Author Topic: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?  (Read 3918493 times)

Rural

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12500 on: December 22, 2018, 06:54:06 AM »
BTW , does instapot really save money  ? how?
For me, my Instant Pot is amazing.  I cook more on weeknights--fast, single pot, and can do other things while it's on. 
  • make all of my broth from scratch instead of buying it.  I use leftover bones and vegetable scraps.  I keep a bag in the freezer and toss things in it. 
  • Bulk cook grains
  • Cook chicken breasts from FROZEN in under 30 minutes
I know a lot of what I do with my Instant Pot could be accomplished with a slow cooker.  However, a slow cooker is slow.  And I have only ONCE managed to get a meal started in my slow cooker before work.  I am not great at meal planning, so YMMV. With my Instant Pot, I bulk cook during the week, which is huge for me.
- I bulk cook beef for tacos and freeze it. Having meat for a fast meal at the ready avoids spendier dinner solutions. Taco Tuesday is good any day of the week.
- Quick and easy way to cook dry beans, which are cheaper than canned. Bonus - less waste.
- Ditto for grains, esp. rice and quinoa. Buy in bulk (cheaper) and batch cook (faster). Win.
As letsdoit mentioned, it is *fast*, which helps get frozen-solid items to the table expediently.

we have gas in our building, the cost is wrapped in the condo fee.
electricity is expensive.  i have given away a nice slow cooker in the past for that reason
it sounds like instapot things like broth could be done on gas stove in a regular pot. if  i bought a pressure cooker for stove top that would make it cook faster.
is there something that instapot could offer me in that situation?


Having cooked with both a stovetop pressure cooker and an instantpot, I'll tell you the instantpot is much simpler and is the only one of the two I'd leave even to go into another room to do something.


I have an old fashion pressure cooker I have not used in a long time but I did love it and never had an issue with it. I also have an Instant Pot and my favorite thing to make in it is yogurt. I really get annoyed when I cook with the Instant Pot bringing the pot up to pressure. It seems to take forever, like 35 minutes)  before it actually starts cooking. I need to use this pot more often and try new things.
I've never had an issue with my pressure cooker (or my pressure canner) either; they just aren't designed to be left unattended.


I'd be very unhappy with 35 minutes to come to pressure, too. My InstantPot takes longer than the manual canner, but it's more like 15 minutes vs 5-10 with the stovetop. Are you sure your ring is clean? Enough liquid? If you aren't used to cooking large amounts of food, the 6-quart pot is pretty big. My mother recently got one of the mini pots and loves it for cooking for two.

Roadrunner53

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12501 on: December 22, 2018, 07:31:14 AM »
BTW , does instapot really save money  ? how?
For me, my Instant Pot is amazing.  I cook more on weeknights--fast, single pot, and can do other things while it's on. 
  • make all of my broth from scratch instead of buying it.  I use leftover bones and vegetable scraps.  I keep a bag in the freezer and toss things in it. 
  • Bulk cook grains
  • Cook chicken breasts from FROZEN in under 30 minutes
I know a lot of what I do with my Instant Pot could be accomplished with a slow cooker.  However, a slow cooker is slow.  And I have only ONCE managed to get a meal started in my slow cooker before work.  I am not great at meal planning, so YMMV. With my Instant Pot, I bulk cook during the week, which is huge for me.
- I bulk cook beef for tacos and freeze it. Having meat for a fast meal at the ready avoids spendier dinner solutions. Taco Tuesday is good any day of the week.
- Quick and easy way to cook dry beans, which are cheaper than canned. Bonus - less waste.
- Ditto for grains, esp. rice and quinoa. Buy in bulk (cheaper) and batch cook (faster). Win.
As letsdoit mentioned, it is *fast*, which helps get frozen-solid items to the table expediently.

we have gas in our building, the cost is wrapped in the condo fee.
electricity is expensive.  i have given away a nice slow cooker in the past for that reason
it sounds like instapot things like broth could be done on gas stove in a regular pot. if  i bought a pressure cooker for stove top that would make it cook faster.
is there something that instapot could offer me in that situation?


Having cooked with both a stovetop pressure cooker and an instantpot, I'll tell you the instantpot is much simpler and is the only one of the two I'd leave even to go into another room to do something.


I have an old fashion pressure cooker I have not used in a long time but I did love it and never had an issue with it. I also have an Instant Pot and my favorite thing to make in it is yogurt. I really get annoyed when I cook with the Instant Pot bringing the pot up to pressure. It seems to take forever, like 35 minutes)  before it actually starts cooking. I need to use this pot more often and try new things.
I've never had an issue with my pressure cooker (or my pressure canner) either; they just aren't designed to be left unattended.


