Strategies on How to Save Money

Elora123

LoanSafe Member
Sewing is becoming a lost art. I have saved a lot in my lifetime remodeling old clothes, adding trims to others to change the look. Resale shops have materials and patterns for pennies on the dollar. I also buy used clothes to make other items such as velvet dress turned into fancy pillow or stuffed animals. Reuse and recycle and old things become new again. Strip buttons and zippers from too worn items to use again. Cut off long pants for shorts and long sleeve shirts for short sleeve. Sewing can be simple.
 

izzle

LoanSafe Member
My new years resolution for 2010 was to look at every "necessary expense" and cut it down this year. I was able to trim over $300 a month, or $3600 a year. That pays for a nice vacation. I did pay upfront costs to reduce my monthly expense. I can not stand the long term contracts. Here is what I did.

Cell Phones: My wife and I had two cell phones each with a 2 year contract with T-Mobile. We were paying $165/month for unlimited talk/300 text/internet each. I went back over the previous 6 months looking at my usage patterns.
We did not use the internet on the phones, and I realized I did not use my phone that much and would be much better to switch over to T-Mobile prepaid. They offer .10 minute on calls and .10 on texts. I realized that if I switched my phone over I would use about $12/month in prepaid usage. I still had over 14 months on my contract and it cost me $200 to break it. I bought a $100 card an T-Mobile switched my phone from post-paid to pre-paid. I have used about $12/month it call time.

I waited to convert my wife's phone over until this month as she is now off contract. She uses it alot, but they offer a prepaid unlimited talk/unlimited texts for $50/month. This is $15 less than postpaid.

Keep in mind we did lose the internet on the phone, but we lived without it on the phones back in the early 2000s anyway.:D

Phone 1:
Initial cost: $200 cancel contract+$100 card: cost recouped after 4 months
Initial monthly expense: $85
New monthly expense: $12
Savings: $73

Phone 2:
Initial cost: $100 card
Initial monthly expense: $85
New monthly expense: $50
Savings: $35


Cable TV: I was spending over $110 a month on cable TV just to watch 4 or 5 favorite shows. I decided it was time to cut cable TV off last year once they raised the prices, again.... I do love to watch local sports. Here is what I ended up doing:

1. Purchase antenna for over air HD broadcasts. I live within 20 miles of the tower so I am able to receive all the network programming.

2. Subscribe to Netflix + Streaming.

2. Purchase a mac mini ($600) and install Plex(free). This cost of the mac mini paid for itself in 6 months. This allows me to do several really cool things with Plex.
I can:

  • stream netflix show/movies right to my TV,
  • play DVDs in the mac Mini,
  • stream hulu, and just about any other web page that offers video from a very nice interface
  • use the mac mini as a DVR and record live over the air broadcasts( like football) This allows me to watch a football game in less than an hour. I love fast forwarding through all the commercials.
Initial expense: $600, + $30 for antenna : cost recouped after 6 months
Monthly expense: $9 for netflix
Monthly saving: $101


Home Phone: This was bundled in with the Cable provider. I was paying over $40 plus tax for home phone service. I researched and tried several different VOIP phones. I decided the best one for me was OOMA. They provide a box that looks liek an answering machine that plugs into your Internet connection and then it connects to your phone. The device cost $200 up front but only costs $3 a month for taxes. The call quality (if you have a decent internet connection) is superb. I work at home and use the phone several hours a day and nobody even knows that I switched.

Initial expense: $200, cost recouped after 5 months
New monthly expense: $3
Monthly Savings: $37

Internet: Since I had one of those triple play packages (Internet/Phone/Cable TV), I had to pay a little more since I canceled the other two services. I still need the high speed internet as my phone (ooma), and now TV (streaming netflix, hulu,etc) rely upon it. At least now I get my moneys worth.... :D

Old monthly expense: $65
New monthly expense: $65
Monthly Savings: $0

Insurance: This one made me mad. My insurance company of almost 10 years sent me a premium increase of over %15 for my homeowners insurance (included in escrow, so I really didnt see it. Once I saw that the insurance premium on my house was double what it was within 5 years, and the house value has fallen by 25% I called my agent to see what was up. He stated that rates are all going up among all insurance companies... I didn't believe him, and shopped around. I ended up saving over $100 a month in home/auto insurance by switching companies. Oh and it was fun to tell my current agent... "Time to get competitive or lose my business.... " He said he could not match the price and I was able to tell him goodbye.

Initial expense: a day of time calling insurance agents
monthly savings: $100


Electricity
I purchased a KillaWatt (meter you can plug your device into) to measure certain appliance power usage. I know, but I love little gadgets like that... Anyway, I was surprised by the fact that my aquarium uses quite a bit of power. So I put it on a timer and only have the light go on a little less every day. The bonus is that less algae grows in the tank now.... I also have setup my computers to sleep a few minutes sooner and that helps a little bit. The poster who drys clothes outside, this is a good idea, the clothes dryer uses the most power in the average home.

