Just curious who else is living super frugal

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by HeatherLynn, May 17, 2011.

  1. BusyBlonde

    BusyBlonde Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Bessemer City, NC
    I'm sorry to hear about your husband's job. It sounds as though you have been keeping a pretty good amount of food stocked up. We have a local supermarket closing, so I got a lot of their frozen food for 50% off yesterday. My freezer is full again.
     
  2. 1MrsMagoo

    1MrsMagoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    St Tammany Parish LA
    Everything has gotten so ridiculously expensive that I have to wonder what some of the people around here do for a living. They have the McMansion, two imported cars, boats, take vacations, all the amenities: We are surrounded by them where we live (House down the road is for sale for $795,000).

    Gosh, I remember helping clean out my grandparents house after my grandpa died. I ran across his old pay stubs from the mid-60's when he worked on the railroad. He didn't even make $4,000 a year. I can remember in the mid-80's when my dad got the raise that allowed him to make $100 a day on straight time: He had worked at Hoover company for 27 years at that point. Shoot, now a lot of people I know can't live on my grandparents yearly income for a single month.

    We save however we can and do things ourselves, or figure out how to do them, rather than hire somebody. I fixed the AC in my car last month after looking up the car's "symptoms" on Google. Figured out it was a fuse under the hood: Twelve dollars later it was right as rain. I shudder to image what a garage would have charged or decided the problem was: Like gee you need a new AC pump.

    We have a local grocery called the Salvage Store. They carry scratch and dent and restaurant overstock. Their prices are very good, much better than the regular store. I shop there first and only buy what they don't have elsewhere. That is the only place I will ever buy a candy bar: They usually have them 3 for $1.00. I'll have to try the expiration date thing at the local stores and see what I can do with it.

    My favorite way to save are the two neighborhood "junk men" that go cruise the wealthy neighborhoods, yard sales, and people hire them to come clean out houses, etc. We get furniture, appliances, and building materials from them super cheap. We got a commercial meat slicer from one of them a couple weeks ago and then bought some 5lb chicken rolls, bologna rolls, and hams rolls from the discount grocery for $4.95 each. We use a sawzall to cut them in half since they are frozen, then thaw and slice half each week. Now, we have all the lunch meat we want (family of 5) for $2.50 a week.

    We are contractors and are on a lot of construction sites doing trim or tile. I always ask the builder if we can take the scrap wood from the dumpster. In a few instances, we have offered to clean up after framing and gotten trailer loads of cast off wood. We even get the form boards. We've built all our animal housing, except the hardware cloth, duck house sheeting, and nails, from salvaged materials. Also, all the crown molding, chair rail, door casings, and base moldings in our daughter's bedroom came from those sites. I have enough to do the majority of our house.

    We are on propane, but have an old furnace so don't use it (yes it gets cold in SE Louisiana). We got a nice wood burning stove through Tractor Supply that was eligible for the federal rebate, which made our cost about $500. We have around two acres of heavily wooded property we have slowly been thinning. We have enough firewood cut and seasoned for the next couple of years.
    Plus, we have left some of the nice straight trees we don't want standing. A buddy of ours has a portable lumber mill and we are going to process them into lumber. I have plans for a solar wood drying shed that won't cos very much to build.

    We also have all the supplies, except a circulating pump, and are building a solar water heater for the roof of our back porch. Our water heater won't have to run all day long most of the year.

    We use ceiling fans and keep the AC thermostat at 80. Luckily we have live oaks not too far from the house that shade part of the roof most of the day. The house stays comfortable doing this. If it begins to feel hot, we just go outside for a little while then come back in: It suddenly feels great again. We also don't have television (watch what we want via the internet) and are careful about leaving unused lights on.

    We have huge gardens and can what we grow. I grow a lot of winter squash, especially spaghetti since they keep forever and make great dinners. I save seeds from some things and wait for my favorite seed companies to have sales for the rest. All my seeds are kept in the refridgerator to extend their usable life.

    I take our trailer and go once a month to buy all my animal feed just over the state line in Mississippi. They are way less expensive and the drive is about the same distance as getting it here. Plus only going one time saves fuel.

    Actually, I do not leave our property unless I have to. I have more than enough to keep me busy here everyday. I don't like crowds or the way most people around here drive, so don't feel like I am missing anything. When my husband and son are on their way home they call and see if we need anything from the store: Doing this has cut a good bit off our monthly fuel expenditures.

    I despise WalMart, but can't beat their prices on some things like sugar. So we go there quarterly and get what we need. I keep the flour in the freezer to keep it fresh and bugs out. I make a list and stick to it.

    We shop for clothes at Goodwill, eBay, or the clearance racks first. I look for out of style vintage stuff nobody wants: Not only is it cheaper, but it is made better and lasts longer. Even the Levi's being made today are so thin they only last a few months. Nothing like the jeans when I was a kid: I remember wearing pants that had belonged to two of my cousins before they came to me....and then went to my sister.

    My husband and I wear the same size, so I usually just take things after he rips them and won't wear them to work anymore (He does custom remodeling, so has to wear decent looking clothes to work in peoples houses). The pair of jeans I have on right now are on their last legs, but may still make okay shorts. All I am going to do is crawl around in my garden in them and the chickens don't care what I look like anyway.

