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This is an oldie but holds true.

Look at different shop ads around your community. You can find really good sales at some stores you'd not normally go to.

1 pack of bacon here at our main shop stop is 1.60. I checked out the sales flyers and I found bacon 20 cents off at another store. I got two packs there for the price of one at our other shop.

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You can buy onions in bulk and freeze the rest. I chop them up and freeze them. I let them thaw overnight before I use them. They may seem alittle soggy but they crisp right up when I sautee them.

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Any food that is acidic seems to freeze well in deep freezes. I freeze pineapple, pineapple juice, chopped tomatoes, you name it.
 

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Get online and join your local Freecycle or Craigslist. I may have just scored an electric reproduction Pioneer Maid cookstove (keeping fingers and toes crossed!) on Freecycle for my summer kitchen project. Would prefer it to be a gas stove, but for free I can always sell it later if need be. There are lots of free or inexpensive items on these two sites.

This winter grow some greens for your poultry to cut down on boughten feed, which is over $12 for 50 lb. laying pellets here now. :grump: Kale is extremely easy to grow, can take very cold weather, and is extremely nutritious. I am also going to try Swiss chard. Plus, you can harvest some for yourself, too. I like kale soup.

I don't do a lot of cooking, maybe three times a week I will prepare dinner. I know some folks will cook huge amounts of food and freeze it, but for smaller families or those who don't want to cook enormous amounts at one time, just double or maybe triple what you are already preparing. I made enchiladas tonight out of a small roast I pressure cooked last night. I had enough to make about a dozen enchiladas. I can only eat about two, maybe three at a time, so I divided up the rest and froze them. That way I have a couple of frozen meals in the freezer without having to go to the trouble and time to make a ginormous batch of food. Do that a few times a week and pretty soon they add up but don't hang around and get freezer burnt.

This is one I've said several times but will again.. when you make chocolate chip cookies, make the dough according to the recipe but only put in half the amount of chocolate chips called for. There are still plenty of chips in the cookies, and you get two batches of cookies from one bag of chips. At the rate they are going up in cost....!
 

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I love chocolate chip cookies but prefer them when they're still warm out of the oven. When I make a batch (with less chips; thanks Rose Garden), I'll bake one pan full then drop the rest onto a cookie sheet and freeze them. After frozen, I'll put the unbaked cookie blobs into a zip lok bag and put them in the freezer. Then, when I want more warm cookies, I take a few out, let them thaw a little and bake them.
 

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Rosegarden: So true about growing for the animals. I hope to grow turnips and other greens. What turnips get woody go to the chickens. Someday I hope to have a strip of alfalfa for them. Also want to plant a green manure that they can also eat--hairy vetch? And want to cut my comfrey and borage for them as they have highter protein content.
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Advice for college students: I recently went back to school and was shocked at the textbook prices--$75-125/book! I looked for used books online (amazon.com, half.com) and found them very cheaply because I could buy an earlier edition of the book for almost nothing ($1.50 versus 50$ one time). Then I went to class and compared my book to the latest edition that my classmates had for say, $100. I never found I needed the latest edition. Once the difference was the listing of a website to go with the book. I copied the website address from a friend and away I went!

Also, this is great if you must buy books to study for exams: ACT, SAT, Mcat , PRAXIS etc... I didn't know about paperbackswap then, but now I offer all my study books and aids on paperbackswap. Someone just got a $30 study guide from me for 2.80 postage.
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If you have more little soaps from hotels that you can't use, consider giving them to the shelter. We don't have a shelter here, but I donate soap to the food ministry to put in the boxes. Food stamps won't pay for soap or detergent.
Being frugal should also mean being more generous to others....
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When I open tuna cans I drain them over cat food. They like it, it contains some nutrition and since I buy the least expensive brand I can find, the cats eat it.

Cooked some bacon today, poured the drippings over some cornmeal I was throwing out that had pantry moths in them. That goes to the chickens and makes it easier for them to eat because it's glopped together. If i'd had time, I'd have microwaved it to have a chunk to throw out to them.

