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Penny pinchers

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I am looking for ideas that cut just a few cents here and there. I'm considering the "pinch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves" philosphy.

 

I was clipping coupons, but then, I realized that most of the time generic brands were still cheaper. Of course, there is no substitute for some things like windex for example.

 

I drive a lot for work. I constantly watch pump prices so when its time to fill up I know where it will be cheapest. It doesn't vary much per gallon maybe a nickle to a dime. But, at 7.5 cents per gallon times 35 gallons 52 weeks a year thats almost $140 at the end of the year.

 

Anyway I want to hear your ideas on how to pinch pennies.

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besides using generics, I also pack lunches instead of eating out, and drink fruit juice (koolaid) since its so much cheaper than cola, and no caffiene, but you still get your sugar (whatever amount you like).

 

I also recommend if you have cable internet, to seek out a voice over ip provider like packet 8 or vonage, so that you can get cheaper rates than your phone company gives you. That, or get a good enough plan to use a cell phone only.

 

Another thing is to not spend so much on "immediate" entertainment, ie, dont go to the movies, instead rent a dvd and microwave your popcorn :)

 

 

 

Really, it just depends on what cuts you can live without.

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I was clipping coupons, but then, I realized that most of the time generic brands were still cheaper.  Of course, there is no substitute for some things like windex for example.

 

 

I get TONS of groceries for free or pennies with coupons. The trick is to clip the coupons, then save them until there is a sale on that same item. For example if my Harris Teeter has Ragu spaghetti sauce for Buy 1 Get 1 Free, regular price 2.49 I will use a coupon on each one (most stores will let you do this) for .75 cents off. Harris Teeter doubles coupons up to .99, so:

 

2 Sauces for 2.49 - 2 .75 coupons doubled = -$0.51 Some stores will allow you to use that negative balance toward the rest of your groceries, some will only double the coupon to the price of the items.

 

I know I sound like some crazy coupon lady, but it really works. Check out MyCoupons.com and you'll see tons of tips and people posting deals they've found.

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Another thing is to not spend so much on "immediate" entertainment, ie, dont go to the movies, instead rent a dvd and microwave your popcorn :good:

 

 

 

Really, it just depends on what cuts you can live without.

 

OMG, the movies are soooooo expensive. Just 2 people getting 2 drinks and popcorn can easily average $50.00 here in NY.

 

The best coupons I've found is for cigarettes, and I don't have to buy a paper to get them.  It's nice to know it cost less to kill myself. :angry: Someday, I'll gather up some will power and quit these damn things.

 

I quit a couple years ago. You will be so amazed at how much extra money you'll have when you do.

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Forgot to add something. If you do use a cell phone, call up your service provider and ask them to do a review with you of your usage and account to see if you can drop some services and/or lower your plan.

 

Many folks probably don't even know they're paying extra for things like internet service usage or unlimited picture sending or text messaging.

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Oh my gosh........some people call me a tightwad!!! I nickel and dime everything I can.

 

When I go grocery shopping, I try my best to stick to only stuff that I have a coupon that can be doubled or is 'buy 1 get 1 free'. Everything else I get at Aldi.

 

I combine all my telephone services into one bill. I have bellsouth (which is parent company of cingular who is my cell provider). If I let them combine my bill, I get a $3 discount. I also have unlimited long distance for $25 (I need this cuz I work from home). When you have an unlimited LD plan, you get a discount on your DSL service. :) I have the slowest hi-speed net I can stand which costs me $29.95/month. If your one of those people hooked on AOL but have a separate ISP, you can go on AOL's Bring Your Own Access Plan and only pay $14.95/month. I dropped my second phone line which was strictly for faxes. I now have my fax machine hooked up to the main phone line for outgoing faxes only. For incoming I use one of those fax-by-e-mail services and save $23/month. For my cell phone, I'm on an old plan they don't offer anymore and I refuse to switch it. I get unlimited free incoming calls. IF I need to call someone, I just call, tell them to call me back and hang up. I only get 250 minutes each month and I never use them all this way. :)

