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Old 05-06-2008, 11:21 AM   #1
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Economizing

I've just come back from filling up with diesel and doing our monthly grocery shopping and now feel like I need a very stiff drink.

How do you economize (if you need to) with the rising gas and food prices?

We eat out much less than we used to and when we do we'll choose less pricey restaurants. I'm also more price conscious when I buy food which is so hard because I love it so much !

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Old 05-06-2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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I just make sure I look at the flyers to see what is on sale and try to make a menu out of the sale items. I stock up on the staple foods so that we make fewer trips to the store, therefore saving time and gas money.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:28 AM   #3
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We eat out much less now too. We try to be inexpensive foods that we can get a lot of mileage out of. The roast I made on Sunday will get us through 4 or 5 meals.

As for gas, I have been changing my driving habits. I have not been accelerating hard from a stop. I have been driving the speed limit. I have been shifting into the next highest gear as soon as possible (which has gained me another 4 mpg on average).
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:09 PM   #4
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Don't let your car idle it uses a ton of gas that way. Plan your shopping well so you don't' need to make the I forgot milk run. I keep a running list of all my shopping items I write it all down as I'm running out things. Stock up on non perishables when they are on sale. Start a small container garden grow tomatoes etc. Cable TV is outrageous so cut back on some of the channels you watch. When I go to the stores if I see an outfit or a pair of shoes I really like I just don't buy them anymore and remind myself of all the clothes and shoes I already have. I believe people will really get back to bartering again rather than pay cash. There are a lot of ways of cutting back and it all adds up. Try to remind yourself when shopping" Do I REALLY need this or can I get by without it?" Stop paying the $ 4.00 bucks or whatever for your fancy Lattes and Iced Coffees, make your own at home that can save a hundred dollars or more in one month. As I said there are many, many ways to cut back just make a list of all the things you spend money on and then figure out : Do I REALLY, REALLY need this to live???
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jpmcgrew View Post
Don't let your car idle it uses a ton of gas that way. Plan your shopping well so you don't' need to make the I forgot milk run. I keep a running list of all my shopping items I write it all down as I'm running out things. Stock up on non perishables when they are on sale. Start a small container garden grow tomatoes etc. Cable TV is outrageous so cut back on some of the channels you watch. When I go to the stores if I see an outfit or a pair of shoes I really like I just don't buy them anymore and remind myself of all the clothes and shoes I already have. I believe people will really get back to bartering again rather than pay cash. There are a lot of ways of cutting back and it all adds up. Try to remind yourself when shopping" Do I REALLY need this or can I get by without it?" Stop paying the $ 4.00 bucks or whatever for your fancy Lattes and Iced Coffees, make your own at home that can save a hundred dollars or more in one month. As I said there are many, many ways to cut back just make a list of all the things you spend money on and then figure out : Do I REALLY, REALLY need this to live???
I need to be better at this. I can hold off for myself, but for my kids I'm a real sucker. Do they really need it? No. But I just can't resist imagining the smile on my little boy's face. So the best way for me to economize is to try and avoid going to the store altogether to avoid temptation.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:20 PM   #6
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I shop the circulars and plan meals around what is on sale. I never did this before. I also buy the bulk sacks of potatos, onions, apples, oranges which is not my preference but It saves money and stretches time inbetween trips.

Gas is not so much an issue as I take public transit to work and my truck is on the fritz so it stays local

Here's where it goes wrong... I'l; buy an item because it is on sale and then spend too much buying stuff to complete a dish. I need to think more about the total recipe cost than just that the main item is a deal

When I eat out I try to make it count avoid doing it just to be lazy.

Interestingly this weekend I had to quickly throw together a cook out for an unexpected group of guests. I bought the cheapo log of ground chuck for burgers as I was not about to break the bank on this one. I have never bought that grade of meat before I dont even like buying meat at the supermarket but surpisingly it made really great burgers. Probably because it is fattier but they were really good. Way better than the frozen patties I had in mind that were sold out and they would have cost more.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:47 PM   #7
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I would like to start doing this. We spend between 100-200 a week on groceries depending on whats on the menu. But again keep in mind that we are still building our pantry.. Well, we dont have much room in it, so we are limited. We have only 1 cupboard we can use for food with 3 shelves.

Gas is over $1.35 a litre here which works out to 6.14 a gallon canadian.. which works out to 6.11 american per gallon.. I'm not sure how much gas is in the states but this is absolute crapping robbery. GRRR!
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:47 PM   #8
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Some years ago I heard a news story about UPS Service management adopting a 'right turn only' policy and how much that saved the company. The routes were mapped out better and they never had to double back. I don't know if they still impliment it, but I tried it and it works. It saves time and gas, and alot less traffic lights.
I try to map my week out in routes. If I have to go to the store say on wednesday and its on say the right side of the road, what else do I have to do and what can wait and where does it fit into that route.
I keep that list. It saves brain space, time and money.


