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Primal penny pinching!

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  • #16
    I buy from thrift/ consignment/ refurb shops almost exclusively. I'm not paying $40 for a shirt or $125 for a pair of jeans (going rate around here for my size, it's all designer crap)
    When steak/ lamb/ expensive meats on deep sale, I fill the chest freezer. I've discovered that if I buy enough, they'll take a bulk discount on top of that.
    I don't use fabric softener, I use white vinegar.
    Gone poo-less, using nonsulfate bar soap ($3 as opposed to $6).
    I wash everything in cold. (Well, not towels, they get musty too fast)
    I alter clothes as I shrink until it's really not feasible.
    Crock pot meals, pressure cooker meats.
    I do splurge on trash bags because we stuff it to the gills before taking it out.
    Reuse plastic grocery bags as trashbags for the smaller trashcans.
    There are 4 cleaning items in my house: dish soap, 409, vinegar, and clorox. Along with rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, and nail polish remover for the more evil stains.
    we have a programmable thermostat. It's paid itself off multiple times in the 9 mos we've had it.
    incense and candles, not air freshener.
    For the car, I took an old washcloth and spray it with my perfume. Threw it under the passenger seat. It gets redoused every few months.
    I make my own blankets and winter scarfs. Still trying to get up the patience for a sweater (requires a pattern and a much thinner yarn.)
    Make my own clothes with patterns on sale (as in $1 patterns and fabrics I love.)
    Redesigned my back porch for water flow (I love being a civil engineer some days.)
    Rehung my gutters towards a rain barrel for the garden that died.
    grow all the herbs that I'll use that grow in this area.
    Use cheapie veggies.
    ETA: It never crosses my mind to use credit. I have a card for emergencies (as in only used it once back in college for tuition.) My only debt is student loans, the house, and my car. I intend to pay everyone of those off early, too.
    Last edited by naiadknight; 10-16-2010, 07:47 PM.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
    My Latest Journal


    • #17
      Buy beetroot with the greens attached - the greens can be sauteed or prepared like spinach or silverbeet

      Buy lamb shoulder for casseroles. Trim the fat and render it then use it to cook the rest of the ingredients. Works well for curries too and the amount of flavour you get is wonderful
      Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

      Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


      • #18
        Originally posted by queen_sheba View Post
        you are 25?! thought you were older - you seem so wise!

        yeah coconut milke is friggin expensive here . went into sainsbury looking for some - 2.15!! - gits

        i buy things like Venison chunks (2.50), duck legs x2 (2.50) and chicken thighs...
        You must have me confused with someone else!

        Try and get hold of Dunn's River coconut milk. In the Jamaican foods section of my local Tesco. It's 47p a can, and the ingredients are listed as coconut meat extract and water. The other cheap ones have lots of additives. I thicken it up with some Waitrose coconut cream sometimes.

        The more 'adventurous' meats are usually cheaper. In fact yesterday I was the only one looking at the meat, everyone else was looking at reduced ready meals, breadcrumbed chicken fillets...I had my choice of organic lamb chops, pork loin, whole chickens; shame the freezer is already full!


        • #19
          I buy larger joints of meat and chop them into what I require. This usually works out to be much cheaper than buying the meat as steak, chops,etc. I also bulk buy and hunt around for reduced meat

          I go to charity shops and can usually buy jeans that look as though they have never been worn for around 3. I also buy old jumpers that have interesting buttons to go on the stuff I've knitted, as the old jumpers are cheaper than buying new buttons!


          • #20
            This is a great thread!

            My question though.............

            How many of you are single? I can be really frugal at times, but my husband might think I had gone over the edge with some of my ideas. When I was single and really poor, it was like a game to save a few bucks.

            No one has mentioned the water-saver "If it's yellow, let it mellow.......if it's brown, flush it down". They teach that to kids here, where we are prone to drought and water conservation is a hot topic.


            • #21
              Hmm,where to start!

              I shop with coupons,and where I shop,the store doubles the coupons,so a $1.00 coupon is worth $2.00,I buy all my staples this way.
              Pet food,cat littler,soap,shampoo,toothpaste,etc,etc....

              I buy meat direct from the meat packer whenever possible.

              We're working on lowering our utility bills a little more,when I must have the heat on,it gets set no higher than 66,my preference being 62.

              I don't hang my clothes outside,although I should,just haven't gotten around to putting up the clothes line,we do have a rack haning
              from the ceiling in the basement that we use for drying clothes.

              Next year I will have a much better garden,this year was a wash out.

              I rarely buy clothing,when I do it's off the clearance racks,or from the thrift stores.I like to go on the days when everything is 5 items for $5.00.

              I plan all my driving to reduce trips and wasted fuel.

              Our house has tons of natural lighting,so I don't need to turn any lights on until it's dark outside.


              • #22
                I use my credit to keep my scores up, but I haven't paid interest in over 2 years.

                Anything that's compostable gets composted. Great for the garden and I no longer have to buy tons of compost for my large garden. I even bought a cheap shredder to shred junk mail and the like for compost.

