Suggestions for families on cutting corners and saving money in today's recession?

Ok most of us are really facing difficult times right now. What are some things you are doing to save money?

I shop at dollar tree for all of my cleaners and toiletries.

please come up with one suggestion we really all need to work together now to survive.

Update:

A lot of great Ideas,

Angel food is great!!!

I shop at Aldis, you actually pay 25% less on your food then you would at a regular store. but their ice cream isnt too good.

I love the Idea to close off the vents in the parts of your house not being used,

super Ideas everyone :)

12 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Coupons work if you match them up with sales. Look for places that double them, some places even triple them. I haven't bought toothpaste, shampoo or soap for years. I just walk out of the store with it for free.

    Stretch your groceries with places like Angel Food - anyone can participate. http://www.angelfoodministries.com/

    When shopping online, always look for a coupon code to attach to your order.

    This doesn't work for everyone, but I get rebates back on my credit card. I have an Amazon card that gets paid in full every month (another BIG money saver - not paying interest on credit!) and save up all those $25 coupons that come in the mail. At Christmas and birthdays guess where I shop for presents? Yep, Amazon. And I use all those coupons. At Christmas, I have them ship my packages directly to my destination so I don't have to haul them, especially if I'm flying. I can wrap em on the other end.

    Insulate your house. Yeah, it's a little bit of money up front, but you'll more than make up for it on your air and heating costs throughout the year. Rolling another layer of insulation in the attic, weatherstripping doors, etc. can really add up.

    If you ARE paying interest on credit cards, call the company and ask them to lower your interest rate. They just might and it can save you hundreds in the long run. But it's always better to pay off your cards in full. A 20% off sale isn't a sale when you pay 20% in interest on that charge the next month. KWIM?

    Know where you can find your bargains. Children's Place, for example, has some great sale bins. I bought a dozen socks for my son for 17 cents a pair. I also got him some great shirts and shorts for next summer on the 99 cent rack while I was doing my Christmas shopping.

    Buy used. Garage Sales, thrift stores, craigslist. Not only is it cheaper, it's GREEN. LOL. Reusing stuff that's already produced is a great saver. Besides you can often find some really eclectic stuff. I love old furniture in particular; it's almost always more solidly made.

    Find your local Freecycle. People are giving stuff away on there. The only catch is that you have to give away stuff too. For example I pulled out an old toilet that worked perfectly well, I just was updating and gave mine away on freecycle. http://www.freecycle.org/

    Habitat For Humanity Restores. This is like Goodwill for Home Depot type items. Some stuff is used, some is new. I recently bought 3 brand new in the box Anderson Windows for my garage. The windows retailed for over $500 each. I bought 3 for $500. http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx

    Look around your house. Just about everyone has crap in closets they're not using, have outgrown, or otherwise need to get rid of it. While times are tight NOW is the time to sell it. Craigslist has free listings and you can get rid of all kinds of stuff. Life is simpler with less stuff.

    Turn down your thermostat and put on a sweater. Yeah, this is what our dads always said. But you know what? It works.

    Go through your bills and figure out what you're really not using. Do you REALLY need unlimited texting? Do you REALLY need all those extra movie channels? Cut down on optional services.

    Use up what you have. A lot of people also have pantries of food they never use. Play the "how far can I go without a grocery run" game. Sure, you might be having a lot of pasta tossed with tomatoes and canned mushrooms - but it's what I call "pre-paid for food". You already have it. Use it.

    Go back to staples. Rice is probably the cheapest, most filling food on the planet. When I was a kid we lived on the mission field and were really -REALLY- poor. We ate rice at every single meal. Once I moved out and went to college it took me 7 years to willingly eat rice again. But you know? It's cheap. Also, with staples, it's also cheaper to cook than with prepackaged food. Buy a big bag of rice - not instant - and learn how to cook it. (white is 2 c. water to every 1 cup rice, put on medium low and steam for about 20 min. / brown is 3 c. water to every 1 cup rice, put on medium low and steam for 45 min.) Eggs are another cheap food. We eat breakfast food for dinner and eggs stretch our grocery bill a lot. Make your pancakes and waffles from scratch - cheaper than bisquick and tastes better anyway. Buy a big bag of frozen veggies and steam them in the microwave until they're just cooked through - cheaper than buying fresh, have equivalent nutrients, and tastes better than canned. If you don't know how to cook, wander into your local Goodwill and pick up a cheap basic cookbook.

    I could go on and on. But this is just a start for ya.

