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Old 05-18-2021, 10:36 AM   #61
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I buy many things cheaper on Ebay than I can get from a store or from Amazon. Just this morning I was looking for a certain brand of toothpaste. Could not find it in the local store and it was pricey on Amazon and Walmart.com. I found 3 tubes of the toothpaste on Ebay for the same price as one tube on Amazon. You do have to watch out to be sure items are not expired on Ebay.

I wear an expensive shoe because of foot issues. I bought the first pair (for $160!) at a local retailer. I have bought more pairs on Ebay (usually new or slightly worn returns) for less than half the price.
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:56 AM   #62
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Thrift shops like Salvation Army/Good Will/St. Vincent DePaul
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:09 PM   #63
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Mason jars - Since we are into sustainable living, I use mason jars for as much as I can. They last forever, the glass is recyclable, and they are interchangeable. I use mason jars for foods storage, cut flowers and organizing around the house, like holding office supplies. I have solar light tops for outdoor lighting, shaker tops, soap dispenser tops, a lamp kit and shaker tops. The shaker tops hold baking soda which I use for cleaning. For hand soap I buy Dr. Bronner's Castille soap and dilute it in the mason jars with the pump top lids for hand soap.

I make my own non-toxic cleaning supplies with ingredients like Dr. Bronner's soap, baking soda, essential oils and vinegar: Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap – Dr. Bronner's (drbronner.com)
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:12 PM   #64
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Thrift shops like Salvation Army/Good Will/St. Vincent DePaul

+1. In our are there are also some very nice boutique type thrift shops from local charities. I found them using the thrift shop ratings on Yelp.
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:08 PM   #65
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Honestly, I know of several ways we could cut expenses, but have become lazy. It COSTS to cut expenses - that is, you actually have to use your brain and maybe a bit of braun to save most money. It may even take MONEY to save money.

Examples might include:

Phantom Electricity - I'm guessing 15 or even 20% of our electricity is "wasted" because of "instant on" features, all those little converters (they look like battery chargers) that make the cable box work, that make the internet box work, that charge the electric shavers, that keep the printer and TV "hot" at all times, on and on. There are folks who "gang" these on a power strip and turn the strip off at night. Doing so saves a few hundred watts of electricity which becomes several kilowatts by the end of the month. BUT on the off chance, I can't sleep (or DW) and get up to play on the computer for a couple of hours or maybe watch TV it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes to make things "work" again. SWAG: We could save $15/month since our electricity is expensive.

Drying clothes: We used to religiously hang up clothes - right in the apartment as the trades came through and gave a great drying effect. Now that we're old, we say "I'll pay the money to just transfer to the dryer and save the 20 minutes of sorting undies to the rack, shirts to plastic hangers, towels and shorts across the backs of chairs, etc. etc." SWAG $1/load could be saved for 15 minutes work (net - stuff still has to be hung up.)

Fridge: Our fridge probably uses the most electricity of all the appliances (as we don't use the stove much and our HOA dues pipes in our hot water without a meter.) We could get rid of the current 10-year-old fridge and buy one of the newer more efficient models and pick a smaller one as well - what's the use of freezing a bunch of stuff that we could WALK to Costco (fat chance) and buy every other day or so. BUT, looking at the COST of a new fridge, we can "waste" a lot of electricity and come out ahead until the thing dies. AND we have heard - The newer the fridge (or, pick an "efficient" appliance) the shorter its projected life time. SO my SWAG: We might "save" $15/month at a cost of $1000+ to replace a working fridge with one that won't last 10 years.

CARS: Mentioned earlier, we're getting rid of one - but the other one only gets 25mpg in our hands. We could double that with a Prius cause our upstairs neighbor (who drives like a maniac from Boston - which he is (maniac on the road) and originally from "BASTON") got 50 mpg. But when he moved, he wanted (and got) $16K for his used Prius. My car several years back cost $13K and I only drive it (pre-Covid) 4000 miles/year. You do the math and it probably doesn't work for us but COULD save a commuter a BUNCH of money 50mpg vs 25 mpg.

COOKING: We already save a bunch. We "cook" with a microwave and a toaster oven. Everything here is electric, so its all about watts. Cooking a burger or chicken breast on the stove or in the convection oven costs way more watts than using the toaster oven. DW has it down to a science now. Nuke the frozen (whatever) to thaw. Stick it into the toaster oven for X or Y or Z minutes. Check it (just because ole Ko'olau is fearful of Sam and Ella visiting) and throw it on a paper plate (with sauce.) I'm guessing we use half the electricity of heating up the "big" oven to do the same. (By the way, waste heat here just makes things "hot" - even in the winter. It doesn't mean you save heating fuel.)

