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Suggestions for cutting back and making extra money?

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I need suggestions for cutting expenses, finding extra money and making extra money!  Like, what do you do to try and save money?  The last time I was on CafeMom I found some great mentors that helped with this, but I'm having trouble finding suggestions today....

My husband and I both work 2 jobs and we don't belong to a gym, spend money on clothes, or stuff like that.  Any other suggestions?  I'm ready to get SERIOUS!!

Courtney, proud wife of Ryan and mother to Brock and Kaston.
We're living like no one else so later we can live like no one else!

by on Sep. 9, 2011 at 2:39 PM
Replies (31-35):
by New Member on May. 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM
by Bronze Member on May. 18, 2014 at 6:09 PM

 Great list of tips

Quoting oddfox:

Use less. The directions on the clothes detergent bottle indicates a suggested amount per load (it's NOT a full cap). See what is enough to clean your clothes and use only that amount. Take shorter showers or take military style showers. Experiment with shampoo and conditioner amounts.  You only need a pea sized portion of toothpaste to work up a good foam. Squeeze all of the toohpaste out from the bottom. Though I haven't done this, some folks cut the tube open to get the last bit out. I suspect near the tops there could be quite a bit  left.

Turn off lights and unplug electronics. Phantom electricity is a killer. Try lower wattage bulbs, unless you need it for certain tasks.

Use cloth instead of paper. Cloth napkins, cloth rags for clean up instead of paper towels, etc. Reuseable cloth bags for gifts instead of wrapping paper.

Use items over. I take the cereal box liners, cut them open and use them as reuseable and washable spatter guards in the microwave. Reuse bread bags to store divided up bulk purchased meats. (Toss after.) Cut gallon milk jugs into storage containers for small toys, holders for clothes pins on the clothes line, toilet brush or plunger holders in the bathroom. Unless you've used it for meat, wipe down and reuse aluminum foil.

When cooking something, double or triple the recipe and put meal sized portions into the freezer for later. This is more a time saving measure, but is really nice when you're tired. I've done this with bulk purchased ground beef. Make some into patties, cook some as meatballs and make a few into meat loaves. I freeze the hamburgers and meatloaves uncooked but the meatballs I precook. Freezing portions works for soups especially those starting with dried beans. If you have small bits of leftovers put them in a larger freezer container for "shelf" soup instead of dooming them to science in the back of the fridge. Generally everything but rice and pasta work well. Pack lunches. If using the oven, try to cook more than one thing at once. Or if you can't fit it all, one thing after another as the oven is still hot. Choose cheaper recipes, or modify more expensive ones.  If you have leftovers built up, try a smorgasbord approach to supper one evening. Bring all the containers out and let everyone make up their own dinner plates. Crock pot dinners are often cheap and easy. Especially as both of you are working long hours.

Use cash instead of swiping a card. Studies show we spend 30% more if we use credit or debit instead of forking over actually physical money. Think in terms of how much time it takes you you to earn that much after tax money, especially for larger purchases. You are trading life blood for stuff. Is the stuff worth it? Have a discussion threshold with your spouse. If a purchase exceeds a certain amount talk it through first. Do we really need this now? Can we substitute something else for it? Where will the money come from to cover?

Try negotiating rates. My husband sucessfully negotiated our Internet rates and car insurance. Also ask about discounts. If you've been a long time customer or accident free or on time bill payer over the years. Save ahead for big purchases. You can get a much better deal on a used car for example if you pay in cash upfront.

Keep an emergency fund. Try to anticipate future needs.

Since your time is also quite tight, this may not work as well for you, but keep an eye out for free or cheap local programs. Our library has a great kid's reading program during the summer. Etc.

Even the tightest budget should have an escape valve. Especially if you're in this for the long haul. Otherwise it can get pretty depressing. For us it was per paycheck personal "mad money". When we were really strapped it was enough to buy a can of soda or save for yard saling. It gave a mental buffer, made us feel we had options, that we weren't trapped by the really tight budget.

Hope these ideas help.


by on May. 19, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Here's my best advice for lowering the grocery budget: How To Lower Your Grocery Budget Without Using Coupons.

Then, here is my list of "extras" - the little things I do to sort of boost my budget each month. Some do better than others, but all are equally easy to accomplish during naptime. Haha.

If you like Cafemom and are pretty active here, I definitely suggest going to POSTLOOP first:

I've posted this before, but.....

Hubpages earns me between $20 and $50 a month (I'm not writing anymore, just earning off old stuff. Probably could be higher.)

Postloop is about $5 every couple of days. This is one I do in front of the TV, seriously. I'm not like a die hard poster, but it is super easy to make your cash out $5 quickly here. I made $25 last month, but again, could probably make a lot more with a little more work.

Viggle, now, is about $25 a month, used to be better.

I also secret shop. I only do two jobs a month and they are both places I already visit pretty regularly, so this one is a good one for me.

by Bronze Member on May. 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Just take a read through these posts I made in my group and maybe some might be useful to you, a lot offer paypal payment (goes to your bank if you transfer it from paypal to your bank and use anywhere, that is cash money) well as amazon gift cards and walmart and much more.

Swagbucks - the more you earn the more you can redeem for GIFTCARDS!! FREE!! LEGIT!!!

ChatAbout - earn some money for just out for PayPal Amazon and more

Have a smartphone or tablet???...EARN GIFT CARDS while you SLEEP!!!!

BING can cash out for gift cards

a great site that offers POLLS and you can cash out for AMAZON and WALMART and more

check out this site Mint Vine..can cash out for PayPal

check out Zoombucks...can cash out for PayPal and more...

RecycleBank - earn GIFT CARDS while learning how to be green...easy!!

Come check out  Serious Coupon Swappers for swapping, friendship and learn about the many ways to make money online by chatting or using apps!.

by on Jun. 1, 2014 at 1:19 PM
I HIPPOd so many of these May have been mentioned already, but here goes:

- lose the contract cell phone, and go with a prepaid company such as Metro PCS or Verizon prepaid. You'll be surprised how much you save. Most of these plans cost $40 for unlimited talk, text, and data.
- drop cable and use Netflix or Hulu instead.
- take public transportation/walk whenever possible, or consolidate shopping trips/other trips to save on gas.
- make weekly meal plans based off what you have in the fridge/pantry instead of going shopping.
- make your own household cleaners.
- cut going out to eat & getting coffee (make coffee at home).
- use coupons and comparison shop.
- buy open box/floor models when applicable.
- shop at pawn shops/thrift stores/consignment stores/flea markets/yard sales.
- save cans and bottles and cash them in.
- call your credit card company and see if you can switch to a rewards card or cash back card.
- if you have kids in diapers, try cloth diapering/cloth wipes.
- line dry clothes instead of using the dryer.
- unplug appliances when not in use.
- turn up the fridge & freezer.
- search for bank accounts that have better interest rates or that offer bonuses or incentives.
- shop in bulk for basics.
- install a low-flow shower head to save water.

I could go on and on. Good luck mama!
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