  • Susan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    You say you have the money for the wedding and the money for the cruise. You also said you were getting married in September which is 9 months away. That should be enough time to save up a few hundred dollars more plus you may get some cash as wedding gifts. I don't see anywhere else you can cut from your wedding. You'll be completing quite a feat if you stick to this budget. Good luck!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Dont get a new car or a new tv unless completely necessary. Dont use credit cards to buy things that you dont need. Dont even use them to buy things that you do need unless you can not survive without it. Look at your cable bill, do you really need movie channels? same with cell phone, do you need unlimited texting and internet service on your phone? If you have a cell phone and it is reliable inside your home, get rid of the land line. Get quotes from different car insurance companies to make sure you are not over paying. Try to bundle bills such as cable, phone, internet. Also, home, car and life insurance. Why pay two or three premiums? This may sound complety duh, but if you are married, do you both carry health insurance, and car insurance or yourselves? If so, that is silly. You are both paying a premium when to add a person to a policy is soooo much cheaper than paying for two polices. Believe it or not some couples actually dont take advantage of this... Same with cell phones, why do couples both hold a cell phone plan when you could add a line for $10-20?

    Consider seeing an accountant at tax time have them find all of your deductions so you dont miss anything. You may end up paying a couple hundred dollars, but you may end up getting back a thousand or more. Shop around for things, dont just buy the first thing you think is a good deal. Unplug your cell phone chargers when you arent using them. They eat electricity. Buy the generic brands at the stores. They are almost always just as good as brand name.

  • 1 decade ago

    Okay I have a few and no one will notice the difference.

    Milk- Drink half the gallon in a gallon jug and fill the rest with powered milk and water to make it a full gallon again. It makes the milk last longer than it's expiration date, no can taste it mixed with half real milk, and it saves you money. I refilled it at night so no one could see me do it and when it is really good and cold it tastes better.

    Taco night- Add refried beans to your tacos and it is an excellent filler. You use less hamburger meat.

    With the leftover taco meat you take a big can of ranch style beans and the meat put it in a crock pot sprinkle chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper over it, stir and let simmer. Boil rice when you get home. Put rice in a bowl top with chili meat and a little cheese. One bowl filler even teenagers.

    Buy large meats, such as briskets. Have the meat dept. divide it into three pieces. Usually they do this free of charge and instead of one meal you have three you can make with that.

    Forgot one, HOBOs (cub scout recipe feeds five) You will need foil, 1 and 1/2 lb hamburger meat( less meat if u r a smaller family), 1 potato for every person, 2 lb bag of carrots( I used the baby carrots because they cook faster), 1 onion preferably a sweet one. Make the hamburger into patties( a little larger than hamburgers), wash and slice potatoes like potato chips, if using big carrots peel and slice into little coin shapes, peel and slice onion like you would for a hamburger. Wrap all ingredients, after seasoning to your tastes, into foil like a packet close each end so they steam. Put in the oven and cook at 450 F until all veggies are tender and hamburger is cooked thoroughly. It's cheap and it is good.

    I hope this helps.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Cut out unnecessary food from your diet...food has gotten expensive...sad but true..

    Shop for clothing at a thrift store...DI...youth ranch....discount store...

    Instead of buying diapers or pull ups use washable ones (they may be more costly at first but in the long run you will save big)...

    I know we all fell that we HAVE to get something good for birthdays but if they are not your husband or child then why? Give them a dollar store gift or a $5 bill...just give them a card...don't go overboard..

    recycle...if you do then you can get a little extra cash..

    Get rid of cable? internet? We cut out our house phone and only have once cell phone now... its cheaper for us that way and we can take it with us on the go...

    Instead of turning up the heat all over the house chose one area where you spend most of your time and use the heater in there....shut off all heaters at night or when you leave the house for an extended period of time...I hate coming home to a cold house too but wow its wasted money there if you leave it on...

    Unplug things...by leaving things plugged into the wall you are wasting money and electricity... we have 4 computers and soon one more...they are all unplugged when not in use....

    I only buy myself pants or clothing if they get ruined somehow...I still have clothes and shoes from 10 years ago and I used them around the house...I have a few nice clothes I wear in public but even they are pretty old...

    Don't go overboard for Christmas and birthdays....

    Get rid of unnecessary bills...

