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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Despite the vaguely rosy news to the contrary, these are still difficult times for a great many people, and even households with two full-time workers are often barely staying afloat. Working smarter, working harder doesn't seem to matter; costs rise and incomes don't, and more and more of us are having to pare back, lean out and buckle down.

    The broader whys and hows can't be discussed here, and well-meaning career advice doesn't always apply; but we can share notes on how to stretch, how to scrimp, how to keep money from evaporating in the arid climate of the day. Let's not judge each other for where we are--just swap advice on how we can make the best of it with the resources that we have.



    For my part, I'll start by saying that I haven't made a credit card purchase in eight months, and I'm about to finally pay the last bit off.

    Not a euphoric feeling, but still a weary relief.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Looking into a bank line of credit if you plan on holding some sort of debt balances is FAR better than holding it on credit cards, for one thing. Granted you probably need at least some financial stability for the bank to give you such a line of credit, but if you are full time working you can likely get something. This is WAY better than carrying a balance on credit cards. Similarly trying to consolidate debt in a manner that lets you pay it off at a lower interest rate has definite value to it.

    A detailed budget is the best way to control your spending. Count EVERYTHING in it. That daily $2-3 for a coffee really adds up over time and can save you significant amounts. Same with a chocolate bar or other snacks. Once you have a budget made up, it should make it easier for you to determine what you can start cutting into, to start saving money.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    A packed lunch adds up quickly in savings.
    Also budget in treats - once a week a four dollar coffee instead of a house roast or whatever - it helps from pressure and being able to hold to a budget over time.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Don't be afraid to experiment with the cheaper stuff at your local supermarket. You might think you simply can't live without a more expensive brand of shampoo or bread, but the low-end stuff might surprise you. You should also set a limit for how much you're going to spend on each meal and don't break that, no matter what; if you want to treat yourself one day, you'll need to compensate by eating more cheaply on others.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    In extension to factotum's suggestion: plan your meals in advance, especially if you food shop weekly. All that stuff that gets forgotten in your cupboard or freezer and gets thrown away is money wasted. Implement a just-in-time system for foodstuffs so that you always have sufficient supplies, but not too much that you end up wasting stuff.

    Also, blinking obvious, but if you smoke then stop smoking, and if you drink then cut down on that. It amazes me, in my area at least, how many folks complain about not having any spare money when they throw good money after bad on a 40 a-day habit.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Another good idea is to look at the 'almost out of date' stuff in the stores.
    My local supermarkets have special shelves for stuff that's either just about to go out of date, or stuff where the packaging has been slightly damaged. A broken cereal box might end up getting sold at a lesser price than a whole one, and it won't have had any impact on the actual contents.

    I also try to treat myself with the local supermarket's rotisseried chicken now and then, but when i do, I almost always go when they've reduced the price to try and clear out the day's stock before closing time. I figure it's usually about 2-2.5 hours before closing time. 5 oven roasted chicken thighs for £1.50 is a whole lot better than their usual price of £4 for the same 5 thighs earlier in the day.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    To echo what's been said, make a budget and eat cheaply. Right, bring a lunch. Plan it a week at a time. I can also say STOP EATING OUT. It's ridiculously expensive and usually unhealthy. Also, if you drive a lot to visit family, it sounds harsh but cut back. When my wife and I just got together we lived about 1.5 hours away from each family. For some reason it was ALWAYS our responsibility to visit on weekends on stuff. Lots of driving and gas.

    Oh, and if you have 2 cars and can get by on one, sell one. Less insurance, maintenance and gas.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Never buy brand name pre cut sandwich loaves. They run 4-7 dollars a piece. At your local bakery or even a King Soopers, you can buy a larger, fresher, tastier loaf for 90 cents. It is less dense, so may be less filling, but you can make up for that by eating twice as much and still paying half the price. You have to cut it yourself, but that shouldn't be a problem.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ View Post
    Never buy brand name pre cut sandwich loaves. They run 4-7 dollars a piece. At your local bakery or even a King Soopers, you can buy a larger, fresher, tastier loaf for 90 cents. It is less dense, so may be less filling, but you can make up for that by eating twice as much and still paying half the price. You have to cut it yourself, but that shouldn't be a problem.
    Iiiiinteresting. Where I'm from the cheap brand name stuff is like $1.95 or something, but still, that's something I'd like to look into (I love homemade bread... just never thought of buying it from a store).
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    A comment on tiers, by Prime32
    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Don't buy boneless chicken, buy it whole and either cook it then separate it into meals or split it and freeze it raw. Then make stock and use it to make delicious, cheap soup.