I'd be very unhappy with 35 minutes to come to pressure, too. My InstantPot takes longer than the manual canner, but it's more like 15 minutes vs 5-10 with the stovetop. Are you sure your ring is clean? Enough liquid? If you aren't used to cooking large amounts of food, the 6-quart pot is pretty big. My mother recently got one of the mini pots and loves it for cooking for two.

I believe my Instant pot is 8 quart and yes, I cook large quantities so we always have leftovers. Cook once, eat twice or more. Maybe due to the size is why it takes so long to heat up. Everything is clean in it and adequate water. I started to use the sauté button to heat it up quicker then program it. Yes, my stovetop model only takes about 10 minutes to get the jiggler to maintain a steady, even jiggle.

Rural

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12502 on: December 22, 2018, 08:34:39 AM »
BTW , does instapot really save money  ? how?
For me, my Instant Pot is amazing.  I cook more on weeknights--fast, single pot, and can do other things while it's on. 
  • make all of my broth from scratch instead of buying it.  I use leftover bones and vegetable scraps.  I keep a bag in the freezer and toss things in it. 
  • Bulk cook grains
  • Cook chicken breasts from FROZEN in under 30 minutes
I know a lot of what I do with my Instant Pot could be accomplished with a slow cooker.  However, a slow cooker is slow.  And I have only ONCE managed to get a meal started in my slow cooker before work.  I am not great at meal planning, so YMMV. With my Instant Pot, I bulk cook during the week, which is huge for me.
- I bulk cook beef for tacos and freeze it. Having meat for a fast meal at the ready avoids spendier dinner solutions. Taco Tuesday is good any day of the week.
- Quick and easy way to cook dry beans, which are cheaper than canned. Bonus - less waste.
- Ditto for grains, esp. rice and quinoa. Buy in bulk (cheaper) and batch cook (faster). Win.
As letsdoit mentioned, it is *fast*, which helps get frozen-solid items to the table expediently.

we have gas in our building, the cost is wrapped in the condo fee.
electricity is expensive.  i have given away a nice slow cooker in the past for that reason
it sounds like instapot things like broth could be done on gas stove in a regular pot. if  i bought a pressure cooker for stove top that would make it cook faster.
is there something that instapot could offer me in that situation?


Having cooked with both a stovetop pressure cooker and an instantpot, I'll tell you the instantpot is much simpler and is the only one of the two I'd leave even to go into another room to do something.


I have an old fashion pressure cooker I have not used in a long time but I did love it and never had an issue with it. I also have an Instant Pot and my favorite thing to make in it is yogurt. I really get annoyed when I cook with the Instant Pot bringing the pot up to pressure. It seems to take forever, like 35 minutes)  before it actually starts cooking. I need to use this pot more often and try new things.
I've never had an issue with my pressure cooker (or my pressure canner) either; they just aren't designed to be left unattended.


I'd be very unhappy with 35 minutes to come to pressure, too. My InstantPot takes longer than the manual canner, but it's more like 15 minutes vs 5-10 with the stovetop. Are you sure your ring is clean? Enough liquid? If you aren't used to cooking large amounts of food, the 6-quart pot is pretty big. My mother recently got one of the mini pots and loves it for cooking for two.

I believe my Instant pot is 8 quart and yes, I cook large quantities so we always have leftovers. Cook once, eat twice or more. Maybe due to the size is why it takes so long to heat up. Everything is clean in it and adequate water. I started to use the sauté button to heat it up quicker then program it. Yes, my stovetop model only takes about 10 minutes to get the jiggler to maintain a steady, even jiggle.


I'm pretty sure what I have is a 6-qt Duo (it comes in 3, 6, and 8), but still it seems to me that 35 mins. is excessive. I cook very much the way you do, large batches at a time. I have found that if I push down on the lid after locking it on, it does come to pressure faster - I had some sort of leak before, I suppose, and seating the ring helps. Using the saute setting to heat faster is clever, but I guess it also depends on what you have in there; some things might scorch.

4alpacas

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12503 on: December 22, 2018, 01:41:49 PM »
My Instant Pot comes to pressure in under 10 minutes.  I also cook a lot of food at once (enough chicken for a week and some to freeze).