                I go to all the websites for products I use and sign up for free coupons and samples.

                I keep my heat just low enough to keep pipes from freezing and keep the fireplace going in the winter. On extremely cold nights, we'll camp out near the fireplace. Feels primal!

                I freeze fruits/vegetables that start to get too ripe.

                I freeze fruits/vegetables from garden. Can some of them.

                I save seeds from garden and start most everything from seed the following year. (Not only does this save $, but it gives me something to do and I don't suffer depression in the winter.)

                I save containers from food and drinks to sow seeds in.

                I use 1/2 amount of soap for laundry and it works just fine.

                I rinse all laundry and dishes in cold water.

                When I steam or boil vegetables, I use the water to water my plants. Extra nutrients and saves water.

                I rarely have to water my gardens, as I mulch heavily. I save my own leaves (lots of oak trees) and collect leaves from the neighbors. It's a little work, but my gardens and pocketbook love it!

                I stock up when things are on sale and take advantage of coupons and double coupon days.

                I lurk yahoo free cycle for things that people are giving away for free. (Only things I need.)

                I do all the regular maintenance on my car myself.

                I do smaller repairs and home maintenance jobs myself.
                Starting Weight/BMI: 184/29.7
                Current Weight/BMI: 130 /21.0
                Ultimate Goal: 125/18


                • #23
                  I try to live by the Yankee creed: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Having said that, when I do buy stuff, I try to go with very high quality as I believe it pays in the end.

                  One Delta Ten Tango, over and out


                  • #24
                    I credit Dave Ramsey with changing my financial life.

                    I live on a written budget. Every dollar knows exactly where it is going.

                    I plan my meals and shop from a list.

                    I use the cash envelope system for my food, the one area of my budget where I tend to overspend. When that envelope is empty, I do not buy any more food. I forage in my freezer (which is stuffed) or my pantry, or I eat eggs. Or I IF.

                    Those three things alone have made it seem like I've received a huge raise.

                    I'm also a daily follower of two frugalista blogs (only two, to keep things simple) that alert us of stellar deals, stackable coupon deals (buying items on sale PLUS manufacturer's coupon PLUS in-store coupon), and the like. I'd recommend following a nation-wide blog such as and then one in your area, for the local deals; for my area, I prefer The money saving mom, Crystal, recently paid CASH for her first home. She is not even 30 yet.

                    I buy in bulk when there's a stellar deal going. This week's example: Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper (expensive, high-quality TP) for $1.99 per 12-pack (full price is normally $8.99). I bought 5 packs. As I am single, this is going to last me a year.

                    I bought my TV (with DVD combo), my awesome desk, and my IKEA bedroom set (but not the mattress) used off

                    As much as possible, I buy my books used from,, or

                    I use an online shopping rewards portal called I go there first, then from there, link over the site where I'll be shopping (say, will reward me 10 points for every dollar I spend at I collect those points and then cash them in for extra money when I go on vacation. There is another similar portal site called that many of the frugalistas love.

                    I bank at a credit union. Should have made the switch YEARS ago. I love my nonprofit credit union, and the big banks can go fuck themselves. I am making 3% interest on my checking account and 1.59% interest on my savings account, which, in today's economic climate is UNHEARD OF.

                    I buy gift cards at a discount via People are selling the gift cards they were given for cash, at a discount. I can usually get 12% off for a Kohl's card. The card has been verified as being good and is shipped to me for free. I then go to the online shopping portal site (as above), accumulate my points, use whatever coupon I have (I rarely buy anything online without having AT LEAST a free shipping coupon, preferably more), and pay with my 12% off gift card! It may seem complicated, but I've got a system down and I can work it quickly.

                    I have another frugalista friend, and we basically get into the equivalent of chest-thumping bragging matches to see who could get a bigger, better deal. heehee.


                    My goal is to be able to live on one of my two paychecks per month and then just bank that other entire paycheck. I am very close, but not quite there. I have a few nice things and a nice place; I am not an ascetic monk.
                    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                    • #25
                      Very interesting thread!

                      My contribution for where I live (upstairs of a friend's house but I have a separate entrance) is all inclusive. I don't have cable but I rarely watch tv, so the free twenty channels of major networks, infomercials and Spanish speaking soap operas don't matter to me. I don't have access to a thermostat but I prefer it cooler anyway (although I have been sleeping with my fleece robe on over my flannels the past couple of nights!). I have a wireless remotve flash for my inherited computer, so no cost there.

                      Even if I knew how to raise chickens or larger animals, we aren't zoned for that. I don't own the property, so gardening is out for now, too. But I really must look into that crop mobbing!

                      I don't care for shopping. I wear what I have and since I change into scrubs when I get to work, I don't wear my own clothes for very long, so I can wear them quite a few times before they need washing (at the laundromat). I handwash everything I can, and they drip dry on a rack over a small vinyl table cloth, edged with a towel, in the kitchen. When friends come over, it all goes in the closet. My step mom turned me onto thrift shops when I was 14 years old. When my boys were young, I'd get really good stuff at shops in the more upscale neighborhoods.