Initial expense: $30 killawatt, $5 timer: payback time 4 months
Monthly Savings: $10

Oh the other comments about canning. I bought a canner this summer and made jam/jellies, and canned peaches. It was alot of fun and was easy. Now I have more jams/peaches in the pantry than ever before.... :D
 

judithoo5

LoanSafe Member
wow Izze its amazing you are saving $300 monthly...I want to try the antena thing since cable is so expensive..actually the rental equipments is the most expensive, especially the one for HDTV...for one hddvr rental i am paying 15.99 and i have two old tv equipments each is 4.99 and then i have HBOS 12 dollars..the cable itself is 43.99...we only watch a lot of movies and my children a lot of cartoons and sometimes we watch the discovery channel....my total is $82 + tax....
 

izzle

LoanSafe Member
wow Izze its amazing you are saving $300 monthly...I want to try the antena thing since cable is so expensive..actually the rental equipments is the most expensive, especially the one for HDTV...for one hddvr rental i am paying 15.99 and i have two old tv equipments each is 4.99 and then i have HBOS 12 dollars..the cable itself is 43.99...we only watch a lot of movies and my children a lot of cartoons and sometimes we watch the discovery channel....my total is $82 + tax....
Yeah all the rental charges the cable company throws on is truly amazing. A fee for this a rental fee for than and soon enough your bill is almost $100. I was truly upset with the situation as my December bill last year showed each of the rental items going up almost a dollar each. I had enough... I figured I could cut cable and save enough money to purchase a new lcd tv every year.

My kids watch cartoons and kids movies, I have used netflix to get new dvds to watch, and the netflix streaming has many of the nick, and discovery channel shows. I did miss channel surfing for the first few months, but once I could see how much I was saving I got used to it... Plus I watch a whole lot less commercials. There is also redbox which I have not tried yet. It looks to be about a dollar a day per movie. Not a bad price. Cheaper than Blockbuster/Cable on demand.... I may try it but so far am very happy with Netflix.

It was the same thing with my phone, once I dropped the internet for the first few weeks I kept pulling my phone out to look at it, but realized there was nothing to look at. Now, I dont have the bad habit of constantly pulling my phone out, or walking down the street staring at my phone.... I enjoy watching other people do that... I wonder if they realize how silly they look...:p
 

sclay1983

LoanSafe Member
Thanks for the tip SunBeam. How much does it cost monthly and what do you save? I have heard of the Coupons, Grocery Coupons - The Grocery Game, but never signed up for these services.

I was always blown away by this lady who buys groceries for like $5 bucks a week.:eek:

Mom Feeds a Family of Six on $4 a Week: Coupon cutting and special savings can drastically cut the grocery bill.

[YOUTUBE]yQNvdKNTZUg[/YOUTUBE]
I have done Grocery Game in the past -- it is really good for stockpiling your pantry. Expect to spend 2-3 hours per week compiling your grocery list and coupons. You can do a free trial for 4 weeks. Before doing your free trial I would suggest collecting at least 4 weeks of Sunday papers/coupons so you have something to cull from. After your 4 week trial, it is $10 for every 6 weeks - FOR ONE STORE. An additional $5 for each additional store. I dropped off as my nest became emptier with kids going off to college. I am seriously considering doing it again and hitting it heavy for about 3-4 months, to stockpile. The beauty of Grocery Game is no clipping and filing of your coupons. Buy a box of bulldog clips and a sharpie pen - pull this week's coupons, clip them all together and write a big 12/26/10 on the front of your coupons. File them chronologically as this is how Grocery Game will tell you how to find your coupon, and in which flyer (SmartSource vs. Red Plum, etc).

I never got so good that I paid $5 for a basketfull of groceries, but I did regularly save 55-60%. Expect that 2-3 hours at least of list making and coupon compiling.
 

neonjohn

LoanSafe Member
I recently realized I needed to start saving money and becoming more frugal. To do this I have been biking to work instead of driving, writing down everything I spend down to the last penny to see where my money is going and where is unnecessary. I also have significantly cut back on going out to eat and have been cooking more at home. One more thing is making sure I am unplugging appliances when not in use as well as making sure unnecessary lights are shut off. Already saving a bundle...suggest it to everyone to give it a try!
 

FaithinGod

LoanSafe Member
I consume a lot of water bottles and soda bottles. I make sure that I keep all empty bottles to recycle later on. Even if I took the water bottle to work, I would bring the empty bottles home. I have those blue bins that I dump the recycables in. When full, I take them to the recycle centers and make about $30. I then use this money for grocery.
Thank you for all the other suggestions. Will most definitely relook at my expenses to see what can be eliminated.
 

misty2002

LoanSafe Member
Hi Moe,
This forum has been an incredible help to our family as we've dug our way out of debt, gone thru a loan mod with WF and are now looking for information on what hard assets to invest in/buy before the dollar crashes. We know the dollar will lose it's place as the worlds reserve currency, when that happens, our money will be almost worthless. What things should we buy now before we lose our purchasing power? We don't have alot, about$10,000 ina 401K and a couple thousand in savings. I have purchased silver over the last 2 years but don't have too much extra to put towards that now. What did people do back in the depression days? We do have 2 acres of land and were thinking about buying fruit trees and some goats/pigs, what would be your suggestion?
 
D

Daysi2

Guest
I have another year before I can cancel my phone contract and buy a "throwaway". I regularly call 2 relatives overseas and use Skype for this. Calls to Denmark are free because my d-in-law uses Skype too, but it costs me a couple of cents a minute to call my son in the UK who hasn't got a computer to sign-up. I watch only one program on TV regularly {Monk} and will cancel the satellite ASAP; also next year. I try not to use the a/c in the daytime but use it set high at night for safety reasons [I live alone and don't want doors and windows cracked open]. I have a solar powered pump for my outdoor fish tank. And I water my rose garden with the water from the tank when I need to change it out, by installing a faucet and hose and draining it from the bottom. Fertilize and water at the same time. When I move I hope to have a proper veggie garden and if I can transplant my new-ish fruit trees I will have a crop from them, too. I use cloth hand towels - laundered frequently - instead of paper towels. I'm 73, so I remember WW2 and make-do-and-mend, and food rationing, so I am not so afraid of being economical.
 
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