 

A lot of people think I'm crazy for spending $5 for a light bulb, but you know what? About 6 years ago I switched almost all my light bulbs in the house to compact flourescents and I've only burned out 1 bulb in all that time and it uses 25% less electric. I have my electric water heater on a timer. I have a bunch of my lights on timers. If you leave your computer on 24/7, set it to go into sleep mode after a certain amount of time. On e-bay I bought one of those small convection ovens for $40 and stuff cooks faster and I use less electric. For a one time cost of about $100, I bought an additive for my paint and painted the entire inside of my house-it's supposed to help insulate your walls with radiant technology. I don't know if it's just psychological or real, but I pay less to heat the house. I installed an attic fan and don't use A/C in the summer, just ceiling fans. I only recharge my cell phone in the car so I don't waste electric in the house.

 

I don't buy expensive household cleaners. If I can't clean it with steam, baking soda or vinegar, screw it.

 

I dilute stuff like shampoo, conditioner, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, etc.... with 1/2 of my favorite brand and 1/2 of a cheap store brand. Comes out cheaper and you still get the same results. I only use cold water for laundry.

 

EVERY single solicitation I get in the mail something like "Here's a $5 check for signing up for a 30 day free trial". I DO THEM ALL. I keep a calendar and mark off about 5 days before the trial is up and cancel it. Save all the forms so you'll have the number to cancel.

 

EBAY EBAY EBAY

 

I nickel and dime my bank accounts as much as I can. I have several. I just found EmigrantDirect.com . They pay 3% interest and no minimum balance or fees. Then I transer $ to my checking account a couple days before I have to pay bills.

 

Whenever you switch plans for cell phones, internet, anything at all, go to the company's website and see if they pay referral fees. Either you or a friend could make some $ of the company you're already switching to anyway.

 

I put a window coating on my windows to better insulate them. It's supposed to last 7 years.

 

Plan your trips better. Stop at the grocery stores on the way home from work. You'll save gas rather than making two trips.

 

I started stretching my haircuts out from every 4 weeks to every 5 weeks. I don't notice too much of a difference but I'm going to save the cost of 3 haircuts over a years time.

 

I'm not a very social person and don't have a lot of friends, but it's amazing the discounts I get from people who's business I frequent and am nice too. I used to get FREE rental movies all the time cuz I rented so many movies the workers and manager started to know me and chit chat and give me freebies. They all quit though. :( I just re-fi'd my home and got reduced attorney fees and paid no mortgage broker commission......but I'm sure this is because I'm in the business.

 

For my boss........for her marketing, I talked her into doing half her mailings by postcard instead of letters/flyers to save postage ($.23 instead of $.37). When her newsletters are done, I tweaked the layout so that the newletter can be folded so that the address label and stamp can be put right on the newsletter so we don't need to buy envelopes!

 

Put 1/2 brick in a ziplock baggie and put it in your toilet tanks so you use less water. Same results, less water.

 

My gosh, there's a ton more stuff, I just can't think of it all right now. I'll refresh as the urge strikes me. :)

 

JUST REMEMBERED: Since I don't use A/C anyways, I signed up with my power company's program that give you an $8/month discount over the summer months that allows them to cut off your central a/c when electric demand is high.

Edited by Quit Screwing Me

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Here's more:

 

I only use a bagless vacuum cleaner so I don't waste money on bags.

 

Raise your insurance deductibles as high as you can without putting yourself in jeopardy. Your rates will go down. Ask your insurance agent for discounts!!!! See if you can take a defensive driving course to get 10% off.

 

EDITED TO ADD:

For anyone needing stuff from Lowes. Go to your local post office first. All post offices have these 'welcome to the neighborhood' type packages and inside is a thing from Lowes and you call some number and they'll send you a 10% off coupon. I'm going to do that when I'm ready to build my deck.

