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Young Widow Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Justin on May 08, 2015, 10:26:48 AM

Title: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Justin on May 08, 2015, 10:26:48 AM
As a frugal person at heart, I have always enjoyed the various money-saving tips threads that would crop up on the old board at YWBB. Please share your tips here  :)

Here's one I used just the other day: I use vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser of my dishwasher. It seems to work just as well as Jet Dry, and is much cheaper.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Strongerthanb4 on May 08, 2015, 12:02:25 PM
Vinegar! Really? I'll give it a try. I've been running without a rinse aid for about a month. lol

My frugal tip: At the beginning of every month I withdraw a budget friendly about of cash. I pay cash for everything (except gas - it's easier to swipe that). Once that cash is gone I can't get any more. It has kept me on track with staying in my budget - especially in the grocery store and for eating out. I just have to check my wallet to know if I can be lazy or if I have to cook something.  :o
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: nonesuch on May 09, 2015, 05:32:57 PM
I had put off buying a small container to use with my blender.  It was frustrating, because I'd need an 8 oz one more often the  big blender.  Just today, I saw that canning jars often fit the base.  I took the base upstairs to the spare room where I keep junk destined for yard sales.  I had a jar left over from Christmas (from the relative that always fills our stockings with apple butter.)  Sure enough, it fits.  So does the jar left over form spaghetti sauce.

I have to say, too:  if someone gives you one of those gift Visa cards: use it right away and don't save it for something special.  They DO expire. 
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: MissingSquish on May 09, 2015, 06:48:19 PM
My money saving tip is that I get dog food delivered monthly via Amazon. It's much cheaper than petco, and I don't need to lug the huge bag home once a month.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Questions on May 09, 2015, 07:28:17 PM
I'm "frugal" too, unless we're charging by the letter.. In that case call me "cheap" lol

I find I can save money by shopping for items online & doing price comparisons before heading out.

After searching online & deciding on the item I want,  I check all my local stores & any other available resources for the best price. (Googling the product# usually returns a lot of hits).
Often, the item I want is out of stock in stores but available online for much less even after factoring in shipping costs.

Some stores offer a discount on items if you order them online via credit card & use their free ship-to-store option. You order & pay up front, then they notify you via email when the item arrives to be picked up.

When I order products online, I always look for a promo code box on the order screen & if there is one I'll hunt down the code it & enter it for additional savings.

eg: I just ordered a 6 pack of Advantage II flea treatment from 1800PetMeds.
The price was $58.48. A 10% discount promo code I found brought the price down to $52.63. The site was offering free shipping on orders over $49 so I ordered the larger quantity to qualify (I need this product monthly anyway).
I would've paid around $52 for a 4 pack at my local Petco or Petsmart.
By ordering online I got another 1 month's supply for my 2 cats & saved on gas.
I also just ordered a printer ink combo pack online from Concord Supplies.
The price was $29.97 + $6.99 shipping. I found a 10% promo code which brought the price down to $33.96 but even without that it was a substantial savings over in-store prices of $70+ & will be delivered so again I saved on gas.

I know some people are wary of making online purchases via credit cards.
The product websites I use all offer package tracking & list a customer support#.
I use a credit card with a low credit limit for these transactions & regularly monitor charges to it online via my banking website.
If there are any suspicious charges my bank either notifies me or I them (& no, I don't pay extra for a protection plan) & they immediately remove the charge & issue me a new card within 7-10 days (It's only happened to me once in 20+ yrs).

I'm kind of lazy & hate driving around to stores searching for things.
Online research/shopping spares me time & trouble + gas & $$.

(((hugs to all)))


Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: serpico on May 09, 2015, 10:28:17 PM
I have to say, too:  if someone gives you one of those gift Visa cards: use it right away and don't save it for something special.  They DO expire.

Sort of, but not if you ask for a new one... https://mygift.giftcardmall.com/FAQ#faq_8
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Nuggets on May 10, 2015, 01:42:29 AM
Vinegar, Household Ammonia, Baking Soda and Coarse Salt....

Just about anything I need to clean can be done with one of these ingredients - anything I have bought usually has one of these items listed in the first 5 ingredients.

Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: nonesuch on May 10, 2015, 04:47:35 AM
I have found nothing cuts grease like ammonia, and I use it on clothes a lot, rather than bleach.  I bleach occasionally, but it really does a number on clothes.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: gracelet on May 10, 2015, 05:42:20 AM
My biggest outgoings are household utilities. It's easy to do a price comparison between suppliers online - there are websites that compare the whole market impartially. By knowing my consumption levels of electricity and plugging them into the calculator, I've saved approx ?120 per year. Took ten minutes to switch over.

For tv, just cancel it. You can watch stuff on catch up online. Use Netflix as a treat but share the subscription with two other people so you spread the cost.

