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Old 03-20-2011, 08:41 AM   #501
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Since y'all are talking about garlic, and the theme is money saving tips, my tip is to grow your own garlic. Its so easy and it keeps on giving! Plant in the fall and then pretty much do nothing (except water as needed) until the following August. I have 60 bulbs coming up. Keep 50 to eat (seems like a good amount for a 1 year supply) and plant the other 10 each year and you will never run out. If you cure it and store it properly, homegrown garlic can stay fresh for 6-9 months.

Also - the growing garlic provides additional treats via the scapes (the shoots that grow above-ground), which you harvest in early summer.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:52 AM   #502
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Here is a neat trick that I stumbled onto. I use Frontline on my dog for flea and tick repellent, but it is expensive, even at Costco. What I noticed is that the cost per dose is the same for big dogs and little dogs, so I buy the size for the largest dog and just give my dog half a dose each month, effectively cutting my cost in half.

If you have a tiny dog you could really save big.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:48 AM   #503
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Here is a neat trick that I stumbled onto. I use Frontline on my dog for flea and tick repellent, but it is expensive, even at Costco. What I noticed is that the cost per dose is the same for big dogs and little dogs, so I buy the size for the largest dog and just give my dog half a dose each month, effectively cutting my cost in half.

If you have a tiny dog you could really save big.

I only give it to my dog if he gets fleas, which is maybe once a year. If course my dog is a house dog.


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Old 06-01-2015, 09:07 AM   #504
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I'd like to add giving myself a cash allowance and leaving cards in a drawer at home. I find myself asking myself if I really need to swing by some place for lunch/dinner or do I really need that gadget. I gave myself $50 allowance two weeks ago and have only spent about $7.80 cents so far. Gasoline is exempt from allowance, we fill up the tanks at the beginning of allowance periods.
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Wow, $7.80 in two weeks? That is wonderful! I am so impressed. Sounds like you have a terrific method for saving money.
+1 on this. It is amazing to me that I will plunk down a Starbucks gift card to buy a $4.00 single serving latte without thought, but if I'm reaching into my wallet and using my own spending cash, there is just no way.

We withdraw $40 in cash a week, one $20 bill each, for what we call mad money, and mine just sits and accumulates for the most part. I think that using cash for whim purchases, vs credit cards, saves us hundreds, if not thousands per year.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:16 AM   #505
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I'd like to add giving myself a cash allowance and leaving cards in a drawer at home. I find myself asking myself if I really need to swing by some place for lunch/dinner or do I really need that gadget.
+1 on this. It is amazing to me that I will plunk down a Starbucks gift card to buy a $4.00 single serving latte without thought, but if I'm reaching into my wallet and using my own spending cash, there is just no way.

We withdraw $40 in cash a week, one $20 bill each, for what we call mad money, and mine just sits and accumulates for the most part. I think that using cash for whim purchases, vs credit cards, saves us hundreds, if not thousands per year.
While I guess people should do whatever works for them, I think it would be far more useful for you to get your brain wrapped around the fact that money is money. It has the same effect on your net worth whether spent in the form of paper, coin, or card.

Once you understand that, you won't be tempted to buy anything other than what you truly value. The form of payment won't matter to you. And you can use the payment method that serves you - generally, that's using a credit card that provides rewards (and the cards make budgeting easier, as there is float until the due date, and that is far enough ahead it is easy to plan to have the $ in checking account to pay it off in full).

Side note: Will the term 'checking account' ever go away? So few checks are written these days.

-ERD50
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:26 AM   #506
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Here is a neat trick that I stumbled onto. I use Frontline on my dog for flea and tick repellent, but it is expensive, even at Costco. What I noticed is that the cost per dose is the same for big dogs and little dogs, so I buy the size for the largest dog and just give my dog half a dose each month, effectively cutting my cost in half.

If you have a tiny dog you could really save big.
Thank you. That's a big savings for our two dogs!

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Old 06-01-2015, 09:37 AM   #507
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I've cut my own hair with a flowbee since 1994.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:40 AM   #508
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Forum readers would save the most money by not reading travel related threads, or better yet putting them on ignore.

PS. Following home cooking threads would be a bonus. And that's even if you splurge for the $100 Thermapen. It entices you to cook and grill at home more, instead of going out to eat. And you can even start your own "OMG! I did this fabulous dish."
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:47 AM   #509
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While I guess people should do whatever works for them, I think it would be far more useful for you to get your brain wrapped around the fact that money is money. It has the same effect on your net worth whether spent in the form of paper, coin, or card.

Once you understand that, you won't be tempted to buy anything other than what you truly value. The form of payment won't matter to you. And you can use the payment method that serves you - generally, that's using a credit card that provides rewards (and the cards make budgeting easier, as there is float until the due date, and that is far enough ahead it is easy to plan to have the $ in checking account to pay it off in full).

Side note: Will the term 'checking account' ever go away? So few checks are written these days.

-ERD50
ERD - We're FIRE'd . . . clearly it works for us.

Edit: Here is a link to an article that replicates much of what I've seen published about the subtle differences in buying behavior when using paper cash vs plastic. The bottom line is that cash hurts, plain and simple, where credit hurts less. Gregory Karp: The psychology of cash vs. credit - tribunedigital-chicagotribune

There are scads of similar research articles out there for the taking if one is interested.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:58 AM   #510
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I called the auto insurance guy the other day because my rates went up and got additional discounts that were more than the increase so saved money.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:07 AM   #511
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Two money saving tips come to mind but I'm not sure if they are best.

First is when I get a medical bill and EOB statement confirming the amount, I then call the medical provider's collection office and ask if they offer a discount if I pay it right now via credit card. While the response varies, often they offer a 10-20% discount and I pay with my 2% rewards credit card so I get a 12-22% discount from the negotiated rate.

