Ways to save money

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7/23/2017 12:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/23/2017 12:41 PM

For some time I've been really obsessed with cutting costs in our household- seemed like we were wasting way to much money. I am curious what some of you guys have done and what it saved (living in a van doesn't count).

Here are a few of ours and how much it saved (without making drastic changes to our lifestyle):

Converted our dryer from electric to gas: $20-25 per month
Eliminated Direct Tv: $110 per month
Combined my parents and my in-laws on my family mobile phone plan: $90 per month
5 years ago I bought a $1000 cheap car (Saab 9-5) and have put over 70,000 miles on it- It's not pretty but I drive it to work everyday (instead of my Tundra). I calculate it has saved us over $5000 in gas and even more in keeping miles off our other vehicles..
When our home was appraised it included all 5 acres as "residential", I had the county convert 4 back to "agricultural" by explaining that a local farmer was pulling hay off it and they agreed. This lowered our assessment and should save us a few hundred on our property taxes (I'll know in Dec).

Any other ideas out there?

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7/23/2017 1:29 PM

Except for the land part ,I'm doing the same . Actually about to also drop direct TV this week.

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7/23/2017 1:30 PM

I moved to a house with twice the square footage in a different county and pay half as much in property tax and utilities. My wife now walks two blocks to work which saves fuel and I do most of my purchasing off of Amazon so I save even more on fuel and tax.

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7/23/2017 3:20 PM

An old thread about money: independence day

I'm not sure how much of this will apply to you but I have stuck with most of what I had to do back before 2013. I'm semi retired so I have to scrimp.

No bars, except after golf and it's not really a bar. I had no idea how much that was costing me back then. $20-$30 bucks a day x 30 days a month. What an idiot I was.

I almost never eat out. If I can afford it, it's probably shit. I can eat pretty damn good at home for $4 to $10 a meal.

Golf is cheap now because I'm a senior resident. $6 a round mid week. $14 on Saturday. 9 holes though.

Switched car insurance. I would be embarrassed to tell you what I was paying. Now it's $600/year.

Switched cell carrier. AT&T was $71/month. Now it's Metro PCS, $30/month.

Summer A/C. I have a thermometer that tells temps inside and out. When the outside temp hits 80 or below, usually in the evening, the A/C goes off and the windows open with maybe a fan. In the morning I keep the windows open and the A/C off until inside/outside temps equalize around 80. Turn on A/C only if I have to. It's not uncommon for some of my friends to go from $75/month to $250/month for electricity in the summer. They set the thermostat to 73 and walk away.

Since I'm semi retired, I have time to do things myself like auto, appliance and other home repairs. Plus I know how.

No matter what I need, I shop for it. Clothes, gadgets, tool repair parts, everything gets shopped.

My lifestyle changed back in 2009 because it had to. I have kept up with the austerity measures even though I really don't need to like I did then. It became a habit.

What is your situation? Family? Kids? College? Health insurance?

If you are raising a family I hope you have willing accomplices in this endeavor of yours. When I was raising a family I did not. Nobody cared about it but me.



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7/23/2017 4:32 PM

Don't ever get married or have kids.

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“Adhering to 1970’s Standards of Political Correctness”

7/23/2017 4:51 PM

Reese95w wrote:

Don't ever get married or have kids.

Photo

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7/24/2017 10:41 AM

Having a willing family is a big part of the equation, and for the most part I do not have that. However, my wife does coupon shop, and she's really good at it. She does the whole "extreme couponing" thing and it really works.

She will get a manufacturer's coupon and then look for that item on sale at a local grocery. She'll also go to stores that "double" the coupons. It's often the case where a $1.00 item has a 50% off sale and she has a 50 cent coupon that gets doubled, so the store owes her 50 cents for every one she takes. I have a 2-year supply of soap, shampoo, deodorant shaving cream and razors for this reason, and those things actually paid for other products. More than once she has come home with 5-6 full grocery bags after spending $20.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/24/2017 12:05 PM

Hell, if we just had time to catch happy hour after work we would be bookoo money ahead.laughing Seriously though, too busy with work to conserve in some areas. We have started to get rid of a lot of things over the past couple years, mostly clutter. Cutting back and trying to simplify as many things as possible. Some form of semi retirement would give me the time to do many things that I currently hire out for.

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7/24/2017 4:43 PM

Might sound small and stupid but you would be amazed at what LED light bulbs will do for.your power bill. In those few months where I don't have to run heat or ac. My power bill is around 20 a month. And that's not even being conservative about usage.

