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Money Saving Tips

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:49 pm

Serve food on SMALLER plates

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:50 pm

Make sure you check out the money savings programs at places like CVS and Walgreens.

Each has a coupon book for the month. Then they advertise sales that correspond with those items. And usually there are also coupons in the Sunday paper. They always offer many free items after mail in rebates too. If you choose the Walgreen card instead of a check you get an additional 10% back. Then every month they will just add your rebates to your card.

Last month I got almost back $40 dollars after spending about $60 in purchases. The free items were allergy pills, aspirin, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. The rebates were all on things I use such as batteries, hair color, etc.

For example, at Walgreens this week they have a store coupon in the Sunday ad for Lady Speedstick or Speedstick at $.99 each. Limit is 3. I had a $.50 manufacturer coupon and used that as well. I got 3 deodorants for $2.47. They are $2.99 each retail price there in the store. I think Wally World has them for $1.75 so it is still a deal. So that is basically getting 2 free. I have a husband and two teenage boys so this will get used.

The Irish Spring body wash is on sale for $3.99, with a $2.00 off coupon in the monthly sale book. I had a $.75 manufacturers coupon so the body wash ended up being $1.25. I think it is $2.99 at Wally World.

I only buy what I need and I do save a lot of money. I no longer buy my toiletry items, bathroom tissue, or paper towels at the grocery store because I can get them cheaper here. The card comes in handy when I am running low on cash because our payday is almost 3 weeks apart (military). I can go to Walgreens and buy milk and bread if I need to in an emergency. But usually it is just used to purchase more items when they come on sale so it doesn't tale away from the household budget.

It doesn't take much planning, and it is so worth it.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:51 pm

Get rid of your cell phone if you don't absolutely need it for business. (Times the monthly charge by 12, plus taxes, to see the true yearly cost)

Which reminds me: Anytime you're offered something (Cell phone, cable, etc.) that's "Only $_ per month"- figure out the yearly cost. $19.95 per month doesn't sound like much...but with taxes, it might be $25 a month....times 12, equals $300 a year! -Not so cheap anymore!

DON'T buy a new car because your old one gets poor mileage! The thousands of dollars you spend, plus the depreciation that occurs as soon as you drive it off the showroom floor,...the increased insurance cost.. will ammount to more than what you will EVER save in gas...no matter how long you have the car.

Instead of dry cleaning your clothes, donate them to the Salvation Army- where they will clean and press them- then buy them back for fifty cents a few days later!

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:52 pm

Earlier, someone mentioned avocadoes for the hair. Here's an inexpensive treatment which we wrote down from a tv segment. It's very effective. My hair is waist long and so is both my daughters.

Mix 1 tablespoon of extravirgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon mineral oil in a large glass. Then fill it with the hottest water you can stand to pour on your head. Work this through your hair, then wrap your hair in a hot, wet towel for 10 minutes, then shower it out.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:54 pm

We've cooked entire meals and froze our own 'tv dinner' sized. Last weekend, we paid a buck for a large box full of freezer containers at a yard sale. They will get a lot of usage. The money we've saved on food has more than paid for our large upright freezer. Usually, we'd pay around $3.00 each for tv dinners at the supermarket. Now if we run out of time, we can have the yummiest individual dinners straight from our freezer for a fraction of the cost.

For people who dont' have the room to garden, do a google search on "Square Foot Gardening" or "Upside Down Gardening". You'd be surprised how much produce you can grow from a small yard or patio.

Someone else mentioned old meat they had in their freezer. I read on the USDA website that properly frozen meat is safe to eat indefinately. It only degrades in taste and texture, not safety.

