Unique ways you save money

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Sarge, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Oct 22, 2010

    What things do most people spend money on you don't?

    I buy very little gas, of course. I have not driven to work once this school year. Probably saved me about $120 so far.

    I also patch my own bike tubes. I get a lot of flats and most people just replace the tube ($5-$6 each). A patch costs a few cents and if you do it right, it's as good as new. I looked at one of my spare tubes and counted 8 patches. That's 8 flats I got and each time I saved about $6. Almost $50 I saved patching just that one tube. And I have many like it.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 22, 2010

    My trick is not necessarily unique, but it saves us quite a bit of money. At the end of each day, we dump our loose change in a jar. Every 6 months or so we cash it in and buy something with cash that we may have put on the credit card in an earlier time. The last time we cashed in we bought bikes for each other.
     
  4. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Oct 22, 2010

    My DH does all our car repairs and maintenance. He also repaired our furnace last night. The igniter went out on it, mind you it is only 7 years old. He ordered a new part from work which was $70 and installed it in under 5 minutes. I can't imagine what this would have cost us, perhaps $200 or more if we had called the HVAC man. I don't know if these things can be considered unique or not, but I tell you it has saved us a lot.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Unique? My husband came into the kitchen last night and watched me painstakingly waiting for the last drop of ketchup to empty out of one bottle into another as I was combining them. He gave me the odd raised eyebrow, so I immediately get defensive about saving money, blah blah. He says, "so are you happy now that you have saved $0.02 worth of ketchup?".

    Yes, I am. Now go back to the living room, and hush.
     
  6. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Oct 22, 2010

    When we host parties I've learned to "hid" the Glenfiddich...... and serve Dewars instead.......:p
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2010

    My dad does the same.

    He has a chinese soup container FILLED with quarters/nickels/dimes and he is about 1/16 full in a water cooler jug full of pennies.
     
  8. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I try to get as much off Freecycle and Craigslist as possible. It's amazing what I was about to buy, but then thought to check those two places first.

    But I do spend money on really frivolous, silly things, which cancels out previous savings...
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I do all the food shopping things that save money. Although we eat out a lot, I cook and bake most meals.

    But, I think this is unique. I need to exercise, but joining a gym costs money. So, I volunteer at a job that requires that I walk for 2 hours.
     
  10. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I wish my dad lived near me. He does it all...from fixing cars, building decks, developing basements, gardening, rewiring houses, fixing electronics, etc... The only thing that he is lost at is fixing computers but he is nearly 80, so I'll forgive him, :D
     
  11. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I do all of our grocery shopping at the Farmer's market. I love looking around looking at all the stalls and getting the best deals. Plus the food is SO much better. And I have been able to find almost everything we need there - fruit and veggies, meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, bread, snacks, homemade dried pasta, spices, baking goods, nuts, lunchmeat and cheese... There is very little I have to get at the store.
     
  12. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I once took some of the Kleenex that had been donated to the classroom for my bathroom at home so that I could "survive" until the end of the week, which was when the paycheck would be deposited.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Speaking of, the annual canned food drive starts next week. We are going to line the food up along the hallways and see if we can hit every bit of wall space. At the faculty meeting, the principal joked "No browsing after school."
     
  14. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 22, 2010

    To save a bit of money we've been doing cloth diapers instead of disposables. I paid 40 bucks for around 40 diapers and covers off of Craigslist, I think they're homemade and they've worked wonderfully.
     
  15. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Gotta Love It !!
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2010

    The cloth diaper reminded me. For most diaper changes, a washcloth will do the clean up, and is cheaper. Try using a baby wipe on your bottom--it's cold and stings.
     
  17. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I stick to my list and I shop locally. I prefer to use cash and all change goes into a basket, which I cash in before Christmas, usually amounts to about 400.00. I plan meals ahead so we aren't tempted to go out to eat. The crockpot works well for this and it's great to come home to home cooked meals.
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Only the bad ones do.

    The Cottonelle ones or w/e are supposed to be good.
     