Vinegar:
Agree on the vinegar point! It's good for de scaling the kettle too - just rinse properly after! You can also soak your shower head in vinegar for an hour or so to get all the gunk out and sterilise it.

Soda crystals:
For unblocking sink drains or just giving them a freshen up, use soda crystals instead of expensive unblocker. Soda crystals also work for getting rid of stubborn sweat smells in laundry (use to compliment laundry detergent) but do be careful if you have sensitive skin.

Coconut oil:
This works for everything! Buy it from an Asian supermarket or online to get the best price. You want the 100% stuff. Use for baking, as body moisturiser, to de-redden acne, put a small dollop in your hands and run through wet hair before drying to use as a smoothing treatment instead of things like Argan oil.

Hope these prove useful for people!
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: patriciad on May 10, 2015, 06:52:56 AM
I start with a credit card that gives me $ back for my purchases. I make sure that the balance is paid off monthly(I actually pay it on a weekly basis so I don't get slammed at the end of th month with a huge bill).
I try to food shop by studying the circular before heading out.  With a list in hand, I buy "specials" and stock up when the items I use are on sale.  Usually items come up about every 6 weeks so if I shop right I am never paying full price for cereal , coffee or toilet paper.  You need a bit of room for this stuff but it is definitely worth it.
We don't throw out any food.  If we have a chicken roast on Sunday and there are leftovers, there will be chicken salad sandwiches or a chicken and rice dish for leftovers.  If there isn't enough for everyone, we just take all of the leftovers out and have "Must-goes"-Everything in the fridge "Must go".  It is a night's dinner and didn't cost a dime.
I air dry clothing outside in the nice weather. If it has to be hung up, it dries so much more quickly in the fresh air than in the basement laundry room.
I do a Target run every 3 or 4 months for toiletries.  Shampoo, toothpaste, skin care etc.  Much cheaper than drug store shopping.  Family Dollar type stores often have good buys on this stuff too.
I am also of the mindset that vinegar cleans everything.  Much less toxic too.  I bought a 12 pack of microfiber rags and use it on everything.  Save a load on paper towels too.

I love reading this thread.  I am truly a frugal person at heart.

pat
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: swilson on May 10, 2015, 07:26:04 AM
DW used coffee filters in place of paper towels to clean when she could. Also used them to strain and reuse oil from the fryer and cover a bowl of food before warming in the microwave. Never did the math but it probably saved a little money.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: IfIonlycould on May 10, 2015, 09:46:57 AM
Like Patricia I am a huge fan of the micro fiber cloths...the good ones...expensive at first but worth every penny and saves alot in the long run.  Make sure you get the glass polishers too.  Use a nappy microfiber dampened to wipe glass or mirrors and follow with a dry glass polishing cloth...saves on paper towels and windex and is chemical free!  Also I love my steam mop...never have to buy any floor cleaners...just let the hot steam clean the wood floors perfectly.  Since I remodel the homes I move into I am a big time craigslister and find extremely high quality furniture and appliances at a fraction of the price,  you just have to be willing to travel a little and have the vehicles to pick stuff up.  My professional series gas range sells for 3,000.00 and we got it for 650.00 (and could not believe it when we went to pick it up the folks had maintained it to perfection it looked brand new!), I moved it with me from the last house and it has been going strong for 5 years now.  The fridge is a stainless french door with freezer on bottom that sells for 2,000.00 and we picked up for 800.00, again looked showroom new.  Craigslist has allowed me to "afford" the stuff I really want in my home while still living in a budget!
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: swilson on May 11, 2015, 08:42:23 PM
Taco Seasoning. I like this because you can save money and tweak the amounts if you want to amp up the heat. -  1/2 cup chili powder, 1/4 cup onion powder, 1/8 cup ground cumin, 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 1 Tbsp. paprika, 1 Tbsp. sea salt. Combine everything in a jar and shake.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: serpico on May 11, 2015, 10:51:11 PM
If you haven't refinanced already, bought a house recently, or are close to paying yours off, consider refinancing your mortgage. Rates are still historically very low, and depending on your balance and the level of closing costs, you can save a lot of money even by trimming a half a point or so off your current rate.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Justin on May 12, 2015, 09:34:20 AM
I have found nothing cuts grease like ammonia, and I use it on clothes a lot, rather than bleach.  I bleach occasionally, but it really does a number on clothes.

I have a number of old dark T-shirts that started getting anti-perspirant buildup and I was ready to put them in the rag pile. I did a little research, and found that this is caused by the waxes present not being dissolved by the cooler water that most darks are washed it. So I found a few suggestions and currently use this method:

Turn the shirt inside-out in a Ziploc bag. Pour ammonia directly on the armpit area, seal the bag, and leave overnight. The next morning, heat some water and pour into the bag (be careful of the fumes rushing out - they will be strong), and let it sit for a couple of minutes in a sink. Remove the shirt and wash normally. YMMV, but I have not had any noticeable fading or color shift of the fabric.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Questions on May 12, 2015, 04:06:19 PM
I'm going to try this ammonia treatment on some shirts I have with the same problem..

Thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Nuggets on May 12, 2015, 11:45:12 PM
I have found nothing cuts grease like ammonia, and I use it on clothes a lot, rather than bleach.  I bleach occasionally, but it really does a number on clothes.

I freakin' love the stuff -- my kids make gross choking noises because of the smell, but I notice they both have some in their cleaning supplies ;)

I got a tip many years ago to use Lestoil on greasy laundry stains --- and know for a fact it works fabulous.  I have also dumped half a cup of household ammonia into musty laundry (towels and socks!)

In Costa Rica I can only buy industrial ammonia -- whooo - ee!  about a tablespoon in a 10 liter bucket is all I need, and a 3 liter jug lasts several years.

I bleach whites sometimes and then only things like tea towels, sheets, etc --- I have seen more wrecked clothes because of bleach than I care to mention.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Questions on May 28, 2015, 12:54:31 AM
It's heatin' up here in central Calif.  :P
I've got central A/C but am cheap & hate to run it. I'd rather just cool the room I'm in.
Still there are times when ceiling/table fans aren't adequate. Portable evaporative coolers (swamp coolers) work good in arid climates but are inefficient when it's humid.

These are all the rage over here..
REDNECK AIR CONDITIONER:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt_AgZ0zrrg

Portable, easy & inexpensive to make & run.
All you need is a styrofoam ice chest, a small fan, some PVC elbow pipe, frozen ice packs or similar & access to a wall outlet.
The only energy required is the electricity to run the fan.

I'll definately be making one of these soon because it's supposed to be 98f by Friday & my idea of strapping ice-cube trays to an oscilating fan failed for some reason  ::)

(((hugs to all)))
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: MrsDan on May 28, 2015, 04:51:54 AM
Here's one that Dan taught me. Every few months, call your cable company and renegotiate your bill. They have specials going on all the time, and sometimes they'll even throw in some premium channels for a few months as well. I've been bad about keeping this up, but am working on it now.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: nonesuch on June 26, 2015, 12:36:19 PM
In our neck of the woods, the grocery stores have been hit by hackers, potentially putting your credit card/debit card at risk.  You could carry cash, but I'd rather not.  What one acquaintance does is this:  uses cash to buy himself a gift card to the grocery store.  I guess this could work for budgeting as well, but looking at the cash left in the grocery envelop probably has a greater psychological effect.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: mmg19 on June 26, 2015, 01:04:48 PM
I've been on the cash/envelope method and I love it.  Mainly it is used for grocery envelope/ gas/miscellaneous.  Grocery spending has been down for months with money remaining going into the Christmas fund account.  I don't know what it is but when you use cash rather than a card I think twice before making an unnecessary purchase.

 
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: lcoxwell on June 26, 2015, 02:20:06 PM
If you like the envelope system and are tech savvy, you can always try the Mvelopes app on your smart phone or tablet. It seems to be the best app I have found for budgeting, though there are others out there, and it is based on the envelope idea. Once I set it up, I found that it only takes less than five minutes of my time, every few days, to manage and track where my money is going and exactly how much money I have to spend.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: DonnaP on July 10, 2015, 10:56:26 AM
I love this thread. I need to start being more responsible with money. I tend to overspend and charge things, then kick myself when the bill comes at the end of the month. I like the mvelopes app idea. Is it a free app?

Donna
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: hachi on July 10, 2015, 11:54:00 AM
In Costa Rica I can only buy industrial ammonia -- whooo - ee!  about a tablespoon in a 10 liter bucket is all I need, and a 3 liter jug lasts several years.

Nuggets, are you still in Costa Rica? I know you said you liked it "so damn much I might move here"  Did you? You really are my hero...
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: gretchen437 on July 10, 2015, 02:00:36 PM
I love this thread :D  One of my tips is find the clearance section of your local grocer. Grocers often fill it with discontinued or overstocked products. You will notice cycling of clearances. Health food products often go into the clearance section a couple months after the new year (when everyone has given up on their diets).  Coffee and tea often are put on clearance during early summer/late spring. Always check the expiration dates though in case it is close to its end.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: imissdow on July 10, 2015, 09:03:55 PM
I buy a lot of stuff on sale and use coupons.  Around Christmas  baking stuff goes on sale so I stock up on sugar and flour.  Back to school will be soon so I will stock up on pens and paper when I see them on sale and cereal.
My grocery store does gas rewards. So I try and make sure I use them before they expire. I have also been known to buy gift cards either at Christmas when they are buy a $50 card get a $10 free or at the grocery store to get my gas rewards and then use them to eat out. I try not to do this all the time lest I be tempted to eat out just because I have a card. However If I know I'm meeting friend for coffee, dinner  or the like I will get one when I do my grocery shopping.

