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Old 02-11-2013, 06:15 AM   #31
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Some things we have been doing so long that I forget they are " thrifty" like meal planning and not buying convenience/packaged food (we buy mostly organic so avoiding the "natural" boxed foods has probably saved us a TON!
We use cloth everything except TP - I bought a 3-pack of paper towels 2years ago and we still have 2 rolls.
I think kids can be a big thrifty-drain, some things are unavoidable but being fairly minimalist has helped. Ie, I refuse to buy DD a fancy Easter dress that she will wear once- she gets a cute, comfy cotton dress (often consigned) and then wears it to church all spring/summer. No matchy-matchy outfits (think Gymbo) or shoes "for this outfit." DH does her laundry about 1x/week - so she does not need 4 weeks' worth of clothing. We buy play clothes at consignment frequently.
I am astonished at the amount of STUFF other kids have. DD has lots of fun toys but they are open-ended things she will play with for years, not a battery gizmo that she will tire of in two months. We don't go overboard for Christmas, birthdays, or holidays.
DH and I have limited our stuff too. Ie, I have a total of 2-3 purses and maybe 6 pairs of shoes. That includes professional wardrobe as well. I'm just not motivated to buy more, and when I do I try to be thrifty and purposeful... Not just spending to spend, bc "it's cute" or "it's on sale.". I heard it described as "decorating your life" once. We try not to decorate our life, but be purposeful in spending money to improve/enrich our life.

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Old 02-11-2013, 08:30 AM   #32
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For 5 years, we only had one car that was bought used, so no car payment, really low car insurance.

Our first apartment was so small and junky, but it only cost $525/month, which is really cheap where we are!

Definitely meal planning, sticking to the list at the store, and not going out much. Somehow, when wee
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:33 AM   #33
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Somehow, we always spend things we think we need/because it's a good deal when we're just out without a purpose. I don't go to the mall very much.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #34
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

We totally changed our whole lifestyle in the following ways -

I began couponing and started a stockpile of HBA products.
I learned how to cook from scratch, and taught myself how to can.
I learned how to make my own cleaning solution, hand soap, dishwasher and laundry detergents.
Cloth diapering.
Only shopping once every 2 weeks, and no longer going "window shopping" for something to do when we are bored.
Going to all-cash and keeping a strict budget and a bill book.
Buying things like meat in bulk and freezing them.
Using cleaning rags instead of paper products.
Using actual dishes instead of paper plates.
I've started decluttering and minimizing our house, especially all the toys that my kids love to pull out but don't play with!
I'm planning a big garden for the spring that will future cut our grocery costs.
I'm planning to replace my supply of Swiffer pads and cleaning juice with reuseable pads and making my own juice (we bought a bulk supply already so I need to use that up first).
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:32 AM   #35
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

cut cable and got hulu/netflix
changed cell phone provider to virgin
dont eat out much
fewer movies at theater
cloth diapers
use kids target washcloths for wiping counters down and napkins
stock up on shampoo, tp, face supplies, monthly girly supplies
refinanced house
resell alot of clothing and buy from same shops (i do buy new as well)
i do not use babysitters, ever
buy premium dog & cat food in 20-40lb bags. less issues but its also less money than ones w fillers
cut own dog/cat nails
i never go to get my nails/feet done. I bought my own stuff from sallys and do it myself
i do my own hair every 8 weeks (also from sallys) $6 max. used to be $120.
shopped around for better car/house ins. saved me $1200 a yr.
kids never get hair cuts from the salon. I do it myself. i learned from youtube.
any makeup, face wash or lotions i get from ulta. if I hate it, I can return for FULL refund

we also were a one car family until recently. (not pleased w getting 2 as car insurance went up for that car AND hubby just wrecked his "new" vehicle. so its going to cost us $500 to fix it. grr)
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:07 PM   #36
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

Meal planning. And along with that, making sure we have a few "convenience" items on hand for when mama is just too tired to cook.

Cloth everything. Cloth diapers (most of the time), cloth wipes, cloth TP, cloth tissues, rags, cloth pads, cloth napkins. I do a lot of laundry, but it's worth it.

Buying used to the greatest extent possible. I used to shop regularly at thrift stores and garage sales, but I have largely stopped and now just go when we need something or check craigslist. If it's kids clothes, I will usually hit up OUAC because, even if it costs me a little bit more, the selection is better and I can get it all done in one stop. Time is money, too.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:24 PM   #37
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

Buying a camper.

We enjoy vacationing and the camper has saved us SO much money over the past 5 years.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:22 AM   #38
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
Buying used to the greatest extent possible. I used to shop regularly at thrift stores and garage sales, but I have largely stopped and now just go when we need something or check craigslist. If it's kids clothes, I will usually hit up OUAC because, even if it costs me a little bit more, the selection is better and I can get it all done in one stop. Time is money, too.
I need to think more on this. I'm a big thrift store person but maybe only get to them about once or twice a mong on average. When I go, I stock up. But maybe it would be more efficient and cheaper in the long run to do one big discount store like OUAC. Thanks for the idea. I'll give this some thought for sure.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:46 AM   #39
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

The thriftiest decision/change our family made was quite simply to actually start using a budget! We had been together for about 13 years before we clued in that coasting without a plan was not working. We never made much money, but what little we had was slipping through our fingers inexplicably, until we made a budget and plugged the holes. Once we had a budget, then we could see to do things like cancel cable, shop around for services, switch banks to one that wasn't so fee happy etc. But without that plan, we were clueless.

A big one for us was forcing ourselves to walk away from "good ideas". We have impulse bought our way into the poorhouse in the past, sitting 6 days from payday with $3.14 in the bank hoping nothing goes wrong. Now if it's over about $30, we walk away and think about it for a few days. If it still seems like a good idea the next time we're running errands we'll pick it up. Many times the shininess wears off and we admit to ourselves that we don't need whatever it was. I actually had to unsubscribe from Baby steals because the nature of that site was not giving me the time to really think about what I was buying and if I actually needed it or not. So much buyers remorse!
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #40
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Re: What was the thriftiest decision or change your family made?

One change I am still learning to make is only buying stuff when I really need it. For example...we returned some baby shower gift items because we knew it would be months or even a year before we used them. We also buy used as much as we can!
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