 

EDITED AGAIN: You can rent movies from movielink.com . I've done it many times. It's AWESOME! And cheap too. Every Mon-Thurs they have a $.99 or less special. First timers get a 40% off discount. AND, here's the catch, they go by your e-mail address. I have a bellsouth account with 7 e-mails and aol with 7 e-mails. That's 14 movies. :) I didn't see anything in their rules prohibiting this.

Edited by Quit Screwing Me

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Wash your car by hand, don't go somewhere and pay them.

 

Pick up your pizzas, don't pay for delivery.

 

For stay at home people, offer to dog-sit or something for a friend. I told a friend I'd do this when his doggy day care became too expensive for him. I told him I'd do it for $2/day. :) He'd have to bring the dog to me and supply his food. He was paying $14.

 

EDITED TO ADD: I had thought about getting Dish Network cuz it was so reasonably priced, but then I thought, screw it. I paid a one time $100 or so and installed my own outdoor antenna. Now the local channels come in fine and I even get distant ones just a bit fuzzy. I'm fine with it. I live in a rural area, so I needed something.

Edited by Quit Screwing Me

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Air Filters!!!!! I have 2 separate HVAC systems, therefore 2 filters. I think the cheap ones are crap. The nicer pleated ones are good, but for the price of 2 of them, I got a reusable electrostatic filter that works just as good and lasts 15 YEARS!!!!

 

I got an electric lawnmower initially cuz I couldn't stand the gas one when it wouldn't start. Now I realized, I pay a lot less running the new mower on electric than gas and oil on the old one, plus hauling the gas back and forth. And it starts the first time every time. One drawback: don't run the mower over the extension cord!! hehehehe, don't ask how I know this. :)

Edited by Quit Screwing Me

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I save my scrap paper and re-use the clean side for jotting notes down or cover sheets for my faxes.

 

I have a home gym I've started using. No gym membership fees. And no CA's from the gym when defaulting on the membership. :)

 

If you can justify the initial cost, laser printers are MUCH more cheaper to operate than inkjet or bubblejet.

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See if your local area has a Yahoo! group called freecycle. You'd be amazed what you can get from people for absolutely FREE!

 

EDITED: I live in a rural area, so garbage pick up is not included with my taxes. I REFUSE to pay a company to pick up my trash. So once a week when I drive in to Charlotte, I stop about 1 mile out of my way and take it to the free dump. Takes 5 minutes of my time.

 

Speaking of rural areas, for those of you considering a move, try moving just outside your city or county limits if you can deal with it. Your taxes (personal and property) are lower and your insurance too.

Edited by Quit Screwing Me

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OOPS, in my first post, I said compact flourescent light bulbs use 25% less electric. I meant they use 25% total, 75% LESS.

 

 

 

EDIT: OOOOOOOOO, for heating your home, you can get an adapter for your dryer exhaust hose that will still filter out the lint, but direct the exhaust heat back into your house!!! (electric dryers only). Why pay to send 100 degree heat into 30 degree weather???

Edited by Quit Screwing Me

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When grocery shopping, almost all items have a "price per pound" listed on the shelf. Sometimes it's not cheaper to buy in bulk.

 

Keep your tires at the correct pressure. To see how effective this can be, let half of the air out of the tires on a bicycle, ride it around for a minute or two, then fill them to the correct pressure, ride again and see which way is easier.

 

If you have a garage, but it's filled with junk, sell the junk, throw away the junk, do whatever to make room to work on your car in there, that's why you have a garage. After doing this try to learn how to do most of your own car maintenance.

 

Do tune ups on vehicles yourself. Buy the proper OEM parts. They do cost more money, but the cost of tune-ups is in the labor. Do the tune-ups at the specified intervals in your owner's manual. My car is supposed to have a big dealer service every 60,000 miles. The parts only cost about 100$. A mechanic will charge anywhere from 500$ up to the dealer who charges 1100$. I do it myself for $100 plus 4 hours of my time.

 

Let someone else change your oil, radiator, and service your automatic transmission. These jobs are very messy, and the pros do them almost for the cost of parts. You don't have to dispose of the old fluids. I know this is the more expensive way, but you're literally only spending 5$ over the cost of parts alone to let someone else deal with the mess and disposal.

