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Expect the unexpected
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well here we are several years into his retirement, and the budget has gone tight.
In the summer, it won't be so bad, because he has a part time job, and I do a few
things on the side to bring in a bit of extra money.
It just seems that I seriously question things we want to buy more than I used to.
Trying to get the biggest bang for the buck possible. Doing cost comparisons a lot.

One thing we gave up this winter is soda. Neither one of us drank a lot of it. Made
the switch over to kool aid. If I do get a bottle of juice, I only fill the glass half full
and then add water for the balance.

I just recently sold off about 1/3 of my chickens. I can't justify having extra eggs and
not enough egg customers to keep up with them. So this will help with the grain costs.

We are less than 6 months from having no house payment. I been throwing extra
at the balance since the first of the year. It's going to help a lot to have that bill gone.

So, what have you had to do ?
 

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I just did some checking...basic (utilities) up $44 a month since Jan 2013. Now that is NOT counting "extras", such as storage fees (up $50), groceries, medicine, taxes and insurances.

Mon
 

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Never been one to really budget.
Although with the wife's past 3 months of procedures (chemo) between co-pays and added costs the old pocketbook has really taken a hit. We've become more aware of where the money is going and what's coming in as replenishment.
Guess we have been really lucky with the years of planning for retirement to be able to bounce back from these set-backs -guess I better add a "so far" about these bounce-backs...... as we've found you can never plan for them.
 

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More eating of wild food we gather while in season and freezing some, canning some too.
You can find a recipe for about any thing growing with the internet.
Cooking smaller meals so there are no or very little left overs that seem to not get eaten and go to waste in the back of the fridge.

Tea is cheaper than coffee and also has some health benefits so I do that for my morning drink rather than coffee. Rest of the day is water plain old clear water comes form the well, Maybe if city water I would do some thing else but it isn't.

Hunt and fish and eat pretty much what I shoot and catch. Some times I get more than we can use so give it away. Game is hard with so dam many city slickers who turn there noses at possums, ***** and coyote meat.
When the freezers are full they are full all there is to it.

Use honey and don't buy sugar except to make syrup for the bees.

:D Al

:D Al
 

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Cut the cable out several years ago.
Just got Internet.
Grow a lot of my food, can, dehydrate, freeze.
Make up meal plans, rotate them for 16 weeks at a time.
Leftovers if possible gets make into vegetable soup, pot pies.
Make my own bread, pasta,cut out processed foods.
only things plugged in all the time is refrig, freezer.
Heat doesn't come on till December then in bathroom only, air not till July.
Garden all year in flower pots.
Layer clothing get chilled add something, get hot take something off.
 

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While we are very fortunate to have the income we do, we have cut back by not going out to eat like we used to. Of course now going out to eat would involve a 45 minute drive not a couple blocks. We have cut back on groceries as we find we just do not eat as much, and have found it more cost effective to raise our own meat. I do can what I can, I can make our bread but we really eat very very little of it so a loaf once a month or so isn't a big deal. I wish there was a way to cut back on medical bills but unfortunately they don't seem to go down. We really did safe a huge chunk of change by moving to TN from Michigan. We had a house in town in MI on a city lot and our property taxes were more than we pay for our small farm here. Utilities are much less and our car insurance dropped in half. I am sure we ill need to adjust as things go on because prices just keep going up.
 

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WE HAVE DECIDED THAT EATING OUT WILL MOSTLY BE ONLY WITH GIFT CARDS GIVEN TO US AS GIFTS. WE ARE AT CHILI'S YEST. WITH OUR GIFT CARD FROM CHRISTMAS THAT WE FORGOT WE HD. FOUND ONE FOR APPLEBES AS WELL IN THE SAME DRAWER..WE'RE SAVING IT FOR WHEN THE MOOD HITS US THIS SUMMER. WE DON'T BUY AS MANY GROCERIES ALTHO THE PRICES NEVER GO DOWN & WE THINK WHAT WE SPEND NOW IS MORE THAN BEFORE WE CUT BACK JUST FROM RISING COSTS. WE HAVE A FREEZER & A HALF FRZR. FULL. EVERY TIME WE HAVE LEFT OVERS WE TRY TO MAKE A SOUP, STEW OR CASSEROLE FROM THOSE LEFTOVERS & WHAT WE HAVE IN THE PANTRY OR FRZR, PART IT OUT INTO SINGLE SIZE SERVINGS & IT GOES INTO THE FREEZER FOR LATER. GOT LOTS OF SOUPS IN BOTH FREEZERS, UNORTUNATELY, I HAVE TO HAVE SODIUM FREE DIET NOW SO I CANNOT CONSUME THE SOUPS . HOWEVER MY DH CAN AS WELL AS MY DD & HER DH. SO, NONE WILL BE WASTED, WE STRETCHED THAT FOOD DOLLAR AS FAR AS WE COULD & WASTED LITTLE TO NOTHING. IT IS DEF. A MONEY SAVER IN THE END.
 

