Money Saving Tips

This is where the gals can have their very own discussions...

Postby martha24 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:58 pm

Becca,
How quickly does your tankless water heater heat water? My brother-in-law & sister-in-law have one and they seem to like it, but one day when I was cleaning the kitchen for them it drove me absolutely crazy. The only way I could have hot water was just to let the water run the whole time or to have tried to work out of a filled sink with hot water. I'm used to turning the water on and off as I need it, like rinsing out a dishcloth or sponge and would rather rinse the "dirt" down the drain than into water in the sink making it seem like I'm trying to clean with dirty water. Even for showers it seems to take a long time before there was hot water.
I was just wondering are there different qualities or is it just the distance the water has to travel?
Martha ;)

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Postby CAJUN LADY » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:46 pm

Todah: Got it at Home Depot on sale and got a rebate. It was still almost $350 with all those things. Very compact...fits right on the wall.

Martha: It does take a little time to heat up but it is because of the distance and because it heats it beginning when you turn the faucet to hot...sort of like Hot Water on Demand.

They do make those undercounter ones but I think they are a little pricey too.
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Postby mandy » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:54 pm

Ok good answers. :thumbsup: Now I'm the type of person who hates the word budget I never could sit down and figure how much money gos here or there. So I'm starting to document my expenses for this month, then hopefuly I can get a grip on my spending. What do you think? Is this a good thing to do?
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Postby Miriam C. » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:09 pm

mandy wrote:Ok good answers. :thumbsup: Now I'm the type of person who hates the word budget I never could sit down and figure how much money gos here or there. So I'm starting to document my expenses for this month, then hopefuly I can get a grip on my spending. What do you think? Is this a good thing to do?


Absolutely! We have a notebook with all the bills listed so both of us know exactly what need paying and when.

One of the things we did several years ago was put our utilities on "level pay." We pay the same amount every month so there is not jump during the summer or winter. Year before last we ended with the last month where we didn't owe a bill. Nice bonus!
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Postby martha24 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:21 am

Miriam C. wrote:
mandy wrote:Ok good answers. :thumbsup: Now I'm the type of person who hates the word budget I never could sit down and figure how much money gos here or there. So I'm starting to document my expenses for this month, then hopefuly I can get a grip on my spending. What do you think? Is this a good thing to do?


Absolutely! We have a notebook with all the bills listed so both of us know exactly what need paying and when.
............


For those that like computers, programs like Quicken work well for tracking expenses. :thumbsup: You can put spending into different categories. I used to keep closer track of all expenses, now I use Quicken mainly for my check book and bill paying reminders.
Keeping track of where you spend every penny is the best way to get a grip on your spending. You will probably be surprised on how much you spend on some things.
Martha ;)

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Postby CAJUN LADY » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:38 pm

mandy wrote:Ok good answers. :thumbsup: Now I'm the type of person who hates the word budget I never could sit down and figure how much money gos here or there. So I'm starting to document my expenses for this month, then hopefuly I can get a grip on my spending. What do you think? Is this a good thing to do?


Very good thing to do. I found that when I put my check in the bank, I tend to spend more. But when I cash my check and keep the money at home, I spend less. So, I started putting what I needed to pay my bills online in the bank and keeping the rest at home. I've made a committment to pay off all but one bill this year. They don't add up to a whole lot but I want to be almost debt free. I'm fortunate that the hubby pays all household bills, grocery, maintenance and healthcare and he's good with money. I buy all the furniture, birthday and other gifts and of course, camping essentials. We never planned it this way but it works. I think he gets the short end of the deal but I'm not tellin'. ;)
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Postby hiker chick » Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:42 pm

Two major things in the past year: 1) drove less by consolidating errands and riding a bike to work; 2) virtually stopped having meals delivered and eat out less.

Things I've been doing for many years:

3- pay off credit card every month
4- canceled telephone landline (have only a cell phone)
5- canceled newspaper (was getting most news free online anyway)
6- buy store brands (Harris-Teeter has excellent store brand items)
7- stock up on non-perishable and long shelf-life sale items
8- iced tea instead of soda pop at home

and last but not least:

9- vacation in teardrop trailer instead of hotels **


** another cost-saving aspect of camping is that when I'm camping I'm not shopping (except perhaps for some doo-dads from a campstore)


Great thread!


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Postby Todah Tear » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:14 am

I couldn't resist tossing this one in :lol: .

Use duct tape instead of bandaids. I have been using a small, neat, ribbon of brown duct tape on an oops located on my index finger. I was my hands so much that bandaids just wouldn't stay on. The duct tape does, so I go through fewer band aids. I save the band aids for dress-up occations, contilions and such :)

When I cook, I cook a lot of food and put it in freezer bags. That keeps me from eating out a lot if all I have to do is grab a bag of food out of the freezer and pop it into the microwave.

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Postby mandy » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:24 pm

Hello Ladies and some Gentlemen,

Just thought I would pop in with a quick note on how I am doing. Well the start of the month I have been keeping track of all my spending. So far I see I spend way too much on food and snacks. :shock: Besides half the things I'm buying are not all that healthy. So this week I went to the grocerie store and decided to buy lunch. So what I did is I bought some a large cottage cheese and some little cups of fruit, and a couple of large yogurts. I figured that if I buy the large ones I can measure it off myself for snacks and lunch. It is cheeper than buying the little individual ones.

Keep saving Ladies
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Postby CAJUN LADY » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:51 pm

:applause: :applause: :applause: :thumbsup: Way to go Mandy! I think you are off to a goood start.
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Postby Miriam C. » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:10 pm

mandy wrote:Hello Ladies and some Gentlemen,

Just thought I would pop in with a quick note on how I am doing. Well the start of the month I have been keeping track of all my spending. So far I see I spend way too much on food and snacks. :shock: Besides half the things I'm buying are not all that healthy. So this week I went to the grocerie store and decided to buy lunch. So what I did is I bought some a large cottage cheese and some little cups of fruit, and a couple of large yogurts. I figured that if I buy the large ones I can measure it off myself for snacks and lunch. It is cheeper than buying the little individual ones.

