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Thread: Hints for Economizing

  1. #81
    24thchance Guest

    Default A few tightwad tips

    1.Put electronic items on a power strip and turn off at night w/1 button.
    2.Those cell phone,and most chargers take juice 24/7 Feel it,is it warm ?,thats the feel of your $$$ going out the electric socket.
    3.Fact:in most houses the clock on the microwave oven takes more current than the microwave itself on a 24 hour basis.Useless info there.
    4.If you really want something-wait 3 days.If you still fell the same then,get it.
    5.insulate your hot water pipes,and certainly your ceiling.
    6.If you are really cheap you can re-use your motor oil-ask me for details
    7.Wash out baggies ,aluminum foil.etc
    8.Quit smoking to save tons of $$$
    9.Drink kool aid or water instead of pop,don,t forget to brown bag lunch instead of buying out.
    10.Inflation is over for now,your house is worth less now,but the insurance value of your house is probably still way up there.Talk to your agent and lower it.
    11.When you run the water to get it hot,use the water for cooking or plants.
    12.Low flow shower head
    13.Use electric blanket at night,and lower heat to 62 degrees
    14.Look up do it yourself sites on the computer,you will be surprised how much U can do and save big.
    15.Oil dry($4.00 for 25 lb bag) instead of expensive kitty litter,use baking soda for odor control.
    16.Rent movies ?,use red box for $1.00 a night.
    17.Men,take out the weight (tools)and junk out of your car,and inflate those tires.How would Jesus drive? Nice and slow.Make mileage a game-how much can you get? keep records.
    18.Hang up your clothes while they are still in your hands,throwing them in a pile creates dry cleaning/washing bills.
    19.Clean out refrigerator coils, keep freezer filled to save $$,even if it,s only bags of ice.vacuum furnace filters every month,I don,t buy new ones.
    20.Get an attic fan to suck out the hot attic air so your air conditioner works less hard.
    21.Buy used stuff,so what if someone else had it b4 you.Once it,s washed it,s clean.Salvation army thrift stores are really incredible places.
    22.Not using it ?? turn it off.hard habit to get used to.
    23.Get a device called kill-a watt.Once plugged in between the wall and your appliance it will reveal to you how much that thing is costing you in electric dollars every day or month.
    24.Use fans with air conditioning,Also so what if you wear a sweater in your living room in the winter,you will save big $$.
    25.Remember the 1940,s slogan "use it up,wear it out,make do or do without(yea,i,m that old)

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default A pantry

    For me a major money saver was starting a pantry and cooking for myself. I live alone and work long hours so I often found myself grabbing takeout or going to the store hungry to pick up something to get me by. Last year I started a pantry in my basement. I would shop the local grocery flyer, combine coupons and rebates, and end up walking away with $100 in groceries for about $40. Having the pantry meant I could buy and store more when sales were good. It also allowed me to eat through the winter when the weather was bad and the heating bills were high.

    I also have a small garden, I only grow a few things, but I can trade with friends and family for what I need. My hot pepper jelly can get me just about anything
    But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. Psalm 5:11

  3. #83
    jackson64 Guest


    okay...I'm a major cheapskate..oops, I mean that I am very frugal and conservative

    so here go a few and I'm sure that a few are repeats:

    -- combine trips; if you need a prescription refilled then do it on grocery shopping day, a trip to the post office on the way, schedule a doctor's appointment with other errands...

    -- buy larger packs and ziplock baggies; a 5 lb package of ground beef makes 5 meals for the cost of 3 ( tacos, burgers, hamburger helper etc) and don't forget to re-ues and wash those baggies, they're not cheap

    -- I grow my own veggies, melons, tomatos the seeds from the plants by drying them on a paper towel in a window sill. The next March or April you can re-use those little 6 pack plastic flower things and start your veggies early in the season by starting them in a bay window or in sunshine in the house..the crops will produce earlier and longer....

    -- a Vaccuum Sealer !! I have fresh beans, carrots, peppers, tomatos even corn cut off the cob. Zuccini and squash even store well if you just blanch it very little before sealing up. You should never have to buy produce again except specialty items that don't grow well in your area or things that don't store like lettuce or cukes..

