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Old 02-09-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made? If there were other changes/ideas that contributed, please share!

In need of inspiration and ideas. I look at our budget every few weeks trying to think of where can we cut back more, or how can we pay my student loan debt faster.

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:34 AM   #2
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:40 AM   #3
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

We track and account for every penny. I have a huge spreadsheet for every category.

I totally understand wanting to pay off your student loans faster, but if your interest rate is low enough, in the long run, paying an extra $50 a month won't make much of a difference. Could you consolidate or refinance?
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UVASahm View Post
We track and account for every penny. I have a huge spreadsheet for every category.

I totally understand wanting to pay off your student loans faster, but if your interest rate is low enough, in the long run, paying an extra $50 a month won't make much of a difference. Could you consolidate or refinance?
Thats true, we already pay 40 extra a month to pay it down 15 yrs faster. It is 7.25. I think the going rate is 7 right now? Its all govt loans, just cant wait to free up that pmt.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

I got through phases of being really thrifty and not depending on how busy my life is etc. But the things that work for me or are:

Cloth diapers(obviously this can be $$ depending on your love of fluff)- for me I love the convenience as you are never out of CD, but you can be out of sposies, I use them now and then and hate buying more

Making own cleaners, dr bronners is the best...

Coupons - I'm never a hard core couponer, but the pace I like is just going to walgreens once a week to pick up the shampoo/cond/body wash/toothbrush items. That saves a bunch of money. I find I can do that for a few months and then I'm good for the rest of the year. Food is hit and miss, some items like yogurts or granola bars/cereal that I always buy anyway.

Meal plan-when I do it, which isn't as much as I like

Kids-I don't want to eat out anymore! Much more enjoyable eating at home

Packing snacks/lunches- saves a ton with zoo outings, parks etc

Water bottles- bring everywhere in warm weather

K-cups- strange but true, I used to always snag a coffee out and about, even Mcdonalds ones, but now I know I can be home in 2 mins and have a really nice k-cup coffee it's stopped me. Plus I'm not wasting a pot or half pot.

Buying "nice" food- stops you from longing to eat out, spend more

Convenience food- good to have something stashed in the freezer for those crazy days

Memberships- pool and zoo and we are set for the summer, make lots of use out of these in our family.

Library- love the library for books, dvd's, games if the kids have earned it.

Buying used- clothes, baby equipment etc.....

Reselling- reselling helps out hugely with new purchases that have to be made. Baby needs new shoes.....sell off his clothes that are too small and you have the money for shoes.....
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

Truly the biggest thing that has saved us money beyond all the typical tips is adopting a fairly radical minimalist lifestyle. Money was not the reason we were drawn into simplifying our lives, but has been a huge added benefit. We are no longer prone to impulse purchases and tend to plan out purchases in advance. When you go this route is no big deal usually to buy certain items higher quality and still save tons of $ because you spend so little money otherwise.

When you have a short list of "needs" it becomes easy to find the best prices on everything and still have room to let a few items be higher priced. For example I buy lots of fresh produce, inexpensive bulk bags of rice, make homemade sourdough bread each week (so easy!), avoid packaged food and lots of other ways to keep our food budget low, but I have no problem buying a big block of $20 fancy cheese or the items to make a nice gourmet meal on occasion. I choose simplicity in our cooking 95% of the time so the little splurges make it no big deal to stick to it the rest of the time. It is like that in most other areas of our life. You dont end up feeling deprived and end up blowing your budget, it becomes a natural practice.

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Old 02-09-2013, 05:54 PM   #7
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

I am loving reading everyone's responses. I am always looking for ways to cut costs.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

Meal plan and stick with it.

We throw away so much less food and really use up everything we have. We have a freezer to store bulk or good price things and have the money saved to buy when there are good sales. I keep track of what's in the freezer and rotate things out. We eat well but our food budget is the lowest it's ever been!
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

I posted about this earlier today and thr big monthly bills weve cut back on.

I second what was said about minimalism. We just have fewer wants and enjoy simple things. We looked through the toys r us christmas catalogue, and there really wasnt anything we wantwd.

My other big one is freecycle and free craigslist. We have thousands of dollars worth of stuff we havent paid for. It completely changed my outlook on spending. Knowing which things pop up frequently, im just not willing to pay for many items anymore. Free stuff and minimalism has been the biggest thing for me to curtail spending. I just dont want the things i used to want.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

Cooking at home. Even when I don't feel like it. It is always so so so so so so so much cheaper.
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