BTW , does instapot really save money  ? how?
For me, my Instant Pot is amazing.  I cook more on weeknights--fast, single pot, and can do other things while it's on. 
  • make all of my broth from scratch instead of buying it.  I use leftover bones and vegetable scraps.  I keep a bag in the freezer and toss things in it. 
  • Bulk cook grains
  • Cook chicken breasts from FROZEN in under 30 minutes

I know a lot of what I do with my Instant Pot could be accomplished with a slow cooker.  However, a slow cooker is slow.  And I have only ONCE managed to get a meal started in my slow cooker before work.  I am not great at meal planning, so YMMV. With my Instant Pot, I bulk cook during the week, which is huge for me.
- I bulk cook beef for tacos and freeze it. Having meat for a fast meal at the ready avoids spendier dinner solutions. Taco Tuesday is good any day of the week.
- Quick and easy way to cook dry beans, which are cheaper than canned. Bonus - less waste.
- Ditto for grains, esp. rice and quinoa. Buy in bulk (cheaper) and batch cook (faster). Win.
As letsdoit mentioned, it is *fast*, which helps get frozen-solid items to the table expediently.
we have gas in our building, the cost is wrapped in the condo fee.
electricity is expensive.  i have given away a nice slow cooker in the past for that reason
it sounds like instapot things like broth could be done on gas stove in a regular pot. if  i bought a pressure cooker for stove top that would make it cook faster.
is there something that instapot could offer me in that situation? 
Yes, the Instant Pot does things quicker and can be left unattended.  I don't like cooking, so the Instant Pot is a fast way to homecooked meals with as little time as possible in the kitchen. 

If you're fine waiting for food to cook and don't mind staying in your kitchen, then an Instant Pot probably wouldn't be a good fit.  I know a lot of people who bought Instant Pots because they were trendy and never used them.  I bought mine originally to replace a broken rice cooker.  I was surprised how much I used it.  I don't think an Instant Pot is for everyone though.  It is another kitchen appliance, and you have to be honest with yourself about how much you'll use it. I use my Instant Pot 3-4 times/week.  I made all of our broth, most of the soup, all of the grains, and 75% of the protein we eat. 

Dicey

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12504 on: December 22, 2018, 10:29:22 PM »
Ha! Cook once, eat twice indeed! Tonight was leftover rice and chicken tikka masala courtesy of the IP. Boom!

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12505 on: December 23, 2018, 01:24:59 PM »
My Instant Pot saves $$ on yogurt and saves dishes, which I guess saves a minimal amount?

See, making yogurt in the IP is MUCH easier than making it via other methods IME, and so I am much more consistent about doing it vs buying. And we eat a lot of yogurt at my house.

And I like that if I want to slow-cook something but brown the onions or whatever first, I can do this right in the IP instead of getting a skillet dirty as well as the slow cooker. (Yes, I still own an oval Crock Pot. An IP CAN slow cook but basically only on low--its highest setting still takes all damn day and sometimes I want my food cooked in more like half a day.)

Roadrunner53

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12506 on: December 23, 2018, 01:43:24 PM »
Made boiled eggs in my Instant pot for the first time. I have an 8 quart IP and it took probably 20 minutes to come to pressure, 5 minutes to cook and 5 minutes natural release then into ice bath. The IP ran out of water during cooking. I put in 1 1/2 cups water as suggested. However, next time I will put in much more water! Eggs came out PERFECT and easy to peel! So I will definitely use IP again to cook boiled eggs.

I have also made yogurt in it and it comes out perfect too!

Now I need some more IP adventures. Have not experimented with it much. Anyone have some one pot meals you like to cook in the IP? Recipes?

4alpacas

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12507 on: December 23, 2018, 03:05:39 PM »
Made boiled eggs in my Instant pot for the first time. I have an 8 quart IP and it took probably 20 minutes to come to pressure, 5 minutes to cook and 5 minutes natural release then into ice bath. The IP ran out of water during cooking. I put in 1 1/2 cups water as suggested. However, next time I will put in much more water! Eggs came out PERFECT and easy to peel! So I will definitely use IP again to cook boiled eggs.
Do you set the eggs on the bottom or do you use the little raised tray?

My ultimate favorite is salsa chicken.  I make it at least once a month.  I make A LOT and use it on everything--tacos, eggs, sandwiches, and salads.

Roadrunner53

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12508 on: December 23, 2018, 03:23:13 PM »
Made boiled eggs in my Instant pot for the first time. I have an 8 quart IP and it took probably 20 minutes to come to pressure, 5 minutes to cook and 5 minutes natural release then into ice bath. The IP ran out of water during cooking. I put in 1 1/2 cups water as suggested. However, next time I will put in much more water! Eggs came out PERFECT and easy to peel! So I will definitely use IP again to cook boiled eggs.
Do you set the eggs on the bottom or do you use the little raised tray?