Second is we use a MVNO cell phone carrier since our cell phone needs are modest. We bring our own phone ($20 and up depending on how nice/fancy a phone one wants) but our monthly cost is only $10/month/phone compared to $75 or more from the major carriers.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:39 AM   #512
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I am glad this thread got resurrected. I love all the tips.

My main money saving feat this past month has been to get better at grocery price comparison shopping and stockpiling loss leaders. Instead of shopping at one store, I make a route and try to shop at several stores close together and stockpile all the loss leaders and deeply discounted specials. Last month our per person grocery bill dropped to almost food stamp challenge level but we actually have plenty of healthy food in the house with lots of fresh produce and most of the meat, eggs and produce on the dirty dozen list are organic (those are usually from Costco and Grocery Outlet). And our person spending includes wine and some non-food items like toilet paper.

The second big money saver has been learning the credit card sign up bonus game. I hope to fund our travel for the year and some home improvements with credit card sign up bonuses. I'm an authorized buyer now on one of the kid's cards that earns 50,000 points / ~$500 for $1K in spending. Spend $1K and get back $500 tax free. I think I am going to like this game, though not all the bonuses are going to have this high of a payback.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:24 PM   #513
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ERD - We're FIRE'd . . . clearly it works for us.

Edit: Here is a link to an article that replicates much of what I've seen published about the subtle differences in buying behavior when using paper cash vs plastic. The bottom line is that cash hurts, plain and simple, where credit hurts less. Gregory Karp: The psychology of cash vs. credit - tribunedigital-chicagotribune

There are scads of similar research articles out there for the taking if one is interested.
To be clear - I did not say the effect does not exist, I'm aware that it does. I am saying that it would be better to 'get over it'. I'd bet that kind of thinking shows up in other ways too, probably to the detriment of the person stuck in that mode.

If one can't get over it, then avoiding it is the right (hopefully temporary) choice. There's psychology to get us to buy big fancy cars, but I learn to think rationally about it, and buy a car that meets my needs, not what someone wants me to buy. It's like that.

And maybe you would have retired sooner or with more, otherwise? I know I've earned many, many thousands of dollars in credit card rewards over the years. I charge everything that I can, and it doesn't change my buying decisions.

-ERD50
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:33 PM   #514
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I've cut my own hair with a flowbee since 1994.
Is that a joke or is that actually true? I didn't think anyone used one of those for more than a week after purchasing it while drunk at 3am
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:39 PM   #515
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.......... our monthly cost is only $10/month/phone .........
Ten dollars! Luxury and excess! I'm paying $2.50 a month with PagePlus. Of course calls are extra, if I make any......
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:43 PM   #516
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....Here is a link to an article that replicates much of what I've seen published about the subtle differences in buying behavior when using paper cash vs plastic. The bottom line is that cash hurts, plain and simple, where credit hurts less. Gregory Karp: The psychology of cash vs. credit - tribunedigital-chicagotribune...
While I concede that this phenomenon exists, WADR it is pure silliness. I have used principally credit cards for over 30 years and the method of payment has absolutely no influence on our purchase decisions because we have a full expectation that we'll pay the credit card in full (via autopay in our case) so it is the same as cash other than perhaps 30 days or so of timing (which at today's low interest rates is close to worthless).

Using cash is hugely suboptimal in my opinion. I get a 2% reward for every $1 that we spend with our credit card, have greater protections from flawed merchandise and best of all, get double the manufacturer's warranty on many items. The last one alone saved me $600 in repair bills a few years ago.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:53 PM   #517
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Ten dollars! Luxury and excess! I'm paying $2.50 a month with PagePlus.
$2.50/mo? I have the free plan on RingPlus (well, OK, I use a dab of extra data that might amount to $1/mo).
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:00 PM   #518
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ERD - We're FIRE'd . . . clearly it works for us.
And that's what matters. It doesn't need to work for everyone else, just you. I think using cash this way isn't a bad idea, and I'll pass it along to the kids.

Not trying to solve the deficit here folks, just share our money saving tips.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:24 PM   #519
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ERD - We're FIRE'd . . . clearly it works for us.

Edit: Here is a link to an article that replicates much of what I've seen published about the subtle differences in buying behavior when using paper cash vs plastic. The bottom line is that cash hurts, plain and simple, where credit hurts less. Gregory Karp: The psychology of cash vs. credit - tribunedigital-chicagotribune

There are scads of similar research articles out there for the taking if one is interested.
Thanks, the article was interesting. It would be interesting to see my kids' generation surveyed, most of whom don't carry enough cash to pay for a parking meter.

I know that for DH and me, we often don't even notice the cash register total (although we pay attention to the price of the individual items), unless we are pulling out bills and coins.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:14 PM   #520
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I was out of work for about 10 months and did a number of things that were all sensible and will continue on.
- our power company keeps a couple of years of bills online. I was able to use that plus average temperature to get a baseline of our electric bills. Then we did several things. Replaced bulbs with LED, changed our pool pump cycle (it can use as much power as the A/C), reprogrammed the a/c thermostat, borrowed an infrared sensor from a friend and found hotspots around the ceiling and fixed the obviously bad spots with more insulation
- My car is quite a bit older than my wife's. Dropped down to only liability for it.
- Sat down with insurance agent and went through homeowners and found several things there that made sense for us.
- Dropped Cable. Roku, Hulu, antenna, PlayOn give us more than what we need.
- Restricted restaurants - budgeted food for a change.
- A real budget (which makes you pay attention to gas, utilities, food, home maint., and "misc".
- Refinanced the house
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