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Author Topic: Cost Cutting Measures  (Read 7953 times)

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Offline bear60

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Cost Cutting Measures
« on: August 10, 2006, 01:16:50 PM »
I was just giving my partner Kurt a hair cut and the thought came to me that I had not seen a thread about saving money when someone is on disability for HIV. Since Kurt is on a pretty strict buget, and he really does not want to skimp on quality food, we have had to find various ways to cut costs. Buying a set of hair clippers and attachments has helped eliminate the cost of haircuts. We also make a gallon of herb tea a day to drink instead of sodas and stuff. He likes to drink GatorAid when he goes to the gym and we buy that in powdered form, so he mixes some up in a reusable carry out type container.
 But I was wondering if anyone else has any really great tips for cutting the cost of living.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 02:10:29 PM »
We seldom eat out, and when traveling in state, we always take our food, unless there is a Quiznos somwhere near our destination.  We like their food, because they don't sell anything that has been processed.  This habit, alows us to eat very well at home, as we can cook some of the more expensive home meals, and save while we are enjoying said meal in our PJ's.

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Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 02:16:48 PM »
before going out bar-hopping, get a nice buzz at home

Offline bear60

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 04:48:53 PM »
Tim....eating "out" must be one of the biggest expenses that can be cut down.  Its so expensive anymore too....... we go to the cheap gay restaurant and its still 25 to 35 dollars per person. ( drinks extra)  Well, Kurt does not drink anything alcholic so that saves a lot right there. 
I try to do my part by making lunch to take to work everyday.  I never go to Starbucks either. No Dunkin DoNuts, no Wendys, no TacoBell, no fast food at all except when we are driving somewhere and Kurt needs a fix......he gets a low blood sugar headache.
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Offline cmhjeff

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 05:01:12 PM »
We have always been coupon queens but now we've even trumped that. Last weekend we got $75 in groceries for $32. The store had super double up to $1.00. We also buy far less brand name products than before. We bundle our phone,cable and internet to get a lower combined rate. I've also called that service provider and told them another provider offered the services for less so they gave me $30 off my original price.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2006, 07:24:16 PM »
I replaced my incandescent bulbs with low wattage flourescent ones. Not only does that save electrical bills, but I can really tell the difference in temperature in my apartment (the incandescent bulbs put out a lot of heat).

I do the home haircut thing as well, which will work fine so long as I can get away with the off-duty police officer look :).

Being agoraphpbic is also a money saver. Not so many shopping trips.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

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Offline bluelove

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 07:35:49 PM »
For me l buy stuff in bulk where l can.I also buy cheaper cuts of meat and cook them longer and slower...They are just as good as the costly meat.

I bake all my own stuff. Make extra meals and freeze them for the nights l do not want to cook.

I do garage sales and flea markets on weekends off.

With one kid going into college and another going into high school life is not cheap.

Blue who wonders where all the milk goes in two day's!

Offline Eldon

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 08:08:24 PM »
Hello Bear60, it is Eldon. There are a number of ways you can shave down your monthly expenses. A few of them have already been mentioned. From the main budget, you can cut down your energy use, cut of lights when you are not using them, set the thermostat to (79) seventy-nine degrees, and so much more.

While dining out, there are a number of different options on the menu that can fill you up. Try not to target the most expensive thing on the menu. When you do go to dine, cutback to only (1) one of (2) two times per month and cut the drinks down to (1) one or (2) two as a minimum.

Cut out all of the fast food and by your groceries in bulk. Clip cupons from the paper and use them also. Also you can try Costco or BJ's wholesale, there proces are usually better on the meats and other necessities for the house.

Offline Life

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 08:41:18 PM »
Great ideas... I dont think I would let Will cut my hair tho...   He does however spend 4 hours in the grocery finding every possible cost saving measure in the entire store...  My ADD carries me out the door and into the park until he finishes... ;D

Offline Eldon

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2006, 09:50:00 PM »
Hello Bear, it is Eldon once again. Just keep it simple like this; Keep track of your spending by writing down every single purchase in a book for the next two weeks. You'll be able to create a sensible budget after you've reviewed these documents. Putting things down in black and white can really alter your thinking about money.

