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Money saving resolutions for 2010


Momo

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Does anyone plan to change their spending habits for the New Year? It is an ideal time to begin a strict realistic budget!

 

Right now I am doing some looking around to try to cut down our phone/cable/internet fees. I would love to get off dial up but so far all my other options for high speed internet are just too high. I'm not giving up yet. I've looked at all the websites and ads for specials, but I am going to get on the phone next week. Time for some serious negotiating.

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My sister and her DH just got on something called Hughes Net or something close to that. Fair price, and they could not get high speed any other way. I think maybe they now have their dish with Hughes, also.

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I would love to lower our expenses but I honestly don't know how to make them lower than they are!

 

Utilities- we heat with wood that we cut ourselves, cook with propane, have a propane water heater and a wood pre-heater. We could possibly cut down on our use of electricity. I'll have to ponder on that one.

 

Food- we either grow it or buy it in bulk. We buy very little from the grocery store. I would like to have more fresh vegetables in winter. I'm looking into sprouting and growing greens indoors in winter.

 

Clothing- the last time I bought new clothes other than underwear was in 1995.

 

Transportation- this one is a killer. We live 25 miles from anywhere--grocery, doctor, church, etc. on winding, mountain roads. It eats up brake pads/shoes and tires, not to mention the gas used. I would be happy to never go anywhere except church but DH goes. He is on disability. DD, DS and I are self-employed with a seasonal business at home.

 

Internet- I pay $12.95 per month for dial-up. High speed is not available here but is available 5 miles away for $19.95 through the phone company. They tell us they are working on it for our area. Don't have cable. Don't watch much TV. A neighbor down the road has Hughes Net and has told us we can come down anytime we need to do something online in a hurry :)

 

Like I said, I don't know how to cut down any more.

 

Daylily

 

 

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I'm with most of you, we cut back in so many ways last year that I'm going to have to be more creative this year. BUT, there are still areas that I can do so.

 

A big decision for us is to sell dh's pick up truck. He sure does like having it around, but it's just not the 'right' vehicle for our XL family. We're still making payments on it, so those payments plus insurance will add up to a hefty savings for our monthly budget.

 

Instead, he's going to drive the paid for Dodge Caravan Minivan....not every man's dream, but more practical for this season in our life. :thumbs:

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We are making even more changes this coming year. My husband and I have only been married for a little over a year, and we now have a baby as well.

 

Phone - we don't have a house phone, but we're joining our "survival buddies" (the family that we are making all our survival plans with) on their family plan. This will save us a good amount every month!

 

Electric bill - we heat our whole home with one radiating space heater by pulling it out into the main area of the house during the day, and closing all the bedroom doors, and then taking it into the bedroom at night. The baby sleeps in our room so we only have to hear one room at night. We also burn oil lamps now :)

 

Groceries - I was getting about $100/week for everything we needed for the house, but recently, due to a lot of medical bills from my hospitalizations and subsequent emergency C-Section, I now get barely $20 a week! This has been tough, but God has provided our needs.

 

Otherwise, we've cut out as much as we possibly can. In this next year, when we have more wiggle room as the bills get paid, we will be putting a lot of our extra into getting prepared. I am responsible for the food and cleaning needs for our 2 families combined.

 

All in all, I feel that we are doing pretty well for how long we've been married, and what we've had to work with. :)

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Groceries - I was getting about $100/week for everything we needed for the house, but recently, due to a lot of medical bills from my hospitalizations and subsequent emergency C-Section, I now get barely $20 a week! This has been tough, but God has provided our needs.

 

You will be amazed with what you can buy with just that much money if you watch sales and make 'multi-meals' like soups and stews. Rice is cheap and you canuse it in everything. Hope you have room for a garden this spring as that is another way of saving on the food bill.

:AmishMichael2:

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Groceries - I was getting about $100/week for everything we needed for the house, but recently, due to a lot of medical bills from my hospitalizations and subsequent emergency C-Section, I now get barely $20 a week! This has been tough, but God has provided our needs.

 

i remember the days when all we had were $20.00 period. it was time to go shopping at the 99cents only store for groceries. i got inspired by the cookies i was baking. i decided one day to bake some cookies and sell them at work.i went from having only $3.00 and no gas to get to work to $20.00 in one day. it wasn't much, but it allowed me to buy groceries for my dh and i.

 

GOD BLESS YOU.

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Thank you all for your encouragement :) I think the hardest thing is when you go to the store and every week things are going up. $20 doesn't even buy as much as it did a few months ago.

 

Amishway - I read your whole website last night. I LOVE LOVE your gardens :) We turned most of our backyard into a garden last year, and got a good amount of food that I canned a lot of. (we have .18 acre). I definitely plan to do that again next year. My DH says that we should just plant the whole thing in potatoes!! LOL

 

God Bless you all!

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I do have plans to cut expenses in 2010. In the last year we have cut so much from our budget I am happy, I think that is the first time ever I can say I am proud of my financial habits in the last year.

