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 Post subject: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:59 am
Posts: 3
After my husband was laid off in 2008, we were desperate to find ways to save on our necessities. Thankfully he was not laid off for long, however we still use those money saving ideas we learned back then.

Everyone needs to pay for your gas usage, utilities, groceries and insurance. Well, I can't give you any pointers on gas except for finding someone to carpool with like I do, but I have plenty of ways to cut your utilities, insurance and grocery bills.


Our utilities consist of a power bill which controls our electricity and air conditioning, and the gas bill which handles our trash, water and natural gas consumption. To save on your bills:

1)Adjust your thermostat up or down(depending on the season) before you leave for work and adjust back when you come home. Even a couple degrees gives you great savings throughout year.
2)Leave curtains open on southern/western sides on winter days and open north/east during summer to allow the sun to warm your home for you.
3)Wash clothes in cold water unless necessary. We never use hot/warm water for our clothes and the stains come out. They even have detergent now for High Efficiency Washers formulated for cold water loads and it costs the same as the other detergents. During the summer months, hang clothes out to dry. If you can't, dry clothes after dark when your home is cooler. Even sunny days in the winter, rugs can be washed and can be put outside. Make sure loads are evenly distributed and a balanced size. Too many in a load can affect your washer and dryer's lifespan. Also large loads need more drying time which mean more electricity to dry. Clean out your dryer filters and hoses too because they hurt the efficiency of them as well.
4) When leaving for work, Turn off all lights and unplug unnecessary cords like cell chargers, coffee pots, game systems, etc. You are not there to use them so unplug them. They still use energy when plugged in.

To save on groceries:
1)Find a local grocery store that price matches. You don't have to go to the nearest Walmart and fight crowds. Keeps ads and bring with you because most stores require to see the ad to guarantee price match. Use coupons considering they can be an additional savings and can be combined with most in store coupons.
2)Try going to a discount grocery store like Aldi or your discount bakery. Our local bakery has day old bread for .59 so I stock up on all my bread needs for the week. I like items at Aldi because they don't taste any different than name brand items for 1/3 of the cost.
3)Don't be afraid to grow veggies yourself. Whether you have a condo or a single family home, there are many options. Pots can hold tomato, pepper, eggplant, herbs, onions, garlic and many other plants that grow taller. The plants are inexpensive and easy to maintain but can save you all summer long.
4) Meal plan!! This is the most important because saving all your money does nothing if you throw your food away. If you have meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner one night and have leftovers, use them for next day like buscuits and gravy for breakfast, and dinner meals like bbq sliders and potato cakes. You may not like leftovers but changing them up always helps. Using all the food is the key and throwing away least as possible.
4)Join a Warehouse Club. This one is iffy and truly depends how quickly you eat the food. We only go for a few things a month that we can't find anywhere else and they last a while. However, it can make you overspend on impulse buying and food can get wasted. Just be cautious.

Insurance was another place we found savings. Try these tips:

1) Increase your deductible. Get new quotes during renewal times.
2)Check policy and see if there are things like road side assistance you might be getting somewhere else. Companies like AAA have the same fees as your insurance policy but offer discounts and other benefits with their membership.
3) Teen drivers= drivers education & good grades. Get discounts for responsible students.
4) Try to prevent accidents before they happen. Years ago, we had a windstorm and our patio umbrella flew over the house into the front yard. Luckily, no damage was caused but now we take the umbrella out of the table before storms.

With some smart easy changes, you can save more money. We did!!


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:06 am 

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 6:47 am
Posts: 2
I like this post. Everything is indeed true. There's really a very easy way of cutting your bills, not much but still a little can do a lot of help with the budget. Saving and spending wisely is very helpful indeed. Great post. A must read.


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:22 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 1:54 am
Posts: 17
Location: Anaheim, CA
Thats a nice long list and a great post. Thanks for sharing it. We need to be conscious about our environment and should save energy in all possible ways. This will not only benefit us but also our future. It also saves a lot of cost. If we develop good habits to save our resources, our children will also develop these good habits.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:31 am
Posts: 65
Going to grocery once a week and buying/budgeting all you need for the week really helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:36 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 19
Those tips are really great! I for one have employed some of them to my advantage as of late and now that I have seen your post, I am of the mind to use more of them.

Thanks a ton. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:21 am
Posts: 95
Location: New York
This is a great post!

I have made similar adjustments in my life and I think for me, the biggest step to saving money on necessities was actually changing what I thought were necessities.

One big example? Cutting out dairy and really limiting meat.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:19 am 
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Location: 120 Williams Rd, Crystal Falls, MI 49920
Great tips. These should be applied always to maintain a proper budget. We hire professionals for cleaning our [SPAM REMOVED] which costs really much. Because we cannot clean our carpets as it would require lot of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:08 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:21 am
Posts: 95
Location: New York
nobletsteve wrote:
Great tips. These should be applied always to maintain a proper budget. We hire professionals for cleaning our [SPAM REMOVED] which costs really much. Because we cannot clean our carpets as it would require lot of time.


Perhaps. I think the good question to ask is, "how much is my time and effort worth?"

For example, I don't have a washer in my house and at the neighborhood laundromat, I can either spend about $7 (wash, wash, dry, detergent, dryer sheet) to do a few weeks worth of laundry or $9 to have them wash and fold it for me.

It's tough to put a price on it, but it's hard to argue against spending $2 to avoid that couple hours worth of work... and yet, I still feel pretty bad about it

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Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:30 am
Posts: 154
In order to save money on groceries, you can buy staple food items in bulk. For example, flour has a shelf life of around 6 months. So, you can purchase flour for 6 months when your local grocery store is offering a discount.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:26 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:21 am
Posts: 95
Location: New York
Jerry wrote:
In order to save money on groceries, you can buy staple food items in bulk. For example, flour has a shelf life of around 6 months. So, you can purchase flour for 6 months when your local grocery store is offering a discount.


Yup. And you can freeze or seal other things to extend the life of other foods. I do like bulk

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Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:39 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1727
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Jerry wrote:
flour has a shelf life of around 6 months.


6 months!?! I've got a container of flour I've been using for YEARS. Where did you get the idea that flour "goes bad" after 6 months?


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:44 pm
Posts: 293
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
kombat wrote:
Jerry wrote:
flour has a shelf life of around 6 months.

6 months!?! I've got a container of flour I've been using for YEARS. Where did you get the idea that flour "goes bad" after 6 months?

Yeah, it can probably last longer than six months, but YEARS? http://www.doesitgobad.com/does-flour-go-bad/


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
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kombat wrote:
Jerry wrote:
flour has a shelf life of around 6 months.


6 months!?! I've got a container of flour I've been using for YEARS. Where did you get the idea that flour "goes bad" after 6 months?



I was about to jump on that as well! I guess all those pioneers that took a couple of years worth of flour with them were misinformed.

Seriously though - things definitely spoil and people need to be careful of that both for their health and safety and also to avoid buying too much just because it is cheap and then throwing it out later. But manufacturers have figured out that they can bump up sales just by stamping "best by" dates on food so that people end up throwing it out. When stored properly many foods can be kept for years! You just have to educate yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:00 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:34 am
Posts: 2
Never ever buy stuff when you're hungry! There's a danger that you would go over your budget. Also, bring a list when you shop and stick to the list.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to save on necessary bills
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 11:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:30 am
Posts: 154
Well, two weeks back, I bought this container of flour from a local store and it mentioned that it has a shelf life for 6 months. I thought that’s the normal time period for the flour to remain good!

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