Found my old ice trays today. Want to make some cubes of fresh basil (from seed)/garlic and olive oil to make fast pasta dishes. Pop out and stir with cooked pasta.

Also want to put broth in them to use when sauteeing and stir frying--will use less oil to save calories and $. Will save the bones from today's beef ribs to make some broth.
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Planted my free tiger lily bulbils. Harvested some easter lily bulbils from MIL yesterday. It may take two or three years to get lilies....
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Money is like gardening--you have to have a long term view of it. I'm noticing this year seeds I planted two or three years ago are finally coming up--I'd given up on them. When you are young, that little bit you can sock away into a retirement account really makes a huge difference. Our kids start a retirement account with matching family deposits when they start working as teenagers. At least that will be one thing they won't worry about when they are in their later child rearing years. With minimal savings each year, a child can have a million dollars accrued by age 70. That's worth looking at.
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From the time they first get an allowance, our kids had to tithe 10% off the top, then save half. As they get closer to college and they realize what they must do to have enough to pay for their college expenses, they really start looking at what kind of effort it will take.
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Saved a plastic drink and lid from a fast food place and put a couple holes in the bottom with a serrated knife. Now I'll fill with dirt and put some cuttings of hydrangea, nandina and burning bush in them to root. I'll stick a couple cuttings of curly willow in there to promote rooting. Willow has a natural rooting hormone. The cuttings I made earlier have yielded me peonies, figs and cannas in the last two weeks--for postage only. The plastic drink and lid make a perfect greenhouse to keep the moisture in.
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Let's look at that savings: hardy fig trees, even from ebay, would have cost me $20/ea. with shipping. Equivalent # of peonies that I received would have cost me around 40$ with shipping and the cannas equivalent from the local place would have been 24$.
 

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Mid Tn Mama, I wish I could place a dollar value on the amount of fruit my mature fig trees give me. I have three in particular that produce heavily and several more that are not mature enough yet to produce much. I would estimate that one mature tree gives me 40+ lbs. of fruit a year, and they don't all mature at one time which makes processing easier. I don't care for fig preserves or jam, but instead I can most of them (you can figs in a water bath canner with a tbsp. lemon juice per pint so it's as easy as canning apples or jam) and dehydrate some. I know canned Kadota figs at the store are about $2.50 a can, with perhaps a dozen figs per can. I don't know how many pints I put up, perhaps dozens, because they are a nice change from other fruits during the winter. If I were to put a dollar value on it, I'd say over 100$.
 

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My frugal find for the day. I stopped at a garage sale and noticed two bags of canning jars without a price. I asked the price and the lady said if I would use them she'd give them to me for free! Can't beat the price, just for asking!

Also, I found a breadmaker at the thrift store. Pretty greasy/dirty looking on the outside, but when I looked inside, I'm not sure it had been used more than once or twice. I plugged it in to make sure it worked, then paid $1 for it. Took it home, cleaned it up, found the instruction manual on the internet and Wahlah! The only non-frugal part about this was that I already had a working bread maker. So I put a clear plastic bag over it and set it on the shelf in the pantry for future use. But guess what, a month later, my 'working' bread maker stopped working! Must have been meant to be... :dance:
 

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Here's one I'm working on right now...

When you buy a package of food, you expect it to have the contents listed. I bought some frozen, breaded fish fillets. Package says '10 fillets'. Opened it and put them out on the cookie sheet to bake, counted 8!

Going to write to the consumer affairs address on the package, send a copy of groc. store receipt and cut out the pertinent parts of the package. Not sure what they'll do, if anything, but I think You should always get what you pay for and not settle for less!
 

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mid tn mama,

we also drain the tuna over the cat food - after the tuna is removed we put some water in the can and give it to the dog. Inevitably I always leave some little pieces of tuna in the can, down in the crease, the water works that little bit up and the dog loves it too.
 

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RoseGarden said:
Here's one I'm working on right now...

When you buy a package of food, you expect it to have the contents listed. I bought some frozen, breaded fish fillets. Package says '10 fillets'. Opened it and put them out on the cookie sheet to bake, counted 8!

