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Frugalistas Frugalistas

Could use some ideas

Posted by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM
  • 16 Replies

My husband works very hard but we BARELY make ends meet, and he just got his hours cut a bit.  Not a whole lot, but enough that we need to make some changes or bills are not going to get paid.  I already do quite a bit, but I could use a few more suggestions.  Here is a general breakdown of what I do already:

- Make ALL bread products (sandwich, French bread, buns, and such)

- Make most cleaning products (all purpose spray, laundry det, window) Don't make disherwasher detergent anymore

- Meal plan (breakfast and dinner) and stick to it.

- Coupon using target.com, coupon.com, and redplum.com. (Paper was getting too expensive)

- Cut out cable/satelite and went netflix and hulu+ instead.

- Electric bill is on a peak/off peak plan so electricity is only used during off peak hours (NO clothes washing during peak hours.)

- Buy store brands of nearly everything.

-  We've completely cut out eating out and have for about a month. :(  That was the hardest.

That's all I can think of.  I have recently started trying to stop buying food that I can make myself in hopes that would save money, but I am finding that the start-up costs are a bit high, but will be cheaper in the long run (for example.  (For example, making my own muffins from scratch.  Yes, I can make 4 batches of muffins from all the ingredients, but it was expensive to buy all the ingredients I did not have.)

Anymore suggestions??? 

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
kimberlync
by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I was in your same situation a few months back, and even now my boyfriend still doesn't make a lot of money. It's enough to pay the bills and us get by, but there's very little extra left over each payday.

The biggest things we did was eliminate our cell phones. It was difficult, but when you're barely able to afford a loaf of bread each week you realize just how insignificant that cell phone is. We also eliminated our cable. Another tough one, but again, do we want to buy groceries this week or watch tv?

Another thing that has helped us tremendously is I became an insane couponer. I mean, a 3" binder that will barely close, coupons out the wazoo, 3-4 hours a day spent planning my shopping trips, and not buying anything without a coupon, insane type of couponer. If it's not on sale and I don't have a coupon for it, it doesn't come home with me. Now I will make an exception for emergency items like toilet paper or womanly products if I don't already have them in my stock, but other than emergency items I will NOT allow anyone in my house to put anything in my cart that doesn't have an attached coupon and a MAJOR sales price on it.

I just found out about making your own household cleaning items, so I haven't tried that yet, but I plan on starting in the next week or so. Every set of directions I see I'm always missing one or two items, and again, if it's not on sale and I don't have a coupon for it I won't buy it, so I haven't bought the ingredients yet, but it'll be soon.

We also don't eat out either. Maybe once a month we'll splurge and hit up Taco Bell or McDonald's, but that's only if my boyfriend has had a great sales week (he's a car salesman, so if he gets several sales a week in we tend to celebrate).

I also never pay for haircuts. I have a hair cutting kit at home and I cut everybody's hair with it. With mine I will trim it up to where I want it and my boyfriend will finish up the parts I can't see. I don't use the nail salons anymore either. I either paint my nails myself or I will splurge on occassion and buy Lee press on nails from Dollar General if I want to look nice (Christmas with the family, special anniversary or birthday, etc)

I don't do a lot of making food from scratch either. Like you, I realized that, yes, I can make 4 or 5 meals out of one batch, but most of the time I was paying double for all the ingredients, so I just try to buy the smallest size I can buy of each item. Sometimes when you buy things like Hamburger Helper you can find a better deal on the normal size box than you can on the family size box, so I'll get two boxes for maybe 10 cents more, but it makes double the amount of food, so we have enough for dinner and also enough for my boyfriend to carry to lunch the next day.

Also, sodas...oh my goodness the amount of money we have saved by just cutting down on our soda intake! We do still buy sodas when there is a really good sale, but everybody knows, you get one soda per day. When you drink that one soda up you're done for the day. The rest of the day it's Kool-Aid, sweet tea, juice, or water.

I have a ton of things we did, and still do, to save money, but I can't think of anymore right off the top of my head. Being frugal is so common to me now that I don't even realize all the ways I'm saving money lol

