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  1. #11
    zoebird's Avatar
    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    practicing minimalism helps.

  2. #12
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    naiadknight is offline Senior Member
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    -Figure out when and where it is your local grocery store puts out the "sale" meats (the ones close to their sell by date.) Clean them out and freeze it. I've gotten organic, free range air chilled chicken breast for $2/ lb. I've gotten pork shoulder for $0.50/ lb.
    -If you have veggies in your fridge about to go bad, either plan a meal around it or chop and freeze it.
    -Chili is cheap, if made right. So is curry.
    -Use meal "stretchers": rice, frozen spinach, cheap veggie o' the week, (sweet) potatos
    -"Use it up, wear it out, make do, or go without." An old phrase from the Depression my Gramma taught me that I try to live buy.
    -Fix things until they can't be fixed, including clothes and cars. Then salvage what you can for scrap, parts, or selling.
    -You see the brightest, shiniest, newest thing? You don't need that.
    -You don't need new furniture until what you have breaks. It may be 3 decades out of "fashion," but if it's serviceable, you don't need to replace it. My couches are older than I am. My coffee tables (dumpster resurrections) might be.
    -If you need something, check what's free or cheap first. If it's still perfectly serviceable but hideous, that's what paint and slipcovers are for. (Says the woman with the brown tweed couches.) No point in paying $600 when you can get it free.
    -Dumpster diving, curb rescues, and thrift stores are your best friend.
    -Learn to sew, learn to tailor, and learn the fine art of epoxying things back together. Also learn the art of invisible or decorative functional patches, whether on clothes, walls, or anything else.
    -75% of the time, you can make that repair yourself or get a buddy to show you how to do it. That said, if it involves remodeling, knocking out walls, electricity, or an internal combustion engine, make sure you know what you're doing or get a pro. Electrocution is not your friend.
    -Can you get by without whatever it is? You don't need it. Is it a one time use purchase for a repair or something similar? Beg or borrow it from a friend or neighbor.
    -Birth control, whatever your method. Extra mouths cost money.
    "No fate but what we make"- Sarah Connor, Terminator 2
    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 Primal Battle Tome

  3. #13
    oliviascotland's Avatar
    oliviascotland is offline Senior Member
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    Never throw leftover food out - turn it into soup and freeze in single portions so you only heat what you're actually going to use (you can put pretty much anything into leftover soup!).

    Learn to sew and darn - then you can repair just about anything in the way of clothes and soft furnishings, and make your own curtains and blinds, too.

    Use charity/thrift stores - you can always personalise what you buy with bits of worn out clothing that really can't be used any more.

    Learn to turn collars and cuffs on shirts - you'll get several years more use from them.

    Use your freezer if you have one. Buy food on offer and freeze it. If you have to bulk buy, then consider bulk cooking and freezing in appropriate portions (it's amazing how much money and ultimately time that saves!).

    Turn lights off when you leave a room, and consider using fewer lights in each room. Use daylight where possible.

    If you're cold, don't turn up the heating, put on extra layers instead. Wear bedsocks at night and add an extra blanket.

    Use your local library - they can usually even order books for you if you're prepared to wait for them!

    If you have children and they bring back loads of paintings from nursery or school, then save them and, with your child's input, use them for wrapping paper for presents.

    Keep greetings cards, cut off the fronts and re-use for someone else or use instead of gift tags.

    Make presents for people, don't buy them.

    Teach yourself basic DIY so that you don't have to pay professionals to do minor jobs such as putting up shelves or curtain rails, but DO be prepared to pay for more complicated jobs if you don't know how to do them yourself. Learn to upcycle and recycle your belongings!

  4. #14
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    Hah, being "thrifty" with the heat cost me some pipes last week

    Luckly the fiance's brother is a handy man...

    M.

  5. #15
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    If you have a clothes dryer, don't use it to dry your clothes completely. A short (10-15mins) spin in the dryer at low or medium heat will knock off most lint and keep even towels from feeling rough after you've air-dried them the rest of the way. Washing isn't so hard on your clothes, but drying is, and everything will last much longer if you air-dry it.

