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share your frugal living tips

June 22nd, 2006, 10:30 PM
It occured to me that we all "recycle" or "reuse" stuff in our lives... what are some of your favorite tips?

-all wilted or "too soft" veggies & herbs, as well as tough stems and stalks, go in the freezer in a plastic bag... makes *excellent* soup stalk with the addition of a few bones & spices

-overripe fruit get washed, cut in chunks and tossed in the pot of orange juice (we buy frozen). After a few hours, you have wonderful flavored juice! anything goes except for bananas, which are peeled, mashed & frozen for when the urge strikes to make banana bread or pancakes.

-i always add some water to the container of dishsoap, it lasts longer and lathers even better

oh lordy, i have so many tips... but let's hear from you guys! :thumbs up

June 22nd, 2006, 10:43 PM
I buy the fruits that are in season in bulk, wash them and freeze them for use later in the year...

Other than that, the only real money saver I can think of is that we close off a room in the winter, put in thermostats with schedules and added two layers of insulation to the attic...

June 22nd, 2006, 10:55 PM
I live really close to a grocery. I just buy what I need when I need them. I quit buying a week's worth at a time - too much got wasted.

June 23rd, 2006, 08:53 AM
- progammable thermostats
- use the clothesline to dry clothes
- make a grocery list for what meals you are planning that week and stick to it (this is hard but it cut back our bill by 20-25%)
- plan your meals according to what meat is on sale
- grow your own veggies
- remember to turn off lights and TV as you leave the room
- think about the things you you really need then or do you just want them?

June 23rd, 2006, 09:40 AM
I was irresponsible about money for too long and now I've become very frugal.

I buy store brands and in many cases like them better than the ones I previously bought. The A & P has a store brand pasta sauce that has a better, healthier ingredient list and tastes better than the expensive brands. Although I make my own, and that's much less expensive since I get a ton of sauce from it, the store brand is a way to go.

When I'm alone during the day and I wash my hands I don't throw out the paper towels. I put them aside and use them to wipe up spills on the floor, that sort of thing. I only dried my clean hands so they can definitely be used to wipe down a toilet seat or something like that. (After THAT I do throw them away ! LOL !)

I used to spend a lot of money getting my hair colored at a nice salon. But the gray creeps in so quickly that the visits were too frequent. I bought a good color in the store and my most honest friends said they couldn't tell the difference except that the highlights looked more natural. And I feel better about myself since I'm not paying for the fancy cappucino bar and waterfall anymore. Although that's a nice treat when you're going every few weeks it's a ridiculous extravagance.

I can cook good meals on a shoestring budget. That's probably my biggest domestic talent.

And I've begun using cash as much as possible instead of plastic. If I have cash in my hand I'm more careful about parting with it. If I'm using plastic I'm more impulsive.

June 23rd, 2006, 09:58 AM
- Unplug all those chargers! (i.e. for cell phones) They continue to SUCK juice even when your not actively charging your phone.

- put the last bit of shampoo (that's hard to get out, or not enough to wash hair) in a pump dispenser for hand soap. It's not much different than hand soap, and it's not as drying.

- Save old nylons. They take deodorant marks (white marks) OFF any fabric. I cut them up, keep pieces in my desk at work, in my purse, in my car, etc.. for white mark emergencies.

- another use for nylons... cut the legs off (toss the panty part). Use legs to hold onions & garlic, etc.. in your kitchen. pop in an onion, tie a knot, toss in another, tie another knot, etc... fill the leg... hang in corner. Keeps them well, skins contained, and just use scissors to cut one off when needed!

- Cream of Tartar will take baked on stains off your casserole dishes. mix w/ water to a paste - spread on stain, let sit, wash off. almost effortlessly.

- leftover wine... make wine-ice cubes. toss in favorite recipes later on.

- a few scoops of coffee grinds in an old (CLEAN) sock, hung in a musty closet will get rid of the "must".

there are sooooo many....... I save lots of money by re-using old items.. for a new use, and using common household items instead of buying all the fancy cleaners and such. most are un-necessary.

June 23rd, 2006, 01:03 PM
Leftover wine? What's that ?? ;)

June 23rd, 2006, 01:42 PM
Leftover wine? What's that ?? ;)

ha ha...I thought the exact same thing!

June 23rd, 2006, 02:01 PM
*unplugs cell phone charger*...

I was using the TorStar newspaper bags as poop bags, finally got through our whole stock, and am not using the crummiest plastic bags from stores we have. Figure we have closets full of bags.. and even though I'd love my poopie bags to smell like vanilla.. this is free and already in my home..

I cut open tubes of stuff like face masks and handcreams when I can't get more out. There's often a bunch left. You can slide the tube back together (and make it smaller) so you can scoop out the remaining product and not really waste any.

June 23rd, 2006, 02:09 PM
HOLY S###T! It neve occurred to me to do any of these things!

This is why I'm broke!