    -- Fish stores much longer in ziplocks if you fill the bag with water--it won't freezer burn...

    --I keep my old tennis shoes for gardening, fishing, lawn cutting etc..and one nicer pair for casual dress...

    -- a BIG ONE. If you and your spouse or kids have cell phones, why would you have a house phone also? My wife and I both have cells yet I had my house phone at $60 a month still on for a year

    -- Change car insurance. The field is so competetive that almost everyone will offer you a cheaper rate--shop around.

    -- Brew your own coffee. I have a "single cup brewer". I simply heat a cup of water in the microwave then pour it through a little plastic strainer with a filter..TADA !! Even better, if I want a second cup I only need to add a little more grounds on top and the second cup is just as strong with almost no more grounds !! If you do drink coffee out, carry a mug in your car. Most places who sell coffee for $1.29 for a 16 ounce cup will sell for 50c or 75c if you bring your own mug...

    -- if it's on sale and you use it, buy multiples !! It's okay to get 5 bottles of ketchup, mustard or mayo when they are half price--you'll use it eventually and they store for a long long time unopened. Tuna on sale for 50c a can? Get 20-30 of them !! Chunky soup for $1.50 a can?--get 10 or more--heck, a $1.50 for a filling meal is not a bad deal today...

    -- I buy and sell on ebay, those padded, bubble mailers?..I open the end evenly with scissors, peal off the label and just saved a buck and a quarter for packaging/mailing supplies. If the label is too stuck to remove, simply write the address on a piece of paper and tape it over the old label. ( saves on labels too!)

    -- not everyone can do this but we get free bottled water. My wife works as a dialysis nurse and they have a water purifying system and big tanks in the back. She takes empty gallon jugs to work and refills them for free with purified water. We also use re-usable smaller water bottles which we fill from the gallon jugs, no need to buy bottles of water by the case or at the stor in singles ( and no storage space needed)

    -- a thermos !! Saves money on coffee, hot meals anywhere..leftovers make for cheap lunches and can save $40-50 a week as opposed to eating lunch out ( probably a lot healthier too)

    --check the flue on your fireplace..keep it closed unless you're burning a fire..

    -- extra insulation pays for itself in the attic. Ideally you want modern fiberglass insulation but in the old days they knew that ( just like with clothes outdoors on cold days) the thicker and more layers the better--they even used old cloths and newspapers ! ( of course this also makes nice homes for mice and critters who climb in the attic)

    -- we call it the "whole house fan" but it may be what others are calling an attic fan. It is in the upstairs hall ceiling, when we turn it on it sucks all of the heat out of the house and blows it out through the attic. Drops the indoor temp from 90's + to 80's and low humidity in 15 minutes...

    -- cool shower before bed and leave your hair wet/damp

    --more reading and family time.!! If you have a TV on in one room, a stereo in another, another family member on the computer..that's three people who could be using one entertainment media instead of 3 different..

    -- if grilling, cook not just that dinner's food but 1 or 2 other meals also that can be re-heated for lunches or the next night's meal. Saves time and charcoal/propane cost..

    Hope someone can use at least one or two of these

  4. #84
    PurpleRobe Guest


    We have a vacuum sealer and our church garden has a bumper crop of squash and zucchini. Thanks for the blanching tip.
    I also consolidate my trips.
    I go to the Goodwill in the wealthiest suburb. I find clothes with the tags still on them all the time. And a lot of the clothes are designer. Half price day I got two huge bags of very nice clothes for hubby and I for 30 bucks.
    Saving money makes me feel clever!

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    S.Cental BC, Canada


    Here is a money saver that I have used for years and it works great.