  I plan when I'm going to buy clothes and such if at all possible.  The jeans I like are almost always on sale black Friday so I go on line and order what I think I'll need for the year. Socks and underwear will be on sale for back to school. I wear jeans and work shirts at work and swap out a t-shirt or button down when I'm at home. Because my job ruins clothes I have "good jeans" and work jeans. When I buy more they always start out as my good jeans and then move to work jeans status when I either buy more or need more work clothes.  I probably could shop at a thrift/consignment store but I find that these clothes wear out faster don't fit as well and being 5 9 it's sometimes hard to find what I want. I also almost always buy several packs  of the same white socks that way when I lose one or get a hole in one I don't throw a pair out just 1 sock.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: DonnaP on July 15, 2015, 08:27:56 AM
Today is Amazon Prime Day -- supposedly more deals than Black Friday. Sounds like a gimmick to me, but worth a look mb. :)
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: luvmy2babies on July 15, 2015, 01:11:54 PM
The biggest lesson I learned and sometimes the hard way was to really keep things documented, to have a place where you can go and look at expenses and how I spend.  In my written budget I can?t leave things out, especially the things that don?t occur regularly.  I need to plan for them.  I learned I have to take the time to evaluate how the amount I budgeted for something compared to what I actually spent.  And having things laid out helps me plan better.  I learned that sometimes when I have overspent and either come up short and or can?t do something I need to do, it wasn?t because did something frivolous or I got something I didn?t need; but because I maybe got it 2 weeks before I should have.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: nonesuch on August 09, 2015, 09:12:59 AM
Great deals may be had for your home through the ReStore, if there's one near you. The ReStore is associated with Habitat for Humanity. Donated articles,  (furniture, appliances, tools, kitchen cabinets) can be had for virtually a song.  Mostly it is salvage in good shape, sometimes new things appear. 

Just purchased a pre-framed exterior door for $100.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Guaruj on August 24, 2015, 07:39:44 PM
This is a tip worth repeating:

II bought a 12 pack of microfiber rags and use it on everything.  Save a load on paper towels too.

In 2012, I bought a pack of 36 microfiber cloths at Costco for roughly $16. These cloths were intended for car detailing because they are very absorbent and leave very few fibers behind. I use these cloths in place of paper towels for so many things, but mostly for wiping countertops and wiping spills off the floor.  I wash them in the washing machine with my clothes but never put them in the dryer. They dry very quickly when I hang them up.

Now, nearly years later, I still have at least 5 of these cloths still in the package - I haven't used them yet. I've even given a few of them away to family and friends. Meanwhile, I could have easily spent 9 or 10 times as much on paper towels.  I typically use just one full-size paper towel a day.

|+|  M a r k  |+|
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: singinmomo4 on August 25, 2015, 06:10:39 PM
My tip is about how to make the money you have work better for you.

I opened Kasasa checking and savings accounts with a bank that isn't local, but still located in my state.  I have my checks direct deposited to this account but still have a small local  bank account if I need it.  Kasasa accounts pay high rates of interest if you do a few things every month.  In my instance I earn a rate of 2.75% on amounts up to $10,000 and .50% for over $10,000 on my checking and .75% on amounts up to $10,000 and .50% over 10,000 in my savings account.  To get these rates, all I have to do is have 10 debit card purchases of any amount post and settle per month, have 1 automatic payment or direct deposit and use e-statements.  If I do these 3 things I earn the high interest rates, get reimbursed for any ATM charges from any bank and the account is totally free, no minimum balance requirements and the free checking is the case whether you met the qualification criteria each month or not.  So I have no risk (FDIC insured) and I am able to earn 2.75% each month on up to $10,000. 

To find a bank that offers Kasasa accounts in your state go to:

https://www.depositaccounts.com/

and click the box that says "find your account now"

Then there will be a box to pick your state from a drop down menu.  The banks with their interest rates will be listed and you can check each one individually.