Offline Ann

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 08:17:39 AM »
set the thermostat to (79) seventy-nine degrees

Wow, 79? that's warm! During the winter my house is usually around 67-69 and I still struggle to pay my fuel bill. My bathroom isn't heated, and my bedroom is only heated when it's really cold out. Kitchen isn't heated either. I compensate by wearing more clothes.

Along with flea markets and garage sales, I go to local charity shops. The ones in my area are great because we have a large wealthy sector on the Rock who often donate designer clothing as well as really good, slightly used kitchen thingies and other household thingies besides. I don't know where I'd be without charity shops - probably nekkid and hungry and sitting on the floor LOL.

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Offline Biggums

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 08:27:05 AM »
One of the things that has helped us out a lot is to go on budget billing for our electric and gas.  That way we always know each month what our bill will be in advance and can budget accordingly.  We have started frinking alot more water instead of soda which is a huge savings as well.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2006, 11:04:38 AM »
79' is high for me too.  Mine is set at around 72 and I just wear sweaters in the winter.  We had a heat wave a few weeks ago and I did turn on the A/C but it was a first.  Average summer temp inside is around 86'+.  When it peaks at 90+ around 4p I'm asleep on the couch in my shorts.

I bake a lot.  Cookies, bread, etc.  Haven't bought a loaf in bread in ages.

Sun tea.  1 galllon every day.  A nice vegatable garden.

Of course, for every penny I save, Michael, my partner, spends .10. 

It's all for naught.

Offline ndrew

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2006, 11:12:04 AM »
Gosh, there are so many things in this regard, some I learned from my mother, who is a pack rat, and would save EVERYTHING, but often make something creative or crafty from Styrofoam meat trays, egg cartons, etc.

It would be great to have a Forum Cook Book...  I cut all my juice with 50% water.  I drink soy milk (Silk) and add filtered water to make double the amount to avoid sat. fat and cholesterol.  You can also cut real milk with powdered milk.  I also like to bake.  (If you can get a cheap waffle iron) I make a waffle almost everyday for breakfast.  You can find some whole grain recipes (also non-wheat if need be), but I also buy a whole grain pancake/waffle mix and add oatmeal, ground flax seed and some crushed walnuts.  Be careful about what you top this with though (calorie-wise).  

I love herb teas as well... my mom used to make celestial seasonings red zinger tea and then add some frozen lemonade, I loved this.

What is wonderful about all of this is that not only are you saving money, but you are cultivating a care-of-the-self that is creative, independent and holistic.  Making a club or co-op in this regard is great.  Sharing do-it-yourself info. and living back in a time before we had to rely on corporations for EVERYTHING.

I wish I had more time (and knowledge) to make my own soaps and shampoos!

Offline bear60

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2006, 11:14:29 AM »
Eldon...very good advice....... the bulk purchase in our household is TOILET PAPER.  I think that is our most important item to purchase in bulk.
I like the idea of writing down expenses for two weeks.
Ndrew....I think I'm going to draw the line at making soap.  Ann...charity shops ( thrift shops here) are so important....there is one here that donates all profits to HIV and AIDS groups...its called Thrift for AIDS. I make regular donations and always look for something I need.  Great idea.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 11:19:41 AM by bear60 »
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Offline aztecan

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2006, 12:24:49 PM »
Hey Bear,
I use low-wattage flourescent bulbs in my lights. They cost pennies to use and last a long time, although they cost more.

Buying in buld helps on some things, like toilet paper.

I also have a veggie garden, where I grow the things I really enjoy but hate paying $2 or $3 a pound for such as yellow squash, corn, green chile, tomatoes, tomatillos, watermelon, cantelope, pumpkins, jalepenos, artichokes, etc.

