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Share Your Money Saving Ideas Here.

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posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 12:11 PM
I was watching a show that was asking people to go to their website, and share their money saving ideas. So I got on my computer, and came here.

Things are pretty tight for many people today, especially those with children. I have always been thrifty, and would love to share what I know, and learn something new from other members.

I hope this can help someone out. BTW, many of these ideas can be used in almost any area, with just yourself, if your alone, a family, or include the neighbors, or organization your with.

Food Shopping
When I go food shopping I have several different supermarkets to choose from. I have figured out which store has the lowest price for what I want and I go to each. _____ store has cheaper chicken, so I get it there. ______ has cheaper prices for beef, and the last has cheaper pork. Also in my area there are shopping cart with clearance items, that is where I really stock up.

I especially get batters, and different seasoning. If I know that I have to get lots of chicken, and the family is getting tired of it, I can make many different kinds, so it seems like a different meal every night.

Once A Week Cooking
I know this seems difficult but its not, especially if you can get some family members, or neighbors to help out. You can make a variety of dinners. One day out of the week, you can take a few hours and cook different meals, and store them in freezer containers, label them and just reheat them.

Of course this cant be done with everything. I have found that home made mash potatoes, and rice dont reheat well, but everything else does. Pasta, any meats, and if you have a sealer (vacuum seal) for food, then you can cook meals, seal them and boil them in water when you get home, for a low cost meal, and healthy also.

If you invite neighbors, or family, everyone can bring something and you can make food for everyone to take home. Lets say mom brings the chicken, sis brings extra containers, brother brings veggies, etc,. It will literally cost everyone pennies on the dollar for home made meals.

Learning to Use Dough
I think this is very important. Dough can change your life, is very easy on the budget, and very filling, All you need is all purpose flour, butter, or shortening (I prefer butter), salt, water, and baking powder. You can make fried bread with this and also Pastelitos. ( I am going to add the recipe at the end), you can also make home made nachos, or eat with honey, as a treat.

Also there is pizza dough. Which I thought was going to be very hard to make, and was NOT. I found the trick to pizza dough, was the yeast. For rapid rising yeast if you heat the water for a min in the microwave, and all it has to double in volume, you will have the best dough.

Thrift Stores
Love the thrift stores. They have everything, you are helping your community, saving money, and if you have kids, can teach them the value of spending. They have everything from clothing, to cookware, shoes, and knick knacks. Even holiday decorations.

When I go to one of these place and my kids have out grown the clothing, I will wash them, dry them and as long as their in good shape, return them. I do not take money for them.

I would like to also add that there are tons of things on t.v that tell you about saving money, but they are at large chains, or major clothing stores. I prefer to go to the little guy, and know that I am helping someone in my community.

Now for few recipes that can go along way.

This is a Spanish empanada, or what would look like a Jamaican beef patty.

All you need to make 12 of these is
4 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 cup of shortening, or butter (cold butter and crumbled in the flour).
1 cup of ice water (always keep extra water and flour close by just in case).

Add flour and salt break up butter in your fingers through the dough. make a well and add water. Knead until dough is no longer sticky, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Roll with a rolling pin, or if you dont have one a large jar.

You can either roll this, fry it, and eat it with honey, syrup (pancake or chocolate), or use as a chulupa like taco bell, you can also form a circle and cut into triangles, and eat with melted cheese, or taco meat.

If you would like to make a turnover, you can add ANY meat/cheese/veggie, and especially leftovers.

Also you can add fruits or fruit filling, and sprinkle with powdered sugar when done.
Also you can make dozens of these in advance separate them with wax paper, and eat when you want. Make different ones, and can do with family, everyone can bring something to add, and then you can divide and share them. The can freeze for a year!! BTW, defrost them before you eat them, in the fridge, so that they dont get wet, and ruin the texture.

Another fantastic money saver is Frittatas.
All you need for this is potatoes, eggs, and anything else you like.

Depending on the size you want, get a shallow frying pan. Small , medium, or large, depends on how many are eating.