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM
1 mom liked this
Can you line dry clothes inside if outside is bad weather? Run a line through the utility room/basement/garage if necessary.
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Keep cooking from scratch. It IS cheaper in the long run. Don't make a lot of recipes that require buying new ingredients at the same time....introduce something new every time you shop.
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM
1 mom liked this
This may be considered extreme, but to cut down on the amount of laundry we do, DH and I will wear a pair of jeans for a few days before putting them in the hamper. The kids may or may not do the same. We have a family of five and I do about 5 loads of laundry a week, including bedding.
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM
1 mom liked this
We went from 2 cell phones on a contract to one prepaid cell phone. I am a SAHM and do not realistically need a cell phone. DH pays $5 every month or two to keep the minutes on his. We have a landline/internet/satellite TV (DH refuses to give it up) bundled together to save money.
MamaNeeNee
by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM
I do the same thing. I wear my work uniforms 2-3 times before washing. I have to use a laundry mat and its expensive to wash clothes so I try not to get too dirty at work and always wear Camis or undershirts so the shirts aren't touching me. Camis and undershirts take up a lot less room in the washer than the uniform shirts..
I don't really meal plan for dinners but its because I ONLY buy sale meats. I never know what I'm going to get so I meal plan around sale items. I keep basics in my pantry tho, rice pasta beans...
I also ONLY buy sale produce, and I shop at Aldi and their produce is already cheap.
For breakfast, kids eat cereal, grits or oatmeal. Maybe once a week eggs and sausage or bacon.
For lunches, we eat sandwiches, ramen or leftovers.
I ONLY buy soda on sale.. And when we're out we're out.
You can use baking soda / vinegar for most cleaning... And other households I try to get on sale or with a coupon.
Check all sales ads online before shopping, to see who has the best deals where and decide where I'm going to shop from there


Quoting michiganmom116:

This may be considered extreme, but to cut down on the amount of laundry we do, DH and I will wear a pair of jeans for a few days before putting them in the hamper. The kids may or may not do the same. We have a family of five and I do about 5 loads of laundry a week, including bedding.
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matreshka
by Platinum Member on Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Would going on a payment plan with your utilities work out to be cheaper? like they spread the payments out to make one even payment each month for the whole year?  Washing laundry on cold or warm, line drying, going meatless for dinner.

anotherandree
by Inga on Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Where do you get your coupons from? We were finding that we weren't using the ones from the newspaper that much because the store brand always (or mostly) seemed cheaper.

Quoting kimberlync:

I was in your same situation a few months back, and even now my boyfriend still doesn't make a lot of money. It's enough to pay the bills and us get by, but there's very little extra left over each payday.

The biggest things we did was eliminate our cell phones. It was difficult, but when you're barely able to afford a loaf of bread each week you realize just how insignificant that cell phone is. We also eliminated our cable. Another tough one, but again, do we want to buy groceries this week or watch tv?

Another thing that has helped us tremendously is I became an insane couponer. I mean, a 3" binder that will barely close, coupons out the wazoo, 3-4 hours a day spent planning my shopping trips, and not buying anything without a coupon, insane type of couponer. If it's not on sale and I don't have a coupon for it, it doesn't come home with me. Now I will make an exception for emergency items like toilet paper or womanly products if I don't already have them in my stock, but other than emergency items I will NOT allow anyone in my house to put anything in my cart that doesn't have an attached coupon and a MAJOR sales price on it.

I just found out about making your own household cleaning items, so I haven't tried that yet, but I plan on starting in the next week or so. Every set of directions I see I'm always missing one or two items, and again, if it's not on sale and I don't have a coupon for it I won't buy it, so I haven't bought the ingredients yet, but it'll be soon.

We also don't eat out either. Maybe once a month we'll splurge and hit up Taco Bell or McDonald's, but that's only if my boyfriend has had a great sales week (he's a car salesman, so if he gets several sales a week in we tend to celebrate).

I also never pay for haircuts. I have a hair cutting kit at home and I cut everybody's hair with it. With mine I will trim it up to where I want it and my boyfriend will finish up the parts I can't see. I don't use the nail salons anymore either. I either paint my nails myself or I will splurge on occassion and buy Lee press on nails from Dollar General if I want to look nice (Christmas with the family, special anniversary or birthday, etc)

I don't do a lot of making food from scratch either. Like you, I realized that, yes, I can make 4 or 5 meals out of one batch, but most of the time I was paying double for all the ingredients, so I just try to buy the smallest size I can buy of each item. Sometimes when you buy things like Hamburger Helper you can find a better deal on the normal size box than you can on the family size box, so I'll get two boxes for maybe 10 cents more, but it makes double the amount of food, so we have enough for dinner and also enough for my boyfriend to carry to lunch the next day.

Also, sodas...oh my goodness the amount of money we have saved by just cutting down on our soda intake! We do still buy sodas when there is a really good sale, but everybody knows, you get one soda per day. When you drink that one soda up you're done for the day. The rest of the day it's Kool-Aid, sweet tea, juice, or water.

I have a ton of things we did, and still do, to save money, but I can't think of anymore right off the top of my head. Being frugal is so common to me now that I don't even realize all the ways I'm saving money lol

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anotherandree
by Inga on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM
I forgot to mention that we do that with the electric! What a lifesaver! My husband is figuring out the line drying thing as we speak. I have been trying to make more meatless meals. The kids and I don't mind but my husband has been complaining...