  19. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 23, 2010

    Decided to add some different/weird ones -

    Well....the strangest one is we raise roaches and mealworms to feed our lizards, toads, frogs, tarantulas and scorpion. Probably saves us $10-15/week - maybe more.

    We totally redid our yard and only have waterwise plants that we rarely have to water.

    Low flow toilets, showers and faucets to save on the water bill.

    Fans only - no air conditioning.

    Raise butterflies so I don't have to pay the ridiculous prices the science companies charge. Okay, maybe a false savings - I went through $20 worth of milkweed in the last week because during the warm snap some crazy Monarch decided to lay 15 eggs on the plant I had outside. You won't believe how much that many caterpillars can eat!
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 23, 2010

    - I never buy a morning coffee. I don't drink coffee.

    - I collect my change as well in a piggy bank. I have a Boston Terrier bank! After a good amt's saved, I mk a bank deposit.

    - Sometimes, I go to the movies before 12 noon at AMC where the ticket's $6.
     
  21. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 23, 2010

    I pack our lunches every day unless my husband has a business lunch. Try to use small containers for the food instead of plastic baggies.

    Use old margarine containers, etc, instead of buying tons of plastic storage for food.
     
  22. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Oct 23, 2010

    I take my breakfast to eat in the car and lunch with me to school each day. If I want coffee I bring a thermos mug from home. Driving past those Starbucks saves a lot.

    My end of the day, empty out my purse savings account is $5 bills. I never spend one. Any $5 bill I have in my wallet at the end of the day goes in a tin on my dresser. I've been doing this for almost a year now and it is amazing how much I've saved.
     
  23. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Oct 23, 2010

    I also have a cute ceramic piggy bank that I decorated. Luckily, the plug to get the money out is a real pain so I almost never empty it. I save money by buying store brands of almost everything. Of course, I canceled that out last night when I bought the MOST beautiful pair of Cole Haan black leather knee-high boots. But that was a necessity. :)
     
  24. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Oct 23, 2010

    collect our change, don't go out and buy coffee in the morning, I bring lunch everyday to work. Thankfully my husband is handy and will ask his dad for help who can pretty much do anything.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 23, 2010

    I just got back from fall/winter clothes shopping with my 2 daughters.

    I had a coupon for Kohl's. It saved me 30%, or $48 off stuff that was already on sale at 40% off.

    Then I went to Sears. I had printed a coupon I found online: save $10 on a $20 clothing purchase.

    Then I went to The Children's Place. I had a coupon for 20% off. It was re-usable, so I handed my copy (and a spare I brought along) to the next 2 people on line.

    Last was Target. I didn't have any coupons, but their prices are low to start with.

    4 or 5 minutes on the computer this morning saved me some serious money!!!
     
  26. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Oct 23, 2010

    Whenever I have leftover veggies (bagged spinach, etc) that are about to go bad, I puree them and freeze into ice cubes.

    Those veggie cubes are an easy way to add some nutrition to soups, stir fries, casseroles, etc. later on
     
  27. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Oct 23, 2010

    I don't buy subscriptions to magazines. My public library has every magazine I would want to subscribe to.
     
  28. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    What a great idea! I usually wait for them to go bad, so that I can throw them out:whistle:
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 23, 2010

    I make stock from the bones/carcass of those roasted chickens...Put in zip bags and freeze- so much better than the canned stuff for making soups.

    I compost- makes great 'fertilizer' for my gardens.

    Grow my own herbs.

    Turn off lights.

    Make my own lunch instead of eating out.

    Work out at home plus a thirty minute brisk walk daily at lunchtime.

    Shop the grocery sales and use coupons/shopper card. I'm on my way to earning my free Thanksgiving turkey at the grocery store based on using my purchases and store shopper card (gets me lower prices on some items).
     
  30. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    I read coupon blogs that match my local grocery stores sales with coupons that you can print online or from previous newspaper clipped ones. Last week, my bill was $45.00!
    I only buy produce on sale. I might want grapes, but if they aren't on sale, I'm going to make due with oranges. We also make coffee at home. I do treat myself on Fridays for getting through the week.
     