I'm a list person, so I make lists for food by aisle and sales and coupons - gotta love the coupons- and circulars.
I don't really impulse buy, but if I do, it's usually a food upgrade, which is still cheaper than eating out, or a doggy toy/treat I can't resist, as if weiner dog needs more.
Oh well, that's what mommies do.

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Old 05-06-2008, 01:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
Some years ago I heard a news story about UPS Service management adopting a 'right turn only' policy and how much that saved the company. The routes were mapped out better and they never had to double back. I don't know if they still impliment it, but I tried it and it works. It saves time and gas, and alot less traffic lights.
I try to map my week out in routes. If I have to go to the store say on wednesday and its on say the right side of the road, what else do I have to do and what can wait and where does it fit into that route.
I keep that list. It saves brain space, time and money.

I'm a list person, so I make lists for food by aisle and sales and coupons - gotta love the coupons- and circulars.
I don't really impulse buy, but if I do, it's usually a food upgrade, which is still cheaper than eating out, or a doggy toy/treat I can't resist, as if weiner dog needs more.
Oh well, that's what mommies do.
I do all the things you do I don't like back tracking I also make my list by the aisle. Another good trick is to never shop groceries when hungry you end up buying things you normally would not. Stick to the list. I am a sucker for dog toys but have cut back on those as well they have a full basket of toys they just go over it and pick one out.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:51 PM   #10
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If Buck and I economize any more we'll be having pine floats for our meals...toothpicks and water.

I ALWAYS make a list and stick to it. Have generated a custom one on the computer and it's arranged like the aisles in the store are. I take one day every two weeks and do ALL our shopping, mainly because our shopping "place" is 30 miles away. I have my list, small solar calculator (for comparative shopping), store ads, coupons, discounts, etc. in a notebook. I take $190 in cash and when it's gone, I'm done. Have never been an impulse shopper, so aren't tempted by things on the end caps or at the check-out.

When I say I buy everything on my shopping trips, I mean everything. Meats, fish, poultry, dairy, produce, canned and dried goods, detergents/household cleaners, paper products, pharmacy/hygiene items, pet foods/litter/treats, coffee/tea/beverages, everything we and our furry children consume. If I can't/don't get an item on a trip, I have to wait two weeks. That's how it is and has been for nearly 10 years. By now I've gotten into a "groove" and have learned some lessons on shopping creatively and carefully.

I have to plan our menus carefully so that the fresh produce from my shopping trips gets used efficiently and doesn't spoil. It's a bit easier in the summer when I grow some of our stuff.

We eat out 8 times a year - 7 times for lunch on our "date day" once a month, and once for dinner on our anniversary. Don't usually have date day on the months when Buck and I have our birthdays. Save the money to go toward a nice birthday meal. Also don't have our date in November and December. Thanksgiving and Christmas, you know.


Except for my regular shopping trips and our eating out excursions, we don't do much more driving. Our shop is 4/10 of a mile from our house, so gas isn't too much of an issue when it comes to getting to work. Buck drives to the shop 'cause he has walking issues. On nice days I enjoy walking to the shop.

Don't usually go to movies because we "treated" ourselves to the minimum plan of Netflix, which is more than adequate for our tastes. Also have the most basic of dish service for TV.

Batched our telephone service and our Internet service with the same provider. When we did that, we got high-speed Internet and free unlimited long-distance phone calls, neither of which we had with our old providers. The bonus? Got better/more service and ended up paying less than with the old.

Pay as many bills online and "in hand" locally as possible.

Our house isn't air-conditioned, so no energy used for cooling it. We heat the areas of the house we use most often with a wood stove. I wash 1 load of laundry per week and line dry almost all of it. I can get by with doing such little laundry because I discovered a long time ago that it's more efficient to have about 2 weeks worth of socks, underwear, outer shirts, etc. on hand. Two of us don't generate enough laundry to warrant even a small load, so one week I do linens, towels, etc. and the alternate week, it's our clothes, etc. Works out quite well for us but wouldn't be that easy for folks with more people in the house.

Let the sun light our rooms as much as possible. Otherwise, use very few lights and some that we do use are on timers that are adjusted with the season.

In the cold months, I plan oven meals more often to utilize the oven heat to warm the kitchen. In the warm months, cook outside, use the crock-pot or microwave as much as we can.

Have a 21 cubic foot freezer that I keep filled (more energy efficient) with homemade foods and sale items. Freeze or can things I grow.

Buck and I eat leftovers from evening meals for lunch. Haven't thrown anything out or had any U.F.O.s (unidentified food objects) in the refrigerator in a very long time.

I'm sure there is more, but I can't think of any right now. Buck says I can make a penny scream. Don't know, but I sure give it my best shot.
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