                      I stopped buying alcohol in early August. I need threads like this to show me how to be more cost effective with the food I am buying. I don't have much space so I can't really buy too much of anything, ever ... so bulk options are limited.

                      I live alone. When I hang with friends, we do inexpensive/cheap things like go hiking, hang at a friend's pool, play cards at someone's home. I see about one movie a year. I think the last one was Dear John. I don't really like to sit still for long (although I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the computer today!) so I'm not much of a movie/tv person anyway. I love music and try to go to a couple of performances a year, at different kinds of venues. Although I enjoy my iPod and cd's, if I am home, does it for me.

                      I think most people have places where they're frugal and places where they're more extravagant. I rarely think that cheapest is best, but I usually shop for the best value. That is to say that I try to get the best product/service within my means. Credit cards, for me, are for emergencies. On the whole, if the car needs a few hundred dollars worth of work, I pay cash and then pull my belt really tight!


                      • #26
                        I get a high off buying quality -- even luxury -- at a huge discount. I have learned the hard way that higher quality is definitely worth it. Four years ago, I bought a Lexus from a friend for $2500. It is an older one, but it has been babied, is in near-perfect condition inside and out, and I've had two mechanics tell me this car is going to 300,000 miles. We'll see.
                        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                        • #27
                          Interesting - yes I'm single. You win some, you lose some - only one small paycheque coming in, but if I make slop for dinner or have run out of shampoo, it's only me that's affected.
                          I do believe that it's more "fun" when a good friend is of a similar mindset though. The ones who save those Oxfam bags until you've been round The ones who won't take it the wrong way if your birthday gift to them is "just" a cake, or whatever. The ones who share car wiring horror stories, and don't turn their nose up if you mention something you salvaged....

                          I'm learning "buy cheap, buy twice". Cheap and cheerful is the way forward, not cheap and nasty.

                          TigerLily - that's why I believe a lot of the upper classes here have remained rich - Granny's old Rolls is still going strong, as is the 400 yr old house and furniture. You'd never need to buy anything!

                          Keep 'em coming!


                          • #28
                            I do most of the same stuff that everyone here does

                            -I buy almost all my clothes from our church yard sale or a thrift store. My daughters clothes come from the yard sales too but she gets some new ones (when there is a good sale +Coupon) as she at a fashion conscious age. My son's almost all come yard sales or Sears jeans (as they will replace them if they wear out). We do a lot of altering of clothes to personalize it.

                            Accessories: I buy my shoes when they hit the clearance rack and most of my purses and belts come from thrift stores or clearance. My parents are in the antique business and they buy big lots of jewelry at auctions. They give me the things that are "too modern", broken, etc. and I fix them up.

                            -I buy most of my make up needs in January when they go on clearance and use my coupons

                            -I cut my own hair and my daughter's hair. We make a lot of her hair accessories.

                            -I use coupons for health, beauty, household needs as often as I can. I havne't paid for toothpaste or razors in years. I used to be a coupon queen but kind of hard with the diet change. I do request coupons for products I use.

                            -I hang my clothes to dry on a rack most of year. When I use the dryer, I tear my dryer sheets in half.

                            -We have the thing in the shower that gives more pressure with less water. We have a filter on sink so we can use it for filling our water cups.

                            -I freeze produce if I am not going to use it quick enough. I buy meat in bulk and cook and freeze for quick meals. We are saving up to buy a freezer so we can buy a cow.

                            -We homeschool which saves me from a lot things as we use the same pencils, folders, lunch box, etc. every year. I use the library as much as possible and buy used curriculum often and then resell it.

                            -We barter and trade a lot.

                            _ Heat stays on 68 in winter and air is on 74-70 in winter. Dress to adapt.
                            My journal
                            7/5/11 -Size 14;
                            1/10/12 -Size 4


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by NorthernMonkeyGirl View Post
                              TigerLily - that's why I believe a lot of the upper classes here have remained rich - Granny's old Rolls is still going strong, as is the 400 yr old house and furniture. You'd never need to buy anything!
                              Yup, as the wheels fall off the housing market here it will be interesting to see how many of the 'nouveau riche' are in fact keeping up the Jones' credit slaves!...


                              • #30
                                So, question for those of you who do the coupon/online discount/etc thing:

                                How much time do you spend sorting through coupons for things you don't buy in order to find the ones you actually use?? Every time I look in the newspaper ads or at a site like that frugal mom one, I scroll down thinking, "but I don't buy that, or that, or that, or that, or that..." It's just not worth it for the few bucks I might get off a package of toilet paper.

                                Seems almost all coupons are for processed foods or stuff like shampoo and lotion that I don't use. Discounts for meat and produce are never for grassfed or organic.

                                And so, I continue to conclude that coupons and the like aren't worth my time. Somebody please prove me wrong!!
                                Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

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