Spray pan with cooking spray, or use fresh butter.
Slice as thin as you can 1-1/2 potatoes.
Lay potatoes down slightly over lapping each other, until you form a circle all the way to the middle.
Place on low flame, until brown.
While its browning, mix eggs (again this depends on the size of your pan).
Add ANYTHING that may be left over in your fridge.
Left over lunch meat, cheese, veggies, sausage, bacon, onions,or any left over meal.

Remove pan from stove top, mix whatever you want with the eggs, and pour eggs into the pan.
Put pan back on the stove on medium heat, with a top.
Remove when egg has cooked.
Bring to a plate, and flip it over.
The potatoes will keep everything in place, look beautiful, and can be served like pizza slices.

Also a trick that I learned when making large portions for breakfast.
I add all breakfast ingredients, cook on stove top, when egg is cooked, I add biscuits (the one in the tube can is fine), and put in the oven.

When the biscuit is done, I turn it upside and there is literally a meal for about 2 days right there.

I hope that some of these tips helps, and many can be done for just one person, of a family of 10.
I will add more as I go, but these were the easiest ones I could think of right now.

If you have any questions about anything I wrote here, please ask, and I will help with whatever I can

Peace, NRE.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 12:21 PM
First rule, don't buy anything you don't need with money you don't have yet.

Buying larger portions of foods like chicken and beef are better deals than buying smaller portions. Take the larger portion and split it up into separate meals and store in freezer.

The dollar stores are your friend. Laundry soaps, cleaning products, most non-food items are cheapest there.

Membership stores like BJs and Sam's Club are good for bulk item savings, but make it worth it by taking advantage of free trial memberships and stock up.

Channel your hatred for the power and cable companies by turning off electronics you aren't using and shut the damn TV off, you don't need to pay for brain garbage, watch your favorite shows for free online at sites like Hulu.

It takes willpower to change spending habits, but if you're serious you can survive on a social security budget.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 12:29 PM
Boy, where to start?
First, I go crazy shopping when the 10 for 10 sales happen at the grocery store. I grow my own veggies and can everything. I have a friend that raises cattle and pigs for us, and I can the meat as well.
I make my own laundry soap. 1.97 US for a 5 gal bucket. 3-6 months for 2 of us.
I make my own household cleaner and dishwashing detergent. Both about 1.50-1.75 for 4-6 month supply.
I make my own bath soap. So much better for your skin than the stuff in the stores. Even works well with hard water.
Using the barter system a lot lately, as several people I work with are in to homesteading, so we are trading goods and sometimes skills. Working out really well so far!!!

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 12:30 PM
Stick with your old, crappy car!

It's always less expensive to repair and keep driving the car you OWN. No need to go out and get a loan on a shiny new automobile that will end up being 5-10k more than the out the door price by the time you've paid it off.

21k for a new economy car or $1500 for some vehicle repairs? Figure it out! I bought a 2005 Elantra with cash when it was new for $11,500. Had I financed it I would have paid a few thousand more. Always buy with cash when you can - and if you own your car, unless it's a total jalopy, you will save a ton of money repairing rather than purchasing a new one.

Along these same lines - I know a lot of people who trade in their cars with no cash down for a new car. Most of the time they are selling the car for less than they owe. I have a friend who's done this four times and now has a big doofy SUV that he owes nearly DOUBLE of the vehicle's value right now. Don't get caught in this trap!

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 12:38 PM
If you can handle a credit card, pay your bills with a credit card that offers cash back. Cash back builds quickly when paying bills. It's only good if you pay your bill up every month. And of course, stay away from cards that have unnecessary fees.

Balance transfers for credit cards is a good option to have when you are strapped for cash and can't pay your credit card down. Only do this out of absolute necessity, because you'll just rack up more debt that you can't handle. But something that the back of the credit card application usually won't tell you is that there is a minimum balance percentage you are expected to pay, and it usually ranges from %1-%4 of your balance. For a $5,000 balance transfer, that means you would be expected to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 each payment period. Call a representative to inquire about the rate. Some will say that they can't tell you until you complete the pre-approval process, but you don't want to do this just for the privilege to know a bit of info, since it will hamper your credit score for them to look at it. So you can just hang up on those people.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by chiefsmom

Do you think that you can share some of the ways you make your own soap, laundry soap etc,.? I am sure others are interested, as am I.