June 23rd, 2006, 02:43 PM
Catsnatcher, none of this occurred to me either until a couple months ago when I was planting some flowers, admiring my house and my husband said to me "You like the house? You want to keep living in it?" Then he showed me the American Express bill and I took a good hard look at what I thought were necessities. Turns out I could have had a lot more money today if I'd been a little more responsible yesterday.

Ah well, I'm kind of enjoying my new hobby and feeling like a grown up girl.:)

June 28th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Catsnatcher, none of this occurred to me either until a couple months ago when I was planting some flowers, admiring my house and my husband said to me "You like the house? You want to keep living in it?" Then he showed me the American Express bill and I took a good hard look at what I thought were necessities. Turns out I could have had a lot more money today if I'd been a little more responsible yesterday.

I 100% hear you on this one. I moved to a nearby city--did a smart thing and bought a condo--but the phone number I had in the city which I'd kept from my parents when they moved out of town, the one that my parents had got in 1976 when they first moved here and I was sentimentally attached to (for no apparent reason)... I had that number permanently forwarded to my cell phone (they couldn't transfer the line). It was costing me $28/month... and really for nothing. The process of buying the condo itself should have woke me up to what necessities were, as I had to choose between putting gas in the car to get to work, or buying groceries for my dinner (of course the cats were well fed and taken care of!). That didn't wake me up. I was living pay-cheque to pay-cheque, barely able to make all my bills, and wracking up credit card debt. My bf made me write down all the things I spend money on, and how much income I had. I was pretty shocked to see the money that was being wasted on things like that stupid phone forwarding. That wasn't the only thing I was wasting money on, but it was the most obvious.

I still struggle with differentiating between needs and wants, but it's better. I'm able to step back and think about things before I decide if I really can't live without them, or if there might be a better time to get them (aka when I win the lottery!). Most of the time things can be put off. My credit cards are paid off, my loans are decreasing, and I'm still enjoying life. Really quite amazing...

My biggest hint/tip is to write things down. You don't necessarily have to make a budget (if they don't work for you), but write down where you're spending money (and what on) and look at it at least once a month. You'll often be surprised at how much you waste.

As for credit card vs cash use... for some people this works, for some not: What I did for awhile (until I got it sorted out), was to still use the credit card, but as soon as I got home or as soon as the transaction showed up on my online banking (which is a *must*!!!!), I paid it off. This forced me to have the money there for purchases; it was essentially as good as cash, except I got the "points" on my credit card. I'm currently using a PC Mastercard, which earns me 1% of any purchase into PC points, which I can then use to buy groceries at Superstore or Extra Foods. Works for me.

The other thing to consider doing is to have your RRSP or other savings plan taken directly off your paycheque. Most employers can set this up, or your bank can. Then you're saving for the future and you really don't have to worry about budgeting for savings; whatever is in your bank account after pay day is to use for things *other* than savings.

And for those of you who have kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or who might have any of those in the future, check out Kid's Futures ( (if you're serious about joining, please PM me your email address, as I'll get $2 for every person who signs up on my referral and then you're free to live your own life). If you want more info on this, either PM or email me ( or read all the info on the site.

Thanks for reading!! Good luck!

June 28th, 2006, 04:02 PM
I have friends who's hydro-bill is HUGE,they complain,but have the a/c running continuosly all summer.
I see so much waste,it makes my skin crawl.
I go and pick up Bailey for our walk,lights are on,TV is going,nobody watching,the a/c is going full blast although it's only +20C outside.
I am really happy to have central air,but unless it's too humid,it's's wonderful to open all your windows and have a breeze going through the house,when it's not too hot.
I never use the dryer in the summer,everything goes outside to dry and the smell of your clothes is to die for.
I always pay what I purchase with credit-cards,but hubby makes sure it's all payed when the bill comes.

June 28th, 2006, 06:04 PM
i love this site, read it every week! :thumbs up

June 28th, 2006, 10:25 PM
My money-stretcher 'rules'

1.Turn it off if you aren't using it
2.bulk and rebag used, most new stuff ain't worth the $
4.if you haven't used it for a year, sell it
6.carpool goods, services etc. if you can trade for it then why spend money?
8.Bargain bargain bargain! When you buy a car or are shopping at a garage sale, you expect to haggle. Most stores will to, as long as you talk to the right person.
and my most important rule is...ask! they can't say yes if you don't ask and the worst that will happen is they will say no.
Saving money is a 'lifestyle' for some. And I have to admit that at times we take it to the extreme but it has paid off big time for us, ecpecially with starting a new business.

Our best 'bargain' recently was on the lease to our shop. The lease was posted at $3000/month but with bargaining we got it at $2500/2 years abd the third year at $2750 with June, July and August RENT FREE!

June 28th, 2006, 10:41 PM
Yeah, you can negotiate in big appliance stores too. I got my $699 fridge for $629 and my $269 countertop dishwasher for $219... :thumbs up