My ultimate favorite is salsa chicken.  I make it at least once a month.  I make A LOT and use it on everything--tacos, eggs, sandwiches, and salads.

I used the little rack that came with it with the handles. I cooked 10 eggs. Quite impressed with the perfection of the cook. But a little freaked when I saw no water in it when I opened it up. I will definitely put in maybe 3 cups next time...or more! I used the 5, 5, 5 method.  5 minute cook, five minutes natural release and 5 minute ice bath which was much longer than 5 minutes.

Please tell me more about salsa chicken and how to cook it! How much chicken do you use and salsa?

I have a pot roast in the freezer I plan to cook in it soon. I used to cook PR in my old fashion pressure cooker and it was always amazing. I started using the crock pot while working and it would be done when I came home. I am no longer working so doesn't really matter if I use crock pot or IP now.

4alpacas

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12509 on: December 23, 2018, 03:32:50 PM »
This is the original recipe I used for salsa chicken. I usually cook 3-4 pounds of chicken breasts from the freezer with 25-28 mins of cook time (depending if the chicken is stuck together) with ~1.5-2 cups of salsa and 2 tsp cumin.  If I don't have salsa, I'll use a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, but I have to use a lot more seasonings (cumin, oregano, pepper, salt, etc.).

I also cook chicken breasts this way and sub out the salsa for chicken broth or any other liquid (did BBQ sauce once).  I also do variations of the slow cooker taco chicken bowl recipe from Budget Bytes.

I'm not great in the kitchen, so anything fast and hands off is my style. ;)

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12510 on: December 23, 2018, 03:48:09 PM »
Made boiled eggs in my Instant pot for the first time. I have an 8 quart IP and it took probably 20 minutes to come to pressure, 5 minutes to cook and 5 minutes natural release then into ice bath. The IP ran out of water during cooking.

Just FYI, you might want to check your rubber gasket thing in the lid next time... This sounds to me like it didn't seal right. It should have come to pressure faster and not lost the liquid. This happened to me at first, too - now I make sure the rubber ring is seated on the metal ring every time, and no more issues. I think when you take the lid on and off the rubber can be pulled out of place sometimes.

OmahaSteph

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12511 on: December 24, 2018, 12:13:53 PM »
One more advantage of cooking with an IP is not heating up the entire house (in warm weather). Uses much less electricity than the stove/oven.

Pinterest has a treasure trove of IP recipes, but like most things, some are better than others.

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12512 on: December 24, 2018, 12:57:55 PM »
Made boiled eggs in my Instant pot for the first time. I have an 8 quart IP and it took probably 20 minutes to come to pressure, 5 minutes to cook and 5 minutes natural release then into ice bath. The IP ran out of water during cooking.

Just FYI, you might want to check your rubber gasket thing in the lid next time... This sounds to me like it didn't seal right. It should have come to pressure faster and not lost the liquid. This happened to me at first, too - now I make sure the rubber ring is seated on the metal ring every time, and no more issues. I think when you take the lid on and off the rubber can be pulled out of place sometimes.

^^This. I've had this happen several times. Now, before I put the lid on, I push the ring down all the way around the lid (it pops up on the opposite side as you push, so be careful of that). Not had a problem with the pressure since I started doing that.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12513 on: December 27, 2018, 09:13:55 PM »
Saved $22 on parking fees by riding my bike 16 miles (25 km) roundtrip to a doctor's appointment.

OmahaSteph

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12514 on: December 28, 2018, 08:44:38 PM »
1. Pooled Christmas cash gifts so hubby could get his bike tuned up before he starts cycle commuting full time again. (Spent money to save?)

2. Made a number of Uber Eats deliveries this evening.

3. Turned leftover ham into ham salad.

4. Confirmed that both our cell phones are now unlocked. Switching from AT&T to Consumer Wireless tomorrow.

5. This was passive, but we were the recipients of a random act of kindness today (the first!). All four of us went into a new-to-us butcher shop. Between my cute kids and Handsome wearing his Army veteran hat, someone picked up a package of maple sugar jerky (made by the butcher, not mass-produced stuff) and told them to give it to us when we checked out. I think the package said it was worth $6. How sweet! And the kids loved it.

6. Bought bubble mailers for my soon-to-open eBay side hustle. Again, spending money to make money.

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12515 on: December 29, 2018, 02:25:17 AM »
At last, I'm back!  It's been a very busy year, culminating in a frugal wedding in November and a trip overseas.

