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Old 12-03-2007, 07:18 AM   #21
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We got rid of excesses like magazine subscriptions, newspapers (share with neighbor) and get our info online. Got rid of extra platinum credit cards. We shop at The Dollar Store. We buy online. We shop at several stores for weekly supplies based on their specialties. We cut out takeout and prepackaged foods in favor of cooking from scratch.

In short, we use our time wisely. But we do not deprive ourselves of anything. After all, this is the only time we will pass this way.

(We do selective home swaps to improve quality and save money. We travel during the week to get the best air fares.)
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:22 AM   #22
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Everything not in the essentials budget is "an extraordinary expense". Sometimes you just have to be extraordinary.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:02 AM   #23
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Good ingredients make good food, and vice versa........
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:23 AM   #24
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i buy very little of what i don't need. i don't like shopping and so i just run in and get what i need and i'm done. i don't "shop" in that i don't look for things to purchase. i know what i want & i get it. i wear blinders and i avert my eyes to anything that i didn't go in to purchase on purpose. if i looked at everything on those shelves i'm afraid i would go into future shock and become a moron like the rest of them. you might as well put a cell phone to my ear.

it is a little upsetting that i sometimes wind up with too much of what i can use but that has more to do with packaging than purchasing. i wish more stuff would be sold for single people but if it was it would probably be more expensive anyway, so i just wind up throwing out some essentials when they go bad. my worst example of that is bread which i love fresh but that is not easy in florida especially in summer because it molds quickly. so i often only use 1/2 the loaf before throwing it out and getting a new one.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:18 PM   #25
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i wish more stuff would be sold for single people but if it was it would probably be more expensive anyway, so i just wind up throwing out some essentials when they go bad. my worst example of that is bread which i love fresh but that is not easy in florida especially in summer because it molds quickly. so i often only use 1/2 the loaf before throwing it out and getting a new one.
I know what you mean about packaging for single people.

As for the bread problem, I have a possible solution. It is only partly satisfactory, I admit. Anyway, I put my bread in the freezer, and only take out what I might need. It usually doesn't seem to get any extra moisture, and if it does then I put it in the toaster for a few seconds.

Actually I put it in there in freezer bags with two slices per bag. I do that because bread is a "red light food" for me and I don't need to be eating more than two slices/day. I take one baggie of two slices out the day before I intend to use it. It thaws in the refrigerator, or else I speed up the process by using the toaster.
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:00 PM   #26
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Essential? Food wise, I could probably survive with just bulk purchases of beans, rice, wheat, oats, and seeds (for sprouting and the garden).

So right now, probably 98+% of our food bill is technically non-essential.

However, "a luxury once sampled becomes a necessity" so in reality 100% of our current food bill is essential. I mean, how could I possibly live without fresh berries in the winter?
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:20 PM   #27
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I've got my hands around the essentials vs non-essentials pretty well, but my spouse, who is only 54, doesn't see the need to concern herself with this. That, of course, is a much deeper problem than just good budgeting. Any ideas? (must include keeping the wife!)
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:30 PM   #28
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We will be able to cut our food costs by 70% or so when we fire (good, fresh food is uber-expensive where we are in Asia). We have a lot of options near our home in central Calif (farmers markets, fruit stands, gardening...which is also a hobby I enjoy). We can also buy bulk at Costco...cut our own rib steaks from blocks of prime rib roast (or filet mignon from a filet roast), re-package and freeze what we find on sale.

My folks also freeze their bread. They cater twice a month for the Lion's club, and freeze the leftovers for their own meals later in the month. (Their catering earnings become their "mad money". It is a part-time thing my dad has tried to quit several times but can't because there isn't anyone to take his place who can do it as economically as he can in his local town and Lion's chapter). They typically spend less than $200/mo on food, and they eat very well...always fresh veggies and fruit around. We'll never be capable of what they are, but we will still be able to live on much less in the US than we must spend here in our super expensive asian city.

Now, if DW could just put on LG4NB's blinders when we come to the middle aisles (junk aisles) of the local supermarket...

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Old 12-03-2007, 05:46 PM   #29
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I've got my hands around the essentials vs non-essentials pretty well, but my spouse, who is only 54, doesn't see the need to concern herself with this. That, of course, is a much deeper problem than just good budgeting. Any ideas? (must include keeping the wife!)
As far as I know, you can't make people change and you can't make people do what you want them to do, if they don't want to do it. So, you have to figure out how to get her to want to do it.

But then what do I know? I'm divorced!
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:33 PM   #30
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Now, if DW could just put on LG4NB's blinders when we come to the middle aisles (junk aisles) of the local supermarket...
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:24 AM   #31
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My thing that I waste is milk, only the gallons seem to ever be on sale, I can't drink a gallon. Mostly I don't buy any milk except powered to make muffins and things. When I build a real desire for milk I will buy a gallon on sale for maybe 2.50 when a half gallon is 2.25 and a quart is 2.00 I can't make myself buy the smaller containers when they are so much more a pint. Then I have cereal, make pudding and maybe drink a glass, I try to use it up but usually throw out at least a quart of the gallon. I tried freezing it but finding containers then remembering to thaw isn't worth it.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:42 AM   #32
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My thing that I waste is milk, only the gallons seem to ever be on sale, I can't drink a gallon. Mostly I don't buy any milk except powered to make muffins and things. When I build a real desire for milk I will buy a gallon on sale for maybe 2.50 when a half gallon is 2.25 and a quart is 2.00 I can't make myself buy the smaller containers when they are so much more a pint. Then I have cereal, make pudding and maybe drink a glass, I try to use it up but usually throw out at least a quart of the gallon. I tried freezing it but finding containers then remembering to thaw isn't worth it.
Shoot, that's easy. Do what I do. Drink buttermilk. It never sours because it is already soured.
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