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Old 03-24-2009, 04:42 PM   #61
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Anybody else use freecycle.org to get stuff you need or to get rid of stuff you don't need? Can't beat free.

Jim
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #62
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This is not exactly a tightwad suggestion but I'll offer it anyway. For your vacation lodging, ask for a discount. I'm going to hawaii and renting a condo from the owner. I asked for a discount and bingo! $30 off/night.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:02 PM   #63
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This is not exactly a tightwad suggestion but I'll offer it anyway. For your vacation lodging, ask for a discount. I'm going to hawaii and renting a condo from the owner. I asked for a discount and bingo! $30 off/night.
Yeah, this economy can be a good thing for people who are good hagglers. I'm just not one of them.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:04 PM   #64
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This is not exactly a tightwad suggestion but I'll offer it anyway. For your vacation lodging, ask for a discount. I'm going to hawaii and renting a condo from the owner. I asked for a discount and bingo! $30 off/night.
Within the last week I made reservations for Napa Valley for 3 rooms . I could not get any major chain to give us a discount. Maybe I should have went with a Condo/house rental. Ah well.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:28 PM   #65
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Anybody else use freecycle.org to get stuff you need or to get rid of stuff you don't need? Can't beat free.

Jim
I've given a lot of stuff away through Freecycle and Craigslist. Recently, I seem to get a lot of people that say they want the item, but then won't come and get it.

I did get some free carpet once when I was making a cat tree - couldn't see buying new for that.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:37 PM   #66
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I've given a lot of stuff away through Freecycle and Craigslist. Recently, I seem to get a lot of people that say they want the item, but then won't come and get it.
I solve the no-show problem for giving away free stuff by saying in the advertisement "You pick up at [my address]. I will remove this advertisement when the item is gone".

Very effective and doesn't require me to spend any additional time coordinating with a bunch of people. It helps that I live in right the middle of things right off the biggest road in town, so it is "on the way" if you are out and about. Probably wouldn't work for more suburban/rural folks.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:38 PM   #67
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Within the last week I made reservations for Napa Valley for 3 rooms . I could not get any major chain to give us a discount. Maybe I should have went with a Condo/house rental. Ah well.
I've been interested in Craigslist for their travel swaps - haven't done it yet but I'm tempted...

Every so often, I check Home Exchange.com and look for listings...
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:39 PM   #68
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Within the last week I made reservations for Napa Valley for 3 rooms . I could not get any major chain to give us a discount. Maybe I should have went with a Condo/house rental. Ah well.
Not even AAA or AARP?
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:02 PM   #69
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Not even AAA or AARP?

Thats true got AAA. I just figured with things being so bad they might want to tango a bit more. Guess not I get AAA all the time so I take it for granted. Bad me
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:43 PM   #70
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Within the last week I made reservations for Napa Valley for 3 rooms . I could not get any major chain to give us a discount. Maybe I should have went with a Condo/house rental. Ah well.
I suppose another option might be staying in Sonoma or Santa Rosa or Healdsburg and then just hopping over the hills (on the Calistoga Road in the case of Santa Rosa).
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:05 PM   #71
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Our best money-saving tips

1. Learn to cook if you don't already know how, and learn about wine so you know what to buy that is good and under $10 a bottle. Then, buy a mixed case of wine when the wine store offers a mixed-case discount (ours does, sometimes) and stop going to restaurants. We have an elegant dinner with china, crystal, and a bottle from our "cellar" [an old lowboy cabinet with shelves and a tambour door, which really is in the cellar] every weekend...without paying 4X what the wine is worth, and 25%-30% extra for tax and tip.

2. Buy electric blankets or warming pads for your beds, and turn the heat way way down in the winter. Saves us hundreds of $$ a month and it's cozy and fun, and the cats adore it.
As Khan pointed out, a person's internal thermostat can be re-set until 65 degrees feels downright balmy.

3. Avoid paying other people to do what you can possibly do yourselves. FIREers probably don't need to be told to "clean your own house, mow your own grass, paint your own rooms."
I only point it out because when we found out what it would cost to have someone else do these things for us, we got the vapors and had to find a place to sit down. (I am hoping to add "do our own taxes" to the list but that's still to be determined).

4. Buy in bulk and store it mindfully...this has been stated on other threads, but there's no point "saving" $$ on a bulk food purchase if you forget about it and the food goes bad.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:19 PM   #72
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In our first year of ER, we did a lot of travelling, so with that in mind...

While on vacation, put your netflix and cable on hold. Netflix makes it extremely easy. Its a little more involved with cable - call them and insist on it. They'll still charge you, but at their most basic rate.

Use priceline.com and hotwire.com to get hotels & rental cars. Use your AAA discounts - they're sometimes even better than priceline & hotwire for rental cars.

Register for frequent stay/flier/user programs.