I've had my account for at least a year now and I've done really well and made the high rate of interest each month. 
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: DansSoulmate on August 25, 2015, 07:36:50 PM
While Dan and I had always lived a very frugal and simple life (to ensure we could retire early) but as a now single person it's becoming even more important for me to pay attention to my finances.  Over the years I have done quite a bit of research on the topic but this site seems to have consolidated a lot of really good ideas and tactics:  http://www.moolanomy.com/1550/how-to-save-money-the-1001-list-of-money-saving-tips-and-ideas/
Here are a few I have done for years:  cut/color my own hair, shop once a week to minimize the chance of something spoiling, wash clothes in cold water, cut dryer sheets in half, eliminated non-value add type grocery items like soda and alcohol from my shopping list, sign up for and use free samples (when I travel I grab all the small bottles I can fit in my luggage), cash in change for gift cards to then buy household supplies, shop at the dollar store for some cleaning supplies, and barter/negotiate with cash (Dan was really great at that).  I am a big believer in budgeting and have dropped all expenses that aren't necessary but my current mission is to decrease my electric bill.  Here are a few ways I am doing this:  minimizing the use of the oven and cooking with a crock pot or gas grill, decreasing the amount of time the dryer runs by using thinner towels so they dry quicker, adjusting the thermostat to a slightly less comfortable temperature, adding water to milk jugs and putting them in the freezer to use less energy, and finally determining when/if I actually use the dishwasher and/or using the energy saving/air dry settings.  A few other things I do that I wanted to share:  I pay off my credit card bill in full every month, but I do charge everything I can to it and cash in the rewards points every month and/or when they reach the appropriate level for a gift card. Hope this helps others to think of ways to save!
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Justin on August 26, 2015, 09:21:10 AM
Loving all these tips - please keep them coming! Here's a few more:

Verizon Cell Plan - Verizon just dropped all contracts in favor of month-to-month plans. Check it out, as it may save you some money. I changed mine yesterday and will be saving $5 per month.

Baking soda - one of my favorite uses (besides brushing my teeth) for baking soda is as an exfoliant. It is gentle on the skin and finer than most store-bought scrubs.

Traveling with a cooler - Ever since I can remember, almost all car trips have been made with a small cooler filled with drinks from home. No more stopping for higher-priced drinks at a gas station just because you are thirsty. I freeze water bottles to use as ice packs; then, you can drink those when they thaw.

Home printing - I will never again own an inkjet printer at home. I have photos printed commercially (Walgreens, or an online vendor) and only print black and white sheets at home so an inexpensive laser printer is for me. No more wasted, dried up ink as the printer toner lasts forever. I got my printer for $50 new at Office Depot (with a trade-in) - watch for specials. I would recommend a Brother or an HP.

Keurig cups - I really love the convenience of my Keurig, but those cups of coffee aren't cheap. I supplement store-bought K-cups with reusuable cups and paper filters purchased on Amazon. Use a fine-ground coffee (I like Cafe Bustelo) and pack the cup tight. There are also cups with built-in screens, but I have high cholesterol and need the paper filter to remove oils.

Free music! - Sign up for the NoiseTrade newsletter (noisetrade.com) and receive links to free downloadable music. Most of the artists are ones that I haven't heard of before, but I have discovered a lot of really cool music here. They also have some free ebooks, but they aren't as appealing to my taste.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: DansSoulmate on August 26, 2015, 07:49:25 PM
Here are a few other ideas: consider raising your deductibles on your insurance policies, check your receipt before leaving a store to make sure the sale price was given and/or you weren't charged double for an item, take advantage of free entertainment in your area (theatre, music performances, festivals, etc) and match coupons to store sales to increase their value.  Another area I have spent time researching and thinking about are taxes and more specifically sales and use taxes.  Here in North Carolina "food" is taxed at a much lower rate than other items like "soda", alcohol, paper items, etc.  Little did I know drinks that have less than 50% fruit juice are taxed as "soda". 
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: TooSoon on August 27, 2015, 03:24:43 PM
Big Lots.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: DansSoulmate on August 28, 2015, 08:41:46 AM
A few more:  check to make sure you don't have unclaimed property with the state.  I had a rebate check from some deck stain that had been turned in.  My daughter had a small work check.  And my niece had a balance in an abandoned account my dad set up at a credit union for her in her maiden name.  A word of caution though as I have read some states are using this as "bait" to get the attention of folks they have been trying to locate for things like back child support.

I use old toothbrushes to clean tight spaces like a window seal.  And I use worn out socks, sheets, t-shirts  and other clothing items as cleaning and dust rags.

I've sold prom dresses at consignment shops, as well as scrape metal from dan's shop and an old storage building to the recycling center.  And have cashed in broken gold jewelry.  Dan thought i was crazy until he saw the money i made  :)
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: DansSoulmate on August 28, 2015, 09:06:01 AM
A few others..the girls and I recently painted an old dresser that dan and i stained 25 years ago with chalk paint and then put new pewter pulls on it.  It looks brand new and adorable in the nursery.  I also am a big fan of spray paint to breath new life into yard ornaments.

