What has saved you the most in the last year?

What has saved you the most in the last year?

Joined: September 6th, 2008, 10:30 am

February 19th, 2012, 8:11 pm #1

I was thinking about changes I've made and wondering what has been the biggest saver. I think the biggest sounds kind of anti frugal, it was to let myself run out of things. When I used up stuff then I had no choice but to use what was still hanging around. So instead of always finding and buying the bargain I was taking advantage of past shopping. This saved money because even on sale spending is spending. And I was not wasting time, money or space to store extra things that I may not need for some time.

So even though prices are going up I'm not worried and don't buy too much. Stuff is lasting longer than I thought it would so trips to the store are less. And this thinking has led me to having fewer items. For example I had two sets of sheets but most of the time I would take off and wash one set. Well that one is now worn out. Before I would look to buy another but I'm just going to start using the other set and replace when worn.

Even though this is small spending most of the time, it adds up. And over the year I've saved plenty by staying out of stores and using what I have. This change in attitude has helped me to see how much I don't need.


What do you think has saved you the most in the last year?
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Joined: October 29th, 2005, 6:29 pm

February 19th, 2012, 9:27 pm #2

I went from 900sq ft w/garage to 700 sq ft w/o garage (and in another part of the country) and cut my rent by 42%. However I am quite annoyed sometimes at the lack of space and wanting something bigger again! What is odd though is the last condo I was in felt much bigger than only a 200sq ft difference...
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Joined: June 25th, 2005, 4:29 pm

February 19th, 2012, 10:39 pm #3

I was thinking about changes I've made and wondering what has been the biggest saver. I think the biggest sounds kind of anti frugal, it was to let myself run out of things. When I used up stuff then I had no choice but to use what was still hanging around. So instead of always finding and buying the bargain I was taking advantage of past shopping. This saved money because even on sale spending is spending. And I was not wasting time, money or space to store extra things that I may not need for some time.

So even though prices are going up I'm not worried and don't buy too much. Stuff is lasting longer than I thought it would so trips to the store are less. And this thinking has led me to having fewer items. For example I had two sets of sheets but most of the time I would take off and wash one set. Well that one is now worn out. Before I would look to buy another but I'm just going to start using the other set and replace when worn.

Even though this is small spending most of the time, it adds up. And over the year I've saved plenty by staying out of stores and using what I have. This change in attitude has helped me to see how much I don't need.


What do you think has saved you the most in the last year?
Quitting my job forced us to stop spending but I think that is a great thing. We are very mindful of what we spend. Our costs have also decreased including gas, food and childcare. I spend about $15 a week on gas compared to about $80 when I was working. The kids now take their lunch to school everyday and I spend about $150 every 2 weeks for groceries. We eat all meals at home aside from lunch n Sundays which is usually off the dollar menu at Wendy's or McDonald's. When I Was working we bought much more convenience food and I tended to buy lunch. I now hang dry 2/3's of my clothes which will cut our electricity bill. We have paid nothing in childcare since November. Previously I was was paying a flat rate for after school care even though DS was in after school music programs 3 out of 5 days.
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Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

February 20th, 2012, 3:20 am #4

I was thinking about changes I've made and wondering what has been the biggest saver. I think the biggest sounds kind of anti frugal, it was to let myself run out of things. When I used up stuff then I had no choice but to use what was still hanging around. So instead of always finding and buying the bargain I was taking advantage of past shopping. This saved money because even on sale spending is spending. And I was not wasting time, money or space to store extra things that I may not need for some time.

So even though prices are going up I'm not worried and don't buy too much. Stuff is lasting longer than I thought it would so trips to the store are less. And this thinking has led me to having fewer items. For example I had two sets of sheets but most of the time I would take off and wash one set. Well that one is now worn out. Before I would look to buy another but I'm just going to start using the other set and replace when worn.

Even though this is small spending most of the time, it adds up. And over the year I've saved plenty by staying out of stores and using what I have. This change in attitude has helped me to see how much I don't need.


