 different bright and fun colors- rabbit hutches, chicken coops, even the pig pen fence is a rainbow. Paint preserves wood and makes it look nice too. I can buy a gallon of high quality paint for usually less than 8$ from the boo-boo pile.

Consider investing in an outdoor wood stove. We heat our 1800 sf home, my brother's 1200 sf home, our 30x80 shop and my 10x12 milking parlor with our stove. It costs us very little because we cut deadfall and diseased trees off our property, as well as go around after storm damage and volunteer to remove the cut up trees that fall. Our farm used about 8K worth of heating fuel before installing the wood stove. And- it heats our water too. Endless hot water and we don't pay a dime for it. We paid for the outdoor wood stove with less than a year's worth of heating- and trees are a renewable resource rather than coal or oil.

Install wind turbines on your property, if you have open fields. Here in MN the power company has to pay YOU for any excess electricity your property generates that flows into the grid.

Bundle your phone/internet/cable tv to save money.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:59 am

My whole yard is a garden--no lawn. Our summers are very hot and dry. I've been wanting to create a rain barrel system to catch the spring rains to water my gardens during the summer months. Has anyone else done this?

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:02 am

Another money saving option is to keep those vehicles after you pay them off. A vehicle that is properly maintained can easily last 10 years or longer. Take the money you were paying on the car payment to pay down any debt and sock any remaining into a savings account for vehicle maintenance and for a down payment on a new vehicle when yours finally does go kupute. We recently got rid of our second vehicle which lasted 17 years and was still running. We only got rid of it because it was a gas gussling SUV. With the money we had socked away and the money we got from the sale we easily had enough to buy a new vehicle with cash. It's amazing how much you can save off the sticker price when you tell them you will be paying cash.

Which leads to another money saver. NEVER PAY STICKER! To get the lowest price, begin your negotiations with a starting price that is about 4 to 8 percent over the dealer’s true cost. You can get a close estimate of the dealer’s true cost with the CR Wholesale Price, which is included in the New Car Price Reports. Pit the lots against each other. Get a quote in writing. Make sure they know that you intend to shop around. Tell them you want a quote for the lowest price they will accept, in writing. They won't want to do this but they will if you tell them you will not buy without it. Then take it to other lots and see if they can beat it. If they can, great you got a better deal. Get that one in writing too and take it to another lot. Keep doing this until one shakes their head and says they can't beat it. That's when you know you have the best price. If they think you know what you are doing most lots will give you their best price first time out because THEY want to be the one that gets your business.

Never tell the lot you intend to do a trade in even if you do. If they ask tell them no you want to keep your old car. Then, once you've locked a price down on the car you are purchasing then you can ask about a trade in. Most lots will hide the fact that you are actually paying them to take your old vehicle in with the cost of the new one. That is why you should always wait until after you've locked in the price. Then you know the true value of what they are offering you. It is almost never a good deal. You are usually better off selling the vehicle yourself.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:05 am

Another money saving option is to keep those vehicles after you pay them off. A vehicle that is properly maintained can easily last 10 years or longer. Take the money you were paying on the car payment to pay down any debt and sock any remaining into a savings account for vehicle maintenance and for a down payment on a new vehicle when yours finally does go kupute. We recently got rid of our second vehicle which lasted 17 years and was still running. We only got rid of it because it was a gas gussling SUV. With the money we had socked away and the money we got from the sale we easily had enough to buy a new vehicle with cash. It's amazing how much you can save off the sticker price when you tell them you will be paying cash.

Which leads to another money saver. NEVER PAY STICKER! To get the lowest price, begin your negotiations with a starting price that is about 4 to 8 percent over the dealer’s true cost. You can get a close estimate of the dealer’s true cost with the CR Wholesale Price, which is included in the New Car Price Reports. Pit the lots against each other. Get a quote in writing. Make sure they know that you intend to shop around. Tell them you want a quote for the lowest price they will accept, in writing. They won't want to do this but they will if you tell them you will not buy without it. Then take it to other lots and see if they can beat it. If they can, great you got a better deal. Get that one in writing too and take it to another lot. Keep doing this until one shakes their head and says they can't beat it. That's when you know you have the best price. If they think you know what you are doing most lots will give you their best price first time out because THEY want to be the one that gets your business.

