How Are You Cutting Back These Days?

Hi y’all!

I, like many of you, am starting to feel the $$ crunch. I’m wondering…how are y’all cutting back? Have you found yourselves cutting out treats and whatnot?

What have you found that’s making a significant difference?

I’m thinking about hooking up a clothesline in my garage (I have dogs that would have a field day if the line was outside). We don’t use our dishwasher, and I have my air conditioner turned up to 80 most days.

We’re not eating out as often…a biggie but not so much now that I’ve finished school. And now that both kids are at one school, I have one drop stopping, so to speak, which is saving some gas $$.

What are some practical things you are doing?

Thanks for the ideas!

We pretty much cut all corners. We no longer shop at our regular grocery store and have switched to shopping at Aldi for almost everything, I quit buying cigarettes by the pack, I now roll my own, no more fast food at all (we didn’t eat fast food much anyway, about twice a month, basically when the food from the store ran out at the end of 2 weeks…lol), though we have 2 vehicles, our truck’s gas mileage sucks so hubby has been taking my car to work and we’re pretty much back to one car (since I can’t pile the kids in car seats in the truck), we applied for the reduced lunch program at my daughter’s school since it will save a bit of money, etc. Basically every thing, no matter how small it used to seem has now been cut. It’s mortgage/utilities, gas, food, and that’s it.

Good thing I went crazy buying yarn when I first started knitting and still have a decent (though dwindling) stash left! :teehee:

Well, we have stopped ordering pizza and started going to get those digorno things. I take the bus everywhere I can. We drink kool-aid and off brand pop now, which isn’t my favorite measure but it might be encouragement to finally stop drinking pop all together. lol We don’t have TV, dropped out land line phone since we got cable internet. We dropped our cell plan down to just unlimited txting and normal calling plan. I started swapping some stuff for yarn to make christmas presents. I guess this isn’t much help to you. lol We are poor college kids so we can get by like this. One of the things I know does save money though is taking lunch instead of buying school lunches. My friends kids take there’s everyday and it’s a lot cheaper for her than buying school lunchs.

HMMM the hubby and I live on my salary and his stipend as a PhD student so we are always cutting back per say. We have always car pooled to work or taken the motorcycle, keep the A/C warm and the heat cool.

I actually read somewhere that a fully loaded dishwasher on medium wash uses less water than washing dishes b/c of all the water running to rinse so we still use our dishwasher but are very careful to make sure it is loaded.

I pack our lunches 4 days a week at work, we don’t buy sodas while at work or out shopping and limit the number of coffees we buy during the week. Same thing with dinner out - we limit it to one night a week.

Probably the biggest thing I am being conscious of these days is in grocery shopping. I stock up on things we regulary eat when they are on sale, use coupons, and carefully plan meals to make sure we eat leftovers etc.

That and we have altered our date night. Date night was an agreement btwn us while we were dating that no matter what else was going on we each kept one night a week free for a date with each other. Our plan was to keep this going through our marriage - a night we didn’t answer the phone, check e-mail etc. We still try to have nights focused on each other but rather than dinner and a movie out, we rent a movie and open a bottle of wine at home and play card games.

The DBF and I recently combined finances. This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I have found it’s made a huge difference. We sat down and made a budget first and since we’re both keeping track of the spending, there’s no “extras”. We have our own personal accounts, but we only put a certain amount in there a month. The rest goes into our joint “bills” and “savings” accounts. The savings is off limits since we’re saving to buy a house, and if one of us buys something from the joint account the other one notices. This has really helped cut our spending, which is great since the DBF is actually terrible with money.

I recently cut our home phone back to the bare necessities. During the summer, I had added call waiting, and I already had caller ID. Cutting both of those out stripped my bill down to a little over $9, compared with the nearly $50 it had crept up to.

We all have cell phones…yes, even my children…and this summer I upped our plan to include data. I’m stuck with this for a while, so I’m trying to cut elsewhere.

