Author Topic: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?  (Read 3507275 times)

Michael in ABQ

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12250 on: October 16, 2018, 06:02:48 AM »
Our toddler broke the glass on our patio door. The builder was nice enough to make it a non-standard size (off by about an inch) so instead of being $250 it was over $450. I asked if they would offer a discount if I paid in cash and they knocked $30 off the price. I'm trying to reach $3k in spend for a $500 CC bonus but the cash discount was much better than the CC rebate ($1k spend a month will be easy with normal expenses).

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12251 on: October 16, 2018, 07:34:42 AM »
-Was out of town all weekend, so didn't have meals prepped as usual. After a crazy day, followed by a cross country meet for the kids, bought a few things at Trader Joes, and made dinner for about $10 (includes at least one more meal of leftovers). Not as cheap as something I could have made, but got us through without takeout.
-Drove our electric car to cross country, which was over an hour's drive
-Husband & kids picked me up from the airport, vs me taking an Uber
-I packed lots of extra water for the cross country meet (it was 85+), and passed on an extra water to a friend, who was about to buy one.

MountainGal

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12252 on: October 16, 2018, 12:44:22 PM »
Everyone is doing really well!

Lately:
~DH and I went to the movies (a matinee-still $12 each!!!) for the first time in years.  He had a pass for a free ticket, so we just had to buy one.  We did splurge on popcorn, etc. though.  It sure isn't cheap!
~Cut the top 3/4 of my pump lotion bottle which lends itself to another 1.5 inches of product.
~Turned my make up base bottle upside down to use up as much as possible before opening the new one.
~Used water to delude the last of the Woolite Sunday.
~Saved 27% percent at the grocery store last night by shopping the sales, using paper and e-coupons.  Deals included 3 free products, BOGO vitamins and shrimp.
~Bought strawberries on sale last night to rinse and freeze for winter consumption.
~Keeping mindful of energy use, and the reduction in outdoor temperatures, dropped our bill down to $66 this month.
~Paid the insurance for my new car in full to save their little installment fees.
~Last week's Crock Pot chicken stock went into Sunday's cauliflower ham soup.
~Froze another cherry tomato harvest from the garden for this winter.
~Combined errands while in the big city to see family over the weekend.
~Per my spreadsheet, last night I spent the lowest on groceries since January.  (Pats self on back.)
~Saturday night's restaurant nachos turned into that night's meal plus two leftover snacks!
~Called the office landline to ask why the rate is up from what I was quoted a few months ago.  They said that quote didn't include taxes and fees, which they apparently aren't allowed to quote.  The rep credited our bill $20 for the next 12 months.
~Have been taking the usual coffee, snacks, and lunch to the office.  Currently eating the rest of last week's chicken, and just ate some chili I brought home from a local chili cook off.

FamilyGuy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12253 on: October 16, 2018, 01:15:58 PM »
Used K-cups (someone put that in office kitchen for free) instead of buying coffee in the cafe.

Sugaree

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12254 on: October 17, 2018, 10:32:51 AM »
I (finally) remembered to bring all the frozen lunches I made to work for lunch.  They're more expensive than PB&J or the cheapo frozen meals, but still cheaper than hitting the cafeteria or skipping lunch and then eating everything in sight while cooking dinner. 

I also fixed a rip in my jeans with my dollar store sewing kit.  Hopefully they'll last until I can find a suitable replacement at the thrift store. 


ETA:  And I found a promo code to save 25% on the heater core for DH's car.  And he gets to put it in so that will save about $500 in labor charges. 
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 11:54:10 AM by Sugaree »

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12255 on: October 17, 2018, 02:29:14 PM »
@MountainGal - how do you reheat nachos? Love them, but unclear how I could love them as a leftover. Do share tips!

Standard stuff for us:
-Leftovers for dinner
-Sorted our benefits for 2019
-Earned a $1K bonus for a really terrible, thankless project at work. Feel super happy it's over, and that my manager recognized my contribution
-Youngest son wants to join the middle school volleyball team. It's a reasonable time commitment, and about $100. Before he tries it, I offered to sign him up for a $25 clinic. If he doesn't like it, great, no fuss/no muss. If he does, he'll be better prepared for the season.

MountainGal

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12256 on: October 18, 2018, 08:44:06 AM »
@MaybeBabyMustache , I warm them up in the microwave.  True, the tortilla chips are a little soggy by the next day, but yay no food waste!