 

This is another iffy one. For liability I can't recommend it. Most brake shops will charge you 250$+ to change your front brakes. On most cars they can be changed by the owner for no more than 120$. Be aware of what you buy, not all brakes are equal.

 

Do not change the thermostat in your house when you leave in the morning. Shutting off the heat or A/C when you will only be gone for a few hours doesn't save you money, it costs more. If the temperature in the house is left alone the heat or A/C only has to run for a few minutes every hour. If you shut off the heat or A/C it may need to run for several hours non stop to get things back to something comfortable. Only play with the thermostat when you will be gone for a couple of days or more.

 

If you like reading magazines, pick one or two of your favorites and stick with them. Subcribe to them. Newstand prices are 3-4 times as expensive as a subscription.

 

If you like to collect newer DVDs go to Blockbuster and look into their "pre-viewed" DVDs. Unlike video tapes a DVD will not wear out over time. Just make sure you check for scratches when you buy it. But Blockbuster employees are usually decent about letting you exchange the movie for one in better shape.

 

I'm not big on clipping coupons. I prefer to slash big chunks out of my expenses by doing things like servicing my own car, and in general repairing things for myself. I almost never buy something unless I can pick it up, look at it, smell it, whatever I have to do, and then I go and think about it anyway. I will never go shopping just because the store is having a sale. When the prices are lowered, so are inhibitions and it becomes easier to spend money on things you don't really need. I'm not married nor do I have children. It might take me six months to go through a box of laundry detergent. It takes about the same time to use a dozen rolls of toilet paper. A twelve pack of paper towels can last for years. So it's not getting me anywhere to try and save on certain household items.

 

I grew up in a unique environment. My father is a doctor. But he's what I would call a country doctor. When you see him on the weekend, he's not at the country club, he's usually doing something outside on the tractor. When hurricaine Isabel destroyed his pier 18 months ago, it would have cost him about 40K$ to have someone rebuild it. He enlisted my help and we did it in a few weekends for 6K$. That's not a bad savings for 7 or 8 days worth of work. I guess you could say that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I also had a hammer and wrench in my hands.

 

Most of my savings aren't from penny pinching. My savings come from weighing the cost:benefit ratio of doing something yourself (tune-up) or paying someone else to do something for you (oil change.) I save money by treating almost everything I own like it's priceless. It may seem obvious that people should take care of their possessions but you'd be surprised at how many do not. To me the worst thing a person could do with their money is spend it twice on the same item because the first item broke when they neglected to take proper care of it.

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  One drawback:  don't run the mower over the extension cord!!  hehehehe, don't ask how I know this.  :rofl:

 

BTDT! :grin: It wasn't pretty. Let's just say I'm pretty good at repairing extension cords. Seriously, I wish I could use an electric mower. We just moved into a new house and have a double lot with lots of trees and landscaping. It would be impossible to get extension cords around all that stuff.

 

Like a previous poster mentioned, Aldi is great for saving on groceries. I have figured out which day of the week they receive their fresh produce so some weeks I never go to the regular grocery store.

 

QSM......

You are an awesome tightwad! So many great ideas. I'm going to check out the electrostatic filters. My furnace has two filters to be replaced so this might be worth looking into. I am also replacing my lightbulbs with florescent bulbs. They're great!

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Do not change the thermostat in your house when you leave in the morning.  Shutting off the heat or A/C when you will only be gone for a few hours doesn't save you money, it costs more.  If the temperature in the house is left alone the heat or A/C only has to run for a few minutes every hour.  If you shut off the heat or A/C it may need to run for several hours non stop to get things back to something comfortable.  Only play with the thermostat when you will be gone for a couple of days or more.

 

I unfortunately just learned this the hard way. Our electric bill has been extremely high since we moved in this house and I have become obsessive about trying to get it to a normal amount.

