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Carrie W
Farmgirl Legend/Chapter Guru

411 Posts



411 Posts

Posted - Aug 06 2010 :  6:28:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do...

cold water laundry and hang dry
put electronics on power strips and turn off when not in use
car pool and make every trip count...do errands all together while out
eat oatmeal (filling, healthy, and cheap)
don't buy premade foods and grow what you can yourself
flush toilet less often (if its yellow let it mellow!!)
get rid of non-essentials (for us it is no internet or tv or phone extras)

It is amazing how all these little things can reduce your bills. Cheapskate monthly is a great source for ideas.

www.totallykadeshfarm.blogspot.com

Farmgirl Sisterhood #147

Tis better to weep at joy than to joy at weeping--Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
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Bonnie Ellis
True Blue Farmgirl

2450 Posts

Bonnie
Minneapolis Minnesota
USA
2450 Posts

Posted - Aug 07 2010 :  12:52:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We're trying to stay home more. If you don't need it, don't go. Plan 2 times per month to go out and have fun and look forward to finding free stuff to do. We are enjoying the garden more, planning for fall and what I am going to make for Christmas gifts. This may not work for those who have children at home, but more fun at home makes happy memories. Get a kids pool and all use it for the whole family, let kids help plan the meals. Help them learn to cook and bake or learn together. Have friends over for popcorn parties. Be happy with what you have. Good luck and enjoy LIFE! Bonnie

grandmother and orphan farmgirl
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Cherime
True Blue Farmgirl

1222 Posts

Cherime
Wasilla Alaska
USA
1222 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2010 :  12:20:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a place in Wasilla Alaska. The older part of the house is essentially a duplex. Good thing. My grown son is having to move back in. We have to remodel. We are doing all ourselves with help from friends. My best friends are my table saw and my sliding miter saw. The kitchen cabinets were low end 30 years ago. I am rebuilding them and purchased another from the Restore in Anchorage for $20. I will modify it to take the kitchen sink.

CMF
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DvilleMama
True Blue Farmgirl

159 Posts

Lyn
Small Town MI
USA
159 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2010 :  4:28:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Something else we've done.....we just closed out our storage unit that was originally rented for our daughter who had moved home from another state. Once she was done with the unit, we started using it to get stuff out of the garage just until the garage was cleaned & organized. Well, 2 years later, I finally told DH no more! It was time to close out the unit. That will save us $480/year. Last night I revised our cell phone plan. We reduced our minutes plan, saving $20/month & I finally convinced my DH that internet is NOT a must for his Blackberry (I strongly dislike that expensive phone). Another $30/month saved for a total of $600/year. Just since Saturday between the storage unit & the cell phone plan, we'll be saving $1080/year!!! We have discussed learning how to do our own oil changes on the cars. If DH doesn't take the iniative, then I will. This will save us tons of $ each year since we seem to get suckered into extra services while at the oil change garage, costing us lots more $ than planned. One thing at a time.

Lyn
Farmgirl Sister #1574
Mid-Michigan Farmgirl Chapter
http://simplelifeseeker.blogspot.com
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2quilter
True Blue Farmgirl

127 Posts

Patricia
Greenwood IN
USA
127 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2010 :  5:41:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I offer a word of caution regarding the oil change issue. Never, never never skimp on oil changes with the vehicle. If you are getting sucker punched on 'extras' from your auto shop, then that should be a sign that you are at the wrong place. A good auto technician and reliable, honest, Christian mechanic is worth his weight in GOLD. My 2001 F150 has nearly 175K miles on it and it looks and runs like a brand new vehicle. If you skimp on servicing your vehicle, you will only delay major problems later on.