Going to write to the consumer affairs address on the package, send a copy of groc. store receipt and cut out the pertinent parts of the package. Not sure what they'll do, if anything, but I think You should always get what you pay for and not settle for less!
My parents have had trouble with that with frozen foods. We had chicken poppers but they were MASSIVE long chicken pieces..I think they boogered up the packaging?

You will probably get some free coupons from that company. My mom found dirt inside some pasta and she got three boxes free after she called the company.

Kat
 

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I know some of these are "old" but they are things I do, and have done for years.....

I wash out and re~use ALL my ziploc bags, and aluminum foil until they can't be used anymore..... I save ALL plastic containers with lids to re~use as storage containers..... I make my laundry soap (which I just started, and LOVE the savings...).... I hang my clothes on the line (winter time too), the only time I use my dryer is if I wash our pillows......

Just this week, I looked through some of the store adds that I never shop at, and found some great savings..... So tomorrow, I will do a trip to 4 diffrent stores within 20 miles of my house..... :rolleyes: ....Monday evening will be my "monthly" Walmart shopping.....

I clip coupons EVERY Sunday, and I do use ALL that I cut..... I get our Sunday paper delivered to the house for $1.00 an issue (paid yearly), which saves me 75 cents a week..... and as long as I get atleast $1.00 in coupons, they pay for my paper.... :hobbyhors

I took anvantage of a special my internet company was running..... $89.00 for the year, which equals $7.42 per month for my internet.....

And I think the biggest "frugal" thing we do is to live without credit cards and loans..... We pay cash for everything (well sometimes a check :baby04: ).......
 

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To help make your home safe,Plant things below your windows outside with Thorns on the plant. But be sure to keep them trimed so noone can hide in them. Make sure the plant has lots of long thorns,paula
 

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Don't fall into the trap that your child needs a completely new wardrobe for the beginning of school. I buy clothes at this time because they are on sale, but frankly, if they already have a backpack that's working, that's what they go to school with. But if their shoes and clothes fit--they wear that!

At this time, I buy clothes, underwear, socks and some get put aside for Christmas/birthday presents.
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I do buy an extra backpack or two when they are on deep sale two weeks after school starts. These go in the closet for when one breaks mid year and you can't find them. Same with insulated lunch bags.
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Put your kid's names on their coats so that your teachers can give them back to them. Wow! You would not believe the beautiful coats that get donated to goodwill because no one claims them and there is no name in them.
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A little dab of petroleum jelly on your hands and feet is lots less expensive than lotion. By accident I bought some that was scented like baby powder. I like that very much.
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It's hard to find a watering can anymore and they don't last when you do find them

I just punch holes (use a wine bottle opener) in the top section of a 2 ltr bottle. (keep the lid on) and use this for seeds and seedlings.
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You have heard of landscaping? Well the tightwad's version of this is foodscaping. That is, replace traditional bushes, grass etc. with edibles:
http://www.foodsubs.com/Flowers.html
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http://www.gardenguides.com/how-to/tipstechniques/planning/edible.asp
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cowwhisperer: Welcome. I like your tips and do some myself. Keep them coming. Share your laundry soap recipe please.
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Paulaswolfpack: in keeping with your tip, how about putting the raspberries or blackberries under the windows?
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Rosegarden: I've been dreaming of my own figs for years. Let's hope these root!
 

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MID TN MAMA: my laundry soap recipe is as follows:

1 cup grated Fels Naptha bar soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing soda
1/2 cup 20 mule team Borax

mix together, I use 1 TBSP for bath towels, kitchen towels, lightly soiled clothes.... 2 TBSP for our farm clothes.....

I made up enough last Sunday to fill a gallon ice cream bucket..... it will last me forever......
 

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had a drs appt today in a somewhat distant city. saw the signs at kmart advertising tax free day for school supplies...also 40% off already reduced clothing.

they had fruit of the loom packs with a rebate of $10 off of 5 packs.
there was a section of clearanced fruit of the loom to include briefs and tshirts marked at 3 and 4 dollars a pack because the packages were torn open and then taped (not very neatly) they were normally priced between $5 and $11
since these pkgs were clearanced I got the additional 40% off with the mail in rebate the $4 packs will end up costing me 40cents. DH and DS will be set for a while on undergarments.
 

