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Laura Marie Posted - Feb 04 2009 : 6:45:44 PM
I know there are some post the Alee put up about challenging ourselves to save money, but besides grocery shopping and planning a meal for the family, how are you all cutting corners. I'm not as bad as a lot of people but I'm finding it hard to make ends meet, and I'm not sure what excally it's going to take. I'm ready to put myself on a money diet. I have debt I need to take care of and I have bills that I don't want to turn to debt. So what are you doing to cut corners? What is helping you?
Farm Girl Hugs!

Laura Marie #369

"It's not the size of the farm but the size of your heart!"
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Bensgrandma Posted - Nov 19 2019 : 6:30:15 PM
I agree Lori. I only buy when something is on sale or if I have a coupon. If I have both, it is even better! One other strange thing I do is I use Ritz dye to redye my black pants. I know it sounds odd but it really works and makes the black or navy pants look new again.

loribeck Posted - Nov 19 2019 : 6:16:53 PM
Seems like the prices of things are going up so much that I am trying everything I know to save money. I'm getting a lot of ideas on this topic and appreciate all of them. I also try to buy everything when it is on sale. I won't buy new clothing unless it is marked down. We are also cutting back at Christmas. It is getting so expensive and the family is enlarging so we can't afford to do much anymore. To tell the truth, I don't feel bad about it at all. I love Christmas for the meaning of it, not for the amount of money spent.

Farmgirl 7774

Never miss a sunset

Lori Beck
Bensgrandma Posted - Nov 10 2019 : 12:06:19 PM
I love this topic. I do sell a bit online and locally on facebook. To cut costs at home we eat in and only eat out occasionally. I buy bulk meat at a local butcher when he runs a special. The meat is good. He cuts it and packs it in small packages.

We only use the cell phone for talking so I dropped the regular one and got a trak phone. OUr grocery store sells refill cards. If you purchase 60 minutes, they will give you triple minutes. When I sign on to add the minutes, I look for other codes to add to that. This last time I was able to get over 400 minutes for the card with 60. It gives you good coverage and text messages too.

Our landline, cable and telephone is our biggest worry. I have been fighting with them for a while. Recently after complaining (nicely) about how much it was I got a nice woman who gave me a military code. It gave me $25 off and a $100 prepaid gift card to use in the future. I will keep after that one though because I dont need all those channels.

I still shop at Aldi grocery and Walmart. We use coupons. I use ebates for any online shopping. I only buy something if it is on sale and I have a coupon.

It is like a game to save money. Walgreens was offering a free 8 x 10 so I ordered the free one and picked it up as I went past. I watch for every free item or discount there is. I consider it a hobby to save money.

We only use the lights we need. Usually just the room we are in in the morning and at night.

Our grocery store offers perks for groceries and gift cards. If I am planning on buying anything I get a gift card first. The perks help with gas and groceries. I dont buy as much there because their prices are higher so only gift cards or on sale with coupons.


Love to hear what others are doing too.

NatChap Posted - Nov 10 2019 : 11:45:06 AM
I checked out a book from the library years ago called, "Two Incomes and Still Broke" by Linda Kelley. She discusses exactly what you shared. At some point we are just making money to pay in taxes, or buy clothing for work, gas, services, etc. Not worth it!

Keep shining!

"Ask what makes you come alive and go do it." ~Howard Thurman
NatChap Posted - Nov 10 2019 : 11:38:19 AM
Winnie, I love those cloth bags you have made!

Keep shining!

"Ask what makes you come alive and go do it." ~Howard Thurman
NatChap Posted - Nov 10 2019 : 11:37:04 AM
Something I never thought I could do without having to put a bag over my head before leaving the house was to cut my own hair. I watched videos on youtube and asked this sweet lady at Sally's about cutting one's own hair. She told me that she cut her own hair, and it was cute! I will save $162.50/year cutting my own hair. It's not as hard as I imagined and I am pleased with the result. My cell phone plan is the basic plan and my phone I've had since 2010. Every year I look at my auto insurance policies and adjust according to car values as found on Kelly Bluebook's site. Fortunately, in my own opinion, it is good that cars go down in value as ad valorem is less and comprehensive/collision coverage on insurance may no longer make sense. Why pay for more coverage when the car is barely, or isn't worth the deductible? My car is 2009 Nissan economy car (35-38 miles/gallon) and was purchased as a demo. It's never made sense to me buying a new car every couple of years. Just keep the oil changed and maintain what you have. makes sense if there is anything that you buy anyway online. Rebate checks are sent via mail quarterly and deposited in my savings account. Keeping the thermostat on 68-72 degrees and adjusting clothing saves a lot. The woodstove helps save on propane for the Winter. As we cut down dangerous trees on the property that are bound to fall, we use that for wood. Thrift stores are another favorite way to save money for craft supplies, kitchen items and clothing. Paying full price doesn't register with me and when buying new it's the end of season sales for next year. On the list is to learn to sew well enough to make our clothes, not there yet.

