Author Topic: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?  (Read 1918799 times)

horsepoor

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9100 on: May 17, 2017, 05:17:23 PM »
Packed food for an overnight trip I'm taking tomorrow.  Jar salads, one topped with tuna and one with hard boiled egg, yogurt with nuts and homemade fig jam for breakfast on the road, and a couple pieces of fruit.  I'll be sociable at night and go out for dinner with the group and still pocket 80% of my per diem.

Dug up a couple containers of horse antibiotics leftover from last fall rather than paying for another Rx for my horse's latest malady.

Teleworked, and exercised in the basement, so no gas used today.

Made a frugal dinner using home-canned/grown stuff, dried beans, and some pork belly that's been in the freezer too long

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9101 on: May 17, 2017, 06:11:39 PM »
Rode my bike to the store (to get cold meds for hubby, poor guy), so no gas used by me today.

Ate leftovers and doing a 'pantry meal' (tuna cakes topped with sambal oelek) to put off grocery shopping another day.
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tyort1

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9102 on: May 17, 2017, 06:58:08 PM »
Got a "Paleo Perfected" cookbook from the library. I can't do gluten or dairy (allergies), so it'll help with recipes that I can actually eat.
Frugalite in training.

Fishindude

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9103 on: May 18, 2017, 08:36:03 AM »
I use a lot of ice.   
Our refrigerator in the house has an ice maker that's running all the time anyway, so we bag that ice up in grocery bags and stick in the deep freeze for use later.  We also freeze milk jugs in the deep freezer for cooler ice.  Just take a frozen milk jug and bust it up with a hammer, then chop open with a hatchet and put that in your coolers for drinks, fish, etc.  This stuff outlasts bagged ice double since it's in bigger chunks.   Leave the jugs intact and stick them in a cooler with food and things you don't want getting all wet, refreeze and use over & over.

Keeping frozen jugs in the deep freezer also keeps the temp down so it doesn't have to run as much.

bigalsmith101

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9104 on: May 18, 2017, 01:04:44 PM »
I use a lot of ice.   
Our refrigerator in the house has an ice maker that's running all the time anyway, so we bag that ice up in grocery bags and stick in the deep freeze for use later.  We also freeze milk jugs in the deep freezer for cooler ice.  Just take a frozen milk jug and bust it up with a hammer, then chop open with a hatchet and put that in your coolers for drinks, fish, etc.  This stuff outlasts bagged ice double since it's in bigger chunks.   Leave the jugs intact and stick them in a cooler with food and things you don't want getting all wet, refreeze and use over & over.

Keeping frozen jugs in the deep freezer also keeps the temp down so it doesn't have to run as much.

My mom and dad road trip a LOT. 3-6 weeks at at time in their Ford Transit Van. 32oz gatorade bottles, filled 85% with water and frozen, serves as block ice that can be re-frozen. I've used this plenty of times will fishing as well. My buddy even went as far as filling 36 mini 8oz water bottles and using then as mini block ice for fishing trips.
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Nangirl17

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9105 on: May 18, 2017, 01:06:31 PM »
Today, I put my tax refund into a 'couch potato portfolio" using ETFs with Questrade, instead of the super-expensive MER Mutual Funds that I've heretofore purchased. Hopefully I'll never buy expensive mutual funds again!!

(and thanks to everyone here who helped me see the light!)
 

Jaayse

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9106 on: May 18, 2017, 08:01:44 PM »
Today, although I have to stay at work for a full 24 hours, I brought enough food to last me through all three meals.  This is the first time I have done this since my job provides breakfast, lunch and dinner on location for a price around $3-4 a meal.  As a bonus, I brought some soup that had been sitting in my cupboard for years to use it up (and because I'm sick with a cold).
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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9107 on: May 18, 2017, 08:05:18 PM »
After getting a whole host of "Pull over immediately" dash lights on my car, I was able to figure it out myself instead of taking it to a shop. Saved myself a lot of money right there.

Better Late

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9108 on: May 18, 2017, 08:23:31 PM »
I returned a lipstick to the store. It was nice, but not perfect.  In the past I would have just stuck it in a drawer thinking I might wear it someday. These days i want the perfect essentials and no more makeup clutter.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9109 on: May 19, 2017, 02:28:48 AM »
Some nice freebies at work today.

A company sent my boss some goodies in a really nice gift bag, so I claimed that before she tossed it.

And I ended up bringing home about six dessert portions. The tarts and slices that didn't contain cream went straight into the freezer.

Small things, but that's what this thread is all about.

