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 What is your best tip for saving money?
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Ruthie
Member

New York
USA
18 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2008 :  07:36:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Try running the washer, dryer, and dishwasher late at night or early in the morning when the electricity rates are lower. You can find out when the rates go down if you contact the company.

I hang most of the laundry outside in the summer and in the basement in the winter. That saves a bundle on electricity and the clothes smell great.

I work at a small business where they have a dumpster. They allow me to bring my bagged trash and use the dumpster. I don't have a trash pick up bill.

Eventually we will probably cancel the LAN phone line. Until then, we just have the basic phone, no long distance. We get a cheap phone card and use that for long distance calls. We pay pennies a minute for long distance.

Go to the library. We pay $12.00 a year for unlimited DVD rentals. I love reading for free and I also take out books on tape to listen in the car when I go to and from work. We save lots on just having basic cable since we get our movies from the library.

Pay cash. I have saved thousands by paying cash to contractors, home decorators,etc. Don't forget to ask for a written receipt/contract.

Eat healthy, stay fit and exercise! No meds and extra doctor visits necessary.

Cook at home. Not only do you know exactly what you are putting into your body, but you will save bundles. Take that $40.00 - $50.00 for dinner for two including tip at a place like Outback or Fridays and see how many good meals you can buy with that same amount from the grocery store.

We buy a large container of organic vanilla yogurt, use frozen berries we picked in the summer, combine the two and and use small containers to bring to work. This saves us a lot.

Have a licensed company install a wood stove or pellet stove or fireplace insert in your home. Eventually, it will pay for itself and you will save a lot on heat.

I taught myself how to do my own french manicures. Invest in the same products that the salons use and your nails will look great without the cost.

Hope these tips help someone!

MSPA Silver Certified
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Janice-NoVA
Star Contributor

Reston, Virginia
USA
300 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2008 :  1:37:24 PM  Send Janice-NoVA an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
To get lower rates on electricity you need to sign up for time of use service. This way you pay a higher rate for electricity use during peak hours but a much lower rate during off peak. When we first switched I was doing month by month comparisons to the previous year but the difference was so dramatic I stopped checking. I use the dishwasher and wash clothes at off peak times. The electric companies do not really publicize the service but they all offer it.
Janice Porter

Janice Porter
Shops Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC
Gold Certified June 2003
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2009 :  10:20:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just called my electric company about the time of use service. I am currently on the budget plan and it has risen quite a bit in the last year (along with everything else, except salaries lol). I was told that if you use at night to begin with, which they consider non-peak (although if everyone goes to this I have a feeling it will change) you will see a difference in your bill anyway. I was also told that with this program they try to monitor your usage and help you keep the bill down. With that comes a downfall. There is chance that you may not be able to use anything during peak hours if you are near your limit, so to speak. As I stay home during the day, it would really suck if I had dishes left from the night before and there was no hot water to do them. I am not sure if all companies do this, but mine does. This is something I am not willing to chance. If I need something washed, I want to know I can wash it and not have to wait until it is "back on" to do. Instead I am going to try to do the same, use the washer, dryer, etc all at night. Then I should see a decrease in my bill. I was told since I am on budget it might take a few months to see it, as they budget it from the last 12 months.

Randi
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Gayle R
Star Contributor

Eastern Shore, VA
USA
1396 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2009 :  7:59:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Randi, I was on the budget plan for a while but it kept going up also. The last straw was last year when I received a notice that they were going to increase my budget pmt even though my use had gone down. When I questioned this I was told they were basing it on "expected" future use. I went back to the regular pmt plan & it is costing me less per year than the budget was. I have one high month in winter & one in summer. other than that the montly pmt is about 1/2 of what the budget pmt. was. They were going to increase my budget pmt. to $250 mo. My reg pmts average $100 except for the really cold month or the really hot & then they run about $225.

Gayle
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2009 :  8:12:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well I was looking at my usage and it seems December is one of my high months. So the new bill says it is $211.00 (actual) but my budget is $192.00. Last month it was $157.00. I am seriously thinking of just cancelling the budget, but I did that a few months ago and it jumped up to $300. I was like what in the world. Of course I had to pay that off to get back on budget.