When life hands you scraps, make quilts!
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7045 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7045 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2010 :  7:44:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh! Yes! I am with Patricia completely. Let me tell you, many years ago my Dad was the manager of a muffler shop. The previous manager had set a weekly contest between the mechanics to see who could outdo the others in getting more business - he didn't care how they got it, and it included a nifty little cash pay off for the winner. One guy literally PREYED on women - especially older women - and he "won" all the time (although I personally feel that is behavior indicative of a total loser). When my Dad took over, he immediately put a stop to it, but the regional supervisor kept putting pressure on him because the shops sales were down. Finally, in all good conscience, my Dad quit. It was hard on our family, but it was absolutely the right thing to do and we all learned a valuable lesson about integrity. So, please, do be careful. And I'll also tell you that there absolutely are mechanics out there who will gently damage something else in your vehicle while fixing the repair you came in for. If you find you're constantly returning for something new going wrong, please find another mechanic to get a second opinion and call the Better Business Bureau and report the first one. There are great mechanics out there, and, like Patricia said, they are absolutely worth their weight in gold! I'm not saying that every mechanic who finds things wrong with your vehicle is a sheister (sp?). It's just wise to be cautious, and you really should trust your instincts. Finally, my husband swears that keeping your vehicle on a regular oil change schedule will keep your vehicle going indefinitely, and he has yet to be proven wrong. He does ours himself, but even if you have to bring it in to have it done, it's definitely worth your time and, in the long run, worth every penny.

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

Farmgirl Sister #1974
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JoyIowa
True Blue Farmgirl

273 Posts

Joy

273 Posts

Posted - Aug 15 2010 :  10:04:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wanted to increase the light in our dining room, but adding another window was structurally impossible. A contractor showed me how to double and triple the light in each room: Just hang large mirrors on the wall opposite the window! I was also able to hang one opposite a window that is actually in the kitchen too! WOW! What a difference. I rarely have to have the light on in there during the day now. Bonus: I was able to enlist friends to help scour garage sales for the mirrors. The 2'x3' one was a buck! and the 3 x 4 was $5.

If it's not illegal, unsafe, or immoral, why not try anything once? Who knows? You may come back for a second helping!
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carolj
True Blue Farmgirl

244 Posts

Carol
Waynesboro Georgia
USA
244 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2010 :  08:38:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A note about putting things on a charge card: it helps me to record the amount of the charge in my check register. This way I am sure to have enough to pay the bill in full when it comes.

Books: Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt. She has a great approach to living within our means and a plan to pay off debts.

Thanks to all sisters for sharing their thoughts. I've picked up some useful hints from all of you.
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FieldsofThyme
Farmgirl Guide & Schoolmarm / Chapter Leader

4928 Posts



USA
4928 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  06:12:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is what we did this year:

-cut back on makeup usage, or didn't wear any at all
-only turned main computer on 2 days a week
-only flushed toilets when needed (have an electric pump)
-did not use hairspray
-grew a large garden
-froze and canned from the garden
-planted flower from seeds
-took advantage of anything to eat on our property such as wild black raspberries (canned jam etc)
-used candles vs. electric lighting
-grilled out a lot over summer
-borrowed magazines, books, movies, CD's etc. from the library for free
-shopped for necessary items at Goodwill
-hang dry all laundry (inside and outside)
-wash in cold water when I can
-recycle old material for curtains, pet bedding, rugs, and other household items
-got rid of our land line (too expensive, even the school was long distance)
-switched are car insurance
-raised chickens for eggs
-had kids print all school assignments at school, using school printers and ink vs. printing at home
-recycled school papers from elementary for printer paper when needed
-we now make and give homemade gifts for birthdays, holidays etc.(macrame bracelets, hair barrettes, foods, book covers, slippers, scrubbies, etc.)
-combine store printed coupons with manufacturer coupons when items are on sale for pet foods, feminine hygiene, toilet paper, etc.
-searched newspapers and on-line sites for free u-pick fruits and other items
-cut back on trips to town, saving on gasoline
-I bake items for school lunch packing vs. buying processed snacks
-kids never buy lunches at school
.....there is probably more I am forgetting.

-

Visit my blog sites:

http://momzonetakingtimeformom.blogspot.com/

http://scrapreusedandrecycledartprojects.blogspot.com/

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dandelionhouse
True Blue Farmgirl

205 Posts

Debbie
Plymouth Mass
USA
205 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  07:43:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow! There are some impressive cut backs here! Let's face it. We all HAVE to make NECESSARY purchases sometimes.
We had to make two large purchases last year that contribute to comfort and convenience in our daily lives. A furnace and a car. We shopped until we found the most efficient furnace we could afford. It felt good to up grade to a more energy efficient system. Next up was the car. Instead of buying brand new, we purchased a used car that was in excellent condition and paid cash. It's also my favorite color RED so that was a bonus! We only spent half of what a new car would cost.! I drove our last car for 10 years.
We do the little things to cut back too.
I hang out the laundry when we can, we have movie nights at home with homemade popcorn, go on field trips where the cost is free or there is a discount offered, use the library, take walks for exercise instead of having a gym membership, eat out less, we have one t.v for the entire household, and we give a lot of thought before making new purchases, even then they are usually only things we really need.
Can't wait to see more great ideas on cutting back.