What do you think has saved you the most in the last year?
DH and I are working on our very first written budget (in 44 years, if you can believe it) and it has already had an effect. I was at Costco to pick up an Rx and literally picked up and put down two other things that, while good deals, were unbudgeted. I knew I'd have to write them down.
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Joined: August 3rd, 2010, 6:06 pm

February 20th, 2012, 12:16 pm #5

I was thinking about changes I've made and wondering what has been the biggest saver. I think the biggest sounds kind of anti frugal, it was to let myself run out of things. When I used up stuff then I had no choice but to use what was still hanging around. So instead of always finding and buying the bargain I was taking advantage of past shopping. This saved money because even on sale spending is spending. And I was not wasting time, money or space to store extra things that I may not need for some time.

So even though prices are going up I'm not worried and don't buy too much. Stuff is lasting longer than I thought it would so trips to the store are less. And this thinking has led me to having fewer items. For example I had two sets of sheets but most of the time I would take off and wash one set. Well that one is now worn out. Before I would look to buy another but I'm just going to start using the other set and replace when worn.

Even though this is small spending most of the time, it adds up. And over the year I've saved plenty by staying out of stores and using what I have. This change in attitude has helped me to see how much I don't need.


What do you think has saved you the most in the last year?
Finances have required that we tweak every aspect of our expenditures. Sensing a job loss in the wind, we paid off a small HE loan, 2 orthodonture contracts (no interest applied, but 2 large monthly obligations removed from the cash flow this way). Only debt we still have is the mortgage and the small car loan (0% interest)

I've even tweaked how I shop for groceries, what I buy, how I cook. I keep a very sharp eye on leftovers for example, to avoid waste. More and more is made from scratch (I cooked mostly from scratch anyway) Very little clothing/household goods have been purchased since the job loss, and what has been bought, was first sought after on the second hand market. Making do with less. Culled all 4 kids desks's worth of school supplies onto the kitchen table in August, redistributed what we already had on hand. No expense. No real new clothes for me besides a few thrift shop tops, a thrift shop warm cardigan. I did use $50 cash from Christmas to buy a wanted vest and some needed underwear (on sale, applied a coupon), Absolute needs come first. Christmas was very practical this year, but lovely all the same.

I'm also staying on top of any alternative sources of cash: taxes, insurance refunds, rebates, product returns, product freebies, Freecycle,clothes consignment at Once upon a child, etc. Car is staying put in the driveway as much as possible. We're eating down the stockpile, using cleaning products/personal care products also stockpiled. We're probably OK for another 4-6 months in that department. Gets interesting after a while, too, and pushes me to be creative, use stuff up, discover new ways to use stuff. Jan 2011's grocery expenditure was just under $225 for the month-unheard of here for a family of 5 at home + college kid who pops in and shops my shelves. : ) I normally have $600 (including $50 for the montly CSA allotment) This month (Feb) is just under $280 so far, with no plans of shopping really, until the 25th. I will pop in to IGA today for eggs (we are out) on sale for $1.88 but I have a 50 cpn that they will double so a doz eggs for 88 cents. That's do-able for me, I can use pocket change and be able to make hot cross buns today.
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Joined: October 28th, 2005, 10:05 am

February 20th, 2012, 4:04 pm #6

I was thinking about changes I've made and wondering what has been the biggest saver. I think the biggest sounds kind of anti frugal, it was to let myself run out of things. When I used up stuff then I had no choice but to use what was still hanging around. So instead of always finding and buying the bargain I was taking advantage of past shopping. This saved money because even on sale spending is spending. And I was not wasting time, money or space to store extra things that I may not need for some time.

So even though prices are going up I'm not worried and don't buy too much. Stuff is lasting longer than I thought it would so trips to the store are less. And this thinking has led me to having fewer items. For example I had two sets of sheets but most of the time I would take off and wash one set. Well that one is now worn out. Before I would look to buy another but I'm just going to start using the other set and replace when worn.

Even though this is small spending most of the time, it adds up. And over the year I've saved plenty by staying out of stores and using what I have. This change in attitude has helped me to see how much I don't need.