I've loved reading the frugal Christmas stories.  We received a gift of $100 cash and can't think what we need to buy with it.

But today, I've been gardening.  Repotted a plant from the garden rather than go down to the garden center to buy one as a replacement. I'm also processing 10kg of plums, purchased for a total of $3.99. I stewed some, made some plum almond meal muffins from a Frankensteined recipe, gave some away, ate some and still have about 6 kg left.  Next, I'm going to try baking them, it's been done before according to the internet.

And a bigger, longterm thing. I've returned to my vegetarian + fish diet, a healthy and frugal choice for me.

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12516 on: December 29, 2018, 04:08:40 AM »
I'm planning our spring and summer vacations for this coming year, and it's all tent camping.  We'll be checking out a bunch of national and state parks we've never been to.  Just made the reservations, and I can't wait!

Dicey

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12517 on: December 29, 2018, 08:00:19 AM »
Traveling to our rentals. Had an unused free hotel night left that's expiring in a few days. The corporate website said no Rewards Nights were available, though the hotel still had rooms. I called the hotel directly and got the reservation approved. Free sleep, free breakfast, then back on the road this morning. Of course, I packed a cooler full of road snacks and we gassed up at Costco along the way.

OmahaSteph

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12518 on: December 29, 2018, 04:05:32 PM »
Got an email that I had bonus credits at the garden center/greenhouse where I got all my supplies this summer, and they had to be used TODAY or they would expire. I expected to have maybe $10 in credits, but actually had $20. And everything was 50% off. Unfortunately, they didn't have seed packets out, but they did have live plants.

Picked up all of the below for $4.27 cents:

-oregano plant
-rosemary plant
-thyme plant
-lavender (daughter's request)
-boot toppers (knitted half-socks)
-and a mango wood eyeglasses holder for Handsome's birthday. We keep threatening to get him a granny chain because he's ALWAYS losing his readers and there are pairs ALL OVER the house.
-they gave us a free poinsettia

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12519 on: December 29, 2018, 07:29:40 PM »
@OmahaSteph - loved the random act of kindness!

We ate leftovers for all meals, and sent a bunch of food we won't finish with my parents & sister. (Everyone contributed food.) It was a very frugal post-holiday festivity from the food perspective. However, we bought plenty of alcohol, which wasn't frugal.

marcela

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12520 on: December 30, 2018, 08:38:22 AM »
- finally made the move to switch internet providers. We are set up for att fiber at the new house and its supposedly $35 less a month for the same speed. The guy at the store tried to pressure me into adding a TV package so I would get the $100 installation fee waived, but then I saw that doing it online would waive the fee anyway.  No fee and got to watch the pushy sales guys face fall when I told i was just going to do it online. Next time don't mock people when they say they don't want tv.
- ordered braces through smiledirect club. Got the 3d scan of my teeth for free when I was in major city last month along with a $25 amazon gift card, whitening kit and lip balm. Waited a few weeks for promos and scored $150 off and a free retainer. Straighter teeth for $1700 here I come!
- returned amazon gifts that didn't work out for me and will get $80 credit.
- decided against getting my hair coloured at the salon. Will pick up some box kit when its on sale again. $85 saved.

Rural

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12521 on: December 30, 2018, 01:41:51 PM »
Neither of us went down off the mountain today. Walked in the woods with the dog for entertainment and may watch movies from the library tonight if we get ambitious.

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12522 on: December 30, 2018, 01:46:24 PM »
We haven't been in the grocery store since before Christmas! I hope to be able to avoid the store for the last day of December too. We've been eating Christmas leftovers and random items from the pantry for days now.

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12523 on: December 30, 2018, 05:31:35 PM »
Traveling to our rentals. Had an unused free hotel night left that's expiring in a few days. The corporate website said no Rewards Nights were available, though the hotel still had rooms. I called the hotel directly and got the reservation approved. Free sleep, free breakfast, then back on the road this morning. Of course, I packed a cooler full of road snacks and we gassed up at Costco along the way.

that sounds pretty optimized

Arbitrage

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12524 on: December 31, 2018, 09:49:59 AM »
Avoided going out to eat again. 