On another note, Janice I tried to reply to you, but keeps bouncing back to me. I am going to try to send you one through here.

Randi
Silver Certified
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2009 :  04:09:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My best tip for saving money? That is easy - Don't get married and don't have kids!!

(LOL! You all know I'm kidding. It is 6:00 am, cold and I'm on my first cup of coffee, but at least I am ON TOPIC for once).
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3049 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2009 :  06:21:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
When I was on budget payment plans through IL Power and AmerenCilco (also in IL) I paid an average of the previous year's useage each month. Each bill showed actual useage and how much over or under I was for the year. In the spring my bill would be adjusted. If I owed extra money they would average that out for three months. If I had over-paid, my bill would be reduced for 2-3 months until the money was caught up.

I really liked that because it generally meant that in the summer months I would pay less when my income was reduced due to not driving the school bus. Worked great for me.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2009 :  09:39:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Janice tried to reply to you through here too, they all keep saying address is not valid.

I really like the budget plan before, but I guess it was like everything else and went up. My budget previously was $150, now it is a $192.00. What I liked was that I could keep it warm or cold, or whatever I wanted and it stayed that amount. But with it having a $40 hike (and just like that it went to that amount) and I looked at my usage and see it hasn't changed, same from year to year, well that $40 is a lot, when it will pay my water bill or something else around here. Now I am turning the heat back, (which in this old drafty house is not nice ) and trying to turn off things not in use. In addition I am now on a track to pay off everything we owe and have our house paid off 13 years sooner than it should be. Now hopefully this will all goes as planned, but we all know how those plans that look good on paper go.

Randi
Silver Certified
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Diane G.
Contributor

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2009 :  2:35:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Pay a little extra each month on your mortgage payment.
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  2:30:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I guess this is the best place to put this. I as hoping to get a thread started on what everyone saved, not just at grocery stores, but Walgreens, CVS, Target, wherever. So I don't think it really fits under saving at the grocery store. Anyway mine is for the grocery store the other day, here is the original post.

In my case today I went to Harris Teeter, they were doing triple coupons (through Tuesday). I bought the Grands biscuits which were BOGO and had a .50 coupon. Therefore my total for 2 biscuit packs was .19. I also saved on Green Giant frozen veggies. They were 10/$10.00 and I was able to print .50 coupons from the Green Giant website, therefore free, and they have Aleve on sale for 2.99 and I had a .75 coupon, making them .74 for the bottle. I got many other deals today. After hitting the total button at the register, already having used the VIC card, my total was $48 something. I handed over all of my coupons and it came down to $15.54. Needless to say I was after I got my total. I am waiting for tomorrow's paper to see if any other good coupons in there to go again. I also want to see what CVS has for next week, was nothing I really needed there last week, and I really need to use up the ECB's before they expire.

Randi
Silver Certified
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KathyinSFLA
Valued Contributor

Jupiter, FL
USA
179 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  4:43:18 PM  Send KathyinSFLA an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I love the idea about a thread on what could be saved and what we saved especially at CVS ( I bought 2 things of body wash, 1 thing of toothpaste and a half of gallon of milk for only .93 cents a few weeks ago and that was not using any ECB'S) and Walgreen’s and Target. I would LOVE a grocery store in my end of the state that did double coupons, never mind places that triple (Wow) even if I had to drive to get there but no such place exists.

Kathy
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  7:20:46 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
ECB's ??? What does this mean?

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  07:21:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Extra Care Bucks. Certain things you buy in the store print out ECB's, like 2 weeks ago if you bought the Irish Spring Body Wash for $4.99 you got 4.99 in ECB, which are basically cash to use on your next purchase. Therefore, some items are free with the ECB's. I have about $30.00 worth right now and the trick is to use those to buy other items that will print more ECB's (of course buy the stuff you will use) and after your initial investment into this, you can get your supplies for free or close to nothing each week.

Randi
Silver Certified
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  07:32:45 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks, I sat here trying my darndest (is that a word??) to figure it out.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Gayle R
Star Contributor

Eastern Shore, VA
USA
1396 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  7:39:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Never heard of Extra Care Bucks. I figured it had something to do with coupons.