Thanks in advance. NRE.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by NoRegretsEver

Sure, lets start with the Laundry soap.
1 Cup Super Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
1 Bar Fels Naptha soap (All found at walmart in the laundry isle)
1 5 Gal. Bucket with lid.

Fill a glass saucepan, 3 quarters of the way with water. Grate the fels naptha with a cheese grater. Add it to the pan of water. Turn on low heat. It will take 3-4 hours for the soap to completely melt, and you may need to add more water. You want it very thin.

Take a five gallon bucket, add about 5 inches water and stir in the washing soda and borax. Keep stirring until completely dissolved. When the naptha is completely melted, add it to the bucket. While stirring, add water until about 2 inches from the top of the bucket. Keep stirring until everything is well mixed. Now put the lid on and let set overnight.
Now, the recipe never told me that it will become a gel, so I panicked the next day. When I got on line, I was not the only one. So don't panic!
I have a HE machine and I use 1 cup of this detergent per load, and have had no problems. I have also found that if you pick up an extra bar of the fels naptha, it is the best spot remover I have ever used. No bad since it is .97 a bar here.

edit on 14-11-2011 by chiefsmom because: clarification

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 08:24 PM
Don't forget second hand stores where you can often find new items with the tags still on them. I just bought a winter coat for 12 bucks like new.
I get most of my books for .50 cents to a buck there. You never know what you may find. I have found real crystal glasses and vases, music boxes, clothing, etc. I also like to pick up wicker baskets and make gift baskets for special occasions. Make a gorgeous ribbon bow, add decorative tissue paper and add your gifts.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 08:54 PM
Good point especially for the holidays your local thrift store has tins and colored bottles. You can use the tins for cakes or cookies you made at home. Last year for the holidays, which I do not always partake, I bought 10 bottles and made "coquito" ( its like eggnog but the sooner you make it the stronger it gets), and gave them out, to friends and neighbors.

For all the bottles and ingredients included it was about $25.00.

Peace, NRE.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 09:14 PM
I make my own coconut oil. That's a hot commodity where I live, and instead of selling it, I trade it for produce or seafood. Give a lot of it away too, which I sorta think of paying it back to those who've already paid their dues. The copra that is left over after the oil is expelled is ground with a hand-crank mill into coconut flour, and m'Bride and I bake a lot of stuff with it --- we've even figured out how to make pasta with it (not easy, but doable and kinda fun in a messy way).

We started gardening in containers several years ago. That evolved into a surprisingly large contribution to our total produce. We started out with six 5-gallon drywall buckets and these days are making raised beds with rock and concrete. It's become quite a production, and is watered by 1/2" pvc from the well, which is run by a small 12-volt pump, 60-watt pv cell and two 12-volt batteries. That was our first foray into alternative energies. Our power costs kept escalating, and even though there aren't near the incentives here as in most of the world, we went solar and wind power, and that paid for itself in a surprising 3 1/2 years. The shining star of this system is a 24-volt freezer and 24-volt fridge. Makes it all work. We're only about 3/4 of the way off the grid, but from this point forward, until we have to replace the battery bank, it's all savings (no grid tie where we live).

Other things....... learning how to store foods saves a ton of money. I prefer brown rice over white, but don't stock up on brown rice because it doesn't store nearly as well as white. A person wanting to store dry foods needs to be able to evacuate as much air from a container as they can. I use ziplock bags and the pump for our inflatable boat (reversed) to suck out the air and then seal it. I put those bags in a 5-gallon drywall or paint bucket. Drywall or paint, because they have a rubber seal.