I'm finding that being proactive with maintenance is much less expensive in the long run with appliances, mechanicals in the house and cars.  I'm very proactive when it comes to controlling pests and bugs..big fan of seven dust, mouse poison, and bug spray to keep a "no pest" perimeter around my house.  If you have ever made contact with a carpenter ant then you understand  :)
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: DonnaP on September 01, 2015, 07:51:34 AM
Has anyone found good deals on flights overseas? I want to plan a trip to Italy and am looking for the best price airfares...
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Kealoha on September 02, 2015, 06:36:11 AM
Kayak.com is an easy-to-use but also powerful flight search engine that I really like.  Before DD was born I flew >100k miles/yr and actually used kayak to find my optimal flight, then booked it with corporate travel.  It allows you to filter pretty specifically according to your requirements (times, layover, carrier, etc).  It will also look for "hacker fares" ie flying with different carriers if it is cheaper.

Farecompare is also good for their free flight alerts to notify you if prices change.

If you avoid the business traveler "commute" (out on Monday, back on Fri or Sat) fares are generally better.

My family has flown for "free" (including parents, siblings, extended fam) for a long time using this strategy: If you have a credit card with points that can convert into miles, that can save a lot of money if you redeem miles for an award ticket.   you do need to hangout ve more flexibility and some familiarity with the award booking maze.  I have a Chase credit card that earns points which can be converted into either cash or miles.  In some cases (particularly international travel) you can save a few hundred dollars off the equivalent flight price by using miles.  Ie if you have 70k points, that could be $700 cash, but you could also in some cases redeem for an award ticket costing 70k miles that would run you $1k+ if you bought in cash.  domestically I've saved >50% off ticket prices  ($ savings are more like $250/$300 just bc domestic tix are less expensive).  Feel free to PM me if you want more info... 

Airbnb for lodging is fantastic, I stick to the consistently highly reviewed places so there is less chance of surprise.

Costco travel is another highly overlooked source for great deals.  I get all my personal car rentals through them; you get a free extra driver.  By booking a couple months ahead and checking back frequently I have consistently gotten car rentals in the <$12/day range TOTAL for the last 9-10 yrs, including convertibles and 4x4s in Hawaii.  Ie my total rental price is generally more than half fees because the "rental" part is so low. Thanks Costco!

*i know travel is a luxury and we were fortunate to have that opportunity.  That being said we also saved and tried to find the best deals-- we would buy vacations or a vacation activity instead of exchanging tangible gifts.  There are a lot of good savings out there thankfully!

Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: TooSoon on September 02, 2015, 08:08:06 AM
Not sure what your Italy plan is but I go to Rome often for work, flying from Philly or Newark.  Two years running now, I have bought the cheapest tickets I could find.  They routed me through Casablanca last year and Oslo/Stockholm this year.  In both cases, the connections turned out to be NIGHTMARES.  It pays to fly direct even if it costs more, especially if you don't have a lot of travel time once in Italy.  That is the lesson I have learned.

That said, my colleague flew from Boston into and out of Milan direct on Emirates.  Milan is the business hub in Italy and there are tons more direct flights.  It was under 1K and they had no complications. He then took the train down to Rome and then back to Milan, stopping along the way.

Also, I've seen some pretty spectacular packages for many places, but Italy, Ireland and central America especially, on travelzoo.com - its worth a look if you live close to any major international airport.  Be sure to read the fine print.

Buon viaggio!

Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: mmg19 on September 03, 2015, 10:42:05 AM
My LH and I were semi-frugal.  One of his favorite sayings was ?An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?.   This doesn't always put money in your hands immediately but in the long run saves Big Bucks.  Some examples of how this has worked for us/me over time.  Taking care of what you have is obvious but it has saved me $$$.

Car- Regular oil change, tire rotation, tune-up.  Now 8 yrs. old and still going with no major repairs or costs.

Household appliances ? Vacuum refrigerator coils monthly, check and replace filters in AC/heating until every 3-6 months.  Clean vents regularly, check and do preventive maintenance as needed on all appliances.  Keep a check-list.

Utilities ? replace leaky faucets and drips.  Turn off all lights when not in room.  Caulking windows as needed.  Checklists are available on google for preventive maintenance.  Be aware and track any increase in electricity, water, and gas bills. 

Doing this without my partner is not always easy and not fun but I'm still using refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave,  vacuum cleaner,  and small appliances I've had for over 15 years.  I can't afford replacements and updates right now so immediate repair and a little TLC has saved me from spending on the big items.

At present I am renting after selling my house this summer, but I believe the reason I made the profit I did on the house was because the inspector found everything is excellent working condition. 
   
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Justin on March 18, 2016, 11:00:07 PM
I went to Sherwin-Williams to buy some more paint, as I am trying to fix up and sell this house before it is time for our move to AZ (yay!). While waiting, I struck up a conversation with a professional painter and he was there to buy a gallon of "mis-tinted" paint - basically, paint that was mixed to an incorrect color by the store employees.