Keep shining!

"Ask what makes you come alive and go do it." ~Howard Thurman
AnnieinIdaho Posted - Nov 09 2019 : 9:47:37 PM
This may seem like an unusual way to save money, but it worked for us. I used to work and loved my job so much. But my income pushed us into another tax bracket and every cent I earned we paid in income tax and no longer got a refund. So I stopped working. This was after the empty nest. I was in a high profile position that required suits to be worn, manicures and regular haircuts, etc. It actually cost me to go to work and it just didn't make sense. While staying home was an adjustment at first, it saved us so much money that we were able to pay for everything in cash and not use credit card payments. We cut back in the many ways that are already suggested, magazines and newspapers first, I started batch cooking and freezing meals next, buying basic personal care, basic clothing and no "career" wardrobe really helps. I cut back on hobby purchases. Also, as we grew older and wiser and realized that love is not shown by buying gifts for every occasion we cut back and don't buy greeting cards or presents except at Christmas. We show our love by helping each other and thanking each other in appreciation on a daily basis. We learned less can be more. I don't miss anything. But I transfer money to savings each month. Yay!! Take care, Annie

"The turnings of life seldom show a sign-post; or rather, though the sign is always there, it is usually placed some distance back, like the notices that give warning of a bad hill or a level railway-crossing." Edith Wharton, 1913 from 'The Custom of the Country'.
Red Tractor Girl Posted - Nov 07 2019 : 06:54:25 AM
Another easy bag to recycle are those plastic type net bags that bulk onions and fruit sometimes come in. I save those as well and use them over and over when I need bulk items like apples or potatoes. Also, I wanted to note that the string I used on my cloth bags was some twinning from one of those net bags I saved and then just plain jute twine from the hardware store. It can be used for gardening, wrapping and general use. It is biodegradable, 3 ply and I use it all the time for lots of projects. It is also inexpensive for 800 feet!

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
HollerGirl56 Posted - Nov 07 2019 : 06:47:26 AM
These are nice bags. I never thought about bags with a drawstring. That's a great idea---the produce couldn't fall out like mine does at times. Good idea for sure.

Old Age Ain't No Place For Sissies!------Bette Davis
Red Tractor Girl Posted - Nov 06 2019 : 4:19:14 PM
Barbara, I grew up in a large family and cutting corners and making do was how it always was. Like you, I have been doing that all of my life. Now that my children are grown and we are retired, I am trying to do a much better job at recycling and getting rid of plastics, which is very hard to do. This past Spring, I made myself some little cloth bags to put my produce in at the grocery store instead of just grabbing another plastic bag. I also added to my reusable bags for larger items and then placed them all in a basket in my car so they are always handy. My next step is working on finding an assortment of small left over dishes to replace the plastic ones. I have been looking at thrift stores and have found some I use all the time. I need a few more so I will keep looking. We have a good recycling program in our county and they put out a great booklet that tells me what and where all sorts of things can be taken for recycling. It has been really helpful to not just send everything to the landfill.

Here are my bags and basket that I organized and then put in my car.

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
HollerGirl56 Posted - Nov 06 2019 : 3:11:40 PM
Ladies I have cut so many corners all my life that I don't even know what cutting corners is. I like to read about what you all do---and I do a lot of it myself. My biggest waste is satellite TV and food for animals. But that is what we enjoy---we never eat out---maybe twice a year. I hate to waste money on food. I love to shop at Aldi's---Beckley just got one. It saves so much money on groceries---especially produce. Shopping at Aldi's is my latest way to cut corners.

Old Age Ain't No Place For Sissies!------Bette Davis
lovecatsandsunshine Posted - Nov 06 2019 : 04:33:07 AM
I want to cut cable but Mom lives with us, so cant.
clothes outside in warmer months, or they go on hangers in laundry room. Rare eat out. I make lunch/dinner, bring snacks and bring water. I freeze half gallon of water, then add fresh water right before we leave. Plus bring a frozen gallon of water. Buy on sale/clearance,use coupons in the shops. Buy clothes on clearance at end of season. buy from thrift shops, I've found great glass baking ware on the cheap. My husband packs a lunch, never eats out(unless Boss is paying) Leftover/older veggies get made into broth, then composted. My husband and I are blessed as his Father raises grass fed beef, so we have plenty. I have access to well aged cow manure, so I make my own plant food. Lori-what cleaner do you make for laminate floors? I use warm water and bit of white vinegar. I only use a bit of plant based soap with warm water if there is a dirty spot( cats still make a mess)

Have you hugged your cat today?
loribeck Posted - Jul 19 2019 : 6:01:33 PM
Vicki, life sure is good. We had a hard winter with my husband so sick and it upset him so that I had to trudge through the ice and snow to load the furnace with wood as we heat with an outdoor furnace. I actually enjoyed doing it as I loved looking at the sky and thinking how good life is. We had to pinch pennies like crazy to get through the winter. Another thing I do is save all leftovers. Even a tablespoon of veggies. I will put them in scrambled eggs with sliced potatoes and make what I call a mess. It is delicious. Things are getting better this summer for us and we are both feeling good. I love thinking of new ways to try to save money.