farmgirl sister #1199

Deb~
www.deborahjeansdandelionhouse.com


" home is where we all craft the life of our dreams."
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Penny Wise
True Blue Farmgirl

1903 Posts

Margo
Elyria OH
USA
1903 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  4:18:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so many wonderful ideas-
have you all seen newspapers.com? you can read papers from all over teh world on the net for free....

my satellite company won't offer a discount for long time customer so they may lose this customer soon! when i cut back service it was because i am now the only one watching and not home all day..may just get rid of it altogether--

wish that i could get rid of my landline phone- i live in an old trailer and in a 3 sided "valley" between trees so i can't get cell signal inside the trailer- need the landline just to call my mother next door!

Farmgirl # 2139
~*~ counting my pennies and biding my time; my dreams are adding up!~*~
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mellee
Farmgirl in Training

24 Posts

melissa
hampton va
USA
24 Posts

Posted - Oct 27 2010 :  07:36:43 AM  Show Profile  Send mellee a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, so many great ideas. It is not that I enjoy reading about your having to cut back; I am just a bit relieved that I am not the only one in an ecomonic crunch. Just three or four years ago we had a surplus of "things." Now looking back, I wished we had stock-piled all that money, sold the house and done what I have been planning all along--move back to the country. Now with the economic slump, our house won't sell. we had to get rid of the new car my husband bought for me a couple of years ago and replace it with one that was half the cost. I too have cut back on the internet/cable/phone services. We do not have cell phones. But both my daughter and I need the internet for school. With our son in kindergarten now, the $550 a month preschool is over. We garden, stock pile food, shop at thirft stores. We do so much to save money, but it still never seems to streach as far as we need.

I was intrigued by several of you posting that you make your own laundry detergent. I will def. be looking into that. Thanks for all the ideas.

melissa
farmgirl #2143

there is beauty in all things.
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child in harmony
True Blue Farmgirl

55 Posts

Marcia
Middleboro MA
USA
55 Posts

Posted - Oct 31 2010 :  1:52:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To cut costs:

We got rid of our landline phone and just use a cell phone.
We borrow most DVD's from interlibrary loan.
We consolidate errands so as not to waste time and gas.
We try to bake as many goodies and snacks from scratch instead of buying,which is cheaper and healthier.
We only get a few magazines and read the rest at the library.... and borrow books instead of buying them.
We read newspapers on the internet or at the library.
We make our own house cleaners and laundry detergent.
We use the horses old clean hay to use as bedding for the ducks instead of buying shavings or straw.
We raise free ranging pastured chickens for their organic eggs that we eat and sell..my 12 yr old has her own egg business.
We cut way back on eating meat and serve smaller portions.
We try to use what we have..often in *new* ways and just believe in simplicity and *less is more*.

happy day!




~marcia

www.harmonywoodsfarm.com
www.childinharmony.com

"Enriching,nurturing and inspiring Life with nature,animals
and the arts .. for the child and the child within"
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minismith
Farmgirl in Training

41 Posts

Nancy
Moscow TN
USA
41 Posts

Posted - Nov 24 2010 :  6:38:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since we both still work in the city, my DH and I are carpooling as often as possible (usually 4 days a week). This really saves us on gas.

We also try not to turn on the HVAC until we absolutely must. We designed our home with 9 foot ceilings and ceiling fans in every room to survive the sultry Southern summers.

I'm trying to follow the farm adage, "Everything must earn its keep." This helps me limit my impulse spending in favor of investing.