Keep saving Ladies
Mandy

:cry: I love cottage cheese. :lol: Way to go Mandy. We went to the store and bought stuff for our mini-trip to my moms. Took it all in the motel and kept the teenagers happy. Only when we got there they had apples and banana's everywhere free for the taking. The chips came home. :twisted:

Travel tip---stay were there is lots of free stuff. Oh and free breakfast that included Belgian waffles. You make your own. :thumbsup:
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Postby dovaka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:26 am

omg im so jealous my average electric bill in the winter is $600 and its almost $1000 in the summer
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Postby Miriam C. » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:55 am

dovaka wrote:omg im so jealous my average electric bill in the winter is $600 and its almost $1000 in the summer


:shock: :? :shock: Um we would just have to freeze. My goodness ours is less than $200 on level pay. :worship:
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Postby bg » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:21 am

We topped out at $440 in July - Wouldn't have been so bad but the a/c compressor was dying and running far more than it should have.
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Postby Gaelen » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:54 am

hmmm....money saving....

I don't have a tankless water heater--yet. I do have an older although still energy efficient water heater, but it's really big for just one person. So...I turn it on and off at designated times, so that it doesn't keep kicking on/off all day trying to keep 50 gallons of water at temp. I turn it on for 20 minutes in the a.m. before work, take a shower and wash out dog crates/do dishes (by hand.) Then I turn it off at the breaker. When I come home, I turn it on again for 20 minutes, which gives me enough hot water for the evening...then turn it off. If I'm home all day, I may heat water again mid-afternoon, and skip heating it at night. A timer would accomplish the same thing, but my breaker box is right by my front door, so it's easier to just hit the breaker. I had wrapped the tank in insulation prior to this anyway, so the insulation helps hold the hot water temp for three-four hours. Managing my hot water usage that way saves about $75/month. Also, just turning the hot water heater temp DOWN saves money, too. BTW--I also have a single sink. I use the dishpan in the sink filled with the hot clean water, and I first wash everything, then rinse all at once in hot water from the tap. Sorta like camping--or how my mom/grandmother taught us kids to wash dishes before we all had home dishwashers. ;)

I leave nothing plugged in except the TV/VCR and the landline phone, to reduce phantom energy usage. My alarm clocks are all battery or wind-up. I use all energy saving light bulbs. And I only run the washer/dryer with full loads--not mini-loads because I just have to have a certain thing clean/dry. I also use a drying rack to dry about 50% of my laundry year-round, and regularly lint-brush my dryer to keep it running efficiently.

Grocery store items--either fresh, or store brand, so coupons tend to only be for the few non-store brand health/beauty products that I use regularly. Tried the store brands of those, wasn't satisfied and went back to what worked. When the name brands work/taste better, so I waste less or use less, I buy the name brand. Unfortunately, for some of those things there are no coupons--but I save plenty on the store brands and fresh foods I do buy. I try to stick to seasonal foods and produce, and choose proteins which are on sale. I only have a 4.5cf over fridge freezer, so I have to choose what I stock up on carefully. That means I regularly clean out my freezer, too. Food I waste won't save me any money....

I guess for me, that's the key--saving money by buying efficiently, and sometimes by not buying at all.

I also used to keep a pantry and could feed a dozen people on a half-hour notice. Then I moved into a miniature (440sf) house which had minimal storage, and had to learn to shop/store differently. Unit pricing is my friend...and sometimes, the smaller size I'll use completely is a better overall choice than the bigger size I'll have to lug around or store. Now even though my condo is larger than the mini house (1100 sf), I keep a smaller supply of food and pantry items in the house--and waste less that has to get tossed because it expired before I could use it. I live alone, so dropped my warehouse membership; that was an immediate $50 savings. Turns out, I wasn't saving anything by buying more than I needed, even if it was cheap. And now I have the space to store stuff I really want to store--like books, my writing/office stuff, etc.

I am also not a budgeter--but I used to run my own business and keep a cash in/out sheet. That is still how I manage my money--track cash in and cash out, and budget loosely that way. My paycheck is direct-deposited, which saves me bank fees by giving me free checking, and I have the credit union auto-pay a separate savings account and a couple of bills. I also pay the balance of bills online.

And while I do computers really well, I track my money and expenses mainly on paper. My brother was blown away--a single monthly balance sheet (cash in/out) for each month since 2000, all on simple yellow legal paper until I exhausted that pad and switched to a white one. Tracking by hand and on paper makes the money 'real' for me, since with direct deposit, I never see it. And the payoff is that he could access all of my daily financial info just by looking into a single binder, without worrying about websites, passwords or having to access my laptop. At the end of the year, when I do my taxes (myself--another savings) I scan in that year's monthly sheets, so I have an electronic backup in case of emergency.

I also stopped subscriptions for mags that I couldn't keep up with reading, and cut my newspaper to Sunday delivery only (read the daily paper online or at work). I subscribe to 'Eating Well' and will resume my subscription to 'Clean Run' since I'm getting hard into M.'s agility training. But I read whatever mags I can online.

I do have a tendency to shop too much and to accumulate too much--so I try to stay on top of that, and that saves me more than anything. That doesn't mean I'll walk away from a good deal at the right time--two sets of 7 pairs of Honora pearl studs from QVC worked out to around $4/pair and became 14 Christmas gifts for under $60. That was a purchase worth making--but I do ask myself now, about everything, is this something I really need?
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