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Frugal Living

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posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 09:36 AM
If this is in the wrong place, feel free to move it to where it should be.

After spending some time on another forum, I decided it would be a good idea to have a thread about frugal living. With so many people out of work, or working for less, I thought it would be nice to have a place where people can share ideas on how to stretch the dollar. Here are a few of mine:

Shop yard sales.
I can usually find some nice clothes and/or some needed household items for pennies on the dollar. Last weekend I got a battery operated Ryobi weed eater for 50 cents. Another box had 5 more Ryobi tools including the charger for $10. So for $10.50 I got a nice haul. Checking Home Depot it would have cost me over $300 new.

Shop thrift stores.
These are great for clothing. It's a little more expensive than a yard sale, but a lot of people donate stuff that still has the tags on them. You can also get cheap DVD's and CD's as well.

I use craigslist for free stuff. I also use it when I need to get a vehicle. I bough a 1996 Grand Am for $600 and only had to put $25 into it (replace thermostat). Not too shabby.

Get the Sunday paper and clip coupons for the items you buy. Also check local grocery stores for double/triple coupon days. Mine had a $4 off coupon for Tyson boneless/skinless chicken breast. A local grocery store had a buy on get one free for the same thing along with a triple coupon day. I go 4lbs of chicken breast for 70 cents!

Local Farmers.
In my area our local farmers set up fruit stands by the road. I can get more fresh produce from them than I can at the grocery store. Around here a dozen ears of corn is $5, and a watermelon (seedless) is $4.

Buying Co-op.
If you have a lot of family and friends, start a buying co-op. Pool your money and buy things like beef/pork in bulk. I can get 1/4 steer for $2.49 a pound and it has all the cuts. That's 400 pounds of beef. A 1/2 pig is $150. You can also do the same at Sam's club or BJ's/Costco for other bulk items.

These are just a few things I do to stretch my dollar. It does take some planning. My wife and I do a menu for the week. We inventory what we have so we are buying only what we need for the week. It helps keep impulse buying to a minimum if you know exactly what you are purchasing. Please add your ideas to the list!

Happy buying!
edit on 25-7-2011 by haarvik because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 10:25 AM
Ok so I"m a chef and I have some ways to make your food budget stretch.

Gardening and fruits and veg when they're in season and preserve them. You'll know theyre in season because theyre super duper cheap. Or find a list or seasonality chart. You can get the best tasting food when its in season and save it for the entire year...or longer. Dry out your fruit, make jams, dry your herbs, lemon confit, duck confit, jerky. Frugal gourmet!

Related to this: plant your old garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. Lots of plant food contains the seeds...when they start to rot or grow out dont throw them away...plant them and maybe you'll have a lot more in a couple months. I have a whole section of my yard dedicated to planting random, half rotten vegetables. If they dont grow its always good nutrition for the soil.

Compost and you'll never have to spend money on dirt again. I bought an old wooden box from a yard sale for a buck and fill it with old food, grass clippings, dirt from old meat and no fat'll get flies and gnarly dirt. Also make sure you top it so animals dont get in there.

I make stock for soups and sauces from the scraps of vegetables I have. Keep carrot peels, celery leaves and stems, onion skins, etc. Also save ALL the bones from your fish and meat to make stock. Its incredibly easy and really delicious.

Use those stupid phone books for kindling. Its a great way to start a fire and you dont have to throw anything away. I also save dryer lint for starting fires. Its lightweight and compressable so its great to bring camping. Ok not really food related but still a good way to reduce and reuse.

edit on 25-7-2011 by doctornamtab because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 10:32 AM
make your own soap. go shopping late to get out of date meat. build a compost heap, use the spuds that grow. charity shops, bought brand new timberland trainers for 10 pounds. tip is good for builing materials, hearth sized slab of marble cost me 3 pounds.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 10:46 AM
should have mentioed, if dirty laundry is stain free, half the amount of liquad/powder works, half fabric softner unless washing towels or woollens. use small amount shampoo and conditioner for hand washing. spray bottle of water with cap of softner or zoflora is perfect for keeping laundry fresh when ironing.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by eccentriclady

Good point on the laundry detergent. Most times they have it double or triple concentrated but the cap you fill it with is still gigantic. Its a trick to sell more. Dont fall for it. Most times your clothes barely need to be washed anyway.

Also, when cleaning, bleach is your best friend. Dont go and buy that harmful, multicolor chemical cleaners that come in a spray bottle. Just make your own.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 11:00 AM
reply to post by eccentriclady

yes, making soap is fairly easy, and the Internet is full of how-to's on the subject. You can also make your own laundry detergent as well. Homemade soap is super cheap per bar compared to store bought. One batch can last a year.

posted on Jul, 26 2011 @ 11:40 AM
Homemade toothpowder:

1 tbspn dried lemon or orange peel
6 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt

Place peel in processor, grind well until fine powder. Add soda and salt then process for a few seconds until you have a find powder. Store in airtight jar.

