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Money-saving recession tips?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Everyday Chit Chat Money-saving recession tips?

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  • #63150

    placebohigh
    Participant

    I went to visit one of my friends who is a bartender the other day at a gay bar and he said business has been waaay down thanks to the recession. Which led me to wonder, if the group of the population with the most discretionary spending ability (thanks to no kids and dual incomes if coupled) isn’t spending — it’s obviously a pretty serious recession.

    I’ve recently cut waaay back on my spending (thanks to a pay cut at my job and worries about job stability), like so many recently laid-off Americans and others stretched to pinch their pennies. And with most economists and even the President-elect expecting the first quarter of 2009 to be the worst of it then I’m wondering how are you saving money?

    Here’s some of my tips:

    * Clipping coupons and matching them with weekly circulars (mostly from the Sunday Dispatch and sites like couponmom.com, ultimatecoupons.com, daddyodeals.com)

    * Never shopping retail without using a coupon from an online coupon/money-saving forum or site like The Bargainist

    * Shopping through Web sites that offer discounts or incentives (ie. Giant Eagle’s FuelPerks website, credit card company’s shop-through sites)

    * Using coupons from The Entertainment book (www.entertainment.com) – For a measly $20 or less if you purchase it later in the year you can find many local coupons and printable coupons from the book’s website. Very useful if you’re in a couple that goes out to dinner a lot since most are buy one – get one free offers.

    * Using shopping comparison sites like shopzilla.com. Settling for a supposed “deal” on HSN or Shop NBC or in a retail store can set you back an extra $200 or more on large ticket items especially electronics.

    * Taking advantage of free stuff/free sample sites like freegrabber.com.

    Recommended websites:

    http://www.clickacoupon.com

    http://www.couponcabin.com

    http://www.couponmom.com

    http://www.couponsinc.com

    http://www.currentcodes.com

    http://www.dealtaker.com

    http://www.daddyodeals.com

    http://www.entertainment.com

    http://www.hotcouponworld.com

    http://www.keepcash.com

    http://www.bargainist.com

    http://www.thebag.com

    http://www.ultimatecoupons.com

    http://www.wow-coupons.com

    Any other tips?

    #247922

    michaelcoyote
    Participant

    Bust out the breadmaker… making your own bread is cheap and delicious..

    I also did a lot of cooking at home during the last downturn. I would often make meals for the week on Sunday and freeze them in portions. I found that if i had meals readymade I’d not eat out…

    #247923

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    I sold my car and ride my bike and COTA. But that’s more to the extreme…

    When money gets tight, I usually cut way back on takeout and such things. Pack my lunch more often and don’t get tempted by the quick and easy.

    #247924

    placebohigh
    Participant

    I almost forgot selling things on Craigslist. Cheap n’ easy. And no selling fees like Ebay.

    #247925

    AnneD
    Member

    I stopped buying processed food (not for economic reasons) which turned out to be a huge money-saver. Buying grains and rice in bulk and using small and inexpensive cuts of meat is also a help, as is making and freezing food as michaelcoyote suggested. I am much less likely to splurge on take-away if I can defrost something quickly at home.

    We eat out a lot less often, see less movies, use the library more, and try to find fun things to do that are free. I try to run all my errands on one day (a habit started when gas prices were really high) and shop with lists so I succumb to less impulse buys.

    #247926
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    http://www.retailmenot.com and http://www.naughtycodes.com/ are good sites too.

    I think getting things used or slightly used on craigslist is good.

    Or just doing more things that involve hanging out with friends and enjoying company.

    I think the biggest thing you can do is to make your home situation cheaper. Smaller place, closer to work, whatever. We did that last year and it could not have happened at a better time.

    #247927

    michaelcoyote
    Participant

    AnneD wrote I stopped buying processed food (not for economic reasons) which turned out to be a huge money-saver. Buying grains and rice in bulk and using small and inexpensive cuts of meat is also a help, as is making and freezing food as michaelcoyote suggested. I am much less likely to splurge on take-away if I can defrost something quickly at home.

    I don’t think I ever ate healthier than when I didn’t have a job or a contract for 8 months. I cooked a lot at home, made my own bread and ate on about $25/week or less…

    Lentils and pasta are a good friend as are cheap and filling veggies like sweet potatoes, cabbage and the like…

    #247928

    Bear
    Participant

    It’s remarkable to me how much basic knowledge about how to get by (in terms of cooking) has been lost in the past couple of generations. Jamie Oliver was interviewed not long ago on NPR and said something about how this was the first serious recession in which many of the seriously poor had no idea how to make a healthy meal out of things like dried beans.

