Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How do you save money?

Here's a quickie post, but hopefully it will get a lot of comments for people to learn from. Aside from just not buying stuff you don't need, what's your favorite money-saving tips?

My favorites are:
• Reducing energy and water usage
• Refinancing mortgage
• Replacing items with more energy efficient things (when they are ready to be replaced)

If you need some advice of your own, check out this list from The Simple Dollar.


Corinne said...

meatless mondays. Save us at least 50 dollars a month.

Rachel B. said...

Not purchasing microwave popcorn but making your own microwave popcorn. All you need is a brown paper lunch bag and corn kernels. Place kernels in bag and fold over end. Microwave for 3 minutes. A whole lot cheaper and so much better for you.

Sam said...

I repeat myself...not owning a personal automobile.

Cat J B said...

Get rid of paper everything....paper towels, toilet paper (go family cloth, it's very luxurious after using paper lol), tissues (go handkerchiefs), mama cloth and/or diva cup, paper plates (what on earth's wrong with regular plates?!)

Aydan said...

Buy used textbooks (and other books) and make good use of the library.

Shari said...

Check out books from the library and if I really want a copy put it on my list. Only buy new if the wait is going to be indefinite. Stock up on things when they are on sale or order from a company like to get in bulk (saves on packaging and cost). Growing as much of our own food as we can.

Aimee said...

basically, just don't buy a lot of shit.

okay, okay....

used clothing, number one. Frankly I don't know how anybody affords new clothes, not to mention the guilt factor of buying sweatshop goods. Also, used dishes, furniture, and cars.

no restaurants.

cooking from scratch. And I mean from scratch. People come to my house and look in my cupboards and say "there's nothing to eat!" but I have eggs, milk, beans, rice, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, yogurt, meat .... I just don't have cereal, sliced bread, microwave anything, canned anything, or boxed anything. If you want to eat here, you have to cook.

Saves me probably two thirds of the food budget of average AMerican.

Anonymous said...

Craigslist! Second hand everything!

Unknown said...

Cloth pads, cloth tp, thick mulch on the garden (from found leaves, etc... saves mucho water), making stuff from scratch that most people buy ready made (in our case beans not from a can, rice that is not instant, bread, tortillas, crackers, all sauces, jam, no cans of cream of whatever... instead we make an actual cream sauce), biking instead of driving where applicable, insulating the house, learning to sew, renegotiating the electricity rate, line drying the wash, switched from phone+dsl to just dsl (we never used the phone), having people over for dinner rather than eating out, growing our own veg, raising our own eggs (we eat at least a dozen a week), compact florescents. I think my fave though is a whole house fan...on the gulf coast of texas, most people air condition continuously for 9 months. I kid you not. We do it for just 3 and this summer we had 5 days in july and august that we were able to turn it off. For one thing, we decided to tolerate sweating so our house is 10 degrees warmer than most peoples'. We make sure to spend a lot of time in the heat so we acclimate, but the whole house fan lets us take advantage of cool nights to bring the temp down in the house. I don't see how I survived before we had one and I'll install one immediately in any house we live in from now on.

contessa20 said...

Grow as much of our own food as possible.

Buy clothes at the thrift stores.

Use the library for books, movies and audiobooks instead of buying them.

Hang out at the library 1 day a month and look through the magazines that I'm interested in. Photocopy any recipes or articles that I want to keep.

Order errands so I can do everything I need to in one area of town all at once.

Use non-disposable everything.

Soap nuts and cold water for laundry.

Checking Craigslist and Freecycle before buying anything new.

Taking care of what I already have so I don't have to replace it.

Changed the thermostat from 65* all year round to 75* - 80* during the day and 68* at night in the summer and 65* in the winter.

Lee Borden said...

The first of the three simple principles on which we've organized our subsistence farm is that we are approaching but will never reach subsistence. For us, that means we are setting out to spend less money off the farm every year.

So life is a gentle process of reflection. Some of the things we buy we can grow; some we can barter for with our neighbors; many we don't need at all. Chief on the list is energy of all types, because we know it's about to get both more scarce and more expensive.

It's a slow process, but we're in this for the long haul.

Billie said...

I dumped my dish. I was already paying for internet for my job and paying for Netflix to get movies. I figured I would move on over to streaming from Netflix and Hulu and decided to trial it for the summer. I haven't missed the dish at all and I am enjoying the savings.

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

We only run our water heater for 2-3 hours a day in the evening. It gives us enough hot water to run the dishwasher and take baths. The tank will hold warm water the following day, enough to wash hands etc.

We also tithe, and God provides all that we need.

Rachel B. said...

I second using the library and The plus for PBS is you're only "paying" about $2.38 per book the down side, you're still paying for books!

Rosa said...

