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butterflywings

Here is what I do to have $50 extra a month for c.c payments

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I didn't see this anywhere, but I started doing it in May, and both my gas and electric bills have significantly dropped: I went to WalMart and bought two cheap folding drying racks for clothes, and a bag of the cheapo clothespins. Instead of using the dryer (it's gas, but still needs electricity to run the drum) I hang it all out to dry on my back porch. I only do laundry one day a week for my whole family of 6-7, and believe me it can add up quick! But I'm finding I can put a full load on the two folding racks by hanging the shirts on hangers, and by the time the washer is done with the next load most or all is dry and I can put the next load out. Yes, it takes a few extra minutes, but actually not that much more. And since I'm renting and I can't install a permanent clothes line these racks are great. They're portable, easily stored when not in use and light weight. When fully open they would fit on the small decks of most apts. I can even use them in the winter and get some humidity in the air when the heat dries everything out.

 

The proofs in the pudding as they say, and my electric usage went down almost 800 kwh's in one month, even with occasional AC usage and it's the only change I've made. That was $80 saved this month alone. My gas bill went from 196 ccf's used in May ($339) to 82 ccf's used in June ($144) for a savings of $195.

 

So - go green and air dry! We're putting the extra money into paying off the car faster! ;)

 

Anna

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Try to have a little bit of money payroll deducted into a savings account. Almost immediately you will adjust to not having that money to spend and your savings will add up.

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I'm in AZ and my hot water heater is in my garage. It's just me and in the summer my gas bill (hot water heater's only thing that runs off gas,) is $20-25 at most and in winter its usually around $40. I thought it was a bit high but didn't know what else to do. Can I still try this? Would it be safe to only turn it on (or get a timer) other than before I need it, in the winter at night when it gets super cold?

 

Thanks for the tip! Can't wait to read more in the next few days.

 

Karen

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Try to have a little bit of money payroll deducted into a savings account. Almost immediately you will adjust to not having that money to spend and your savings will add up.

 

 

Agreed.. I have $25/month (+ "Keep the Change" $) going to B of A Savings, $100 / month go into my Roth IRA, transfer all of the money from my ebay sales (Paypal Acct) into my ING savings...(sometimes this is $150-$200/month, it just depends). Little things add up.

 

Edited for: Realized the spirit of this thread is "how to come up with another $50 for cc payments" .... I paid off my debt in May - no more CC bills unless I can PIF and avoid interest.. but building a saving is instrumental to my not running the cards up again.

Edited by Cactus Flower

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I'm in AZ and my hot water heater is in my garage. It's just me and in the summer my gas bill (hot water heater's only thing that runs off gas,) is $20-25 at most and in winter its usually around $40. I thought it was a bit high but didn't know what else to do. Can I still try this? Would it be safe to only turn it on (or get a timer) other than before I need it, in the winter at night when it gets super cold?

 

Thanks for the tip! Can't wait to read more in the next few days.

 

Karen

 

My water heater is LP (propane). I keep the setting on 'vacation', so the pilot light is on but the burner never kicks in. The water is definitely hot enough for showering or dish washing unless you use the entire contents of the tank.

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Does this work with a gas water heaters?

 

A lot of gas water heaters don't use electricity at all, there's no way to put a timer on them. The ones that had a pilot light- there was no need for electricity.

If you have one with electronic ignition (no constant pilot lite) there may be a way to put a timer on it.

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We split a membership to Sam's Club with my inlaws and go 3-4 times a year to stock up. We buy meat in large chunks and cut it ourselves. We freeze fish we catch ourselves and swap some with my sister for deer her husband got hunting. I shop the local closeout/overstock grocery first, then sale papers, combining with coupons (one store will double, and occasionally triple coupons) whenever possible, then hit the dollar stores. I use a rewards cc for groceries when I can.

 

I make the majority of our food from scratch, including bread and snacks. With just 3 of us, one of which is a 2 year old, we have a lot of leftovers so I roll them into other meals. For instance, I can get 3-4 meals out of a whole baked chicken. I do a lot of soups and casseroles since you can use a little bit of this and that to make a whole meal. Instead of buying prepackaged microwave meals, I make my own using leftovers. When it's warm, we grill or use the side burner on the grill so we don't have to heat up the house with the oven. We do potluck with family and friends several times a year to help stretch the food budget.

 

We use CFLs and open the blinds during the day to let in light. I do laundry with cold water, using half the detergent the container recommends. For heavily soiled items, I throw in some plain white vinegar. I line-dry when it's warm enough. Otherwise, I machine-dry loads back to back to take advantage of the residual heat.