Linda_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9110 on: May 19, 2017, 02:55:10 AM »
Walked to work and will walk back in the afternoon. Last night I picked some edible mushrooms near my house (morels). Bringing own lunch to work, as usual.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9111 on: May 19, 2017, 07:28:17 AM »
Husband brought home some awesome conference swag: a tiny bluetooth speaker and a drink mug. Both seem really high quality- the BT speaker can really get great volume, and the mug I filled with coffee yesterday morning, then went to costco, and when I came home it was still too hot to drink. (Vacuum space, double walled, copper, etc awesomeness). AND those were the only 2 things he brought back, so no decluttering needed. They both have "homes" already.

Worked on the garden (hoping this saves money long run, otherwise, pretty cheap hobby cost!).

Did usual stuff, too: cut husband's hair, gave dog a bath and dremel'd her nails, etc.

My goal of only using the truck for outdoors trips is going well. Husband and I stagger on-site work days for dog care and car use. Works out the majority of the time, and he can carpool sometimes when it doesn't. Means we're always driving the 40+ mpg car, not the 17-22 mpg truck (even lower in town).
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Trudie

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9112 on: May 19, 2017, 03:23:51 PM »
I'm a big library user, and frequently get books on interlibrary loan.  I started using the public library in the little town where I work, rather than the one where I live.  The one close to work only charges $1.50 per loaned item, rather than $2.00!  Small potatoes, but I like giving them my money, it's much more convenient because I can go during the day, and I like the fact that I'm helping this little rural library with their statistics.  They did a fundraising drive a few years back and renovated their library.  It really is a pleasant place to sit and I feel good giving them my "business."

bb11

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9113 on: May 19, 2017, 08:09:20 PM »
Walked to work and ran home after work (3.6 miles each way) when my transit card had yet to come in earlier this week for my internship.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9114 on: May 19, 2017, 08:14:36 PM »
Still plugging away at usual things. Reading a book from the library, made our own ghee instead of buying, made part of our dog's food (we mix with a canned food), repacked bulk costco purchases like 25lbs of rice.

Also a new thing I'm hoping will become long term habit: rode our bikes for a big grocery trip.

BIL came over and used our home gym. Talked to him about getting a used bike instead of new, and how to look for them, since he was talking about buying a bike. Slowly, we will lure him into MMM.

Gifted an item through Buy Nothing. Less direct to save money, but: it saves space in our goodwill box, and it keeps my local BNP active, which is a struggle, but from which I save. (Ex, got some free plants this year).
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geekette

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9115 on: May 20, 2017, 09:47:22 AM »
Our internet bill went from $35/month to $42/month, so I called and asked if it could be lowered.  And they did!  Right back down to $35/month. 

tyort1

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9116 on: May 20, 2017, 12:51:36 PM »
We had a bad hail storm here in Denver.  Tail light housing on my car got damaged.  I ordered the replacement from Amazon for $54 dollars and fixed it myself. 

Not only that, but I have an Amazon Visa that gives me points.  And I had $50 worth of points.  So total cost to me was $4. 
Frugalite in training.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9117 on: May 20, 2017, 05:34:38 PM »
* Harvested a zuke from the garden, sauteed it and enjoyed it for lunch with a little olive tapenade.
* Made my mom's beer bread recipe to use up a can of very old beer.
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9118 on: May 20, 2017, 06:16:35 PM »
Completed the online cashback form for my eTag. $25 refund coming my way.

Wrapped three gifts using proper ribbon (saved from a gift I received), wrapping paper (20c a roll from post-Christmas sales in 2013, plain paper), a gift bag (saved from work, as above), and two 80 cent cards from my card box.

marielle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9119 on: May 20, 2017, 06:23:01 PM »
Road my bike to volunteering. No driving today.

Bought 1 lb of pasta for $0.72. I always check the clearance section.

Step37

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9120 on: May 20, 2017, 10:48:29 PM »
My awesome husband cleared the clogged drain in the bathroom. This saved the cost of a plumber, and then the power drain auger we rented from Home Depot (last four hours of the day and return by 9 a.m.) ended up being FREE instead of $50. Free because it was sort of broken (the rotating aspect of it didn't function) -- still got the job done, but made it quite a lot harder. Oh well, free is good and a big, yucky job is checked off the list!

I also ticked the last box on a promotion at my gym where if you do a number of things (post to social media, bring a friend, etc.) you get $100 of their merchandise. I wouldn't normally buy it, so not exactly "saving," but it's nice gym clothing that I will use so I am pleased about it.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 06:44:52 PM by Step37 »
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Erma

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9121 on: May 21, 2017, 08:44:51 AM »
Paid two bills in advance to avoid the credit card fees (which are illegal here since 2015, but they still charge them). Also ordered a blood pressure device with a coupon I won.