    Find out which recipes you like freeze well and make big batches for lunches.

    Make sure your car tires are full and don't drive too fast. If you're in colder climes, don't start your car half a hour before getting in it. 5 to 10 minutes to defrost the windows is acceptable, but over that you're just burning gas for nothing.

    A good general rule is that if it's not a car or a house you shouldn't be buying it on credit.

    Look at how much you spend on your phone, internet and TV bills, and see if you can't aggregate them to one company of even cut tv. If you have a laptop or a tablet you can plug it to your tv and Netflix is only 15$ a month
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    Iiiiinteresting. Where I'm from the cheap brand name stuff is like $1.95 or something, but still, that's something I'd like to look into (I love homemade bread... just never thought of buying it from a store).
    I'm in a city where the greater Metropolitan area is 4+ million people, so prices are higher, (wages are too, of course.) But yeah, there's off-brand or Kroger's brand or whatever for less than 4 bucks. Still twice the price of baked bread.

    It makes sense, the overhead is lower. They make the baked stuff right there in house, and they need to get it out of the store because it will go bad fast. Whereas the brand name sandwich bread stuff has more preservatives, (another reason to avoid it if that matters to you,) has to be shipped out, and the manufacturer has their minimum prices.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by Peebles View Post
    In extension to factotum's suggestion: plan your meals in advance, especially if you food shop weekly. All that stuff that gets forgotten in your cupboard or freezer and gets thrown away is money wasted. Implement a just-in-time system for foodstuffs so that you always have sufficient supplies, but not too much that you end up wasting stuff.

    Also, blinking obvious, but if you smoke then stop smoking, and if you drink then cut down on that. It amazes me, in my area at least, how many folks complain about not having any spare money when they throw good money after bad on a 40 a-day habit.
    This may sound counterintuitive, but don't save all your meal leftovers. Only save the leftovers that someone has a plan to eat within the next couple days. Otherwise you're just cluttering up your fridge with stuff nobody wants to eat. If you've got meals planned out for the rest of the week then the first day's leftovers will probably go bad before you get around to them.

    It also helps if you can hit the amount of food needed spot on or ever so slightly over instead of vastly overcooking and assuming people will eat the leftovers over the next few days. If you're putting it into your fridge, have a plan to eat it. If you're putting it into your fridge again, you should still have a plan to eat it.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ View Post
    I'm in a city where the greater Metropolitan area is 4+ million people, so prices are higher, (wages are too, of course.) But yeah, there's off-brand or Kroger's brand or whatever for less than 4 bucks. Still twice the price of baked bread.

    It makes sense, the overhead is lower. They make the baked stuff right there in house, and they need to get it out of the store because it will go bad fast. Whereas the brand name sandwich bread stuff has more preservatives, (another reason to avoid it if that matters to you,) has to be shipped out, and the manufacturer has their minimum prices.
    Not everywhere, though. A loaf of baked bread at my local bakeries costs $5 minimum. (They charge what the market will bear, I guess.) But if you can get cheap freshly-baked bread that's fantastic.

    A note on "don't buy anything on credit cards" - it is possible to go too far with this. You do want to have and maintain a credit history if you anticipate buying a car or house in the US at any point in the future. (Credit rating also gets used as a measure of honesty/worth in way too many places - e.g. insurance - and having no credit history at all because you've never been in debt is as bad as having an awful history.) Credit cards are fine IF you pay them off every month, so you don't have to pay the exorbitant interest charges.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifni View Post
    Not everywhere, though. A loaf of baked bread at my local bakeries costs $5 minimum. (They charge what the market will bear, I guess.) But if you can get cheap freshly-baked bread that's fantastic.