    Homemade Window Cleaner

    In an old window cleaner bottle put
    2 - 3 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol
    2 - 3 Tbsp. vinegar
    2 - 3 Tbsp. ammonia
    a couple of drops of liquid detergent
    and a couple of drops of blue food coloring
    Fill the rest of the bottle with water

    This cleaner can also be used to clean walls, stoves, counters etc. You may want to double or triple the strength though, it depends on the heavy duty job you have.
    1 John 4 : 4
    Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    I just wanted to say I love all these ideas and tips everyone has shared. Some of them bring back memories of the late 1950's when my father died and my mother found herself raising 5 kids alone. She sure could make a dollar stretch! We had chickens for eggs, a cow for milk and I learned how to make butter, buttermilk, etc. My mom would take me along when she would buy chicken feed in the purty print sacks and let me pick one out and then she would make me a dress/skirt out of it. She had an old foot-pedal Singer sewing machine and could sew very well.

    I suggest finding a set of the old FoxFire books by Eliot Wigginton that are old folklore and how to live off the land (back in the olden days.) These books are full of wonderful how-to ideas. You can find them on ebay too. They are a treasure.
    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    to save water - in Iowa- we had a very hot weather and no rain- I used the water left over from the pets water bowl to water the flowers- instead of throwing it out. the plants don't car if Willis and Vanna drank from it.

    Why so many people are so willing to accept government handouts but unwilling to accept the free gift of salvation of Jesus Christ?

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    I periodically reread this thread for inspiration to help cutting costs. Like most people we are finding the paycheck is smaller than it used to be and the cost of living keeps going up. I really don't know how people without the hope of Christ make it in today's world. I would be one big stressed out mess were it not for the fact I know He is here for me.

    Over the last several years I have been taking a hard look at the STUFF I accumulate and have been getting rid of the things I no longer love or are no longer useful. I am finding that it is helping my home look better, be more peaceful and it also is helping the budget.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    Nobody has mentioned these...

    Paper towel packages are now smaller and lighter, and product thickness is reduced. Tear off only small sections of paper towel as needed instead of wasting one whole perforated piece. Air dry the larger wet, used, but still clean, pieces and reuse them on a dirtier job next time.

    Tear off plastic wrap only enough to securely wrap around container edges. Keep reusing on other containers until the piece gets wet or soiled.

    Cut open toothpaste tubes (at the bottom, then press shut after use) and plastic containers of hand, face and body creams (cut in half, then transfer the remaining cream). You can get 1-2 week's worth of product out of containers opened this way.

    In bathrooms, use nightlights with a switch. Get in the habit of turning on the 4-watt nightlight instead of the overhead bulbs when only minimal light is needed.

    Keep a thin rubber spatula on hand for scraping all of the contents out of slender plastic containers such as salad dressings.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    Credit cards: (mentioned above)
    Here's the thing. A national financial guru on the radio sez absolutly no CC's, period, end of discussion. His reasoning is research shows people spend more if paying with plastic than the cold hard cash, and banking moguls are betting on you paying big fees and interest. Over the case of the last few years; I have paid ZERO interest and fees and it pays a percentage back, 1-5%. Playing Monopoly with my son, I showed him this example; say I borrow $100 from you and then I have to pay you $5 for using your money or $105 back. Imagine if I borrow $100 from you I pay back the $100 and you pay me $5 for doing it . . . Dad, can you do that? I put everything I can on the card, use their money for a month and write one cheq a month.

    The only things for which we might borrow money are: 1) Home purchase 2) Car purchase 3) Emergency house repair (assuming it costs more than our savings). We purchase nothing else...and I mean nothing...unless we have the cash in the bank.

    We carry no CC debt (it took our first 3 married years to erase it all). Now we put almost all purchases on a rewards CC. We build up several hundred dollars in rewards cash, which we typically use to buy gifts.

    Works great...a CC that truly pays us.
    Matt. 7:21
    2 Cor. 5:21

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    North Carolina


    I am interested in making the homemade laundry detergent. How long does it last?
    Do you have to stir it occasionally?

    Another website for frugal information is
    There are articles on almost everything you can save on.

  12. #92


    I tried the hmade detergent about 15 years back. Our hard water was too much even with borax. I finally figured for me my time was better spent on other money savers. I looked around for super sales on detergent brands that did well in consumers guide & stocked up. I also experimented till I found the least amount per load.