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12257 on: October 18, 2018, 09:06:18 AM »
- Bought a load of seasonal veggies for dinner today and tomorrow.
- Used odds and ends of several vegetables and cheese to make an omelette for lunch. Served it with toasted, stale bread
- Will make overnight oats for tomorrow's breakfast
- Am home alone over the weekend and plan to spend all of my time writing two papers, not going out to buy anything. At most I might watch Netflix under a blanket to relax at night.
- We're having an unusually warm autumn, so we still have not turned on the heating and don't expect to do so next week either.
- This means I can also still dry laundry outdoors! 

OtherJen

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12258 on: October 19, 2018, 02:08:25 PM »
I drove my parents to the county clerk to get notarized copies of their birth certificates. This saved them about $100, compared to the cost of ordering the same number of copies online.

While downtown, we managed to snag street parking for $2.50 rather than $10 for a parking garage. I also drove my tiny Prius rather than their big SUV.

Parents bought lunch as a thanks for driving, so yay, free lunch at a favorite restaurant (and leftovers for dinner)!

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12259 on: October 19, 2018, 07:47:36 PM »
* One of my Amazon listings sold, so $35 is headed straight to an investment account.

* Made dinner at home: challah and roast chicken.

* Harvested tangerines and thyme from the yard.

* Line-dried a couple of loads, saving about $0.50 in electricity costs.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12260 on: October 19, 2018, 09:28:07 PM »
-Met my husband for a free lunch at work,& lunch was fabulous
-Made a great pilaf, using celery that had been the fridge for a while. Bulked up the pilaf by adding extra carrots, and doubling the recipe for leftovers
-Used $14 of Rite Aid credit to buy an OTC medicine

Sugaree

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12261 on: October 20, 2018, 06:26:32 AM »
I'll be leaving shortly to go pick up a couple of free trees to plant in the yard.  I'm hoping to bring home a couple of Pawpaw trees (that's a fruit native to the southeastern US) and a couple of Magnolia trees. 

Linda_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12262 on: October 20, 2018, 10:05:35 AM »
I harpuned 2 fish and DH one fish. Together free protein ingredients for two meals.

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12263 on: October 20, 2018, 11:11:42 AM »
I bought some vegetables that were very cheap because they need to be eaten very quickly. I will stir fry them today and freeze them with rice so we have some quick healthy meals in the freezer.

I'm also doing some mending today and I still haven't turned on the heating. It's quite warm for October during the day, but the evenings get pretty chilly. I'd like to hold off until 1 November but I'm not sure if I can. Our normal target date is no heating before 1 October so we're doing better than ever anyway.

pressure9pa

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12264 on: October 20, 2018, 12:58:18 PM »
Set my dryer to "winter mode", where I run the exhaust pipe up the wall and out a vent to put the heat and humidity into the house.  I dry about 40% of the clothes that go through the washer. 

mountain mustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12265 on: October 20, 2018, 02:30:26 PM »
- having a "no spend" weekend, staying home and focusing on cleaning and resting
- also, doing an inventory of my chest freezer, to plan meals around all of the food I've been stocking up over the summer

Sugaree

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12266 on: October 20, 2018, 02:38:07 PM »
Set my dryer to "winter mode", where I run the exhaust pipe up the wall and out a vent to put the heat and humidity into the house.  I dry about 40% of the clothes that go through the washer.

May I ask how you keep from blowing lint all over everything?

pressure9pa

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12267 on: October 20, 2018, 03:35:35 PM »
Set my dryer to "winter mode", where I run the exhaust pipe up the wall and out a vent to put the heat and humidity into the house.  I dry about 40% of the clothes that go through the washer.

May I ask how you keep from blowing lint all over everything?

This isn't exactly the same model I have, but similar to this.  The screen is easily removed and picked clean like a regular washer's lint screen.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Deflect-o-Extra-Heat-Dryer-Heat-Diverter-EX12/100167911

Some versions also vent through water that you replace very so often. 


MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12268 on: October 20, 2018, 04:15:58 PM »
I harpuned 2 fish and DH one fish. Together free protein ingredients for two meals.

Pretty sure you win!