    A note on "don't buy anything on credit cards" - it is possible to go too far with this. You do want to have and maintain a credit history if you anticipate buying a car or house in the US at any point in the future. (Credit rating also gets used as a measure of honesty/worth in way too many places - e.g. insurance - and having no credit history at all because you've never been in debt is as bad as having an awful history.) Credit cards are fine IF you pay them off every month, so you don't have to pay the exorbitant interest charges.
    How about King Soopers? Shoot, even a lot of Wal-Mart's have a bakery section. Check the price of the French Loaves there. It's not as good as a dedicated bakery, but should still be cheaper than sandwich loaves.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ View Post
    How about King Soopers?
    Just FYI, a lot of supermarket chains are regional or local so it's not that useful to talk about specific stores on a forum like this where people come from all over. I've traveled all over the U.S. and lived in three states and in Europe and I've never heard of King Soopers. What kind of store is it?

    In other news, I live in Manhattan and discussions of grocery prices in other places make me sad
    Last edited by SarahV; 2015-02-12 at 04:23 PM.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    • Look into DIY recipes for things you wouldn't ordinarily ever think about making yourself. There are plenty of guides to making your own dishwashing detergent that make large quantities and cost fractions of what name brand detergents do.
    • Depending on how much time you have to work with, explore permaculture gardening or aquaponics. Small aquaponics rigs cost very little to build, and you can grow filler greens like lettuce and flavor herbs very easily with them to reduce the cost of food each month.
    • In the same vein, look for Suburban/Urban Homesteading groups near you. Many people grow more food than they need and are happy to trade for services or foods they don't grow.
    • In the US, the cellphone service landscape is drastically changing due to (politics), which means great things for us little guys: The carriers are moving more towards being a reseller service market ("MVNO") rather than a first party service market, and many of the MVNOs are offering their host service's plans for cheaper prices. (And some strategically degrade to using WiFi instead of 3g/4g.)
    • In that same vein: compare the prices for buying your next cellphone outright and then doing a pay as you go plan against the price of signing a contract that "Gives you your phone" by amortizing it over the course of your contract. Usually the contract ends up being more expensive.
    • Consider migrating your home phone to a no charge VoIP service like Google Voice and dropping your landline altogether. You can forward your home phone to your cell or get something like the OBi100 to bridge Google Voice to your regular house phones. (Note that the process of actually migrating your number to Google Voice requires a month of prepaid cell service. There are guides for this.) If you do this, you will need to sign up with an E911 service or learn the number of your local emergency dispatch center.
    • You could drop cable and replace it with a combination of an HDTV antenna and Chromecast/Amazon firestick/etc.


    Will edit and add more later, just realized I'm dangerously close to being late for a work order.

    Edit: Moar.

    • Buy Incandescent Lightbulbs instead of LEDs or CFLs. The LEDs and CFLs die exponentially faster and cost orders of magnitude more, eliminating any prolongued cost savings from using less electricity. Incandescent bulbs are also safer since they aren't built using components that require toxic green smoke* to work.
    • Keep your house clean enough that you can use a broom or mop instead of a vacuum cleaner. The advantage is twofold: You know where everything is because it's clean, and thus buy less; and you also save money on electricity for the vacuum cleaner.
    • Reuse plastic grocery store bags as kitchen trash bags. You can often buy bag holders designed especially for this.
    • Keep google docs spreadsheets on what your expenses are in both per case and per item form for quick reference on your phone when shopping. It's pretty easy to spot "sales" that aren't actually a savings when you know what you're paying per item.
    • I'll also echo Tyndmyr's comment on only collecting coupons for things you already intend to buy.
    • Visit your public library and learn what they offer above and beyond just books. The local library in my county has 3D printers, a 3D scanner, a CNC router, a laser cutter, multiple industrial sewing machines, a full suite for converting analog formats to digital, soldering irons, hot glue guns, a subscription to Lynda.com that you can use with just your library card, and way more. Some libraries let you check out tools for the cost of a security deposit that you do get back upon returning the tool, etc.
    • In the same vein, learn what Hackerspaces and community workshops are available in your area. If you're active duty or retired US Military, there are a host of community workshops available on base that you can use instead of buying your own tools.