    One example, from the 1962 Joy of Cooking: home chefs are told not just how to cook a ‘possum but that it’s ideal to trap it and feed it milk and cereal for 10 days before killing and eating it. I bet not many home chefs nowadays know that — or the illustrated squirrel-skinning technique below it (not for the squeamish, though the boot is hysterical).

    #247929

    Cyclist
    Member

    Go to house shows instead of clubs.

    Get rid of your car

    Hang out with friends- They are free. Engage in free activities around town like playing in a band, going on bike rides, scavenger hunts, etc.

    Get rid of your debit card- all those itty-bitty purchases add up. Pay only in cash, and only with drawl money directly from the bank in cash, this will really limit your spending. It works very well.

    Take a lower paying job so you don’t have to pay Federal income taxes.

    Reduce reuse recycle.

    Find non-capitalist goods and services exchanges to partake in. Sharing circles, neighborhood currencies, free markets, food not bombs.

    Don’t do drugs

    #247930
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    Cyclist wrote Take a lower paying job so you don’t have to pay Federal income taxes.

    :lol:

    I’m not really sure how this one works in a graduated tax system.

    #247931

    Cyclist
    Member

    Coremodels wrote

    Cyclist wrote Take a lower paying job so you don’t have to pay Federal income taxes.

    :lol:

    I’m not really sure how this one works in a graduated tax system.

    :? :? Me neither. But I always get a 100% refund. :? :?

    #247932

    sixby9is42
    Member

    Cut the cable: if you have to, just get the limited basic cable if you can’t get the broadcast channels with rabbit ears.

    Cell phone charges: do you have Internet, e-mail and texting plans for your cell phone? Do you really NEED it?

    Internet: try cutting back. ATT has a $15 high-speed plan if you still really “need” high-speed.

    #247933

    michaelcoyote
    Participant

    Cyclist wrote

    Coremodels wrote

    Cyclist wrote Take a lower paying job so you don’t have to pay Federal income taxes.

    :lol:

    I’m not really sure how this one works in a graduated tax system.

    :? :? Me neither. But I always get a 100% refund. :? :?

    You could just keep your good job and live frugally anyway…

    #247934

    gramarye
    Participant

    Coremodels wrote

    Cyclist wrote Take a lower paying job so you don’t have to pay Federal income taxes.

    :lol:

    I’m not really sure how this one works in a graduated tax system.

    I was a little bemused by that one, too.

    The progressive tax system is marginal. If the threshold for paying any taxes is $100 and then you’re in the 20% rate, it doesn’t mean that if you make $120 they tax you $24 and leave you worse off than you would have been had you only made $100. It means that you keep the first $100 and then pay 20% of everything on top of that up until the next bracket, when you start paying that amount on everything from that point up until the following bracket, lather, rinse, repeat. So you’d keep $116 and have to pay $4 in taxes in the above example.

    The #1 way to save money in spades is to have a roommate. The #2 way is to have a second one. That’s almost as extreme a lifestyle choice for someone used to living alone as giving up the car, however.

    I won’t say “ditch the debit card,” but pay off any credit card balances every month and keep track of your spending. I check my current activity online at least three times a week to see if I’m letting my spending get a little ahead of my means. If you have impulse-buying problems, though, ditching the debit and credit cards may be your best option. (Most credit cards have a raft of useful features, though, for those who can resist the urge to treat it as an injection of free money.)

    Don’t dine out and minimize ordering in. In particular, pack lunches for work. Many people eat out five times a week for lunch alone.

    Forget about alcohol.

    I’ll also second placebohigh’s endorsement of the Entertainment Book. Even living alone, I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it every year. A pair of non-picky eaters could save far more, though you’d also end up spending far more (especially if you choose to use the fine-dining coupons, which could mean $25 off dinner for two at the Dining Room at the Hilton, for example … which still means a pricier meal than you’d eat at home).

    #247935

    Cyclist
    Member

    michaelcoyote wrote

    Cyclist wrote

    Coremodels wrote

    Cyclist wrote Take a lower paying job so you don’t have to pay Federal income taxes.

    :lol:

    I’m not really sure how this one works in a graduated tax system.

    :? :? Me neither. But I always get a 100% refund. :? :?

    You could just keep your good job and live frugally anyway…

    Of course! :D

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