Sydneystache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9122 on: May 21, 2017, 08:52:39 AM »
Finally opened my big jar of organic (is there any other?) coconut oil (best before 2015!) and used a spoonful to polish a wooden game board. Awesome polish and the wood shone. Used leftovers on a leather cushion. Was using beeswax before on wood and leather but this might be my winter polish choice.

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9123 on: May 22, 2017, 07:24:28 AM »
I told my husband that all I wanted for Mother's Day was for him to remove a dead tree in our back yard.  He couldn't do it on Mother's Day weekend because it was raining and we had to visit our own moms, but while we were visiting my mother I asked for my dad's old chainsaw, which she has no use for.  Yesterday the tree came down!  It was thin (about 7" diameter) but very tall. Would have cost at least $300 to get done around here as nobody moves for less.

It was also free entertainment for the boys.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9124 on: May 22, 2017, 07:45:23 AM »
-Straw mulched the garden. This will conserve water, and hopefully cut down on slug incursion. We also gave some of the straw to a neighbor who also gardens, thus engendering more goodwill. When he came over to pick up the straw, we talked about taking down some arbor vitae, and he offered his trimmers and chainsaw, which we don't have. Score. Good neighbors and friends- the classic way to save money =)

-Bought an electric lawnmower. That's not the savings part, but our reel mower wasn't working anymore, the grass grows way too quickly for us to keep up, and a lot of tall stalks and weeds were making a break for it. ANYWAY, the purchase was decided on. How we saved money was, the box they had out was super crunched up in the corner. An employee, who clearly is one foot out the door, told us to take the ugly one (there's tons of packaging inside) and see if they would give us money off. Apparently all Home Depot checkers have the authority to give up to $50 per customer. Lo an behold, we went up and asked, and she gave us 15% off, or $46.

-Second area of savings on that- we also want the string trimmer/edger that uses the same battery. In store, they carried them that came with a battery of their own, but online you can order one without the battery. Since a battery already came with the mower, we're going to order the trimmer online, so that's about $60 less than getting the second battery. (We mowed first- takes less than half the battery, and that was with cutting a TON of height down, so one battery should be plenty for front, back, and edging!)

-Took photos of the reel mower and will list in on CL. We paid $50 for it there in the first place, so hoping to recoup at least that cost. Guy had a ton of asks on it, we were just first, so I may be able to sell it for more than we bought it for.
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Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9125 on: May 22, 2017, 09:26:48 AM »
Sold a bike on Craigs List for $130.  I've got one more already listed that needs to sell. 

Mulched the garden using leaves and grass clippings I save up in my leaf bin.

 

Daisy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9126 on: May 22, 2017, 05:05:03 PM »
Doctor is 4 miles away. Took an Uber there and then walked home. I visited some ex neighbors along the way. It was a beautiful and hot day in South Florida!

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9127 on: May 23, 2017, 02:20:33 AM »
Started using a few basic hypermiling techniques (minimize braking, coast down long hills, use gears instead of brakes on shorter downhills, turn engine off at long red lights). Calculated that I am getting 3 more MPG driving the car this way.   

marielle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9128 on: May 23, 2017, 05:56:19 AM »
Started using a few basic hypermiling techniques (minimize braking, coast down long hills, use gears instead of brakes on shorter downhills, turn engine off at long red lights). Calculated that I am getting 3 more MPG driving the car this way.

I thought it was better to accelerate downhill and coast uphill. Of course you may have to break the speed limit doing this...

alewpanda

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9129 on: May 23, 2017, 11:26:08 AM »
Ate free homemade cinnamon rolls at work yesterday since we had just returned from a trip the night before and had no lunch stuff to pack.  Husband scheduled a work trip for Monday so that his lunch would be paid for by his job.

Decluttering and selling misc books and such on ebay/facebook sites.  Making plans to sell the house sometime this coming year, so we are starting the process of cleaning out/repairing/updating.

Transitioning my dog to ACV for her incontinence.  Wasn't sure it would do the same thing as the herbal/probiotic stuff she was taking, but several spoonfuls twice a day in her food actually seems to be doing better for her...and its waaaay cheaper.  And no hormone therapy....yay!

Planning another rummage sale with friends at the end of July.  Hoping to have a bunch more stuff set aside.  i had my doubts, but I managed to make 74.00 off of the last one...

Brought lunch and coffee from home.

