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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 08:13 AM   #61
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Re: Living on a lot less

D'oh! How could I forgot one of the biggest changes: we're hardly saving any more!
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 08:36 AM   #62
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Re: Living on a lot less

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria

-- We used to spend ~ $200/month at a salon. Now I cut my own hair and don't color it.
How do you cut your own hair? I really dislike the money I drop having my hair cut every 5-6 weeks.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 08:51 AM   #63
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Re: Living on a lot less

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Originally Posted by Martha
How do you cut your own hair?* I really dislike the money I drop having my hair cut every 5-6 weeks.
With my hair still damp from the shower, I grab a small hank (like an inch wide)between my index and middle fingers, pull kinda tight, lay a really sharp pair of scissors across my fingers at the length I want, and snip! I tend to grab larger hanks in the back becasue by then (5 minutes later-) I'm getting bored. My hair is somewhat curly, which is more forgiving of unevenness than straight har, I guess. I've never been one of those girly-girls always worrying about their hair, brushing everyone else's hair, etc. I'm also not vain, so if it doesn't look perfect, I don't care--and neither does my husband (he is unlikely to even notice when I cut it). Once in a while my mother offers to pay for me to go to a haridresser beacsue she loves going herself every week and assumes I miss it (NOT!). She also presumes it looks better if done "professionally," but I can't tell the difference myself--but then, I'm not in the habit of "studying" my hair.

You can always try it, and if you don;t like the results, get it professionally cut again. You can also try a cheap salon like Supercuts. My hairdresser in San Francisco was trained there, and he said they do a good job of teaching people how to do several basic types of cut. And if you can't trust your handsome, well-read, considerate gay hairdresser from Wyoming, who can you trust?
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 09:01 AM   #64
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Re: Living on a lot less

Forgot to mention that when we visited San Francisco last June, I stopped in to visit my hairdresser and get my hair cut. He told me I was doing a great job! And believe me, I pay no attention to hairstyles or anything. If I can do this, anyone can, although as I said, my coarse, curlyish hair makes it easier. My daughter's hair is thin, fine, and stick-striaght (genetics are more complex than they taught us in HS biology!) and would probably need to go to cosmetology school to learn how to cut it well. But she and her husband are likely to have good pensions in retirement--and an inheritance ;-)
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 09:34 AM   #65
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Re: Living on a lot less

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Originally Posted by Martha
How do you cut your own hair?* I really dislike the money I drop having my hair cut every 5-6 weeks.
You can try shaving your head. That should be easy.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 09:53 AM   #66
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Re: Living on a lot less

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For the recipe you might search www.recipezaar.com...
thanks chris, I'll check them out.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 10:11 AM   #67
 
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Re: Living on a lot less

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How do you cut your own hair?
I bought my daughter this book five years ago, and she cut my hair until she left for college.* DW is doing it now.*

Saves money and time.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 11:02 AM   #68
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Re: Living on a lot less

$100-150/week for two adults for everything at a not particularly inexpensive (but lots of knowledgeable help and a wide variety) local chain supermarket. We do usually go out to eat once a week but that isn't included in the grocery bill.

It isn't difficult to make a big batch of something (like the sausage and white bean soup I did last night) that will provide a number of tasty meals at a reasonable price.

Prepared/packaged foods can really run up the price, especially if you are buying "junk food" stuff like snacks. If we are having a picnic we'll certainly buy a bag of chips to take on it, but it isn't something we would normally keep on hand.

The times that I've kept track of ALL expenditures were informative and interesting. Just the process of recording everything will make you aware of the "where'd the money go?" purchases, and will help you to start asking "do I really want/need this?"

cheers,
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 12:30 PM   #69
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Re: Living on a lot less

It sounds like many of us are in the $100-150/week range.* If my name was Dan I'd make this a poll, but I think we get the picture without that.

For that amount we get our "misc." too - shampoo, lightbulbs, etc., as well as alcohol (usually 2-3 bottles of wine and 6 pack of beer).* *I make at least one vegetarian and one fish meal per week, and we have leftovers at least one day as well.* I've only been cooking seriously for two since SO moved up here in July, so I'm still getting a feel for it.

We eat fruit and oatmeal or banana bread (homemade) on weekdays.* We sometimes have more of a big breakfast on weekends.* *He packs his lunch almost every day, I have work related lunches (paid by work) 2 days, and leftovers the others.

My obsessive/compulsive grocery spending spreadsheet (which I can share if anyone's interested) breaks down food by breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, condiments, beverages etc., so I can see where the big expenses go.* It's sort of interesting, in a boring sort of way.* :
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 12:32 PM   #70
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Re: Living on a lot less

When I add in my "misc" expenses (that's how they are listed in the budget!) I come up to about $650/month for a family of 3. The "misc" is as much as the "food" line item. We do have an 8 mo old though.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 03:13 PM   #71
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Re: Living on a lot less

I budget 500 a month for food and miscellaneous.