What do you think has saved you the most in the last year?
Getting divorced (and using a mediator- cost $4000 total,instead of $6K+ each)...
Losing my job which resulted in me no longer having DD in full time care ($5200 a year saved)...
Buying a house that is energy efficient and not larger than what I need...
Finding a 19 year old car with 50K miles on it, in good shape, when I needed to buy another one...
Last edited by SheilaPCT on February 20th, 2012, 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:07 am

February 20th, 2012, 5:00 pm #7

I was thinking about changes I've made and wondering what has been the biggest saver. I think the biggest sounds kind of anti frugal, it was to let myself run out of things. When I used up stuff then I had no choice but to use what was still hanging around. So instead of always finding and buying the bargain I was taking advantage of past shopping. This saved money because even on sale spending is spending. And I was not wasting time, money or space to store extra things that I may not need for some time.

So even though prices are going up I'm not worried and don't buy too much. Stuff is lasting longer than I thought it would so trips to the store are less. And this thinking has led me to having fewer items. For example I had two sets of sheets but most of the time I would take off and wash one set. Well that one is now worn out. Before I would look to buy another but I'm just going to start using the other set and replace when worn.

Even though this is small spending most of the time, it adds up. And over the year I've saved plenty by staying out of stores and using what I have. This change in attitude has helped me to see how much I don't need.


What do you think has saved you the most in the last year?
Getting on Blue Cross so dh and ds's medications are covered. That has saved me thousands (well, a couple thousand?) so far and now that dh's $$ medications are switched again it will save a lot more.

Shopping at home - like always... but I've been making a big effort to do it these last 6 months or so.

Using my skills like sewing to entertain myself and be productive.

Also running out of stuff. I agree with whoever said that (CC?) Running out of something doesn't mean that you are (necessarily) going to be forced to pay any price for something. There are always sales and if you do have to pay full price for something it is not going to cost more than if you bought ten at sale price because you can never run out. I think "never run out" is old fashioned advice and it's practical in the 'new economy.'

For example- our TV broke and we brought the gamer TV up from the basement. We only have TV reception on the main floor and can't cancel the contract for it. So what I'm saying is I'd be paying for something I want and was not using - if you followed that whole train of thought. We used that TV for about three months and bought a new one in January for $200. Did we NEED a new TV? Well... probably not. Did I want the gamers to go back to the basement? Probably did. The boys can watch movies in the basement, too, and they like to do that together. I hadn't spent more than $50 on everyone for Christmas so I thought of it as a family Christmas present. I could have probably bought the same TV for the same price at any time (or close to it)but I wanted to wait until I had all my extra money in from working extra over Christmas and see where I was.

Dh had the idea that the TV should be $250 + taxes and environmental fee and I had the idea that it should be $200 at the till for everything He went shopping for a $200 TV (to prove that it couldn't be done, I think) and found one. It's not his dream TV and is smaller than he would have chosen. But he checked out all the reviews and everything and it seems like it will be a good enough TV.

When I turned 42 in June I lost my mind and decided I was no longer buying cheaper things. You might not be able to tell with the TV... but I think a TV is going to last as long as it lasts and price doesn't factor much. I could be wrong about that. Maytag appliances are only lasting 5 years now... and that pisses me off!

I bought a very expensive (to me) couch within the last year. I'm half proud/ half ashamed. BUT I didn't buy it on credit. I paid cash and it didn't disrupt daily life in the house - we still had food and everything! First I bought a cheap set and it was coming apart within a couple weeks and traded it in for the expensive couch. The couch I bought is made in Canada and is all leather. I bought it from a local company that has been in business for decades and have always been good to us. The couch is guaranteed for 15 years against defects. I could have bought (or got...)a second hand one for less and it would have lasted a year or two, but I feel like I'm done with that! When am I going to start living like a grownup, for heaven's sake. We've been together for 25 years and this is the FIRST new couch we've ever had. Well... we did have a new futon. Does that count as a new couch? It didn't last any longer than a second hand couch!