Cheap and cheerful.

posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 08:06 PM
reply to post by haarvik

greatt thread! yeah, my family pooled money for meat, we bought an entire cow for 400 dollars, got at least a thousand dollars worth of steak, brisket and everything else out of it.

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:27 PM
The recent financial turmoil has come home to our roost; we've had to slash our budget dramatically.

If you will track your own spending for a month, you might well find that food is your biggest optional expense.

1. Dining out is the single worst use of your money, when it is done for the sake of convenience, as opposed to for romantic or celebratory reasons.

2. If it comes in a box or a loose bag, you've paid a premium for the convenience of it. Convenience foods are fatty, artificial, and often far more expensive.

3. The cheapest meals, dollar for pound, are the ones that you prepare in bulk at the beginning of the week, and ration out of freeze & store. Think of your own spaghetti, your own soup, your own burritos.

4. Cook meats in bulk, and cut them up yourself. 9 ounces of sliced ham costs almost 5 bucks in the deli case; a ham costs $2 for 16 ounces if you just cut it up yourself (not the spiral-sliced kind). A large brisket costs only 2$ per pound---again, a quarter of the price of prepared beef.

5. Look into making your own chips. In college we used to buy corn tortillas, cut them in eighths, and fry them in oil. You'd get 80 chips for a couple of bucks, as opposed to 4 dollars for 48 chips. Once again, making your own costs you only a quarter as much. And if you fry in a pan out on the grill, you don't spatter oil all over the kitchen.

6. Look at making stews and soups. We like potato soup in cold weather; it freezes very well.

7. Garden next year. If it sounds like it's too much work for the product, just divide the cost of what you now pay. Tomatoes are basically a buck each, now! And green beans are nearly 2 buck a pound at the store. Heck, even if you only grow onions, you'll save 15 or 20 dollars over the course of next summer.

8. Look into making your own bread. again, it costs only a quarter of what bread costs at the grocery--and tastes incomparably better.

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:04 PM
If you are a beer drinker brew your own at home. A five gallon batch takes about 3 weeks from the day you start until it's ready to drink and costs less than a dollar a quart for the ingredients. Lots of good info on youtube and the staff at your local home brewing supply store are probably very willing to give you advice on what you need to get started.

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:44 PM
Back in the 70s, my mum used to grate home grown tobacco and mix 1 part home grown to 3 parts decent, she said it saved her a fortune.

My nan used to clean dry and store, cling film, foil, small plastic bags, bread bags too. They all came in handy!

How to make a chicken feed a family of 6 two meals.

Bone the raw chicken, from the neck down, break the joints, peel the skin and meat back. when you have a flat bird, (leave wings and drums as they are not worth the time) stuff the bird with whatever you like. I usually put sausage meat on the bottom with sage and onion at the top, you could even use hard boiled eggs too.

bake for about 2 hours, then cool. Once cold, it will slice up beautifully. Serve with baked potatoes, home made coleslaw and home made pickles. There will probably be enough left over for sandwiches too!

Boil the bones up, reduce by at least two thirds. Then sweat carrots, onion, leek, parsnip swede etc in a small scraping of butter. Add stock, boil for at least an hour, then add potatos, boil till cooked.

serve with lots of salt and pepper and fresh crusty bread.

You could flavour with herbs if liked, I find that real butter is all you need to produce a golden liquid that tastes like heaven! add pulses with stock, for cheap nutrition,

I use stock from two chickens, spend about 3 pounds on veg and end up with at least 15 pints of stew. Lots of the freezer

so many ways of living cheaply, rice, peas sweetcorn and the leftover chicken from your sunday roast works well, if flavoured properly, I use tabasco sauce and salt. If you have no chicken, a small packet of salted peanuts works well too.

Buy your potatoes by the sack, if you have spuds, you can always make some type of meal

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:50 PM

Originally posted by doctornamtab
reply to post by eccentriclady

Also, when cleaning, bleach is your best friend. Dont go and buy that harmful, multicolor chemical cleaners that come in a spray bottle. Just make your own.

Agreed! Love bleach. The one thing to keep in mind, wear old clothes while using it. I can't tell you how many times I picked up my spray bottle with bleach, thinking I'd be careful, just to find little white spots on my sleeves, pant leg, or torso

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 07:06 AM
For cleaning windows, and hard surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom try automotive windshield washer fluid in a spray bottle. Much cheaper than many of the alternatives

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 07:20 AM
reply to post by Thinair1

Us to we buy in bulk just put one of our calves in the freezer and bought another one as well.. our freezers are full... my kids will eat it up in no time...