In reviewing our end-of-the-year finances, I'm amazed at how this change has taken hold.  We weren't crazy by any means with eating out as a family, perhaps spending $150 a month, but did so with reasonable frequency.  I started cutting way back on this early in mid-2018 in a move toward frugality.  I will admit that at first, it was a difficult adjustment; there were plenty of times I just wanted to get whatever tasty, easy (though to be fair, still reasonably cheap) meal I felt like grabbing from a local place.  However, as the months went on, that desire started to evaporate, and I became perfectly satisfied scrounging up food from the house, rather than having scrounging feel like a capitulation.  Hedonic adaptation indeed.

Down the road, I would like to get more into cooking frugal meals for more variety (and probably as a healthier option); DW used to cook a fair amount but a change in work responsibilities and schedule has made that difficult for her.  I'm not naturally inclined toward cooking, but I do usually enjoy it.

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12525 on: December 31, 2018, 10:17:16 AM »
The more I eat out which is rare, I find the food in restaurants to be very sub par. The food we make at home is so much better. We just bought a new cookbook by Dave Venable from QVC. We just made the Pork schnitzel and it was fantastic. You can get tons of recipes for free on the QVC website from various sources. People need to look at a recipe, shop for ingredients then cook! We tend to buy really good food to prepare at home. We are not eating crap to save money. For instance, we bought a rib roast section. It was around 20 lbs. The butcher cut it in half. We froze one and cooked one. We used the Paula Dean no fail rib roast recipe and it came out perfect. We like it pink and this recipe works no matter what size the rib roast. We ate on this for two meals then froze enough for another two meals. It was $5.99 a lb by buying it in a large hunk. You can have much better meals at home. There are exceptions though. I cannot seem to cook Chinese or many Mexican meals but normal every day meals come out pretty good!

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12526 on: December 31, 2018, 01:02:36 PM »
The more I eat out which is rare, I find the food in restaurants to be very sub par. The food we make at home is so much better. We just bought a new cookbook by Dave Venable from QVC. We just made the Pork schnitzel and it was fantastic. You can get tons of recipes for free on the QVC website from various sources. People need to look at a recipe, shop for ingredients then cook! We tend to buy really good food to prepare at home. We are not eating crap to save money. For instance, we bought a rib roast section. It was around 20 lbs. The butcher cut it in half. We froze one and cooked one. We used the Paula Dean no fail rib roast recipe and it came out perfect. We like it pink and this recipe works no matter what size the rib roast. We ate on this for two meals then froze enough for another two meals. It was $5.99 a lb by buying it in a large hunk. You can have much better meals at home. There are exceptions though. I cannot seem to cook Chinese or many Mexican meals but normal every day meals come out pretty good!

Thumbs up to this!  One of the best ways to control spending is to eat at home.  You eat better, know what is in your food and save money at the same time.  Hard to beat that.

Cooking can be great fun as a couple or group activity as well.  Potluck parties, couple bonding, etc.

OtherJen

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12527 on: December 31, 2018, 01:39:50 PM »
The more I eat out which is rare, I find the food in restaurants to be very sub par. The food we make at home is so much better. We just bought a new cookbook by Dave Venable from QVC. We just made the Pork schnitzel and it was fantastic. You can get tons of recipes for free on the QVC website from various sources. People need to look at a recipe, shop for ingredients then cook! We tend to buy really good food to prepare at home. We are not eating crap to save money. For instance, we bought a rib roast section. It was around 20 lbs. The butcher cut it in half. We froze one and cooked one. We used the Paula Dean no fail rib roast recipe and it came out perfect. We like it pink and this recipe works no matter what size the rib roast. We ate on this for two meals then froze enough for another two meals. It was $5.99 a lb by buying it in a large hunk. You can have much better meals at home. There are exceptions though. I cannot seem to cook Chinese or many Mexican meals but normal every day meals come out pretty good!

Yum. My father-in-law sometimes makes a big rib roast for family holiday dinners. It's far cheaper than taking the whole family out for dinner, he gets to play chef, and we all get to choose the bits we like best (I like the crunchy, fatty end).

We'll go out occasionally for Asian food (sushi/Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese) because it's so far removed from my (Mexican and midwestern white people) and husband's (midwestern white people, mostly German) food traditions. But yes, most other food is better and far cheaper when prepared at home.

