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    Money saving ideas
    Randm2220 posted:
    Good morning!

    Being on a 1 income household is a daunting financial task for us all. Waiting on social security is a long process and saving money is high on the list.

    I would love to hear some of your money saving ideas. From cutting grocery bills to saving on utilities.

    Some of the ones I practice are: not using the dryer. Shopping a discount grocery outlet. Making our own chips to snack on. Making our own coffee creamer. Unplugging things not in use. Growing our own vegetables. And repurposing anything we can.

    teelady1 responded:
    Good morning, Kim!

    You have some great money saving ideas - I have a few to add:

    • Not buying soda drinks and drinking mostly water and ice tea (made by myself with tea bags).
    • I used to buy books to read. Now I'm making better use of the public library and read books for free!
    • No premium cable or expensive pay channels for the cable TV. (I do have the least expense level of cable. To cut expenses further, I could discontinue cable TV completely - and just watch the local TV channels.)
    • I don't use a cell phone a lot - I have found that going with a no-contract cell phone package is great for me. I only pay for when I use it.
    Have a great day!
    schrode responded:
    Great ideas! We always cut coupons and watch for sales. We have a local butcher at our Farmer's Market and he has special meat bundles that are much cheaper than buying meat at a grocery store. We stopped using bottled water and only use refillable water bottles.

    xperky responded:
    Good ideas. I need them too! Here are some more:

    - A "Roku" device we bought for about $70 enables us to watch lots of free entertainment on the TV as well as Netflix for $8 a month. Tons of series you can watch from the beginning, all the way to last year, and movies.

    - You are right about cooking from scratch. So much cheaper and healthier. We learned to cook dried beans, rice, pasta, canned tuna & salmon, chicken thighs, pork shoulder and ground beef. Your garden vegies must be the best! We also find the store brand frozen vegies to be a consistently good value.

    - If you have a home mortgage there is a government program called HAMP that may enable your mortgage company to drastically reduce your monthly payments. The forms are a hassle to fill out but may save you hundreds per month if you qualify. Don't fall for the online copy cats. Call your mortgage company and ask how it works. You are not alone in having reduced income and the mortgage companies would rather people did not default but were able to make a new payment.

    Kim, I think it is all very stressful and that is so hard on our FM. One good thing is to try to live in the moment and to use distractions when the worries creep in your head.

    So, how do you make your own coffee creamer? Stuff is expensive, I agree.
    With Compassion,
    booch007 responded:
    We have always been cost effective here. All natural cooking and the best and cheapest thing we have is the garden.

    Man power to maintain it, but the yeild is great. Any extras to the freezer for soups in the fall. Blanch the veggies and it is like the freezer ones you BUY in the store.

    Alot of the flower beds around the house have lettuce for plants and would never know the yard is edible..

    Couponing is good too, just get what you use, don't buy things that you wouldn't get. I also use the stop n shop gas program. I look for what will give me 30 cents off a gallon and try for it.

    So helpful.

    Great topic!.......Nancy B
    Randm2220 responded:
    Great ideas!

    We don't have cable. We just "ditched the dish". We have a "smart"surround system that allows us to get Netflix and all those other stations, so our cable is only 8 dollars. We have a roku too that we will set up in the guest room once we get another tv.

    I love to read! I don't buy books either. I have an iPad and get the free books from kindle or nook. I have not bought a book in over 2 years.

    I wish we could cut our cell phone bill down. It is almost 200 a month! To is my biggest bill right now. I still have a kid in college so it is unlimited text, talk and surf. Hopefully we can cut that back soon. She graduates in December.

    The recipe for homemade coffee creamer is: one can of sweetened condensed milk thinned out with some milk and vanilla extract to taste. We put it in a repurposed olive oil bottle. Shake well. No need for sugar. It is the best and costs around 1.20 to make. So much cheaper than store bought creamers.

    My mother in law comes in today and tomorrow I am going back to Alabama with her! I am too stoked! Almost 3 weeks away from home. I don't think I have ever been gone for that long......

    Have a wonderful day my friends and thanks for the tips!


    Keep them coming! We could all use them.
    maggiethedoglover replied to Randm2220's response:
    Hi Kim,

    Sounds like you are handling these tough economic times well.

    Just wanted to say that we got "Magicjack" about 6 months ago. For $19.95, we hooked it up to our computer and get our phone calls that way. The best part is that it is $19.95 a year! I think we had to spend a little more when we originally set it up. Our son does all of our electronic work so I don't remember. Calls nationwide are free, part of the deal.

    Recently, they came out with a deluxe version. Can't remember exactly what the difference is but I believe it is free worldwide calls and maybe you don't need a computer.

    We are happy with our magicjack except that you have to go to the computer to retrieve messages and we rarely do. Fortunately, our friends call back.

    Our 90 year old mother lives with us and she loves to read! I read but not as vorasciously as she does. The public library is just a few blocks from our house and our system lets us order books from any library in the county and they are delivered to our neighborhood library for pick-up.