-Made a menu plan & (mostly) shopped from the list. I've also acknowledged that our 11 & 12 year olds are eating way more, and given our schedules (I cook only on weekends, & we eat leftovers during the work week), we're running out earlier in the week. We've pretty much exhausted all freezer options, so today I bought a few convenience foods that can be pulled out to round out leftovers or other dinners: ravioli, potstickers, empanadas, baked chicken, etc.
-Drove our electric car all over for errands. Will charge for free on Monday
-Went through the kids closets & found a few things they've overgrown that I can sell

OtherJen

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12269 on: October 20, 2018, 06:37:00 PM »
After finishing the ďCastle RockĒ TV series, I wanted to read some of Stephen Kingís work (Iím a fan, but itís been a few years). Our local library branch isnít super well stocked, so I was pleasantly surprised to find three full shelves of his novels. I havenít read Dolores Claiborne since high school (~25 years). Iím excited to reread it this week and didnít have to pay a cent for the privilege.

The library branch also has several seasons of ďSuitsĒ on DVD. Iíll have to place a hold on Season 1. Iíve been wanting to watch that show for a while.

Mrs.Piano

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12270 on: October 21, 2018, 09:15:11 AM »
- Cut down some pesky bushes with a tree saw rather than hiring someone to do so. My first time using a tree saw! Felt very Mustachian throughout.

- Made arrangements with a lady from our mosque to pick up large load of fabric and household goods she received in her motherís downsizing. Will sort through this afternoon and share with another mosque member plus some refugee families. 

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12271 on: October 21, 2018, 12:14:06 PM »
Somehow, all food related.

-Prepped four batches of taco meat for the freezer. Bonus points for running out of taco seasoning, & making more from various spices around the house
-Shredded a brick of romano cheese, for the freezer. We freeze in ziplock size portions & take out when we're running low.
-The kids made us a cake for our anniversary yesterday, and we ran out of powdered sugar. Made more in the blender.
-Froze leftovers from last night's dinner. Will make at least 4 dinner's worth. It was also delicious!
-Rather than going out for dinner for our anniversary, the kids opted to make us a cake (absolutely amazing - from scratch!) & we opened a bottle of nice champagne & made dinner together. It was one of my favorite anniversaries ever. Lots of laughing with the cake creation.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12272 on: October 21, 2018, 12:32:22 PM »
Went for a walk with two friends instead of going out for a drink. Money saved + an hour of ourside air and 'exercise'.

Rosy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12273 on: October 21, 2018, 02:28:22 PM »
Reading online, sci-fi - amazon freebie book - fun read

Batch cooked soup - came out fabulous. Freshly chopped leeks, fresh carrots, potatoes and a can of creamed corn, added some fried bacon pieces for flavor.
Simmered a batch of sliced apples - to go with oatmeal in the morning, for dessert with ice cream and for apple pancakes. Mr. R. helped with my little apple cutting tool since I don't have enough strength to use it anymore - I hate that, but it was nice to hang out in the kitchen together.
Fixed country style ribs yesterday, to eat with fresh steamed corn on the cob and maybe some of those apples later today.
Mr. R. will have plenty of good stuff for lunches this week and less cooking this week for me.

Line dried yesterday and today.
Found a coupon for my eye drops online $3.


OK

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12274 on: October 21, 2018, 02:39:30 PM »
* went through a cookbook on loan from the library and copied out a few recipes by hand rather than making copies
* line dried one laundry load
* told my daughter that I am not buying any new Halloween costumes, she can chose one from the outfits we still have from the last years

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12275 on: October 21, 2018, 09:07:41 PM »
* Saved pretty fabric ribbons that came with some new pillows for guests. I'll use them for gift wrap at the holidays.

* Tangerine harvest

* Put some used cardboard moving boxes on the sideyard as the first layer of a lasagna mulch

* Accepted a gently used boys' bike from a mom friend--her son has grown out of it and my son will move up to it shortly.

Lazyretirementgirl

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12276 on: October 21, 2018, 10:58:03 PM »
Bought a few bottles of black dye and dyed my work pants.  They are in decent condition just faded.  This will easily get me another year without buying new ones.  Only draw back is my hand now has a black cast to it from making sure the fabric was all under water.  Next time Iíll make sure I have an old paint stick on hand for that.
[/quote
 Could you explain exactly what you did? I have the same problem, but am daunted.