  • 1 decade ago

    1) Save money on meat--go hunting or look for families willing to go in with you on a quarter of beef and have a local farmer/butcher divide it for you

    2) Buy in bulk

    3) Get rid of paper plates and napkins and use dinner plates and cloth

    4) Hand wash your dishes to save on electricity and detergent

    5) Turn off all lights in rooms that are unoccupied

    6) Close the doors to all rooms not occupied to save on heating

    7) Spend $10 on a window insulation kit and insulate your windows to save on heating

    8) Use half your detergent in the laundry--most machines are high efficiency and don't need the amount the detergent maker recommends

    9) Cut off the cable and watch movies instead--swap with other families to improve your selection

    10) If you're keeping the internet, there are lots of free websites to watch TV and movies on, like hulu.com or any of the major networks have full TV episodes available online. There are two simple cords you can use to hook up your computer to your TV...look up how to do that.

    11) Have a meal plan for each week and shop according to that plan--most meals you shouldn't have to spend more than $10 for a family of 4

    12) Make your own coffee lattes :)

    13) Fast one day a week--good for the digestion and great for communing with God

    14) Think about how many hours you need to work to get whatever it is you're tempted to buy--put it in perspective

    15) Pay your credit cards twice a month to reduce interest

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm sure there are more but these are some of the big ones I take advantage of which come to mind.

    1. Free Formula/Diapers - sign up on your preferred company website. I know Enfamil and Nestle do it. So does Huggies and Pampers. They also send you great coupons.

    2. Welcome Wagon - Offers a wide range of coupons, free certificates and free items designed around what is being "welcomed". Moving to a new community or having a baby.

    3. Defective Products - keep the box, keep the defective product and call the manufacturer. I have gotten many free boxes of diapers due to minor defects as well as many free grocery items. Not to mention a ton of amazing coupons that were 1/2 off or free. Most respectable companies want to make sure your experience is positive.

    4. Coupons - sign up on your favorite brand websites as well as do a search for coupon sites. I have gotten many free samples via my favorite brand websites and many great coupons off a variety of coupon websites.

    5. Bulk - I five people living under my roof which need to be fed. It's cheaper and more cost effective to buy some items in bulk. Just keep in mind you only want to buy what you use a lot of. Also know your prices when going into places like Costco. Some deals really are not that good.

    6. Recycling - some areas give you decent money back for consumable beverage containers. We don't live too far from the depot so once a month we drive down there with a couple garbage bags of beverage containers and make about $20 - $30. I figure if I use them I made as well get something back from it.

    7. Travelling - go to places like Travelocity or Orbitz just to name a couple. They offer great savings on things like flights, cars and hotels. I have had the receptionists at the hotels ask me how I got such a great deal lol. I have paid $60 for my family to stay at a nice hotel vs the usual $120 they usually charge.

    8. Sales - Look in your flyers and your local news paper. There are always sales to be had. I have a list of things we need and when it comes on sale I grab it. Same goes with gifts. If something comes on half price get it. Saves you spending the full price later on. I use http://www.flyerland.ca/ but it's a Canadian Only site I believe. I'm sure there are some in the US similar to that.

    9. Craigslist/Kajiji - if you are looking for something specific for kids toys/furniture or anything along those lines these are great places to look. I have gotten tons of outdoor toys for my kids and paid a fraction of the price. They don't care if it's new and they are usually plastic so they wash up nice.

    10. Bills - Look them up, see if there are cheaper options that work for you. Sometimes they have deals on. Call them up, say your looking to cut some costs and if they can help you out. Shop around, I changed phone companies and have saved myself $10 a month. I switched Satellite companies, changed my programming around and I saved $30 a month. The electric and gas companies have a variety of options as well. If you check out their website most offer ways you can cut costs and save money.

    11. Loyalty Programs - some of your favorite stores offer free savings cards. On special days you get extra money off. Sometimes just having the card alone gives you a good deal. If you use credit cards get one with a program that benefits you. Things like aeroplan or airmiles are great. I know I use my airmiles to buy tickets to the movies and special dinners.

  • 1 decade ago

    Flea markets are amazing along with dollar stores for simple food items. If you have kids that are 13 or over, get them working! (4 flyer routes = 400$) My mom is working 2 jobs right now and both me and my boyfriend (we're both 17) have jobs to pay for our expenses. (he moved in with us when his parents kicked him out 3 months ago. We're NOT preggy). Also look for deals! Dollar days at Sobeys is when my mom does grocery shopping.

  • 1 decade ago

    Use cloth towels and napkins to clean with in the kitchen and bath, and around the house, they are reusable, just throw in the wash, instead of buying paper towels and napkins. You save a lot of money.

  • 1 decade ago

    some people may not agree with this but my husband is a hunter. he got two deer this year and we have about 100 lbs of meat in our freezer. i actually cut my shopping bill in half because i don't need to by meat except lunch meat and breakfast meats now.

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