    * For the uninitiated, this is a joke about the color of the smoke released when electrical circuitry overheats and catches fire.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ View Post
    But yeah, there's off-brand or Kroger's brand or whatever for less than 4 bucks. Still twice the price of baked bread.
    I'm a bit stunned at that, to be honest--I can get a loaf of sliced brown bread (none of this white garbage that tastes of nothing for me, thank'ee ) for 59p at my local supermarket (at current exchange rates, that's about 90 cents). A 750g (1.65 lb) brand name loaf is only £1. I therefore have to assume that either these $4 loaves are twice the size of the ones I buy, or else you are being ripped off massively over there!

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    • Pay off your debt:
      It sounds simple, but debt like credit cards (particularly credit cards) drain money away really fast. If youíre in debt, then work on getting out of it. Every bill you donít have to pay frees up extra money for you to buy groceries with, pay off other bills, have spending money etc. I think you should start with small debts like credit cards and small loans. Itíll also boost your confidence when you see those bills stop showing up in the mail.
    • Pay bills early:
      Try to pay your bills as soon as you can get them. Some companies have a way of holding your payments just long enough to become late. Itís a dirty tactic to charge you late fees but Iíve seen it happen. If you send your payments in early they canít do this.
    • Pay attention to your bills:
      Make sure you actually owe the people youíre paying out. With online payment plans and the ability to make a payment or buy something over your phone, itís really easy for someone to sneak in a charge for something you donít owe or have not bought. Oh another thought, never let anyone have unrestricted access to your accounts. Allowing a company to have an automatic withdraw from your bank account is just asking for trouble.
    • Track your spending habits:
      People like to buy things, it makes us happy. However take into consideration what youíre spending your money on. Does your wife really need a new set of shoes sheís not going to wear? Keep track of those receipts you get from stores and go over them. Itíll soon become apparent how much youíre spending on crap. Take steps to stop it. Do the same for family members (kids, spouce etc).
    • Always pay in cash:
      Sure itís not as easy or convenient as a credit or debit card. However you have the advantage of only being able to buy what you can afford to buy. This means that you canít go overboard while shopping and youíre forced to make decisions on what to buy. If you canít afford to buy it, you canít buy it.
    • Calculate how much you spend:
      Groceries are expensive, and itís easy to spend a lot of money on them. Take a calculator along and add up the cost of the food you buy. You wonít get surprised at the checkout counter and youíll know when to stop shopping because youíve met your food budget. Do this whenever you shopping, regardless of what your shopping for.
    • Cancel unneeded subscriptions:
      Paying for cable TV? Not really watching it? Have a gym membership thatís charging you monthly and youíre not there hardly at all? Maybe you should consider cutting the fat and canceling those subscriptions. When I had cable TV, I was maybe watching half a dozen channels, and then only a few specific shows on those channels. So I had 150 or so channels that I wasnít watching. I decided to cancel my cable and I havenít really regretted it. Granted I donít watch that much TV anyway, but the idea is still there. If you have a lawn service you could consider canceling it, particularly if you already have the tools you need to maintain your yard. Itíll be cheaper to pay a little bit for fuel for your lawnmower and spend an hour every few weeks than pay someone to come and do the same thing.
    • Reel in hobbies:
      Hobbies are expensive pastimes; you can spend a ridiculous amount of money on them. Consider cutting back on a few hobbies, particularly those that have a consistent cost associated with them.
    • Wrangle your power bill:
      Turn off lights when no one is in the room, donít leave the TV on all day long, and donít run major electrical costs (washer and dryer) during peak hours, that sort of stuff. If you have a wood fireplace or wood stove (wood stoves are more efficient) then consider using that more to heat your house.
    • Raise extra income:
      Clean out your garage and attic and get rid of all that stuff youíre just holding onto. Hold yard sales to get rid of that stuff, you probably wonít sell everything and you won't make a fortune, but you will make at least some money, and you clean out your house. Take old things to trustworthy appraisers and find out if you have anything worth selling at auction or keeping as an investment. If you make stuff as a hobby, consider trying to sell it on the side.
    • switch to generic medicine:
      medicine is expensive, like really expensive. the name brand stuff is even more so. However most major pharmacies (Wallgreens, Walmart, CVS etc) carry a line of generic medication for just about every over the counter drug available. Consider buying these meds instead of the really expensive name brands. Most of them have the exact same ingredients in them so you're not really missing anything. Would you rather pay 7$ for aspirin brand pain killers, or $2 for generic brand pain killers with the same ingredients?