    Recently, our neighborhood received a little free library, which is just a painted box on a support with room for about 20 to 30 books inside. These are catching on in Wisconsin. We have prison inmates who make them for our northern counties. The idea is to take a book and/or give a book. Anyone is free to do charge and a good way to share books with others.

    I use canned evaporated milk instead of coffee creamer. It is not sweet or flavored but that is how I prefer it.

    Recently saw a show about canning and was amazed at how easy it is. When I was a kid, my mother had jars of pickles, both dill and sweet, canned tomatoes (the best on macaroni and cheese), canned sauerkraut and many cans of applesauce. We ate simply then and would have potato pancakes with applesauce for dinner on some Fridays. I also remember Friday dinners of dumpling and onions....that was it, no accompaniments.

    My father bought a huge gunny sack of corn on the cob and baskets of tomatos and cucumbers each summer. When we had corn, that would be the only item on the menu ( I remember ordering 6 ears when ma asked). Beans on a piece of buttered bread made a good dinner also. We weren't deprived...we were happy and healthy. We were also thin...that was a very good thing!

    Love this discussion. Keep it up!

    Soft hugs to all,


    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    Randm2220 responded:

    We don't have a land line anymore. Just our cell phones, but the majic jack sounds like a great deal!

    I want to learn to can foods. I saw a way on pinterest that sounds so easy. Now I just need stuff to can! Lol. Hopefully my garden will produce enough that I can do that soon. If I can keep the squirrels out of my garden I should have plenty to can!

    Another thing that we do to cut down on energy bills is to open all the doors in the morning time and leave them open until the houses is 1 degree higher than what we keep our air on. Then we flip the ac on. Saves us a few hours of electricity a day. We also keep all the doors closed to the bedrooms upstairs.

    We always check out the local thrift stores to buy our clothes. You would be surprised at how many clothes I have purchased that still have the tags on. Name brand clothing! My husband scored a new pair of reeboks for 8 dollars that have never been worn. Still have the tissue paper in the toes.

    I love all the saving tips that are popping up. I hope this thread continues.


    finn2 responded:
    I love the ideas I'm reading here. I save money all sorts of ways. Of course coupons for groceries. Never buy anything you don't normally buy. I use my coupons on bogos and items on sale mostly or if it's something I have to have and it's not on sale, use the coupon. I shop too, where you get money off your gas by buying certain items. Again, only what you use and stock up sometimes. We filled our Jeep tank once for $3. Normally at the grocery store, I save 35 to 40% every week by careful shopping, it takes me over an hour to get ready for my shopping trip but it pays off. Books: I don't have one of those "pads" but the library of course is free. Then thrift shops and flea markets and yard sales, you can get books for almost nothing, 25 cents to $1 ea. I read all the time for very little money. If you have a computer you don't need magazines or a TV guide or newspapers. Except for the Sunday paper where I get my coupons, I subscribe to that for $18 a year. Anything you have to buy, even appliances, shop online, you can find anything cheaper online if you search well. I buy and sell on Ebay. You can buy anything cheaper on Ebay. I get all my makeup on Ebay, new, for 1/4 to 1/2 the store price and it's delivered to my door. I just bought a pair of Uggs new, original about $160, for $49.85 free shipping. Also if you shop online, join, it's free, you go thru there to sign into your store site and you get money back on your purchases 4 times a year. All the major stores are there plus more. Want new expensive clothes, shoes, watches very cheap? Free to join at, you won't believe the sales, up to 90% off, just got my husband a $60 watch for $15. I bought boots there over the winter, originally $120 for $49, loved them but they didn't fit so I sold them on Ebay for $75. And this is my most important money making advice. If you have a printer and camera, sell what you don't want around your house on Ebay, Dont be scared off, it walks you through step by step, anyone can do it. You need Paypal which is free to sign up. You can even print your shipping labels at home and the mailman picks up your package at your house. You need some shipping materials and have to weigh your packages. But just making some extra money on your old stuff is easy and you have what you need around the house. You can easily make an extra $100 a week. I buy all my shipping materials on Ebay, the prices are much cheaper. There are Ebay and Paypal fees too but it's all done for you thru your Paypal account. I also have a garden. Freezing what you have extra is cheapest, if you decide to can tomatoes and pickles, you need a canner and jars the first year, the next year you wont have to buy those things. I use the steam canner, easier to use, found mine on Ebay for $40 new with free shipping. I work from home now due to my numerous pain issues and my major job is saving money these days, and I am good at it. I NEVER pay full price or regular price for anything, except certain groceries I have to have.
    Randm2220 responded:
    Wow Finn!

    Great job! Love the eBay idea. I have some old speakers and stuff in the basement. Might have to check that out! I also make crafts, nice way to sell some of them.

    I am not a coupon cutter. But I still save around 40% or more on a grocery shopping trip. I too shop very carefully. I bought my daughter a bathing suit top that still had its tag on for 75 dollars, I got it for a dollar at my favorite store. Not a b ad deal.

    I am loving the ideas that are coming.


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