EDIT: to say that I needed by buy allergy eye drops the other day, and I had a 1.00 off coupon from the last box.  When I picked up the drops, they were on sale for another 1.00 off, so I got to stack the coupon and sale :)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 11:28:17 AM by alewpanda »

1967mama

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9130 on: May 23, 2017, 04:10:10 PM »
*leftovers for lunch
*didn't stop for cold drinks even though son and I wanted to
*returned bag of library books and DVDs on time

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9131 on: May 23, 2017, 10:02:03 PM »
-I had the commuter car, so husband biked an errand rather than using the fuel-inefficient truck.

-Patient's family was gifted WAY too much bread from a local company, they couldn't even fit anymore in their freezer, so they sent me home with a TWO pound loaf. Yum. Fancy artisanal local stuff, this loaf runs ~$8-9. It'll be quite a treat.

-Experimenting with different watering patterns in my garden to try and minimize water usage while still being effective.
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Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9132 on: May 24, 2017, 04:43:47 AM »
Started using a few basic hypermiling techniques (minimize braking, coast down long hills, use gears instead of brakes on shorter downhills, turn engine off at long red lights). Calculated that I am getting 3 more MPG driving the car this way.

I thought it was better to accelerate downhill and coast uphill. Of course you may have to break the speed limit doing this...

I'm new to this, but from reading the MMM hypermiling post and a couple other things, I think the most gains come from coasting down the hill and then going as far up the next hill as you can on your momentum before having to touch the gas again.  Dependiing on the hill, passive rolling can be very fast -- I frequently go over the speed limit just coasting downhill in neutral. 

Inflated my tires yesterday to near max, and added another 1.5 MPG. I calculate that just these minor changes I've made are saving $12 per month in gas. 

Linda_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9133 on: May 24, 2017, 05:06:35 AM »
Walked to work again, in shorts this time. :-)
And of course I ate homemade lunch at work and a free banana provided by my boss.

1967mama

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9134 on: May 24, 2017, 11:15:03 AM »
Had an inexplicable desire for a McDonald's Egg McMuffin this morning - instead I drove right on by and came home to cook up these beauties!


Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9135 on: May 24, 2017, 12:45:23 PM »
Is that cheddar? Yummmmm. 

1967mama

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9136 on: May 24, 2017, 01:18:15 PM »
Yes, old cheddar!

Trudie

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9137 on: May 24, 2017, 02:15:24 PM »
Ran on the indoor track at my husband's work (a college) this morning.  Workout facilities are free.  Then showered in their locker room at work.

However, couldn't make breakfast at home afterward (needed to get to work) so had McDonald's breakfast burrito for $1.50.

Packed my lunch -- egg salad made with .40/dozen eggs at Aldi.  (Should have bought more.)

Jaayse

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9138 on: May 24, 2017, 04:14:20 PM »
Today I fixed my garbage disposal that wasn't working (first it was humming but not rotating, then it didn't work at all) by rotating the unit's blades with a hex wrench to unstick them and then pressing the red trip button under the unit that had auto-shut off the motor. 

I also talked to the associates at home depot when I went there to buy a new water filter for my refrigerator and got them to match a filter price on amazon for $10 less than the price at their store and then got an extra 10% off with my military discount so it was the best price!
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9139 on: May 25, 2017, 03:10:24 AM »
Got my annual "please come back, it will be different this time!" email from Priceline, with a $10 voucher to tempt me back into the store.

My shampoo was getting low, so I bought an $11 bottle for $1. Win!

marielle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9140 on: May 25, 2017, 01:36:40 PM »
Got a new dash cam and the sd card I bought does not work with it. Went to return it on eBay and I immediately got a refund on the next page, no questions asked!

Good News! For being a regular buyer on eBay and a valued customer, we've issued a $14.99 refund to your PayPal account, and you get to keep the item too.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9141 on: May 25, 2017, 09:09:48 PM »
I went on a grueling day trip today - a 14-hour day to attend a 2.5 hour meeting - and managed to keep my food/drink costs to about $10 or $12. Brought food and water from home for lunch/snacks on the way there, and found a Walgreens in the train station on the way home to buy a little pack of cheese and crackers and a cold drink. Did not have any alcohol with co-workers (I think between the two of them they bought ~16 overpriced drinks on the train and in the train station and they were drunk enough by the time we arrived that they decided to head out to a bar for "one last drink" at 10PM...)
...it's not at all alarming that people have started quoting me in their siggy lines.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9142 on: May 25, 2017, 11:52:49 PM »
Found Roma tomatoes marked down to .33 a pound. Processing them now into tomato sauce using quart jars purchased for cheap at an estate sale and an OXO food mill that was offered for free via Buy Nothing.
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