Lori Beck
Krissel Posted - Jul 19 2019 : 08:53:48 AM
Lori you are so frugal and smart! Just had to say it! Hope you are having a great time in your little bit of the world! We are not so thrify but I try to be able to stretch it out and to get a treat for the two of us we can share. Life is good and an adventure!

Farmgirl#7588 Fishgirl Farm Chapter member.
Laughter makes the heart strong!
loribeck Posted - Jul 14 2019 : 6:52:06 PM
I like to use cloth napkins at the table. I save all old t-shirts to make into cleaning rags and shop rags. I never buy towels or washcloths to match or change them out to go with the décor. I use them until they have holes in them and put them in the shop rag box. I make my own furniture polish, laminate floor cleaner, and all purpose cleaner. I have just started making my own miracle gro. I line dry my laundry and if the weather is bad I hang them on a drying rack in the laundry room. I buy what's on sale if at all possible and stock up on things to use later. There are so many things that I am trying to even write them all down but they are paying off.

Lori Beck
Kangaroo Kate Posted - Feb 09 2016 : 8:16:43 PM
there are some great suggestions given !
main thing as someone said -- decide between WANT & NEED!
eat at home is a biggie costs a lot to eat out and not as healthy
cut back on junk food and snacks (unless healthy like fruit etc)
watch sales on things you know will be used.
we are about to dump cable find where can watch show for free
as was duggested save a lot there!

sister #1506

Dance Like No One Is
Bensgrandma Posted - Jan 26 2016 : 2:03:56 PM
I had forgotten about this thread and it is still relevant in 2016. I wanted to relay another tip. Yesterday, I got our cable bill. It was $188.00 - up $30 in just one month and we didn't do anything different. After spending an hour on the phone with Dish and then Comcast, I got the bill reduced to ---are you ready --- $114.99 for two years - no change in plan. It took chatting online, getting info from Dish and then chatting with comcast who is my provider and finally they put me thru to their sales department. I was nice about it but told them I was going with dish and that did it! Over the year that is almost a $1,000 savings. Patience and being nice paid off.

HollyHobby Posted - Feb 10 2011 : 09:56:30 AM
My favorite way to save money is by using our library. They have current DVD's so we don't have to pay to rent any longer. We can access the library online and request any book we want. In a week or so we get an email that our book is waiting to be picked up. How cool is that? You don't know how much money I've saved by borrowing craft books instead of buying them. We can also borrow music CD's (no more itunes!) and you can even download audio books to your ipod.

P.S. - Thank you to the library for getting me interested in MaryJane's Farm! I've since purchased her books and now have a subscription to the magazine too.
Bensgrandma Posted - Feb 02 2011 : 11:22:17 AM
I love reading these threads. I am learning alot that I can incorporate into our lives.

We don't eat out as much. Since we are both home, we are cooking together. It really makes it a lot more fun to have both of us in the kitchen.

This month I started a spreadsheet and put columns in it for dairy, vegetables, frozen, meat, canned, etc. When we are getting low I put that item in the column. I look for coupons to match what we need. We are trying to shop once a week or less. I have a freezer and two refrigerators so that is a big help. We buy a lot of store brands.

We shope at Aldis. Ifyou have one in your area and have not tried it, you should. Prices are good there. We go there, the regular grocery store and the dollar stores. Using coupons all the time. I only buy when it is on sale or if I have a coupon. I love it when it is both. I only buy what we need and try and cook only enough for one meal or two complete meals and freeze.

We both study recipes and we both love to cook so that helps. We have an Eden Pure heater that helps heat the livingroom where we spend the most time. It was an expensive purchase two years ago but I feel it paid for itself. We have oil heat. So far this year we have spent about $1200 on oil. I hope it gets us through the winter. I would love an add on furnace but we are scared of furnace and chimney fires.

We use our fireplace but not a lot - same reason - chimney fires.

I coupon like crazy. I use freecycle and give things away and get books and material there.

I do splurge on fabric! At the moment though I have not been to a fabric store for two months. My husband jokes that he heard Joanns is going out of business. I only buy there when it is on sale or I have a coupon.

We turn off lights and keep the heat set at 67. The kids complain when they come but honestly we are fine with it. Afgans and socks work wonders.