We've begun the paperwork for bankruptcy and it the future that is going to save us thousands, too. I know people would rather have me say I worked two jobs and dh worked two jobs and we didn't declare bankruptcy, but honestly I think it is going to be the best thing that EVER happened to me! I don't think it is a secret here (or anywhere) that my husband is mentally ill. Most of the debt is because of his mental illness and my inability to take charge of the money and spending. I take full blame for having my name on the credit card and not having a really clear picture of what was going on with the finances. It just isn't possible for both of us to work that much at the same time. He needs a LOT of support when he is able to work and our son with Asperger's needs at least one parent at all times keeping a pretty close eye on him and running his schedule.

The other thing is that dh will work for a year or maybe two then he'll be unemployed again and honestly I need to take a break when he is working. My health always suffers when I work two jobs, etc. and I really need to rest up for the next race. I am FINALLY out of denial about it, though! This is how it is ALWAYS going to be. And I think dh has accepted that, too. It's not laziness or temporary. He won't just find the right job and everything will be smooth sailing until retirement.

On a positive note, though, he said to me yesterday that he doesn't care if he EVER gets a credit card again. =8-o He has never said that before.

That probably all sounds contradictory, but that is where my life is right now.



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Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

February 20th, 2012, 5:19 pm #8

DH and I are working on our very first written budget (in 44 years, if you can believe it) and it has already had an effect. I was at Costco to pick up an Rx and literally picked up and put down two other things that, while good deals, were unbudgeted. I knew I'd have to write them down.
Both of us are making huge savings on medical insurance and co-pays this year. I'm saving $88 month and DH is saving even more than that. Plus he is on an HMO and there should be no additional out of pocket beyond premiums and co-pays. I went on Medicare last year, and DH the year before, but during the enrollment period this year I really came to understand the process, and that's where the savings are. We have MedAdvantage plans with different companies (Blue Cross and Humana), and--as I said--he is on an HMO.
Last edited by MaxineS on February 20th, 2012, 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: September 6th, 2008, 10:30 am

February 20th, 2012, 6:26 pm #9

Getting on Blue Cross so dh and ds's medications are covered. That has saved me thousands (well, a couple thousand?) so far and now that dh's $$ medications are switched again it will save a lot more.

Shopping at home - like always... but I've been making a big effort to do it these last 6 months or so.

Using my skills like sewing to entertain myself and be productive.

Also running out of stuff. I agree with whoever said that (CC?) Running out of something doesn't mean that you are (necessarily) going to be forced to pay any price for something. There are always sales and if you do have to pay full price for something it is not going to cost more than if you bought ten at sale price because you can never run out. I think "never run out" is old fashioned advice and it's practical in the 'new economy.'

For example- our TV broke and we brought the gamer TV up from the basement. We only have TV reception on the main floor and can't cancel the contract for it. So what I'm saying is I'd be paying for something I want and was not using - if you followed that whole train of thought. We used that TV for about three months and bought a new one in January for $200. Did we NEED a new TV? Well... probably not. Did I want the gamers to go back to the basement? Probably did. The boys can watch movies in the basement, too, and they like to do that together. I hadn't spent more than $50 on everyone for Christmas so I thought of it as a family Christmas present. I could have probably bought the same TV for the same price at any time (or close to it)but I wanted to wait until I had all my extra money in from working extra over Christmas and see where I was.

Dh had the idea that the TV should be $250 + taxes and environmental fee and I had the idea that it should be $200 at the till for everything He went shopping for a $200 TV (to prove that it couldn't be done, I think) and found one. It's not his dream TV and is smaller than he would have chosen. But he checked out all the reviews and everything and it seems like it will be a good enough TV.

When I turned 42 in June I lost my mind and decided I was no longer buying cheaper things. You might not be able to tell with the TV... but I think a TV is going to last as long as it lasts and price doesn't factor much. I could be wrong about that. Maytag appliances are only lasting 5 years now... and that pisses me off!