1967mama

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9143 on: May 26, 2017, 12:59:48 AM »
Two weeks ago, my beloved rice cooker broke. I stood strong and didn't run out to buy a new one but instead ... gasp ... I made rice on the cooktop! As time passed, I kept thinking about getting a new rice cooker and then today ... BOOM ... it struck me! Make rice in my InstantPot. I googled around for a recipe and we had wonderful rice in my new InstantPot rice cooker!

frooglepoodle

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9144 on: May 26, 2017, 06:16:28 AM »
I'm spending the day cleaning the house and making food/packing snacks for a road trip this weekend. While I'm at it, I'll make sure we have something ready to go for dinner on Monday evening when we get back.

Our toddler is about to outgrow his 2T clothes. We were super fortunate to receive a bunch of 3T hand-me-downs from a neighbor, which I inventoried and packed up last fall. I found a lot 15 items that almost perfectly filled in the gaps for $28 online, and I'll let the grandparents buy the new sandals and shoes he'll need soon for his birthday next month.

alewpanda

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9145 on: May 26, 2017, 08:46:24 PM »
It didn't feel little, but I believe I saved myself about 223.00 today with some willingness and lots of physical work on a ladder....

We are getting our house ready to list and almost all of the lights needed updating.  We are hoping to stage the house ourselves, so we figure some investment now will serve us well in getting our house sold quickly.  We were ready to bite the bullet and spend close to 335.00 on new lighting, but I wished there was another way.  Several of our lights are simple gold lights that are in good condition, but bright gold.  I went to Lowes and found some heat-resistant, matte black paint and a small brush.  Without taking it down, I tried out the paint on one of the fixtures.  After a few coats of paint and a new globe, the light was indistinguishable from current lights on apartment therapy!  Hours later, half the can of paint, several brushes, and lots of up and down, bending, and craning of the neck, I managed to repaint all but 1 of the lights we were planning to replace!  Pending a few more globes, the lights look awesome -- like the matte black metal ones that are all the rage right now.  I'm a little stiff, and I will still be replacing the kitchen one entirely (too ugly to be salvaged!), but the price difference is easily 223.00, even after the new globes, paint, and brushes...

Now I wonder if I can hack some new looking interior doors somehow.....?


1967mama

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9146 on: May 27, 2017, 01:07:19 AM »
alewpanda! This is super impressive!

1967mama

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9147 on: May 27, 2017, 01:16:17 AM »
We moved recently and the sensor on the garage door was beeping for over 2 days. When I called a garage door repair place, they told me it would be $29 for the service call and $145 for a new backup battery (what he felt was the problem was a dead battery, beeping like a dead battery in a smoke detector.). I thanked him for his suggestion and said I'd call back if we couldn't fix it ourselves...I just didn't want to fork over that much cash unless I absolutely had to!

I finally had my able bodied adult son climb a ladder to unplug the opener and it kept beeping! grrr! I thought maybe there was something IN the sensors themselves by the door, like a battery or something that the garage door repair guy had mentioned about misaligned sensors. So I went right up close to the sensor on the door on one side and waited the 45 seconds for the next beep.

I couldn't believe it, but it wasn't coming from the garage door sensor at all, but a box in a huge pile of recently moved bags and boxes that was NEAR the garage door. Sure enough, there was a CO2 detector beeping away in one of the boxes*. I pulled off the 9v battery and the beeping stopped!

I saved myself $174 in unnecessary repairs ... and the CO2 detector would have still been beeping when they were done!

ETA: *We didn't have a CO2 leak -- the detector was unplugged from a wall outlet and the backup battery had died.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 11:51:09 PM by 1967mama »

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9148 on: May 27, 2017, 01:49:30 AM »
1967mama, I have a very similar story involving multiple smoke detectors, a sleepless night, a ladder... And the culprit was also a CO2 detector in an unexpected place!
...it's not at all alarming that people have started quoting me in their siggy lines.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #9149 on: May 27, 2017, 07:43:41 AM »
Caught up with family today and gave some gifts for one birthday that has passed and one that is coming up. I picked up all of it either free from work or on sale.

Mum: Was this from work?
Me: Maybe... *suddenly feeling guilty*
Mum: Good, that makes me feel better that you didn't spend a fortune.

My mum loved her gifts and will absolutely use them, I just happen to receive a lot of free books and things through work so I always put them away for someone I know will appreciate them.