AC: Yeah, we could use it a few days a year, but the (maniac) upstairs had one of the rollable "window" in-and-out units for his DW who had asthma. I think it was maybe 1000 watts or some such. We just strip to underwear and turn on the fans those few days when it's truly hot - when the trades die.

Haircuts: Okay, that's work. DW does it TO herself and TO me. MOST times it looks okay and, hey, it'll grow back! BUT, the real reason I do it is to avoid going to the barber. I just hate that and can't even explain why. Now, I sit on the shower chair (you "old" people know what I'm talkin' 'bout) and DW does her thing - then I turn on the shower and I'm good to go.) Savings: at least $10 plus a trip to the barber. YMMV

I'll quit until inspired again.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:47 PM   #66
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We haven’t been particularly focused on cutting expenses since our ER. Other than 2020 when we spent much less due to COVID, our spending has been pretty consistent except for moving and remodeling our new home.

We initially thought about buying a vacation condo. After thinking about it, we realized that for us, a second home just adds costs and headaches. Instead, we purchased a nicer property than we would have if it were just a vacation home and moved to it. We kept our former home but rented it out to a long-term tenant so now instead of increasing our costs, we’ve actually increased our net cash flow. Not something we planned, but it is a nice bit of extra cash. And if we ever decide to stop traveling so much and live in two homes instead, we have the flexibility to do that.

We still have two cars, but cutting down to one may make sense for us at some point. Our cars are 15 years old and eliminating one would save us around $1,500-$2,000/year in insurance, licensing, etc.

As others have said, COVID made a difference that has continued to result in savings. DH now cuts his own hair with a bit of help from me. I stopped getting pedicures every 6 weeks and now only go occasionally. Neither of us has bought many clothes in the last 2 years. We do still enjoy eating out, but got in the habit of staying in more often, which is cheaper and healthier. Sadly, a few people we bought gifts for regularly passed away so we aren’t spending as much on gifts either.

Our spending on groceries has gone up a lot as prices are way up and we eat at home more often. We buy a lot less wine than we used to, mainly because we cut back to manage our weight. Our healthcare insurance has skyrocketed since ER, but when I did a search last year to compare costs, everything else that was remotely comparable cost the same or more.

Like most people on this site, we have never been “keep up with the Jones” types. We don’t penny pinch but we also make sure we feel like what we do spend money on is good value for us. Almost half of our spending is discretionary, so if we ever needed to, we could ratchet down pretty easily. Fortunately since our ER, the market has performed very well so we have a higher net worth than we did when we retired, despite living 100% off our portfolio for 4.5 years. Lucky timing!
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Old 05-22-2021, 08:31 AM   #67
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Some really good suggestions! I watched the video posted earlier and don’t think I would ever be interested in living that extreme, but it’s interesting to learn about for sure!

I’m much more interested personally in making cuts that mean minimal change in our quality of life for a little extra effort. After moving to a prepaid phone plan, I now cringe at how much money we wasted over the years!

In reading the replies, a few more jump to mind for us.

Gel pedicures. They are about the same price wise but last forever.
While DH won’t let me cut his hair (though I think my cuts are better than some of the bad ones he’s gotten), I am cutting the kids hair since covid. And I need to start doing my own color. I did it once during the height of covid here and honestly liked it better than what my stylist does.

I also use poshmark or other used clothing apps for a lot of clothes. I haven’t used them for jewelry yet, but I have my eye on a few pieces. I need to clean out my closet and start putting some of my old work clothes on there too.

On my to do list is to put in more automation to cut energy use and rearrange when we’re using energy to maximize our $/kwh. So killing those phantom draws is on the list for us, though I suspect it’s far less than 15% of our use.
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Old 05-22-2021, 08:50 AM   #68
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Very interesting thread. The frugal ad LBYM is a gene we all have so many of the saving tips and things we do everyday is who we are in general.

We still shop around, buy on sale and find the best possible price on all most everything. Many of the things that saves money that were mentioned is a natural thing for us to do.

With that being said, at this point in our life those things we are saving at means very little if any, that would change our quality of life or even change what we are worth. Most of the saving we do is habit from who we are. At this stage in the game saving a dollar here or there isn't going to break or make us.
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Old 05-22-2021, 04:45 PM   #69
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Very interesting thread. The frugal ad LBYM is a gene we all have so many of the saving tips and things we do everyday is who we are in general.

We still shop around, buy on sale and find the best possible price on all most everything. Many of the things that saves money that were mentioned is a natural thing for us to do.

With that being said, at this point in our life those things we are saving at means very little if any, that would change our quality of life or even change what we are worth. Most of the saving we do is habit from who we are. At this stage in the game saving a dollar here or there isn't going to break or make us.
All so very true. AND it STILL feels good to believe we got the best deal! Or it still feels good to "save" a buck, here and there. I think it must be THAT attitude that got us to FIRE in the first place. If I never lose that attitude, I'll still die happy AND my kids won't have as much stuff to shovel into a dumpster!!
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Old 05-23-2021, 05:12 PM   #70
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I didn't read every post so this may be a duplicate, but I renegotiate our internet service every year. They have been ratcheting it up on me, but yesterday I backed off a price increase of $10 / month, to save $120 a year. Not bad for a 10 minute phone call.