I bought a very expensive (to me) couch within the last year. I'm half proud/ half ashamed. BUT I didn't buy it on credit. I paid cash and it didn't disrupt daily life in the house - we still had food and everything! First I bought a cheap set and it was coming apart within a couple weeks and traded it in for the expensive couch. The couch I bought is made in Canada and is all leather. I bought it from a local company that has been in business for decades and have always been good to us. The couch is guaranteed for 15 years against defects. I could have bought (or got...)a second hand one for less and it would have lasted a year or two, but I feel like I'm done with that! When am I going to start living like a grownup, for heaven's sake. We've been together for 25 years and this is the FIRST new couch we've ever had. Well... we did have a new futon. Does that count as a new couch? It didn't last any longer than a second hand couch!

We've begun the paperwork for bankruptcy and it the future that is going to save us thousands, too. I know people would rather have me say I worked two jobs and dh worked two jobs and we didn't declare bankruptcy, but honestly I think it is going to be the best thing that EVER happened to me! I don't think it is a secret here (or anywhere) that my husband is mentally ill. Most of the debt is because of his mental illness and my inability to take charge of the money and spending. I take full blame for having my name on the credit card and not having a really clear picture of what was going on with the finances. It just isn't possible for both of us to work that much at the same time. He needs a LOT of support when he is able to work and our son with Asperger's needs at least one parent at all times keeping a pretty close eye on him and running his schedule.

The other thing is that dh will work for a year or maybe two then he'll be unemployed again and honestly I need to take a break when he is working. My health always suffers when I work two jobs, etc. and I really need to rest up for the next race. I am FINALLY out of denial about it, though! This is how it is ALWAYS going to be. And I think dh has accepted that, too. It's not laziness or temporary. He won't just find the right job and everything will be smooth sailing until retirement.

On a positive note, though, he said to me yesterday that he doesn't care if he EVER gets a credit card again. =8-o He has never said that before.

That probably all sounds contradictory, but that is where my life is right now.


I found another benefit of running out of stuff is that I get what I want. When I let cost stand in my way I would get the one(or two, three) on sale. Now I may only buy one but it is usually what I want and will use happily.
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Joined: September 6th, 2008, 10:30 am

February 20th, 2012, 6:30 pm #10

Finances have required that we tweak every aspect of our expenditures. Sensing a job loss in the wind, we paid off a small HE loan, 2 orthodonture contracts (no interest applied, but 2 large monthly obligations removed from the cash flow this way). Only debt we still have is the mortgage and the small car loan (0% interest)

I've even tweaked how I shop for groceries, what I buy, how I cook. I keep a very sharp eye on leftovers for example, to avoid waste. More and more is made from scratch (I cooked mostly from scratch anyway) Very little clothing/household goods have been purchased since the job loss, and what has been bought, was first sought after on the second hand market. Making do with less. Culled all 4 kids desks's worth of school supplies onto the kitchen table in August, redistributed what we already had on hand. No expense. No real new clothes for me besides a few thrift shop tops, a thrift shop warm cardigan. I did use $50 cash from Christmas to buy a wanted vest and some needed underwear (on sale, applied a coupon), Absolute needs come first. Christmas was very practical this year, but lovely all the same.

I'm also staying on top of any alternative sources of cash: taxes, insurance refunds, rebates, product returns, product freebies, Freecycle,clothes consignment at Once upon a child, etc. Car is staying put in the driveway as much as possible. We're eating down the stockpile, using cleaning products/personal care products also stockpiled. We're probably OK for another 4-6 months in that department. Gets interesting after a while, too, and pushes me to be creative, use stuff up, discover new ways to use stuff. Jan 2011's grocery expenditure was just under $225 for the month-unheard of here for a family of 5 at home + college kid who pops in and shops my shelves. : ) I normally have $600 (including $50 for the montly CSA allotment) This month (Feb) is just under $280 so far, with no plans of shopping really, until the 25th. I will pop in to IGA today for eggs (we are out) on sale for $1.88 but I have a 50 cpn that they will double so a doz eggs for 88 cents. That's do-able for me, I can use pocket change and be able to make hot cross buns today.
I read a book last year and one point it made was to look for and get all that is owed to you. After that we received two notices about class action lawsuits we were part of. Before I would have blown them off because it always seems like the lawyers make everything. But this time I decided I would go ahead and sign up. Last month I received a $40 payment from one of them. I still waiting on a $80 one though.
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