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Money Saving Tips

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:49 pm

Vinegar is also fantastic to take the inflamation out of a sunburn. Swab it on liberally when you first get burned + you may not peel. Oh, your eyes will burn and you'll smell like a salad for a few minutes, but it works. Follow up with your favorite after-sun lotion or gel. My favorite is Noxema chilled in the fridge.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:51 pm

Dollar Tree - great for cookies and chips!
I also buy toys that are on sale that my grandson is too young for but that i think he will enjoy as he gets older.
Scotch tape, envelopes, light bulbs -- anything that is on sale at a good price and i know i will use -- i buy in quantity.
also buy holiday wrapping paper, cards, and decorations for next year.
also unplug computer, tv, and coffee machine at night - all plugged in items use some energy even when not turned on. sounds sorta silly but EVERY PENNY I CAN SAVE
leaves me more for the future.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:51 pm

Most of the coupons are for things I don't use. But I still clip them and sometimes I trade them through Refunding Makes Cents.

Like I am not a smoker but I signed up forcoupons in the mail. One of those buyer servy things, mark that you and DH smokes but you are willing to try other brands.

I have had great luck trading them (they are like gold).

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:52 pm

I keep a roll of TP in my nightstand drawer instead of a box of tissue.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:52 pm

Vinegar mixed with olive oil or vegetable oil is a great cleaner for leather. I use it on my leather sectional frequently since my big hairy beast likes to lie on it. It cleans and restores the leather.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:54 pm

You can also form a co-op with your friends, neighbors and family members and buy your meats direct from a butcher by the side. Thats 200 to 300 lbs of meat, so unless you eat 10 lbs of meat daily, you need to have several people in on this but the savings are HUGE over buying supermarket beef.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 am

One big way to save money is to boycott soda. Not just at home, but when you eat out as well. If you go to a Chinese buffet, they might charge $5.99 for the buffet and $1.99 for the soda. Same with fast food. Think about it, is that Extra Value Meal really such a value? For $3 you could have the sandwich. For $7 you can have the sandwich, french fries (which are freaking potatoes -- about the cheapest food ever) and a soad. Add $0.79 or whatever for super big cup of soda.

I have lost ALOT of weight since I stopped chugging mountain dew. And probably saved enough money to pay the bills for a year. I used to shop sales of MD and buy 10 cases at a time and consume them within a week. Yes, I used to chug one can after another and I would recycle the cans so I could, you guessed it, buy more MD. Once you kick the habit, you wont miss it that much. Now I buy lots of bottled water (by the gallon for $0.69) and drink tons of it. Aside from being mega cheap, its also good for me.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:23 pm

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but we don't buy soda anymore, so we started drinking a lot of water. We bought the large Brita filter that sits in the fridge. It is about 5 qts and has a spigot on it.

We use Thermos Thermax bottles (stainless steel) to drink our water out of. They keep your water cold forever. You can get great deals on the filters too if you look around. Plus there is hardly any waste and you aren't drinking out of plastic.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:31 pm

Learn to maintain much of what you own such as cars, house, tools appliances. Well maintained things last for an incredibly long time. A stitch in time saves nine. Planned obsolescence really frustrates both my husband and I who tend to repair rather than replace, because often parts aren't available or are more expensive than replacing something especially with small appliances but the theory still applies. My toaster is 40 years old and works beautifully.

Buy used. Almost everything in our house and garden is second hand as are all of our vehicles. Moving, garage, estate sales are our best sources of great deals on everything, much of it nearly new looking for pennies on the dollar compared to new items.

Food and supplies: Watch sales and buy what you need then and if it's something that won't spoil such as TP, stock up. We love Costco for things like TP, dish soap, staples such as rice and pasta. Their beef right now is a bargain in our area. We buy well marbled tri-tip cut steaks for half of their NY or loin steak price( which still is decent for that cut comparatively) and with proper grilling, they are as good as the better cuts of meat and as tender. Only buy big packages of veggies at Costco and the like if you won't let them spoil which is a waste of $$$. We find that those roasted chickens prepared everywhere including Costco to be a fantastic deal. We priced out whole roasting chickens raw and they were more than the deli cooked in our local grocery. No prep, no energy costs. We also meal plan around what is on sale that week.

If you are going to make everything yourself, just make sure that it can be done cheaper than by buying in bulk or on sale. It's one thing to make one's own noodles for example because you love the taste of home made, because you love to cook and/or because you have a good idea what is in them, but for the sake of simply saving, the big bag of rustic egg noodles at the warehouse grocery is very likely much cheaper in both cost and time economy than hand making them. This is just an example. Hand making food while it might seem thrifty and it often is, it is as many times false economy. Just check the prices and weight the pros and cons before diving in to make everything from scratch and make your decisions around your preferences and around what is sustainable for your family.

We also batch cook and freeze in two person or single servings. This is a good idea for two reasons: If we have been too busy to plan or cook a meal, it's as easy to thaw out a container of spaghetti sauce, or chili or soup than go out to eat and much cheaper because the batch ingredients were probably bought on sale or in bulk.

Eating in restaurants: Ditto on the advice of going with water rather than ordering soft drinks, coffee or tea as a rule and this especially applies to alcoholic beverages. Those items have huge mark ups and give you the least in return for the dollar. We also have a few places that we go when we are eating out that provide good value and high quality for comparatively little and there are always menu items that are under-priced comparatively in most restaurants if one is too hurried to eat in or if traveling. It's nice to eat out for a special occasion, just save the high dollar dining for those occasions. And also if eating out is your thing: do so at lunch rather than dinner. Prices are often significantly lower than the evening meals for comparable menu items. Years ago my husband and I decided our "big" meal of the day would be lunch. We feel better than eating big in the evening, it's cheaper and we have a shot at working it off during the day.