My food bill has averaged 250 a month so far this year, feeding 3 people from Jan - Sept and 2 thereafter.

I buy as much in bulk as possible at the lowest price I can find.
We don't eat a lot of expensive cuts of meat, but when I find a good buy I buy a lot. Rib steak is the most expensive meat I buy, and I buy a boneless piece at Sam's or Costco and cut my own into steaks (tip from TH). I buy boneless sirloin beef and pork and cut my own chops. 10% hamburger, boneless skinless chicken and boned fish round out our meat.

I would make 2 dozen muffins every Sunday which my kids eat for breakfasts or snacks during the week. I do a lot of scratch cooking too. Lots of soups that I freeze in pint containers.

When my kids were small, I had to do this to survive. As they got older, it was a way to spend less and save more. I now have more time to cook, but am simplifying my meals since I only have 1 kid at home. I don't need to have so much food available for starving teenage buys.

I'm spending closer to 200 a month for the 2 of us, but I do have a stocked freezer which helps to bring the spending down.

We don't really eat out except for birthdays; take out is 30.00 on a really big month.



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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 03:59 PM   #72
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Re: Living on a lot less

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
We used to spend ~ $200/month at a salon. Now I cut my own hair and don't color it...
Wow. I cut my hair, 3/8" with electric clippers. How does a woman cut her own hair?

Ha
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 04:17 PM   #73
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Re: Living on a lot less

my DW has been asking to cut my hair for years (no formal training) ... but I said 'don't learn on me'.

Now with the barber a 1/2 hour away (near my former employer), I said 'go ahead'. Walmart sells a clipper set for $20. Now at 3 cuts n'counting. With tip the savings is $20 per cut. Pays for lunch out.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 04:25 PM   #74
 
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Re: Living on a lot less

Hi Sheryl,

Yes, I'd like to see it. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.*

Mine is actually a grocery price sheet (it's very very long ).

Here it is.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 04:41 PM   #75
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Re: Living on a lot less

Wow Al!* That was really long!* **


Mine is on my home computer so I will have to post it later when I am alone not so busy goofing around on the internet working.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 08:17 PM   #76
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Re: Living on a lot less

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
my DW has been asking to cut my hair for years (no formal training) ... but I said 'don't learn on me'.*

Now with the barber a 1/2 hour away (near my former employer), I said 'go ahead'.* Walmart sells a clipper set for $20.* Now at 3 cuts n'counting.* With tip the savings is $20 per cut.* Pays for lunch out.
I've been cutting my own hair with clippers for 4 years, the set cost me ~$20 as well, and since I have curly/wavy hair, small mistakes are less visible.

...I do need DW to clean up the back, but she doesn't charge much.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 09:30 PM   #77
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Re: Living on a lot less

I started shaving my head some 2 years ago. I shave it every 2 or 3 days.

MJ
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 09:47 PM   #78
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Re: Living on a lot less

I spend around $150 to 175 per month on groceries and toiletries etc. And I (being a bit of a health nut) buy a lot of organic veggies and shop the farmers markets in the summer. That's 3 big meals a day plus snacks. Eating out (about 1x per month lately)is in the entertainment budget.

Regarding salmon, I think one of the best deals in the store is Chicken of the Sea canned Alaskan salmon (14.75 oz) for 99 centz. It's wild-caught, according to their website anyway.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 09:51 PM   #79
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Re: Living on a lot less

pbrane is a master saver

Quote:
I started shaving my head some 2 years ago. I shave it every 2 or 3 days.
With clippers or razors? Seems like the razor would negate the savings.
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Re: Living on a lot less
Old 12-01-2005, 10:53 PM   #80
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Re: Living on a lot less

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbrane
Regarding salmon, I think one of the best deals in the store is Chicken of the Sea canned Alaskan salmon (14.75 oz) for 99 centz. It's wild-caught, according to their website anyway.
As far as I know, all canned salmon sold in the US is wild, and all of it comes from Alaska. The large cheap cans you talk about are really a good deal, if you like them. I eat canned salmon all winter, since I hate frozen salmon- but I pay up for the canned sockeye, usually just designated as red, as opposed to "PinkĒ for the cheaper product.

I buy mine from a small packer with a retail outlet (case lots) in Bellingham, WA. Cost varies with fishing conditions, but it is usually in the neighborhood of $3 per half pound. (The cans are actually a bit smaller than this, but close.) I also eat a lot of sardines, but only King Oscar double row pack in salmon oil. They used to be packed in sild (herring) oil, but I think that was a turnoff for American consumers. This stuff is expensive-$2.29 or so for a normal sized sardine can- but it is really good!

I think I am beginning to see that my grocery expenses are more than some, not because I am a crappy shopper, but because I have different tastes. I don't mind drinking relatively cheap wine, but I can be picky about fish,* meat or vegetables.

I try to save money by avoiding eating out except on special occasions. I canít stand pedestrian restaurant food either, so eating out can be a real budget killer for me.

Ha
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