OtherJen

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12528 on: December 31, 2018, 01:41:19 PM »
My parents gave husband and me a nice cash gift for Christmas and told us to buy something that we wanted. We bought some index fund shares.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12529 on: December 31, 2018, 02:17:28 PM »
-Avoided eating out again yesterday, and made everyone a quick lunch as soon as we got home. The kids were very hungry & couldn't wait any longer
-My husband rode his bike to the local lumber store to pick up shingles that blew off a few nights ago during a storm.
-We did buy nice steak for tonight, but we will be eating dinner at home for NYE. Steak, mashed potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts & sauteed mushrooms. We also found a bottle of champagne that someone gifted us, so we'll be drinking that to toast the new year

Roadrunner53

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12530 on: December 31, 2018, 02:24:46 PM »
Didn't really save money but got two emails from a local culinary school where I had bought two gift certs for the Hub a few years back. He was going quite often but stopped and never used the certs. Each one is worth $250 so I filled out the form to get the moola back! WOO HOO! They said they would have to give it to the state if it was not claimed.

35andFI

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12531 on: December 31, 2018, 02:37:52 PM »
The family and I rode our bikes to the grocery store (in the rain) to pick up stuff for NYE.

Avoided all of the traffic, got there for free, no car door dents, and got a little workout in!

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12532 on: December 31, 2018, 04:50:59 PM »
* emptied the dirty mop water (citrus vinegar, Dawn) on some potted outdoor plants

* Saved $0.80 bringing my own containers to the market

* Spread dried eggshell calcium on the garden beds before we get (fingers crossed) a rain next week

freedomfightergal

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12533 on: December 31, 2018, 08:40:19 PM »
Just got back to the US from Australia and noticed over there, that people don't leave their AC on, just turn it on occasionally when necessary. It was a hot summer period however the building design and window coverings helped keep it cool inside, lots of thermal storage ie tile flooring, thick brick walls etc.  Also opened up the windows at night for incoming cool breezes.

Also, at every home I stayed at, the washing was hung out on the line.  It dries really quickly!! Costs nothing!

Helped with extending a hydroponic garden setup, adding new garden beds on top of an enormous fish tank.  The plants grow like crazy!  I want to set up my own now. 

Eat lot's of and pack Vegemite Sandwiches.  We happily ate a bunch of them in the snack pack a friend made for us for the plane trip home, no expensive travel snacks!


Linea_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12534 on: January 01, 2019, 12:47:06 PM »
Arrived home after the holiday in a food without fresh food. We ate some leftover portion of beans from the freezer, rather than visiting a pizza restaurant. It tasted very well.

FrugalAussie

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12535 on: January 01, 2019, 03:23:08 PM »
Just got back to the US from Australia and noticed over there, that people don't leave their AC on, just turn it on occasionally when necessary. It was a hot summer period however the building design and window coverings helped keep it cool inside, lots of thermal storage ie tile flooring, thick brick walls etc.  Also opened up the windows at night for incoming cool breezes.

Also, at every home I stayed at, the washing was hung out on the line.  It dries really quickly!! Costs nothing!

Helped with extending a hydroponic garden setup, adding new garden beds on top of an enormous fish tank.  The plants grow like crazy!  I want to set up my own now. 

Eat lot's of and pack Vegemite Sandwiches.  We happily ate a bunch of them in the snack pack a friend made for us for the plane trip home, no expensive travel snacks!

I'm glad to hear that you took to Vegemite, many people don't.  Most Australians have been eating it almost from birth so we acquire the taste before we know any better!

You're right about how many of us use air conditioning, at least in the lower half of the country.  I'm in the West where the heat in the South is dry.  In humid parts of the country, air conditioning could be used differently. When we had our house built we did so with an eye to keeping the sun out in Summer and utilising the breezes to keep the place cool - passive solar principles. 

I don't own a dryer, never have. Even in winter, we are lucky to have some sunny days, so washing gets done then and hung on racks around the place. Our climate makes frugal choices easier.

I've been enjoying more no-spend days in the garden, tidying, dividing up plants, taking cuttings, getting outdoor projects finished. Also, reading library books and blogs, cooking with what we have, walking on the beach. I'm really enjoying time at home. We went out once to do a quick grocery shop, some of which was chips to have with a drink (non-alcoholic for me still - one year alcohol-free) total cost $15. We don't keep chips and other junk in the house as we have zero willpower so will eat it up with no restraint.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12536 on: January 01, 2019, 05:51:30 PM »
-Went for groceries today. Having given up dairy (again... I really just need to stop adding it back in...) I decided to find some good dairy free yogurt to make smoothies with. Found one to try, but all the containers were past their sell by date. I asked an employee if they had any in the back or gave some sort of discount for ones past due. After waiting a long time, he came back with a manager. None in the back, but they had to pull the remainder from the shelves, and did I want one free? And my dear husband asked if we could have two. $12 worth of free cashew yogurt later, I'm a happy soul. Let's hope it makes some good smoothies!