On a road trip, take a cooler & buy stuff at supermarkets instead of just when you need them. Works even better with booze. Find a nice spot at your hotel for a before dinner drink from your own stash. Find BYOB restaurants - their chefs are often very good, and you save a bundle on wine. Man! I sound like a drunk. I'm going to call AA.

Buy gas from no-name gas-stations. Inflate tires properly. Some stations charge less if you use cash.

Never have breakfast at your hotel restaurant - unless its free. Its almost always less expensive to have breakfast at a diner.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:07 PM   #73
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I enjoy the fresh produce market and make the time in season to put away stuff. Peppers at 10 for 1$ are great when sliced and frozen in a ziploc bag. I have about 4 more nights worth of brussel sprouts from last summers bounty when they were about 2 lbs for a $1. Peaches and berries freeze well and all winter long I can add them into the menus. By stocking up and simple chopping and blanching there is a better variety and lower cost as well as less prep time the rest of the year! Rhubarb sauce over pancakes is tasty and easy to make and freeze ahead. Diced rhubarb makes a great crisp or cobbler during the winter. If the freezer only worked on salad stuff! Oh well, it will soon be bargains galore on the greens!
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:00 PM   #74
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3. Avoid paying other people to do what you can possibly do yourselves. FIREers probably don't need to be told to "clean your own house, mow your own grass, paint your own rooms."
I only point it out because when we found out what it would cost to have someone else do these things for us, we got the vapors and had to find a place to sit down. (I am hoping to add "do our own taxes" to the list but that's still to be determined).

.
Agreed. I consider yard work, house cleaning, meal prep, minor repairs, most decorating chores, automobile maintenance and those sort of things my part time j*b in RE.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:57 PM   #75
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I have three tips.

(2) An unrelated money-saving tip: In the summer, I keep the thermostat as warm as is comfortable, and wear nearly nothing and drink lots of ice water.
I bet the UPS guy loves to bring you packages.

Ha
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:03 AM   #76
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Winter thermostat: 45 at night and 60 during the day.
Summer: 76. Not so frugal.

No cable.

Pre-paid cell phone.

Except for sheets and towels, clothes hang to dry.

No grass, no mowing. Native plants take little city water.
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Après moi, le déluge
Old 03-25-2009, 12:09 AM   #77
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Après moi, le déluge

I do not believe in saving money in retirement. I belive in spending money in retirement. That is why I retired, to spend money. I eat out all the time at nice restaurants. Occasionally, I eat at expensive restaurants, like last Friday we ate at, "Harris Ranch" in San Francisco and Sunday we ate at , "Sea Salt" in Berkeley. This morning I ate breakfast at, "Toast", in Mill Valley.

I save by buying well. I prefer expensive luxury cars that are five or six years old. I pay cash and keep them for at least ten years. If you buy the best well kept cars, formally owned by wealthy people, you can have the best in comfort and safety at a low cost. The car I have now is one of the safest on the road. I refuse to sacrifice safety for dollar savings. Just walk through a wrecking yard some time and you will see the horrors of cheap cars in deadly wrecks. No thanks. My savings in medical bills and burial fees is high, very high.

I spent a life-time saving. No more scrimping. I wish to die as Thomas Jefferson did, with a large house, a fully stocked wine cellar, a library stuffed with fine books and bankrupt.

The phrase I believe is...Après moi, le déluge.

boont
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:14 AM   #78
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My tip is to not buy anything nice. If you buy something nice it makes your other things look bad so you want to replace them too. I got a new shiny car now I really should dress better to go with it. If I bought a older slightly dented car I wouldn't need new clothing. The same problem can come from buying new shoes or a new coat or purse everything else needs upgraded too.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:19 AM   #79
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I'm afraid that most of the tips for saving $$ are akin to telling me how to breath (at least for us). We've had nothing for so long that it's become a way of life. The greatest tip I would suggest is to stay healthy. The health care system is a mess and very expensive only if you're sick. My wife and I pay $1.70 a day to use thousands of dollars of workout equipment at our fitness center. I've lost 85# since last June and it feels like money in the bank. We hardly ever eat out because I can cook better than any restaurant and I cook up much healthier meals for sure.

Nobody is "poor" if they're healthy and nobody is "rich" if they're unhealthy. Just my two cents.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:52 AM   #80
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I bet the UPS guy loves to bring you packages.
Aw, I'll bet a lot of you guys sit around in your underwear during the hot summer evenings, too, when you are home alone.

Besides, that brings up money-saving tip #4: don't spend a lot of time perusing online shopping websites, especially if you don't urgently need anything. I don't do a lot of shopping online, so I only get UPS packages maybe 3-6 times a year. Usually they are dropped off on my front doorstep while I am at work.

When I arrive home after a hard day at work, a UPS package on my doorstep feels just like Christmas. Frank does a lot more online shopping than I do so sometimes I tease him about how "every day is Christmas!"
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