If you have a fisherman in your family, you'd be surprised how expensive fishing worms can be. Night crawlers are almost $4.00/dozen and normal redworms are about half that price. We've been doing something called "vermiculture", which is raising your own earthworms. First off, they do not stink, even if you raise them in your home. This time of year, our streets are full of leaves in the gutter next to the curbs. After a rain, we've picked up hundreds of nightcrawlers and redworms to bring home. We bought one of those plastic dresser/bins which have 6 slide out plastic drawers. It's in our basement and it's home to our worms. We shred a bunch of newspaper, wet it down add a bit of potting soil and the worms thrive in it. Once a week we make sure it remains damp. You'll be surprised how many worms you'll get, and after they've eaten all the paper, you end up with the most potent garden fertilizer that exists.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:56 pm

Homemade soups slowly simmered on the stovetop (we use a pressure cooker for speed and better flavor) will be a fraction of canned price. Freeze in those handy freezer containers and heat in the microwave. You can avoid all that salt which is in canned soup.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:57 pm

Don't buy toothpaste. You can find 50 cent coupons for toothpaste such as crest and then take it to Kroger when they have crest on the 10/$10 sale. Buy one and redeem coupon. Our Kroger doubles coupons up to 50 cents which actually means the coupon is worth a $1 there. Voila free toothpaste.

There has never been a better time to cut coupons. That 50 cent coupon was worth a dollar on something that I need. Which means the difference of paying $2.45 a gallon for gas or $3.45. You pick the price you wish to pay.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:39 pm

Buy a Happy Meal instead of the regular combo at lunch. It will tide you over til dinner, is a lot cheaper and you get a free doodad that you can give to some kid or toss in your sell box when there's a penny listing sale.

Note from Diva Cassie: Donate the toys to a children's church treasure box or a elementary school treasure box.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:39 pm

I clip and use coupons and I won't purchase unless there's a sale. We have Meijer's which is an equivalent to a Super Walmart and the most Meijer brand products are wonderful. When a but one get one free is on for paper products, I'm there. Six double rolls of quilted toilet paper for 3.99 and six free....and most important, it's a quality product.

I'm planning on taking the bus to work. Cost me roughly $40 per week for gas. Cost for a bus would be $20 a month plus I'll save on auto insurance. I would just have to drive 3-4 miles to park and ride.

And for the Fabreeze (or other fabric freshener's) get a 20-24 oz spray bottle, add one capful of your favorite Downey fragrance and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Gently shake and voila.....a very inexpensive fabric freshener.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:40 pm

There are no preservatives in frozen vegetables and they are actually FRESHER than the "fresh" veggies in your produce department. I used to work for Stokely Van Camp Frozen Foods Division in California. The veggies are trucked in from the fields, trimmed, blanched and frozen within 24 hours of being picked. Your "fresh" produce is picked, cleaned and trimmed, trucked across country to various distribution sites and then ends up as "fresh produce" in your market. Frozen is definitely better for freshness and it keeps lots longer in your freezer than what's in your crisper drawer.

If you want really fresh, not frozen, produce, look to roadside stands and the Farmer's Market. The prices are great and everything is fresh from the fields.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:42 pm

I "cut" many liquid products, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash (I don't use bar soap - too messy AND wasteful, IMO), with water - about half and half or a bit less. They last twice as long, and I've seen no reduction in "effectiveness".

Also, I just saw this somewhere and tried it, and it works GREAT. Cut your liquid dish soap with white vinegar - it makes even the "cheap stuff" cut grease the way those pricey brands do.

For the phone - I do not have a cell phone (don't need one), but I also have the most basic home phone service possible-the only "upgrade" I pay for is Caller ID. And NO LONG DISTANCE. In the rare instances I need to make a LD call, I use 10-15-335. It's 4 cents per minute for a 10 minute minimum, then 4.9 cents per minute afterward. No contracts, no pre-paid cards, nothing. LOVE IT! Of course, my family with their bundled phone packages know that it's up to them to initiate most calls.

Another thing - for the "basic service" I use an answering machine instead of adding $5.00 per month (probably more now) for voice mail.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:43 pm

The "Measuring Cups" that come with Tide, with the packaged Coffee, etc.

Throw them away! They are designed to make you use up the product more quickly.


Use LESS

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:46 pm

If you use fresh mushrooms and want them to keep longer, put them in a PAPER bag in the fridge.