    Dishwasher detergent is cheaper in liquids or powders, never pucks. Like the laundry detergent it allows you to use the least bit that does the job. I find I can use less dishwasher detergent when I use the pots & pan cycle. I save electricity by shutting it off and air drying the hot dishes.

    My other big savers are a dollar store spray bottle that I put vinegar & water solution into. Spritz and wipe with those newfangled microfiber cleaning cloths.

    I bought a huge bundle from home depot and they clean perfectly with just water or the water & vinegar solution.

    Microfiber cloths fit onto a swiffer sweeper for walls & floors.

    Streak free windows, chrome, granite counters, and stainless steel.

    I still use comet from dollar stores or super sales for my kitchen sink & toilets. I scrub with dedicated cleaning brushes, never comet with microfiber.

    I scrub my shower & tub with a soft back scrubber on a wand from the dollar store & a little squirt of cheap shampoo in a smell I like. No scratches & cleans better than anything else.

  13. #93


    And ,yes this is the same lady who spends those savings wildly on Estee Lauder stuff. We all have our priorities.

    I use a pantry system & some menu planning plus we rarely eat out so for health & budget reasons I cook from scratch. Dh & I have done some serious shopping & bargaining to reduce our phone & internet access bill. Ditto the tv. We moved into an apartment with much lower heat & light bills, plus the condo fees are less than garden & home maintenance on our old home. We pay less for home insurance which we shopped around for. We own only one car, and we get discounts for safe driving. We combine trips so we use the car as little as possible reducing gasoline. We are in walking distance of grocer shops, drugstores, dentist etc. We bought the apartment near a good bus route. We are retired so we take advantage of senior discount days. We do our own taxes and shop for better banking fee bundles.

    Much of this we did for decades before dh retired.

    I rarely buy anything full price. I have a running list of things that need replacement soon from dh's trousers to our washer machine. I look around with a mental price that I am aiming for, so when we see the Dockers on sale at Costco, its time to buy. I don't even buy the aforementioned expensive estee L stuff unless it is gift with purchase time, and only when I'm near to needing a replacement. Even then I often get extras thrown in free because I make friends with my Clinique and Estee Lauder counter ladies. I always stop & shoot the breeze with them & my favourite clothing shop keepers. They tell me about upcoming sales, give me freebies, hold stuff ahead of the sale and we both enjoy these encounters.

    I make sure to compliment and thank my appliance guy at sears in front of his boss, and when we need replacements I check in with him. He has sold me stuff for the last 15 years starting with our old house where my 25 year old stuff was dying to our apartment where the washer that came with it died. He saved me a boatload of money on the washer dryer set & knew exactly what I needed.

  14. #94


    Regarding the biggest savings over the years, getting out of debt and paying off credit cards in full before you get dinged for interest. We have used a couple over the years to maintain a good credit score but we shop for the lowest charges & interest and we usually have a very low limit so if somebody gets a hold of it, the damage is less.

    We purposely never get into a lease on a car, we try to pay cash for a gently used ex lease car with lots of warranty left then basically drive it till the wheels fall off. A couple of times we haven't had enough saved but we do the lowest interest loan and pay it off faster than called for.

    We always make extra payments on the mortgage principal and that saves a ton of money.

    These kind of things are low effort savings that are once and done. By concentrating on saving like this, you save a lot of money without much effort.

    Lastly go to the library, look at back issues of consumers guide & figure out what products will work best for your own circumstances. That's how I found the Kirkland Costco house brand detergents & toilet paper, or the home depot Behr paint or my Kenmore vacuum that has done me well. America's Test Kitchen does a good job of explaining which brands of ketchup or tins of tomatoes are the best quality. You can hunt for sales on them. Test Kitchen also has guides for how to cook the best as well as really good recipes. Libraries may allow these old issues to be loaned out along with other how to guides such as how to do minor plumbing & electricity repairs as well as general home maintenance. I've learnt so much useful stuff that saved us a lot of cash over the decades.

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