      You can even do this with prescription medication; although this greatly depends on what sort of medication you have to take, what your insurance will cover and some other factors. in some instances, the generics are more costly than the name brand (oddly enough). You could also consider canceling some prescriptions if you are taking anything you don't really need (see your doctor first, don't take my word for it).
    Last edited by TheThan; 2015-02-12 at 05:15 PM.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Everyone's bills and income are a little different. So, first off, look at what money you have to spend, and then look at your spending. Do not budget for the amount of money you have. Budget at least 10% lower. Unexpected things will happen. If you have no slack, you will have emergencies.

    When your paycheck comes in, pay the bills first. Know when bills need to be paid to avoid late fees, but sitting down on payday and taking care of any bills that needs to be paid before the next one helps minimize the "oops, I forgot about that", which can incur expensive additional fees. Some large bills(usually rent), may require saving from the preceding paycheck to balance out income over the month.

    Save something. I don't care if it's pennies in a jar. Work with what you have.

    Ditch cable tv. I haven't had it for over a year, and I make fairly good money. Most stuff is available legally via other means, and it can be quite expensive. Newspapers, same same.

    A prepaid phone plan can be vastly cheaper than a subscription.

    Don't clip coupons as a habit. This may sound counter-intuitive. Here's why. Coupons exist to convince you to buy things you don't normally buy. And they work, that's why they're made. But buying things you don't normally buy can increase spending. It isn't money saved unless you'd have bought it anyway. So, make your grocery list and THEN clip only the coupons relevant for that.

    Buy durable foodstuffs in bulk for discounts. A big sack of rice can last quite a long time, and go with many meals very inexpensively. Likewise beans, pasta, seasonings, etc. Fruits, vegetables, and other perishables, you want to purchase in small quantities shortly before you need to use them. Bulk purchases can hurt you there, especially if you are only buying for one or two.

    Strip extra weight out of your car, and keep the tires properly inflated. These will help your gas mileage. A cluttered back seat is just extra weight you're paying to haul around. However, be aware that you can fudge oil changes significantly higher than the "3,000 mile" number bandied about. Check your car's manual. Some are much higher.

    Learn to use ebay, craigslist, etc to dispose of anything you no longer wish that is still good. This can save trips to the dump, make a couple of bucks, and you may even find a way to make some money reselling something if you have a way to get it cheaply. Additionally, they can sometimes be a way to find something cheaply, but remember the coupon lesson. Know what you're after, buy only that. Do not purchase additional things simply because they are cheap.

    Learn to cook. It's...really not hard. Buying pre-prepared food or going out to eat can be quite expensive in comparison. Additionally, you'll be able to get more variety and eat healthier as a result, if you care about those things.
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Hits to the Pride department:

    Charities
    Places like the Salvation Army can really help you. They offer programs where they hand out food to needy people. Consider signing up. If you qualify the amount you get is based on your family size, but itís fairly random although general mix of foods. Itís usually good stuff though.

    Thrift Shops:
    Try shopping at thrift stores. Itís amazing what can be found at thrift stores (Iíll save you the reference to a song). But you can find a lot of good buys, places like (again) the Salvation Army, good will etc or just mom and pop places. Make it a game, take x amount of cash and split it in half, see who can come up with the best buy between you and your spouse.