 

We rent an older house so we bought weather-stripping for the doors and windows. We bundle up and I keep throw blankets handy in the living room during the winter. In warm weather, we open doors and windows and run the ceiling fans. It's rare we need the A/C.

 

I combine errand/shopping trips to save on gas. Since Walmart, a grocery store and a dollar store are all within walking distance, I take my stroller and walk. I have a double stroller so DD can ride and I still have room for whatever I buy. DH has to drive a lot for work so whenever possible he takes my car since it's better on gas. We use rewards cc for gas. We do our own maintenance on our cars.

 

I shop eBay, thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales. Last year, I bought 3 huge boxes of name brand kids clothes at the flea market for $40 (end of day and the lady didn't want to drag it all back home). I kept half for DD and sold the rest on eBay. Even after fees, I made nearly $80. Everyone in the family passes down clothes. Between my sister and a friend passing down clothes their girls have outgrown, I rarely have to buy for DD. Anything she outgrows goes to my other sister since her daughter is younger. My mom and I wear the same size so once a year we get together and swap clothes. It lets us have some variety without having to spend money. Any time I find someone giving away free Tshirts, I get one. DH is rough on shirts.

 

If I'm shopping online, I start by looking for coupon codes. Once I have them, I check ShopDiscover, BigCrumbs and Ebates to see if I can get cashback for shopping through them. If you're a frequent shopper at an online store, sign up for their email. They usually send sale and discount codes on a regular basis. I regularly check online for freebies, samples and sweepstakes. I've won a couple things in the sweepstakes (kitchen in a box and a satellite radio) and the freebies/samples almost always come with coupons.

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Something that's helped me a bit is motion/light sensing light switches for room lighting.

 

Walk into the room during the daylight and the light stays off.

Walk into the room at night, the light comes on and switches off 10 mins

after all motion ceases.

 

I've also installed CFL bulbs in most fixtures.

 

Installing these in my apt has saved me at least $40 per month.

 

The switches are $20 ea. @ home depot, so there is an investment

initially, but it pays for itself in just a month or 2 and after that,

its pure savings.

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I drive for a living, so I am out on the road all day. To save an extra <strike>$50</strike> $100 a month, I not only brown-bag my lunch, I go a step further by buying "manager's specials" at my local King Kullen supermarket, and load up on soon-to-expire-yet-perfectly-good

cold-cuts at 50-80% off every weekend, and spend about $10 bucks a week for lunch. Compared to buying lunch at McDs, or some Chinese or pizza joint everyday, I easily save $100+ a month, and gain the additional benefit of eating healthier food.

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Still doing all the surveys, etc for cash!

 

I've earned over $2000 since I started doing them less than 2 years ago. I earn on average an extra $100 a month. (Give or take).

 

click the link in my siggy for links to my favorites!

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I agree on this, switching off and unplugging appliances help reduce electricity consumption.

I have tried this and I saw a lesser bill, not a huge amount..but substantial savings.

So push yourself to start the habit :clapping:

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Our closet Walmart is 30 miles away. The local supermarket ran its competitors out of business, and then raised its prices as it had no local competition. Those with transportation and who really want to save can drive 30 miles, stock up and save big time. You ought to see the cat food I buy during one trip at a savings of 15 cents a can....and, that is on name brand. If I buy the WalMart version, I save even more. I buy about 3 weeks minimum of items at a time.

 

The next closest WalMart is in a city about 50 miles away. Since I am in that city about twice a month, I often alternate WalMarts based upon convenience. There are two cheaper competitors in the nearby city, but you have to bring your own bags, and do your own bagging---and the selection is not as good.

 

For a minute there I thought, "When did I post that?"

I save money buying cat litter and cat food at Walmart and Sams in another town. Also the dairy and produce I buy there and haul home in a cooler seems to last three times as long as the higher priced stuff at the local grocery store.

A larger chain bought both our groceries and closed one of them so there is no competition. They now sell the smaller sizes of brand name products for more money than the larger size store brands they used to carry and they are cutting out more savings and selection every time I turn around.

It does pay for the gas and sams membership to shop there and Walmart more and less here. (Just the savings on catfood and litter more than pay, the rest is gravy.) We have two supercenters (one small, one medium) within 35 miles and two more supercenters (one medium, one large) and a Sam's 45-50 miles away. The smallest Walmart is in a state with no sales tax on food but doesn't have nearly the selection. I did pick up some of the cat food for 30¢ a can there (which is about half the price it is here) last time I was there, though. It might have been a close out or close to expiration or something. While the catfood is taxable there, their tax rate is still 1¢ lower. I have some of my cats on special diets and only certain flavors of the brand name will do to keep them healthy. I know it would save me much more money to put them all to sleep but it would break my heart and probably make me suicidal.