 

For the last month I had been turning the thermostat off when I left for work in the morning and not turning it back on until around 9 at night (or it got so cold I couldn't stand it any longer), thinking it would make the bill lower. The result: a $256 electric bill :) . I won't be doing that again!

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OOPS, in my first post, I said compact flourescent light bulbs use 25% less electric.  I meant they use 25% total, 75% LESS.

 

 

 

EDIT:  OOOOOOOOO, for heating your home, you can get an adapter for your dryer exhaust hose that will still filter out the lint, but direct the exhaust heat back into your house!!!  (electric dryers only).  Why pay to send 100 degree heat into 30 degree weather???

 

 

Hon, you wonder why Breeze won't give you the time of day?? She knows EVERYTHING NOW. You have no chance, good word or not!!

 

:)

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...for heating your home, you can get an adapter for your dryer exhaust hose that will still filter out the lint, but direct the exhaust heat back into your house!!!  (electric dryers only)...

 

This sounds interesting! a heater and humidifier in one! ...but I've not seen one of these before...do you know of an online place that carries these?

 

:angel:

 

Lotsofquestions

Edited by lotsofquestions

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Tell me more about Aldi. I have quite a few around my house and I haven't shopped there yet, but I could change if they are just as good as normal Food Lion, HT, Bi-Lo, etc.

 

As for re-directing the exhaust from the dryer into your house. I'd probably not recommend it (haven't seen the adapter yet) because that much moisture being pumped into the house would be a bad thing.

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...because that much moisture being pumped into the house would be a bad thing.

 

completely understand...but for us, the dryer is in the basement which already suffers from moisture problems as well as the problem that our house is located in a flood plain..so we deal with a flooded basement several times a year....we rent, so the landlord doesn't care much for fixing any of the problems with this issue. I was just thinking that since we've got moisture anyway, it couldn't be a bad thing to "heat" the basement... Anyway, thanks for pointing that out...for most people that probably would be a concern depending on the filter...just unfortunately not in our case...

 

:D

 

Lotsofquestions

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Tell me more about Aldi.  I have quite a few around my house and I haven't shopped there yet, but I could change if they are just as good as normal Food Lion, HT, Bi-Lo, etc.

 

As for re-directing the exhaust from the dryer into your house.  I'd probably not recommend it (haven't seen the adapter yet) because that much moisture being pumped into the house would be a bad thing.

 

Aldi, my opinion, great for boxed items and canned goods. I would never buy vegetables or meats there tho.

 

I agree about the dryer exhaust in the summertime-too much humidity. But in the winter I think it's ok. Of course, that depends how much you run your dryer. I live alone, so it's not as often as those of you with large families.

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...for heating your home, you can get an adapter for your dryer exhaust hose that will still filter out the lint, but direct the exhaust heat back into your house!!!  (electric dryers only)...

 

This sounds interesting! a heater and humidifier in one! ...but I've not seen one of these before...do you know of an online place that carries these?

 

:rofl:

 

Lotsofquestions

 

This isn't the one I have, but it's similar. I got mine at Lowe's.

http://www.indoorlinttrapfilter.com/Store....=Heat+Saver+Tee

 

Yes, I agree about caution with the indoor dryer venting. As with anything else, you have to use common sense with it. I only enable it in december,january,& february and then it's only about 3 times every two weeks I use the dryer.

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OOPS, in my first post, I said compact flourescent light bulbs use 25% less electric.  I meant they use 25% total, 75% LESS.

 

 

 

EDIT:  OOOOOOOOO, for heating your home, you can get an adapter for your dryer exhaust hose that will still filter out the lint, but direct the exhaust heat back into your house!!!  (electric dryers only).  Why pay to send 100 degree heat into 30 degree weather???

 

 

Hon, you wonder why Breeze won't give you the time of day?? She knows EVERYTHING NOW. You have no chance, good word or not!!

 

:)

 

I refuse to believe that my sweetie Breeze could be so shallow!!! In fact, the more $ saved means more $ for our dates! :rofl:

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