-Need a real desk. Was trying to make what we had work (me using the top drawer of an old dresser), and after 2 months here, it's clear it won't. So in an hour, we're going to pick up a good looking desk for $50 from FB marketplace. I spent a few weeks watching the postings, and snagged the deal when it popped up. Nothing else solid was less than $100 on there! Even checked goodwill. A desk in worse condition was $85!

horsepoor

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12537 on: January 01, 2019, 09:27:33 PM »
Today starts a new quarter for credit card rewards, so I checked which cards had which 5% categories.  Labeled the cards for gas and groceries so I'll remember which to use.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12538 on: January 01, 2019, 11:11:08 PM »
@Bracken_Joy let us know how the smoothies turn out!

Today:
Free exercise for me (walking), free fun for the toddler (local park). Resisted the urge to buy a coffee while we were out of the house.
Eating leftovers.
Making a big pot of low-cost, vege-full curry in the slow cooker.
Regrowing spring onion bases for infinite onion goodness.
Food scraps go into the worm farm for free compost for my garden.

Every single one of these things is also a small thing that reduces my environmental impact ;-)

Linea_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12539 on: January 02, 2019, 02:29:15 AM »
Yesterday we filled fuel for a very low price. I used a cash-back credit card as well.

Today, like in 2018, I made my own lunch to eat at work.

nurseart

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12540 on: January 02, 2019, 09:44:48 AM »
Posting for accountability...

Wednesdays are my long work days with a larger than normal commute. Take out especially from our fav po'boy place is pretty tempting but  I have an emergency lasagna in the freezer and will make that instead of spending $20 on a less healthy arguably similarly delicious takeout dinner.

littlelykke

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12541 on: January 02, 2019, 02:15:21 PM »
Didn't have to go to the supermarket, because we made lunch and dinner with leftovers from our fridge.
And I think, we can do the same again tomorrow :)

Roadrunner53

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12542 on: January 02, 2019, 04:00:50 PM »
Had a rib roast for Christmas and used the bones to make beef broth. Today I am making a bean soup using the broth. Added some hot sausage I had in the freezer. Used up a green pepper that was getting old, used a whole head of garlic that was starting to get dry. The beans I ordered in bulk and are a variety of beans. The pot of soup is HUGE and will be eating on it plus freezing some for later on. Scrounged thru the cabinets to find some diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes to add to it too. Thought I had some garlic bread in the freezer but didn't so I had some hamburger buns that I slathered with butter and jarred diced garlic and will broil them.

freedomfightergal

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12543 on: January 02, 2019, 08:28:58 PM »
did NOT go to Starbucks, did NOT grab a pizza ;)

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12544 on: January 02, 2019, 08:31:19 PM »
Listed four items for sale on eBay and one already has a bid so that feels like a good use of an hour!

Slow&Steady

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12545 on: January 03, 2019, 08:51:56 AM »
Listed a few items on FB and sold a couple of them!

Work day #2 of 2019 and brought my lunch both yesterday and today!

SO says dinner groceries have been purchased for the next week for under $50 (for 6 of us) and there is plenty in the pantry/refrigerator for breakfast and lunches (for those that are not at work).

Cool Friend

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12546 on: January 03, 2019, 08:58:45 AM »

Work day #2 of 2019 and brought my lunch both yesterday and today!


Me too!  High five!

Also packed a sandwich for after work since I'm meeting up with a friend for bar trivia and don't want to buy the bar's $12 sandwiches.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12547 on: January 03, 2019, 09:04:37 AM »
A mustachian reached out to me after seeing me talk about Imperfect Produce. (Which as an aside, YAY mustachians!) Asked for review and a referral code. WELL. When I went to generate the referral code, the page was broken. So I contacted customer care, who fixed it and gave a $5 credit on my account. I then sent the referral code to the mustachian, and when they sign up, we will both get a $10 credit on our accounts. So my next box of slightly ugly produce should be nearly free =)

OmahaSteph

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12548 on: January 03, 2019, 10:05:40 AM »
Sold my first item on eBay! Whoop!

zygote

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Re: What small things did you do TODAY to save money?
« Reply #12549 on: January 03, 2019, 10:12:34 AM »
I discovered that my morning bagel got almost 50% more expensive after the holiday break, and it crossed the threshhold into "I'm not paying this every day anymore". So I bought a 6 pack of bagels at the grocery store for about the same price as the bagel out is now. I had my first one this morning and it's definitely a downgrade in quality, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. I've been thinking about doing this for a while, and the price hike was the face punch I needed.