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Thrifty Thursday - In today's economy with our gas prices still high, cost of food keeps going up & up, utilities that keep climbing, etc. Let's put our heads together and see what tips we can share with each other on saving money.
bring your lunch to work, along with snacks.......
snack machine for a bag of chips is usually about 80 cents now. you can go to a wholesale club or even the grocery store and buy a box of snack bags for about $3-4
if you are having a chocolate craving...don't buy the candy bars out of the machine...they are usually twice as expensive as the stores....
buy in bulk when you can, either at a wholesale or the grocery store when there are sales....peanut butter, jelly, tuna, pasta, etc....when I cook pasta for dinner for the 2 of us, I always cook enough for the next day's lunches and supper.....
We carpool into work together - this save on gas, maintenance on the vehicles, and gives us some couple time together every day that isn't spent in front of the tv or computer.
We are VERY conservative with our utilities. The AC is set at 85-90 and is rarely lowered except on the 100+ humid days. We use ceiling fans to keep the air circulated, and they make a big difference. We keep the shades/blinds down, curtains closed to keep the hot sun out. We chose the savings plan for our electricity and we are charged different rates at peak/non-peak hours so we do most of the major stuff (washer, dishwasher, vacumming, etc.) only during weekends or weeknights after 9pm and before 7am during the non-peak rates. We always get a AC credit during the summer because we don't use much AC - it's a $10 credit and that adds up too. During the cold months, the heat is set at 65-70, and the blinds/shades/curtains are opened to allow the sunshine in to warm the house.
We don't subscribe to cable or satelite. We're gone from the house 10/12 hours at a time and in the evenings by the time we prepare dinner, eat dinner, get things ready for the next day it's practially bed time and we may watch tv for an hour. To us, we can't justify the cost ($50+ monthly) and just use antenna. So, we are affected by the Feb 2009 analog ending. We've already requested the coupons for $40 off the converter boxes.
Coupons - we clip them & use them. We also watch sales, shop warehouse (Costco), and are pretty frugal on what we buy. We tend to drink & prefer water more then other drinks. We buy in bulk and divide into smaller portions for the 2 of us. Neither of us drink alcohol much at all, so that's one expense we simply don't have. We also don't smoke and when we meet up with friends we all usually meet at each other's houses and have fun without spending much. Game nights are fun - Sorry, Monopoly, Scrabble, etc.
This is a great topic, Becky!! I wish I could say we are as frugal as both of you gals.
We do shop at Costco, but we are careful about the bulk items we get sometimes they can go bad before you finish it. We have a food saver (the vaccuum seal thingy) and freeze what we can.
I try to leave the doors open in the mornings to let the cool air in and we leave our doors open at night once the suns gone down. So, the AC is on while we are gone to try and keep the house at a temp that won't take too long to cool off overnight. It's not set quite as high as Becky's but we are fortunate enough to have some of the lowest electricity rates in the country.
We DO have satellite with 3 tvs, sometimes I wonder why, but I actually do watch quite a little bit of it. We'll see what happens when our committment is up.
We don't ge the newspaper. I know it's not terribly expensive, but it adds up. We rely on internet and radio for news (and the occasional tv news programs).
We too take lunches to work. Usually it's leftovers from a night or two of dinner.
We don't go out much, when we do it's usually to friends for some good 'ol gabbing. Unfortunately, DH does drink beer so we don't save anything there.
We do turn lights off in rooms we aren't in and only run the dishwasher when it's full.
When it comes to laundry, we have one of those washers that senses how full it is and it adjusts the amount of water it uses accordingly, so our domestic water bill isn't bad.
We have irrigation water for our outside water and pay an annual fee for it no matter how much or how little we use. But, when I used to have city water to water my yard, I did it at early morning and late evening so the water didn't evaporate and that way I didn't have to use as much so that saved on my domestic water bill.
DH has been able to drive the work truck home, so he hasn't had to drive his pickup which has saved us a ton in fuel costs.
We close off the rooms we aren't using and the vents that are in those rooms so the air isn't cooling a room we aren't using. And, we have the vents closed in the basement...no sense in trying to cool off the coolest part of the house.
We too have ceiling fans, that are turning constantly, to help ciruclate the air.
We change our furnace filter regularly as that helps with the efficiency of the furnace.
We BBQ as often as possible so we aren't using the oven/stove and heating the house up.
what everyone has said. Try to take a short shower (5min or less), bike to work if you are close enough, eat out less..cook at home more, try to water your lawn only 3x a week, know what you are getting out of frig. before opening the door (in and out), switch all light bulbs to CFL.