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Haven't really made any cuts recently. Pretty much quit eating out a couple years ago when radiation messed up taste buds, now I can taste again, but the folks I used to eat out with don't anymore. I buy things on sale at the store now and buy in quantities to keep me stocked till they go on sale again. Bought a couple pair of Wranglers at TSC the other day cause they were on sale for 20% off.
Aside form drugs and entertainment in the form of TV, I seldom have charges. Just got a letter from one credit card, said lowering my limit because I hadn't used the card in 23 months. Oh, well.
NO debts to concern myself with on regular basis. HOuse paid, vehicles paid. Might drive 300 miles in a month, if I go visit or go to dr or whatever . Usually less than 200 miles a month. Fill the most driven pickup once a month, car gets a fill up every couple of months, just use it to go see brother or when I take grandkids to doc or dentist. Occasionally to keep it functional.
 

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Cut out almost all subscriptions, including local newspaper. Combine all trips into town. Carpooling with other parents for kids. Growing even more of our own food. Sticking to a grocery budget and if the items aren't on sale, they aren't in my cart! That has taken some getting used to for the family. Have enough chickens to feed ourselves and have enough to barter with chiropractor for adjustments, and to barter with my brother for venison. Trade veggies with local friends for things like squash that I don't grow because I'm the only one in the family that likes them.
 

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Cutting back is a game to me, and it pays pretty well. I call it a profitable hobby.

This month I switched garbage companies. They are under new management, raised their prices twice, and they do not always pick up the garbage when they are supposed to.

Their competition looks to be the better choice, and the neighbors who have switched says it is significantly cheaper. And, I have noticed that they always pick up on their assigned day.
 

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DON'T BUY WHAT WE DON'T NEED NO MATTER IF IT IS FOOD, CLOTHES SHOES, CAR STUFF, HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. IF NOT OUT & IN NEED, IT DOESN'T HAPPEN. M MEDS ARE SO MUCH HIGHER RIGHT NOW IT IS TAKING A TOLL. HOWEVER, DH QUIT DRIVING HIS HONDA SUV & STARTED DRIVING MY OLD SATURN TO WORK AT HIS PT JOB. SAVES MILEAGE ON HIS SUV & GAS CSTS AS WELL.
 

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Found a cheaper cell phone provider, and no TV provider in the house. No landline phone in the house. I wash all my cloths in cold water.
Went to prepaid cell phone, this way no sneaky fees and charges.
No cable or TV charges, I own my equipment and several extra modems no fees hidden or other wise.
Thinking about getting rid of internet to it went up another $20.00 dollars this month.
Will still be able to go online to visit, just from the library is all.
It cost $1.00 to wash clothes and $1.00 to dry clothes usually only have 2 loads a week.
This way I get my exercise too. Just a block down then a block back to my apartment.
Garden is planted, then grocery bill for fresh produce will be cut in half.
Rather read a book, or knit, crochet, quilt then watch mindless tv.
Haven't had bread in a while, so make my bread from scratch.
Same with pasta noodles, sauces,salsa,pie fillings all home canned.
Make sweets and pie crusts,pizza dough by hand.
Cut out soda,only time I get soda now if someone brings me one.
Same thing with ice cream.Leftovers are made into pot pies, casseroles then divided up into single servings. Then off to freezer for future meals. That's what I'm doing tomorrow. Dividing up chicken dishes for the freezer. Nothing is left plugged in except freezer small chest, refrigerator,coffee pot, microwave. Reuse,recycle,compost,repurpose nothing goes to waste.I alter my clothing if need be.
 

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Expect the unexpected
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
A few years ago, we switched out vehicle and fire insurance to a different agency and company. Saved over $ 400 a year on the vehicles. Fire stayed about the same but have a better plan. I pay each of these as a 1 year payment. So that gets rid of monthly fees and costs of postage to mail.

We both use cheap minute tracfone cell phones. We also have a house phone and I use it when I can to save my minutes on my cell phone. I have my DSL for internet through our phone company. If I could figure out how to get the Direct TV bill down. It's his entertainment so I keep my mouth shut.

We are now down to 4 payments on the house. At the first of the year, we still had over a year to go. I throw whatever I can at it. I even rolled the loose change here recently. That was $ 200 worth toward the balance.

We have his money, her money, and the budget money. Budget money is our SS and that is for the household bills. His money is his from his part time job. And her money is from selling a few things here and there. So like in TSC today, he gave me money for his purchase and I paid for mine. I think the cashier thought I was a bit weird when I said, two orders on the cart and made 2 separate transactions. Hey it works for us :)
 

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bookworm, thanks for all your in-put. lots of great ideas. things i hadn't even thot of. you are one indoustrious lady! keep sharing ! i get a lot of great ideas from your posts. thanks!
Thank you, but just living the way I was raised. Nothing special.Renters and car insurance bundled together. Because I am a Veteran I get discount on insurance.
Even finalized burial all ready. Again because I am a Veteran going to be burial Veteran's cemetary in my home state of Missouri. Save money by using VA hospitals,clinics,doctors. Later in life, if need be will go to Veteran's Nursing Home.
This way not a burden to sons. If I travel and can get discounts through hotels by being a member of American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (life time membership) I use them.
 
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