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7/24/2017 8:27 PM

Idaho747 wrote:

Might sound small and stupid but you would be amazed at what LED light bulbs will do for.your power bill. In those few months where I don't have to run heat or ac. My power bill is around 20 a month. And that's not even being conservative about usage.

That's very true. Where you really get your money's worth is the kitchen. I want lots of light when I'm cooking. When I remodeled I went all LED. You almost don't have to worry about turning them off they're so cheap to run. If you have women in the house you need them in the bathroom too. If you have kids you need them everywhere.

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7/24/2017 8:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/24/2017 8:52 PM

I buy all my cloths at the salvation army or goodwill, don't do it so much to save money I tend to ruin a lot of stuff when I go out to the garage and then do some work on bike or cars etc when I didn't intend to and ruin nice shorts and shirts. I do shop insurance rates and get lots of quotes on any projects I cant do myself .

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Ed Johnson

7/25/2017 4:09 AM

If you have a land line phone - get rid of it & switch to voip.

We went with Ooma the first of the year. Saving $100+/- per month, got to keep our phone number. Happy happy happy.

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HAF

7/25/2017 5:46 AM

OP, we are doing the same things as you. Embarrassing as it is to admit, most of our money spent between the wife and I was either on food related items or gas station visits by me. Spending a ton on groceries while still going out and letting food waste. I was blown away how much money I was spending on beer and dip a month at the gas station. So decided to cut dip out and limit the beer usage.

Also, items outside of our budget are purchased from our allowance. Cards away unless truly needed and cash only.

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7/25/2017 6:17 AM

Our grocery bill is atrocious, my wife is very strict with our sons diet ,he rarely eats anything out of a package . We joined a farm co-op this year which has been really nice ,getting a big box of locally grown veggies and fruit every week ,that saved us some money .

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7/25/2017 6:38 AM

JRT812 wrote:

OP, we are doing the same things as you. Embarrassing as it is to admit, most of our money spent between the wife and I was either on food related items or gas station visits by me. Spending a ton on groceries while still going out and letting food waste. I was blown away how much money I was spending on beer and dip a month at the gas station. So decided to cut dip out and limit the beer usage.

Also, items outside of our budget are purchased from our allowance. Cards away unless truly needed and cash only.

limit the beer usage.
OK, lets not get carried away now.
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7/25/2017 9:10 AM

JRT812 wrote:

OP, we are doing the same things as you. Embarrassing as it is to admit, most of our money spent between the wife and I was either on food related items or gas station visits by me. Spending a ton on groceries while still going out and letting food waste. I was blown away how much money I was spending on beer and dip a month at the gas station. So decided to cut dip out and limit the beer usage.

Also, items outside of our budget are purchased from our allowance. Cards away unless truly needed and cash only.

borg wrote: limit the beer usage.
OK, lets not get carried away now.

Hahaha...crazy talk

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7/25/2017 10:46 AM

You have to look for savings with the things you can control.

Food
Alcohol
Media
Dinning Out

Those are your big buckets of spending and about the only thing you can control. Things like Mortgage, Insurance, etc are all fixed costs and don't change much month to month.

The first thing to getting spending under control is to keep track of all spending in the first month to get an idea where your money goes. This is the education step of saving money. Once you can actually see where your money goes then the second month you can set a budget and try and come in at or under budget.

We are trying to get better at this as well and I look at it like a game. And right now I'm not very good at the saving/budgeting game. We have good friends who are budget nazis and I'm quite envious of them on it. They make a lot less but still seem to have money for everything they want. I make more money but always living paycheck to paycheck and stressed about money. Mainly because we spend too much in our household.

So step one is figuring out where your money goes. Then step two is figure out a budget for the second month and try and come in at or under budget.

We have also tried to do what's called "Financial Fasting" for a week. We try and do it once a month, but haven't been diligent about it so now we do it once every 8 weeks. And so we start a Financial Fast on Sunday and must go 7 days without spending a single dollar. Only exception to this is if we need gas or medical. We are not allowed to buy any food, shop at Amazon, buy clothes, etc etc. When it comes to food we must look in the freezer and pantry and get creative. So we go a week with no spending and this also helps empty our freezer and pantry of food we buy but haven't eaten yet.

We recently replaced all of our bulbs with LED.

Over a year ago I cut DirecTV and only use PlayStationVUE. Recently cut Hulu.

