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Money Saving Tips

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:24 am

I rarely make roast chicken because I live alone, but Kroger had a sale on whole chickens for 59 cents a pound the last time I went, so I bought a 5 pounder. I roasted it and had enough for three dinners and chicken salad for two lunches and then I put everything left over in my stock pot to simmer to get every last bit of chicken off the bones. There was still enough chicken left over to make a great chicken stew, adding onion, carrots, celery, frozen peas and egg noodles. This made enough for me to freeze six 2 cup dinner portions. So a $3 chicken and maybe another $2 worth of veggies & noodles stretched into 11 meals. I do find that "batch cooking" and freezing single portions like this is the most economical way for me to eat healthy meals. My freezer has lots of single serving dinners of stews, stir frys, & chili. I use ground turkey for my chili and it's only $1.60 a pound. I haven't bought ground beef for anything in years.

Freezing leftovers in single serving portions is better than putting them in the fridge and forgetting about them until they spoil and have to be thrown out.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:27 am

I drink Tropicana Orange juice (low acid variety), which is really one of my only grocery splurges, but I dilute it with water and make 2 quarts into 3 or more. One of my daughters was buying Tropicana Light until I read the label to her and made her see she was paying the same for her Light , which is only 48% juice, as I pay for full strength. Now she make her own Tropicana Light.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:53 am

Don't put your Soap Bar on that standardized soap dish
with the handle on it in your bathtub -
it is getting washed away by the shower water
(true fact: soap manufacturers lobbied to require Building Codes to
require that the soap dish be placed in exactly that spot, so that the soap would wash away down the drain.

Change your AC Filter.

Shut the Hot Water Heater off BEFORE you take your morning shower.

toothpaste -only use a TearDrop amount (my Dad was
a Dentist - he said the commercials show you
covering the
entire toothbrush with toothpaste, and that is a waste).

Check the Air in your Tires.

Mow your grass less often, and rip up high-maintenance flower beds. Go with low-maintenance shrubbery, or no shrubbery at all.

Cancel your Season Tickets and watch the game on TV or listen to it on the Radio.

Quit eating in restaurants: Watch the Food Network, or go to FoodNetwork.com and learn how to cook Gourmet style food at home.

When Traveling, time your trip to avoid hotel/motel stays.
If you HAVE to stay at Motels (business, long stays, etc.),
try the low-budget places like Motel 6 or Red Roof or LaQuinta (although, be careful - some of these places are total dives), Be sure to book Online to save a couple bucks.

The "measuring cups" that come with Tide Laundry Detergent,
Maxwell Coffee, etc. etc. THROW THEM AWAY.
They are designed to make you use up the product quickly.
USE LESS.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:03 am

we save over $30.00 per month alone by not purchasing paper products that inevitably just get thrown into the trash can, or flushed literally down the pipes.

Cloth towels instead of paper towels.
Shop rags (or cut-up old shirts) for house cleaning instead of paper towels.
Cloth baby wipes instead of store bought wipes, etc..

Doesn't take extra water, or laundry soap since I already have to wash at least one load of regular stuff in hot water each week anyway. In fact, it actually helps, since I like to run only a full load when doing laundry instead of half loads here & there.

An extra $30 may not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps, and that is an extra $360.00 a year. We can put that $30 towards gas for our car or extra food on our table.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Jennifer on Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:47 am

As for cell phones, do you have one? If you do like me and it's ONLY for emergencies then you need to look into a prepaid phone/plan.

Check out your statement, how many minutes do you average on month? Then compare the prepaid plans (I have Virgin, hubby has a cell through his work)some are cheap! I pay $20 every 3 months for service, it's .18 a minute when I do use it but I almost never run out of the $20 before it's time to top off!

IF you're going to wash your car, do it yourself. Don't pay the high costs to drivethrough the machine ones, or the by hand ones, go home & do it yourself. Exercise & saving money!


Haircuts? My husband does his and our two sons. We invested in a good set of clippers that quickly paid for themselves with 3 boys using them. I also do my daughters as it's just a straight cut & trimming the bangs. I've done my own too, bands only not the back but I do hold off for closer to 12 weeks (if not longer then that, I've gone years wihtout one before) to save money.
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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by DianeStJames on Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:21 am

Speaking of vinegar...it is great and cheap to use as deodorant!