 

I am planning to replace my most used light bulbs with the cfls, soon, and keep the old ones (I still have a lot) for less used lights. As soon as it dries out enough under the house to run cable to my computer I am going to ditch the $90 landline and DSL. I'd have ditched the landline already if they would sell naked DSL. We're going to cell phones only and our carrier includes free incoming calls and texts in most plans. With Google Voice I can call from the computer so it calls my cell phone (or landline) and then the number I want to call so it's incoming both ways and doesn't use my minutes plus I can text from my computer also without the 25¢ per text charge. I have the free Skype but I haven't looked into getting the phone number for it yet, I may not need it. A lot of our friends and neighbors and our son have already gone to cell phones only.

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I started serious couponing about a year ago. I used to think that coupons didn't really save you that much money in the long run, but I just wasn't doing it right. Now I get stuff for free or profit from CVS and my local grocery store, by stacking store and manufacturer coupons when stuff is on sale. I used to walk into Target and drop $50 for some body wash, makeup, etc. and now I spend probably $150 a year at CVS and get thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

 

I also do some of the surveys online and recently got a $50 Express giftcard from that.

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Eat breakfast and fill your large coffee mug at local hotels that serve free continental breakfast. Cheaper than Starbucks.

 

Before dinner, hit the Costco and Sam's club for repeated samples. Cheaper than the grocery store.

 

Ahh, the things we learn in college! :P

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I switched my overpriced cell phone plan to a prepaid plan from Straight Talk. I was paying $50 a month (and that was after an 18% discount from work) for 250 anytime minutes and text messaging. I had been stuck in this contract for 2 years but it's finally up. With the new plan, I get 1000 minutes and texting and internet for $30, or unlimited for $45. I had to buy a new phone, but that will make up for itself within a few months :(

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Wow! Our electric bill went down $70 this month, the lowest it's ever been to date in this house which we bought 7 years ago. It took the bill down 30% and down a full 50% from this time last year. Anyway, I only made a few changes hoping that it would lower our bill. I still can't believe it. :dntknw:

 

All I did was make sure all our computers in our house were turned off at night and turn off 2 of the 3 fans we had running at night in our room for white noise. That's it; that's the only change. :huh: Maybe other people naturally turn their computers off at night, I dont know, but we didn't. :mellow: So I asked everyone to do it for the month and see what happened and I nearly fainted at the post office when I opened the bill. How could 2 fans and 4 computers being turned off at night lower the bill $70? I had no idea they used that much electricity. We have a very cool home so we can easily get by with the windows open so we don't use air conditioning or anything. We just use the fans for white noise, but I thought 3 fans was a little overboard in our room so we went down to one.

 

I wish I'd done that years ago!

 

Plus we dropped our digital cable/DVR down to just basic for $16 a month plus $34.99 roadrunner and now our bill is $50 instead of $117. We hooked up a computer to the tv and the kids get all their favorite shows from HULU. They are happier now than they were before. :good: I haven't missed having digital at all and can easily watch any shows that I miss online. So this month's bills went down $140 with no pain at all.

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I earn $20 or $30 a month taking surveys. I had to open another email account because they do send a lot of offers your way.

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I have about 6 debts going into collections so I know I gotta get myself in check. For the past year I've been wavering around $3k in savings. I hate how wasteful we've been not just with credit cards but solid assets as well. So I've got to start somewhere. We've tried some different strategies, one involved spouse complete control of finances BAD IDEA. So here's my current strategy: 50/30/20. 50% income goes to bills (mortgage insurance electric water cellphone anything recurring), 30% is for groceries and anything else wife can get in her little world, 20% is savings and credit debt. I just started this but if it works out, in 5 months I'll have 5 times more in savings than I did before, and seeing my $3k go up will be extremely encouraging. My problem is my roof is almost 18 years old, might not need complete replacement but a hurricane came through, may just need to repair it myself to save some. Your hot water idea may be a good trick to try, my electric here in SC ranges from 125 to 250-275 in hot months (avg 180 overall), and before summer this year I went up into attic and found a duct with a gaping hole. Also found a plug in transformer just buzzing away up there connected to nothing else. Oh god I was mad at myself for not checking and repairing that sooner. Also I changed air filter to one of those cut to fit filters you can wash every so often and reuse. So far the bill is fairing around $130 but I feel I could save more and if the hot water trick does it I'll be happy! No idea how old it is. We have a tankless heater new in box in garage but requires special electric wiring requirements, just not sure if it's worth changing to when it uses 26kW each time it's in use, I need to research on it more, also want to disconnect the doorbell transformer because it's buzzing away wasting energy just to go off for the next solicitor ... I appreciate all the tips!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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