Linda_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12277 on: October 22, 2018, 02:03:53 AM »
Walked to work and will walk back in the afternoon.

Tomorrow I will borrow the free hanger at work to take home and collect some large garbage stuff at home. The day after I will drive it to the free community garbage point, on my way to work. A few kms extra driving, but not enormous.
Nice to have access to a free hanger that doesn't need to be stored at your house.

Sugaree

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12278 on: October 22, 2018, 06:28:07 AM »
I cancelled my Dollar Shave Club subscription.  We probably have 30 cartridges that have never been used and when we finally work through those, I'll just order some more from Amazon.

JanetJackson

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12279 on: October 22, 2018, 06:57:00 AM »
Prepped my big dollar tree pitcher of cold brew Aldi espresso before work to fuel me this week.

I throw it into a mesh tube, slide a nut milk bag over the open end, pour water over it, let it brew for about 24-48 hrs and then I have a whole pitcher of very strong, not bitter, cheap coffee (I use espresso- cafť bustelo) for the week.

I finished my last pitcher yesterday, was too dang lazy to make a new one yesterday, but drank my last cup this morning... sooo... I had to take the 7 minutes or whatever (oh the humanity! Lol) to make a new pitcher this morning before work.

I really didn't want to do it, but hey... it's done!  And sitting in my fridge brewing for me to have tomorrow. 
YUM.

Mrs.Piano

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12280 on: October 22, 2018, 09:46:21 AM »
I helped a friend clear out her motherís house yesterday, and came away with some items we had been needing but were too Mustachian to buy. Specifically, we had been using indoor folding chairs on the front porch because we didnít have any free/thrifted chairs. We got two platstic chairs from the lady. Further, I had been vaguely planning to make a clothespin bag to hang on the line, and also a cutlery roll to carry with us when eating out, and both of these things were included! Finally, I got some supplies for my textile hobby which saved me a few hundred bucks.

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12281 on: October 22, 2018, 09:53:22 AM »
I need to buy a textbook that costs Ä36 new. I'm a  tax law student so it's often difficult to find used books, as there are new editions every year. But this particular book I've found second hand for Ä28 incl shipping, and it's completely new, still in plastic.

Not massive savings, but still, Ä8 less for exactly the same item is a good deal.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12282 on: October 22, 2018, 11:12:27 PM »
I'm taking a few months off to sort out some health issues after losing my job this summer, and I realized last week that my income will (barring any big surprises) be low enough to contribute to an IRA (and get the deduction) in addition to the 401k contributions I had earlier in the year. So today I moved $5500 from my taxable savings to the IRA. It's possible I'll end up getting the saver's credit as well with this additional contribution, but it's hard to say with the new tax system exactly where I'll end up there. Four figures worth of tax savings!

Also didn't spend any money yesterday or today, and did a bunch of batch cooking with on-sale chicken and a big pile of healthy vegetables. Now I have healthy food for the week and no temptation to eat out or order in.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12283 on: October 23, 2018, 03:44:49 AM »
Resisted buying coffee when walking to work this morning.

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12284 on: October 23, 2018, 06:08:20 AM »
Resisted buying coffee when walking to work this morning.

You've mentioned this before I think? Don't you have nice coffee at home to take with you, or don't you have time to make fresh coffee in morning?

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12285 on: October 23, 2018, 06:46:57 AM »
Resisted buying coffee when walking to work this morning.

You've mentioned this before I think? Don't you have nice coffee at home to take with you, or don't you have time to make fresh coffee in morning?

Yes, normally I do make my own but this morning I went to work earlier than normal so didn't have a lot of time and got tempted. This happens occasionally :). I'm also out of nice coffee actually so that doesn't help either (haven't been making any on most days tbh).

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12286 on: October 23, 2018, 09:06:09 AM »
Nice work @Dollar Slice ! That's a big tax savings

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12287 on: October 23, 2018, 09:52:54 AM »
@Hirondelle I don't know how it works exactly, but I know a friend of mine gets up at 5.30 and has a coffee machine with a timer. He sets the timer at the same time as his alarm in the morning and by the time he's washed and dressed there's fresh coffee for breakfast and to go.

I only get coffee from AH a few times a year when I take very long train trips (to your city, for example). I try to make sure I don't have enough time in the morning to visit a shop at the station, because the smells from the shops are always tempting.