Nancy
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cranberryrose55
Farmgirl in Training

48 Posts

Jan
San Jose California
48 Posts

Posted - Jan 09 2011 :  10:37:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To add to list-
-Use library for DVD and videos to see movies
-No TV- we go to PBS online to see Masterpiece theater and use HULU.com
-Became a seed rep for a company I like-Renees Seeds which are trialed on West Coast for better results here-
and get last years seeds that didn't sell. Seed I don't use go to the Master Gardeners and 4-H. and I have a large vegetable garden.
-Turned my whole backyard into food production.
-Fruit trees were picked for low branching so the head of the fruit tree is a foot from the ground and all fruit branches are summer pruned to be 6 feet high so I can pick without a ladder.
-Have a raspberry row against a fence.
-grape vines on back of house.
-citrus row-mandarin, orange and grapefruit- on sunny south side of house.

Jan




There is no use trying, said Alice; one can't believe impossible things. I dare say you haven't had much practice, said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast
.
Lewis Carroll

Edited by - cranberryrose55 on Jan 09 2011 10:39:16 PM
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canvascabinliving
Farmgirl in Training

32 Posts

Kathy
Tendoy ID
USA
32 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2011 :  11:55:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,

I am just recently back and a renewed farmgirl excited to visit with others. Recently my husband and I finally moved to 10 acres we had purchased around 6 years ago. We dont have enough money to build so we've taken a huge step and moved into a canvas wall tent. There is no electricity or plumbing yet. Though this is extreme we are happy we have done this. All it takes is listening to our friends and family talk about how much their power bills are. I too am trying to go on a money diet and feel very strongly about cutting back on extras to become debt free. We have joined a co-op for our fruits and veggies. I have started to try and make things more from scratch though I have to admit not easy when busy with work. Good luck on your money journey and hang in there.

Live Simply, Simply Live

Canvas Cabin Living
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lilaclady
Farmgirl in Training

14 Posts

Janet
Mulliken MI
USA
14 Posts

Posted - Jan 17 2011 :  1:54:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello...I'm a newbie, LOVE MJF and am very interested in learning to make laundry detergent. Any suggestions? Thanx
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2quilter
True Blue Farmgirl

127 Posts

Patricia
Greenwood IN
USA
127 Posts

Posted - Jan 17 2011 :  4:50:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome Pamela and congratulations Joanna! Re-reading this string gives me such inspiration...thank you ladies!

When life hands you scraps, make quilts!
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karla
True Blue Farmgirl

1308 Posts

karla
Pella Iowa
USA
1308 Posts

Posted - Jan 18 2011 :  08:12:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Need vs want is a biggy at our house. Of course my husbands needs differ from mine so we have to discuss some of them.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

http://rua2j-grammysheirlooms.blogspot.com/
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Lil Lady
Farmgirl in Training

25 Posts

Renee
Waynesburg Ohio
USA
25 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2011 :  12:46:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some electrical devices use electricity just because they are plugged in. If not using it - unplug it. I truly believe in thrift stores - you will save money and it is fun. Buy something from the 70's and your family and friends will rave..........lol! If you ask for advice obviously you have conquered the hardest part - thinking about it and starting!



Blessings to all!
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MaggieMB
True Blue Farmgirl

217 Posts

Mary
western Pa
217 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2011 :  6:20:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome Janet! I'm pretty new, too, and just discovered this forum. What a lot of amazing ideas! I am also interested in learning to make homemade laundry detergent. Does anyone have any advice? Or maybe that is something that can be easily found online? After reading all of these tips, I am going to make more of an effort to reduce my paper use- good for the environment as well as thrifty. I have a flannel sheet set that no one uses anymore that could be cut up and used in place of paper towels.
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rough start farmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

3331 Posts

marianne
The Beautiful Pacific NW Washington State
USA
3331 Posts

Posted - Jan 21 2011 :  03:29:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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!

marianne

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IdahoShamrock
True Blue Farmgirl

161 Posts

Kathy
Hayden Idaho
USA
161 Posts

Posted - Jan 21 2011 :  09:52:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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


www.dustbincards.etsy.com
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RedGateGal
True Blue Farmgirl

94 Posts

Danielle
Watertown TN
USA
94 Posts

Posted - Jan 21 2011 :  7:27:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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 about....love it

Farmgirl Sister #2574
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longbeachfox
True Blue Farmgirl

322 Posts

Mary
Long Beach WA
USA
322 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2011 :  6:06:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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!

http://foxontherunarts.blogspot.com

www.etsy.com/shop/longbeachfox


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