I've been using it for over a year and it works great!
I know I've saved a Lot of money on deodorants!
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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:05 pm

Chicken: buy it bone-in, skin on. It's cheaper. Buy thighs. More flavor and meat for the money. Save the bones, either before cooking or after a meal. Freeze and use later for making chicken stock. Not only is the marrow from bones incredibly good for you, but if you already have the bones, the stock you can make from it is practically free.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:07 pm

Mexican food. Corn tortillas and beans are cheap, and combined make a complete protein. The beans are especially economical if you buy them dry and cook them yourself, instead of using them from a can. Add some rice and salsa and you have a filling, nutritious, delicious meal.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:14 pm

Eggs. Great source of inexpensive protein. Make hard boiled eggs for sandwiches or scrambled eggs for breakfast.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:16 pm

Make stews with cheaper, tougher cuts of meat, like beef chuck roasts or pork shoulders. Low and slow braising completely tenderizes the meat, and the flavor is amazing. You can also brown a rump roast on high heat and then lower the heat for low slow cooking for roast beef.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:17 pm

Turkey legs and thighs. Best deal out there. You can braise them or make turkey stew.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:21 pm

Make your meal go farther with potatoes, rice, pasta, or tortillas.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:28 pm

Our family uses only one vehicle.
It takes good scheduling, and a bit of flexibility to be a one car family.
It's great to have only one gas tank to fill, one auto insurance bill to pay, etc.
Also, we plan out our shopping trips very carefully. Because the grocery store is on the other end of town, down the street from DH's office, he does the shopping one day a week after work since he drives right by there. This saves on gas - no extra trips to that part of town just to do the shopping.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:29 pm

found a book years ago at a yard sale called cheaper & better homemade alternatives to storebought goods. Lots of things in there that you can make at home. Just a few to list:

mayonnaise, super body hair rinse, skin clarifier, glass cleaner, ink remover, rust preventative, tomato catsup, seasoned shake-in-a-bag mix for chicken, herbal shampoo, liquid laundry detergent.

With my husband's job sometimes the paychecks are good some aren't. Always have a garden going, paying almost $2 for a head of lettuce is ridiculous. I'll keep digging through my books for more.

Also made my own "green" grocery bags using my son's battered old jeans. The waist band makes a good handle.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:33 pm

We turn the water heater on, let it heat completely until it shuts down, then turn it off. Three adults, have 2 days hot water. Running out sooner teaches you to be more conservative!

Put coffee in a thermos and shut the coffee maker off rather than use its hot plate thingie (that scorches the coffee anyway).

Use 1/2 or even less of the recommended amount of laundry product. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help remove soap and help soften the clothes. Hang to dry outside, or inside on hangers on the shower curtain rod. Toss in dryer on fluff for 3 minutes to soften and remove leftover lint/pet hair.

If you like fabric softener for the anti-static or scent, dampen an old washcloth and pour a dab (nickel or quarter size spot) on, wad up and toss in dryer. It will stain if you let it get directly on your clothes so be careful and use a washcloth you don't mind wrecking. I use the same one over and over and every few times I just dampen it because some of the fabric softener remains in the cloth.

Prevent extra trips to the store by putting a wipe-off board on the fridge. If you open the last "whatever", write it on the list.

Call your vet and see if they have a special low-cost vaccination day if you have pets.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:34 pm

If your summers are hot, plant shade trees. If you have cold north winds, plant evergreen windbreaks. Get your neighbors to plant trees. Some tall trees grow food - like pecans - that might come in handy some day.

I'm thinking of a tankless water heater. That way the hot water tank doesn't sit there getting cold all day.

Park the big car/truck/SUV.

Park your cell phone.

Cancel Cable. Attend town council meetings instead they are much more entertaining.