To save on flea and tick stuff for the dog, I buy the generic version in the size for extra large dogs, then give my medium sized dog half the vial every month.
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Old 05-23-2021, 09:02 PM   #71
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I didn't read every post so this may be a duplicate, but I renegotiate our internet service every year. They have been ratcheting it up on me, but yesterday I backed off a price increase of $10 / month, to save $120 a year. Not bad for a 10 minute phone call.

Our main ISP won't usually negotiate much on rates for existing customers, so we either switch ISPs or rotate the account name between DH and me every year to get the new customer rates.
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Old 05-23-2021, 10:39 PM   #72
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Our main ISP won't usually negotiate much on rates for existing customers, so we either switch ISPs or rotate the account name between DH and me every year to get the new customer rates.
Ah, that’s a good tip to use your spouse’s name! We have a good deal on our internet, but I know it will go up in august, so I’ve been looking at alternatives. So far I haven’t found any cheaper options. Will have to see if we can just shut off and re-establish service in his name.
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Old 05-23-2021, 10:41 PM   #73
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When in I was in college I lived in an apt and I had no meal plan on campus. When I worked in the cafeteria I ate for free.

DYI on car repair , You Tube is your friend. My Honda dealer charges $90 for a cabin air filter replacement. The part is $30. It takes less than 60 seconds to change it.
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Old 05-23-2021, 10:41 PM   #74
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I didn't read every post so this may be a duplicate, but I renegotiate our internet service every year. They have been ratcheting it up on me, but yesterday I backed off a price increase of $10 / month, to save $120 a year. Not bad for a 10 minute phone call.

To save on flea and tick stuff for the dog, I buy the generic version in the size for extra large dogs, then give my medium sized dog half the vial every month.
I wish I could convince DH to do this with the flea meds! We use the generic, but buy the smaller dog size. He’s too worried he won’t split the dose correctly. The cost differential is annoying!
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Old 05-23-2021, 11:16 PM   #75
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Ah, that’s a good tip to use your spouse’s name! We have a good deal on our internet, but I know it will go up in august, so I’ve been looking at alternatives. So far I haven’t found any cheaper options. Will have to see if we can just shut off and re-establish service in his name.
A few yrs ago, when the cable company came in to set up our internet as we were switching from a different provider, the tech assumed our switching was from Wife to Husband. He said a LOT of people do it.
Less folks actually switch companies.
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Old 05-24-2021, 12:01 AM   #76
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Old 05-24-2021, 12:31 AM   #77
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Toilet paper is usually a lot cheaper bought online and buy the pound. Corporations purposely make it hard to compare prices with mega rolls and double rolls and all the other marketing gimmicks. If you buy on Amazon, the shipping weights are usually listed, making price per pound calculations possible.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:49 AM   #78
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I didn't read every post so this may be a duplicate, but I renegotiate our internet service every year. They have been ratcheting it up on me, but yesterday I backed off a price increase of $10 / month, to save $120 a year. Not bad for a 10 minute phone call.

To save on flea and tick stuff for the dog, I buy the generic version in the size for extra large dogs, then give my medium sized dog half the vial every month.
Careful with the flea and tick meds. I was buying online and saving 20% but my vet had to put down 2 dogs that were poisoned by knock offs.
My dogs groomer also bought online. Her pup got a bad rash and after a vet visit called Bayer - they said the serial number was Not valid and she must have a knock off product.

Not worth the risk.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:55 AM   #79
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To save on flea and tick stuff for the dog, I buy the generic version in the size for extra large dogs, then give my medium sized dog half the vial every month.
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I wish I could convince DH to do this with the flea meds! We use the generic, but buy the smaller dog size. He’s too worried he won’t split the dose correctly. The cost differential is annoying!
I found a Canadian company that charges about half for the brand that my vet sold me. The place is https://www.canadapetcare.com I haven’t run out of my first batch that the vet sold me (new dog), but I think I’m going to try them next month when I do run out.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:59 AM   #80
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Ditto on cutting reoccurring expenses as being the best way to reduce overall cost. The challenge is how to cut expenses without cutting quality.

For groceries, I shop at GroceryOutlet and WinCo. The shops aren't as nice as upper market chains but they have the same products.

For telephones, I subscribe to the pre-paid version of the carrier i.e. not AT&T but Cricket, not T-Mobile by MetroPCS. That saves a bundle and the network coverage is the same (though I guess in a priority situation I'd be bumped).
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