We are a family of 6 and if we look for deals on food it is possible to feed a family of 6 dinner for $10 or less. The wife has been better at shopping for deals. Obviously we eat a lot of chicken because it's cheap and always on sale. Sometimes we can find a whole chicken on sale for $3.50 and we roast it in the oven and can easily get 2 full dinner meals off that one chicken. Hell, even at Costco you can get a whole roasted chicken for $3.99 or 4.99. So we can do chicken and dumplings one night, and the second night chicken quesadillas. If we still have extra which we usually do we can make salad with roasted chicken. Add in a few boxes of rice at 1-2 dollars each and you can feed a family of 6 for $5 at dinner.

If we dine out as a family of 6 and have a few drinks we easily spend $75-100 and that's just for a regular meal. So I start thinking about how wow that 75-100 dollars would buy a lot of shit at the grocery store.

I dine out almost every day for lunch at work and spend anywhere from 10-15 dollars a day on lunch. Well that shit adds up. Even at $10 a day times 4 weeks a month is $200 a month just in work lunch. And I usually exceed $10 a day. So for the last few weeks I have been bringing my lunch to work. It takes a bit of getting adjusted to that as I like to get a break from the office but I am starting to come around to completely bringing to lunch to work and not eating out at all.

And frankly when you start doing all these things I think I'm eating healthier anyways. And that's on top of the money savings.

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7/25/2017 10:54 AM

I started brewing my own beer. I sat down last night to see if it was more or less expensive than buying a 6 or 12 pack and it comes in less than half price and I like the flavor more. The equipment to get started wasn't cheap though. I'd guess I'm $1,000 into it at this point.

The blonde came out at $3.53 per 6 pack to brew. 5% ABV
IPA was $4.64 - 7% ABV
Amber was $3.34 - 7% ABV
Stouts are quite a bit more at $7 to $10 per 6 pack. But they're between 12 and 15% ABV.

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7/25/2017 11:25 AM

TXDirt wrote:

You have to look for savings with the things you can control.

Food
Alcohol
Media
Dinning Out

Those are your big buckets of spending and about the only thing you can control. Things like Mortgage, Insurance, etc are all fixed costs and don't change much month to month.

The first thing to getting spending under control is to keep track of all spending in the first month to get an idea where your money goes. This is the education step of saving money. Once you can actually see where your money goes then the second month you can set a budget and try and come in at or under budget.

We are trying to get better at this as well and I look at it like a game. And right now I'm not very good at the saving/budgeting game. We have good friends who are budget nazis and I'm quite envious of them on it. They make a lot less but still seem to have money for everything they want. I make more money but always living paycheck to paycheck and stressed about money. Mainly because we spend too much in our household.

So step one is figuring out where your money goes. Then step two is figure out a budget for the second month and try and come in at or under budget.

We have also tried to do what's called "Financial Fasting" for a week. We try and do it once a month, but haven't been diligent about it so now we do it once every 8 weeks. And so we start a Financial Fast on Sunday and must go 7 days without spending a single dollar. Only exception to this is if we need gas or medical. We are not allowed to buy any food, shop at Amazon, buy clothes, etc etc. When it comes to food we must look in the freezer and pantry and get creative. So we go a week with no spending and this also helps empty our freezer and pantry of food we buy but haven't eaten yet.

We recently replaced all of our bulbs with LED.

Over a year ago I cut DirecTV and only use PlayStationVUE. Recently cut Hulu.

We are a family of 6 and if we look for deals on food it is possible to feed a family of 6 dinner for $10 or less. The wife has been better at shopping for deals. Obviously we eat a lot of chicken because it's cheap and always on sale. Sometimes we can find a whole chicken on sale for $3.50 and we roast it in the oven and can easily get 2 full dinner meals off that one chicken. Hell, even at Costco you can get a whole roasted chicken for $3.99 or 4.99. So we can do chicken and dumplings one night, and the second night chicken quesadillas. If we still have extra which we usually do we can make salad with roasted chicken. Add in a few boxes of rice at 1-2 dollars each and you can feed a family of 6 for $5 at dinner.

If we dine out as a family of 6 and have a few drinks we easily spend $75-100 and that's just for a regular meal. So I start thinking about how wow that 75-100 dollars would buy a lot of shit at the grocery store.

I dine out almost every day for lunch at work and spend anywhere from 10-15 dollars a day on lunch. Well that shit adds up. Even at $10 a day times 4 weeks a month is $200 a month just in work lunch. And I usually exceed $10 a day. So for the last few weeks I have been bringing my lunch to work. It takes a bit of getting adjusted to that as I like to get a break from the office but I am starting to come around to completely bringing to lunch to work and not eating out at all.

