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Old 09-19-2014, 08:39 PM   #21
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My wife has the iphone5c. Our Garmin died and instead of buying a new one, she downloaded the free GPS app from Google Maps, which even has voice.

I hated my Blackberry while working, and now I gladly eschew the smart phone. I pay $35/month for a "dumb" phone that gives me more monthly minutes than I can use and it gives me unlimited texting (no-contract Verizon, purchased at Walmart). Plus, DW already has the iphone, and we're usually together, so if we want to access the Internet from the car then we just use hers.

We have Internet/land-line phone/cable w/HD and 100+ channels bundled together for $110/month on Falcon Broadband, which I believe is only a regional carrier here in Colorado. I would get rid of the land-line, but my MIL, who lives with us, won't use a cell phone. So, for the sake of marital bliss, I just pay for the land-line and enjoy the NFL in HD. I only watch a few sports, and most of the channels go unused, but my MIL likes a few that can only be received as a bundle. So, once again, for the sake of marital bliss, I keep the status quo.

DW and I stopped buying/drinking diet soda, which we often drank instead of tap water. Now, if we have a diet soda, it's a treat. So many health reports out now about the hazards of too much diet soda that we were convinced to stop buying it so often. 10 reasons to stop drinking diet soda - Nutrition - MSN Healthy Living As a benefit, we save $30-$50 a month off our grocery bill.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:21 AM   #22
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My wife joined (and is now the administrator of) our local chapter of the "Buy Nothing" group on facebook. Members give away things they don't want, and post messages asking for things they do. She's gotten a crazy amount of free stuff including a new dining room table, a great computer desk chair for me, free DVDs...all kinds of stuff. It's really great. Previously there were lots of boxes showing up from Amazon, but I see much much less of that now. Literally every day she picks up at least a couple free things, and has also gotten rid of a lot of stuff that we don't want.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:10 AM   #23
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I hated my Blackberry while working, and now I gladly eschew the smart phone. I pay $35/month for a "dumb" phone that gives me more monthly minutes than I can use and it gives me unlimited texting (no-contract Verizon, purchased at Walmart).

I had an iPhone at work and when I made the sudden decision to ER, I really wanted to keep it. They said I could- for $550. Yeah, right. I bought a new one from Verizon for a little more and got the cheapest data plan. My monthly bill isn't much more than yours- $51- and by keeping Cellular Data turned off except when I actually use it I've stayed well below the max.

I'm hoping to convince DH to get rid of our second land line soon. He has one freelance advertising client left and we get more telemarketers than legitimate calls on that line.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:19 AM   #24
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3> Contacted Garmin telling them that my device was not updating correctly - using the correct cable fixed the problem. Then offered me a free swap to the latest and greatest device plus free maps for life, a dashboard bag and memory card. I just paid to ship my old device back!!! $160 savings

I recently tried to update the maps on my Garmin Nuvi (had a device with lifetime map updates) - totally screwed up the device; about as useful as a glowing brick. I just tossed it out and now use my smartphone and google maps. Maps was recently updated and the driving directions are just about as good as the garmin; has voice input for addresses, show traffic conditions, etc. I drive a considerable amount for my job and have been totally satisfied. The only thing missing is the screen for the highways signs which are useful for complicated interchanges, but sure not worth paying for a GPS again. I would recommend that you do NOT purchase a GPS anymore.

Also have T-Mobile without a plan, pay month to month $43 total for each of our 2 phones, for unlimited talk, text and data. We get a $10 discount / month due to my wife's employer (some program at T-Mobile that gives discounts to EE's of certain employers - check it out).
I had the same problem with my NUVI and a friend told me to put a memory stick in... and it worked. My NUVI is back to normal.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:33 AM   #25
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I did three things recently that saved my $ and wanted to share them with you. Feel free to make suggestions as well.
Cutting back on monthly costs like you did, saves a lot more in the long run than cutting back on individual items, it seems to me. Or, at least it is easier for me to save by focusing on monthly costs.

I don't need to lower my spending right now, but I do work on this anyway in order to focus my spending on what matters to me rather than just wasting money. Some say my Scottish heritage explains why I am still interested in this type of thing. Here are eleven ways of saving money that I did, am doing, or plan to do, which come to mind:

