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I was talking with magicwoman and genesisk over in MagicWoman's journal about how to run a tighter ship. Keryn had some really good suggestions. These are my responses and it kinda comes out as a "How Frugal Are You?" survey. =)
How to Run a Tighter Ship
Buy generic everything unless the sale item or coupon gets you the brand name item cheaper (I see you've been using lots of coupons recently)
We go to Costco. We don't have our own membership. We bum along with family members whenever they go - my MIL has a membership, my Mom & Dad have a membership. It's easy to go crazy at Costco too, but we try to only get what we need.
Go to all of the Dollar Stores in your area. You'd be surprised at the great stuff you can get. I got utensils and glasses (they aren't elegant but they're perfect for when we run out of our regular ones)
This is a good idea. We haven't needed much from the Dollar Store, just tea and a few other miscellaneous items, but we should definitely see about using Dollar Stores more often.
Look for the clearance items at the grocery store. There's a bin way in the back of our Stop & Shop that has day old bread, dented soap...etc.
Well, I can't use soap. I can only use Oil of Olay Body Wash, which is very expensive... I may try something cheaper like Dove body wash or something.
Eat lots of rice - it's filling and cheap.
I'm Chinese. Rice is my life. =)
If you prefer bottled water over tap, buy a water filter instead - they go for $20 or less around here - just fill it up and leave it in your fridge. It's all much cheaper than iced tea, soda, etc.
Water. I have a 600mL water bottle for work which I refill 4-5 times a day. I get free non-alcoholic drinks at work - coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, soy milk, apple/orange juice, V8, all kinds of pop (of which I only drink Sprite).
Bring your own beverages to work rather than hitting the soda machine
N/A. See above.
If you want to buy Iced Tea, or Lemonade buy the powdered version and mix it yourself - it's generally cheaper
That's good to know...
Skip buying coffee at work (if you do) instead you could bring in a travel mug from home or keep some instant hot cocoa mix or tea in your desk and heat up water in a microwave (if you have one at work).You could also make your own frozen coffees during warmer moths, I have a jug of cold coffee in my fridge for just that purpose!
I get free coffee, but I had gotten myself decaf. instant coffee for a while. I've stopped drinking that too.
Walk where you don't need to drive, or do all of your errands at once to save gas
Bungo and I each have our own cars, but we carpool almost every day. I'm contemplating not getting car insurance on my car when it comes time for renewal this May and just splitting his insurance/gas costs with him.
Try to do online bill paying to save money on stamps, envelopes, checks...etc.
Yup. I do this already.
Buy discount movie passes at places like AAA
I have 2-for-1 movie coupons from AirMiles. We have to be more determined to go on Sundays to Thursdays (Tuesdays excluded).
If you want to treat yourself to things like CD's get them off of Ebay or Half.com
I've already decided that soundwaves hitting my eardrums is a naturally occuring phenomenon and not one for which I will pay money. I download all my MP3s or borrow friend's CD's to make a backup.
Read the online version of your local newspaper and cancel the subscription
Yup. I read the news online.
Read friends old magazines rather than buying your own
I don't buy magazines. We have techie magazine subscriptions at work and the only non-techie magazines I'm interested in are Star Trek ones for celebrity autographing purposes. I have tons of those already.
Buy all of your makeup at CVS or Brooks - I can honestly say I have never bought makeup form the mall
I get eyeliner, eyemakeup remover and cotton pads as I need it from Superstore, Save-On, London Drugs or wherever. Mascara lasts me forever. I have all the eyeshadow and lipstick colours I can possibly want. I rarely do my nails, but if I wanted to, my MIL has nail polish up the freaking wall and down the other side that she's already told me to feel free to use.
Hand wash rather than dry clean whenever you can
Yup. I do this already. If I really needed something "dry cleaned", I'd use the Dryel home dry cleaning package or just wash the dirty spot and then hang it out in the sun.
Dust your lights often to keep them bright so that way you won't feel the need to turn on two lights in one room
Yup. AND we only use 2 of the 4 bulb sockets above the bathroom mirror. We noticed that two was plenty bright enough when two of the bulbs burned out and we were just too damned lazy to change them =D Four was great, but two's enough.
Repair any leaky faucets - those drips add up! Seal up your windows/vents with duct tape in the winter so that you don't lose valuable heat. Also be sure your storm windows are down Always, always, always, shut the lights off when you leave the room
Yup. Yup. And YUP. =D
Light a candle while watching TV rather than keeping a light on. It saves electricity and is also more romantic ;)
Also, freeze your candles for a few hours before use - it makes em last longer
I knew about freezing the candles, but we should start using cheap votiv candles for low light requirements...
Use sponges to wipe up spills rather than paper towels
We have sponges, but we don't use them often. But we do re-use our paper towels. If they've only been used to dry up clean hands or clean cups/dishes, we put the towels aside to dry. Then we re-use them for mopping up things we don't eat/drink with - spills, dirt on the walls, plants, shoes, outside things, etc.
Don't let your water run while you brush your teeth. It's annoying at first but once you get used to it, it isn't so bad.
Hmmm... I should start brushing my teeth without the water running...
Time your showers
That's a good idea too...
Only subscribe to basic phone features (no caller ID, 3-way, etc.) If you rarely make phone calls consider changing your phone plan to a per call charge rather than a flat rate charge. You'll probably have to pester your phone company to find out more information on this.
I don't even want a land line. I have a cell with Caller ID, but no voice mail. I've found that with all the wrong numbers I get, the Caller ID is pretty useful. I use my cell more often than a land line and it's way more convenient. I have a direct line at work too, so that takes care of my weekday airtime.