And frankly when you start doing all these things I think I'm eating healthier anyways. And that's on top of the money savings.

i am not very good at living on a budget either, I brought my lunch for work for 20 years up till about 3 years ago, its made a huge difference, i was spending $15-$20 a day on it, i still get a brought drink every day but making my lunch has saved me close to $100 a week,

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7/25/2017 12:46 PM

IWreckALot wrote:

I started brewing my own beer. I sat down last night to see if it was more or less expensive than buying a 6 or 12 pack and it comes in less than half price and I like the flavor more. The equipment to get started wasn't cheap though. I'd guess I'm $1,000 into it at this point.

The blonde came out at $3.53 per 6 pack to brew. 5% ABV
IPA was $4.64 - 7% ABV
Amber was $3.34 - 7% ABV
Stouts are quite a bit more at $7 to $10 per 6 pack. But they're between 12 and 15% ABV.

What is your setup?

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7/25/2017 1:11 PM

JRT812 wrote:

What is your setup?

Our current setup is relatively inexpensive but effective. We are working on acquiring equipment to convert to a HERMS system but it's difficult to justify the expense because we've gotten our grain efficiency up in the 75-80% range. So we're just buying a few pieces at a time. Top picture is our mash tun and kettle setup and the bottom is our fermenters. Fermenters can hold 7 gallons each. We had one break this last weekend so we had to improvise with a 5 gallon bucket and a couple of carboys.

Photo

Photo

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7/25/2017 7:44 PM

IWreckALot wrote:

I started brewing my own beer. I sat down last night to see if it was more or less expensive than buying a 6 or 12 pack and it comes in less than half price and I like the flavor more. The equipment to get started wasn't cheap though. I'd guess I'm $1,000 into it at this point.

The blonde came out at $3.53 per 6 pack to brew. 5% ABV
IPA was $4.64 - 7% ABV
Amber was $3.34 - 7% ABV
Stouts are quite a bit more at $7 to $10 per 6 pack. But they're between 12 and 15% ABV.

JRT812 wrote:

What is your setup?

IWreckALot wrote:

Our current setup is relatively inexpensive but effective. We are working on acquiring equipment to convert to a HERMS system but it's difficult to justify the expense because we've gotten our grain efficiency up in the 75-80% range. So we're just buying a few pieces at a time. Top picture is our mash tun and kettle setup and the bottom is our fermenters. Fermenters can hold 7 gallons each. We had one break this last weekend so we had to improvise with a 5 gallon bucket and a couple of carboys.

Photo

Photo

Keep it simple... Otherwise it can go crazy and get expensive fast!. I have a couple of the Fast Fermenters as well, they are pretty nice. I have a HERMS setup, but with Stout Kettles and Tanks and use pumps instead of gravity.

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7/25/2017 8:55 PM

I'd need a few beers after trying to figure what all that shit does.

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7/25/2017 9:01 PM

Haha. Its actually pretty simple once you know the process.

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7/25/2017 11:57 PM

We go out once a week, other half's son mgr's a restaurant and his wife is a server there, but I don't really save any money because I tip too much because of the grandkids and they're buying a house.

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7/26/2017 7:45 AM

Start a cash jar or envelope. Every time you feel like going out, stay in instead and put the 25-60, 100? bucks you would have spent in a restaurant or bar into it. Just an idea to keep you motivated when a Frosty cold beer, a waitress, and no dishes to do sounds way better than digging through the same old shit in the fridge again lol

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7/26/2017 10:04 AM

I spent tons of money on hookers and blow back in the day. To save money I decided to get married and drink beer. I bet I spend 3x as much now.

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7/26/2017 10:52 AM

My wife and I are doing all we can to pay off my student loans, the amount of money we put into them every month is sickening. Almost no going out to eat, no buying anything that's a "want", and I even sold a bike to help sad

But come April it will all be worth it when they are gone.

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7/26/2017 11:28 AM

Markopolo400 wrote:

My wife and I are doing all we can to pay off my student loans, the amount of money we put into them every month is sickening. Almost no going out to eat, no buying anything that's a "want", and I even sold a bike to help sad

But come April it will all be worth it when they are gone.

If there's one thing in life I'm glad I did financially it is staying away from student loans. Took me awhile to graduate, but I have $0 student loan debt.

My wife is taking on debt for her NP degree but her it is worth every penny we're paying.

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7/26/2017 11:42 AM

if it flies, floats, or fucks, rent it

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