I’d love to cut our cable down, but dh would be livid if I cut out the HD during college football season. We’ll see, though…

My children are given $15 each, per week, for school lunches. That gets them about three days’ worth. I told them when they run out, they have to make their own.

I don’t eat lunch because I work through it so I can get in an extra hour and leave early…I only work part-time. That cuts out a huge expense.

I’m getting ready to start paying back student loans…so more number crunching ahead!

Keep the ideas coming! I figure we can all help each other by sharing what we do.

Oh, and my choice to not use the dishwasher is actually from a health perspective. I’ve ready that it’s actually better to not use it…it was in a book or two.

Hmm… We’ve been pretty lucky I guess, but I do try to buy generic when I can (some things aren’t worth it though), buy large packages of meat and break them up, run full loads of laundry and the dishwasher. We don’t eat out often as I prefer to have meals at home most of the time…it’s healthier and cheaper.

I found a laundry soap at Costco that lasts about 4 months. Its about $11 a jug. So I’m saving a bunch over my previous soap. I have always hung my laundry to dry. Use white vinegar instead of fabric softener. I started making pizza once a week. I also made a sourdough starter to make other things with. We have never really eaten a lot of packaged food, so I’m just looking for sales on meat and veggies. I too buy big packages of meat and divide in meal size portions to freeze. I buy bulk of rice, flour etc and keep in the freezer. Combine errands to save gas. I use DH’s car when I can as it gets better mileage than mine. We like to watch movies, so netflix is much cheaper than renting them at the video store. Try to use my cell phone for long distance calls.
We rarely eat out, but I will watch for the better steaks to go on sale, so we can have a treat.

I don’t drive as much. I give thought to how far a store is and try to consolidate my errands and only go to places close by.

My husband and I don’t eat out or get take out. I cook a lot more and I plan my meals around what is on-sale at the grocery store and what will keep really well for leftovers and lunches at school.

Our happy hours with co-workers are now spent at houses with BYOB.

I buy yarn on sale, and I buy it locally so I am not paying shipping or putting it on credit and I am using a lot more stash.

I have always bought my books at Half-Price and my friends and I pass them along.

I die my own roots now, and do my own highlights. Haven’t paid to have my color done in a while.

I don’t get the paper anymore and have cut back on my cable package.

I wash my own car.

I shut my computer off now instd of leaving it on all the time.

I cancelled my land-line since ppl always called me on the cell anyway.

I buy my clothes of the sale rack and at places like Target. I haven’t been to a dept. store in ages.

I buy only the things I need now. No more frivolous spending and hardly any on entertainment; Netflix and knitting is now my steady for weekends in regards to passing time, oh. . .and reading a lot more as well.

I forgot one of my others. E-bay! I was recently looking for small pie tins to make pot pie. I had either found disposable or really expensive ones. I bought a dozen nice tin ones for $14 on e-bay.
My DD can only drink pediasure and its really expensive. I have been buying from e-bay for 7 years or so. I have saved any where from $10 - $15 a case. Lots of other specialty and regular items are purchased on there, but only things we truly need. I save on gas and unnecessary trips to town.

Both DH and I own our cars. They are old, more than 10 years old, but they run, and there are no monthly loan or payments. I combine errand runs. Yesterday I did all of my errands for the week in a 2 hr stint.

I would have never thought of buying pediasure on ebay!! Very interesting!

I am stuck using my car for work as the boss has me run packages to FedEx and drop/pick up mail as well as make whatever deposits there are. Luckily it’s a perfect “round” so I don’t waste too much gas.

So, with that in mind, I make it a point to stay on that side of town and hit some of the box stores before going home for the day. These are places that I normally don’t go because it’s otherwise too far out of the way.