 

This coming year i plan to do better now that we have more to work with since we moved. I plan to cut down the food bill and really commit to growing, raising and making our own food just to see how much lower we can get our grocery bill. Food where we live now is much more expensive, unless you hit Kroger which is a good 30 miles or more away from us. There is just something very satifying about being as self sufficient as possible.

 

I also have a little bit of financial goals go as far as bills and such,, but it seems like I am always working on that :-)

 

 

 

 

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We are going to tighten up, again, as well. We've already done so many things, there aren't many places left to cut. We got rid of our house phone but DH needs his cell for work. I went on his plan and it only costs $9.00 more. We have cable but only the mid-grade. Not the bottom of the barrel, but no HBO or other premium channels. We cut out all outside entertainment and no longer order the Pay Per View movies that we used to do every Friday night. Our internet is bundled to our cable but if we get any increases in the bill I will have to start shopping around for alternatives. We gave up our favorite Friday night delivery pizza and now eat frozen store-bought.

 

I'm going to reduce our grocery budget even further and start shopping with cash only again. It's the best way to stay within our strict budget. I'm going to start incorporating more beans and rice, egg dishes (my mom always called it Breakfast for Dinner) and get back in the habit of eating spaghetti once a week. I'm also going to try to kick the soda habit again and go back to water or iced tea. Not only a money saver but good for my waistline as well!

 

I've started saving all my Wal-Mart shopping bags because they are white. Just over a year ago we finished remodelling the bathrooms and I've been buying those small white Glad trash bags. They are super expensive for what they are but I stuck with them because they are white and helped to keep the bathrooms looking so nice. Everytime I get home and get things put away I spend a couple minutes at the table folding them and putting them in ziplocks bags so they will fit nicely in the closet.

 

I'm goint to start timing my showers. I'm a self-admitted shower hound. I could spend all day in the shower but we need to start reducing our utility bills as we just don't have many other places left to cut. In the summertime I will do my darndest to control the A/C but living in Florida, I just don't know how successful I'll be.

 

As soon as my stockpile of store bought laundry detergent runs out we will be using the homemade stuff that I tested earlier this year. I also have a "recipe" for homemade laundry softener but haven't tried it yet. Hopefully it will be as good as the laundry detergent.

 

Once all my store bought cleaning supplies run out I'll be using more homemade varieties like vinegar and baking soda.

 

And somewhere along the way I'm going to start hitting the second hand stores for clothing items. Both our jobs allow us to wear shorts and T-Shirts. We are both extremely picky about our shorts but living in Florida, I should be able to find an abundance of decent T-Shirts.

 

And, we plan on starting our garden this year. We've tried a few things in the past and weren't really successful so we gave up. Now we need to make it a priority to start finding out where our issues lie and how to become successful at it.

Edited by GettinReady
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Well, when I left my job last Feb--we cut down a lot--but since we are doing the 1/2 year thing (trying to pay off 1/2 our bills this year) we also added in spending 1/2 as much money as we normally do.

 

We will be paying off our boat and 5th wheel this year--plus some old taxes and dr bills--We would not even be close on the 5th wheel if we had not had a really bad hail storm --the insurance payed over half of what we owed--and I will never see the dents on the roof anyway!!!

 

We are going to do that thing where once you pay off one bill --you use the money you were paying on that bill to roll it into the next bill--so the next one and the next one get payed off quicker

 

I went to automatic bill pay on our bills--this is saving a lot on late fees, postage, etc--and i don't have to worry about it anymore

 

I changed the plan we have on direct tv to match more closely what we actually watch--that was a pretty good savings--we dropped our home phone since we have unlimited cell phone usage

 

I dropped netflicks--we will wait to see them when they come out on tv

 

I have hughes net on the road and at home (dd needs it for college) but I love it so i am not really willing to part with it--

 

we changed insurance companies and saved a bundle on exactly the same insurance!!!--this was HUGE--shopping around has really paid off on this one!!!

 

I have promised myself that I will not buy any more yarn or fabric until I have used up all that I have on hand--this should keep me busy most of the year!!LOL I am a yarnaholic!!!

I saved a ton by making all the Christmas gifts this year--and will be doing this again next year for Birthdays and Christmas--everyone seemed to enjoy it much more than store bought!!! dh and I agreed tha twe will not be spending any more of gifts for each other--we know we love each other and we don't really need anything anyway.

 

No more new clothes!!!! I have just gotten 14 trash bags of clothes out of my closet--so I am not going to get anymore!! Since I don't work outside the home anymore--I have no use for 50 business suits with shoes and purses and briefcases!!! I heard about a charity that loans work clothes to women for job interviews, etc--so that is where those are going.

 

I am going to go to more meatless meals--meat is expensive--plus we ended up with 2 freezers full of deer so I should make it for the whole year without buying meat!!! that will be HUGE!!!

We also have went from eating out quite often to only once a week

 

We stopped the upkeep on dd's older vehicle (needed way too much) and parked it and I gave her my truck to use for college this year--we only need one vehicle on the road anyway!!! this should help on her expenses too!!!