Put the liquid dish soap in a small (3-4 oz) squirt bottle and dilute it a little. That way you don't get a glob tilting the jug when you need a drop or two.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:36 pm

When I have clogged drains in the shower or sink I put one cup of baking soda down the drain then pour about two cups of white vinegar on it. Foams up like crazy, when its through foaming rinse always works good for me especially in my husbands bathroom.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:38 pm

Better yet? Cancel the house phone, use only cell phones and make them the prepaid kind...My daughters have learned a great lesson this year when after running up my cellphone bill to an unpayable amount, I cancelled the contract- my phone runs me about $15 a month, and I get to talk to family or my special man in the evenings or on weekends for free

If you wear acrylic nails, learn to do your own, it's not that hard and I've found that I get lots more compliments when I do them myself.

Buy Ivory soap bars, they clean awesome smell great are 99.9% pure and cost about .97 for 3 bars at Wally World.

Lemon juice added to water in a spray bottle will lighten your hair and give you those summer highlights all the young girls are sporting these days - just be careful using it on red or red tone hair - can we say carrot-top? I found that out the hard way LOL

Make your own liquid hand soap - Instead of throwing away all those little slivers at the end of the bar soap, throw them into a glass jar with lid, add a little water, continue adding the slivers as you have them, until you fill up the jar, add more water as needed. When the jar is eventually full, stir with a fork or place jar contents into a food processor and mix until smooth. Pour this into a liquid hand soap dispenser.

Always freeze leftovers for future use. Combine several of these into a large pot, add 1/2 large can V8 juice (we prefer the low salt kind), pasta or potatoes and season to taste...makes great "Camp Stew" Serve with cornflake muffins or cornbread - yummy

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:40 pm

Go vegetarian a couple days per week. We go vegan -- no animal products at all -- often, esp. after a trip involving serious eating, such as New Orleans or New York. Indian food and mexican recipes are especially good candidates for vegan-izing.

Ladies, think about how much you're spending at the salon. I have quite long hair: I enjoy it, the Alpha Male loves it and even trims it for me now and then. I haven't seen or smelled the inside of a salon for years. But be warned: other women will badger you to cut it off for various reasons ranging from "you're too old to have long hair" to guilting you into donating it to a charity scam like Locks of Love. Don't fall for it. Just tell them how nice they'd look with longer hair

Live in a sunny climate? Look into solar ovens. They're fun for kids and prevent the house from heating up in the summer.

Long ago and far away, my grandfather would go to the Fish & Game Dept. confiscated meat auction and buy frozen venison, elk, or even moose for pennies per pound.
It was great, and we kids got such a charge out of seeing meat that still had hair on it

You can find great reviews of hotels on tripadvisor and avoid the rank'n'dank ones. Individual hotels within a chain can vary a lot. On the subject of travel, learn the ins and outs of priceline on biddingfortravel.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:40 pm

I bought a chest freezer and it was the best thing I ever did. Buy things on sale and freeze them. I cook double/triple batches of something, eat one and freeze the others. Then when you're in a hurry you can just pull out a frozen entree and some frozen veggies and you've got a meal.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:42 pm

Turn off/unplug all unused appliances. They all use power even when turned off (ie. LED clocks, timers, "on/off" lights, etc.)

Turn your computer monitor off every time you get up from your desk. Leave the speakers and printer off until you use them.

Turn the power surge protectors off when shutting everything down, they draw power also.

Unplug cell phone chargers when not in use. Better yet, charge cell phones while in your car.

Turn thermostats on water heaters down in the summer. The water coming in is not as cold to start with.

Use rechargeable batteries in all gizmos.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:44 pm

We have the 'family plan'. We've removed our home phone and have 'stand alone' DSL via our phone company.

They have several plans and will try to convenience you that you need a home phone for 911 reasons, FALSE.

They will also try to convenience you that you need the most expensive Fast Access DSL service with your stand alone service, FALSE.

Gamers are customers who need the highest speed.

We have and use AT&T for our FA DSL, Stand Alone. It's $19.95 per month, we had the $42.95 a month and have seen no difference with our surfing and or loading since the switch to the cheaper FA DSL to the $19.95.

Watch out for the 'Optional Features', that's where the company will get you on your monthly bill!

If you don't have AT&T, check out your phone company's ISP options.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:45 pm

Wherever possible, trade. My neighbor used to own a TV repair shop. When I had stuff to sell, he often wanted it but never had money. So he'd trade me a big TV or a stereo. I have four TVs and didn't buy a single one. I rarely watch TV but it's nice to have one in whatever room I'm working in if I don't want to miss a show.