We got a Solar Water heater installed as the price of home heating oil has quadrupled in a year so we don’t want to put it on until we have to. It cost a fair whack to put it in, but it’s subsidised by our government so we figured it’d pay for itself. The price of petrol (gas) is double what it is in the US here, so we are going to switch our car to a diesel as the mileage is better. Plus since I switched jobs I moved back in with my parents and now I don’t see the sense in moving back out again as rent is going up…

I am cheap, not frugal, just plain cheap! I always have been. When my family needed money they came to me, even when I was a kid. I drive a 1993 car that I bought new, my husband drives a 2003 truck that we just paid off and will keep until the wheels fall off. I save every penny I can and we live well below our means. Rarely do I buy new clothes and if I do it’s because I really need them and always they are on the sale rack or from a discount store. I don’t get my nails done, I do them myself. I don’t get my hair cut I have my husband lop it off when it needs it. I don’t smoke, drink or waste my money on things that harm my health. I shop the grocery sales and stock up on things we use. I can’t say I’m doing anything new because I’ve always lived that way since I got married. I came from a family of spenders/wasters and it was nauseating to see the waste. To this day my parents (both in their late 70’s) still waste so much money on junk. My mom buys at least 10 new shirts a week and they eat out each day and they live off of social security! I don’t get it. Then they gripe because they don’t have enough money with the social security and are living check to check but they have a new car and buy new stuff each week.
If anything, I hope this recent economic downturn will be a wakeup call for the people of the US that saving isn’t a bad thing and you should live within your means. Way too many people have bought houses, cars and just plain junk with credit or even cash when they could not afford it and now are crying the blues. It’s not really their fault, it seems to be the American way now to overspend because you aren’t cool or trendy or somebody unless you have more than you can really afford.

You are so right! Unfortunately, it’s way too easy to spend with the credit lines that are readily offered. Kudos to the sense of financial responsibility that you learned early on. You’re a great example.


I just got back from Home Depot, where I purchased a retractable clothes line. I’m going to install it inside of my garage. My dh is not happy about this one iota. I don’t care. I have a friend who hangs her clothes to dry all year around. My daughter is also fighting this. I told her that when she starts paying the electric bill, she can do what she wants.

Sorry…I’m frustrated. I seem to be the only one here who is trying.


Sorry your family is resistant to hanging laundry up. I have always had a clothes line and I really don’t like to use the dryer. When it gets really cold or too windy, I have a fold able drying rack that is good for shirts and small things. The towels, sheets etc. have to go in the dryer then.
Hopefully they will come around.
As for buying the pediasure on e-bay, I was surprised when I first found it. I had 2 different sellers that I bought exclusively from for 3 and 4 years (till they no longer sold it) I have a stock right now but will be looking for another supplier in a few months.
I have had to look for more ways to stretch a dollar. I came from a pretty frugal practical family, so I had a head start. After DD was born, I knew I would never be able to work at a regular job, due to the fact she needed so much care. So DH works and my job is to make it go as far as it can. Its not such a bad thing.

I hang up clothes in the summer, wash in cold water and full loads only.
Kids take lunch to school, but can buy one day a week.

Our cell phones are a larger expense. No fancy phone, but we have 5 lines. Two are college age students and we can call each other and not have added expenses. I cut my long distance on my land line, since we can call on the weekends to the out of state family and not use minutes.

No more extra’s. Ice cream once a week, and it’s the cheap stuff.
Generic brands.
Grocery list is made from items on sale. Makes for some interesting dinners.:wink:
Water at dinner after the first glass of milk.

Errands are combined. If I need an item at the store, I don’t go unless it’s urgent like T.P. :teehee:

Dh carpools to work.

I shop at thrift stores for pj’s for the kids.

A neighbor gave us 3 cords of wood, so we will burn a lot this winter.

I wash the cars, no more car wash.

We never go to movies and we eat at home, except once a year.

No cable or dish, just rabbit ears.

I’ve just stopped wasting money on non-essentials and limit myself to just spending on wine, women, and song.

Well, I do waste a little bit on bills.

You’re too funny! I needed a good laugh. Oh and maybe a glass of wine.