Rosy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12288 on: October 23, 2018, 10:05:58 AM »
I second the "set the time" recommendation for the coffee maker. But maybe you use K-cups or a manual pour-over method?

Small savings - I just got credited $5 for changing to online statement instead of mail. Yeah, well, I'm old school, but I think this was the last one.

Sugaree

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12289 on: October 23, 2018, 10:45:33 AM »
I didn't realize how much I liked my programmable coffee maker until it got packed into a box of kitchen stuff that has gone missing.  I have a manual one now that I have hooked up to a smart switch.  I can have it on a timer for the weekdays or I can ask Alexa to start making it on the weekends.  More importantly, it is programmed to turn off after a couple of hours in case I forget.

MountainGal

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12290 on: October 23, 2018, 01:16:49 PM »
I use a reusable cup in my free, hand me down Keurig and use coffee purchased at Sam's Club in it.  I love it compared to a "traditional" pot since it's just me who usually drinks it.

@Dollar Slice , I hope things work out for you health wise.

Lately:
~Used our $12.28 Savings Catcher this morning at Wal Mart.  I also used 2 paper coupons totaling $3.25

~Returned some past it's best by date (by 3 weeks!) lamb I just purchased last week to the grocery store for a $10+ refund.  Got a free Friday download candy bar while there.  Have been craving chocolate, and this saved me about $1.

~Continuing to use up leftovers to save on food waste.  My lunch just consisted of leftover beef sausage, the last homemade flax seed muffin, and a few slices of pepperoni.

~DH and I will propose to my family we don't do Christmas stocking stuffers this year.  He is still so over "stuff" after last year's move, and I have been focusing on ridding of "stuff" from our home, so why add more?

~According to my spreadsheet, I've saved nearly $1,000 by shopping sale items, and using paper and e-coupons so far this year.

Prairie Stash

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12291 on: October 23, 2018, 03:44:59 PM »
@MaybeBabyMustache , I warm them up in the microwave.  True, the tortilla chips are a little soggy by the next day, but yay no food waste!
Toaster oven or regular oven for 5 minutes. Its also the way to crisp up stale chips. 5 minutes in the oven, back to being delicious. Ditto with fries, pretty much anything soggy in the microwave just needs a few minutes in the oven.

I purchased 10 taco kits (3 weeks back) at $0.49 apiece for the spice inside, regular price of the spice is $0.99. They were on clearance because the torillas get stale...unless you know how to refresh them.
https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/freshen-stale-tortilla-chips-recipes-article

middo

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12292 on: October 23, 2018, 04:27:29 PM »
Convinced my wife we should both catch the train to work, since she is one stop further down the line than I am.  We really enjoyed chatting, reading, and she did a little work.  We brought our coffee's from home.  It felt a little like we weren't really going to work, but were on a picnic.

I will spoil her with a hot tea in the keep-cups on the way home tonight.

Unique User

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12293 on: October 23, 2018, 05:13:09 PM »
DH had three food shows in the last couple weeks for work all with low turnout, probably due to hurricanes.  He never knows in advance what the turnout will be so didn't lower food amounts.  Most of the other vendors will throw food away, but he always brings it home so we have had tons of prepared food in the fridge and freezer lately - lots of salad fixings, sloppy joes, mini meatloaves, jerk pork, buffalo chicken, pimento cheese.  I'm on a mission to use it all up quickly so lots of dinners lately for under $1.  Today was chili made from sloppy joe mix, tomatoes, pinto beans and an onion served with salad.  Less than $1 for the onion; tomatoes and pinto beans were coupon freebies. I'm spending maybe $25-$30 a week on produce and other necessities, not sure how long I can keep it up, but I'll take it. 

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12294 on: October 23, 2018, 08:17:12 PM »
Thanks for the nacho tips. YUM!

We did the normal free lunches at work, leftovers for dinner thing. I also received a Costco recall for an item we had, and we got $50+ back. Wow!

When I was putting some oven mitts that don't fit me into our donation bin, I noticed my husband had added a hoodie that had shrunk. It was too small for him, but fits me perfectly. I'm thrilled. I've been looking for a good "around the house" hoodie as the temperatures drop. No need to buy one!