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I certainly agree that contacting a company when you have a problem with their merchandise is a good thing, and have done so myself with good results. But it's also a good idea to contact them when you LIKE their product. I've contacted several companies when I've tried their product and really liked it and have received "thank-you" coupons for free stuff. Positive reinforcement.

On backpacks: Recently my daughter visited here with her two young sons. They needed backpacks for school and she wanted to get them the rolling kind. We went to L.L.Bean Outlet (which is big here in the NE) and found great rolling backpacks at half price. Okay, their half-price is probably more than you'd think was "frugal" but L.L. Bean has a "life-time" guarentee on all their merchandise. If you EVER have a problem with any of their stuff, just return it for a refund, no questions asked. Okay, back to the backpacks. The reason they were reduced half-price ($25 each) was because they were monogrammed with someone else's initials/name. No problem. With a stitch-ripper, I was able to remove the initials in short time while watching tv. Now the boys have two high-quality rolling back packs for the cost of only one and they have a life-time guarentee. This guarentee applies to ALL L.L. Bean merchandise.
 

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**cow whisperer**
1 cup grated Fels Naptha bar soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing soda
1/2 cup 20 mule team Borax
mix together, I use 1 TBSP for bath towels, kitchen towels, lightly soiled clothes.... 2 TBSP for our farm clothes.....

I am going to try that after I finish this batch of laundry detergent!! I also wash my ziploc bags as well!

**Trevilians**
Great deal on those back packs!!

**Ozark-Dew**
I wish I would have checked out K-Mart today!! My youngest son requested to go to Walmart to purchase his school supplies today. Its his own money so I figured that he could choose his own store. I wish I would have known that K-Mart was having such a great sale!! Glad you got in on the deal though!

**Mid Tn Mama**
A little dab of petroleum jelly on your hands and feet is lots less expensive than lotion. By accident I bought some that was scented like baby powder. I like that very much.

Petroleum jelly does work well. I normally use it on my feet and put the little footie socks on afterwards.

You folks always have such great ideas, please keep them coming!
 

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Mid Tn Mama said:
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It's hard to find a watering can anymore and they don't last when you do find them

I just punch holes (use a wine bottle opener) in the top section of a 2 ltr bottle. (keep the lid on) and use this for seeds and seedlings.
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at Christmas when we got the Food Saver, My DH wanted to "crush a 2L pop bottle--cause it'll be cool" he used his drill and drilled a hole into the lid...then attached the vacuum sealer tube to it....

now that I think about it...a restaurant where I worked used bleach and to cut down on accidents with the bleach, the bossman drilled a hole thru the lid...we just had to remember to save that lid when the bleach was empty.....not very practical for home use but at the restaurant where we used bleach a lot, it was worthwhile.

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turn the oven off shortly before your dish is done....if your cake needs just a few more minutes, put it back in the oven and turn it off. the residual heat will finish it off.

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this is a no-brainer but stock up when things are on sale....my son LOVES hotdogs and they are usually .83/pkg....I got some around Memorial Day for .50/pkg....I bought $10 worth....and have just kept an eye on the price so I can stock up again before I run out.

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If you use a Discover Card (others may do it too, I dont know) there is a special reward that you can sign up to recieve for free.....normally the CashBack Bonus is 1% but if you signed up for the extra one, in April-July it was 5% back for home and apparel...I managed to earn $20 more....for something I would have gotten anyways....right now Aug-Dec it is gas and hotel *I think* not that I spend on those things so i prob wont get much of a bonus earned....make your cards work FOR you!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Summer is a time when people often want to get together with family and friends. Don't put off entertaining due to lack of funds. My sister offered to have a weiner roast tonight at her place. It is a great place as it has a large creek and big field, BUT her finances are very tight. We are all bringing a covered dish, hot dogs, buns and whatever we have on hand. She is making items that she has in her garden. Why put the burden on one family? If everyone brings something it is enjoyable for everyone.
 
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