(when its not 105 degrees in Texas here is what we do.... whew! Its hot y'all!)

I can and grow my own food, buy in bulk from farmers markets, purchase seconds on sale at thrift stores, learn to use or subsitute or do without.....

Here is a real time and moneysaver.. buy canning and or cooking ahead and freezing in bulk.. (get a vacuum sealer really worth it!) I save time and money.. dinner in a hurry? do not feel like cooking? thaw something.. dinner in 20 minutes.

raise and sell my own chickens and eggs.. I sell chickens now on some national sites chickes are up to nearly $50 for a 10 week old hen! PRICE OF HENS GOING UP Glad I started raising hens for extra $$$$

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 08:26 AM
Excellent info everyone! Let's keep 'em coming!

If you are into wine, you can make some very good wine for very little cash. Cheap wine will cost about .50 per bottle, and it tastes pretty good too. My wife loves it. It takes about 4 weeks for it to ferment, but if you do it right you can get several bottles per batch. I bought two, five gallon carboys and each one will do nearly two cases of wine. Counting the cost of the bottles, I spent only $1.50 per bottle! Google "cheap homemade wine". It really is very easy to do. Once you make your first batch, you will be addicted to making it.

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 08:41 AM
You can also collect rain water

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by haarvik

Coupons!!! Seriously. I have not spent more than $1.00 on the following Items (Individually, most of them I got for free):

Body Soap
Bug Spray
Cereal (Name Brand at that!)
Hot dogs
Paper-Towels (At lease a 6pk of Name Brand)
Toilet Paper

The list could probably go on.. but I don’t want to bore you. There are TONS of sites that give you details on “couponing”.. But you can also PM Me if you have any questions!!!

Its not as hard as people make it out to be, and also.. Its not Robbing the store... that’s what the coupons are there for! Stores actually MAKE $.08 off every Coupon you use!!

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 11:07 PM
Invest in a pressure cooker, and learn how to use it. No it will NOT explode and kill you!
You will save: cooking time (lots), $ spent on running the stove, and lots on food. The cheapest cuts of meat are also the most flavourful, but can be difficult to cook well by traditional methods. A pressure cooker will give you fall off the bone fork tender results from any cut when you get your skills down with it.
Also, in a SHTF situation it can be used to sterilize water, or as an expedient autoclave for medical supplies.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 01:00 PM
I think the big picture is that the more you can invest in doing your own food processing and storage, the more money you'll save day-to-day.

Agree with the pressure cooker. It's also the primary tool for canning garden produce, as well as cooking a whole chicken in under half an hour.

-A small chest freezer can be had for less than half a car payment, and will give you the capacity to store a wider variety of and larger amounts of food. This really begins to pay off (in my house at least) when it comes to large cuts of meat, storing bulk garden vegetables, and storing game like fish fillets and venison.

-A vacuum-sealer can be a great tool, but shop around, as some are ridiculously expensive. I cook whole hams and briskets, and then seal the food myself in portion sizes for later serving. Vacuum sealed frozen portions will last a year, easily. Likewise when cleaning fish or game, the meat goes directly into vacuum bags.

-An electric carving knife. You can get buy without one; but using an electric knife reduces the time and effort of dressing meat by about 2/3. The one I use is nearly 20 years old. Turkey, hams, roast, brisket, even homemade bread is easier to prepare, and LOOKS a lot more appetizing when cut neatly and uniformly.

-A smoker. This may only be factor in regional cuisine, but a smoker makes excellent thanksgiving turkeys, briskets, hams and especially jerky. The value of jerky is that true jerky will store for several years without refrigeration, which makes it a travel / emergency preparedness food

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 01:23 PM
ditto on gardening and produce stands. yesterday bought 5 tomatoes and 1 pepper for total of $2. they guy had watermelons from $2 down to 50 cents!
bought chest freezer in spring, love it. been freezing squash & tomatoes. froze some baked potatoes too.
ditto buying in bulk and cutting. for instance, bag of chicken quarters for a few dollars; wrap in foil and they're there. maybe harvest me a deer this fall...
I hit salvation army/goodwill/yard sales when possible. and many dumps/transfer stations have recycle piles; got a nice Pioneer stereo wi speakers for $0! not to mention old furniture with recycleable lumber. my stereo cart and tv stand are both recycled/modified. even got free wheels from old office chairs!
speaking of music, Amazon has a ton of free mp3 downloads. mixed bag but can't beat the price!
not to mention, Goodwill/Salvation Army are good charitable causes. next time u need elex give them $ instead of big box mart.

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