I have irrigation, for which I pay $47 a year, so it is cost effective to grow my own stuff. I also grow many of my own herbs, a real cost saving and easy to do in containers.

I buy bulk meats and have invested in chest freezer. It keeps food longers than the usual freezer on your frig. It is great when harvesting the garden or buying mondo packs of chicken, etc.

I also go fishing, which augments my protein supply. The kokanie salmon run here every fall and snagging salmon is a great time for all, and a great way to fill the freezer.

I have friends who are hunters. They often give me some of their catch. Right now, I have oryx in the freezer. Game meat is very lean, which is good if your watching your cholesterol. I have another friend who usually brings me a goose each year. He goes goose hunting and usually bags more than he and his family can eat.

Because I live in a place that is usually quite dry, I use an evaporative cooler to keep the house comfy. It works pretty well and costs much less than refrigerated air.

In the winter, I eschew gas heat most of the time and heat my house with a wood pellet stove. It keeps it a balmy 62 degrees F, and if I get chilled, I put on a sweater. This usually runs about $600 a year, much less than the gas bills many paid in recent winters. I also use a flannel comforter filled with combed wool rather than an electric blanket. (My grandmother made it for me, bless her.)

When I shop, I do it all at once. Since its a 30-mile trek to the nearest Target, Walmart, etc. I plan ahead, make a list and get it all in one trip rather than making repeat trips.

I do all my own baking, since I am gluten intolerant. Bread machines are a wonderfiul investment. I don't buy any processed foods, quickie meals, etc., cause I can't eat them anyway.

Whenever possible, I take my lunch with me to work. That in itself is a big savings. I rarely eat out, but do treat myself a couple times a month to a Thai meal at the local establishment.

I have been accused of being the cheapest man on the planet. I'm not. I'm frugal so I can spend my money on things I want to do/see/enjoy.



OOPS, I forgot to mention ceiling fans. I have them throughout the house and they really help regulate temps. Often I can forego air conditioning or turuing up the heat because they move the heat/air and keep things tolerable.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 12:34:22 PM by aztecan »
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Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2006, 10:44:57 PM »
A friend of mine that's on disability participates in marketing focus groups.  They pay from $50 to $200 per.  He usually does about one per month.  He also, as do I, volunteered for a paid study where subjects get paid $50/visit w/2 or 4 visits per year.  That's not much, but it is a help for those on a limited income.

Offline billboston

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2006, 11:34:47 PM »
Phone bills from the traditional carriers is very expensive.  I changed from Verizon to Vonage and dropped my monthly bill from $72 to about $24.  I need to call internationally a lot so I use a phone card from a local discount stored for .02/minute.  I use this on my cellphone too so as not to pay the $1.49/minute charge there.

my car calls for premium gas but when prices hit over $3.25, I started using a lower grade gas which has saved a bundle and my mileage has remained the same.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2006, 11:38:17 PM »
My Mom and I share a cell phone account (we have different phone numbers) and because it's free to talk to one another, we can keep in touch almost each day, with no long distance and no use of minutes. It's an amazing cost-cutter, especially since I dropped my land line last year.

I can actually keep in touch with all my friends across the country without long distance charges, thanks to the cell service. Not only has it saved me cash, but it's left me less isolated.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline MSPspud

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2006, 11:15:10 PM »
My favorite weapon to cost cutting:  Costco.

Enough said.

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Cost Cutting Measures
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2006, 03:54:21 AM »
Wow, 79? that's warm! ...

Ann, sweetie-darling, 79 is the AC thermostat setting.  Here in N.O. I can set the thermostat to 79 and the compressor will run well into the night. 

If I set the thermostat at 79 in the winter (all 3 weeks of it) I'd suffocate.


P.S.  As a cost-cutting measure I buy braunschweiger instead of pate' de foi gras... ha ha ha.  Seriously -- those mini-fluorescents instead of incandescent bulbs are doubly helpful in hotter climes because they generate virtually no heat and use less electricity.   
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