    Carpool:
    Yeah I said it, if you can arrange a simple carpool system then you might be able to save fuel on driving to work every day. You might end up as a driver part of the time, but thatís fair and itíll probably save you money in the long run. You will have to do some calculations on how much youíre spending both in driving to work and carpooling though.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    If I ever get to a grocery store, I am going to put together a healthy on the cheap shopping guide.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Saw this on Imgur a while back. Seems relevant.

    How to live like a king for very little By THOR HARRIS

    • 1. Donít smoke cigarettes.
    • 2. Drive old Japanese cars. Easy and cheap to fix & they run for ****ing ever.
    • 3. Buy most of your groceries from the produce section. Most of that other **** is not actually food. You donít need it.
    • 4. Ride your bike instead of driving as much as you can. You need the exercise and gas is expensive.
    • 5. Donít have kids. Theyíre not miracles, theyíre people. 7 billion is too ****ing many. Find some other way to give your dull existence some meaning. BTW theyíre expensive.
    • 6. Get your clothes from thrift stores. With the physique youíll have from riding your bike, youíll look hot wearing anything.
    • 7. Learn to fix things. Tons of great books and youtube vids on fixing anything. Or ask an old dude. People used to fix things. No ****.
    • 8. Learn a trade Ė Carpentry, plumbing, electrical, auto mechanics, tailoring, computer/electronics repair, something They canít ****ing outsource. No one gives a **** about your Masters in DostoyevskyÖ. fix something, dumbass, fix something!
    • 9. If you like booze, drink at home with your neighbors. Drunk driving is for *******s, rich ones with lawyers.
    • 10. Do people favors. Itís called Cooperation. Itís how the world worked before money. They will return the favor, or someone will. No ****. This really works.
    • 11. Make things Ė Look around you. What do you see? Yah, ****ty stuff made by impoverished enslaved people far away. Pick anything. Make a better one. People want good ****. You wonít get rich, but youíll get by.
    • 12. If you live in America Ė donít get sick and avoid injury. Wear your ****ing helmet and put lights on your bike.
    • 13. Find work you love. If you canít do that, then find a job where you love the people.
    • 14. Junkies and addicts are like toddlers. They just want to **** all over you and everything. The messes they make can get expensive. Avoid them if you can.
    • 15. Donít buy **** on credit, remember what happened to America? Cash only, ****ers. Canít afford it? Donít ****ing buy it!
    • 16. Preventable expenses - STDís, abortions, DWIís, lung cancer, head injuries, speeding tickets, cirrhosis of the liver.
    • 17. Donít go on fancy dates if youíre not fancy. Most people kind of despise the rich anyway.
    • 18. When you go see shows, bring a flask in. That way you can afford to buy a record.
    • 19. If you had told me 15 years ago that Coca Cola would put tap water in plastic bottles and mother****ers would BUY IT ÖÖ No ****in way.
    • 20. Donít get cable. *******. There is nothing on. I promise. $100 a month ? **** no!

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahV View Post
    Just FYI, a lot of supermarket chains are regional or local so it's not that useful to talk about specific stores on a forum like this where people come from all over. I've traveled all over the U.S. and lived in three states and in Europe and I've never heard of King Soopers. What kind of store is it?

    In other news, I live in Manhattan and discussions of grocery prices in other places make me sad
    It's just a major grocery store. They might be called Krogers or City Market where you are at, but it is essentially the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I'm a bit stunned at that, to be honest--I can get a loaf of sliced brown bread (none of this white garbage that tastes of nothing for me, thank'ee ) for 59p at my local supermarket (at current exchange rates, that's about 90 cents). A 750g (1.65 lb) brand name loaf is only £1. I therefore have to assume that either these $4 loaves are twice the size of the ones I buy, or else you are being ripped off massively over there!
    It's over-pricing. I can buy a french loaf of bread baked at the store for about 1 dollar USD.