What was his cost for this gallon of mis-tinted paint? One dollar. Yes, a gallon of Sherwin-Williams paint for $1. He told me that he painted his whole house interior for $14, but you have to check with the store religiously because you never know what colors they will have but he is there buying paint all of the time anyway. If I have time to do some more painting, I am checking there for a doable, cheap color :-)
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Catnip on March 19, 2016, 11:46:19 AM
I work full-time. I always bring my lunch, in a vinyl lunch bag-NY Yankee bag, so I love to use it. I usually always bring PBJ, a yogurt (and a spoon from home) and an apple.

I love coffee. So I bring my own from home. Again, I have a Yankee thermos I bought at Yankee Stadium. So I love to use it. I make 2 K-Cups at home, put in my own cream and sugar, and have it on my desk at work. I bring my own coffee cup from home, that I bring home every night and put in the dishwasher. I don't even use half and half anymore, just milk. I could drink more coffee, but this limits me to only two. Then, in the afternoon, I drink tea, with my own tea bags in my desk drawer.

So coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, but I won't tell you what I drink at night!
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Wheelerswife on March 19, 2016, 11:59:17 AM
Catnip...it sounds like you have this down...but the Yankees swag?  You can do better. 

:D

Maureen
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Pammy on March 19, 2016, 12:14:35 PM
Here in Georgia spring has sprung and with it comes wasps, hornets and bees galore. I use cheap mouthwash in a spray bottle and spray around my doors, windows and patio furnature. The minty freshness seems to repel them, it is environmentally safe, safe for pets and won't kill the pollinators, just repels them :)
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Catnip on March 19, 2016, 04:14:30 PM
Hey Hey Maureen,
No making fun of my Yankees! They are still at spring training in Florida and they just won today against the Atlanta Braves. My poor Jacoby Ellsbury just got injured in his hand, but he still has time to get well before opening day on April 4th.
 
I have tickets for April 23rd. I'm going with my brother. We drive from Albany to Poughkeepsie, then take the Metro North train to the Bronx that drops us off right across the street from Yankee Stadium. Can't wait!!
Love,
~Catnip
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Guaruj on March 20, 2016, 03:52:55 PM
I make 2 K-Cups at home, put in my own cream and sugar, and have it on my desk at work. I bring my own coffee cup from home, that I bring home every night and put in the dishwasher.

The K-Cups can be expensive to use on a regular basis. Have you found a way around that?

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Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: BrokenHeart2 on March 20, 2016, 03:59:02 PM
Funny you should ask Guaruj, I just read this yesterday from Justin in Aug in this tread:

Keurig cups - I really love the convenience of my Keurig, but those cups of coffee aren't cheap. I supplement store-bought K-cups with reusuable cups and paper filters purchased on Amazon. Use a fine-ground coffee (I like Cafe Bustelo) and pack the cup tight. There are also cups with built-in screens, but I have high cholesterol and need the paper filter to remove oils.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: twistedmensa on March 20, 2016, 05:50:40 PM
I have the reusable K cups, too. I like the convenience of a single cup brewer, but hate the thought of filling a landfill with all of those cups.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Guaruj on August 14, 2017, 07:37:23 PM
I was away for about a year, and I'm sorry to see that this thread was idle the whole time.

These days, you see all kinds of advertisements for "inexpensive" razor cartridges. Honestly, who wants to pay $3 - $4 per cartridge when they won't last a week? Frankly, I consider the manufacturers to be profiting from a "patent racket". They introduce newer, more expensive blades when the patent expires on the old one. Does anyone really believe that a 5-blade cartridge works a better than one with 3 or 4 blades?

What you don't see advertised is the low cost of the old-style safety razor blades. When I discovered that Costco no longer sold Gillette Mach 3 razor blades in packages of 24, I bought a Van Der Hagen safety razor (https://www.amazon.com/Van-Der-Hagen-Safety-Razor/dp/B00E6BQEEA/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1502756516&sr=8-1&keywords=van+der+hagen+safety+razor) at my local drug store.

I then started shopping around for inexpensive razor blades. My supermarket has a great deal: 10 blades for $1.50 - $0.15 a blade! I dip the razor in baby oil after use, and that way the blade lasts me a full week.

It took some time for me to learn how to handle this razor properly. My best advice is to make sure your fingers are completely dry before you shave with it. The razor is solid brass, so it's heavier than the cheap plastic handles of those cartridge razors. It's easy to cut yourself if you let it slip.

It's been 6 months and I don't miss my old razor. The new razor, which cost me about $20, has already paid for itself.