I never thought I'd do it, but I learned how to can, which allows us to put away food when we have a glut, such as when the tomatoes come on. I made a solar dehydrator, which is also useful for tomato preservation as well as a bunch of other foods. I buy those huge bags of rice and other dry goods when they are on sale, and the worst case is that we'll save money. One thing to note about dry goods, especially those things with flour or corn meal: If you live in a warm or hot climate, your goods WILL grow flour wevils and other pests. I've done enough controlled experiments to satisfy myself that the eggs of these critters are shipped with the goods -- the wevils don't FIND your food, they GROW in your food. Thus, Everything that comes into the house gets put in the freezer for 24-hours or more -- to destroy the eggs. I don't mind eating insect eggs, I just don't want them to ruin my dry goods. it works.

When the fruit trees are on, I make a fairly agreeable wine. I mostly use Naseberry, which neither of us have no other use for (VERY sweet) -- would probably make a decent distilled alcohol.

No coupons here, but I have a friend in Florida who saves about $100-150/month for her family by dillegent use of coupons. She says it takes a lot of discipline to mostly get only the things she has a coupon for, or failing that, to not get sucked into buying a bunch of stuff just because she's in a store to use her coupons.

I quit smoking. That saves a bundle. Worthless habit. Cigs here are now about USD $8.40/pack.

We walk to whatever we can get to that's 3-4 miles or less, and drive as little as possible.

Tortillas. Tortillas and homemade pita bread are easy to make, store well, and are nutritious and cheap. We make both in big batches on a weekend and they'll last us several months in the freezer.

We put in a whole house fan so we wouldn't have to use the a/c as much. It's really a poor substitute for the coolth of a/c, but we're willing to suck it up in light of the high cost of power. Probably saves us around $100/month in the summer. Because it's 24-volt, it was pricey, and we figure it took six months to pay for itself. Along those lines, we painted the roof white with elastomeric paint, and installed 1" celotex on the interior ceiling. Both of those actions reduce our interior temperature at least 10 degrees.

I salvage everything. I go shopping at the dump regularly, and am one of those annoying packrats that everyone's wife is embarrassed by
I've made a pact with my darlin' to keep all my findings sequestered out of sight in the shed. Both our exterior doors, the metal roofing, interior trims and a bunch of other household stuff was salvaged. Sometimes people will pay you to tear down and haul away outbuildings.

People can save a bunch by simply learning how to not waste food. My Mom always had an ongoing soup/stew going.. I'm out of characters, so I guess that's it. Sorry for the novella

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 12:04 AM
reply to post by argentus

WOW!!! I mean really WOW!

That is awesome. I had a very good garden last year, and though I turned it into a greenhouse this year using pipe, and clear plastic, due to the drastic weather changes, much of it died.

I have the jars for canning, but have been scared to try, due to fear of my blowing the cans up. There are so many other things that I want to try, as one member posted I would like to make my own soap, and I have some tips on the cleaning products, as vinegar and baking soda, do wonders.

I am thinking of expanding my garden for next year, and try again. I started a compost with all of the left over bits of veggies, coffee grinds, and egg shells that I have and I am hoping that I will make black gold for next year.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, this is great. I hope we can keep them going. I am going to get my grandmothers recipe for coquito and post it tomorrow.

Peace, NRE.

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 07:53 AM
Forgot one of the soap recipes today, so I will add that tomorrow. (only have internet at work
I'm sure many of you know this, but for those that don't, Stop buying fabric softener!!! It can be expensive and it is completely unnecessary! Plus, I just found out that the liquid is made with animal fat, so that is staying in your clothes. I use Vinegar in the softener dispenser. It will actually help remove excess soap in the rinse cycle. In the winter, when I am forced to use the dryer, I use an old washcloth with 2 safety pins attached and use that in the dryer. It is working great so far, no static cling, and if you want a little scent, just put a drop or two of some essential oil like lavender on the washcloth.
I also use vinegar in the dishwasher. It helps with my very hard well water, so no residue on the dishes.

Don't be worried about canning! As long as you have a good pressure cooker with all the parts in good shape, it is only a matter of making sure you have enough water in it, (I always add more than what is called for) and paying attention to when the Jiggling starts to set your timer. I was nervous when I got started. Now I can everything I get my hands on, Taco meat, beef stew, pork, whatever.


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