Biking! What Beany said -except, we have a car. But we've had 0-1 cars at a time forever (the 11 years we've been together and all the years before that) so we have decades of not spending money on car driving.

Also dumpster diving (clothes, furniture, canning supplies, food) and buying used but mostly not buying things.

Karen Johnson said...

No 'poo for us means not even using baking soda and vinegar. We use a boar bristle brush method for scrubbing the head and spreading natural oils down the hair shafts. I love seeing no hair products in the shower and still having clean hair! and knowing its healthier for us personally and for the environment.

No meats. Eating High Raw but limiting nuts and seeds since they are expensive.

Going to do the Family Cloth for the washroom next. So excited.

Elisabeth said...

My husband and I eat vegetarian most days of the week.
We grow food in our garden.
We share one car.
We don't have cable TV.
We don't pay for faster Internet service - we just use the slow, free wifi that's available to us.
We hand-make or find creative ways to give gifts.

Robj98168 said...

Simple. I follow Crunchy chickens challenges. LOL.

Serious- your challenges teaches people to be more sustainable.

In more recent news, I saved or $1,000 buy not purchasing a new refer- I fixed the old one. I had to ask questions of why my fridge died. Of course there are those who think a dead fridge is a good thing (Greenpa) but I like having cold milk.

Cath said...

No credit card, no debt; living on cash. Renting. Saving some of each pay into a separate account which doesn't get touched. One old car for a family of five, which probably won't be replaced when it dies. Homeschooling two out of three kids. Cooking from scratch with bulk, local, and/or mostly organic ingredients. Eating red meat twice a week. Tithing, giving, praying, taking a Sabbath. Walking/biking/public transport. Thrift stores for as many clothes, shoes, and household wares as possible. Ebay. Library. Hardly any commercial cleaners or personal care products. No TV. Laughing at any advertising we come across. No paper towels, cling wrap, baking paper, or non-recycled TP. Stainless steel water bottles for all. Thinking of those around the world who have less than us, not more. "If it's yellow let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down." Reading blogs and books that encourage a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle. No clothes dryer. Turning appliances off at the wall and unplugging when not needed. Washing in cold water.

Greenpa said...

Rob: : I had to ask questions of why my fridge died. Of course there are those who think a dead fridge is a good thing (Greenpa) but I like having cold milk."

lol. You ignore the Universe at your peril! Here you were given the clear sign that it was time to move forward, and - you ignored it!

You COULD have - moved to the Freedom of Fridgelessness AND - you could have finally been weaned!

But nooo. :-)

Kate said...

Cook from scratch, eat locally/in season, and give up prepared foods. Really. Homemade chicken stock. No boxed breakfast cereals. No bottled/cartoned juice - if it's not juice we make from homegrown fruit, we don't drink it. Homemade breads. Home canned jams, tomato sauce, etc. We buy ingredients only and mostly in bulk. We don't have much left to buy in grocery stores anymore. Of course, this is all predicated on having a garden and gardening frugally.

Also we use the library, and their inter-library loan program, for books and movies rather than paying for them ourselves. Though I do donate regularly to the library, so it's not totally free for us. No TV, so no cable.

Robj98168 said...

Greenpa- true, but my milk is nice and icey cold!

Sonja said...

Apart from the not buying stuff I don't need and our reduced energy bills (no way to cut them even more), I actually spend more money now. The food I buy is mostly organic, I try to buy organic clothes when I need something new, the shoes I buy are high quality so they last long...I used to save more money than I do now, but the way I live now feels right. When I've saved enough money I buy traintickets to visit friends in other parts of the country.
(background: I'm a student and officially considered poor: cannot afford a flat of my own but merely a room in a shared flat)

Sonja said...

ahh, reading through the comments I realized something: some of that stuff is so ingrained that I don't think about it anymore *lol*
Don't own a car, my parents always took me to the public librabry when I was a kid so that is the 'normal' thing for me to do when I want to read something (only costs me the price of one book for the whole year!), and due to lactose intolerance I cook every day, mostly from scratch, mostly vegetarian, no cable TV, ...

I'd like to buy clothes second hand, but I'm too tall and have given up in finding stuff there that fits.

Sophia said...

I like to do the following to save money:
*Walk/bike/public transportation/Zip Car
*Buy used clothing from thrift stores most of the time. Since I'm 5' and under 100 lbs., sometimes I need to buy certain things new so that they fit.
*Wash laundry in cold water and line dry.
*Get books and movies from the library or buy books used.
*Treat eating meat and eating out as a special occasion.
*Make foods from scratch.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Shut off the garbage service. Saves $30/month and we have to think real hard about how to get rid of stuff by keeping it out of landfills. Compost, reuse, etc. We buy a lot less plastic!

Signed up on Amazon to have a regular shipment of these great fully compostable diapers. If you sign up for a regular shipment you get a huge pricebreak and they qualify for free shipping.