(1) Canceling my cable TV service entirely (I just get internet from the cable company now)
(2) Choosing to use a homemade indoor TV antenna, no Netflix because I wouldn't use it.
(3) Canceling my landline telephone, which I plan to do soon.
(4) Ordering nothing but water to drink with meals at restaurants.
(5) Enjoying free podcasts. There are a million online on a huge variety of topics, and the ones I choose have no commercials either.
(6) Turning up the thermostat when I leave the house, in the hopes that this will minimize AC costs. I don't know if that is realistic, but I do it anyway.
(7) Turning off all lights in the house except for one (usually 40W-60W) in the room where I happen to be.
(8) Taking short showers. How long should it take to thoroughly soap your entire body, scrub assiduously, and then rinse it off? It doesn't take me more than about 5 minutes to do that, even twice. I was brought up to minimize my shower/bathroom time by Depression era parents. Consequently I never pay more than the minimum bill for water.
(9) Never standing there with the refrigerator door open just looking. Not doing this lowers electric bills.
(10) Not being rough on furniture so it won't need to be replaced as often. My Depression era parents taught me this, too, so it's just reflex for me.
(11) Don't listen to commercials, read junk mail or spam, or otherwise expose myself to advertising except when absolutely unavoidable. Madison Avenue knows what they are doing and their ads directly cause people to shamefully overspend. Nobody is immune IMO.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:54 AM   #26
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W2R - #11 is a biggy.
We have a dvr and I've trained the kids that commercials are bad for you. It really hit home how important this was when my (then) 7 year old informed me he wanted a "sealy posturpedic mattress to get a better nights sleep."
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:43 AM   #27
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Did lots of the same as previous posts, but thought I'd throw in a unique "investment" kind of saving...

Since we have a weekly dinner with friends at a restaurant (ok, it's a bar), that gives a 25% discount on food for AHA members (American Homebrewer's Association), I bought the AHA membership ($38 and comes with magazine subscription too). Break-even is at about 8 visits, so it's probably saving us around $150/yr.
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:11 PM   #28
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I cut dryer sheets in half. Sometimes fourths. Trying to remember where I got that idea...
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:41 PM   #29
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A few ways I have saved quite a bit of change over time:

- Buy used parts instead of new
- Service broken items yourself using youtube
- Monitor all monthly subscription fees and cancel anything unneeded
- Google and print coupons and discount codes before purchasing anything over say $50
- Look on craigslist for better deals on bigger purchases over say $50
- Buy as much food as I can at CostCo and periodically price check to ensure I am getting the best deal
- Wash my own vehicles
- Cut my own hair (although I usually pay for this)
- Take advantage of the latest high-yield industry points/rewards systems like cash back and airline points
- Challenge myself to find cheaper accommodations and rental cars etc when traveling
- Don't buy anything I don't absolutely need
- Use my military discount anywhere I can...plan on doubling down when I am a senior
- Avoid any convenience fees, late fees, fines and charges as much as humanly possible
- Buy off-brand products and only name-brand when absolutely necesarry
- Buy clothes twice a year, that's it...and only if they are on sale
- Drink only water (I quit soda/pop a few years back and a lot of the people that love me have caught on that soda is terrible and will amount to high doctor bills when older)
- Plan date nights so every night doesn't turn into Consumer Night
- When I do have to go to the store, it seems if I go during a busy time I get the hell in and out and don't spend as much moolah
- When you think you want to buy something, go for a walk around your neighborhood instead. Rationalized thoughts will ensue.
- When the Jones' get a new vehicle or toy, check your retirement accounts and compare your smile to the Jones'.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:25 PM   #30
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I needed this thread. Just cancelled Netflix. I find myself watching TV less and less. Amazon Prime will have to do for movies. Thanks for the nudge!
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:51 PM   #31
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I think that knowing yourself well, and knowing what you need to be content, is key.

As W2R has said quite a few times, keeping the recurring costs down is a very effective way to keep your total expenditure down in terms of effort put forth vs savings realized.

I have low rent, which includes utilities
I have no cable or satellite TV. In fact, I have no TV, as I watch online and am currently doing it from free sources (Hulu, YouTube etc)
I have no cellphone, because my landline is cheaper
I have no car. My bicycle cost me $125 used on Craigslist

My only recurring bills are rent, landline, and DSL service. That's it.

The one thing I will not compromise on, though, is quality cat food for my kitties
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:07 PM   #32
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Here are eleven ways of saving money that I did, am doing, or plan to do, which come to mind:

<snip>
(5) Enjoying free podcasts. There are a million online on a huge variety of topics, and the ones I choose have no commercials either.
Amen to that. I LOVE Podcasts. I was hooked when I found that I could get news n French and German, plus the BBC. Who knew? It's done wonders for my French and German vocabularies but darn it, no matter how hard I try, I still can't speak The Queen's English like the BBC announcers.

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(4) Ordering nothing but water to drink with meals at restaurants.
Well, sorry, you've gone too far! DH and I just had a lovely dinner at the B&B in Hermann, MO where we're staying and splurged wildly on a $24 bottle of fine Missouri wine.