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12295 on: October 24, 2018, 12:13:46 AM »
I have two (thrifted) crockpots going at once—one turning a roast chicken carcass into bone broth and one preparing overnight groats with chia seeds.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12296 on: October 24, 2018, 01:14:32 AM »
@Hirondelle I don't know how it works exactly, but I know a friend of mine gets up at 5.30 and has a coffee machine with a timer. He sets the timer at the same time as his alarm in the morning and by the time he's washed and dressed there's fresh coffee for breakfast and to go.

I only get coffee from AH a few times a year when I take very long train trips (to your city, for example). I try to make sure I don't have enough time in the morning to visit a shop at the station, because the smells from the shops are always tempting.

You actually motivated me to get to my not-so-good coffee (it was a gift of a friend) and find a way to make it more bearable! I don't have/use a coffee machine but I usually drink Vietnamese iced coffee and make it the 'original' way.

I have the same weakness with with the station coffee, especially if I have to wait on a cold station for the next train. When I visit my parents (2.5h train ride, once a month) I usually allow myself to spend the 1 euro to buy a AH coffee. The coffees bought occasionally on the way to work are btw also AH ones (I walk to work and pass one on the way) so they're not that much of a budget-burden ;).

Linda_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12297 on: October 24, 2018, 01:55:01 AM »
@Hirondelle I don't know how it works exactly, but I know a friend of mine gets up at 5.30 and has a coffee machine with a timer. He sets the timer at the same time as his alarm in the morning and by the time he's washed and dressed there's fresh coffee for breakfast and to go.

I only get coffee from AH a few times a year when I take very long train trips (to your city, for example). I try to make sure I don't have enough time in the morning to visit a shop at the station, because the smells from the shops are always tempting.

You actually motivated me to get to my not-so-good coffee (it was a gift of a friend) and find a way to make it more bearable! I don't have/use a coffee machine but I usually drink Vietnamese iced coffee and make it the 'original' way.

I have the same weakness with with the station coffee, especially if I have to wait on a cold station for the next train. When I visit my parents (2.5h train ride, once a month) I usually allow myself to spend the 1 euro to buy a AH coffee. The coffees bought occasionally on the way to work are btw also AH ones (I walk to work and pass one on the way) so they're not that much of a budget-burden ;).

On a train your can bring coffee in a thermo bottle.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12298 on: October 24, 2018, 07:36:40 AM »
Recently I have stopped buying cream of mushroom soup as a sauce.  So many frugal home-cooked "Mom" recipes require that pantry staple for casseroles and such.  The price of this item has really gone up and it is easily $1.58 on the grocery shelf and closer to $1 per can at Costco. 

On a whim I decided to make my own with a simple white sauce and reconstituted mushrooms.  When I buy Costco mushrooms I usually can't finish the whole package fresh and end up slicing them and dehydrating them so there is lots on hand, they don't suffer much flavor and texture when used in cooking (and compared to canned they are a delight).  I have Costco cheap half-and-half on hand for my morning coffee all the time anyway.

Simple recipe:
Place a big handful of dried mushrooms in a cup of hot tap water; they will reconstitute in about 3 minutes. While doing so, melt 1/3c butter in a sauce pan on medium heat.  Add 1/4c flour and stir to cook out the raw flour flavor, then add a splash of half-and-half and whisk till smooth.  Continue to add more half-and-half slowly till the mixture looks like a condensed soup, which will happen quickly as the sauce boils.  Pull from the heat and add the mushrooms, reserving the liquid for now.  As needed you can add the mushroom liquid to loosen the sauce further from this point.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  All of the ingredients can be adjusted easily by volume and depending on your preferences, it is hard to screw this up as long as you don't scorch it.  It takes less than 5 minutes.  This works perfectly as a substitute for good old cream-o-mush, plus it has the benefits in that I know exactly what is in it. 

The cost is just pennies with the butter being the most expensive item at about 40 cents. All in, the cost is maybe 50 cents for a volume of what would be 2 cans of the condensed soup, saving about $2.50 and providing a wholesome, non-processed food. 

I may buy a bunch of the actual soup again for the bunker if the price gets down to 59 cents a can on some loss-leader Thanksgiving sale but otherwise I don't see myself ever worrying about having it around for weekday meals.     

Kitsune

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12299 on: October 24, 2018, 01:08:13 PM »
@MissNancyPryor - if you have dried mushrooms on hand that you're re-constituting, the broth from that makes the VERY BEST risotto base. SO flavorful.