    I buy all my shoes online from either eBay, or certain skate stores that have annual clearance sales. Last year, I got two pairs of leather shoes that had been $60 each originally for $12 a pair. Heck, last night my future daughter in law brought us some Nike Heat Gear shirts she bought at the sporting goods store where she works. They were marked down to $.99 and with her employee discount, they cost $.60 each: They are marked $24.99...a savings of $147.00 for the 6 of them.

    I also make all our noodles, a lot of bread, and anything else I can from scratch. It tastes better and is way less expensive than the store bought. Heck, our oldest son and his fiance moved in with us this spring and love the noodles: They plan on getting their own Atlas Pasta Machine. I buy a lot of bulk items I can't get locally off Amazon, like 2lb bags of yeast. Doing this saves a ton of money.

    My husband and I will only go out to eat once or twice a year to the chinese buffet. I cannot bring myself to pay for one plate of food the same amount of money it would cost to buy all the ingredients to make a meal for my family.

    I love finding new ways to save, but stopped short of going Freegan and dumpster diving. If the economy gets too much worse I may change my mind on that one though. [​IMG]
     
  3. LazyQ

    LazyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Micanopy, Florida
    I do pretty much the same. I hate going to
    town. I go once a month, buy most of what I need at Sam's.
    Starting this month I will be driving up to a place that mixes their own stock feed to buy my hog and poultry feed. I can save $6 for each bag I buy.
    I don't buy many clothes. Birthday and Christmas usually take care of that<g>. I mostly just wear shorts when at home. In winter I put on a Tee Shirt.
    I use fans and keep the air at 78. Winter at 65.
    Say ytou ain't got and older like minded Sister or friend that would want to move to the backwoods of Florida to live? :)
     
  4. Raiquee

    Raiquee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Bend, WI
    I have started my Dave Ramsey program! It's slow going now, but it's started. DH isn't too happy about the real penny pinching, but alas, it needs to be done!

    I'm also running a challenge on myself for the month of June to only spend $25 a week on groceries, so we can jut eat out of the pantry and freezer for awhile. Don't want to eat don my stock completely, but it does need to get dwindled down.
     
  5. 1MrsMagoo

    1MrsMagoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    St Tammany Parish LA
    My only sister wouldn't even consider eating the eggs from my chickens. She lives in Ohio and I was telling her about our chickens and selling the eggs and she pipes up and says, "Eww....no thank you. I'll just go to the store and buy sanitary eggs." [​IMG]

    I had to laugh and shake my head. I thought, wow....just wow. She has no idea the conditions those poor birds live in or how terribly their eggs can look before they wash them. Yeah, my poor chickens...free ranging, being forced to eat bugs, laying their eggs in clean tidy nest boxes: The nerve I have to treat them that way .[​IMG]

    That girl is ALWAYS broke despite making good money: Her husband is about to retire out of Air Force intel and she manages an Arby's.

    If it is on sale she buys it. Does she need it? Well, that isn't the point. She thinks she SAVED money by spending money to buy something drastically reduced that will go into some tote in the attic or closet never to be seen again.

    Her kids have no appreciation for anything they own. You buy them a toy it doesn't make it a day before it is broken or lying on the floor somewhere. No thank you. I love her, but well, let's just say she thinks I'm nuts.


    Best of luck finding yourself a lady that appreciates living closer to self-sufficient. We have gotten SO far away from living the way we were meant to. She is out there somewhere....you just have to find her.

    Have you tried boards like Permies (permaculture people) or the Freegan mailing list? Their was one guy on the Permies forum last year trying a zonal heating project during the winter to save money. He only heated the general area he was in above 55 degrees during the winter. He used those ceramic reptile heat light things, some light bulbs, and a couple of heating pads or something like that. That is a bit further than I am willing to go with things...[​IMG]
     
  6. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia


    Keep going I promise it changes your life. Its really really hard for a while but the end results are worth it. I have one warning, be prepared to feel a bit odd about having disposable income after you finish. It seems like it won't ever happen but when it does its almost a bit scary.
     
  7. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Just made our first dinner from the garden last night! Was so pleased! They only thing I bought was 1 sale chicken since mine are just getting to age to process.

    The potatoes, green beans, herbs, garlic, saffron, peppers and onions were from garden. Total cost was $2.96 for the chicken. It also made enough to have left overs for today's lunch for anyone.

    By the end of the summer, I don't want to spend but $100 at the grocery store each month. Wish me luck!
     
  8. LazyQ

    LazyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2011
    Micanopy, Florida
    Sure makes your heart happy to eat good for almost nothing.
     
  9. Raiquee

    Raiquee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Big Bend, WI

    Thanks Heather! I want to be out of debt except our school loans and mortgage when we move. We might not make all of it, as in we may move with school loans. Mortgage and my hubby's car, but we got 0 percent interest on that loan so it's last on our list.

    On Friday I am going to be going through my stuff and posting some of it on Craigslist. Then I am going to decorate some cookies as examples, and try to sell those on Craigslist as well for a little extra income. I plan on having one, maybe two cc#s and my car paid off by the end of August, then I can also lower my insurance to liability.
     
  10. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    All we have left is the mortgage on the rental (covered by the rental) and his student loan- or electric is $180-$200 a month.

    Everything else is done.
     

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