But I understand your point. Each of us has areas where we can cut back painlessly and we need to find them as early as possible and make those cuts.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:26 PM   #33
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A.....DH and I just had a lovely dinner at the B&B in Hermann, MO where we're staying and splurged wildly on a $24 bottle of fine Missouri wine. ...
Sorry, but leave your LBYM credentials at the door on your way out..
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:02 PM   #34
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DH and I just had a lovely dinner at the B&B in Hermann, MO where we're staying and splurged wildly on a $24 bottle of fine Missouri wine.
Hope you're enjoying your stay. At $24, I'm guessing this may be a Norton. If so, as I understand it, Norton has some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any wine. So, maybe this is saving money on health? Have it with some dark chocolate...you know, for the health benefits
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:08 PM   #35
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As W2R has said quite a few times, keeping the recurring costs down is a very effective way to keep your total expenditure down in terms of effort put forth vs savings realized.
This!

It drives me nuts that so much software is now on subscription basis. My son wants some rendering program - but it's a monthly subscription... I've told him that's against family policy. My other son wanted to get a minecraft server... again, a monthly subscription. Even with him paying, I refused to let him do it...

It's why I don't do netflix... It would drive me nuts to be paying for it on months I wasn't using it. (And trust me - I do a full analysis on amazon prime each year before continuing it.) Cutting the cable bill, phone bill, cell phone bill, reducing utilities all leave more $ in my account at the end of the month.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:26 AM   #36
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I had an iPhone at work and when I made the sudden decision to ER, I really wanted to keep it. They said I could- for $550. Yeah, right. I bought a new one from Verizon for a little more and got the cheapest data plan. My monthly bill isn't much more than yours- $51- and by keeping Cellular Data turned off except when I actually use it I've stayed well below the max.
.

Thanks, it's been awhile since I've looked at phone deals. We have an old iphone4 that we had in Germany and are now locked out of it. We gave up trying to get it unlocked when we moved back to the States and DW wanted to move up to the iphone5c. We couldn't find an Apple Store when originally trying to unlock the old phone, but now we know where one is at. We'll see if they can help us unlock the old phone and maybe I can switch microchips.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:31 AM   #37
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It's why I don't do netflix... It would drive me nuts to be paying for it on months I wasn't using it. (And trust me - I do a full analysis on amazon prime each year before continuing it.) Cutting the cable bill, phone bill, cell phone bill, reducing utilities all leave more $ in my account at the end of the month.

Thanks rodi, you just gave me the push I needed and I just canceled my Netflix. I too have Amazon Prime, and have been thinking that Netflix is redundant. We use the Prime 2 day shipping quite often, so it makes sense to keep that service instead of Netflix. If I want a current DVD that's not on Prime, I can just go to WalMart or Safeway and rent it on Redbox for $1.35.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:54 AM   #38
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Thanks rodi, you just gave me the push I needed and I just canceled my Netflix. I too have Amazon Prime, and have been thinking that Netflix is redundant. We use the Prime 2 day shipping quite often, so it makes sense to keep that service instead of Netflix. If I want a current DVD that's not on Prime, I can just go to WalMart or Safeway and rent it on Redbox for $1.35.
Yep - I use redbox to infill... but that doesn't happen as often as I expected it would have.

I'll sign up for a free month of netflix (you can do that every year or two) when the next season of house of cards comes out. I binged watched the previous seasons during a free trial month earlier this year... then cancelled netflix before the month was over.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:41 AM   #39
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I have started using Bing rewards to get Hulu Plus for free each month. My deal with DH was I'd rather have Hulu Plus, Netflix and Prime than pay for cable TV, but for now we have basic cable on one TV for the same price as Internet alone, so he has actually been coping just fine with basic cable plus the other 3 to watch.

We switched to Ooma for the landline number last year. For our cell phones we also went off our contract Verizon plans for a combination of prepaid T-mobile and low cost month to month Verizon for now. We bought our own modem to avoid the monthly rental fees from the Internet cable company.

My one shopping vice used to be kitchen gadgets, which I used to order from Amazon. Then I realized I could buy open box items from Amazon warehouse deals at sometimes deep discounts so I started doing that. Next after using garage sales and thrift shops to furnish a complete kitchen for one of the kiddos, I realized I could get practically new kitchen gadgets to my hearts content at thrift shops for pennies on the dollar. Plus I can resell whatever I decide I don't want on eBay or our annual garage sale for probably more than what I paid for them. Yesterday I bought a Presto pizza oven that had been on my shopping wish list for $5. It is supposed to use up to 80% less electricity than a regular oven. Plus I can use it on the patio when it is hot outside and not heat up the house like the wall ovens do. I am hoping for a $5 investment I can knock off a bit more from our monthly energy bill.

This past month was the first month ever our utility company reports show us as having lower energy usage than local energy efficient homes (bottom 20%) and we did it mostly with just changing our habits and Amazon / thrift shop gadgets and energy saving small appliances - no major insulation or big ticket items.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:20 PM   #40
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Started using CardPool a few years ago. Been very happy with it. Free shipping and the cards have been accurate. You have to just on the popular one fast if you want them.

[URL="http://www.cardpool.com/"]
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