I buy meat in bulk. Beef - side of beef lasts us a year. Pork - We bought a bunch right after the new year. It was cheaper. We had them cut it in chops and roasts and wrapped it ourselves at $1.17 a pound.

Looking forward to hearing more great ideas here.
debtea2 Posted - Jan 27 2011 : 6:41:08 PM
hi all alot of great tips
heres mine..
i add alittle water to shampoo conditioner laudry deter.and dishsoap
to stretch it abit more..
i've lowered the thermostat to 66 and wear sweaters
and heavy sox at bedtime 59 it helps that i have hot flashes..LOL
i use cold water for clothes washing and line dry when possible
recycle old towels and sheets for cleaning and swiffering. newspaper for cleanig windows
and then composting the soil ..
i also use a dryer rack in the laundry room so lots of things can dry there in bad weather.
i have alot of rain barrels for the garden and hanging plants.
if we go for dinner we use two for one coupons ..
reuse cans for planting seedlings
also if you go away sor a weekend i unplug just about everything.
and oly plug in the thing i need ..really does save big
this is a great site loving all the ideas
blessings deborah
inch by inch we find our way
jersey farmgirl
MaggieMB Posted - Jan 25 2011 : 7:55:13 PM
Thanks, Marianne, for the laundry and soap making tip! And to everyone for the ideas and inspiration!
longbeachfox Posted - Jan 25 2011 : 6:06:34 PM
We are in the process of disconnecting our land line phone and also our TV. That will be a savings of about $140 per month! We plan to put that extra on our car payment and get it gone completely. When that is gone, we will apply the old car payment(have been paying the car payment of $372 plus an extra $300) and the $140 per month to the house and get that payment gone. We have been working on this for over a year now and can't believe how quickly the car payment is doing down. I also use cloth napkins to replace the paper ones and some home made cleaning products to clean the house with. I am really appreciating all your comments and will be trying some of those. Thank you!

Farmgirl # 2532

With God...Nothing Is Impossible!

RedGateGal Posted - Jan 21 2011 : 7:27:07 PM
We made a decision this year to stop eating out so much and to do a better job of planning meals. I found e-mealz and in the first 3 weeks of the plan I saved $150.00 from our norma routine. I find myself really questioning if I really need to buy something or if it's already in the fridge at home. I am ashamed of what we were spending in our fast paced lives without even thinking twice about it!!!

We canned all summer and never took the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I am so thankful to have found this site. So many wonderful ideas. Feel like I'm taking my life back again! Looking so forward to making my own cleaning products. What a crazy thing to be excited it

Farmgirl Sister #2574
IdahoShamrock Posted - Jan 21 2011 : 09:52:47 AM
I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandmas and boy, could those ladies thrift! But they were never "cheap." Very generous with themselves and what they had,so I learned young how to be frugal, but not a cheapskate. Being a cheapskate is so low class and it makes people hate you! haha

I use the clothesline all summer and when I started using a clothesrack for laundry in the winter,(we heat with wood) it saved us $30 a month! Target has metal folding clothes racks for $13.99. They have paid for themselves over and over.

I watch garage/yard sales for nice gift ideas, new clothes,books,candles etc. Anything nice that someone you know will appreciate. It forces me to actually think about my friends and family all year long instead of just their birthdays or Christmas. I find beautful gift bags and wrapping accessories at yard sales all the time. With a silk flower and a pretty handmade tag a gift can look lovely. I make greeting card from paper scraps and found items, like labels from food cans.

We have lived in a 1969 mobile home for 24 yrs. Well, actually, it is a trailer. (Thats' right! I'm trailer trash! haha) It has been paid off for a long time, and we have added new energy efficient windows and other upgrades like a new wood stove this year. Now, we need to replace the roof. My husband is a little balky about that, since technically, our home is worth nothing since it it a trailer. He is concerned about spending $$ on a structure like this, but I think that the fact that it is paid for and very comfy (he does a great job maintaining all of its' idiocyncracies) actually makes it very valuable. Although I live in a trailer, I think sometimes as a society we have become very house proud. In one way that is good, we have great housing and comfortable homes, but the debt and stress that goes with home ownership has gotten out of hand.

Someone mentioned the Tightwad Gazettes...those 3 books were my bibles 20 yrs ago. Well, you might be reading thru one and think, OK, I am not THAT poor! Like my husband was appalled at some of the food prep ideas, but I adopted the shopping method and still use it. Anway, good luck to all of us! We are on our way to healthier and thriftier lifestyles!

Farmgirl #2125
rough start farmgirl Posted - Jan 21 2011 : 03:29:05 AM
Welcome new farmgirls,

Check out the forum "Cleaning Up" under the general chat title and you will find a number of chats with laundry and soap advice. Good luck!


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