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Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: faye on September 08, 2017, 08:41:10 PM
For doing stuff on your own:

http://seejanedrill.com/
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: oneoftwo on September 09, 2017, 10:02:20 AM
Pay attention to what you buy-
don't buy crap you don't need
pay extra where you can and get better quality, longer lasting stuff

live within your means-
and save for a rainy day

And also, treat yourself now and then- go on vacation, buy an ice cream
Spend your extra cash on experiences, not 'stuff'
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Bunny on September 09, 2017, 12:10:16 PM
I rarely use paper towels- one roll can last me months. Instead, I have two canisters in the kitchen that I keep rags in and I just use those then throw 'em in with the laundry- unless the job is too gross, then I simply throw away. My favorite rags are cut up old flannel sheets. I also use cloth napkins- i prefer 100% cotton. I find cute ones at the thrift stores or I cut out big squares of fabric with pinking sheers so they don't require any sewing. I just made some super cute ones out of a vintage dress that had seen better days.

I grow many of my herbs. This can be done in pots, if space is a problem. I dry out a bunch in the Fall for winter use.

Craigslist and Next Door always have free stuff for the taking- but it can go quick! I've gotten free firewood, dirt, mulch, plants, pots, furniture, Weber grill.

i love my bread machine. I can make super fancy or heathy breads for pennies. Actually, if you love baked goods as much as I do, it's cheaper to make them yourself and then freeze- cookies, scones, muffins, fruit bread or cake sliced into servings.


Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: twin_mom on September 15, 2017, 09:17:39 AM
I buy on Amazon instead of going to the store for things like birdseed. Online I get just the birdseed, at Home Depot I come out with all kinds of things that caught my eye but I didn't really NEED.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Guaruj on September 15, 2017, 10:04:39 PM
I rarely use paper towels- one roll can last me months. Instead, I have two canisters in the kitchen that I keep rags in and I just use those then throw 'em in with the laundry- unless the job is too gross, then I simply throw away. My favorite rags are cut up old flannel sheets.

I bought a package of 36 polyester cloths from Costco about 4 or 5 years ago. They're meant for drying cars, but I use them in place of paper towels. They dry so quickly that I don't bother putting them in the drawing. I still have at least 12 or 15 of these that are still in the original package. What triggered this purchase was realizing that the cloths cost about the same as a 12-roll paper towel package at the supermarket.

Living alone, I use paper towels for napkins,  then re-use them for cleaning. I use only 1 or 2 half-sheets per day. The typical final use is straining the grounds from my french press coffee maker.

Quote
i love my bread machine. I can make super fancy or heathy breads for pennies. Actually, if you love baked goods as much as I do, it's cheaper to make them yourself and then freeze- cookies, scones, muffins, fruit bread or cake sliced into servings.

I may get one of these. I make a lot of soups and stews during the winter, and I usually like to have some bread to go with that.

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Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Bunny on September 15, 2017, 10:44:46 PM
I recommend the zojirushi mini-bread machine. It's perfect for a smaller household. I also suggest getting one of those giant recipe books with, like, 300 bread machine recipes, though King Arthur Flour has excellent on-line recipes. (Also- instead of buying bread flour, I use all-purpose and add gluten.)

Nice to see a fellow rag user! I pretty much just use my paper towels to wipe out the cast iron. I am also a fellow French press user- all grounds go into the compost, or roses, of course...
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: soloact on September 17, 2017, 02:04:48 PM

Quote
i love my bread machine. I can make super fancy or heathy breads for pennies. Actually, if you love baked goods as much as I do, it's cheaper to make them yourself and then freeze- cookies, scones, muffins, fruit bread or cake sliced into servings.

I may get one of these. I make a lot of soups and stews during the winter, and I usually like to have some bread to go with that.

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The bread machine is an excellent suggestion. Look for one with a timer. If you do a lot of soups and stews you'll love this. There is nothing like returning home on a cold evening to the aroma of freshly baked bread and a hot meal.

Prep was the prior evening. Crock was assembled and refrigerated overnight. Everything went in the bread machine except the liquid. In the morning all I had to do was place the refrigerated crock in the slow cooker and add liquid to the bread machine. Great for getting out of the house in a hurry.
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: BrokenHeart2 on September 17, 2017, 04:17:39 PM
My favorite thing in my bread maker is pizza dough.  I add spices to it as well and it comes out great.  If I don't need all of the dough I freeze individual balls of dough and use it up that way.
Happy cooking Wids!
Title: Re: The Money-Saving Tips Thread
Post by: Bunny on September 17, 2017, 07:51:56 PM
Maybe it's all the years of my childhood spent in the Far East (Navy brat), but I am a huge fan of rice cookers. Perfect every time whether white, wild, brown, or mixed. Some models come with a timer for planning ahead, and can be used for other things- like hot cereal.

This last year I started making my own yogurt and I can't believe how easy it is! Not to mention much less expensive. I use a heating pad on low wrapped around the jars to keep a steady temp while the yogurt is being made. I also started making my own granola. Not only is it cheaper, but it's a lot healthier because I use much less sugar and fat.

Sometimes I think I must be reincarnated from someone raised during the depression because I derive way too much pleasure in being thrifty.