Gas: Combine errands and delay things for the combined trip. Use a list and plot a logical course rather than going willy-nilly here and there, backtracking for things that you forgot. Let your fingers do the walking: Rather than hopping in the car to drive from place to place looking for something specific, call and find it before going out. This was one bad habit we decided to break when gas went over $3 a gallon. I still have to remind my husband to call rather than run out to the builder's supply or auto parts yards if he needs something very specific that might not normally be carried in stock. We have wasted so much time and energy on fruitless searches for things over the years.

Have less stuff. Have only what you need to do what it is that you do on a regular basis. There is some level of faith in the universe that has to come into play here but having looked over the years at the mountains of things other people don't want I firmly believe that should I need something I will find it on the secondary market or I could possibly borrow or rent it for one time things. Having less stuff, fewer clothes, only needed furnishings, not buying/keeping entertainment gear that never gets used will free up time spent maintaining stuff, cleaning the stuff and storage space for that stuff. We are busy divesting ourselves of stuff that we don't need and under use so we do have room for the things that are used and are necessary. We were forced in some ways to do this by buying a smaller but very conveniently located home so we are keeping only that which makes sense and truly makes us happy.

These economy measures have allowed us to live in areas and have a few big ticket items that are normally unaffordable for folks in our income bracket and have allowed us to save and invest giving us options that most working folks don't normally have. We have lived well under our paychecks for years, not missing anything that folks up to their eyeballs in debt have and we both retired (I'm semi-retired) at or before age 50. Good luck to you folks taking control of your finances. It is rewarding in so many ways.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:31 pm

Review your insurance, utility, phones etc on a yearly basis to get what you need. Service reps like to sell you extra stuff which you will never use but resist those extra $$$ for frills. On the other hand a good umbrella liability policy is a decent idea if you have assets worth protecting.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:38 pm

I've advised friends for years to stop using debit and credit cards and pay with cash. One friend paid with debit and credit cards everywhere. She never carried cash. She said if she carried cash, she'd spend it. Well, guess what. By paying with cards, she spent more than she made. And she paid interest and late fees on it. She had bounced checks for her mortgage payment, utilities, etc. She was constantly late on paying her bills because she'd overspent. So she paid lots of late charges, as well as reconnect charges because her utilities were frequently being turned off.

Now, she and her husband made good money. But by paying with a card, they felt like they were getting items for free. They weren't handing over any cash, so they didn't count it as spending...until the bills came. Then they had no money to pay for all the credit they'd run up.

It's a proven fact that if you carry cash, you'll spend less. It's so much hard to let go of cash. You analyze the cost of a product if you actually see your greenbacks dwindling. Stop using your cards, except in rare situations, and start paying with cash. It's really the best way to live within your means.

Another tip from Suze Orman is to keep your bills in neat order, all facing the same way, with smallest bills on top and largest bills on bottom (or vice versa). The theory is, if you keep your money neat and tidy, you show your money respect. And when you respect your money, you'll spend wisely.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:44 pm

If you take prescription meds, visit internetdrugcoupons dot com to see if there are any coupons available. I save a lot on Crestor using the coupons.

Other prescriptions, I buy through mailorder. I can get three months worth for the price of two months.

If you take over the counter Claritin, switch to Loratadine, the generic version. At Sam's Club it is something like $12 for 300 tablets.

Pay your bills online. It will save you tons in postage.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:45 pm

I save money by buying my printer ink cartridges online from an eBay seller who only charges $15.99 for both a black and a tri-color and offers free shipping. 100% replacement guarantee, too, if there's any problem. Then I take my empty cartridges to Office Depot and turn them in for a $3 store credit on each cartridge. Yesterday I effectively got my printer paper free by using the store credit.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:46 pm

I just found this out a couple of years ago. You can actually negotiate pricing on sale or clearance items. Yes, even at big stores.

We do this all of the time since I found out. Circuit City, Walmart, Lowes and others.

Some of the latest deals:

A brand new Schwinn BMX bike. Retail @ W/M $89. Sale $59 - $34 plus tax.

A New Troy-Bilt self propelled lawn mower from Lowes. Store display model - never used. List $328. Clearance tagged @ $264. - $211 including tax! I got a wheelbarrow there a couple on months ago. It was sitting out & had a little rust in the tub. I said "Hey this wheelbarrow is rusted already." The guy said. "You can have it for half price." Works for me..(The rust didn't hurt - I was going to haul horse poop in it...)

A new MP3 w/ Video player from Circuit City. List $149. store display model, on sale for $119. They lost the box & software disk. Everything else was there. $79 bucks! (Downloaded software from MFG. website - free...)

And this one: A new last year's model Mongoose Blackcomb men's bike. List $279. Marked sale price @ $149. Asked if they would do better, the store manager was called & while looking for the barcode they found the original tag was lost. She said "It's distressed merchandise. You can have it for $75. I almost fell over on that one. I thought my 15 Y/O son was going to go through himself...

Try it it works. Just ask - "Can you do any better?"

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:47 pm

Another saving money tip is to have fun locally!!
We stayed home for the 4th, and went just up the road a couple miles for an all-day-fun-mudbog!! LOL!!!

Cost $10 for the entire family for an all day event of fun!

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Jennifer on Thu May 28, 2009 12:03 am

Check your auto & home insurance policies to make sure all is as it should be. Our insurance company upped our deductible from $500 to $1500 and it didn't lower our premiums at all.

I shopped around and found a new insurance company and saved $600 a year! With lower deductibles, plus a few other things that weren't covered on our old policy will be on our new one.
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