  31. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 23, 2010

    My husband would love you--I throw out the last 2 cents worth of ketchup, salad dressing, etc. and he hates it!
     
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Ha! I do the same thing with ketchup and mustard bottles. Drives my hubby nuts.
    I do the usual things like save change, use coupons, wait for things to be on sale, reuse grocery bags so I can get 5 cents off for every one i use. I try to shop at only 2 different grocery stores that give points for $$ off gas. I get a lot of free samples of new products so I can see if I like them before I spend money on a full sized one. I don't buy magazine subscriptions either but I do get some free. I know someone who finds codes for free magazines as well as samples and sends them out in a big email once a week. Right now I'm getting Shape and Rachael Ray magazine!
     
  33. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Oct 23, 2010

    I am a frequent shopper at dollar stores. Discovered that buying 2 of their 1/2 gallons at $1 each is WAY cheaper than buying a gallon. I have also bought bags of potatoes, bread, lettuce, and tomatoes for $1!!! WAY cheaper than the grocery store.

    I also shop at a place called Grocery Outlet. They take the food from stores that has expired or the store has gone out of business or what not and sell it for cheap! I buy canned goods for 35 cents and cereal for $1!!
     
  34. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Oct 26, 2010

    I get a lot of our clothes at resale shops. My kids aren't that easy to fit, both are very slender and require slim jeans. My son will only wear Wranglers, so most of his are bought new. But most other clothes are bought second hand. Now I am not talking about buying a dirty old sweatshirt from the local Salvation Army. I am talking about gently used clothes with plenty of life left in them. Those kids grow out of clothes as fast as I can buy them sometimes. No underclothes or shoes are bought secondhand - just too gross to think about. I have several Ann Taylor suits that I got for work under $10 - retail price over $200. I also get classroom supplies from the resale shops - items for projects or crafts can save tons of money.
    My hubby calls me a tightwad because I cut our dryer sheets in half. I think they are too strong and this makes them go twice as far. I also cut my make-up remover pads in half.
    When I cook a roast, chicken, or turkey, - I get every last piece of meat off that carcass. My hubby's sister and her family were visiting for Thanksgiving last year. She volunteered to debone the turkey after dinner. When she was done I got another 1 1/2 pounds of meat off the carcass and then I boiled the bones with celery and onions to make a broth to freeze for later meals. I also boil down roasts and chicken carcasses to make broth.
    We planted a garden this year and the kids and I put up tons of tomatoes for soup this winter. Our bumper crop this year was the sweet potatoes. We got over 150 pounds. It is a good thing they keep for a long time. We will be eating them all winter.
     
  35. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Oct 26, 2010

    DW cuts open toothpaste tubes to get the last of the toothpaste.

    And we set our heat to "arctic" setting during the winter (probably 50 degrees F).
     
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 26, 2010

    Buy in bulk and dehydrate or can fruits and veggies. I haven't tried meats yet, but that's next on my list.

    Make my own potting soil and garden soil by composting. I use every single fruit and veggie scrap, as well as fruits and veggies that are about to go bad. You can also compost old tea bags, paper towels, and a ton of other stuff.

    Bought a water cooler. Besides a nominal amount of electricity to run it (maybe like a couple of dollars per year), it only costs a couple of dollars to fill the 5-gallon jug and that lasts for a week or so. This also eliminates bottle waste.

    Make iced tea the old fashioned way. No fancy Crystal Light mixes for us! Throw a couple of teabags into a coffee pot (used expressly for this purpose, as we don't drink coffee), brew, and pour into a pitcher to keep in the fridge. Much healthier than most other beverages and super tasty to boot!

    Keep the house a little cooler in the winter time and use blankets and wear socks.

    One thing we just started is ordering our groceries through a local grower/producer that delivers them to our house every week. Although the groceries are a little bit more expensive than what is in the store, we no longer use gas on shopping trips or make impulse purchases. Plus, the foods are always fresh and locally grown.
     

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