    Replace all your lightbulbs with LEDs. They will more than pay for themselves between long bulb life and the small fraction of energy they require vs. incandescents. The new ones are much brighter, have a nicer quality of light, and are less expensive than the last bunch I bought two years ago--they've hit the tipping point for me. I've been buying a few during each Costco trip lately, and almost have all the incandescents replaced. I've relegated the CFLs to the basement and garage, and will replace them once they've burned out.

    If you can, go car-free. This is a huge one. I never made car payments, but I sure as hell don't miss maintenance, repairs, gas, insurance, registration, parking costs, sitting in traffic, and all the other costs of car ownership. I love being able to read books on the bus and let someone else do the driving. I get a lot of walking in every week. I'm getting a bike, and looking forward to it. When I do need a car, I either use Zipcar (car sharing by the hour) or rent one at the Enterprise office in my neighborhood. I've learned to use Zipcar to my best advantage (all day, once a month, instead of more frequent short trips), and only rent a car every 3-4 months or so.

    I make lists of things I actually need, plan my shopping ahead of time, and stick to the lists. I do "big shopping" that requires a car as infrequently as possible, and load up on as much as I reasonably can during each trip so I can put off the next one for longer. Since I use Zipcar (a car-sharing service), I also plan things like veterinary appointments and donation drop-offs for my shopping days, and take a car for the entire day to get the best rate.

    Also, know your own habits and preferences. I used to cook up big batches of food and freeze it in smaller portions because I always heard that was the most frugal thing to do. For me it's not. I prefer fresh food that's quick to prepare; most of my meals are stir-fries, salads, or omelets. So the frozen stuff languishes forgotten until it's freezer-burnt and nasty and gets tossed out, meaning that good frugal tip is actually wasteful and counterproductive for me. Frozen veg isn't a bargain or a convenience for me, either--not when I live near a decent cheap produce stand. So my freezer is for meat, gin, vodka, and a purely medicinal bottle of Jagermeister (hey, it's good cough syrup).

  6. #16
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    I put more than 1/3 of my income into my retirement plan. What's left is unreasonably tiny. There's no choice about being frugal then with the added bonus that maybe I can retire sooner rather than later.

    For some really hard-core frugal ideas:
    - don't have children
    - don't buy a house
    - don't buy a car except for a really cheap used car
    - keep your computer long past its ability to use most websites, just ignore all those unsupported browser messages
    - find a neighborhood where people leave stuff out for free and take walks there often
    - don't use a cellphone
    - don't buy anything that requires monthly payments if you can avoid it
    - don't have pets
    - go on cheap vacations (camping, for example)

    Reddit has a frugal subreddit. It's kind of full of a lot of crap about playing tricks with credit cards and boring stuff about cellphone plans but now and then there's something interesting.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Highest squat: 167.5 x 2. Current Deadlift: 195 x 3

  7. #17
    pilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post

    Use condoms.

    Wear things until they have holes in them. Continue to wear them (especially shoes).

    M.
    I don't think you should have put these in the order you did.

  8. #18
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    Buy whole (butchered) cattlebeasts.

    Buy vegetables from a grocers, not a supermarket (where the price will be higher and the quality lower).

    Read books from the library, don't buy them new.

    Check your insurance coverage, you might be paying too much.

    Make bulk-batches of meals up and freeze them. Buy specials in bulk and package them up into individual serves, then freeze them.

    Actively plan to not want things.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

  9. #19
    MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pilot View Post
    I don't think you should have put these in the order you did.
    Oh.

    Oh my.

    M.

  10. #20
    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is offline Senior Member
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    PrimalCon New York
    We've decided that this year is going to be a 'year of austerity' for our family. We're not wastrels, but we'd stopped making headway on our mortgage and wanted to own more of our house than we do.

    The specific things we cut out:
    1. Meal planning (writing up the things we're going to cook, making a shopping list from that, then only buying those things when shopping) saves about $200 / month
    2. No more dark chocolate (we had about 6 blocks, let's see if they can last us the year) saves about $100 / month
    3. Eliminating Daddy - daughter date (I take a girl out to a cafe for 1-on-1 attention and a milkshake) saves $30 / month
    4. No more restaurants (we had been going out to high quality restaurants once a month) saves $60 / month
    5. Fewer swims / hydroslides, more going to the park instead, saves about $20 / month

    So hopefully that adds up to about $4-5K.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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