Quoting matreshka:

Would going on a payment plan with your utilities work out to be cheaper? like they spread the payments out to make one even payment each month for the whole year?  Washing laundry on cold or warm, line drying, going meatless for dinner.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
kimberlync
by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I get all of my coupons from the Sunday paper. I generally buy 2 papers a week. I also have family that gives me their unwanted coupons. I used to print coupons, but I ran out of printer ink and haven't talked myself into buying anymore. Coupons.com is a great place to download coupons.

Store brands generally will be cheaper unless the name brand is on sale. You wait for the sale then use your coupons. I have never paid more for name brand than I would for the store brand, and most of the time the name brand ends up being about half the price of the store brand.

I have two stores in my area that double coupons..Bi-Lo doubles coupons up to $.60 so a $.60 off coupon is actually a coupon for $1.20 off. Harris Teeter doubles up to $1.00 so a $1.00 off coupon is actually $2.00 off. Harris Teeter also runs a TON of sales..they actually just had a Super Double sale that doubled all coupons up to $2.00, so between the doubling and the awesome sale they had they week I bought $100 worth of groceries for $28. I have proof on my blog if you would like to see it...http://couponingaddict.wordpress.com

As long as you watch for deals and are open to changing the stores you shop at you can save a ton on coupons. I used to shop Walmart for EVERYTHING, I got into coupons, realized Walmart didn't offer sales as good as our local grocery stores, so I started using Bi-Lo, Harris Teeter, and even Dollar Tree. I've gotten $20 worth of stuff free at Dollar Tree thanks to them now accepting coupons!


Quoting anotherandree:

Where do you get your coupons from? We were finding that we weren't using the ones from the newspaper that much because the store brand always (or mostly) seemed cheaper.

Quoting kimberlync:

I was in your same situation a few months back, and even now my boyfriend still doesn't make a lot of money. It's enough to pay the bills and us get by, but there's very little extra left over each payday.

The biggest things we did was eliminate our cell phones. It was difficult, but when you're barely able to afford a loaf of bread each week you realize just how insignificant that cell phone is. We also eliminated our cable. Another tough one, but again, do we want to buy groceries this week or watch tv?

Another thing that has helped us tremendously is I became an insane couponer. I mean, a 3" binder that will barely close, coupons out the wazoo, 3-4 hours a day spent planning my shopping trips, and not buying anything without a coupon, insane type of couponer. If it's not on sale and I don't have a coupon for it, it doesn't come home with me. Now I will make an exception for emergency items like toilet paper or womanly products if I don't already have them in my stock, but other than emergency items I will NOT allow anyone in my house to put anything in my cart that doesn't have an attached coupon and a MAJOR sales price on it.

I just found out about making your own household cleaning items, so I haven't tried that yet, but I plan on starting in the next week or so. Every set of directions I see I'm always missing one or two items, and again, if it's not on sale and I don't have a coupon for it I won't buy it, so I haven't bought the ingredients yet, but it'll be soon.

We also don't eat out either. Maybe once a month we'll splurge and hit up Taco Bell or McDonald's, but that's only if my boyfriend has had a great sales week (he's a car salesman, so if he gets several sales a week in we tend to celebrate).

I also never pay for haircuts. I have a hair cutting kit at home and I cut everybody's hair with it. With mine I will trim it up to where I want it and my boyfriend will finish up the parts I can't see. I don't use the nail salons anymore either. I either paint my nails myself or I will splurge on occassion and buy Lee press on nails from Dollar General if I want to look nice (Christmas with the family, special anniversary or birthday, etc)

I don't do a lot of making food from scratch either. Like you, I realized that, yes, I can make 4 or 5 meals out of one batch, but most of the time I was paying double for all the ingredients, so I just try to buy the smallest size I can buy of each item. Sometimes when you buy things like Hamburger Helper you can find a better deal on the normal size box than you can on the family size box, so I'll get two boxes for maybe 10 cents more, but it makes double the amount of food, so we have enough for dinner and also enough for my boyfriend to carry to lunch the next day.

Also, sodas...oh my goodness the amount of money we have saved by just cutting down on our soda intake! We do still buy sodas when there is a really good sale, but everybody knows, you get one soda per day. When you drink that one soda up you're done for the day. The rest of the day it's Kool-Aid, sweet tea, juice, or water.

I have a ton of things we did, and still do, to save money, but I can't think of anymore right off the top of my head. Being frugal is so common to me now that I don't even realize all the ways I'm saving money lol


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