I used to be able to buy them loose by the pound, but now all I see is prepackaged and since I live alone, it's hard to use them up while they are still fresh. I slice them up and freeze them and then can easily add a few to stir fries and other recipes. When Kroger has their 10 for $10 sales on mushrooms, I buy a couple of extra packages to slice up and freeze.

About a month ago Kroger had a 20 for $10 sale on Red Bell Peppers (usually they're like $2 EACH). I got six and cut them up into strips or diced them and froze them. Now I have a great supply for stir fry and frijitas.

Salad greens keep longer in a covered container. I put mine in a large Rubbermaid bowl, place a paper towel on top and then invert it in the fridge. The paper towel absorbs any excess moisture and they stay crisp.

If I'm only using half an onion in a recipe, I chop the other half and freeze it and then have ready chopped onion when I need it.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:47 pm

I love square foot gardening since my parents tried it 20 odd years ago. It's amazing how much you can grow in a little space and low maintenance. Even someone with a tiny backyard in an apartment can grow their own veggies.

When I got my kit it came with a sheet on how to trick your potatoes into giving more. When you plant your potatoes dig the hole down to the very bottom of the bed and cover with about an inch of dirt.

when it grows and gets to be a couple inches do it again until the dirt is even with the rest of the bed you'll fool it into giving you almost twice the amount of spuds it normally produces.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:48 pm

It really makes a difference if you turn down your water heater. The water heater (both gas and electric) has a setting called "vacation". Put your water heater on vacation until you are ready to use hot water. About 1/2 hour before a shower, doing laundry, etc. turn it back up. This can save a lot of energy, and just takes a little bit of planning on your part. One 32 gallon tank of hot water will get the jobs done for the day!

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:49 pm

Another thing I have recently been doing is cutting ground meat by adding bread crumbs and an egg. This is old, tried and true, but I never thought my family would have to be doing it out of economic need! Ah, the days of 100% ground round burgers are gone for my family, at least for now...

But these burgers still taste awesome! I will also put any leftover veggies in the ground meat, then cook as usual. A part meat/veggie/bread burger - prepared with love!

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:53 pm

We watch Kroger's sales. When they sell boneless Chuck Beef Roasts for $1.69 - $1.99 a pound, we buy ten pounds worth. We also buy Beef Suet (it's not just to feed birds) for $.69 to $1.00 pound when marked down. Now it's time to easily make your own hamburger (ground beef or ground round)!

Throw away that old hand crank meat grinder grandma gave you. Get out your food processor and put in the metal blade. First chop up a pound or so of beef suet and immediately put it in a bowl in the fridge. (For food safety, any meat product ground/chopped up has a lot of surface area to attract bad bacteria). Then cut up that beef roast in big 2 inch chunks and throw a half dozen in the processor. Almost all of it will chop right down into ground meat and a few bits of long stringy gristly stuff you can discard. Put this immediately in the fridge til all the roast is chopped up. Then simply add anywhere from 1/10 to 1/4 proportion of the ground suet(fat) to the ground meat, depending on how lean you wish your hamburger to be. We also add a bit of seasoned salt and/or Accent (MSG) at this time. Use the digital scale you bought to eBay with and pack in 1 pound freezer bags. Or patty them up and put them in the freezer.

This food-processor "meat grinding" is a lot easier than it sounds. The parts go right into the dishwasher. And you'll get some awesome 95% lean hamburger for $1.69/pound if your roast is priced that on sale! BTW round roasts (on sale) work well too.

99 cent a pound pork steaks turn into awesome breakfast sausage the same way. Add the beef suet and some seasoned salt. That's all it takes, though sometimes we add ground fennel.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:55 pm

I have an upright freezer that I bought 10 years, and it has paid for itself many times over.

Recently, there was a sale here on milk for $2.98 a gallon. I bought 10 gallons. Milk freezes well - all you have to do is shake it before opening since milk solids will rise to the top upon defrosting. But give a good shake, and it is as good/fresh as ever!

DO NOT freeze cheese, unless you are going to use it for cooking. Freezing cheese does not change the nutritional value, but can change the taste somewhat, and certainly changes the texture. Frozen cheese will crumble - but is still quite suitable for mac & cheese, etc.