    Anyway, it wouldn't be the first time prices in the US are higher than the UK.
    Last edited by SowZ; 2015-02-12 at 11:49 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Taken to extremes, it is possible to eliminate most expenses entirely.

    If you live somewhere with adequate public transportation, consider not owning a car. You'll save tons of money on gas, registration, insurance, and of course, car payments.

    Many people here have given advice for saving on food, and a lot of great ideas have been mentioned. However, this is another area where you could instead spend nothing at all. Just go places where you can get free food. Soup kitchens, large grocery stores on free sample day, grand openings of businesses, even just churches that serve coffee and cookies after their services, if you live in a large enough city, there are all kinds of places to eat for free.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by Norren View Post
    [*]Buy Incandescent Lightbulbs instead of LEDs or CFLs. The LEDs and CFLs die exponentially faster and cost orders of magnitude more, eliminating any prolongued cost savings from using less electricity. Incandescent bulbs are also safer since they aren't built using components that require toxic green smoke* to work.
    Wait what? I've never seen anyone say incandescent lights are better than CFLs or LEDs. Definitely not in terms of how long they last. Where are you getting this info from?

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    Wait what? I've never seen anyone say incandescent lights are better than CFLs or LEDs. Definitely not in terms of how long they last. Where are you getting this info from?
    I've had CFLs drop like flies in the past, and they're so expensive to replace. They definitely do not live up to the promises made when they were gaining popularity.

    CFLs I have now seem to be doing alright, but they still don't last as long as promised.

    Never used LEDs. $10 per bulb? No, thank you.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    CFLs I have now seem to be doing alright, but they still don't last as long as promised.
    I moved into my current house 15 years ago. In that time, I have replaced no more than four CFL bulbs. Pretty darned sure that's at least as long as promised. What's more, two of the ones I've replaced were ones I brought with me from the old house (because CFLs were *very* expensive back then, like £10-15 each), so those last years before I even moved in!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    I've had CFLs drop like flies in the past, and they're so expensive to replace. They definitely do not live up to the promises made when they were gaining popularity.

    CFLs I have now seem to be doing alright, but they still don't last as long as promised.

    Never used LEDs. $10 per bulb? No, thank you.
    There's always a chance for any bulb to be bad. I suppose the risk is higher on CFLs or LEDs due to their increased cost. That said, all the CFLs or LEDs I have lasted way longer than any incadescent or even halogen bulbs. I only bought a couple of LEDs recently (last couple of years) but they're still running strong.

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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Originally Posted by Grinner
    I've had CFLs drop like flies in the past, and they're so expensive to replace. They definitely do not live up to the promises made when they were gaining popularity.
    This is absolutely true.

    Ten years ago I was a CFL believer, but since then I've watched virtually every one of mine burn out years before it was supposed to. That by itself means I'm spending more money on this overhyped technology than I'm actually recovering from the supposed longer lifespan.

    On top of this, a few months ago I dropped a CFL, which shattered all across the carpet in my bedroom. I take mercury contamination very seriously, and it was a &%#$@!! nightmare to clean up. That was a long, miserable weekend, and it left me with a deep loathing for CFLs. I am not willing to risk mercury contamination for expensive bulbs that don't live up to their projected lifespans.

    So I won't be buying any more of them. I'll let my remaining bulbs burn out, I'll dispose of them safely, and I'll find another option.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Scrimper's Handbook: Getting By On Less

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I moved into my current house 15 years ago. In that time, I have replaced no more than four CFL bulbs. Pretty darned sure that's at least as long as promised. What's more, two of the ones I've replaced were ones I brought with me from the old house (because CFLs were *very* expensive back then, like £10-15 each), so those last years before I even moved in!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    There's always a chance for any bulb to be bad. I suppose the risk is higher on CFLs or LEDs due to their increased cost. That said, all the CFLs or LEDs I have lasted way longer than any incadescent or even halogen bulbs. I only bought a couple of LEDs recently (last couple of years) but they're still running strong.
    I wanna know what brand you two are buying, because this does not describe my experience at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    ...I'll dispose of them safely...
    Well now I feel bad.

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