Gayle
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2009 :  07:46:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KathyinSFLA

I love the idea about a thread on what could be saved and what we saved.
Gayle, I use to go to CVS and they would print out and they usually got trashed. I didn't realize the whole concept behind it until I read it somewhere else. The first time I started it (just a few weeks ago) I bought stuff I buy anyway, got almost $30 in ECB's back and now I can go in there and buy $30.00 worth of toilet paper if I want. But I learned the trick is to buy additional products that will print more ECB's (they print on the bottom of your receipt btw, but are just like cash) so therefore you go in the week they have toothpaste for $2.99 with 2.99 back in ECB, well you use your ECB's to pay for it, get more ECB's back, hence you keep it going until you are getting what you need for free or close to nothing. I will find the website again and post a link here.

Kathy, not sure if you have a Giant, but recently they have been having coupons (4 or 5 of them) that allow you to triple coupons on certain days. I did it the last time and just picked up more papers when I walked in the door of the store, then paid, went to car and back in again.

Randi
Silver Certified
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KathyinSFLA
Valued Contributor

Jupiter, FL
USA
179 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2009 :  09:55:00 AM  Send KathyinSFLA an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Randi stop teasing me ...(LOL),we have CVS, Walgreens, Publix and Winn Dixie and Super Walmart - which is in a horrible neighborhood, a regular Wal-Mart (that does not take computer coupons) and a regular Target (that opened two years ago YEAH, and I have gotten some great deals there) We have a Kmart that is small and its selection is poor, yes they have had a few double days but again no selection in the food aisles and I have stock pilled so much shampoo, hand soap, body wash, toothpaste, lotion, razors - for free or almost free, it is not worth going to Kmart. Thank goodness that Publix has a lot of BOGO and I save my larger coupons as well as my free product coupons and wait and then get both items for free or for under a $1.00 recently those Ore Ida Steaming Mashing Potatoes regular $3.99 a bag (that is crazy)went on sale BOGO, when you use a $1.00 off each bag, it makes it .99/1.00 a bag or 1.99 for 2 bags how ever you want to look at it. My family eats what is on sale, and now I am going to the store once a week, I shop the sales use the coupons that are expiring and stockpile when possible and only going once a week does save. I found that you have to go to CVS that Sunday or Monday or the great ECB items are gone.

Kathy
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2009 :  11:02:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LOL I live in a small town so the CVS running out here is highly unlikely. If they do there are 3 in the town 30 minutes from me I go to regularly. What is really funny is the week before they had the toothpaste for free (printed out the ECB for it) well the product didn't even hit the store until the middle of the week. I was told it wasn't even out from the company yet, this was on Sunday the day the ad came out. The problem I am having is finding something else I need that will print more ECB's. I love how CVS will take the coupons on top of the stuff though. Our local Walgreens wouldn't do it. Well they took the coupons, but didn't the bucks back. I was like what? Was told well if you buy this, use the coupon it is for less than the amount, so you don't get the bucks. Well I had them refund me all of it back and said heck with this. I won't be going to Walgreens again. Heck with that and their rebate system of entering it once a month on a card. I see CVS has Pantene on sale this week (along with Head and Shoulders and Herbal Essences) for 5.99 and you get 1.00 ECB. I think I have a coupon so gonna check it out see what I can do this week. I am anxiously awaiting the new month to see what is in the month catalog for ECB's. Since I just started this a few weeks ago there wasn't much in the catalog for me this time.

Randi
Silver Certified
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Kellie Ann
Apprentice

Knoxville, TN
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2009 :  10:54:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been doing the coupon thing, making my own laundry detergent (which I love), mystery shopping in order to eat out, and paying more attention to sales. I am disappointed that Walgreens is discontinuing their rebate and register rewards programs at the end of April. I suppose I will have to make the most of it this month. I really do like my local store, though.
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Clare
Star Contributor

Texas
USA
1738 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2009 :  10:22:01 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
making my own laundry detergent

Kellie. please tell us how to make laundry detergent...
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