I've also traded services--bookkeeping for auto repair, house cleaning for air conditioner repair, etc.

Plant trees and shrubs for shade (saves on the electricity bill) and cleans the air (might prevent doctor bills).

Refill ink cartridges. I can refill my HP cartridges which cost about $25 or $30 each. I refill them for maybe $1. When shopping for a printer, look for one that has cartridges that can be refilled. Get the models of the printers you're considering, then come back online to "oddparts dot com" and look up refill instructions for them. If you can't find refill instructions or the instructions look to complicated, don't buy that printer.

If you only need a cell phone occasionally but rarely use one, why pay a monthly service charge? I pay about $100 a year for my Tracfone. I may use 100 minutes a year, since I only use the phone when I travel and for emergencies. I don't use it daily for idle chit chat. I can't see paying $20 a month just to carry a phone with me in case I might need it.

Save your change. All those pennies, dimes, and quarters add up over time. Get a money jar and drop all your change in it at the end of the day. At the end of the month, see how much you've managed to save without even noticing.

Switch to flourescent lights wherever you can. They do not heat up your environment like regular bulbs do. And they last forever. The flo bulbs in my study are on all the time and I haven't changed them once in three years!


Last edited by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:46 pm

Keep Accounts of every thing you spend money on.

Use Excel, or Use a Good Old Fashioned Ledger / Legal Pad.


You will be stunned how much $$$ you are spending on
those "small purchases" of Starbucks Lattes,
Bagels, Hershey Bars, Coca-Colas,
and Lottery Tickets (you ain't gonna win, give it up already).

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:48 pm

If you have flower gardens, mix in herbs and veggies too. Flowers attract pollinators. Pollinators also pollinate veggies. The more pollination you get, the more "fruit" your veggies will produce. Likewise with the herbs. The herbs help attract pollinators too.

With your phone company, get bundles. With my phone, it costs more to have internet, phone and the standard ATT per minute long distance rate than it does to bundle it all with unlimited long distance. Plus, with the bundle, I get, for free, Caller ID, Call Waiting, and half a dozen other bonuses I may never use. AND because I bundled it from their online site, I got the cheaper rate for the bundle than if I had called and ordered it.

Make your own mulch using stuff you'd throw away anyway. Shredded paper can be stuffed under your current mulch and will biodegrade over time. Food scraps can also be tucked under your current mulch where it's not seen and it won't stink if you scatter it around your garden. Roses, by the way, love potassium, so toss your banana peels near them and they'll thank you.

If you don't have a flower garden, grow one. Tell your hubby and friends to not buy you cut flowers. For the same cost, they could buy you a shrub or perennial to plant and enjoy forever. And if they bloom, you can cut your own flowers for years to come. My whole yard is a garden and something is always in bloom, from about March to Dec. I cut bouquets for my mom about 9 months a year.

Cook extra food and freeze your leftovers in individual servings so you can grab one when in a hurry.

Vacation at home. Create an inspiring room or garden or find a relaxing hobby you can do at home. I rarely leave home for a vacation. I've created a paradise in my gardens and there's really no other place I would rather be.

Drink more water. Most of us dehydrated anyway. Few people really drink enough water. Headaches, fatigue, inability to focus, muscle cramps and achiness are just a few of the symptoms of even mild dehydration. Drink water instead of coffee, cokes, tea, or alcohol, which are all diuretics and lead to dehydration. Water is also cheaper.

Carry water and snacks with you on road trips. It will cut down on your costs of having to stop at a gas station to pay 1.50 for some bottled water along with chips and a candy bar. Pack fresh fruits and veggies instead. They're cheaper and better for your health.

Fill your cooler with ice from your own ice maker. I bag up my ice in gallon ziplocks and put them in the freezer for upcoming road trips.

While sugar is not good IN our bodies, sugar used externally makes a great exfoliator. Scrub your face, your hands, feet, etc. They'll feel much softer afterwards. Salt can be used too, but if you have any cuts or wounds, salt stings, as you know. Sugar doesn't.

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