Never tell the lot you intend to do a trade in even if you do. If they ask tell them no you want to keep your old car. Then, once you've locked a price down on the car you are purchasing then you can ask about a trade in. Most lots will hide the fact that you are actually paying them to take your old vehicle in with the cost of the new one. That is why you should always wait until after you've locked in the price. Then you know the true value of what they are offering you. It is almost never a good deal. You are usually better off selling the vehicle yourself.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:13 am

Rain barrels, my husband picked up 6 clear plastic 30 gal barrels 2 yr ago from the coke plant. he put spicots on the bottoms that have threads for the garden hose. he then put 2 inch plastic pipes at the tops so that as they filled the water would flow over into the next barrel. he put 1 chain of 3 under the 2 back down spoutes. oh yes he also put a piece of window screen in the bottom of the down spout. you must keep your gutters clean he does ours 2 x's a year. he is going to do the same in the front yard this year. we live in the northen south, va beach, va so the black barrels heat the water to warm to water with in the middle of summer. the ones in the front we will paint to match the paint on the house as you can see them from the street.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:13 am

My mom does the rain thing with a big trash can. They cut a hole in the lid so the screened spout drains right into it, and no debris can get in past the lid. When it gets full, she transfers it to gallon jugs and takes it in the house to water plants. She has a huge house and plenty of storage room to do this.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:19 am

I freeze most everything else including eggs, break into ice cube tray and pop out into plastic bags besure to use the i c trays only for eggs i have mine marked. the frozen eggs are good for everything but fried eggs, i scramble, bake, custard ect with them.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:57 am

Not sure if every grocery store does this but at Safeway they will chop, bone, slice, just about anything you want. For free. If the huge packs of cheese are on sale just take it up to the deli and ask it to be sliced, or part of it anyway, if you can't use up all the slices before they dry out. They will slice up a roast for stir fry, they will even marinate it for you if you want. This is a huge money saver, and time saver for me.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:00 am

We do eat out as often as we can, usually the $1.00 menu or at certain restaurants such as Olive Garden's soup and salad bar, which gives us two plates of salad cheaper than we can buy the ingredients at the store.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:02 am

My husband and I bought a cow. (well not the whole thing, just a already packaged meat!) and we are eating NY Strip for $2.00/lb

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:07 am

Wal*Mart Supercenters can save you money on certain things, IF you have alot of discipline. Their prices on some things are good..on others not so good...and it is a fact that you will buy more in such a store.

I'm a very disciplined shopper- but I noticed that in months where I shopped almost entirely at Wal*Mart, my grocery bill was about 40% higher.

What I normally do is do my main shopping at Save-A-Lot, then just go to Wal*Mart for the items I cant get at Save-A-Lot, like whole wheat spaghetti and whole wheat flour and brown rice, etc.

I wouldn't even set foot in a regular supermarket, like Kroger- their prices are insane! My mother shops at Food Lion...she spends more in one week than i spend in a month! (We are both single-person households)

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:08 am

To keep an old vehicle running...the single most important thing is oil changes at regular intervals. I would recommend every 3000 miles. Also, follow the vehicles regular maintenance schedule. Take the vehicle to a trusted mechanic at the first sign of trouble. Don't wait. The longer you wait the more damage that takes place. Don't skimp on parts. Quality matters.

Also, keep in mind that things will break. We once put nearly $5,000 in one of our old vehicles in one year. At that point we were seriously thinking about a new vehicle but then we told ourselves that we had already replaced just about every part on the car so we shouldn't need any more repairs that weren't covered under a parts warranty. We were right. It lasted another 10 years with no problems and was still going strong when we sold it.

Since old vehicles do tend to stop running at a moments notice it doesn't hurt to have a subscription to a tow service like AAA. The year we put $5,000 in the vehicle they canceled our service after the year was over for overuse.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:09 am

If you use credit cards and accidentally miss a payment, always call customer service and ask that the late fee be waived. Explain that you always pay on time and are willing to pay the interest accrued. I have several credit cards and miss payment about once yearly on one of them because of LIFE! I always call and explain and have never had a problem getting the late fee waived (the last one was $39). If you are behind on payments or frequently miss them, this may not work. We pay our balances monthly and have excellent credit so it works for us. Can't hurt to try.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

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