Beyond that, many seasonal veggies/fruits freeze well. Just clean then up, and pop into zip-lock bags. I buy seasonal veggies and fruit on sale, store them in the freezer, and enjoy the bounty year-round.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:00 pm

I use the library weekly. I go to the bag sales at the library book sales twice a year. Bags of books for $3.00 and I have more than enough books to read for 6 months. I've sold a few and that usually covers my original cost.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:06 pm

I was watching MAD MONEY a month or two ago (maybe longer, maybe he was just on another show?) and he said one of the best things a consumer can do right now (with the economy in the state it is in) is to consolidate all of your credit cards onto ONE card, the card you have with the lowest interest.

Wait a month or so. Call/contact THAT credit card you have moved your CC debt onto. Tell them your interest rate is TOO HIGH, and re-negotiate your interest rate. The state that the banks/lenders/creditors are in ("better to get some money than no money at all"), they will more than likely bend to your wishes. How much, who knows. But 12%-15% is much better than 21%. He said something about start LOW at 9%-10% with the negotiations.

Then again, don't use credit cards at all unless you have to. (carry no debt, pay off monthly the entire balance)

Be disciplined and use that one credit card for ALL purchases that you can (even bills, eBay fees especially) so you get CASH REWARDS at the end of the year. This is my own MAD MONEY I get yearly, and it DOES add up! AND....when the credit card company sees you spending THAT MUCH they really "bend to your wishes".

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:23 am

Stop Celebrating COMMERCIAL HOLIDAYS

Christmas = Wallet Buster

Mother's Day - Flowers costs 5 times as much

Valentine's Day - Restaurant Dinner prices are jacked up

Easter - new clothes, candy, expensive lunch, WHY?

Thanksgiving - spend a fortune traveling cross-country to eat with the relatives

Fourth of July - okay, forget that one, I like to blow things up, so we'll keep "fireworks" in the budget.

Labor Day and Memorial Day - once again, spend $$$ and sleep on Airport Floors for a quick visit somewhere

Halloween - waste money on candy and Costumes. Then take
the kids to the Dentist when their teeth rot out from that candy,
and pay that Dentist eleventeen thousand dollars for root canals, crowns, and fillings.

New Years' Day - spend a bunch of money on booze. Get a DUI that will cost you $5000 - $10,000 and maybe permanently kill or injure somebody while driving intoxicated.

Birthday Parties for adults... give it up! Birthday parties are for kids. Save the money.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:23 am

I recycle any decent bow, gift wrap, etc.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:25 am

We try to buy almost the same car each time that way we can take parts off one for the other, that also saves a lot of money. One year different doesn't make much of a difference usually.

My husband works in a quarry so to take a nice car in there to get ruined witht he dust doesn't make sense either. I would like to have something nicer, but it also has to be something he can easily fix himself and a lot of the higher end cars probably have more computerized things and he might not be able to fix that on his own, kwim?

We have the 3 cars and spend next to nothing for all of them except for insurance and regular stuff and we always have a back up if one happens to break down.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:30 am

Paper towels, one of the biggest waste of money any one can buy. What ever happened to a squirt bottle and a mix of bleach and water and a wash rag????????

The same thing with all the furniture polish, waxes endust and so on. I strip and refinish furniture and have since the late 70's. The first thing I tell each person is throw away all that crap away and use only a damp rag on the furniture I do for them. We have always used a damp rag and it looks as it did the way when I refinished it.
You can come to our house anytime and look anywhere in our house and you will never find a can/bottle any of that stuff.

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Re: Money Saving Tips

Post by Diva Cassie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:30 am

my husband was an electrical contractor before he retired and did work in a lot of canneries on the eastern shore of maryland and del. i can tell you i have seen with my own eyes that there is no difference between any brand other than the label.
the veggies come in on dump trailers, they are dumped into the receiving hoppers and moved along for cleaning and processing. when the cans come down the line the convayors have counters in them and the labels are changed by order count. del monte 50 thousand, hunts 100,000 and so on. they are then packed in to cases and shipped out.

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