 

I have stopped shopping for entertainment!!! I am away from family and friends most of the time, and I was entertaining myself with Wal Mart and K Mart and Target--this was getting way out of hand!! I am now connected to family and friends on facebook and staying out of the stores unless I really need to go shopping.

 

I am also considering selling some of the stuff we clean out on ebay--although i buy on there a lot--i have never sold anything--but i have some nice collectibles that i want to get rid of--so i am investigating this further

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WOW! Gettinready and deerslayer great posts!

 

hope to hear more about cutting back so others can use the information this year.

 

 

 

We were shopping (well took a friend that doesn't have a car) and while there I (Michael) was over checking out the meat dept. They had a sale on Pork Butt - 89 cents a pound! There were a few big packs (2 huge butts in each package) for $12.99! So we got one and when we got home and cut them up we ended up with 4 big pork butt roasts and 2 little pork butt roasts (for the crockpot) and as I was taking off the fat I also had some small chucks that I will made into stew meat chunks. The bigger ones were so big that I cut off a few "steaks" so we can have that as well some day. All are rapped and put into chest freezer.

 

So for savings we got:

4 big pork butt roasts - cost would have been like $7.00 each.

2 little pork butt roasts - cost would have been like $4.00 each.

few "steaks" (4)- cost would have been like $5.00.

Stew meat - cost would have been like $3.00.

for a total of $44.00 but we ONLY paid $12.99 so we SAVED $31.01. :thumbs:

WOW! we did GOOD! :faint3:

guess that will help with the food bill for this month.

Oh, we froze it rather then can some of it because with the holidays and all we didn't want to spend a day canning. ;)

maybe next time.

:AmishMichael2:

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh Deerslayer! Thanks for reminding me! I also changed homeowners insurance companies. The old company has been absolutely killing us for years but it seems I could never get around to researching new companies. I finally made it a point and found one that saved us just over $600 a year! Bad news is, they had a rate increase just after I signed with them. :angry: When my renewal comes up in November I'll be paying a higher premium but still not as high as the old company. I also reduced my auto policy to the bare bones when I paid off my car earlier this year. While the reduction in coverage was quite substantial, the cost savings wasn't enough (around $125 a year) to make it worth it. I got nervous and went back to full-coverage. I guess that's a way they keep you hooked. Drastically reduce the coverage but not make the overall savings worth it so you continue to pay the higher premiums.

 

Amish, great prices on the pork! I wish I could find meat and produce that cheap. With our high retiree population you'd think we could get cheaper food but it's not the case. Our meats and produce are very expensive. Way to go on getting your shopping under control! It will certainly add up over time!

 

Here's something interesting I've noticed the last couple times I've gone shopping...a few weeks ago I stocked up some pork that was on sale to can (also pork butt but mine was $1.79#) and got several of them as well as a couple beef roasts. The young girl cashier, probably no more than 22, asked what in the world was I making with all that meat. I just told her it was on sale and I was stocking the freezer. The younger female bagging clerk said, "Wow, no kidding! Some of these are only $5 or less!" And the shopping trip before that I had seven $1 off coupons for things I was buying. As the cashier was beeping them through I only heard six beeps so I asked to her recheck my stash. She found it and we all commented that "A buck is a buck." The young bagging clerk said "You got that right!" I just thought it was very interesting to find such young people, most of whom appear to be young college kids possibly still living at home, so critically aware of grocery prices and savings. To me it shows that even they are feeling an incredible pinch right now and are recognizing the value of a dollar.

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I buy the boston butt pork roasts when a store named Schnuck's has them on sale(Memphis, TN area). They go down to $.67 and they will slice them for free. I get a big roast and have about 4 pork steaks cut off or have it cut in half and have two roasts. All I have to do is wrap them when I get home.

 

 

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I was telling DH today that it is starting to feel like my budget back when I was a very young married girl! I had to count every penny then and it is close to being that again. I have never been one to splurge, but I don't like having to consider every purchase..no matter how small.

 

Yesterday being the start of a new year I have revived my spending journal. Every night before I go to bed I will enter every penny I spent that day. Maybe I will find holes that I am not aware of! I used to do this years ago and it was helpful.

 

Our pork roasts are on sale here now for 89 cents a pound. You have to buy 2 big ones in a package. I cook them up in the crockpot and pick the meat off the bones. I repackage it in one pound portions for the freezer. It is great for casseroles and also makes good bbq sandwiches if added to bbq sauce.

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We were given a ham for Christmas and I had a 22 lb turkey I got for 33 cents a pound at Thanksgiving. I also stocked up on pork and beef roasts at 87 cents a pound. My upright freezer is so full right now. I also got ground beef 2 chubs for the price of one and chuck steaks on sale. I sure won't have to buy meat for months! So I'm saving ahead for Christmas while the meat is stocked up! LOL! Isn't it great to find bargains and have enough money to stock up? What a blessing.

Happy New Year!

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